SUMMER TRAILER TRASH


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

Frozen-Ground-PosterLet’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

The-Conjuring-posterI 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

you-re-next-posterA 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

insidious2posterSo 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.

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Trailer Trash 2013 preview edition


Happy New Year. Welcome to 2013, unlucky for some, but hopefully 2013 will be another great year for horror movies. Time to look forward and try to identify what some of the best horrors of 2013 might be. Sadly my list already reads like a who’s who of classic horror as yet another remake/reboot free-for-all has taken place in tinsel town. The box office success of films like The Cabin in the Woods, and The Woman in Black proved to the execs that horror still sells. But clearly they’re still hoping we’ll settle for anything so that they don’t have to throw too many resources at it.

TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D 04/01/13

The first bit of New Years good news is that Chainsaw 3D is an 18. Oh how I have missed 18 horror films over the past few years. Although in all probably chainsaw violence is an automatic 18 for the BBFC anyway. The second piece of good news is that it is in 3D and for horror aficionados this is the type of thing 3D was invented for. Now on to the slippery downside. It doesn’t look that good. There is not much of particular interest in the trailer, despite the trailer being of good length, we don’t get to see much blood, or much threat or even find out much about the story which could be a sign that these elements are lacking. What is intriguing however is that the main girl mentions that she is related to the former residents of the Texas chainsaw house, and it will be interesting to see if that fact is of any great significance to the plot. There is also a nice bit where she jumps into a coffin to hide, but wood is no obstacle to metal. It’s 3D chainsaws so I’m planning on giving this one a go, but memories of Texas Chainsaw The Beginning (2006, J Liebesman) still haunt me.

WARM BODIES 08/02/13

Based on the Isaac Marion best-seller Warm Bodies is a reverse zombie movie loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Nicolas Holt plays a typical flesh eating zombie who has a change of heart when he falls in love with his dinner, the still human Julia. His love spreads some sort of anti-virus through the zombie population causing them to become more human. The trailer portrays the film as a quirky indie romance with a comedy horror twist. Holt revives the charm he displayed back in his About a Boy (2002, C and P Weitz) days minus the hair cut. A promising one with an original flair.

CARRIE 05/04/13

Having both read the book and seen the original 1976 Brian De Palma film I can tell from the scant teaser trailer that this new adaptation of Carrie is likely to be much closer to Stephen King’s vision. Carrie the novel consists of various eyewitness account and news bulletin style testimony of what let to the events on prom night at Bates high school. The audio in this trailer suggests that director Kimberly Peirce may be telling the story via a similar route. As to whether another, closer version of Carrie is warranted I am as yet undecided. I am however quite keen to see what interpretations the female director will bring to the film, as I have always thought of Carrie as a very female story (Although many a film theorist might disagree with me) De Palma captured the horror of being a teenage girl well in a shower scene that is now almost as famous as the one he likes so much to homage. The 1976 film will always have something the new film lacks… a young John Travolta!

EVILDEAD 19/04/13

A friend/co-worker of mine, lets call him Hamilton, has been enthusiastically recommending that I watch the trailer for the new Evil Dead (new being the operative word) for several weeks now. Something he gladly pointed out to me when I confirmed with him that this trailer is indeed both awesome and exciting. Hard too believe when you consider how generally pants most of the recent attempts at obliterating old horrors with glossy new versions have been. (I will let you imagine for yourselves to which titles I am referring) The main thing that sprang to mind when I watched the Evil Dead trailer was that it reminds me of The Cabin in the woods (2012, Drew Goddard) which in turn reminded me of The Evil Dead (1981, Sam Raimi) so make of that what you will. The great tongue in cheek shot at the end where the possessed girl slices her tongue down the middle suggests that this version will hopefully stick closely to ethos of the original; genuinely terrifying but without taking itself to seriously.There seems to be no shortage of blood and enough virile trees on offer too please most. Looks like a ‘must view.’

Trailer Trash June Edition


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:

Prometheus 01/06/12

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!

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/lovelymolly/