(Photo by Paramount, New Line Cinema, Dimension Films, Maple Pictures, New World Pictures, Lionsgate / Courtesy: Everett Collection)
25 Essential Slasher Movies
Slashers — that gloriously grubby, stabby subsection of horror — were first unsheathed in the early 1970s, when Mario Bava stalked his cavorting, frequently disrobed victims around in A Bay of Blood. The movie set up mood of the slasher: Sexually charged, with a degree of mystery, where the ample cast of characters one-by-one take a sharp turn into doom. Slashers can be stylish (Opera, Dressed to Kill), carnal (Torso, Friday the 13th), grimly violent (The Prowler, The Burning), trashy (Pieces, The Slumber Party Massacre) and even supernatural (Halloween, Child’s Play). We’re studying all sides of the blade as we assemble movies that best represent this killer genre in the 25 Essential Slasher Movies.
Critics Consensus: Though it ultimately sacrifices some mystery in the name of gory thrills, Candyman is a nuanced, effectively chilling tale that benefits from an interesting premise and some fine performances.
Synopsis: Skeptical graduate student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) befriends Anne-Marie McCoy (Vanessa Williams) while researching superstitions in a housing project on... [More]
Critics Consensus:Child's Play occasionally stumbles across its tonal tightrope of comedy and horror, but its genuinely creepy monster and some deft direction by Tom Holland makes this chiller stand out on the shelf.
Synopsis: Gunned down by Detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon), dying murderer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) uses black magic to put... [More]
For some, staying home right now can mean curling up with a loved one on the couch for a date-night flick or gathering the whole family together for movie night. For many others, it can mean flying solo – long days and nights of streaming by yourself. We’re here to help with some movie suggestions we think are tailor-made for that latter experience.
Just like going to the movie theater alone can be a singularly joyous “treat yo self” excursion, solo home-viewing can be a great experience too – if you choose the right film. There are movies out there that actually benefit from being watched alone: It might be that they require a level of concentration and focus that distracting friends and loved ones just won’t allow you, or that the maximum scare factor is best felt when you are completely isolated – just like the babysitter being stalked on screen. It might just be that the movie has the kind of awkward/titillating sexy bits that make watching it with a first date – or, let’s say, mom – not exactly ideal. Watch it alone – no judgment, no nervous giggles.
To help those solo-fliers get through the next little while, the RT team pulled together a list of movies perfect for watching alone for all of those reasons – and a bunch that are just guaranteed to put you in an awesome mood the moment they start. Which might be the best reason of all.
What’s your favorite movie to watch by yourself? Let us know in the comments.
Click on each movie’s title to find out more, including where to stream, rent, or buy.
BECAUSE THE MOVIE REQUIRES YOUR ABSOLUTE CONCENTRATION…
Critics Consensus: Propelled by Charlie Kaufman's smart, imaginative script and Michel Gondry's equally daring directorial touch, Eternal Sunshine is a twisty yet heartfelt look at relationships and heartache.
Synopsis: After a painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase memories of her former boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey)... [More]
Critics Consensus:Annihilation backs up its sci-fi visual wonders and visceral genre thrills with an impressively ambitious -- and surprisingly strange -- exploration of challenging themes that should leave audiences pondering long after the end credits roll.
Synopsis: Lena, a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X --... [More]
Critics Consensus: A quiet, dialogue-driven thriller that delivers with scene after scene of gut-wrenching anxiety. David Fincher also spends more time illustrating nuances of his characters and recreating the mood of the '70s than he does on gory details of murder.
Synopsis: In the late 1960s and 1970s, fear grips the city of San Francisco as a serial killer called Zodiac stalks... [More]
Critics Consensus:Silence ends Martin Scorsese's decades-long creative quest with a thoughtful, emotionally resonant look at spirituality and human nature that stands among the director's finest works.
