This Week in Horror: October 19, 2010

Posted: October 19, 2010 by Jenny Dreadful in Film, News

Hello, everyone! We’re back from a wonderful start to our Philadelphia Film Festival screenings. On Saturday, we saw Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan*. The short version is that it’s incredible, but a detailed review is coming very soon. Our second genre film of the weekend, The Last Circus* by Alex de la Iglesia, was sadly cancelled. However, we ended up with comps to the film’s next scheduled screening AND Mutant Girls Squad.* Very exciting. You can expect reviews for those films in the near future as well. Thanks, Film Festival staff!

I’m here, along with some commentary from StayFrosty, to give you an update on this week’s horror releases. I’m happy to say we have a more impressive selection this week. We’ll start with the theater.

*All films mentioned covered with brief details and trailers here.

Theatre Releases, October 22nd
Hereafter

A supernatural drama from renowned actor and director, Clint Eastwood, starring Matt Damon and Cecile de France. (from High Tension!!!) It’s a melancholy exploration of mortality. An interesting choice for Eastwood. Reviews are mixed, but the week is still young. This is a film to keep your eye on.

Paranormal Activity 2

Whether you loved it or hated it, Paranormal Activity was last year’s big horror event. A surprising low-budget success story from Oren Peli, this movie pummeled the tired Saw franchise and scared audiences everywhere. One year later, we have a sequel helmed by new director, Tod Williams, chronicling a whole new series of supernatural pheonomena. Although I’m dubious about the need for a sequel, I’m intrigued by some of the footage in the trailers. Will the excitement from last year continue into this year? No reviews yet. We’ll see.

DVD Releases, October 19th

(Blu-Ray exclusives not included)

Giallo

StayFrosty: Made in 2009 and not released in the States until now, Dario Argento’s return to the giallo genre stars Adrien Brody (Predators, Splice) as an inspector trying to help a woman find her missing sister and rescue her from a serial killer known only as Yellow.  Though the giallo genre has always spent time lingering over elaborate deaths, the more modern, gorier films such as the Saw and Hostel franchises are a clear influence here.  While Giallo is definitely a step up from lesser efforts such as Pelts or Mother of Tears,  it’s not as vibrant and exciting as Argento’s earlier works.

The Lost Tribe

Well, it’s the Predator all over again in B-movie form. If you’re going to watch the Predator all over again, maybe you should just watch Predators? (Also out this week) Wait wait wait… Lance Henrikson is in this? Oh, Lance.

Mirrors II: Evil Lives

Well, the original Mirrors was pretty terrible. I haven’t seen the spooky Korean thriller, Into the Mirror yet, but it was turned into a laughable American gorefest. Mirrors 2 is supposed to be even worse. And it doesn’t even have Kiefer Sutherland in it. :/

Night of the Demons

StayFrosty: Starring what looks like a much older, wider Edward Furlong (Terminator 2), this movie is about a group of kids who go to a Halloween party but then must fight off – can you guess? – DEMONS!  Doesn’t look like much, but sometimes these movies can be mindless fun.

Predators

There are so many reviews of this online and in print already, so I’ll be brief. The second best film in the Predator franchise. Worth a watch.

The Psycho Legacy

Jenny Dreadful: An in-depth documentary about the Psycho film and its various sequels. I hear that it devotes much more time to the sequels than some fans would prefer, but it’s a must-see for serious Psycho completists.

StayFrosty: If you check out this documentary, you are also encouraged to check out the new Blu-Ray release of Psycho.  It’s not new this week, but it is incredible.

Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl

(Cartoony Gore alert!)

StayFrosty: Is a plot summary even needed?  The title pretty much says what you’re in for in this film.  Except whatever you’re thinking, it’s actually much, much crazier.  Think along the lines of Tokyo Gore Police and you’re on the right track.  Directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura, Naoyuki Tomomatsu.

Jenny Dreadful: I agree with everything Frosty says up there, but wanted to add a couple points. This movie is definitely fun and full of madness, but there are also some extremely uncomfortable racist scenes. Although I’m sure there is a cultural divide here I don’t fully understand, the blackface and… even worse additions on some characters… was pretty hard to watch. If you can enjoy the rest of the film anyway, someone attaches their own arm to their head and flies around like a helicopter.

My pick this week?

This is a tough one to call. It comes down to Hereafter or Paranormal Activity 2. Although I feel Hereafter could end up being a better film, the spooky season compels me to choose scares over drama. I may regret it when the results are in, but I say Paranormal Activity 2!

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Comments
  1. Mirrors 2 was abhorent. Too bad Nick Stahl is in it, it’s terrible.

  2. Matt says:

    I’m not sure about the need for a Paranormal Activity sequel either. Of course it’s not the story, but Profits! that decide whether or not a movie becomes a franchise, so I really should’ve expected this, right?

    What bothers me is that based on the preview it seems that the same monster is back to the same old M.O. except they’ve thrown in a dog and a baby. I’ll probably see it, but I would be more interested if I didn’t immediately think of Scrappy-Doo.

    Anyway, my spoiler-heavy review of the first one is here for public perusal-
    http://ornythopter.livejournal.com/11548.html

    • Indeed. After the refreshing defeat of Saw last year, the last thing I want to see is a new PA sequel every Halloween. Just like Saw. I’m curious to see what will happen.

      Although it’s the same supernatural force for sure, it’s interesting that it will be manifesting itself as Katie this time. Haunting some of her family. The baby addition is what interests me the most. Did you catch the funny business with the mirror in the first trailer? I am interested, but have seen no indications yet of what kind of quality to expect. Reviews? Reviews?

      Thanks for the link! Will check it out.

      • Matt says:

        Exactly! It’s Katie now. It got what it wanted at the end of the last movie, but it’s just going right back to haunting someone else.

        Oh yes, I saw the mirror stuff, but I’m not sure what to think of it.
        I imagine they would highlight something like that more, or that it could be an editing mistake. Or it’s a scene that explains everything but gets cut from the release. Like the alternate opening to Iron Man 2.

      • I might be less interested if it was a new spirit. Like everyone gets their own standard issue demon. :D We’ll see.

    • Matt says:

      The review isn’t exactly “serious” either. Just for fun. I know it’s not really an Eastern European drama…

    • Although I like Ebert for lots of reasons, he is not well-documented as someone who respects the horror genre. I have seen many positive reviews too.

      Trading bits of info we’ve heard back and forth is fine, but I’m going to have to see it for myself on Sunday. :) I look forward to discussing it more then!

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