Black Water

(Photo by ©AV Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

The Best Australian Horror Movies

You might expect a list of Australian horror films to be teeming with the beasties people associate with the continent: poisonous snakes, deadly spiders, mammoth crocs. Yet while this collection of essential Aussie horror flicks does contain several of those Down Under biters – two crocodile movies, one shark movie, and one about a giant wild boar (didn’t see that coming, did ya?!) – it also features works that tap into something just as threatening: the vast land itself, from the mystery of its desert center to the dark possibilities of its cities’ sprawling suburbs. Movies like Wolf Creek and Road Games play with our anxiety about who, and what, we might encounter dare we venture into the endless Outback, while Hounds of Love and The Babadook explore what might lie behind your neighbor’s door.

Recent international breakouts like Jennifer Kent’s Babadook and Natalie Erika James’ atmospheric haunted house chiller Relic traffic in the slow-building dread of today’s “elevated horror,” but Australian genre films have been largely marked by a certain hard brutality over the years. Consider Wolf Creek and its sequel, or the more recent Killing Ground, which tell ripped-from-the-headlines slasher tales of terrorized backpackers and campers, but do so with an almost merciless insistence on graphic, real-feeling violence. And while we’re talking brutal, check out The Loved Ones, a darkly comic tale of obsession that found new ways to drill into the torture porn trend of the 2000s.

To be included in the list, movies had to be made and set in Australia, by a predominantly Australian crew. They also had to have more than 10 reviews – which is why the great maybe-horror Bad Boy Bubby, with only nine Tomatometer-approved reviews, didn’t make the cut; ditto the excellent anthology Dark Place. We then culled the selection down to the 20 highest-rated movies, which included a couple of Rotten-but-fun (Bait) or seminal flicks (Patrick), and even a Jamie Lee Curtis sort-of-slasher. (Yes, Curtis’s Final Girl phase even took her to entirely different hemispheres.) Purists may quibble with the choice to include Phillip Noyce’s Dead Calm, a twisty and taut three-hander with Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman, and Billy Zane – it’s not horror in the traditional sense, perhaps, but it will have you squirming. As will Justin Kurzel’s The Snowtown Murders (released as just Snowtown in Australia), a crime drama with grisly horror elements you won’t soon forget. Take shots at us in the comments if you must, but won’t regret watching them.

With all that said, here are the 20 highest-rated Australian horror films, according to the Tomatometer.


Best Spanish-Language Horror Movies | Best Korean Horror Movies | Best Italian Horror Movies | Best French Horror Movies | Best Japanese Horror Movies
2020’s Best Horror Movies | 200 Best Horror Movies Ever

#20

Patrick (1978)
42%

#20
Adjusted Score: 41392%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Patrick has been in an irreversible coma for the past several years and possesses psychokinetic powers. He ends up falling... [More]
Directed By: Richard Franklin

#19

Bait (2012)
46%

#19
Adjusted Score: 45649%
Critics Consensus: Bait isn't entirely lacking in the shark action department, but a silly story and thinly sketched characters may leave audiences bored between bloody attacks.
Synopsis: A freak tsunami traps a group of people in a submerged grocery store. As they try to escape, they are... [More]
Directed By: Kimble Rendall

#18

Dying Breed (2008)
50%

#18
Adjusted Score: 22756%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Nina leads an expedition into the New Zealand bush to find tigers and meets a cannibalistic family.... [More]
Directed By: Jody Dwyer

#17

Wolf Creek 2 (2013)
50%

#17
Adjusted Score: 51444%
Critics Consensus: After a strong start, Wolf Creek 2 devolves into an unnecessary -- and disappointingly predictable -- sequel.
Synopsis: A young man (Ryan Corr) matches wits with a sadistic killer (John Jarratt) who lives in an underground, booby-trapped lair... [More]
Directed By: Greg McLean

#16

Wolf Creek (2005)
54%

#16
Adjusted Score: 57227%
Critics Consensus: Though Wolf Creek is effectively horrific, it is still tasteless exploitation.
Synopsis: Stranded motorists (Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath) fall prey to a murderous bushman (John Jarratt) who offers to fix their vehicle,... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mclean

#15

Razorback (1984)
58%

#15
Adjusted Score: 58141%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A big Australian pig attacks an old man (Bill Kerr), grabs a baby and kills a newswoman; her husband (Gregory... [More]
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy

#14

Killing Ground (2016)
74%

#14
Adjusted Score: 78496%
Critics Consensus: Killing Ground unnerves and compels in equal measure with a grimly intense story that may be too disturbing for some but delivers a white-knuckle experience for fans of brutally realistic thrillers.
Synopsis: Sam and Ian take off on what they believe will be a peaceful camping trip. Their break turns into a... [More]
Directed By: Damien Power

#13

Black Water (2007)
80%

#13
Adjusted Score: 71737%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the swamps of Northern Australia, a killer crocodile stalks a pregnant woman, her boyfriend and her sister.... [More]

#12

Little Monsters (2019)
79%

#12
Adjusted Score: 86600%
Critics Consensus: Led by typically outstanding work from Lupita Nyong'o, Little Monsters is a horror/rom-com hybrid that proves the zombie genre still has fresh brains to savor.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Abe Forsythe