Synopsis: Two 17th-century Portuguese missionaries, Father Sebastian Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), embark on a perilous journey... [More]
Critics Consensus: Its greatness is blunted by its length and one-sided point of view, but the film's weaknesses are overpowered by Michael Cimino's sympathetic direction and a series of heartbreaking performances from Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken.
Synopsis: In 1968, Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken) and Steven (John Savage), lifelong friends from a working-class Pennsylvania steel... [More]
Critics Consensus:Inherent Vice may prove frustrating for viewers who demand absolute coherence, but it does justice to its acclaimed source material -- and should satisfy fans of director P.T. Anderson.
Synopsis: In a California beach community, private detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) tends to work his cases through a smoky... [More]
Critics Consensus: It might have been better served by a filmmaker with a deeper connection to the source material, but The Color Purple remains a worthy, well-acted adaptation of Alice Walker's classic novel.
Synopsis: An epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), an African-American woman living in the South... [More]
Critics Consensus: Playing as both an exciting sci-fi adventure and a remarkable portrait of childhood, Steven Spielberg's touching tale of a homesick alien remains a piece of movie magic for young and old.
Synopsis: After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott... [More]
Critics Consensus: In Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley plays with the documentary format to explore the nature of memory and storytelling, crafting a thoughtful, compelling narrative that unfolds like a mystery.
Synopsis: Through a series of revealing interviews, filmmaker Sarah Polley investigates the truth about her family history.... [More]
Critics Consensus:Old Yeller is an exemplary coming of age tale, packing an emotional wallop through smart pacing and a keen understanding of the elemental bonding between humanity and their furry best friends.
Synopsis: While Jim Coates (Fess Parker) is off on a cattle drive, his wife, Katie (Dorothy McGuire), and sons, Travis (Tommy... [More]
Critics Consensus: A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.
Synopsis: A fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love. He must find her after a... [More]
Critics Consensus:Little Miss Sunshine succeeds thanks to a strong ensemble cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, and Abigail Breslin, as well as a delightfully funny script.
Synopsis: The Hoover family -- a man (Greg Kinnear), his wife (Toni Collette), an uncle (Steve Carell), a brother (Paul Dano)... [More]
Critics Consensus: Undisciplined, scatological, profoundly silly, and often utterly groan-worthy, Robin Hood: Men in Tights still has an amiable, anything-goes goofiness that has made it a cult favorite.
Synopsis: Crusading nobleman Robin of Loxley (Cary Elwes) escapes from prison in Jerusalem and returns home to find that the evil... [More]
Critics Consensus: With a terrific cast and a surfeit of visual razzle dazzle, Crazy Rich Asians takes a satisfying step forward for screen representation while deftly drawing inspiration from the classic -- and still effective -- rom-com formula.
Synopsis: Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. She's also surprised... [More]
Critics Consensus: David Lynch's dreamlike and mysterious Mulholland Drive is a twisty neo-noir with an unconventional structure that features a mesmirizing performance from Naomi Watts as a woman on the dark fringes of Hollywood.
Synopsis: A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) is left amnesiac after a car crash. She wanders the streets of Los Angeles... [More]
Critics Consensus:A Quiet Place artfully plays on elemental fears with a ruthlessly intelligent creature feature that's as original as it is scary -- and establishes director John Krasinski as a rising talent.
Synopsis: If they hear you, they hunt you. A family must live in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by... [More]
Critics Consensus: Though its underlying themes are familiar, House of the Devil effectively sheds the loud and gory cliches of contemporary horror to deliver a tense, slowly building throwback to the fright flicks of decades past.
Synopsis: Desperate to make some money so she can move into a new apartment, college student Samantha Hughes (Jocelin Donahue) takes... [More]
Critics Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.
