The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia in theatres & on demand February 1

Lionsgate releases this production from Gold Circle Films, a sequel to 2009’s THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT. Tom Elkins ( who edited the first film) takes to the director’s chair, working from a screenplay by David Coggeshall. The cast includes Katee Sackhoff (BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA), Chad Michael Murray (HOUSE OF WAX), Abigail Spencer, and Cicely Tyson.
According to the press release, THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2: GHOSTS OF GEORGIA “traces a young family’s nightmarish descent into a centuries-old Southern hell. When Andy Wyrick (Murray) moves his wife Lisa (Spencer) and daughter Heidi to an historic home in Georgia, they quickly discover they are not the house’s only inhabitants. Joined by Lisa’s free-spirited sister, Joyce (Sackhoff), the family soon comes face-to-face with a bone-chilling mystery born of a deranged desire…a haunting secret rising from underground and threatening to bring down anyone in its path.”
TheHauntingInConnecticut2_PosterBy the way, we will assume that the film’s claim to be “based on a true story” is a reference to the back story regarding the Underground Railroad (which helped escaped slave get to the northern states before and during the Civil War).
The film opens on February 1, putting it in direct competition with WARM BODIES.


In a break with tradition, Lionsgate is release THE HUNGER GAMES in all home video formats (Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and Digital Download) – not on a Tuesday but at a minute past midnight on the morning of Saturday, August 18. The strategy is designed to generate lines of eager fans at midnight retail events around the country. The film, which earned $400-million in the USA alone and nearly $650-million worldwide, will appear on store shelves as both a 2-disc DVD set and a 2-disc Blu-ray set, with over three hours of bonus features, including an eight-part documentary, THE WORLD IS WATCHING THE HUNGER GAMES. List price for the Blu-ray discs is $39.99, with the DVDs selling for $30.99.
NOTE: You can see excerpts from some of the bonus features in the video playlist embedded at the bottom of this post.
BLU-RAY & DVD SPECIAL FEATURES (subject to change):

  • “The World is Watching: Making of The Hunger Games” – an eight-part documentary covering the “making of” the film in all aspects from the pre-production process all the way through the theatrical release and fan reactions
  • “Game Maker: Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games Phenomenon” featurette
  • “Letters from the Rose Garden” featurette – insights from Donald Sutherland on the development of his role as President Snow
  • “Controlling the Games” featurette – stories and concepts behind creating the control center
  • “A Conversation with Gary Ross and Elvis Mitchell”
  • Propaganda Film (in its entirety)
  • Marketing Archive
  • “Preparing for The Games: A Director’s Process” (Blu-ray Exclusive)


  • Year of Production: 2012
  • Title Copyright: © 2012 Lionsgate Films Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  • Rating: PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images- all involving teens
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Blu-ray Closed Captioned: English SDH
  • DVD Closed Captioned: English
  • Subtitles: English and Spanish
  • Blu-ray Format: 1080P High Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)
  • DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)
  • Feature Running Time: 142 minutes
  • Blu-ray Audio Status: English 7.1 DTS HD-MA, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Optimized for Late Night Listening and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
  • DVD Audio Status: English 5.1 Dolby Digital EX, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Optimized for Late Night Listening and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Check out video clips from the home video release of THE HUNGER GAMES on DVD and Blu-ray:

THE POSSESSION opens August 31

Sam Raimi “presents” this supernatural horror film from dutch director Ole Bornedal (NIGHTWATCH), working from a script by the writing team of Julia Snowden and Stiles White (KNOWING). Allegedly based on true events, the story has a young girl purchase an antique box that houses a demonic entity. As you can imagine, when the box opens, all Hell breaks loose, forcing the girl’s father to re-connnect with his estranged wife in order to battle the evil possessing their daughter. The cast includes Jeffrey Dean Morgan (WATCHMEN), Kyra Sedgwick (PHENOMENON), Madison Davenport, and Natasha Calis.
Lionsgate release the Ghost House Pictures production on August 31, 2012.

New 'Hunger Games' Trailer

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz ,  Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland.

hunger-games-poster1THE HUNGER GAMES is directed by Gary Ross, with a screenplay by Gary Ross and Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins. 
Due out March 23rd from Color Force and Lionsgate.