#11

Wyrmwood (2014)
82%

#11
Adjusted Score: 81703%
Critics Consensus: Rough around the edges but inspired at its core, Wyrmwood is a giddy variation on the zombie genre that will sate gore hounds' appetite for mayhem.
Synopsis: A survivor (Jay Gallagher) of a zombie plague prepares to slash his way through a horde of sinister soldiers and... [More]
Directed By: Kiah Roache-Turner

#10

Dead Calm (1989)
83%

#10
Adjusted Score: 83813%
Critics Consensus: Nicole Kidman's coiled intensity and muscular direction by Phillip Noyce give this nautical thriller a disquieting sense of dread.
Synopsis: Rae Ingram (Nicole Kidman) and her husband, John (Sam Neill), struggle to overcome the sudden death of their young son.... [More]
Directed By: Phillip Noyce

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 85435%
Critics Consensus: It's a bleak and brutal endurance test, but for viewers with the strength and patience to make it to the end, Snowtown will prove an uncommonly powerful viewing experience.
Synopsis: A charismatic but violent predator (Daniel Henshall) takes his girlfriend's teenage son (Lucas Pittaway) under his wing and makes him... [More]
Directed By: Justin Kurzel

#8

Cargo (2017)
88%

#8
Adjusted Score: 91883%
Critics Consensus: Cargo takes a refreshingly character-driven approach to the zombie genre that's further distinguished by its Australian setting and Martin Freeman's terrific lead performance.
Synopsis: Stranded in rural Australia in the aftermath of a violent pandemic, an infected father desperately searches for a new home... [More]
Directed By: Ben Howling, Yolanda Ramke

#7

Hounds of Love (2016)
88%

#7
Adjusted Score: 94852%
Critics Consensus: Smartly constructed and powerfully acted, Hounds of Love satisfies as a psychological thriller with a few nasty surprises -- and marks writer-director Ben Young as a promising talent.
Synopsis: In 1987, murderous couple John and Evelyn roam the streets of Perth, Australia, searching for their latest victim. Fate leads... [More]
Directed By: Ben Young

#6

Road Games (1981)
91%

#6
Adjusted Score: 90052%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An Australian trucker (Stacy Keach) picks up a hitchhiking heiress (Jamie Lee Curtis) and the trail of a killer in... [More]
Directed By: Richard Franklin

#5

Relic (2020)
92%

#5
Adjusted Score: 108222%
Critics Consensus: Relic ratchets up its slowly building tension in an expertly crafted atmosphere of dread, adding up to an outstanding feature debut for director/co-writer Natalie Erika James.
Synopsis: A woman links her mother's increasingly volatile behavior to an evil presence at their family's decaying country home.... [More]
Directed By: Natalie Erika James

#4

Rogue (2007)
94%

#4
Adjusted Score: 71648%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Rugged American adventure-travel journalist Pete McKell (Michael Vartan) joins a cruise along a crocodile-infested river organized by tomboyish guide Kate... [More]
Directed By: Greg McLean

#3

Lake Mungo (2008)
96%

#3
Adjusted Score: 95047%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Alice drowns while swimming and her family begins experiencing inexplicable events in their home. The family hires a parapsychologist whose... [More]
Directed By: Joel Anderson

#2

The Loved Ones (2009)
98%

#2
Adjusted Score: 99684%
Critics Consensus: Successfully mixing the conventions of the teen and horror genres with a twist, Australian director Sean Byrne makes a striking directorial debut with The Loved Ones.
Synopsis: After a classmate (Xavier Samuel) declines her invitation to the school dance, a teenager (Robin McLeavy) kidnaps him and makes... [More]
Directed By: Sean Byrne

#1

The Babadook (2014)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 106834%
Critics Consensus: The Babadook relies on real horror rather than cheap jump scares -- and boasts a heartfelt, genuinely moving story to boot.
Synopsis: A troubled widow (Essie Davis) discovers that her son is telling the truth about a monster that entered their home... [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Kent

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(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.

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 42928%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Someone with a power drill shows up uninvited to Trish's (Michele Michaels) high-school pajama party.... [More]
Directed By: Amy Jones

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 44222%
Critics Consensus: There is indeed a good amount of tension in this French slasher, but the dubbing is bad and the end twist unbelievable.
Synopsis: A beautiful young Frenchwoman, Alex (Maïwenn Le Besco), travels out to the country to visit her family and brings along... [More]
Directed By: Alexandre Aja

#23

Maniac (1980)
40%

#23
Adjusted Score: 41135%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Childhood abuse triggers a man (Joe Spinell) to kill women and use their scalps to dress his mannequins.... [More]
Directed By: William Lustig

#22

Pieces (1982)
46%

#22
Adjusted Score: 46376%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A frustrated Boston detective searches for the maniac responsible for mutilating a number of university coeds.... [More]
Directed By: Juan Piquer Simon

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 58486%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Friends defy the rules of a legendary murderer and discover he is real when they start celebrating Valentine's Day.... [More]
Directed By: George Mihalka