Synopsis: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block.... [More]
Thumbnail image: Everett Collection, Paramount Pictures, Focus Features
(Photo by Universal / courtesy Everett Collection)
20 Movies To Watch If You Loved The Invisible Man
If you’re looking for more movies like The Invisible Man, surprise: We’ve got a few recommendations! To get it out of the way, yep, The Invisible Man is a new entry in the Universal Classic Monster franchise. It was the first cinematic universe, kicking off way back in the ’20s. (The 1920s and not, you know, our ’20s.) Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein’s monster, the Mummy are all part of this motley crew, including the Invisible Man, who had six previous movies. This new Invisible Man is notable for its departure from formula by framing the story from the victim’s perspective, but we’re including these original six Universal Monster movies here for historical context. And, hell, let’s throw in the other famous hard-to-see creep, Hollow Man, as a reminder that for decades, this is all we had in the invisible jerk subgenre.
2020’s The Invisible Man, besides being a cracking horror/thriller, has also captured the zeitgeist for Moss’ Cecilia character and her plight. Cecilia flees a violent relationship, only to be tormented and trapped by her abuser, and made to look crazy in the eyes of friends and family. This is a form of gaslighting, a term specifically derived from 1944’s Gaslight, a psychological thriller starring Ingrid Bergman as a wife manipulated by her husband into thinking she’s going insane. 1955’s Diabolique is probably the best of this type of story, though shout-out to Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue, and even Scream, once you arrive at its endgame revelations. Black Swan, High Tension, and Girl, Interrupted are also worth watching through the lens of female-driven stories with shifty narratives.
Invisible Man has drawn high marks for its use of negative space, which forces viewers to search through seemingly banal shots for hidden terrors, drumming up considerable dread and paranoia. It Follows — about a malevolent entity taking the shape of humans, often depicted shuffling in backgrounds — is a previous horror phenomenon that similarly uses negative space to maximum effect.
Audiences may also be impressed by Invisible Man’s stylish presentation. Writer/director Leigh Whannell had already made a name for himself in horror by co-creating the Saw series (he’s also one of the leads in the first movie). But his 2018 cyberpunk/body horror/action effort Upgrade represented a dramatic creative leap forward for him. It’s fun to see Whannell apply Upgrade’s style towards the world of The Invisible Man.
And, of course, there’s Elisabeth Moss, who first came to public attention with The West Wing, Mad Men, and then in the inescapable The Handmaid’s Tale. But Moss has been acting in film since the early ’90s (who can forget her as “little girl” in Suburban Commando?) and her most notable movie work is of the last few years: 2014’s The One I Love (witness her in a slightly happier relationship, before it turns sci-fi bizarre), psychological thriller Queen of Earth, and 2019 acting showcase Her Smell.
Critics Consensus:Saw ensnares audiences with a deceptively clever plot and a myriad of memorable, nasty set pieces, but its lofty ambitions are undercut by a nihilistic streak that feels more mean than profound.
Synopsis: Photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) and oncologist Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) regain consciousness while chained to pipes at either end... [More]
Halloween only comes once a year, but we celebrated every day this month with the October Daily Double: A recommendation every weekday of themed scary movie double feature!
Alexandre Aja is the French horror prodigy, inducted into Alan Jones’ splat pack, whose first film High Tension (Switchblade Romance in the UK) led to the high profile Hollywood remake of The Hills Have Eyes and now to Mirrors, a new take on a Korean original.
Kiefer Sutherland stars as a beleaguered ex-Cop who takes a nightwatchman job in an abandoned department store with a murky past. The silver-backed glass of the title is concealing a dark secret.
We caught up with Aja for his only UK interview to learn more about the movie as well as his latest project, a 3D remake of Joe Dante‘s classic Piranha.
I saw the movie recently at Frightfest.
Which cut of the movie did you see? Did you know there’s a cut for the UK which is different from the cut that’s being used in the rest of the world. The movie was rated 18 and they butchered the movie to get it rated under 15. They might have shown you the good one because they only did the cuts very recently. The first cut has been released in the States and the rest of the world. Fox decided to cut it here. I really don’t know why they took that decision.
It’s strange because usually in the UK it’s good. High Tension was released uncut, and The Hills Have Eyes was as well.
This has been around for a while.