Aaron Eckhart is 'I, Frankenstein'


I, FRANKENSTEIN -Darkstorm Comic
I, FRANKENSTEIN -Darkstorm Comic

Aaron Eckhart (THE DARK KNIGHT) has been cast to  play Adam Frankenstein in the Lakeshore Entertainment, Hopscotch Features and Lionsgate’s   I, FRANKENSTEIN, an adaptation  of the Darkstorm Studios comic book of the same name.

Created by Kevin Grevioux (UNDERWORLD) and drawn by Robert Castro,  the film is set to begin production in Australia in January, 2012.
The film version is written and  directed by Stuart Beattie (30 DAYS OF NIGHT).
Aaron Eckhart
Aaron Eckhart

At one point,   Patrick Tatopoulos (UNDERWORLD RISE OF THE LYCANS) was set to direct—he apparently did the design work on the graphic novel’s creatures. In the Darkstorm comics, Frankenstein’s monster “Adam” becomes gun-toting  present-day adversary to classic monsters out to menace the world, such as Dracula, The Werewolf, The Invisible Man, et al.
Kevin Grevioux remains on the project as an executive producer.
 Lionsgate will distribute the film in the United States, aiming for a February 22nd, 2013 release date.

Lionsgate Picks up 'DREDD'

Dredd_Anderson_thrillVariety reports that Lionsgate has made a deal to distrubute three action films from IM Global in the U.S. One of these films is DREDD, the new live-action version of the Judge Dredd sci-fi police comic book. 
In addition to DREDD, to be directed by Pete Travis and starring Karl Urban (STAR TREK), the deal includes SAFE, currently in production under Boaz Yakin, and starring Jason Statham (CRANK 2). The other film is PROTECTION, to be directed by Simon West.

'Conan' To Be Set Loose Next Summer

Jason Momoa in CONANLionsgate announced that CONAN will be released August 19th, 2011, in standard and 3-D versions.

Marcus Nispel directs the Nu Image film from a screenplay by Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Sean Hood, based on Robert E. Howard’s pulp sword & sorcery tales of Conan The Barbarian.
Jason Momoa (STARGATE ATLANTIS) stars as the Cimmerian adventurer, along with Rose McGowen (CHARMED), Steven Lang (AVATAR), Ron Perlman (HELLBOY), Katarzyna Wolejnio, and Rachel Nichols (ALIAS, STAR TREK).

CONAN To Feature Supernatural

—Co-star Reveals Fantasy Element—

Steven Lang (AVATAR), who plays the warlord Khalar Singh in Lionsgate / Millenium Flim’s CONAN, told MTV that the new film will feature the supernatural as well as action. 

“If you read Robert Howard — of course the ‘Conan’ stories and novellas — magic, (the) supernatural plays a huge, huge part in them: fakirs and magicians and wizards all over the place…  So magic is part of that world. The magic in this film, there’s a lot of it and there’s a lot of action-magic as well, a lot of magical fighting.”

His own character’s fights will demonstrate swordmanship, rather than  sorcery, however.

“My fighting is not magical… My fighting is just brutal.”

Steven Lang in AVATAR

CONAN stars STARGATE: ATLANTIS’s Jason Momoa in the title role.
Marcus Nispel directs from a screenplay by Thomas Dean Donnelly,  Sean Hood , and Joshua Oppenheimer.
No specific release date has been set, though it’s expected to premiere in 2011.
Note: A commerical message may play first in this video clip, courtesy of MTV.

