Kong is king! And since 1933, Kong has been one of the iconic movie monsters. For over 80 years in numerous films, the giant ape has gone from a stop-motion puppet to a spectacle of computer-generated effects. But Kong isn’t the only super-charged element in director Jordan Vogt-Roberts' new monster movie, Kong: Skull Island, a rather fun and never-too-serious action adventure film.
Hugh Jackman has played the Marvel Comics character Wolverine since 2000, and Logan makes it the eighth time (ninth, if you include a cameo) Jackman has played the clawed mutant superhero. After seventeen years, the role is coming to an end for Jackman in Logan, a gritty and violently fond farewell that wraps up the journey of the beloved character.
We’ve all been in that weird, unnerving situation where it seems like everyone in the room is completely different than you. This seems to happen much more these days in the divisive landscape that we currently experience in America. Get Out takes the premise of a stranger in a strange world, adds in some pertinent social commentary about race and racism, and mixes it up with an interesting horror angle that is both disturbing and darkly humorous.
Director Gore Verbinski has crafted quite an interesting career. After striking genre gold with the remake of the Japanese horror film Ringu, orchestrating one of Disney’s most successful franchises with Pirates of the Caribbean, and continuing his collaboration with Johnny Depp on the animated film Rango and the reboot of The Lone Ranger, Verbinski was poised to do whatever he wanted to do with his next film, and it doesn’t take long to realize this quality in the director’s new film, A Cure for Wellness.
M. Night Shyamalan is on a career upswing, and Split is somewhat of a return to an earlier form for the director of the standout fright film The Sixth Sense and the superhero-influenced Unbreakable. Mr. Shyamalan was, and still is, unfortunately typecast as a director known for surprising, shocking twist endings. This makes watching his films somewhat of a difficult and frustrating ordeal because of the need to overanalyze every aspect. Still, minus a few films, Shyamalan has crafted a career that indulges in the art of the mystery, and with Split, the writer/director proves that he can still build an effectively suspenseful film that keeps you wondering what’s going to happen next.
To call 2016 a good year for horror would be an understatement. It was a fantastic year with a little something for every genre taste. You didn’t have to venture very far to find something that was absolutely fantastic. With great television shows like Channel Zero: Candle Cove or The Exorcist, wonderful films like The Witch and Green Room, and music from labels like Waxwork Records and Death Waltz Recording, the horror genre was finely taken care of. Here are few of the standouts for me in 2016.
Everything that happened after the vows on my wedding day is a bit of blur. The whirlwind reception of meet-and-greets with family and friends went by in a flash, so whenever a newly engaged couple asks me for advice about their wedding day, I tell them to remember to eat their dinner.
A wedding is the setting for director Marcin Wrona’s Demon, a satire as well as a horror film that evokes Polish history and culture to compose a remarkable genre-bending feature.
Coming off a successful first film, many talented directors fall victim to the dreaded "sophomore slump," the second film in a director's catalogue that builds so much hype, anticipation, and expectations that it's nearly impossible to find any sort of success.
Turn to any television network over the next few months and the height for political dissension in America will be at its most aggressive level. It’s during these specific times that my frustration with the political machine turns the most negative and disheartened, making a film like The Purge: Election Year seem more true-to-life than a work of fantasy. It’s this aspect, along with a clever marketing campaign utilized during the election year, which makes this third installment in the franchise far more interesting than it otherwise might have been.
We’ve all heard the saying, “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Many have probably fallen into this situation at least once in their life. One time, I walked into a surprise birthday party mere seconds before the birthday person walked in, completely ruining the surprise. These encounters are most often innocent enough and are probably shared as bits of small talk or chitchat to engage others in conversations. In Jeremy Saulnier’s new film, Green Room, this sentiment takes a cruel turn into nightmarish territory when a punk rock group called The Ain’t Rights encounter a community of white supremacists. Mr. Saulnier exceptionally turns a simple story into an unflinching and tension-filled demonstration of survival horror.
It’s hard to keep a secret these days. Somehow, 10 Cloverfield Lane, the follow-up to the J.J. Abrams-produced science fiction blockbuster Cloverfield, stayed relatively dormant and well off the radars of film fans until a couple of months ago. In today’s anticipation-heavy movie industry, where films are planned out and detailed years in advance, it would seem a difficult task to maintain the secrecy of a film as big as this one. The lack of information and equally vague trailer was an interesting move for this mysterious offering, a move that after watching the film proves to have been a successful and calculated one.
The horror genre has seen a variety of evil beings throughout its illustrious history. The living dead, vengeful spirits, stalking slashers, and giant monsters have all had their day to scare onscreen. But there is one monster that consistently holds a place in nightmares: the witch.
[Editor's Note: We want to wish Daily Dead readers a Happy 2016! Continuing our Favorites of 2015, Monte shares his list, which includes movies, vinyl releases, and more.]
The moment the iconic John Williams theme erupts and the words begin to scroll, it will be impossible for any Star Wars fan to not be a little excited. No spoilers allowed in this review because Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a film experience that should not be ruined by too much information. Director J.J. Abrams tackles the monumental feat of rejuvenating the Star Wars franchise, mixing nostalgia with new characters on a new adventure with skill and confidence while also remaining loyal to the fanbase that will be waiting in long lines for the opportunity to remember why they fell in love with Star Wars in the first place. To the achievement of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it excels and satisfies at nearly every turn.
[Editor's Note: We're bringing some of our columns from DEADLY Magazine into Daily Dead as well and today we have a look at our review roundup from Monte he likes to call "Movie Mayhem." Each month, he'll give you the rundown on movies he watched over the last 30 days that you may be interested in checking out. In the first installment on Daily Dead, find out what he thought of Bone Tomahawk, Tales of Halloween, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, and more...]