#20
Adjusted Score: 48036%
Critics Consensus: Friday the 13th: Part VI - Jason Lives indeed brings back ol' Vorhees, along with a sense of serviceable braindead fun.
Synopsis: Years ago, Tommy Jarvis (Thom Mathews) killed infamous hockey-masked murderer Jason Voorhees (C.J. Graham), and the intensity of the experience... [More]
Directed By: Tom McLoughlin

#19

The Prowler (1981)
67%

#19
Adjusted Score: 37858%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A crazed World War II veteran gets revenge on his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend, then stalks teens 35 years later.... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Zito

#18

Torso (1974)
56%

#18
Adjusted Score: 54865%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A hooded killer with a hacksaw stalks college coeds (Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont).... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Martino

#17

Candyman (1992)
77%

#17
Adjusted Score: 83265%
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]
Directed By: Bernard Rose

#16

The Burning (1981)
80%

#16
Adjusted Score: 76560%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: At summer camp, some teenagers pull a prank on the camp's caretaker, Cropsy (Lou David). But the joke goes terribly... [More]
Directed By: Tony Maylam

#15

Happy Death Day (2017)
71%

#15
Adjusted Score: 82561%
Critics Consensus: Happy Death Day puts a darkly humorous sci-fi spin on slasher conventions, with added edge courtesy of a starmaking performance from Jessica Rothe.
Synopsis: Tree Gelbman is a blissfully self-centered collegian who wakes up on her birthday in the bed of a student named... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Landon

#14

You're Next (2011)
79%

#14
Adjusted Score: 84204%
Critics Consensus: You're Next's energetic and effective mix of brutal gore and pitch black humor will please horror buffs and beyond.
Synopsis: The Davisons, an upper-class family, are extremely wealthy -- but also estranged. In an attempt to mend their broken family... [More]
Directed By: Adam Wingard

#13

Child's Play (1988)
71%

#13
Adjusted Score: 73297%
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]
Directed By: Tom Holland

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 76458%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Favorite daughter Karen (Brooke Shields) is viciously strangled and set afire in church on the day of her First Communion,... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Sole

#11

Halloween (2018)
79%

#11
Adjusted Score: 101736%
Critics Consensus: Halloween largely wipes the slate clean after decades of disappointing sequels, ignoring increasingly elaborate mythology in favor of basic - yet still effective - ingredients.
Synopsis: It's been 40 years since Laurie Strode survived a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Locked... [More]
Directed By: David Gordon Green

#10

Sleepaway Camp (1983)
78%

#10
Adjusted Score: 79434%
Critics Consensus: Sleepaway Camp is a standard teen slasher elevated by occasional moments of John Waters-esque weirdness and a twisted ending.
Synopsis: Bunks and the showers are a mad stabber's beat at a summer camp strictly for teens.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Hiltzik

#9
Adjusted Score: 74456%
Critics Consensus: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors offers an imaginative and surprisingly satisfying rebound for a franchise already starting to succumb to sequelitis.
Synopsis: During a hallucinatory incident, young Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) has her wrists slashed by dream-stalking monster Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund).... [More]
Directed By: Chuck Russell

#8

Friday the 13th (1980)
63%

#8
Adjusted Score: 66989%
Critics Consensus: Rather quaint by today's standards, Friday the 13th still has its share of bloody surprises and a '70s-holdover aesthetic to slightly compel.
Synopsis: Crystal Lake's history of murder doesn't deter counselors from setting up a summer camp in the woodsy area. Superstitious locals... [More]
Directed By: Sean S. Cunningham

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 72961%
Critics Consensus: The rare slasher with enough intelligence to wind up the tension between bloody outbursts, Black Christmas offers fiendishly enjoyable holiday viewing for genre fans.
Synopsis: As winter break begins, a group of sorority sisters, including Jess (Olivia Hussey) and the often inebriated Barb (Margot Kidder),... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#6

Dressed to Kill (1980)
81%

#6
Adjusted Score: 84566%
Critics Consensus: With arresting visuals and an engrossingly lurid mystery, Dressed to Kill stylishly encapsulates writer-director Brian De Palma's signature strengths.
Synopsis: When Liz Blake (Nancy Allen), a prostitute, sees a mysterious woman brutally slay homemaker Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson), she finds... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 90056%
Critics Consensus: The Opera house location gives plenty to work with for director Dario Argento, who hits his decadently bloody high notes here.
Synopsis: A hooded figure forces a young diva (Cristina Marsillach) to watch as he murders performers in a production of Verdi's... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#4
Adjusted Score: 85742%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Following the murder of Countess Federica Donati (Isa Miranda), an heiress possessing a beautiful piece of beachfront property, members of... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#3

Scream (1996)
79%

#3
Adjusted Score: 83846%
Critics Consensus: Horror icon Wes Craven's subversive deconstruction of the genre is sly, witty, and surprisingly effective as a slasher film itself, even if it's a little too cheeky for some.
Synopsis: The sleepy little town of Woodsboro just woke up screaming. There's a killer in their midst who's seen a few... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#2
Adjusted Score: 98227%
Critics Consensus: Wes Craven's intelligent premise, combined with the horrifying visual appearance of Freddy Krueger, still causes nightmares to this day.
Synopsis: In Wes Craven's classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#1

Halloween (1978)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104031%
Critics Consensus: Scary, suspenseful, and viscerally thrilling, Halloween set the standard for modern horror films.
Synopsis: On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six year old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

(Photo by Jason LaVeris/Getty Images)

When the original Saw opened back in 2004, few people could have predicted the low-budget shocker would become a franchise phenomenon, spawning six sequels that premiered annually in late October and spawned a Halloween tradition. This week, seven years after its last installment, the series looks to make a gruesome return to theaters with Jigsaw, so we took the opportunity to speak to the man behind the puppet, namely Tobin Bell.