The Last Exorcism: horror film review

The Last Exorcism (2010) Is THE LAST EXORCISM this generation’s version of THE EXORCIST? No: , with its faux-documentary style, backwoods setting, and ambiguous attitude toward possession, the filmcomes across more like an unholy hybrid of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE. By turns satirical and startling, THE LAST EXORCISM takes a low-key approach that emphasizes believability that yields impressively eerie dividends as it follows a minister who who sets out to debunk the practice of exorcism by allowing a documentary crew to film him at work. This laudable attempt at creating serious horror is guaranteed to make viewers sit up and scream – this is definitely not a roller-coaster joyride slasher flick. Unfortunately, THE LAST EXORCISM loses its way in the second half, particularly with an unsatisfying ending that undermines much of what has come before.
Imitation documentaries should have worn out their welcome by now, but at least initially, THE LAST EXORCISM makes good use of the form, allowing Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) to fill us in on his background as a child preacher who grew up to become a minister an exorcist. Since reading about an exorcism gone wrong (in which the possessed subject was accidentally killed), Marcus has had a change of heart if not a complete crisis of faith: although he rationalizes his past exorcisms (by saying they removed the “thought” of possession from the victim), he feels he can prevent future deaths by exposing exorcism as a fraud.
It’s a good set-up. Marcus is an ambiguous character, but he seems (initially) to be sincere in his attempt to make amends for his past, and we can’t really blame him for what he used to do (he was raised to be a preacher by his father and never stopped to question that upbringing). However, his attempt to debunk exorcism on camera takes a weird turn: instead of exposing some other fraud, Marcus commits fraud himself. Whatever his avowed motives, he allows himself to be documented as he bilks a gullible farmer whose daughter Nell (Ashley Bell) appears to be possessed.

Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) attempts to exorcise Nell (Ashley Bell)
Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) attempts to exorcise Nell (Ashley Bell)

Perhaps this is the filmmakers’ way of maintaining Marcus’s ambiguity, but the film itself seems to overlook the problem: the on-screen documentarians are unconcerned with the criminality they are witnessing, and Marcus himself has no concerns that the film they are shooting might ever be used in court against him. These early scenes are marred by a slightly self-satisfied air: as we in the audience are invited to laugh at Marcus’s deception, THE LAST EXORCISM borders on condescension, even outright contempt, toward its rural characters, who are being played as rubes.


Unfortunately for Marcus and his crew, the case he chose proves to be more difficult – and dangerous – than imagined. Nell continues to exhibit signs of possession after Marcus completes his exorcism, and her father Louis (Louis Herthum) would prefer to kill her rather than leave her possessed by a demon. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Marcus has no choice but to continue with the exorcism, even though he is convinced that Nell would be better served by a doctor.
Here, THE LAST EXORCISM ratchets up the tension in an effectively edgy way. Marcus goes from being a confident con man, in charge of the situation, to being in totally over his head. There is a certain satisfying thematic irony in seeing someone perpetrate a hoax and then find himself hoist on what he thought was his own bogus petard: it’s almost as if rural American were getting its revenge on the sharp city slicker. Needless to say, THE LAST EXORCISM is not the kind of film in which we can expect the character to learn his lesson and redeem himself; in the manner of E.C. Comics and Robert Bloch (e.g., “The Grim Reaper” episode of THRILLER), he is more likely to pay the price for his perfidy. It’s a “no win” situation, as one of the documentary crew says, and the audience fears the consequences will be tragic at least, and possibly lethal as well.

Ashley Bell as Nell
Ashley Bell as Nell

At this point, the early satire goes out the window as THE LAST EXORCISM morphs from a pseudo-documentary into an all-out horror show. The conventional camera style adjusts to include spooky angles and shadowy lighting, while ominous music arrives on the soundtrack. Although there is an unnecessary moment of gore (a real cat would be too quick to be bludgeoned by a camera in this way), thankfully, most of the manifestations of possession are kept low-key and believable; as in THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, most of the horror comes from seeing the possessed girl contort herself in horribly painful ways, leaving the question of whether the case is “authentic” open to question. ( For example, the eerie poster image of the girl pinned to the ceiling does not appear in the film, unless you count a shot of Ashley sitting atop a hutch).
The stylistic shift is actually a welcome touch: like an earlier montage (which intercuts Marcus perpetrating fraud with shots of him explaining the magician style tricks he uses), the use of manipulative music and editing suggest that, unlike THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, we are watching not raw footage but a finished documentary. However, unlike DIARY OF THE DEAD (in which how the documentary came to be complete is actually part of the story) THE LAST EXORCISM is cheating – something that will not be apparent until the misguided ending.
Ashley Bell as the possessed Nell
Ashley Bell as the possessed Nell

This last-minute misstep should not blind us to the film’s virtues, in particular its performances. In a convincing cast, the two leads stand out. Despite the quibbles one may have with Marcus, Fabian makes him engaging, and he perfectly manages to the character’s midpoint  shift from confidence to concern; you feel the level of sincerity that drives him to stick with the case even after his involvement should have been officially over. Bell also manages to pull off a convincing metamorphosis, from innocent to demonic, with the right shading to leave us guessing whether she is possessed or mentally ill. Even better, the occasional overt outbursts of violence are overshadowed by the subtle, quieter moments, like the sinister hint of a smile she flashes at the camera – and by extension at the faux-documentary’s cameraman, who has begun to fear that Nell intends to kill him.


