While I wouldn’t by any means call 2014-2015 a banner year for horror movies, I am glad to see that there are some coming down the pike that approach the genre with the sort of vision that more often than not elevates the material, such as The Babadook (on the strength of which director Jennifer Kent was rumored to be in the running to direct the upcoming Warner Bros. upcoming Wonder Woman movie) and David Robert Mitchell‘s It Follows, a movie that takes some familiar tropes (sexual awakening in a young woman) and takes it to new and frightening places.
Though what I find most interesting is that, while there’s plenty of crappy horror films out there–and probably always will be–there are filmmakers that don’t take the fact that they’re working on a horror film as an excuse to do weak work.
Legendary Pictures can certainly use a hit, after the dismal performance of Black Hat and Seventh Son. That being said, I hope that Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak is the movie that does it for them.
That being said, there are a few things riding against it.
First off, it’s rated R, which means that no one under 17 can see it without a parent or guardian, though that hasn’t stopped American Sniper from pulling in the bucks (though the only thing that the two movies are their rating and that they both have actors in them).
The movie looks gorgeous–it’s from del Toro, after all–though unlike his prior productions there appears to be overt sexuality, something only hinted at, if that, in his prior productions.
While growing up, while I was aware of Napoleon Solo (otherwise known as The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) and Illya Kuryakin (originally played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum in the television series), though I didn’t watch it, being instead a huge fan of The Avengers and Department S.
There’s already been a remake of The Avengers, and while the original series was so awesome I hope it’s revisited once again, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.
The Avengers – Original series
I would post the trailer for the reboot of the British television series, except that it’s surprisingly difficult to find. I mean, it was a pretty mediocre movie, but I didn’t think that it was so bad that the Internet would reject it.
As far as I know, no one has rebooted Department S, which is a pity because Johnny Depp, with his penchant for odd mustaches and the like, would be perfect as Jason King (Peter Wyngarde, who’s life is interesting enough to warrant a movie of its own).
That being said, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is being rebooted via Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows) and it looks interesting despite the fact that the initial car chase brought back somewhat unwelcome memories of Speed Racer.
I haven’t seen any of The Fast and the Furious movies in their entirety (though I recall catching a snippet of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift when I was visiting my parents awhile ago) and had no intent of doing so.
I am also surprised to learn that there have only been three, excluding the latest movie. And speaking of Furious 7, I have just seen the trailer and I might have to see at least one because it looks insane.
On top of that, it was directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious, Dead Silence, etc), who’s always had an eye for interesting visuals.
And did I mention that on top of the regular cast, it stars Jason Statham as well as Kurt Russell?
And after all, it’s not as if I am not expecting Downton Abbey (thanks for that!) or anything.
Gerry Anderson as a producer has always fascinated me. Despite being behind some of the most innovative puppet (Supermarionation)-based television series, he was never entirely satisfied with working with them, and always wanted to work with flesh and blood actors.
That being said, he first time that he did so, in UFO, Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun (Doppelgänger), Space: 1999 and Space Precinct the characters tended to exhibit a range of expressions and emotions not too far distant from the puppets he wanted to move away from.
Though what I found telling was that in his The New Adventures Of Captain Scarlet, which created in Hypermarionation (CGI and image capture), the vehicles looked fantastic, characters moved with a fluidity absent from any of the Anderson puppet-based series.
Yet the obvious care that went into vehicle design and movement was absent from the characters faces, which looked as stony, as puppet-like, as ever.
I mention these things because ITV recently released a video of some of the props that WETA is using for their upcoming Thunderbirds Are Go! and what’s most interesting is that despite the characters–as far as I am aware–being entirely CGI they’re still creating physical props to work with.
It’s an interesting approach, which I wish that Anderson would have perhaps considered with his Captain Scarlet series.
Speak of the Devil, and he’ll come (or something to that effect) because the new Poltergeist trailer has dropped, and it’s a whole bunch of “Meh.”
There’s a workman-like sheen to things, which may owe more to Paranormal Activity than the original movie, but if the trailer has shown me anything, it’s how unnecessary a remake it is. That being said, I have to give whomever decided to cast Jared Harris, seemingly in the Tangina role, props because the man is virtually a walking special effect.
As far as I am concerned, casting Harris in such a role is like casting Angus Scrimm in that either actor may not be up to–or associated with–something ominous, but more they likely, they are.
Though why they needed to ride the original Poltergeist’s coattails is beyond my understanding.
This is part of what I hate about Hollywood. With the Poltergeist reboot trailer about to drop any day now, I wonder why anyone is remaking a movie that doesn’t particularly need it. Tobe Hooper’s (or Steven Spielberg’s, depending upon whom you ask) haunted house thriller is not only one of the better movies it its type, but its aged pretty well too.
Then there’s the person that was chosen to direct: Gil Kenan. So far he’s done two films, Monster House and City Of Ember, neither of which in my eyes making him a good choice for the reboot (despite obvious parallels to Poltergeist and Monster House).
There are SO many bad movies that would warrant a reboot, yet for some reason they start with the (potential) ruining of a classic.