Hereditary torments viewers with every horror trick and trope in the book. It’s got jump scares, dreadful atmosphere, supernatural goings-on, the occult, spirits and seances, and, yes, creepy kids. You’ll be hard pressed to find a young girl more unsettling at the movies than Milly Shapiro as the forlorn Charlie, who may be channeling her dead grandmother…or worse. But enough tongue clucking: we present this week’s gallery of the 24 creepiest kids from horror movie history.
Variety reports that Raimi will step behind the cameras for Drag Me to Hell, a “supernatural thriller” co-written with his brother Ivan. The report describes the film as a “morality tale about the unwitting recipient of a supernatural curse,” and says financing will be handled by Ghost House, the production company Raimi started with Rob Tapert and Mandate Pictures whose previous releases have included 30 Days of Night, The Grudge, and The Grudge 2.
Drag Me to Hell, which the Raimis wrote in the early ’90s after finishing Army of Darkness, will be Ghost House’s first Raimi-directed release. Tapert tells Variety:
“Sam calls it a ‘spook-a-blast,’ a wild ride with all the chills and spills that ‘Evil Dead’ delivered, without relying on the excessive violence of that film. When one has done three very expensive movies, they get used to eating caviar. Sam will have to ponder what it means to come down from the mountaintop for a moment.”
But only for a moment: Variety says Raimi’s next order of business “is expected” to be a little picture called The Hobbit.
Sam Raimi still has a Grudge with moviegoers.
Shock Till You Drop reports that Raimi’s Ghost House shingle is moving ahead with plans for The Grudge 3, and has tapped Toby Wilkins to take over for Takashi Shimizu in the director’s chair. From the article:
An FX vet and the director of The Grudge 2 tie-ins, “Tales of the Grudge,” Wilkins is in development on the third chapter while he wraps post-production on the creature feature Splinter for ContentFilm Intl. Ghost House plans to roll cameras as early as January 2008 depending on script development (an unnamed writer is currently at work on a draft).
Source: Shock Till You Drop
In announcing his involvement in the "Prom Night" remake, Idris Elba also revealed the new hook for this version. Instead of one slash-fest, this "Prom Night" has two, and Elba’s detective character has to investigate both.
"This is the second time he’s going to go through this whole thing," said Elba. "Some of it’s in flashbacks, so I rreally wanted to show the difference of confidence that’s been taken away from a detective that has to deal with multiple homicides."
Though horror remakes are de rigueur these days, Elba has confidence in "Prom Night." "It’s actually going to be really, really interesting. It’s a young director, Nelson McCormick, his first feature. His background’s in television and he has a really original idea of how to turn what we can call a slasher movie into a really good psycho thriller. So I’m on board and some really good actors."
Elba is even doing a ride-along for character research. "I’m researching now, all the time. Next week I’m actually going on a real drive with the detectives. They’re going to go to something similar to what happened in the film, and just check it out."
The original "Prom Night" (1980) starred the dynamic duo of Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielson. The Screen Gems remake, due out February 2008, will also star Brittany Snow, with a script from "Better Luck Tomorrow" scribe Ernesto Foronda and "Grudge" screenwriter Stephen Susco.
Since producing the American version of "The Ring" in 2002, producer Roy Lee has stayed firmly within the realm of the "re-imaginings" by producing movies like "The Grudge," "The Ring 2," "The Lake House," and "The Departed." And he’s not done yet! Seems we can expect a "Ring 3" and a remake of "The Host," too.
According to Bloody-Disgusting.com, Mr. Lee’s "plan is to hold the film for a few years and go into the franchise "with a new fresh story," and perhaps going back and doing the prequel thing — because the hardcore Ringfans really want to know Samara’s backstory. (Me, I’m done with the whole series, American and/or Japanese.) Unfortunately for those fans, another "Ring" flick is (at the very least) a few years away.
And while we don’t have any additional news on the project, Roy Lee is also preparing a remake of "The Host," which opens in American theaters on March 9th.
