Arriving in theaters in New York and Los Angeles this Friday is Jeff Baena’s oddball religious comedy (that has a hint of witchcraft to it) The Little Hours. An official selection of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Baena’s film is an adaptation of The Decameron, and during a recent press day for the film, Daily Dead had the opportunity to speak with two of the co-stars of The Little Hours, Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and Dave Franco (Neighbors, 2012's 21 Jump Street).
Arriving in select theaters and on Netflix tomorrow, June 28th, is Okja, the latest from inventive genre filmmaker Bong Joon Ho. The genre-defying project follows a little girl named Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun), who has spent the last ten years raising her pet super pig, only to learn that her genetically-modified best friend is about to take a trip to New York City, courtesy of Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) and the Mirando Corporation, who has devious plans for the lovable pig. Mija sets out to rescue her beloved Okja, but her daunting journey becomes even more complicated as she crosses paths with an animal rights group (led by Paul Dano) and a wacky television host (Jake Gyllenhaal) who also has something of a hidden agenda.
Out on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow is Greg McLean’s The Belko Experiment, which was written and produced by James Gunn, and features a cavalcade of familiar faces, including John Gallagher Jr. (Hush, 10 Cloverfield Lane), Tony Goldwyn, John C. McGinley (Point Break, Stan Against Evil), Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Super), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy), Rusty Schwimmer (Jason Goes to Hell, Twister), Owain Yeoman (The Mentalist), and many more. The film’s story pits an office building filled with co-workers against each other once they realize they’re pawns in some unknown entity’s twisted game of survival of the fittest.
With Dawn and now War for the Planet of the Apes, filmmaker Matt Reeves has crafted easily two-thirds of the best science fiction trilogy since the original Star Wars films, and he does a brilliant job of bringing home Caesar’s (Andy Serkis) origin story in an emotional and brutally unflinching examination of loss, revenge, power, and survival. With War, Reeves has cemented himself as one of the best blockbuster storytellers out there today, and I could not have asked for a better culmination of Caesar’s story than the one we get here.
For his second feature, David F. Sandberg really went all out for Annabelle: Creation, mixing up his bag of horror tricks to deliver a cinematic experience that just relentlessly comes at you with the scares once the titular doll is discovered and all hell is unleashed on anyone in her path. As far as prequels go, Sandberg has done a helluva job with Annabelle: Creation, and I commend the filmmaker for creating a clever and wickedly fun horror movie that surpasses its predecessor in numerous ways (akin to Mike Flanagan’s Ouija: Origin of Evil last year).
One of my favorite movies out of Fantastic Fest 2016 (read my review here) was Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch, which follows a young woman named Arlen (Suki Waterhouse), who is released from a secretive prison into the desert and must fend for herself against a group of cannibals led by Miami Man (Jason Momoa).
Premiering tonight as part of the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival is Sam Patton’s Desolation, which follows a grieving mom named Abby (Jaimi Paige), her teenage son, Sam (Toby Nichols), and their friend Jen (Alyshia Ochse), who head out to the woods in an effort to honor Abby’s deceased husband’s wishes and spread his ashes, only to come across a mysterious loner who begins following their every move.
The month of June has been flying by quicker than I can even believe, as we’re already a week out from the end of the 2017 Dances With Films festival, which took over the historic Chinese Theater in Los Angeles earlier this month. During DWF, I had the opportunity to catch several intriguing genre films, including Devil’s Whisper, Inheritance, Imitation Girl, and Central Park, and here’s a summary of my thoughts on these four flicks:
Later tonight at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival, co-writer/director Norbert Keil will be able to celebrate the long journey to completion for his latest project, Replace, as the genre-bending horror film is set for its world premiere as part of the fest’s Nightfall programming.
Yesterday, Daily Dead sat down with Keil, as well as with Replace co-stars Rebecca Forsythe and genre legend Barbara Crampton, to discuss their wholly unique collaboration that left this writer continually guessing until the very end.
Premiering on Monday, June 19th as part of the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival lineup is director Julius Ramsay’s intense and masterfully constructed thriller, Midnighters, which was penned by Julius’ brother, Alston Ramsay.
Later tonight, 47 Meters Down swims its way into theaters everywhere, and the action-fueled horror movie has had quite a wild ride so far. It was originally set to be released on home media last summer, only to be picked up by Entertainment Studios and become destined to hit big screens everywhere this weekend.
Here’s a little-known fact about me: I love snorkeling. The last vacation I took down to Mexico, I spent five out of the seven days we were there floating around the ocean and several cenotes, taking in all the views of aquatic life that I could possibly get. But here’s the thing: once I get into dark water territory (where I no longer can see the bottom), that’s when I start to freak out a bit, and my own claustrophobia begins to set in. That being said, there’s a lot to 47 Meters Down that really left me unnerved, particularly once our protagonists end up stuck at the bottom of the ocean floor, with the still darkness of the ocean encompassing them, and no way to tell whether or not a shark is headed their way.
Out in theaters this weekend is the shark-themed horror film 47 Meters Down, which stars Mandy Moore and Claire Holt as sisters who end up in a fight for survival after an underwater expedition goes horribly awry. Daily Dead had the chance to speak with both actresses about the challenges of their ambitious roles in the project, and they discussed how they handled the physicality of working primarily while submerged in 20 feet of water, and more.
As a producer on projects like Starry Eyes and The Sacrament, Camera Obscura co-writer/director Aaron B. Koontz has been a fixture of the indie horror film community for some time now. Koontz recently celebrated the VOD and On Demand release of his debut feature, Camera Obscura, which ambitiously blends together the psychological horror/haunted camera/slasher genres for a truly unexpected cinematic treat.
This past weekend, the 2017 Dances With Films festival wrapped up here in Los Angeles, and before we said goodbye to the fest’s impressive slate of indie genre projects, we had the opportunity to check out the stellar short film, Alfred J. Hemlock, from co-writer/director Edward Lyons and co-writer/producer Melissa Lyons. It stars Tristan McKinnon as the titular character who stalks a young woman named Emily (Renaye Loryman) one night down a darkened alley and terrorizes her, only to have Emily push back against her supernatural antagonizer in some unexpected ways.