We May (pun) have skipped a month, but June was always going to be the best month anyway, considering that it starts out with the release of what will be the best film of the year; Prometheus:
So why will Prometheus be the best and most exciting film of 2012? For a start it is a prequel to one of the greatest sci-fi/horror films of all time Alien (1979, Ridley Scott). It is not a prequel in the most obvious sense, it is not a prequel to the characters and story of Alien but to the Universe of Alien hence the title. Prometheus promises to fill in the events that took place between the birth of Peter Weyland (head of Weyland Industries) and the events of project Prometheus, which ultimately caused the right culmination of circumstance that lead to what happened to the crew of the Nostromo. Secondly Prometheus is directed by one of the United Kingdoms greatest living film makers; Sir Ridley Scott. Every last detail of the film we have been meticulously planed from set design, to sound design and lighting design. I have no doubt that when I sit down to watch Prometheus in 3D on Thurday at midnight that Scott will show ’em all how it’s done and that Avengers Assemble (2012, Joss Whedon) and The Artist (2011, Michel Hazanavicius) will all go and eat their own hats!
The trailer for Prometheus is the perfect tease. Filled with hints, and clues, and alluding to many possibilities, it ultimately give very little away, leaving us desperate for more. And if more is what you are looking for, you should check out the Weyland industries website which includes a fascinating time line of important Weyland industries dates: http://www.weylandindustries.com/timeline If that does not get you chomping at the bit with anticipation then lets face it there might be something wrong with you. Have you been bitten by any zombies lately, if so you might want to get someone to take a look at that!
The Innkeepers 08/06/12
The Innkeepers is a film I had heard about for a while, and the trailer has been around for a long time too, it looks like the films U.K. release date has been pushed back to almost a year later than other territories. Usually that would be a bad sign but I think it is probably just a low budget issue here. The trailer is reasonably inconspicuous. The Inn in question is being closed down so two of the Innkeepers, who seem to be a couple although their characters names or relationship are not mentioned, decide to carry out a paranormal investigation to try and discover if there is any truth to the legend that a jilted bride, Madeline O’Malley, haunts the Inn. The story of the ghost of Madeline O’Malley is recounted at the beginning of the trailer to create atmosphere, and as the only character name checked, we are expected to keep this in mind as we see various shots of the paranormal investigation under way. At first glance this seems like pretty typical ghost story fare, however the film does have a couple of things going in its favour. Firstly, as anyone who has ever watched The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick) will tell you, haunted hotel movies are a lot of fun. Seriously. Secondly the trailer tells us that The Innkeepers is from Ti West, the director of House of the Devil (2009). House of the Devil, for those who are unfamiliar, is one of the best, most original (and seemingly in a minority) low budget American horror movies of the last five years. A shot towards the end of the trailer show the main female lead venturing down into a basement. One of the key tension building moments in House of the Devil (which I imagine this basement scene will be a homage to) is a scene where the main female lead slowly ascends the stairs to find out what is in the attic. Now I am a hardened horror fan, and I was on the edge of my seat, that film was really a great throwback to classic 70’s horror. I predict that The Innkeepers will be equally as good!
The Pact 08/06/12
Based on the trailer The Pact seems to be your every day, run of the mill haunted house with added possible possession movie. The opening ‘who’s that behind you’ moment is promising, but very little of the rest of the trailer stands out. It all looks very similar to Insidious (2010, James Wan) and the Paranormal Activity saga (2007, Oren Peli) based on the characters and situation, although the cinematography look innovative and stylish. Casper Van Dien is high up on the credits list but, unless I blinked and missed it, he is ominously absent from the footage in the trailer. On the plus side the premise is rather intriguing, despite it’s implausibility, and although it might not burn your school gym down The Pact does look to be of a decent quality considering this is Nicholas McCarthy first feature. Who knows he might be the next Ti West one day.
Chernobyl Diaries 18/06/12
The more I watch this trailer the more excited I am about Chernobyl Diaries. It starts out a bit dodge with the typical group of reasonably good looking 20 something discussing their planned trip to Chernobyl as some kind of extreme tourism. But then we get what looks like a mix of real new cast footage from the time of the disaster (Yes Chernobyl was a real event) and imitation real footage, which is all rather interesting. Then we arrive in the city of Pripyat in Ukraine that was directly affected by the Chernobyl reactor disaster and see the landscape, a landscape that is both imposing and crumbling, and we get a sense of the kind of atmosphere this movie is offering. Derelict buildings are usually terrifying enough on their own without the added tantalising promise of radioactive mutants waiting behind every corner. Chernobyl Diaries, riffing on the landscaping of Let the Right One In (20008, Tomas Alfredson) and the visual style of [R.E.C] (2007, Jaume Balaguero, and Paco Plaza), seems promise some interesting moments of horror. Of course I could be wrong, but I think I will watch and find out!
Lovely Molly 25/06/12
‘From the film makers that started it all.’ That’s one way to sell a movie. Lovely Molly is from one of the two directors that brought us The Blair Witch Project (1999, Daniel Myrick, and Eduardo Sanchez). Which is a film that, despite my having been a teenager when it was released, I have little fondness for. I admire the pioneering spirit of the ‘do it your self’ generation, but I personally never felt that The Blair Witch Project worked as a horror movie. (A problem I seem to have often) It probably did not help that there were huge gaps in territorial releases back in the day which lead to almost everyone I knew finding out that it was not a real thing that happened before it was even released. I don’t think I was old enough to see it on the big screen so I didn’t even get to enjoy the motion sickness. But enough with reminiscing. Lovely Molly looks visually interesting, I can see the films roots in the Blair Witch. And going back to the ‘started it all’ claim it is indeed easy to see that films like Paranormal Activity (2007, Oren Peli) owe a massive debt of gratitude to Blair Witch. Reviewers tend to blame (Ha) Paranormal for sparking the increasingly downward trend for found footage/ghost/possession mix ups but it is fair to say that Paranormal ripped off a lot of Blair Witch‘s more original (back then) ideas. There is a couple of shots in the Lovely Molly trailer that look like Paranormal Activity shots, what would make Lovely Molly a great film would be if it takes everything Paranormal and crap like The Last Exorcism (2010, Daniel Stamm) (if only it were the last) did and rips it up and says ‘here’s everything you’ve done since we started it all, and now we’re back to blow it all out of the water!’ If that happens you will hear about it from me, if not this is just another Blair Witch rip off!