Much has been made lately of singer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s demands to screen the Weinstein Co.’s upcoming Oscar hopeful, but it’s only the latest in a growing trend of troubling rumors surrounding the Edie Sedgwick biopic.
"Factory Girl" has been buzzed about as Sienna Miller‘s big break, the role that could send the British actress from "Layer Cake" eye-candy to breakout star. Distributor Weinstein Co. even pushed the flick towards a last-minute December 29 release to qualify for awards season; months ago, Hollywood Elsewhere‘s Jeffrey Wells rough cut rave hailed it as a contender (and suggested there’s Oscar potential in both Miller’s star turn and co-star Guy Pearce‘s portrayal of Andy Warhol).
The film, directed by documentarian George Hickenlooper ("Hearts of Darkness," "Mayor of the Sunset Strip"), chronicles the up-down trajectory of Warhol celebutante Sedgwick, the pixie-headed model-actress who was briefly a member of the Factory in the 1960s, dated Bob Dylan, and died of a drug overdose in 1971. Miller herself is a dead-on doppelganger for Sedgwick and stars alongside Pearce, Hayden Christensen, Ileana Douglas, Mary-Kate Olsen, Jimmy Fallon, Mena Suvari, and various members of Weezer.
It’s Christensen’s character, "Billy Quinn," that has drawn the ire of Dylan and his lawyers; though the name is different, the character bears enough resemblance to the folk legend and implies that their break-up inadvertently led to Sedgwick’s demise. From the LA Times: "[The character] has Dylan’s mannerisms and sports a checked scarf like the one Dylan sports on the cover of his classic "Blonde on Blonde" album — on which, legend has it, Sedgwick inspired two songs, "Just Like a Woman" and "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat."
Consequently, Dylan is demanding the film’s release and all early screenings be cancelled until he can view it and give his approval — or else producers Bob Yari and Holly Wiersma will be sued for defamation. (Coincidentally, Yari is the guy who was embroiled in a lawsuit around this time last year over snubbed producing credits for "Crash" and is currently in a public sparring match with Warner Bros. over what he considers a flawed Oscar campaign for his upcoming film, "The Painted Veil.")
Add that to recent rumors of Weinstein-mandated re-shoots and "Girl" champions might have cause to worry about the flick (and it’s stars’) chances come February. And then there’s the message board shouting match over at Cinematical about the Hickenlooper film, a failed competing Edie Sedgwick project, and a quite entertaining, if hard to follow, ensuing war of words from supporters of both camps (scroll down to the comments, it’s worth it!).
Elsewhere in Indie News
Sharon Stone To Play Jimmy Fallon’s MILF in Indie Pic
Stone in last year’s "Broken Flowers"
Jimmy Fallon and Sharon Stone are teaming up for the indie drama "Eliot Rockett." The film, which will begin shooting in February, tells the story of a workaholic/commitment-phobe man returning to his hometown due to a family illness; a reunion with his mother (Stone) rekindles his feelings of dysfunction. "Eliot Rockett" marks the directorial debut of co-screenwriter Patrick Sisam.
Lionsgate to Show Crowe’s "Tenderness"
Crowe earning his Golden Globe in "A Beautiful Mind"
The Russell Crowe-starrer "Tenderness" has been picked up by Lionsgate. The indie drama, which also features the talents of Laura Dern, Jon Foster, and Sophie Traub, tells the story of a cop on the trail of a serial killer, who’s become a bit too friendly with a local girl. The film is currently in post-production, and will likely hit theaters in late 2007.
Judge Unleashes "Alpha Dog"
"Alpha Dog": Coming to theaters before going to trial
It’s finally a go for teen crime flick "Alpha Dog," the Nick Cassavetes-helmed biopic based on the life of a young drug lord known as Jesse James Hollywood that premiered at Sundance nearly a year ago. Thanks to a federal judge’s ruling, Universal can release the film as planned this January; Hollywood’s defense attorney still maintains that releasing the flick will infringe upon his client’s right to a fair trial (to take place next year) and will continue to seek legal restraints.