After building to a frenzy that seems to resolve itself into a rational explanation, THE LAST EXORCISM reaches one of those unsatisfying “conclusions” that is obviously just a set-up for a twist. Learning a new key fact, Marcus and crew head back to the farm one last time, where they encounter a satanic ceremony. At first the imagery has a creepy Nathaniel Hawthorne vibe, presenting a shadowy “alternate” reality that exists in the dark forest at night, conflicting with the character’s safe daylight assumptions. However, when Nell gives birth to a baby that is described as “not human” we realize that THE LAST EXORCISM has tripped into the realm of bad ’70s exploitation, abandoning credibility in favor of “it’s only a movie” schlockiness. Do we really need another film telling us that isolated communities are nothing but a front for nefarious cult activity?
As Marcus races towards the flames – which flare as if to suggest an actual demonic presence – THE LAST EXORCISM could have been on the verge of a powerfully dramatic conclusion that would have resolved its mysteries. Instead, it opts for the arbitrary “got you in the last scene” conclusion that raises more questions than it answers. This provides a jolt or two and even pays off on an earlier set-up (a drawing by Nell that foretold the outcome), but it undermines the earlier use of editing and music: the abrupt BLAIR WITCH-type coda leaves us wondering who was left alive to manipulate the film in post-production – a concern that does not seem to trouble THE LAST EXORCISM’s actual filmmakers.
It is unfortunate that THE LAST EXORCISM takes the generic way out in its final moments, which violate the integrity of the project. I am not a big fan of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, but at least it stayed true to the conceit of a being a “found” film. THE LAST EXORCISM delivers an intriguing story with more than enough scares to satisfy cinematic thrill-seekers,  but if producer Eli Roth, director Daniel Stamm, and writers Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland had stuck to the rules they themselves established, their film could have been even better.


Whether or not it stays true to its faux-documentary conceit, THE LAST EXORCISM ultimately abandons its aspiration to be something more than just an effective genre film. Early on, Marcus states that if you believe in God, you must believe in the Devil, as if this were an incontrovertible theological truism. THE LAST EXORCISM is not particularly interested in exploring this idea – which is far from universally accepted in religious circles – nor does the film have much interesting to say about exorcism, possession, faith, or religion, which are used as a foundation for effective scare tacitcs. On this level, the film mostly delivers, but it lacks the resonance that made THE EXORCIST an enduring classic.
UPDATE: I have to admit that’s Jesse Singal summed up THE LAST EXORCISM much more succinctly than I:

It’s like director Daniel Stamm and his crew realized they were treading awfully close to making a film with real depth and edge that horror audiences might hate, and they just couldn’t pull the trigger.

THE LAST EXORCISM (Lionsgate: August 27, 2010). Produced by Eli Roth. Directed by Daniel Stamm. Written by Huck Botko & Andrew Gurland. Cast: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, Louis Herthum, Caleb Landry Jones, Tony Bentley, John Wright Jr., Shanna Marcus, Justin Shafer, Carol Sutton, Victoria Paternaude, John Wilmot, Becky Fly, Denise Lee, Logan Craig Reid. Shot under the title, COTTON.

Get BURIED at Fantastic Fest 2010 in Auxtin, Texas

buried_movie_poster_01By now, most people have heard the buzz over the new Ryan Reynolds film BURIED, where he plays an American who gets buried alive in the desert. While it may seem too reliant on shtick, the reviews have been nothing but positive since it blew audiences away at Sundance. If you’re among the many who cannot wait to see the film, you’ll have a chance to get a jump on the rest of us at Fantastic Fest, an 8 day film-a-thon in Austin, TX, where they will be premiering some killer films. But for some, just seeing the movie won’t be enough…they’ll actually get to LIVE it! 4 lucky winners will be buried 6-feet under to view the film in some “cozy” confines.
Fantastic Fest takes place in Austin, Texas – September 23 through 30. Other events include a “100 Best Kills Party,” Arcade Demos and Tournament, actor Jeffrey Combs in the one-man play Nevermore: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe, and many screenings: LET ME IN, RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND, THE LAST STARFIGHTER, NIGHTMARES, and many more.
BURIED opens nationwide October 8th, 2010.
Check out the official press release below:

