Pretty simple, six trailers and my comments on them. Videos and comments! Pretty novel huh? Onto the first batch!
The Haunting in Connecticut
Does “based on a true story” in the credits really get cheeks into seats? As is usual it has the opposite effect on me. This looks very J- Horror influenced. With touches of whatever the teen show du jour of the day is. Didn’t have time for Dawson Creek in the 90s, not interested in its under aged progeny. Nice to Virginia Madsen is still alive out there.Signs that the based on a true story is a bunch of crap appear at various points in the trailer. At the 1:20 mark, the name of the funeral home is Aickman Mortuary. Robert Aickman is an obscure but respescted writer of subtle strange tales.He wasn’t big on the horror tag. But hey, who reads anymore? Insert winking emoticon here. At the 1:50 mark, the word Suspiria appears written on flesh. So the ghosts really liked Italian horror Maestro Dario Argento’s seminal film? The mix of japanese jump scares, macabre writerly florishes, and threats of psychedelic inflected set pieces sounds very calculated and not the ripped from the headlines thing that are trying to sell this as. And yeah I know this technique is as old as the hills but did it bug people in the past when they found out it wasn’t exactly true Has Amityville taught us nothing?! All this said, it looks better than I had expected. I especially liked the slightly discordant piano theme in opposition to the angry nu-metal that clogs up some many genre soundtracks. The black and white flashbacks not as much. Release Date – March 27 2009 /Rated – PG-13
Something in the desert vistas resounds deeper than the standard turns of the story shown here. To the credit of director Adam Mason, he manages to keep the plot vague. We get the sense that it is a movie centered on a triangle of characters though we aren’t sure of the relationships of the characters. Appreciated the absence of those rubbish voiceovers that get chucked atop horror film trailers. Instead we get a really varied sound bed which includes some creepy radio preaching and some choice bits of dialogue amid the dark folk and ambient pieces. Having just watched Mason’s The Devil’s Chair the other night, I noted Andrew Howard pretty easily. Though he really impressed me with the air of hayseed menace he kicks up in this trailer. It does what a trailer should – intrigue me into wanting to see the film. I must admit though the size of the cast does give me pause. A psychodrama like this really hangs on its actors so I gotta keep my fingers crossed. Is it just me or is there some Nicolas Roeg RNA drifting through this thing?
Now here’s another movie based on a true story. It doesn’t take much digging to found that out but hey atleast it is not trying to sell itself on that alone. Tom Hardy, an actor who has been in Brit crime thrillers like Layer Cake, looks really amazing in this. I want to see this performance! Matt “Super Hans” King from the BBC Com Peep Show is here as well and as captivating as usual. A Clockwork Orange for the 21st century? That’s a tall order. Who would have thought I would want to see a movie featuring Pet Shop Boys on the soundtrack? Not exactly a genre film per se but sounds pretty violent with imaginative touches. Did you spot the animated birds at a minute and six seconds? How about that creepy clown get-up at the 35 second mark? Knowing my luck I won’t see it until it hits DVD. But I’ll be waiting.
This Canadian production had an exclusive release in Toronto, two days ago. Couldn’t find too much about when and if this movie will make it out of the festival scene. While the “under siege during a viral outbreak” may sound like a well trodden trope, the focus on sound and linguistics pushes it into the thoughtful category. I like the use of sound in this trailer but, it does make me wonder. Will this be able to maintain suspense? The actors really have to bring it to pull this off. It is probably destined for cult status because pop culture has put a restraining order on horror. It must keep its distance from intelligence!
Last House On The Left (2009 remake)
Okay I’m not a big fan of the original. But I do respect it for what was trying to do…Well except for those damn stupid cops. I can not see this going to the places the original did. It feels like Wes Craven doing penance for making such a blackened and bitter film in his youth. Of course, he’s just producing here. And this is always a bad sign. The use of the folk remake of G’N’R’s Sweet Child O’ Mine makes me wonder if folk will replace nu-metal as the film maker’s choice when making horror films. The only thing I am afraid of is how much money this thing is going to make. After all by blunting the edge of the reprehensible stuff of the original, this should give the “guilty” horror fan enough a superiority trip to watch a rape and revenge flick. Rape and revenge have been staple topics for lifetime movies and crime shows/documentaries. This storyline would make a Law & Order Special Victims Unit fan sleepy! Unless Monica Potter castrates a guy with her teeth, this should be pretty safe for the faux outrage set. Favorite bits – at the 37 second mark we see why newspapers are dying – Murderous Rampage? What is this? The New York Post? And really how much of mystery is it when you have pictures of the murderers? At 1:07 and 2:16, Garet Dilahunt as Krug finds the acting bridge between Skeet Ulrich and Jason Patric. Sir, you are no David Hess! As some smarter than me noted, the microwave in the last bit makes no sense. It is not a big structural secret. It’s right up there with don’t put foil in the damn thing and don’t use it to dry Fluffy. You can’t nuke shit if the door is open! Couldn’t they figure out a work around on that one? Maybe they were afraid someone wouldn’t get the idea that torturing people in your own house is wrong. Ugh…. At least the trailer makes it absolutely unnecessary to watch this.
Mum and Dad
Okay now back to England for one more trailer. Whereas Last House ’09 feels so bland and safe you could show it on late night cable, Mum and Dad is a ragged edge drawn across your nerves. Stripped down and nasty, it places the dysfunction right in the heart of the nuclear family rather than the whole “outsider is evil” tract that is in like every other horror movie you see these days. Okay so it isn’t all that, especially since the twisted family unit has been trotted just as often. I am just interested to see how this plays out with some real acting fire power behind it. This looks really creepy and disturbing in a real up front way. I can certainly get why someone would not want to see this but at least it is not pretending to be something it’s not. And sometimes movies should be disturbing and confrontational! Also of interest is the multi-format release of this film. I am assuming that this was in the UK. I’d like to see that sort of thing take off here. The Movie Theatre experience really is just a format choice. If your local one doesn’t book the movies you want to see, you should have the download or dvd options. Hey it might even actually change the world of cinema! Wouldn’t change feel good?
Well that’s the end of The Trailer Park Six for this month. Feel free to comment.