The pic, starring Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Sharon Stone, Bruce Willis, and a lot more young Hollywood thesps, details the kidnapping and murder of a young man allegedly orchestrated by Hollywood, who consequently became the youngest person on the FBI’s most wanted list. The wealthy, fast-living criminal fled to Brazil, where he was apprehended in 2005.
Tomatometers for Last Week’s Limited Releases
Sarah Polley in Isabel Coixet’s "The Secret Life of Words"
Also playing this week in limited release: "The Secret Life of Words," starring Tim Robbins and Sarah Polley in a tale of high drama on an oil rig, is at 76 percent with 25 reviews; "Automatons," a zero-budget dystopian sci-fi flick, is at 67 percent with 6 reviews; "Breaking and Entering," a story of the tangled webs weaved after a burglary starring Jude Law and Juliette Binoche, is at 50 percent with 36 reviews; "The Good German," Steven Soderbergh‘s "Casablanca"-esque drama set in post-WWII Berlin starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, is at 33 percent with 70 reviews; and "Home of the Brave," about the trials of vets returning home from Iraq starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel, and 50 Cent, is at 21 percent with 33 reviews.
Top Performing Limiteds
In the indie box office battle last week, Pedro Almodovar‘s "Volver" again claims the top spot, taking in a per screen average of $6,965 of 45 screens in its seventh week of release for a total of just under $2.9 million. The runner-up was the debut drama "The Secret Life of Words" starring Tim Robbins and Sarah Polley; it took in $5,309 in one theater. The suburban drama "Little Children" starring Kate Winslet came in third, claiming $3,695 on 21 screens in its 11th week of release (for a total of just over $2 million). The theatrical adaptation of "The History Boys" finished fourth, taking in $2,889 on 76 screens in its fourth week of release for a total of $795,000. Finally, the Bollywood drama/adventure, "Kabul Express," made $2,852 on 50 screens in its first week of release, for a total of $142,000.
Also, John Woo‘s "He-Man" might not, in fact, "have the power" to make it back to the bigscreen, and Rupert Grint lets slip a rumor about Chris Columbus returning to direct another "Harry Potter." Read on for details.
This Week’s Most Popular News:
Has James Cameron Found His "Avatar" Star?
The news has been confirmed in an official capacity, but according to a handful of movie sites, James Cameron has found a star for his long-awaited "Avatar." And it’s not the sort of leading man you’re probably expecting…
Hugh Jackman: "Wolverine" Prequel Script is "Fantastic"
According to producer-star Hugh Jackman, David Benioff’s script for "X-Men" spinoff "Wolverine" is good to go, and great to boot.
Hellboy vs. Dracula vs. Frankenstein vs. The Mummy??
Mad Spanish genius Guillermo del Toro recently spent some time at the New York Film Festival, because his brilliant "Pan’s Labyrinth" was playing there, and he took some time to ponder the idea of … "Hellboy" vs. some old-school Universal monsters.
John Woo’s "He-Man" Movie Goes …Nowhere
Thank the lord we have websites out there who’ll report on a specific LACK of news. This is how we know that the John Woo "He-Man" movie is stuck in neutral, and not likely to move forward anytime soon. Thrilling.
Chris Columbus Returning to Direct Another "Potter"?
There’s never a shortage of Potter-related news, is there? The latest tidbit comes from young actor Rupert Grint, who either dropped a mild surprise — or has no idea what he’s talking about. It seems that Chris Columbus might be coming back to helm his third "Harry Potter" flick.
In Other News:
With the pumpkin holiday approaching, Sony unleashes the terror with its frightfest "The Grudge 2" which aims to dominate the marketplace this weekend.
Giving ticket buyers some not-so-scary alternatives are the political comedy "Man of the Year," the action flick "The Marine," and the historical epic "One Night with the King." After a September slump, the North American box office should continue its October rebound.