Four Lucky Winners Who Survive the
“Buried with Buried: Rolling Roadshow of One” to Attend Gala
Austin, TX—Wednesday, August 25, 2010— Fantastic Fest will host a Gala Screening of Buried at The Paramount Theatre on Thursday, September 23, with Ryan Reynolds and director Rodrigo Cortés in attendance, as part of their opening night programming of the festival.
Buried, which Lionsgate will release in select theaters on September 24th and wide on October 8th, stars Reynolds as a truck driver and family man who wakes up six feet underground with no idea of who put him there or why. Buried with only a cell phone and a lighter, his contact with the outside world and ability to piece together clues that could help him discover his location are maddeningly limited.
“Buried is the most unique and compelling thriller I have seen in years. The festival is honored to screen what we feel is going to be the ‘buzz’ film of the season,” said Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League.
In celebration of the much buzzed about film, Fantastic Fest will also present the film as part of their “Rolling Roadshow” screening series the weekend prior to the opening of the festival. The unprecendted “Rolling Roadshow of One”, goes beyond the bounds of sanity by enlisting four souls to view the entire film while buried! The Rolling Roadshow is the Alamo Drafthouse’s nationwide tour of famous movies in famous places. Previous screenings have included Close Encounters of the Third Kind at Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, Escape from Alcatraz on Alcatraz Island and more recently The Blues Brothers at Old Joliet Prison.
“The Rolling Roadshow is all about finding that unique film viewing experience with the perfect combination of movie and setting. It’s traditionally been a communal experience of seeing a film outdoors with hundreds of people. But for this event, we’re putting an even cooler twist on the concept, because some movies are perfect for seeing while buried,” said Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League.
Fantastic Fest has scoured the globe for the very best in action, horror, science fiction, fantasy to the truly bizarre in contemporary cinema for your viewing pleasure. Look for more announcements in the weeks to come, including information on our gala events, parties and AMD Next Wave filmmakers in attendance.
Fantastic Fest is the film festival with the boring parts cut out. Miss this one and your regrets will agonize you for years to come. You have been warned.
Buried is a Versus Entertainment production in association with The Safran Company and Dark Trick Films, a Rodrigo Cortés film.
For more information on the film, visit:
For photos of the announced films, visit:
For more photos from Fantastic Fest, visit:
For the latest developments visit the Fantastic Fest Facebook & Twitter:

About Fantastic Fest
Dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by showbiz bible Variety, Fantastic Fest is also known as the “Comic Con of film festivals.” Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the United States, showcasing eight days of offbeat cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. The 2009 edition hosted over 70 world, U.S. and regional premieres of the latest sci-fi, horror, fantasy and cult films from around the world.
Our Partners
IFC is a significant media partner in conjunction with regional media partner Time Warner Cable. KXAN Austin News (NBC) and The CW Austin (CW) are our network television partners. Dell and AMD are teamed up to support the Next Wave Filmmakers Competition at Fantastic Fest. Presenting sponsor Ambhar Tequila is the official tequila of Fantastic Fest. FEARnet has come on board as a Presenting Sponsor, while HitFix and Radisson are Title Sponsors. Other sponsors include Anchor Bay Entertainment, Dark Sky Films, Embassy Suites, Maxwell Locke & Ritter, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Texas Film Commission and Whole Foods. Media partners include Ain’t It Cool News, Austin Chronicle, 101X FM, The Onion, Chud, Fangoria, Moving Pictures and Twitch.
About Alamo Drafthouse
The Alamo Drafthouse is a lifestyle entertainment brand with an acclaimed cinema-eatery, the largest genre film festival in the United Sates and an online collectible art store. Named “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse Founder & CEO, Tim League, created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by Variety. Also regarded as the “Comic Con of film festivals” Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of offbeat cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood Studios. The Alamo Drafthouse’s collectible art boutique, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is currently planning to expand its theaters and unique programming philosophy to additional markets across the United States.
For more details regarding Fantastic Fest, contact Brandy Fons, publicist, at (310) 809-8882 or For more information, visit
For more details regarding BURIED, contact Chet Whitmore at (972) 739-6051 or