Bell has been acting since the 1970s, honing his craft in smaller parts and background roles in a variety of films and television series. But his turn in Saw as the corpse on the floor — who ultimately reveals himself to be the evil mastermind behind the plot — quickly turned into a fully fleshed-out villain, and Bell became a horror icon in the process. To celebrate the Halloween season and the release of his new film, we spoke to Bell about his Five Favorite Horror Films, what makes a good horror film, and why Jigsaw resonates with audiences.


Diabolique (1955) 96%

An old French film with Simone Signoret, and I think Paul Meurisse is in it. It’s the film that terrified me as child, with this very simple scene where she pulls a curtain back in an upstairs window, and he’s watching from the yard. That was actually probably the first horror film I ever saw. It was a very scary. I was a small child. I just remember the simplicity of that moment when she pulled that curtain back. So there’s that, and they did the remake with Sharon Stone that was not very successful and wasn’t very well made.

Psycho (1960) 96%

Psycho, the Alfred Hitchcock film, the film with Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh. I thought that film was groundbreaking at its time, and I think everyone else did, too. The shower scene in Psycho, I likened it to people being afraid to go in the ocean because of Jaws. People were afraid after that film to take a shower. I remember distinctly so many people talking about that because of that shower scene with Janet Leigh.

The Exorcist (1973) 83%

The William Friedkin film. I thought that was very smart. I thought the priests were as terrifying in that, and all the religious symbolism, and all of the dogma of the Catholic Church that was involved in that. It’s pretty rich stuff. The performances were very, very powerful in that film. Some of the special effects also that they did with the child in the bed were just so freaky.

The Descent (2005) 86%

The Descent, which was the film about the women spelunkers who go down into a cave. What I liked about that was the fact that you spent the first half hour of the film developing the characters. You cared about the people. By the time they went into the cave, you were involved. I thought that was very smart, and I loved that a horror film didn’t go right to the scares but made you care about the characters and their relationships with one another. The Descent was very well made, I thought, on a relatively low budget.

Wolf Creek (2005) 54%

Wolf Creek, the Australian independent film that has such great locations and great music. A very simple premise, and it’s surprising. It starts out in this sort of idyllic setting and situation, and it just falls like dominoes into this horrific situation. Your hopes for the characters are dashed, one by one. I just love when I see a little independent film that’s got all the elements of good filmmaking done on a small budget with extremely powerful performances by the two lead characters in it.


Ryan Fujitani for Rotten Tomatoes: For you, what makes a great horror movie?

Tobin Bell: Obviously, people go to horror films to be scared and to have a visceral experience and to be thrown back into their seats and clutching the person next to them and all of those kind of simple things. The same things come into play with a horror film as with anything else. For me, I mean, I’m subjective, but for me, it’s character and relationship. It’s not necessarily always about plot, but plot helps. For me, as an actor, I want to care about the people, and then whatever happens to them happens. That’s what’s so great about Jigsaw, is that you get involved with the people, and you find out a lot about their backgrounds and what they’ve done right or not done right. That raises the stakes, and when the stakes are higher, that’s always better.

RT: Jigsaw is somewhat of a unique villain in that, even though his methods are twisted, he actually believes he’s doing good. I’m wondering if you think that moral center of his character, as twisted as it is, is what the fans of the series really respond to.

Bell: Yes, I do. I think that his thought process, whether you would do that yourself or whether you think he’s right to do what he’s doing, as long as it makes you think and be able to put yourself in his thought process or his position, even for a moment, that’s all you need. You don’t need more than that. You just need people to identify with him. The smallest moment is enough, because when it’s surrounded by the chaos of a Saw film, it resonates. Whatever concept he mentions, whatever it has to do with, is often something that people think about every day in their daily life.

The world that we live in today is topsy-turvy, and something as simple as climbing over other people in order to achieve what we want for ourselves — I mean, people do that every day, cutting in line in the freaking supermarket. It’s done on a small scale. It’s done on a big scale. It’s done in financial markets. It’s done in fire stations. Everybody does it on some level or another. If it makes you think, even for a second, about your own life, your own self, “How much do I appreciate my life? How grateful am I for the fact that there’s gas in my freaking gas tank?” You take the fact that the sun is shining and… The sun ain’t shining in Syria today, I’ll tell you that right now. Why do we have to be in the sh–s before we realize how lucky we are? Why can’t we feel a sense of joy?

RT: Right, and appreciate the things around us.

Bell: Yeah, the simple things. I think it’s part of the human condition. I really do. I think it’s from 100,000 years of genetics, where we come from the caves, where we were watching out for saber-toothed tigers, and we’re still watching. We’re still looking at the next problem rather than being able to feel a sense of satisfaction at the fact that we have decent running water to drink.