Two years after shocking the film industry with one of the biggest openings ever for a horror film, Sony returns to the scene of the crime with its new supernatural thriller "The Grudge 2." Director Takashi Shimizu is once again at the helm, but the PG-13 pic this time tells the story of a young woman who investigates the curse that previously afflicted her sister in Tokyo. Amber Tamblyn ("Joan of Arcadia") and Jennifer Beals ("Flashdance") star in this new installment. "The Grudge 2" has one of the best release dates a studio with a horror film could ever ask for – a Friday the 13th in the middle of the Halloween month of October. But with Sarah Michelle Gellar having only little face time this time around, the sequel has lost significant starpower. The former "Buffy" star was integral in getting teens, young adults, and genre fans out on opening weekend last time. With the story now shifting to her character’s sister, many of those who turned up on opening weekend for the first, will decide to skip the second installment in theaters.
Sony has been giving "Grudge 2" a healthy marketing push hoping to reach young females once again. As a fright flick, guys will automatically be there. The sequel should give the underserved audience of teenage girls an exciting option and the rating opens the door to plenty of business. Even the teen date crowd could contribute a nice chunk of change. However, the competing horror pic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" is coming off of a strong bow and will take dollars from some older teens away. Numbers should not come close to Gellar’s first "Grudge" which had the whole horror crowd to itself two Octobers ago with a potent $39.1M launch on its way to a $110.2M domestic final. Still, between the relatively low costs and the solid sales in theaters and on DVD, these types of scary sequels tend to become very profitable, very fast. "The Grudge 2" will spook audiences in 3,211 locations and could gross about $27M this weekend easily giving it the number one spot.
Fresh off of his hit family picture "RV" from last spring, Robin Williams tries to get his career back in order with the new political satire "Man of the Year." Written and directed by Barry Levinson ("Rain Man," "Wag the Dog"), the PG-13 film finds the former Mork playing a popular talk show host who decides to run for U.S. President adding lunacy to an otherwise dull election. Christopher Walken, Laura Linney, Jeff Goldblum, and Lewis Black round out the cast. After struggling for hits after 1998’s "Patch Adams," Williams rebounded at the box office by appealing to kids. He lent a voice to last year’s animated Fox pic "Robots" and enjoyed great legs with "RV" which went on to gross $71.4M after spending seven weeks in the top ten.
Now the Oscar winner goes after adults with "Man" which is not likely to pull in many votes from teens and young adults. The subject matter will appeal most to the 30+ crowd making last weekend’s well-liked champ "The Departed" a serious competitor. Universal’s mid-October release makes sense as the studio is placing the pic in the marketplace just weeks before the country’s mid-term elections when politics are on the minds of many citizens. But the story will not be too big of a factor in pulling in audiences which means Williams will see his starpower put to the test once again. Luckily he is back with a comedy which is his comfort zone when it comes to commercial success. Casting votes in 2,515 theaters, "Man of the Year" might debut with about $11M.
Wrestling superstar John Cena anchors his first Hollywood film in "The Marine" playing, well, a marine discharged from duty in Iraq that must fight to save his kidnapped wife. The PG-13 actioner will play mostly to young males who follow the antics of the champ in the squared circle. Crossover potential is limited as those not familiar with who he is will probably take a pass. Fox won’t see many good reviews and a bigger audience should find it on DVD early next year. Marching into 2,546 locations, "The Marine" could open with roughly $8M this weekend and find itself dismissed soon after.
Babylon is the setting for the epic historical adventure "One Night With the King" which stars Tiffany Dupont, Omar Sharif, John Rhys-Davies, and Peter O’Toole. The PG-rated tale following the rise of the Queen of Persia is using church-based marketing to reach Christian audience members looking for entertainment that the whole family can enjoy together. These types of grassroots efforts have worked magic at the box office in the past, but not every time. Distributor 8X generated a respectable $5,011 opening weekend average with 2001’s "Megiddo: Omega Code 2" but struggled with a $3,315 average for "Carman: The Champion" earlier that year. While those films never made it past 400 theaters, "King" will enter about 900 sites and is getting a more mainstream promotional push so the potential could be more. A $4M bow may result.
