Joss Whedon has just been the busy, busy little bee lately, hasn’t he? He was one of the producers of the Morgan Spurlock documentary COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN’S HOPE last week; he’s the director of eagerly awaited THE AVENGERS, coming up in May; and this past weekend he produced and helped co-write THE CABIN IN THE WOODS with first-time director Drew Goddard (who previously wrote CLOVERFIELD). A deconstruction of the by-now-well-known stock “slasher” horror movie, CABIN takes its clutch of cliche teenagers (played by Kristen Connolly, THOR’s Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchinson, DOLLHOUSE’s Fran Kranz and Jesse Williams) besieged in a country cabin by a family of zombie sadists, and twists the scenario around by having it being monitored and manipulated by a bunch of shirt-sleeve, nine-to-fivers (including Richard Jenkins, Amy Acker, and Bradley Whitford), for mysterious ends.
Join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they critique the critique, looking into what Goddard and Whedon bring to the (torture) table above and beyond a replication of the form, how the film’s mythology holds up under close scrutiny, and whether the SCREAM franchise has anything to worry about. Then, the gang takes a capsule look at the outer space prison riot film LOCKOUT. Plus: What’s coming in theaters.
Here’s the first (subtitled in French) trailer for LOCK-OUT, a sci-fi action thriller — which seems to have a sense of humor.
A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.
Starring Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Joseph Gilgun.
Directed by James Mather & Stephen St. Leger, from a screenplay by Luc Besson (THE FIFTH ELEMENT), Mather and St. Leger.
Due out April 20th, 2012 from EuropuaCorp. and Film District.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, the title urges, but you know they’re lying. There are things hiding in the dark, little things, nasty things, things that want nothing better than to drag you down, down to the caverns where they dwell in order to, well, let’s just say you won’t need your library card anymore. Director Guillermo del Toro was so transfixed as child by the original telemovie that he re-wrote the tale with frequent partner Matthew Robbins, brought in comics-artist Troy Nixey to direct, and unleashed the darkness-loving creepies on estranged father Guy Pearce, conflicted girlfriend Katie Holmes, and most especially Bailee Madison as the young girl the demons most desperately covet.
Join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they explore how the story survives the updating, consider whether the chills outweigh the plot holes, and discuss why, after all these years, people still don’t realize that when disembodied voices start whispering to you the dark, it’s time to GET THE HELL OUT OF THE HOUSE.
Also: Guillermo del Toro imparts some thoughts on the importance of storytelling; and what’s coming in theaters and home video.
Guillermo del Toro says that, as a kid, he harbored great affection for the TV-movie version of DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, enough so that he and his friends used to creep each other out merely by whispering the name, “Salllllleeeee.” The years have passed and audiences have (maybe) become more sophisticated, but the new version of the film, co-written and co-produced by del Toro and directed by comics artist Troy Nixey in his feature film debut, clearly demonstrates that there’s still room in the hearts of horror fans for a flick that worms its way into your brain with evocative atmosphere, and a story that has a young girl (Bailee Madison) ignored by her father and his girlfriend (Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes) and beset by little creatures who just plain want her.
Because of Hurrican Irene, we’re forsaking the usual production values to bring you my interview with Nixey as fast (and easily) as possible. Click on the player to hear the chat.