Tobin Bell in Saw VI (2009) (Photo by Steve Wilkie/©Lionsgate)

RT: I’ve read that you frequently keep a journal when you’re working on a film, to jot down notes and even formulate backstories for your characters, and I understand you did this when you worked on the first Saw movie.

Bell: I did, yeah.

RT: John Kramer’s backstory is gradually revealed throughout the Saw sequels. Did they incorporate any of the notes from your journal?

Bell: Yeah, yeah. I mean, when we got him up off the floor in Saw 2, it was the first time you really heard… I remember talking in Saw 2 about Darwin’s trip to the Galapagos and the whole idea of survival of the fittest. He talks about the jigsaw piece that he takes from people’s necks, and he says something about, “They are only meant to symbolize one thing, that something’s missing in this person.” So, yes.

There’s still a lot of notes in that notebook that we haven’t explored. We look forward at some point to possibly doing that. We’ll see. I’m hoping that Jigsaw is able to inspire a whole new group of fans that weren’t old enough to get into theaters; they weren’t 17. That was seven years ago.

This is a standalone film. I think that would be so cool, because old Saw fans are so passionate about the series. If we can create a whole new group of millennials — who, by the way, live in a completely different world than we lived in seven years ago — what the young people will bring to the theater will be completely different than what fans brought to the theater 10, 11 years ago.

RT: Speaking of Jigsaw, how much involvement did you have in it? Your name’s in the credits, and that’s clearly your voice in the trailer. Are we getting another posthumous appearance of John Kramer somewhere in this film? Are you even able to tell me that?

Bell: No. I can tell you this. Obviously, the film is named after my character, so that’s pretty telling in its own right, in terms of whether I’m in this film and to the extent I’m in this film. Saw is always a series of twists and turns and surprises. The role that I play in the film is going to have to be one of those surprises. But you can be sure that I have an impact.


Jigsaw opens everywhere this Friday, October 27.

There’s still no confirmation from Warner Bros. — in fact, the studio says the movie hasn’t even been greenlighted yet — but the Justice League of America casting rumors continue to fly fast and furious.

The latest, from a report published today in The Los Angeles Times, says The O.C.‘s Adam Brody is all set to play the Flash in George Miller‘s live-action adaptation. Warner Bros. will likely hold off on any JLA announcements until the entire cast is in place, but in the meantime, it’s still fun to speculate — as the Times does here:

Brody, best known as the heartthrob on “The O.C.,” joins Australian supermodel Megan Gale, who was reportedly cast as Wonder Woman, apparently beating out Jessica Biel for the part.

Among the other young actors rumored to have been cast are “Friday Night Lights“‘ Scott Porter as Superman and “Wolf Creek‘s” Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul — a recurring love interest for Batman. Common was rumored to be playing the Green Lantern (a.k.a. John Stewart).

The Times references an earlier report from Slashfilm, saying Brody will play the nephew of the second Flash, Barry Allen.

Source: Los Angeles Times

In this week’s Ketchup, cinema appears to not be a profitable business, we get a first look at the new Spock, and Michael Bay prepares to fake out the Transformers fanboys. Also, Toy Story 3 and other Pixar projects are confirmed, and Dragon Ball has its leads.

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Michael Bay went through the wringer with the fanboys on Transformers. He addressed every concern — early designs, scripts, remaining faithful to the source material — and delivered a movie that won over most audiences, grossing nearly $320 million in America alone. But with Transformers 2 in development, Bay isn’t taking any more lip service.

Lasseter Confirms Toy Story 3 and Upcoming Pixar Projects

John Lasseter usually doesn’t reveal anything about upcoming Pixar projects. Even though Toy Story 3 has been a known project ever since Disney threatened to make it without Pixar, Lasseter always dodges it. Finally, Lasseter has once-and-for-all confirmed it and discussed turning over the original Pixar property to a new(ish) director.

Live-Action Dragon Ball Finds Its Leads
Brace yourselves, Dragon Ball fans. Twentieth Century Fox’s live-action adaptation of your beloved manga has cast its leads, and some of you are about to start screaming bloody murder.


Get ready for some exciting new clues… or not.

In Other News:

  • Kevin Dillon is set to star alongside Emma Roberts, Don Cheadle and Lisa Kudrow in DreamWorks’ live-action film Hotel for Dogs.
  • Robert Duvall has joined Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon in the cast of the holiday comedy Four Christmases.
  • Matt Gerald has been cast as the lead villain in James Cameron‘s sci-fi action-adventure Avatar, set to begin filming this month.
  • New Line has hired Neil LaBute to write and Taylor Hackford to direct The Woman Next Door, a remake of the 1981 François Truffaut film La Femme D’A Côté.
  • Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Zoe Bell have joined the cast of Lionsgate’s untitled sci-fi action-thriller from Crank writers/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
  • Summit Entertainment is planning a remake of the Korean thriller Seven Days, with the Korean film’s production team to contribute to the remake.
  • Alden Ehrenreich will star with Maribel Verdu in Francis Ford Coppola‘s family drama Tetro.
  • Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Bartha are set to star as drug-dealing Hasidic Jews in Kevin Asch’s comic drama Holy Rollers.
  • John C. Reilly will play the lead vampire role in Cirque du Freak for director Paul Weitz, based on the bestselling children’s series by Darren Shan.
  • Shawn Levy will to direct and produce the dramedy Father Figure at Fox 2000, based on a screenplay by Mark Friedman.
  • Kathryn Hahn has been cast opposite Jeremy Piven in Paramount Vantage’s The Goods: The Don Ready Story for director Neal Brennan.
  • Kristen Stewart has signed on to star in Summit Entertainment’s thriller-romance Twilight, based on Stephenie Meyer’s young-adult novel.
  • Katherine Heigl will star in the battle-of-the-sexes romantic comedy The Ugly Truth with Robert Luketic directing for Lakeshore Entertainment.