Yeah, it was right after The Hills Have Eyes that I received the script from Fox not knowing it was based on the Korean movie. I didn’t really connect with the story or the characters. But in the movie itself something really strong stuck with me after reading the script and that was the idea of using the mirrors not only as an object but as a killing device. I thought it was something that hadn’t been done before but it tapped into this universal fear we all have inside of us. It had been waiting to be tapped.
The idea of an alternate reality behind the mirrors is something we all thought about as kids.
Of course, there is something about looking on this side of the mirror to see if we can look through to the other side.
Did you see the Korean film in the end?
Of course, after we read the script I went to see the movie and the movie itself confirmed everything I thought about the script and the idea that you could control the reflection and to make you do stuff you’re not supposed to do.
Who wrote that English script then?
I don’t remember, but it was basically word-for-word the Korean movie. Scene by scene. We completely rewrote it, and that was the deal with Fox. Let us, Greg Levasseur and I, take the script and write a completely new one with it. I wanted to keep the idea that we have mirrors everywhere around us and I wanted to not only have them in the department store but to have them all around. I wanted to find a way to get out of the department store and bring the threat into the world. And, of course, I realised I could take it beyond just the mirrors and into every reflecting surface like the water.
What was it about Keifer that made him the right choice?
When I was writing the script I realised the fact that making this movie would be more expensive than The Hills Have Eyes and I knew I would need a strong leading actor – a big star. I started thinking about all the classic movie-star men and Keifer was one of the first men that came to my mind because I was thinking about who could play that ex-cop character who’d lost everything, turned to alcohol and was really trying to put his life back together by taking a job as a night watchman. I was thinking of Keifer in Flatliners. I was twelve or fourteen when I saw Flatliners and it was such an amzing movie. It was really scary and his character was so cool and romantic, and dark at the same time. It was exactly the character we were thinking so for me Keifer was an obvious choice.
People know him as Jack Bauer, who’s quite a different character.
Yeah, my goal was to bring the other Keifer back. To bring the Keifer we used to see in The Vanishing, Flatliners, The Lost Boys. Not the Keifer who became Jack Bauer. But at the same time it was interesting because Keifer is not an actor who makes it a composition. He’s an actor with a personality of his own and every character he plays is a side of himself. When you spend time with him, as I did, you realise that he is the guy from Flatliners, he is Jack Bauer, he’s all of them.
Were you surprised by what he brought to the material?
We met and felt a connection immediately and we made a deal almost on the spot which was that he was in charge of making that character believable and deep and making something scary and suspenseful. Together we’d make the best movie we possibly could.
You spoke about not wanting to get pigeonholed as a horror director, but you’ve stayed in the genre ever since High Tension. Why?
I love the genre. As an audience member I love to be scared. The only thing as a filmmaker I don’t want to do is to repeat myself and so far I have the feeling that High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes and P2 are all completely different movies. Maybe I will reach a point where I’ve felt that I’ve explored all the subgenres within horror and from that point I will maybe look for something else, or some other kind of movie.
Right now I’m really attracted by stories and a lot of the stories that I’m interested in right now are dealing with a genre element.
Does it ever affect you, surrounding yourself with horrific images all the time?
For the first time on this film I started to scare myself with what I was writing. I’m not superstitious and I don’t believe in the supernatural, really, in movies. While writing we did so much research in the history and legends and it started to make an affect.
What’s the status on Piranha 3D?
We’re preparing to shoot in Spring. The thing is it’s such a difficult movie, not only because of the technicality of it and the CGI fish, but also because it all happens in a lake. We were supposed to start shooting now, but the longer to leave it the colder the water gets. The movie takes place during Spring Break and, of course, the studio wanted it ready for the summer, but if you’ve got 1000 people who need to get murdered in the water, you have to wait for the right temperature for the water, for the weather, for everything.
Most of the film takes place outside on location in the lake. It’s all there, it’s so simple. An earthquake releases prehistoric piranhas during Spring Break. All these drunk American kids being torn to shreds by crazy fish. You can’t make something more different than Mirrors than this movie and I’m really excited about it because it’s such a thrill ride. It’s super-gore, super-action, it’s going to be really amazing. I’m so excited about that project.
