It’s been a very strong year for Stephen King adaptations (well, adaptations not named The Dark Tower), with the release of Andy Muschietti’s IT and several new TV series, too. Now we’ve got two other stellar projects making their way to Netflix, Gerald’s Game from Mike Flanagan (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Oculus, Hush) and 1922 from genre newcomer Zak Hilditch. This dynamic duo of Netflix films recently screened at the 2017 Fantastic Fest in Austin, and I'd like to share my thoughts on these two wildly different films that were both equally compelling and entertaining viewing experiences all the same.
Last week, S. Craig Zahler’s Brawl in Cell Block 99 celebrated its US premiere at the 2017 Fantastic Fest, and it also enjoyed its Los Angeles debut yesterday evening at the 2017 Beyond Fest at the historic Egyptian Theatre. Daily Dead recently had the opportunity to speak with one of Cell Block 99’s co-stars, the legendary Udo Kier, who discussed what drew him into the project initially and his thoughts on collaborating with Zahler.
Arriving in limited theaters this Friday (and hitting VOD/Digital on October 3rd) is writer/director Mateo Gil’s intriguing sci-fi drama, Realive, which boldly confronts mortality and medical morality after its protagonist Marc (Tom Hughes) is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and instead of accepting his impending death, chooses to be cryogenically frozen in hopes of being brought back sometime in the future. Marc gets his wish, which seems like the perfect situation, but as complications arise, he begins to realize that his new immortality isn’t necessarily worth it.
“If anyone asks, we’re already f**cked.” Being a teenager is like the best thing ever and the worst thing ever all rolled into one. It’s that phase in your life where adulthood feels almost within reach, and yet, most of us lack the ability to fully grasp and comprehend “grown-up” scenarios when we find ourselves caught in the middle of them. It’s something this writer experienced many times as a teen (who thought she knew everything, and quickly realized she knew nothing), and a notion that first-time feature filmmaker Kevin Phillips deftly explores in his meticulously crafted coming-of-age psychological thriller, Super Dark Times, which repeatedly kicked me right in the gut in the best possible way.
If you’re a horror fan, chances are you have a lot of love for haunt season, and cannot get enough of the spook-filled attractions that pop up each and every fall (much like this writer). It’s that devotion to the thrill of being scared and pushed to our boundaries that is front and center in filmmaker Jon Schnitzer’s upcoming documentary, Haunters: The Art of the Scare, and if you’re someone who loves haunts, mazes, and immersive horror-centric experiences, you’re going to want to check out this doc once it's released on October 3rd (for more information on the film’s release, click HERE).
Over the years, Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken series has lovingly paid tribute to hundreds of pop culture icons and projects, but this October, they're celebrating AMC’s The Walking Dead with an entire special episode devoted to Rick and his cohorts in honor of the show’s success and its legions of fans who remain devoted to the series after seven seasons.
When we meet Bradley Thomas (Vince Vaughn) in Brawl in Cell Block 99, things could not be worse for our protagonist. A former boxer who has struggled to turn his life around by making an honest living has just lost his job due to the economy, and as he makes his way home early to lick his wounds, he discovers that his wife, Lauren (Jennifer Carpenter), has been having an affair. Not content with the direction his life is headed, Bradley decides to go back to being a drug runner for his dealer pal, Gil (Marc Blucas), but things go south after a pick-up goes badly, and Mr. Thomas finds himself being incarcerated for his crimes after he refuses to snitch on his boss.
As a longtime fan of Australian cinema, I will be the first to admit that as I watched the opening scene of Luke Shanahan’s Rabbit, I thought I could put my finger precisely on the type of cinematic experience that was coming my way. And boy, was I wrong. My favorite types of films are the ones that keep me guessing, or give me something I haven’t seen before, and Rabbit delivers that in spades. Much more than just a psychological horror movie, Shanahan’s latest is a beautiful celebration of Euro cinema from the ’70s, yet it still feels wholly steeped in this twisted modern reality where nothing is as it seems, and the horrors awaiting viewers go much deeper than just jump scares and gore.
While his roots may be in television, it’s most likely his indelible work in cinema as a writer/director/producer that has made filmmaking maverick Larry Cohen such an influential force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. With a professional career that kicked off in the late 1950s, Cohen has yet to slow down at all, and it’s that enduring creative spirit that King Cohen documentarian Steve Mitchell celebrates in his loving and lively look back at the brazen trail that Cohen has journeyed on thus far.
Enjoying its US premiere later tonight at the 2017 Fantastic Fest is Luke Shanahan’s haunting sci-fi-infused psychological thriller, Rabbit, which features a beautiful performance from the film’s star, Adelaide Clemens, as a twin sister named Maude whose sibling has been abducted, and a series of startling visions sets her on the path to discovering what happened to her identical twin, Cleo.
When it comes to genre-related, female-centric coming-of-age stories, there are always certain movies that will undoubtedly be brought up in the conversation: Carrie, Ginger Snaps, The Company of Wolves, and The Craft being older examples, and more recent offerings like Jennifer’s Body, It Follows, and Raw have also brought new perspectives into the fold as well. And with so many thought-provoking takes on this well-worn cinematic trope already in existence, it may seem like there’s no real new territory to traverse here.
But then along comes Joachim Trier’s Thelma, which recently premiered at TIFF and is currently screening as part of the 2017 Fantastic Fest, to show us that this well-worn terrain is still fertile enough to cull for some new ideas.
As the only film entry to represent Brazil at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, Vicente Amorim’s Motorrad enjoyed much success as part of the fest’s Contemporary World Cinema slate earlier this month. Daily Dead recently had the pleasure of catching up with Amorim to discuss his supernaturally infused moto-horror project that follows a group of dirt bikers who head out to a remote region of Brazil, and are in turn hunted down by a sinister gang of motorcycle riders hell-bent on killing the travelers who have apparently entered an area in which they are not welcome.
So, here’s the thing: going into Leatherface, I was primed to love it, despite not being a huge fan of Texas Chainsaw 3D (whose only saving grace was giving us the endlessly quotable line, “Do your thing, cuz!”). I’ll never write off a beloved franchise when I’m not crazy about a particular sequel—after all, if I had done that, I may never have fallen in love with Wes Craven’s New Nightmare or went bananas for Jason Lives. And for the most part, I was on board for Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s exploration of the Sawyer family’s demented dynamics, despite the fact that Leatherface feels like two-thirds The Devil’s Rejects and one-third Natural Born Killers.
In 2014, The Houses October Built quickly became a modern cult hit among horror fans, and now the entire team has returned for a sequel that features the same of haunt enthusiasts (Bobby Roe, Zack Andrews, Brandy Schaefer, Mikey Roe, and Jeff Larson) who set out to profile a new batch of scare-minded attractions, only to find themselves on the run from the infamous “Blue Skeleton” group that left them traumatized after some terrifying Halloween shenanigans the year prior.
On Friday, September 15th, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood opened to a sold-out crowd, who were terrorized by seven different mazes, three intense scare zone areas, and the Terror Tram that features four of the biggest icons of modern horror history. John Murdy, Chris Williams, and their teams always put together a phenomenal experience for haunt enthusiasts in Los Angeles, but HHN 2017 ended up being one of my favorite times I’ve ever had being scared while roaming around Universal’s world famous theme park.