  • After Walking Hard, he’ll bite.

    Moviegoers will have plenty to choose from over the long Christmas holiday weekend as four new star-driven wide releases hit the marketplace adding to an already crowded marquee.

    The Ben Stiller fantasy pic "Night at the Museum" leads the way as the frame’s only new comedy while the Matthew McConaughey football drama "We Are Marshall" offers an inspirational story based on true events. Meanwhile, a pair of Italian Stallions hop into the director’s chair as Sylvester Stallone‘s boxing drama "Rocky Balboa" and Robert De Niro‘s espionage thriller "The Good Shepherd" offer even more choices to holiday moviegoers. As is typical of this time of year, Christmas Eve will hurt the box office on Sunday as last-minute shopping and early theater closings will take their toll. But the Monday holiday will see a major recovery since Christmas Day brings forth a surge in traffic to the multiplexes.

    Blasting into nearly 3,700 theaters including 72 Imax venues is the comedy "Night at the Museum" which finds Ben Stiller playing the new night watchman at New York’s Museum of Natural History where all the artifacts and statues come to life each night. Director Shawn Levy ("Cheaper by the Dozen," "The Pink Panther") leaves behind Steve Martin to work with a younger funnyman and more special effects. The PG-rated film is aiming for broad audiences hoping to bring in entire families looking for a fun time this holiday season. "Museum" also plans to score with teens and young adults as the only major comedy option for them. With "The Holiday" being the only other laugher in the top ten to register with that lucrative group, look for a solid response.

    Stiller brings considerable starpower to the film but he also gets backup from comedians like Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, and Dick Van Dyke. Plus with the prestigious ‘and’ credit already claimed by Williams, Owen Wilson takes a sizable supporting role but is so cool that he is nowhere to be found in the credits at all. Audiences want happy and funny films during the Christmas holidays and "Night at the Museum" should post muscular numbers thanks to its starpower, lack of comedy competition, mild rating, and formidable marketing and distribution push. Fox looks to close up the books on 2006 by taking over the number one spot this weekend. Attacking 3,688 locations, "Night at the Museum" could debut to about $34M over the four-day Friday-to-Monday holiday period.

    Ben Stiller in "Night at the Museum."

    Sylvester Stallone brings the eye of the tiger back to the multiplexes one last time in "Rocky Balboa" which got a jumpstart on the holiday weekend with its Wednesday launch. The MGM release brings the iconic boxer back to the screen in what is supposedly the end of the franchise with Stallone back in the saddle as writer and director. In this tale, Rocky is brought back into the ring when media hype prompts fans to wonder who the best boxer is of all time. The underdog story on screen mirrored the one within industry circles. How could a franchise that died 16 years ago with the poorly-received "Rocky V" find its way back into the hearts of today’s moviegoers. MGM and the "Judge Dredd" star moved forward. Today, they proudly claim one of the best reviewed films of the Christmas season and the Wednesday bow is being counted on to get die-hard fans out early so they can spread positive buzz at work and in school going into the lucrative yet overcrowded weekend period.

    With so many other films in the marketplace, and plenty with PG or G ratings aimed at luring in full families, "Rocky Balboa" will have to take its time at the box office as many moviegoers may need some convincing before spending money on the followup to the Tommy Gunn flick. Older adults are the ones who remember the excitement of the franchise, but the studio is hoping they could bring their kids with them for an uplifting tale that makes you feel good inside. "The Pursuit of Happyness" and "We Are Marshall" will be direct competitors in the feel-good genre and the latter will steal away many sports fans too. "Balboa" will have to rely on nostalgia and good word-of-mouth to carry it through round after round. Already playing in 2,752 theaters and adding more locations on Friday, "Rocky Balboa" may gross about $16M over four days and around $21M over six days.


    Stallone is back for one more round in "Rocky Balboa."

    For football fans this holiday weekend, Warner Bros. trots out another pigskin drama with "We Are Marshall" starring Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox, and David Strathairn. The PG-rated film tells the true story of the football program at Marshall University in West Virginia which had to be rebuilt from scratch after a plane crash killed most of the players and coaches. Hollywood seems to have an endless line-up of sports dramas these days and since most of them become commercial successes, it’s no wonder that they keep getting churned out. Just a few months ago, moviegoers powered the football flicks "Invincible" and "Gridiron Gang" to the number one spot with bows of $17M and $14.4M, respectively. "Marshall" should play to much of the same audience and with its underdog feel-good story, the time of year will help since people are in the mood for that type of emotion.