Do you embrace these challenges? Desert, then mirrors, now underwater with CGI fish in 3D…
I have a feeling that may be true because when I did High Tension we had only $2m, shot everything by night and it was a nightmare. I had a feeling it would be the most difficult movie I ever made. And then we made The Hills Have Eyes in the middle of the summer in the desert and after that I thought no-one could do anything more difficult. Then we spent 6 weeks in an underground parking garage for P2 and Mirrors was just something no-one can imagine because of all the technicalities. This is way more difficult and way more challenging than all the other movies put together. Maybe I’m looking forward to that – at the very least it’ll keep me from falling asleep!
In P2, a young, corporate workaholic named Angela (Alias star Rachel Nichols) finds herself trapped on the second floor of a parking lot late Christmas Eve, with no cell phone reception and a dead car battery. What’s worse: she’s not alone. Held captive by the building’s creepy security guard (Wes Bentley), Angela breaks free but must fight for her life to escape.
The trailer also features the scariest renditions of some of your favorite holiday tunes ever (think “Carol of the Bells” meets John Carpenter) — setting a nicely ominous atmosphere. The film’s score comes courtesy of electronic composer tomandandy.
Those crazy guys over at Lionsgate have come up with the ultimate movie poster promotion, as they have unveiled a new official poster for this month’s bloodfest, "Saw III" — and printed it with star Tobin Bell‘s own blood.
Bell, who plays sadistic mastermind Jigsaw in the "Saw" series, contributed a vial of his own blood to mix with red dyes used to print a batch of the new movie poster. In a departure from the cringe-inducing promo art of dentistry gone awfully wrong, the new "Saw III" poster is simply Jigsaw shrouded in a Little Red Riding Hood-esque cloak — but a crimson cloak printed in Jigsaw’s blood!
Tobin Bell commands you to donate blood for the Red Cross
But the bizarre stunt wasn’t just done for kicks; the first "blood poster" off the press will be signed by the cast and auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the American Red Cross. Check out the bidding here.
Lionsgate is also hosting its third "Saw" blood drive this year (they raised over 14,000 pints in blood donations in the last two "Saw" campaigns), proving that the sick, twisted minds behind the gruesome deaths and bear traps and needle pits are really quite civic-minded.
"Saw III"’s annual blood drive; put yourself in the hands of these nurses
"Saw III" turns stomachs inside-out October 27, 2006.
Racing into theaters across North America, the computer animated film Cars aims to take over pole position this weekend targeting family audiences. Those looking for a good scare can instead choose The Omen which already launched on Tuesday with some frightening results. The frame’s final new wide release is the Robert Altman comedy A Prairie Home Companion giving the weekend a wide assortment of titles for all audiences.
After a near-break-up of their own, Disney and Pixar are back together again in a committed relationship and have put their full parental support behind Cars which zooms into the marketplace on Friday with some red hot buzz. Directed by Pixar guru John Lasseter (Toy Story, Toy Story 2), the G-rated film tells the story of a cocky race car who gets lost in a small town on the way to the big championship and meets a colorful group of vehicles who teach him some morals. Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, and Larry the Cable Guy all lend their voices.
Recent Pixar films have been spaced out evenly using the Harry Potter year-and-a-half policy. In November 2001, Monsters, Inc. opened to $62.6M and was followed by Finding Nemo with $70.3M in May 2003 and The Incredibles with $70.5M in November 2004. The timing is just enough to make each film a new event of its own that generates excitement among fans of all ages. Disney’s marketing and cross-promotional efforts have been loud as usual and awareness is sky high. But Cars does have a longer running time than most toons clocking in at nearly two hours. Maybe all eight of the credited writers demanded that their bits make the final cut.
