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
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)
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.
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!