    Reviews have not been too good, but that should not matter much. "We Are Marshall" is meant for sports fans and those who love stories about overcoming adversity, regardless of how predictable they may be. Sales from the heartland should be solid and with the tame rating, entire families can come out together. Plus McConaughey is a reliable draw at the box office and is believable as a quirky football coach. Still, competition will be strong and coming from all directions so a blowout will not be possible. Opening in 2,606 theaters, "We Are Marshall" could score about $14M over the Friday-to-Monday frame.


    They are Marshall.

    Countering the parade of PG flicks is the R-rated CIA thriller "The Good Shepherd" directed by Robert De Niro. The Universal release stars Matt Damon as Edward Wilson, a loyal government agent who helped to create the agency during the Cold War. Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, William Hurt, John Turturro, and De Niro also star. "Shepherd" boasts solid starpower which could help the film have broad appeal. The subject matter appeals to the 30+ crowd, but Damon and Jolie should help to pull in twentysomethings. Teens and ethnic audiences will have minimal interest. Critics have been mixed on the film which could impact the overall turnout.

    The last few months have not been kind to star-driven period dramas aimed at adult audiences. Pictures like "Hollywoodland," "All the King’s Men," and "Bobby" have all struggled to find paying audiences with none reaching the $15M mark in total sales. "Shepherd’s" cast is what will allow it to rise above those failures. But the fight for the attention and time of mature adults will be fierce and a running time of nearly three hours will allow for one less showtime per day on every screen further cutting into its commercial potential. Infiltrating 2,217 locations, "The Good Shepherd" might capture around $13M over four days.


    Matt Damon and Alec Baldwin in "The Good Shepherd."

    With the calendar year coming to a close, things continue to get crowded in the specialty arena this weekend. Clint Eastwood‘s award-winning war drama "Letters From Iwo Jima" debuted on Wednesday in limited release ahead of a January expansion similar to what Warner Bros. did two years ago with the director’s "Million Dollar Baby" which went on to reign at the Oscars. Edward Norton and Naomi Watts star in the period romance "The Painted Veil" from Warner Independent which also platformed on Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles. Thursday brings the limited launches of Miramax’s "Venus" starring Golden Globe nominee Peter O’Toole and the Chinese period drama "Curse of the Golden Flower" from Sony Classics which stars Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat.


    Zhang Yimou’s "Curse of the Golden Flower."

    Last weekend, Will Smith scored a number one hit with "The Pursuit of Happyness" which continues to please audiences. Overall moviegoing should increase over the holiday weekend, but more choices for adult audiences will give Sony some competition. "Pursuit’s" four-day take could drop 25% from its three-day debut gross giving the film about $20M and a cume of $58M after 11 days.

    As a sci-fi actioner, Fox’s "Eragon" is likely to see one of the largest drops in the top ten. The dragon adventure might fall by 35% to around $15M over the four-day session leaving the studio with $46M.

    Kidpics score big points over Christmas so "Charlotte’s Web" might see many of those fans who skipped out last weekend actually show up this time. The Paramount release’s four-day tally may slip 10% from its three-day bow and bring in roughly $10M. That would give the family film a total of $27M after 11 days.

    LAST YEAR: With Christmas falling on a Sunday, the observed holiday on Monday gave the box office an expanded four-day holiday frame allowing the mega holdovers to repeat atop the charts. "King Kong" spent its second weekend at number one and grossed $33.3M over four days and was closely followed by "The Chronicles of Narnia" with $31.7M in its third adventure. The combined haul for the pair soared to $285M with much more still to come. Newcomers rounded out the top five with Jim Carrey defeating Steve Martin in the battle of the comedies. Sony’s "Fun With Dick and Jane" opened in third with $21.5M over four days while Fox’s sequel "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" settled for fourth with $15.3M. Final tallies reached $110.3M and $82.6M, respectively. Sony also claimed fifth with "Memoirs of a Geisha" which expanded nationally and took in $10.2M over the long weekend. Also opening were Fox Searchlight’s Johnny Knoxville comedy "The Ringer" with $7.7M over four days, the Jennifer Aniston pic "Rumor Has It" with $7.5M in two days for Warner Bros., and Universal’s "Munich" with $6M in four days. The films went on to reach $35.4M, $43M, and $47.4M respectively. The debuting horror pic "Wolf Creek" opened outside the top ten with $4.9M in two days on its way to $16.2M.

    Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

    "Prison Break’s" Dominic Purcell has been tapped to star in a new monster movie called "Primeval." It’s a giant-croc chiller from a first-time feature director and the scribes who gave you "Terminator 3."

    Says The Hollywood Reporter: "Dominic Purcell is set to star in "Primeval," a killer-crocodile thriller that would serve as the feature debut of veteran television director Michael Katleman for Touchstone Pictures. Orlando Jones also has signed on to the movie, which is being produced by Gavin Polone and his Pariah shingle. The high-stakes adventure follows a news producer, reporter and cameraman who are dispatched to South Africa to track down and bring home alive a legendary 25-foot crocodile known as Gustave. However, their quarry proves far more elusive and deadly than they anticipated, and their situation turns even more perilous when a feared warlord targets them for death. Purcell plays the producer, while Jones portrays the cameraman. Scribe duo John Brancato and Michael Ferris ("The Game," "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines") wrote the screenplay, which is inspired by a man-eating crocodile in Africa."

