I have been meaning to write a new trailer trash for a while, but I suppose I have been waiting for something to come along and really excite me, after the huge anticlimax that was the Evil Dead remake. So it is fortuitous that in the coming months (I am classing Summer here as July to September) there are not one but two films scheduled for release that contain some of my favourite film, crew and cast elements, but more of that to come, first things first…
THE FROZEN GROUND – 19/07/13
Let’s start with a trip down memory lane. On release in the UK from today Frozen Ground seems to be following the recent trend for films that look like they were made 10 years ago, not that I am complaining per say, I was hugely over excited to see Olympus Has Fallen (Antonie Fuqua, 2013) for example because I was practically brought up on spurious, 90’s, hyper action/disaster films like Speed (Jan de Bont, 1994) and Daylight (Rob Cohen, 1996). Film flashbacks like The Internship (Shawn Levy, 2013) on the other hand I would be glad to see confined to the annals of cinema history. But Frozen Ground, perhaps mainly because it stars John Cusack and Nic Cage, seems more akin to 90’s/00’s serial killer vs detective procedurals like Kiss The Girls (Gary Fleder, 1997) and Insomnia (Christopher Nolan, 2002). Although this means that Frozen Ground cannot really be classified as a horror film and therefore might seem out of place in my line up of summer blood letting, I am perfectly happy to go out on a limb and watch a film like this because often they couple some genuinely chilling moments with a more detailed characterisation that ‘out and out’ horror films often lack. Frozen ground, the début of director Scott Walker, is based on real events surrounding the attempt to capture real life serial killer Robert Hansen in Alaska in the 1980’s. As of a huge fan of Fincher’s Zodiac (2007) and am always on the look out for a film that might equal its mysterious fascination, Frozen Ground seems unlikely to be that film, as it looks from the trailer to be pretty standard stuff, although Nic Cage has said in the press that he hopes it will be seen as a sensitive homage to Hansen’s victims.
THE CONJURING – 02/08/13
I am so excited about The Conjuring that I could jump up and down and race around the room right now (but I wont) The Conjuring is from director James Wan who brought us the first Saw (2004), which despite its many sequels was an original and exciting movie, and Insidious (2010) which is one of the most terrifying horror films I have ever watched. The Conjuring is actually based on a ‘true story,’ much like The Amityville Horror (Stuart Rosenberg, 1979), a young family move into a new house without realising that terrible things have happened there, and are driven to calling in famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, portrayed here by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. There are a couple of versions of this trailer but the most interesting by far is the trailer below, which contains interviews with members of the real family who’s experiences the film is based around cut with scenes from the film. Not only does The Conjuring seem to take a fascinating look at ideas surrounding the paranormal, and paranormal investigation techniques, but having seen all three trailer versions I am pleased to see that The Conjuring promises to be spine tinglingly terrifying.
YOU’RE NEXT – 30/08/13
A car drives along a path and pulls up in front of a large country house, family members hug and snap photos, then sit down around a large dinning table for a family meal. The slight Scandinavian look to the décor and setting lead us almost to believe that we are about to watch an American remake of Thomas Vinterburg’s Dogma 95 film Festen (1998), that is until assailants dressed as wild animals start slicing and dicing the family with hunting weapons to the sounds of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day. It look like this slasher by director Adam Wingard will explore themes like the hunter becoming the hunted, and the American family surviving alone on the great wild frontier. The trailer is well put together, and engaging, seducing you into wanting to watch it. My only concern would be that there is no dialogue in the trailer, which is hopefully not a sign that they are trying to mask (no pun intended) some poor performances. There is a nice amount of shots of the ‘animals’ in their masks which hopefully means that You’re Next will be the kind of movie I had hoped The Purge (2013) would be.
INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 – 13/09/13
So the other reason to be cheerful this summer, besides the blistering sunshine, is that not only is The Conjuring directed by James Wan and starring Patrick Wilson, but so is Insidious Chapter 2. Yes that’s right, Insidious is back and this time it’s personal. You may remember that in the first movie Josh Lambert managed to save his son from the clutches of the demon (In a scene that owes a hell of a lot to Poltergeist (Tobe Hooper, 1982)) but when he returned he was not quite the same i.e. quite probably possessed. So Chapter 2 looks to be a rip roaring ride through what really happened at the end of the last film and why. All the old favourites are back; Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, and back writing as well as acting horror genius Leigh Whannel. Some audiences misunderstood the first Insidious, I (who watched it alone in one of the almost definitely haunted screens of my local cinema) am in no doubt that it is one of the most well written, well made, and, well, genuinely scary horror films of the last five years. Only time will tell as to weather Chapter 2 will live up to the expectations left by the original. On a lighter note there are a few little nods to Saw here and there, which are always fun to try and spot.