Disney has had only two number one hits so far this year, ruling the Dr. King and Presidents’ Day holiday weekends with Glory Road and Eight Below, respectively. This weekend, the third trophy should be in the bag as anticipation among boys and girls alike is high. Business from teens and adults should be solid as well since the Pixar brand name attracts millions of loyal followers of all types. Plus, NASCAR fans are sure to provide an additional push at the turnstiles. The only major competition will come from Over the Hedge which is now fading into its fourth weekend. It’s an open highway for Cars which races into over 3,800 theaters this weekend. A three-day tally of about $72M could result.
Three decades after the original terrorized movie fans, The Omen has been reborn with today’s stars and special effects in the Fox release which opened on Tuesday, 6/6/06. With horror fans now used to a steady string of remakes of fright classics, the novelty has worn thin. So, to make this one stand out, the studio plugged the R-rated film into the unorthodox Tuesday slot to take advantage of the Satan-style date which in turn became the focal point of the marketing campaign. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead, and The Amityville Horror were all recent remakes that shot straight to number one. With The Omen, something new was needed to catch the attention of fans. Fox took a risk, tried something new, and won. The pic grossed a stellar $12.6M on Tuesday in its first day of release while playing in 2,660 locations.
The new Omen is hoping to attract the teens and young adults that typically power all of today’s horror hits, as well as older fans of the genre who are curious to see this new cover version. Critics have been mixed in their reviews complaining that it is too similar to the original and that there was no need to revisit this story. But money does rule Hollywood and horror films are very profitable so making newer versions of stories that worked in the past is just what studios are lining up to do. The marketing push has been commendable. Had Omen opened on a Friday, it would have been the umpteenth fright flick of the year. Instead, the date spooked people and caught the attention of the media that spread the hype.
Because this is a horror audience we are looking at, rapid erosion should follow the mid-week opening diluting down the weekend gross. Omen will burn through much of its audience in its first three days before the Friday-to-Sunday period arrives and it might even scare up more than half of its eventual domestic total in the first week. No other scary films are doing any serious biz so competition should not be much of a factor. Plus Omen is benefiting from Fox playing its trailer in front of the X-Men sequel which was seen by millions of sci-fi and horror fans over the past two weeks. For the three-day weekend period, The Omen might gross roughly $17M and over the six-day Tuesday-to-Sunday span, it could scare up around $36M.
In the weekend’s other unusual release pattern, Robert Altman’s latest film A Prairie Home Companion opens nationally on hundreds of screens instead of the typical arthouse platform release that the director’s films usually go out with. The legendary filmmaker’s latest ensemble cast brings together Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, and teen queen Lindsay Lohan getting herself some indie cred. The PG-13 film about country music stars gathering for one final radio show performance has earned positive reviews and is being released by Picturehouse.
Altman films usually debut in New York and Los Angeles, build momentum through critical support, and slowly widen across the country. But Prairie is rocking its way into 725 theaters on opening day aiming to offer older adults a smart alternative to the super heroes and spies of summer. The film is sure to skew older than anything else out now which means it might also have legs if the target audience is pleased. Still, there is only so much of a built-in audience that the pic can tap into and the summer release means there will be no awards season to keep the buzz rolling along like with the helmer’s Gosford Park in early 2002. Prairie might struggle to find a broad audience this weekend given all the other high profile films targeting its audience. Adults may instead choose to take their kids to Cars, catch Jen and Vince in a shouting match, or get a weather forecast from Al Gore. An opening weekend gross of around $3M seems likely.
Universal’s The Break-Up spent just four days at the number one spot before being kicked to the curb by The Omen. Romantic comedies usually do not suffer large declines and the Aniston-Vaughn pairing has held up well during the week grossing $3.9M on Monday and $4M on Tuesday when it faced Damien. Also, the new crop of films this weekend should not steal away too much of its crowd of adult women. Still, Break-Up isn’t exactly generating a whole lot of love with audiences in the word-of-mouth department so a 45% drop could result. That would give the film about $22M for the frame and a solid $76M in ten days.