Last weekend’s top choice "The Departed" plans to stick around and still be a popular film in its second weekend. Strong reviews and word-of-mouth will help the Warner Bros. crime thriller hold up well in the sophomore frame. Plus there is little competition for adult audiences as "Grudge" and "Marine" should skew younger while the comedy of Robin Williams may play to a different segment of the mature crowd. "The Departed" might fall by 35% this weekend which would give the DiCaprio–Damon hit around $17M and an impressive ten-day cume of $55M.
On the other hand, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" will face a direct threat from the "Grudge" sequel beginning on Friday. Horror franchise flicks typically drop hard anyway so a 55% tumble would give the New Line prequel about $9M and a respectable $32M after ten days.
LAST YEAR: The horror remake "The Fog" topped the charts with the worst gross of the year for a number one film bowing to $11.8M to lead the weak box office. Sony’s fright offering stumbled to just $29.5M. Close behind in second place was the DreamWorks toon "Wallace and Gromit" with $11.5M in its second weekend. Paramount’s Orlando Bloom–Kirsten Dunst pic "Elizabethtown" opened in third place with $10.6M on its way to a mild $26.9M. Rounding out the top ten were Hollywood blondes Jodie Foster with $6.5M for "Flightplan" and Cameron Diaz with $6.1M for "In Her Shoes." Bloom’s Caribbean queen Keira Knightley fared even worse with her action flop "Domino" which debuted to just $4.7M. New Line eked its way to just $10.2M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Nope, not another "The Grudge." This one’s called "The Addicted," so you just know it’s something different. Er, actually, it’s based on 2002 Korean chiller called "Jungdok," so maybe it’s not. Good to see Michelle’s found herself a steady paycheck niche.
From Variety: "Sarah Michelle Gellar will topline supernatural thriller "Addicted," which the Yari Film Group is financing and producing with Vertigo and Spitfire. Film is loosely based on 2002 South Korean pic "Jungdok."
Joel Bergvall and Simon Sandquist, who helmed the acclaimed Swedish film "The Invisible," will direct from a screenplay by Michael Petroni. Story revolves around a woman whose husband and brother-in-law end up in a coma after a horrible accident. When the brother-in-law wakes up, he says he is her true husband."
J-horror vet Takashi Shimizu and stars Amber Tamblyn and Arielle Kebbel presented an all-new trailer for their upcoming pic, "The Grudge 2" — and shared a few story tidbits with the audience, revealing just how much Sarah Michelle Gellar there is in the scary sequel.
But before turning to Shimizu and his starlets for "The Grudge 2," Columbia/Screen Gems screened their trailer for "The Covenant," a supernatural teen thriller coming out in September.
In what looks like “The Craft” for guys, the story centers around four teenage descendants of a centuries-old group of families with supernatural powers, whose relatives formed a “covenant” hundreds of years earlier to banish a fifth power-hungry family. As we see in the trailer, these modern-day warlocks rule the school in “O.C.” fashion – using their powers to levitate short skirts on hot girls, for example. When the new guy at school turns out to be a vengeful descendant of the fifth, banished family of sorcerers, the foursome (led by the handsome, young-Billy Zane-look-alike Steven Strait) must battle it out with him using all manner of magic.
Given that premise, the trailer looks surprisingly impressive. Sure, there’s the requisite over-stylized unsupervised teen party on the beach, and the making out in cars, but there’s also some cool special effects that make the action exciting to watch (at least in the trailer). The young warlocks throw fireballs, and hurl trash cans at each other with levitation. They use magic to levitate their Hummer over a cliff for kicks on a joyride. In the trailer’s closing moments, main dude Caleb (Strait) is startled by a conjured spook while driving, and swerves into an oncoming semi-truck – the car shatters on impact, then reassembles seconds later on the other side of the truck, car and driver intact. At Comic-Con, the audience breathed a collective “wow.” Did I mention Renny Harlin directs?
“The Covenant” hits theaters September 8.
