Halloween (2018) – Teaser and Official Trailer #1

I was particularly unimpressed with the teaser trailer for Halloween (2018). Then again, they call them ‘teasers’ for a reason.

The full trailer is better but not by a lot. Reason being, if you were in the water with a shark, would you wave a bloody steak in front of it?

Probably not, yet there’s a scene in the trailer where some guy visits the asylum (sanitarium?) where Michael Myers is being held, and waves his mask–the same mask he wore to kill a whole bunch of people in the original movie (though I don’t recall it having hair. I always assumed that that was Myers’ which doesn’t make sense since I recalled hat it covered his entire head)–at him as if he were taunting him.

It does without saying that this will likely not go well.

What I particularly liked, in the same scene, was the crane/drone shot. It reminded me a bit of a chessboard, with Michael at the center (or thereabouts).

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Suspiria (2018) – Teaser Trailer

Screenshot 2018-06-04 12.11.04I’ve never been a fan of Dario Argento–or giallo movies in general for that matter–possibly because there always seemed to be so much going on on top of the feeling that horror lovers were supposed to like them by default, never mind that I never thought that they were particularly good.

Or perhaps I should call them an acquired taste.

But then there was Suspiria.

I honestly barely remember the movie, but that trailer…it made quite the impression on my young, not-quite-developed mind.

As for Luca Guadagnino’s (Call Me By Your Name) remake,,,I can’t yet say though the trailer doesn’t hold a candle to the original.

Hereditary – Official Trailer

img_0032I need to see this movie.

I read a week or so ago that the trailer was shown in a theater in Australia and it freaked everyone out (though to be fair it was prior to a showing of Peter Rabbit, with an audience likely made up mainly of children and their parents).

What I find remarkable is that a trailer upset them so much (it’s okay, a bit more atmospheric than most but nothing remarkable) when they live in a country that’s–if you have seen any of the myraid of nature specials on television–indicative of how virtually every other creature in the country seems engineered to kill humans.

The Predator – Teaser Trailer

What is it with the Alien and Predator franchises?

It almost feels like they’re being deliberately sabotaged (few other things can explain why Ridley Scott is so intent on undermining a series he himself helped to create) by some really bizarre decisions on the part of the people directing them, and it’s a pity.

In the case of the Predator, the problems started with 1990’s Predator 2 (the great idea of a Predator movie in the vein of Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop undermined by Stephen Hopkins paint-by-numbers direction and a weak script) and have pretty much continued to varying degrees since that time.

Though I had assumed that the Predator franchise had bottomed out with 2007’s Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem.

And apparently I was wrong because despite being co-written and directed by the undeniably talented Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3) the upcoming The Predator looks to continue the time-honored idea of mixing lots of bad ideas with one or two half-decent ones.

For instance, the idea that the predators are using the DNA from the creatures on the planets they visit to make themselves even deadlier?  Great idea and probably the best addition to the franchise in many Hunter’s moons.

The idea that a little kid discovers a model (!?) of a Predator craft that somehow manages to (apparently) control an actual Predator spacecraft!?

Dumb beyond belief (on the face of it, at any rate).

Then there’s the idea of the movie taking place in Small Town, U.S.A., an idea that didn’t do AVPR ANY favors, so why not do it again?

As I said earlier, Shane Black is a damn talented writer and director, but I get the feeling he’s screwed the pooch on this one.

Day of the Dead: Bloodline – Review 

While you can get away with calling Day of the Dead: Bloodline a ‘reimagining’ of George Romero’s classic, there’s nothing ‘bold’ about it (in fact, it’s such a loose interpretation that ‘Generic Zombie Thriller’ would work just as well).

Part of what made Romero’s movies so horrific (in the best possible way) was his penchant for slow-moving zombies.

Their speed was irrelevant because they’re so numerous.  They were a creeping horde of inevitability focused entirely on devouring anything living in their path.

It was this inexorable march that made them so terrifying;  no matter how fast you run, no matter how far you go, they’ll eventually catch up to you.

The zombies in ‘Bloodline’ are of the more athletic variety, which may create more immediate gratification in terms of (jump) scares, though the sense of inevitability, of tension, is lessened (If not lost entirely).

Another trait of a Romero zombie movie is what I like to think of as layered storytelling (a tendency that’s effective the less you see if it.  In his later movies he tended to hit you over then head with ‘MEANING!’ and ‘MESSAGE!!’ which made the movie that encased it a lot less interesting)

For instance, you can enjoy Romero’s Dawn of the Dead at face value–as simply a story of humans in a shopping mall facing off against the undead–or as a commentary on consumerism and how our need for stuff is literally devouring us.

Day of the Dead: Bloodline though?  What you see is literally what you get.  There’s nothing in the way of subtext, which isn’t a deal breaker if the action were more engaging or the characterization strong.

Neither of which, for the most part, happens to be the case.  Though the most damning criticism of the movie is that too many characters have more to worry about from catching ‘the stupids’ than a zombie virus.

By which I mean there’re  too many scenes where people die in circumstances where someone with an iota of common sense wouldn’t. If it happens one time you chalk it up to bad luck.

If it happens three or four more times, it’s really bad writing.

Day of the Dead: Bloodline is not by any means a terrible movie, just not particularly noteworthy.

Cargo – Trailer

CargoIt appears that the zombie genre has greater legs than anyone might have anticipated  (AMC’s The Walking Dead–despite a ratings decline–still shuffles on while spawning a sequel–Fear The Walking Dead–a somewhat unnecessary admonition) and along the way appears to have discovered a legitimacy few horror genres have had prior.

Though that shouldn’t be a surprise in that George Romero has long used the zombie genre to tell tales of class warfare and as metaphors for consumerism, among other things.

The latest example: Cargo, starring Morgan Freeman (Sherlock, Black Panther) which is coming on Netflix (Yay!) May 18.

What–if the trailer is to be believed–separates Cargo from it’s grisly siblings is that Freeman’s character appears to be be infected himself (and in search of a cure among the Aboriginal people of Australia) while the baby he carries (likely the ‘cargo’ of the title)–isn’t.

 

The Strangers: Prey at Night – Official Teaser Trailer

Screenshot 2018-01-09 02.40.12I 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.