I have heard great things about this film. Early reviews have been favorable, with Rotten Tomatoes currently sitting at 100% (albeit with only 21 critic reviews). I had heard a lot about this movie and how creepy it was before I finally got around to watching the trailer. I had even read some articles talking about how the trailer was incredibly creepy. I had high hopes.
It looks good, but not nearly as creepy as I hoped it would be. From everything I had heard, I thought I would watch the trailer and immediately find a place to hide. Every odd noise in the house would be The Babadook coming to claim me as his next victim. But I would never see him. I’d spend the rest of my days in a state of panic, never getting more than 3 hours of sleep a night. I would eventually find myself in a padded room, muttering “Babadook” under my breath while my wife stood weeping outside the door. And that’s when The Babadook would strike. My final words would be, “I’m not crazy. I’m not crazEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” (I haven’t yet worked out how The Babadook would get to America from Australia. The cargo hold of a boat, probably.)
Even though I have watched the trailer and know what he looks like, I still think The Babadook looks like The Gentlemen from the best episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Hush”. (He also looks nothing like The Bobbum Man, and will not try to mess with your equipmunk. Probably. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I can’t make any promises.)
The trailer wasn’t quite as creepy as my mind had made it out to be. My sanity is still (somewhat) in tact, which means The Babadook hasn’t yet won.
As it stands, it still looks pretty good. My expectations have been dialed back a bit, but I’m still very much looking forward to this film coming out. Movies about boogeymen that may-or-may-not be anything other than the fears of a child can be pretty hit-or-miss (although I suppose this is true in every genre). I tend to like them more often than not, though, so put me squarely in the “excited” camp for this film. I firmly believe that the creepiest stuff was left out of the preview, so I’m hoping for plenty of scary surprises when the film actually comes out. (As I listed above, the closest thing I can find to a US release date is some time in November. I hope it’s sooner. I hope this and Dead Snow 2 both drop within the next week, in my mailbox if nowhere else.)
Fun fact about the director, Jennifer Kent: she had a role in Babe 2: Pig in the City. She is listed as “Lab Lady”. Scary!
Release date: May 16, 2014
Director: Gareth Edwards (Monsters)
This is the first trailer I saw, and it’s still my favorite one. The skydiving scene that opens is amazing. The silence as they drop, and the destruction they see as they break through the clouds. The flashes of anguished faces (Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen cry faces!) mixed with fire and crumbling buildings.
I ended up tracking this trailer down on YouTube, but I can only imagine the thrill I would have felt at the reveal of Godzilla at the end, screeching through the dust. I knew it was a trailer for Godzilla and I still got chills from that reveal. If I didn’t know it was a Godzilla trailer, I probably would have peed my pants, making me the Miles Davis of everyone around me.
Subsequent trailers haven’t filled me with the same level of excitement. They made it look like Bryan Cranston Yelling: The Movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cranston, but those trailers kind of grated on me a bit. I know he’s good, and I know he won’t be screaming for the entire movie, so I realize this is a bit of an overreaction. I’m still excited, just not as much as I was after the first one hit.
As listed above, this film is directed by Gareth Edwards. He has one other major(ish?) movie to his directing credit: 2010’s Monsters. I know it’s not an overly popular movie, but I really loved it. It was a slow movie, and not really what I was expecting, but the performances, direction and look of the movie really carried it for me. I loved it. It’s one of those that I keep meaning to go back and watch again, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Monsters wasn’t super low-budget, but they certainly weren’t swimming in cash (it had a $4.2 million budget). Because of that, most of the tension revolved around the unseen threats. The monsters themselves aren’t seen until the very end. I loved the look of them, but I also loved the unseen entities rustling in the bushes for the majority of the movie. Obviously, these are different circumstances, and Edwards has been given $160 million to play with. Godzilla will not be an unseen threat. He will be front-and-center, wreaking havoc on everything in its path. This won’t be mumblecore with offscreen monsters: this will be a disaster movie.
Of course, the movie won’t just follow Godzilla. There are people involved. People we need to connect with to enjoy the film. With Monsters, Edwards has shown that he is capable of doing that. That skill will be crucial to this movie, and I have faith in Edwards to pull it off.
It has a great cast, a good director, and an iconic monster. I’m on board.
However, for most of the movie I will likely be thinking, “If they had a couple Jaegers, they could dispatch of this beast in a hurry.”