But on to the main event. Shimizu was introduced to the stage by pal and “Grudge 2” producer Sam Raimi, who then brought out Amber Tamblyn (“Joan of Arcadia”) and co-star Arielle Kebbel (“John Tucker Must Die”). Shimizu, of course, directed 2004’s “The Grudge” as well as the Japanese original versions, “Ju-On” and “Ju-On 2” (amazingly, two even earlier video-only versions of “The Grudge” bring Shimizu’s “Grudge” film tally up to six, with a third Japanese-language sequel forthcoming).
The trio presented the world premiere of footage from “The Grudge 2,” in the form of a creepy, tension-filled extended trailer. Fans of the first American “Grudge” will recognize a few returning characters like scary Japanese hair-ghost Kayako, scary little Japanese boy ghost Toshio, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes, Sarah Michelle Gellar is back, but as the trailer quickly reveals, she ain’t sticking around too long.
It turns out that after the end of “The Grudge,” caretaker Karen Davis (Gellar) became afflicted with the curse, and now lays coma-like in a hospital bed. Her sister Aubrey (Tamblyn) arrives in Tokyo to find out what happened, and Karen jolts up to warn her, “Don’t go in that house!”
Soon enough, Karen is dead – suicide, perhaps? – and we see her laying on the ground, a pool of blood seeping from her head. Aubrey says, “My sister is dead. Why? What do you want?”
We see flashes of scary “Grudge” faces. A Japanese guy (Edison Chen) is developing photos in a darkroom when he notices something in a picture; he leans in closer to the pan, and the scary “Grudge” girl leaps out of the pan, grabbing his head. Freaky!
Next, we see scenes of mousy brunette schoolgirl Allison Fleming, who sees the scary little Japanese boy under her desk during class. We also see Allison standing, black hair growing superfast down her body as she watches, frozen in horror.
The trailer ends with the scary little ghost boy, with a red number 2 in his eye.
In a session with the press, Tamblyn and Kebbel revealed more about the movie, the story, and their characters (and Tamblyn confirmed that Gellar’s character Karen does indeed die):
Instead of taking its story from “Ju-On 2,” “The Grudge” and “The Grudge 2” serve as part one and two of the story from the first “Ju-On.”
There will be three separate storylines, each involving Aubrey, Allison, and Trish (Jennifer Beals), and all will eventually interconnect.
Aubrey, following her sister’s death, goes to investigate the “Grudge” house; along the way, she learns of other cases involving the curse and its victims.
Allison is the new girl at the International High School in Tokyo. She is ugly and unpopular, and the cool girls play a trick on her by pretending to befriend her. They take her to the cursed “Grudge” house to scare her, which brings out the curse.
As with the other “Grudge” films, “The Grudge 2” will bear director Shimizu’s signature filmmaking style, with non-sequential time order, quick cuts, psychological rather than gory scares, and a story that makes the audience think a lot to figure it out.
Tamblyn also joked to watch out for a dance scene with Kebbel and Takako Fuji, who plays the frightening ghost girl, Kayako.
"The Grudge 2" is directed by Shimizu with a screenplay by "The Grudge" (2004) writer Stephen Susco, and hits Halloween-time theaters on October 13.
Can’t get enough of that groovy "Grudge" goodness? Can’t wait till the remake’s sequel’s October 13th release date? Then check out JoBlo’s for your first look at the predictably silly "Grudge 2" poster.
Big fan of those "Grudge" flicks? Still holding out hope for "Grudge 2" after seeing how "Ring 2" turned out? Well then thank JoBlo for pointing us towards a Russian website that got a whole bunch of photos from the upcoming horror sequel.
The sequel sees the sister of the girl from the first flick terrorized in very similar ways … similar mainly because we’ve already seen four Japanese "Grudges" and one American one. And they were ALL directed by Takashi Shimizu!
A few weekends ago RT got the inside scoop on "Scary Movie 4" from its director, legendary comic trailblazer David Zucker ("Airplane!," "The Naked Gun"), and castmembers Anna Faris, Regina Hall and Craig Bierko. Read on for the first installment of our "Scary Movie 4" interview series, in which a candid Zucker talks comedy, "Brokeback," and the art of spoofing.