X-Men: The Last Stand has its cyclops eye on joining the $200M club this weekend. The Fox sequel suffered a stiff 67% freefall last weekend in its second frame, but should stabilize in its third fight. Wolverine and chums could see sales get sliced in half which would give the super hero pic around $17M for the weekend and a plump $203M in 17 days. That would shoot it past studio stablemate Ice Age: The Meltdown to reign as the top-grossing film of 2006.
Over the Hedge should take a bit of a beating this weekend as it no longer will be the only major digital toon in town. A 40% fall would give the Paramount release roughly $12M upping the cume to $132M. Sony could see a larger 45% drop for The Da Vinci Code and finish the frame with about $10M. That would put the total for the Tom Hanks starrer at $189M and counting.
LAST YEAR: Before Namibia, fans had to look to their local movie theater to find Brad and Angelina. The much-hyped action film Mr. & Mrs. Smith conquered the box office with a strong $50.3M in its debut frame. The Fox blockbuster enjoyed sturdy legs grossing $186.3M domestically and over $465M worldwide. A pair of former number ones followed with Madagascar taking second with $17.2M and Star Wars Episode III in third with $14.9M. Adam Sandler finished fourth with The Longest Yard which scored $13.9M. Opening in fifth place was the kid adventure The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl with $12.6M on its way to $39.2M for Miramax. Disappointing in their openings were the Paramount comedy remake The Honeymooners with $5.5M and the Lions Gate horror flick High Tension with $1.9M. Final grosses reached $12.8M and $3.7M, respectively.
Normally an online game/promotional piece wouldn’t be all that newsworthy, even if it is one hosted by IGN Filmforce. But since I keep hearing how good "The Hills Have Eyes" remake is, and because I’ve been playing it for about a half hour, I thought it’d be cool to share with you the Run for the Hills game over at IGN. It’s basically "Doom" with mutants and a shotgun, but it’s also pretty fun and actually kinda spooooky.
One of the day’s biggest panels kicked off with an appearance by frightmaster Wes Craven, who sat down with three stars of his upcoming remake…of his own 1977 classic, "The Hills Have Eyes" — Vinessa Shaw, Aaron Stanford, and Dan Byrd. As with the original, this remake tells the story of a suburban family whose car breaks down on a road trip through the desert, who find themselves battling for survival with a band of unsocialized, murderous hill people.
The 1977 "Hills" was scripted and directed by Craven himself, who now takes a producing credit and leaves the direction and screenplay adaptation to Alexandre Aja. Aja’s French axe-murderer thriller "High Tension" established him last year in the confidences of gore-hounds, and Craven’s repeated endorsements at the panel suggest that the master is very happy indeed with his successor.
After fielding questions (Craven revealed he’d approved dailies remotely during production while on the set of his own thriller, "Red Eye") the panel presented a short scene from "Hills;" short, but the rolling soundtrack, dim atmosphere and, oh yeah, that freaky scary guy that pops up out of nowhere all made the scene incredibly tense. The clip, however, was upstaged by a question from the audience as a fan asked Craven himself for her money back from watching 2005’s "Cursed."
Craven took it in stride, advising her to watch the "Cursed" DVD "to see the movie that [he] made." Then he slyly plotted her demise.
Director John Moore came out next to talk about another horror remake: his summer thriller, "The Omen." A trailer screened: a simple pan slowly moving through an empty playground, coming to rest on a young boy on a swing. An EVIL young boy on a swing, that is. It was simple, but effective; see it here.
Moore also presented a few more hilarious teaser trailers (in one, a little girl playing inside hears a noise, wanders to the window and drops her dolly in shock as she sees the ground outside littered with dead birds; in another, a man sits on his porch with his family, constructing cross after cross as his wife nails them frantically to their house).
We were also treated to preview a scene from "The Omen," which has updated the ages and political standing of evil little Damien’s parents to reflect a younger, more upwardly mobile (and professionally hungry) couple than the original. Moore played the birthday party scene (so similar to that in the original that the word "homage" was thrown around), perhaps one of the most notorious parts of the original "Omen," in which a nanny joyfully hangs herself in front of a lavish birthday celebration.
