I didn’t particularly like 2008’s The Strangers because it made the same mistake other slasher/home invasion thrillers make, namely imbuing it’s protagonists with almost superhuman/supernatural abilities.
What I recall was that the killers had this almost uncanny knack for getting into places soundlessly and without anyone ever knowing they were there, which was a tendency that got even more irritating when you’d have the killers constantly popping behind characters for maximum shock value, but little else.
Plus there’s the whole ‘Based On True Events’ malarkey, which means it’s going be so loosely so that it’s not worth even mentioning.
That being said, The Strangers: Prey at Night might be really brilliant in the same way the truly excretable Ouija was surpassed by its sequel, Oijua: Origin of Evil, directed by Mike Flanagan (in my humble opinion the best horror director working today)..
Bryan Bertino, who wrote and directed the original movie wrote the screenplay for the sequel, though luckily won’t be returning to direct.
That chair is being filled by Johannes Roberts (Storage 24) , who for my money gives Prey at Night at least a chance of not sucking.
If you recall, I wasn’t terribly unimpressed by the Slender Man trailer, namely because it was too impressionistic for it’s own good.
Now the trailer for Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare–as opposed to the Truth or Dare that documented Madonna’s 1990 Blond Ambition tour (which depending upon the lens you view it through could be considered a horror movie) looks more like of what I expected from Slender Man.
And speaking of Madonna, if there’s a song by her–any song–in this movie I would do my damnedest to see it the day it premieres because that’s a bit too meta to be ignored.
In any case, Truth or Dare looks like a mix of It Follows and Final Destination–and not to sound particularly morbid but that pool table kill is gnarly, which is why I wonder how it made it’s way in. It’s particularly shocking–making this trailer Red Band material–and seems like something someone would have the sense to cut because it’s shocking the first time around but (assuming that it ends up in the movie) a little less so every time you see it.
I want to trust this trailer. After all, The Midnight Man stars Lin Shaye and Robert England (likely in supporting roles, but still) in a story about teens doing what it is that teens do, which typically (in horror movies, at any rate) is meddle with things that they shouldn’t.
My uncertainty about The Midnight Man is due the title and story being thematically similar to The Bye Bye Man, which is supposed to be a piece of crap according to Half in the Bag, though Variety was infinitely more charitable, essentially calling the movie disposable, but by no means unwatchable.
Gerald’s Game, currently on Netflix is a remarkable bit of television because it understands that horror is more than things that go ‘bump’ in the night, but is also a way of working through the most evil of demons, namely those that haunt us in our everyday, waking lives.
And imagine to my surprise to learn that it’s directed by Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil) who understands that the best horror is like a satisfying meal in that it sticks to your ribs.
So when you combine Mike Flanagan’s minimalistic direction (with not a jump scare in literally the entire movie) with a story written by Stephen King, the likelihood is that both auteurs will brew a potent, horrible (in the best possible way) stew.
Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood star as Jessie and Gerald Burlingame, who we meet when they’re preparing for a holiday (though when Gerald packs two pairs of handcuffs we know that whatever is going to go on will be at the very least, very, very interesting). As the story progresses we learn that much of what we learned about the couple earlier is a facade, revealed by nothing less than a Shakesperean narrative device.
While having more in common with a psychological thriller than outright horror, Gerald’s Game isn’t afraid to scale that fence when it comes to it.
So if you haven’t see Gerald’s Game, consider giving it a spin but keep in mind that some games–once you start playing–are Hell to stop.
The reboot of Joel Schumacher’s 1990 thriller Flatliners (directed by Niels Arden Oplev) premieres later this month, and is likely to have an uneventful–and short–run in theaters.
Reason being, IT has shown remarkable strength for an R-rated horror movie (and so far is making all the monies) but when you figure in Darren Aronofsky’s mother! (starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem) being released two weeks later, it will take more than a shot of adrenaline to save the thriller.
And looking at the second trailer, you’ll likely get an idea why.
It’s not only hard to tell what’s going on and why it’s happening though worse of all there doesn’t seem a particularly–based on the trailer–compelling reason to see it.
Despite being a fan of horror cinema, I have only seen two features by Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer and Imprint, an episode of Masters Of Horror) which is only interesting because the man is remarkably prolific.
And while I have no intention of commiting seppuku (which I am reasonably sure a few people will do in the movie) I will have to catch up on my Miike.
Darren Aronofsky is nothing if not a director who appears resistant to pigeonholing due to the variety of genres he tends to work with (though that he’s not exactly a prolific director may have something to do with it. His last film, Noah, was three years ago; Black Swan was seven)
From Requiem To A Dream to The Fountain, he seems to seek to push boundaries (and if Noah is any indicator, buttons as well).
Mother! (Yes, it comes complete with it’s own exclamation point) appears to be some sort of horror movie–I’m reasonably certain a that that’s a mannikin of Jennifer Lawrence on the movie poster–which the director has not yet tackled (Black Swan was close, though that was more of a psychological thriller).
It’s hard to tell what the movie is about exactly–a couple appears to be moving into a new house, some people encroach on the space (they seem to have some sort of link to the husband) and suddenly everyone seems to turn against her, perhaps even the house itself.
Which reminds me of another horror movie I am very fond of.