David Zucker is a veritable comedy legend whose career began with co-writing 1977’s "The Kentucky Fried Movie," took off with the 1980 classic, "Airplane!" and continued with even more comedies: "Top Secret!," "The Naked Gun" series, "Ruthless People," and more. After reviving the "Scary Movie" franchise with 2003’s "Scary Movie 3," (which made $109 million at the box office), Zucker is back this week with another "Scary" parody (written by Craig Mazin and frequent Zucker collaborator Jim Abrahams) — and this time, he’s set his sights on "War of the Worlds," "The Grudge," "Brokeback Mountain," Tom Cruise, and more entertainment phenomena from the past few years.
David Zucker: ["Scary Movie 4"] was harder, because we only had nine months to do it, from conception to release. We worked weekends, and nights, mainly because one of the main requirements was to have the two main movies — for "Scary 3," there was "Signs" and "The Ring" — for this one we were all set to do "The Ring 2," but "Ring 2" was not accepted by the audience. It was quickly forgotten. In part maybe because of "Scary Movie 3!"
So we had to wait for "War of the Worlds." But our release date was already set, April 14, so we all agreed that we were just gonna do it. So for this one it’s "War of the Worlds," "The Grudge," and a bunch of other movies like "Saw."
Q: Did you spoof all the movies you wanted to in "Scary Movie 4?
Zucker: Yes, every possible one. In the past few years, the pickings were a bit thinner than they were for "3," so we had to really make the best of the movies that were in the popular mind. "Million Dollar Baby," "The Grudge," "War of the Worlds," and "Saw" were big. "The Village" wasn’t as successful as other M. Night [Shyamalan] movies but it was a very striking, original movie.
Q: What makes Anna Faris so convincing in the role of Cindy?
Zucker: Horror movies are scarier if it’s a woman, and we learned that the scarier it is, the funnier it is. [Faris] is a really good actress; she’s so convincing, and she can convey the sincerity. The more the audience can be involved in the plot and believability of the characters, the funnier the jokes will be.
I don’t tell the actors to try to be funny. My biggest direction is to let the lines do the work — let the script be funny, you just do the dramatic acting.
Q: In "Scary Movie 4," a lot of jokes revolve around women and children getting punched in the face…
Zucker: Anna Faris gets it all the time, with all the physical comedy. The best horror movies have women in the lead because it’s just scarier, they seem more vulnerable, but [in "Scary 4"] the lead characters always have to get bonked around. That’s been comedy since vaudeville, Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers.
There’s always children in horror movies, and they’re always treated with great reverence in current cinema. That’s something we dive into; we say, we’re not gonna hold these kids sacred, they’re movie actors, and we’re gonna knock them around the same way.
It’s just like my mom loved "Airplane!" but she hated that scene of Peter Graves talking to the child…I could never convince her that it wasn’t just a joke on pedophilia, we were really doing a joke on the image in American cinema of the squeaky clean, all-American airline captain. And this was the one thing that really undercut that image, and that’s what made people laugh. Personally, I don’t think pedophilia is very funny at all. I have no qualms about using that, or child abuse — who thinks that’s funny? — but I think people can take all these jokes in the context of, we’re doing a spoof, we’re satirizing movies, this is not real-life comedy. We think we’re following rules that are different from other comedies.
Q: Were any of the jokes added at the last minute?
Zucker: "Brokeback Mountain" was definitely not in the movie as written, that was added later. While we were shooting, the whole "Brokeback" story broke, and that became so talked about, such a cultural phenomenon, that we wrote the scene. We didn’t know how that would play – we were all set for people not to laugh at all. We were always thinking in the back of our minds, a lot of jokes have been made in print, on Letterman and Leno; how many more laughs can we get out of this movie? But it worked.