    This project is not to be confused with "Rogue," which is another flick about a big, hungry reptile coming from "Wolf Creek" director Greg McLean. That one stars Michael Vartan & Radha Mitchell, and is presently penciled in for a Dec ’06 release date.

    This week at the movies, we’ve got a bunch of madmen ("Hostel"), a notorious lover ("Casanova"), a dhampir ("BloodRayne"), and a dude who lives with his grandma ("Grandma’s Boy"). Which of these movies will score with critics?

    It’s a story that’s been told a thousand times: a group of young people stray off the beaten path, only to fall into the clutches of bloodthirsty crazies who inflicts torture upon them with sadistic glee. Heck, it was told a couple weeks ago ("Wolf Creek"). So what? Sometimes it’s how you tell it, and the critics say "Hostel" is told very well. Yes, scribes say, Eli Roth‘s film is grisly, but it’s also terrifyingly exciting and makes for some incisive social commentary. At 88 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Hostel" may be worth a stay, if you like this sort of thing.

    Giacomo Casanova was the world’s greatest lover, a man of endless appetites who led an impossibly colorful life (which was probably embellished in his autobiography, but is a classic nonetheless). So you couldn’t go wrong with a movie about the notable rake, right? Right? Well, the critics say this period comedy romp, starring Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller, isn’t quite as romping as it should be, and despite noteworthy visuals, the film is frothy without being particularly ribald. Worse, the man whose name is synonymous with cad-dom chooses monogamy! At 41 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Casanova" is getting no love.

    The people behind both "BloodRayne" and "Grandma’s Boy" must have made a new year’s resolution to not screen their films for critics. Here at Rotten Tomatoes, we feel it’s admirable to stick to your guns, when so many of us end up breaking our resolutions almost immediately. Unfortunately, the strategy sends a message to the world that perhaps these movies aren’t very good.

    Recent Heath Ledger Movies
    ————————————-
    88% — Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    67% — Two Hands (2005)
    39% — The Brothers Grimm (2005)
    53% — Lords of Dogtown (2005)
    54% — Ned Kelly (2004)

    OK, so "King Kong" didn’t exactly storm out of the gates following its release last Wednesday, but the lovestruck gorilla enjoyed a rather impressive 3-day weekend all the same. The monkey’s mega-movie grabbed just over $50 million over the weekend, giving it a total tally of $66.2 million from over 3,500 screens.

    Variety‘s Ben Fritz sums up the Kong-quest rather nicely: "The big ape is already catching a second wind.

    Swinging to a respectable weekend after a weaker-than-expected start on Wednesday, "King Kong" grossed $50.1 million Friday-Sunday; five-day cume was $66.2 million. "King Kong" averaged $14,055 per play at 3,568 locations.

    Universal is pinning its hopes on "Kong’s" strongest stat: a 40% jump from Friday to Saturday. That’s significantly better than any of the "Lord of the Rings" pics, all of which also opened Wednesday a week before Christmas.

    "This movie is setting its own pattern," asserted Marc Shmuger, U vice chairman in charge of worldwide marketing and distribution. "It’s a new one for those of us in the business and who study it. Who knows where it could go?""

    Pulling in at second place, with a pretty impressive $31.1m second weekend, is Disney’s "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," which has now earned $112.5m from the moviegoers. Third place went to the newly-arrived ensemble comedy "The Family Stone," which netted $12.7m from 2,400 theaters.

    Fourth and fifth place went to a pair of old pals: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" ($5.9m, $252.5m total) and "Syriana" ($5.4m, $22.3m total).

    Next week sees the arrival of five new wide releases: "Fun with Dick and Jane" and "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" on Wednesday, "The Ringer" on Friday, and "Rumor Has It" and "Wolf Creek" on Sunday … which means there will be a little for something for everyone at the multiplexes.

    As always, you can check out a closer look at the weekend numbers by visiting the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page.

    ComingSoon.net shares a bit of news reported E! News, and it’s something that should please the fans of the killer-animal flicks. Greg McLean, writer/director of the upcoming "Wolf Creek," will lens "Rogue" down in Australia, which is a thriller about a giant croc that terrorizes the outback.

    CS.net says: "E! News is reporting that Michael Vartan ("Alias," "Monster-in-Law") and Radha Mitchell (the upcoming "Silent Hill") will star in writer/director Greg McLean’s "Rogue" for The Weinstein Co.

    The film, about a giant crocodile stalking tourists in the Australian outback, will shoot Down Under. Pre-production is reportedly taking place in Port Melbourne.

    Five years ago, the script centered on a cynical U.S. travel writer who goes on a river cruise captained by a tough Australian woman and finds himself among a group of people stranded on a tidal mud island.

    McLean, who also wrote and directed "Wolf Creek," previously said, "The thing about crocodiles is that they are scary if you just tell the truth about them.""

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