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What About ‘Us?’

You might not be aware that but Jordan Peele, the director of the breakout hit Get Out, is preparing it’s follow up, Us, also for Blumhouse.

It’s also a horror movie–or perhaps should I say ‘social thriller’–starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke (both most recently seen in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War)

What the movie is about specifically is anyone’s guess, bit supposedly it’s in a similar vein to Get Out, which was a pretty interesting movie, but it was also–essentially–an extra-long episode of The Twilight Zone.

And I’m not being a fan of the term ‘social thriller’ because it’s essentially meaningless and can be applied to anything that addresses the human condition within the framework of a dramatic scenario.

For instance, The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street, from The Twilight Zone‘s first season is what I’d call an almost pitch-perfect example of a ‘social thriller,’ and covers all the bases (that it doesn’t–directly–deal with people of color is neither here nor there, since that’s not a defining characteristic).

Though what I’d also call it is a horror story, a term that deserves much more respect than it’s typically given.

[Youtube=https://youtu.be/UO73e7Y5wHY]

The Grinch – Trailer #2 (or Why Dr. Seuss Should NEVER be Done in Live Action)

Remember Jim Carrey’s live action portrayal in Dr. Suess’s The Grinch That Stole Christmas (in case you don’t I’ve included the trailer.  You’re welcome)?

How The Grinch That Stole Christmas (2000)

If there were ever characters designed to be animated, it’s Dr. Seuss’ s because his drawings, when placed in a real life context, come off not only weird but off-putting–and to be honest vaguely sinister.

Which I’m reasonably certain wasn’t the original intent.

The Cat In The Hat (2003)

In GCI though, it just works.

And while I have not seen the movie, that dog looks like it’s trying to steal the movie out from under Benedict Cumberbatch’s Grinch.

The Grinch (2018)

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).

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Final Trailer 

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This is really weird.

Here’s the final trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

And here’s the first trailer for the same movie:

Have you noticed that if it weren’t for the same cast and dinosaurs that they play like trailers for entirely different movies?

And that’s because the final trailer gives away plot points perhaps better never revealed outside the movie

And speaking of the final trailer, it plays like The Lost World: Jurassic Park, except on a larger scale and adding the element of militarized dinosaurs, while the first puts the destruction of Jurassic Park as it’s primary focus.

As I mentioned earlier, the new trailer unnecessarily gives away entirely new plot points unseen in any prior trailer.

I don’t know how people will respond to it, but it feels like a bit of a cock-up from where I sit.

Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare – Trailer

Screenshot 2018-01-05 10.43.44If 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.

Rebirth of the Dark Universe?

The seeming collapse of Universal’s Dark Universe cinematic universe should maybe be seen as a blessing in disguise.

Keep in mind Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy earned over $409 million on a budget of $125 million, which isn’t a terrible outcome (though promotional costs, which I haven’t seen, are important) and indicates an interest in the concept.

Interestingly, NOT casting Tom Cruise might have better shown how much interest there was in The Mummy–and by extension their Dark Universe–and likely would have cost less to produce, which could mean the movie would have had a better chance at profitability.

What Universal needs to do is to go back to the original movies–and for a start emphasizing horror, as opposed to action– and put Jason Blum at the helm because if he and his Blumhouse Pictures production shingle–conveniently at Universal as well–has proven anything, it’s that he knows how to make extremely profitable horror movies at minimal cost.

By way of illustration, Blum’s The Purge cost $3 million and Insidious cost $1.5 million and earned $98 million and $97 million, respectively.

Which is exactly what Dark Universe needs right now.

 

Split – Trailer into Reaction

Split posterM. Night Shyamalan continues to have a very interesting career.

For awhile, he was by some considered the heir apparent” to Steven Spielberg, which is very rarified air.

And I can’t imagine that not going to his head a little bit, which probably has at least a little to do with Lady in the Water.

That being said, I thought you could see a decline in his powers with movies like Signs and The Village, despite both of those movies being very profitable and well-received–for he most part–by critics.

Though it was with the followups, Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender and After Earth that his creative bankruptcy became apparent.

It’s also no coincidence all four underwhelmed at the box office as well.

Though Shyamalan continued to work, producing movies like Devil and working in television.

He came back to the cineplex in 2015 with The Visit.

And while not as good as his strongest works, such as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, it was a return to form. It was released by Blumhouse Pictures, a studio built on low-budget horror and thrillers.

His follow-up, Split, also comes via Blumhouse and stars James McAvoy as a man suffering from multiple personality disorder.

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