Another big surprise was that just the mere mention of Myspace…we just thought, it’s a clever thing and it’s almost like an ad lib, we threw that in a couple days before but we get such a reaction.
[Possible spoiler ahead]
Zucker [On Leslie Nielson‘s nude scene]: There was a body double, when you see him from behind…that’s part of my weird job. I have to look at asses.
IGN FilmForce and JoBlo’s have chimed in with their set reports from Sony’s upcoming Grudge sequel, and the movie geeks report from Japan that the sequel is coming along swimmingly. (The Grudge 2 was recently moved up a week in the October schedule; it’ll now open on 10/13, pre-emptively offering New Line’s Jason prequel a run for its box office money.)
IGN FF focuses mainly on a conversation with Grudge 2 starlet Amber Tamblyn, while JoBlo offers a cool collection of flick-related bullet points. Both sites have some on-set pics, too.
The Grudge 2 will the the sixth Grudge entry directed by Takashi Shimizu; the cast for the sequel to the remake includes Amber Tamblyn, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Arielle Kebbel, and Jennifer Beals. Also returning is screenwriter Stephen Susco, the guy who penned the hit remake, as well as Dimension’s long-delayed remake of Pulse.
Head on over to the Ghost House Pictures website and you’ll find a new press release that’ll thrill all you ravenous "Grudge" holders. Seems the sequel just started production in Japan, and that "The Grudge 2" will be ready for ticket-buyers this October, a month that promises a whole lot of goodies for the horror geeks.
"Principal photography has begun on "The Grudge 2," it was announced today by Columbia Pictures and Ghost House Pictures. The film is the much-anticipated sequel to the 2004 hit "The Grudge," which earned $188 million in worldwide box office receipts.
"The Grudge 2" delves into the secrets behind the grudge’s wrath and introduces a seemingly unrelated host of new characters who find themselves connected by the same terrifying supernatural curse.
The movie stars Amber Tamblyn ("Stephanie Daley," "Joan Of Arcadia") with Sarah Michelle Gellar returning in her role as ‘Karen.’ Arielle Kebbel (upcoming "Aquamarine") joins the growing ensemble cast with Jennifer Beals ("The L Word") and newcomer Teresa Palmer (upcoming "December Boys") co-starring.
Japanese actress Takako Fuji reprises her role as the terrorizing ‘Kayako,’ making it the fifth time that she has played this role—three times in the Japanese "Ju-On" as well as the first installment of the English version. Ryo Ishibashi also returns briefly in a cameo as ‘Detective Nakagawa.’
Other supporting cast includes Japanese teen pop star Misako Uno of the popular group AAA in her feature film debut, Shaun Sipos ("Complete Savages"), and the well-known Chinese actor Edison Chen, who is best known for his role in "Infernal Affairs," the 2002 hit Hong Kong film which is being remade by Martin Scorsese and set to be released as "The Departed."
Producer Sam Raimi offers, “For "The Grudge 2," Ghost House has reunited our original team led by master filmmaker Takashi Shimizu. It promises to deliver gripping sequences of suspense and shocking jolts that should have the fans of "The Grudge part 1" leaping out of their seats and coming back to the theater again and again.”
Other key filmmakers returning for the second installment include Production Designer Iwao Saito who ingenuously designed the house for the first movie; Visual Effects Supervisor Hajime Matsumoto who handled the three Japanese versions of "Ju-On" as well as the English-language version; and Editor Jeff Betancourt ("When A Stranger Calls," "The Exorcism Of Emily Rose"). In addition, Cinematographer Katsumi Yanagijima who has made a name for himself in collaborating with respected Japanese writer/director Takeshi Kitano, in the recent cult classics “Zaoitchi: The Blind Swordsman” and “Dolls,” joins this talented group in his first English-language movie.
With the story still set in Tokyo, the production is shooting on location in various places around the metropolitan area as well as the famous Toho Studios, the largest sound stages in Japan. Filming began on Monday, Feb. 13, and is scheduled to wrap at the end of April. Columbia Pictures will release the movie on October 20, 2006, in the United States."