Last but not least, actress Deborah Kara Unger arrived to introduce a clip from "Silent Hill," an upcoming thriller based on the bone-chilling video game of the same name. Gore fans will be pleased; of the entire day’s panel, this was the first clip preceded by a warning to parents to shield the eyes of their children, and was it ever warranted. In this clip, central character Rose (Radha Mitchell) is fleeing an unseen terror along with a class full of children and women; one woman falls behind, and is caught by a deadly creature; gasps ensue as the audience collectively recoils in visceral disgust. If that sounds like your kind of thing, this movie is for you.
"The story of a family road trip that goes terrifyingly awry when the travelers become stranded in a government atomic zone. Miles from nowhere, the Carters soon realize the seemingly uninhabited wasteland is actually the breeding ground of a blood-thirsty mutant family… and they are the prey."
So there you are: Trailers for two new remakes of two 70s horror flicks. And now you have at least two months in which to rent the originals. Don’t forget!
OK, so it’s only a little piece of news about a simple little poster, but for some reason I’m feeling pretty psyched about the upcoming remake of "The Hills Have Eyes," hence my geekery regarding the brand-new one-sheet posted over at the Fangoria website.
Remake of the (rather brilliant, IMO) horror flick from Wes Craven, the new "Hills" is being directed by the crazy Frenchman behind the wonderfully nasty "High Tension." The flick’s about a family of average Joe & Jane suburbanites who find themselves hopelessly lost in the desert … and wind up on the receiving end of some truly horrific antics once a family of mutated inbreds converge upon their broken-down camper.
Check out Eyes on the Hills for movie updates. "The Hills Have Eyes" hits theaters, courtesy of Fox Searchlight, on March 10th.
Those who bemoan the current state of PG-13-ish horror (like me) should find this report from Empire Online to be an equal dose of good news and bad. The upcoming remake of "The Hills Have Eyes" has recently received an NC-17 from the MPAA, and producer Wes Craven is required to deliver an R. So it’s back to the editing booth for director Alex Aja … at least until the DVD comes out.
"If you thought that Wes Craven’s 1977 horror classic "The Hills Have Eyes," in which a suburban family are terrorised in the desert by a family of inbred mutants, was too intense and disturbing, then prepare yourself for the forthcoming remake – because you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Says who? Well, Craven himself, who’s producing the new movie, directed this time by "Switchblade Romance" ("High Tension") helmer, Alexandre Aja. At the moment, the new "Hills" – starring Aaron Stanford, Kathleen Quinlan and Ted Levine – is so intense and gory that the American ratings board, the MPAA, have given it the dreaded NC-17, aka commercial suicide.
“It’s a very strong picture and we’re trying to figure out what to do with that, without ruining it,” says a perplexed Craven, speaking to Empire yesterday. “We have to deliver an R rating. We looked at it last night in the screening room and before we started, we said to Alex ‘what do you think?’ And he said ‘this is a PG-13 now’. And one of our producers said ‘Alex, can we commit you to an insane asylum if this isn’t an R?’ and then he showed it to us and ohmigod, there’s no way you would get an R for that.”
Craven confirmed that Aja is still cutting the movie, and with a March 10 release date (both here and in the States), there’s plenty of time to meet the MPAA’s strict demands. But don’t worry, gore fans – “We can put it all full strength on the DVD, though,” laughs Craven. “We’ll be able to do that.”"
Head on over to Empire Online for the entire juicy scoop, but tread lightly, newcomers; there’s spoilers in them "Hills"!
According to Variety, "Rogue, the Focus Features genre arm, has picked up domestic rights to Gold Circle Films and Craven/Maddalena Films’ "The Waiting," a supernatural horror thriller penned by Juliet Snowden and Stiles White.
Alex Aja has just been tapped to helm the project, the story of a young mother who believes the spirit of her dead son is haunting her."
"The Waiting" is scheduled to begin production early next year.