Today we’ll be looking at Oculus.
Release date: April 11, 2014
Directed by: Mike Flanagan (Absentia)
Notable actors: Karen “Amy Pond” Gillian, Katee “Starbuck” Sackhoff
It’s nearly impossible for me to see a trailer involving a mirror and not think about Mirrors or Mirrors 2 (the former being a strange Kiefer Sutherland/Paula Patton vehicle, the latter being an excuse for Christy Carlson Romano to get naked). Those movies were not scary, though they tried very hard. I found them to be fun under the right circumstances, but I can’t see myself ever recommending them as serious horror movies.
I also think about the line, “Mirrors have always been gateways to another world,” from The Unborn (as it happens, that isn’t even close to the most ridiculous line in that movie).
With that background, it’s easy to see why I wasn’t overly excited about the prospect of watching a horror movie about a mirror. Not a great track record.
Still, horror movies and mirrors have had a long history together. It’s a list that includes the standard, “open bathroom mirror, close bathroom mirror, see demon/killer behind you that wasn’t there before,” (a well-worn trope to be sure, but one that can still creep me out when used effectively), the Anti-God invading our world through a mirror Prince of Darkness, Ash reaching through the mirror to strangle himself in Evil Dead 2, Olivia cutting up her face in the Evil Dead remake, Candyman, Bloody Mary, the “redrum” reveal in The Shining, and countless others.
My point is this: I have no issue with mirrors in horror movies, but walking into a pitch meeting with, “Mirrors be scary,” scribbled on a napkin isn’t the strongest idea for a movie.
All that being said, this looks like it could be really creepy. It’s a chilling trailer, at least. I’m hoping they kept something in reserve and didn’t show all the good stuff in the trailer.
There is some great imagery here. Lots of shadows and figures lurking in the darkness. There’s also a sense of uncertainty, like you can’t trust your own eyes or sanity. It looks like a movie that can really screw with your mind and scare you at the same time. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie like that.
If it lives up to the promise of this trailer, it will likely be the frontrunner for my favorite movie of 2014. Between now and the release date, I’m going to have to try to talk myself down a bit, or there’s a good chance I’ll be disappointed as a result of my sky-high expectations (that happened recently with Escape From Tomorrow, and I still haven’t recovered).
Welcome back to another installment of the wildly popular Trailer Talk (note: this is not wildly popular). Today we’ll be looking at Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead.
This movie appears to pick up immediately after the first movie. The lone survivor (Martin) is in a hospital, having somehow escaped the clutches of Herzog, Zombie King of the Nazi Zombies. (So, basically, it starts like Halloween 2. But with Nazi zombies.)
Martin has gained some sort of superpowers with his infected arm, which is helpful, since Herzog has raised even more Nazi zombies to aide in his cause.
What follows is Martin enlisting the help of the Zombie Squad (led by Bill Haverchuck, taking a break from his Dallas watching) and raising his own undead army. The last minute of this trailer is a montage of people and zombies stabbing each other. There’s so much craziness here that I’m almost afraid they’ve shown us all the good stuff in the trailer. But I don’t believe that’s the case. If there’s one thing Tommy Wirkola won’t skimp on, it’s crazy fight scenes. The first Dead Snow had an $800,000 budget, and includes my favorite zombie fight scene ever.
I haven’t seen what the budget is on this movie, but, based on what I’ve seen in this trailer, I assume it’s significantly higher than $800K. (Wirkola’s budget for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was $50 million. While there’s no way this movie will touch that, I wouldn’t be shocked if the budget for this is at least $5 million.)
It’s clear that Wirkola is taking the expanded budget and running with it. Dead Snow was a pretty small movie, involving a small cast of characters in one location. This film appears to take place in multiple locations, with a ton of people involved. Two squads of super-zombies will be battling each other in the streets. Blood and intestines will flow. (It’s worth mentioning that Dead Snow had more intestines than pretty much any movie I’ve ever seen, and did some very funny and creative stuff with them. It appears as though Wirkola is taking that theme and running with it in this movie, as well.)
I can’t tell you how excited I am for this movie. Dead Snow is one of my favorite zombie movies, and this looks like it could be even better. I’m having a hard time tracking down a US release date for this (initial reports had it listed as February 14, but that obviously didn’t happen), but I’ll be watching it as soon as I can track it down.