** A QUIET PLACE: Silence is survival. Watch the teaser trailer starring Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. In theatres April 2018.
** THE STRANGERS PREY AT NIGHT: A family's road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family's every limit as they struggle to survive. Johannes Roberts directs this horror film inspired by the 2008 smash hit THE STRANGERS.
----- November 16, 2017 -----
** NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD Criterion Blu-ray: Shot outside Pittsburgh on a shoestring budget by a band of filmmakers determined to make their mark, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, directed by horror master George A. Romero, is one of the great stories of independent cinema: a midnight hit turned box-office smash that became one of the most influential films of all time. A deceptively simple tale of a group of strangers trapped in a farmhouse who find themselves fending off a horde of recently dead, flesh-eating ghouls, Romero's claustrophobic vision of a late-1960s America literally tearing itself apart rewrote the rules of the horror genre, combined gruesome gore with acute social commentary, and quietly broke ground by casting a black actor (Duane Jones) in its lead role. Stark, haunting, and more relevant than ever, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is back, in a new 4K restoration.
- New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director George A. Romero, coscreenwriter John A. Russo, sound engineer Gary R. Streiner, and producer Russell W. Streiner
- New restoration of the monaural soundtrack, supervised by Romero and Gary R. Streiner, and presented uncompressed on the Blu-ray
- Night of Anubis, a never-before-presented work-print edit of the film
- New program featuring filmmakers Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro, and Robert Rodriguez
- Never-before-seen 16 mm dailies reel
- New piece featuring Russo about the commercial and industrial-film production company where key Night of the Living Dead filmmakers got their start
- Two audio commentaries from 1994, featuring Romero, Russo, producer Karl Hardman, actor
Judith O'Dea, and more
- Archival interviews with Romero and actors Duane Jones and Judith Ridley
- New programs about the editing, the score, and directing ghouls
- New interviews with Gary R. Streiner and Russel W. Streiner
- Trailer, radio spots, and TV spots
- PLUS: An essay by critic Stuart Klawans
** THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS Criterion Blu-ray: In this chilling adaptation of the best-selling novel by Thomas Harris, the astonishingly versatile director Jonathan Demme crafted a taut psychological thriller about an American obsession: serial murder. As Clarice Starling, an FBItrainee who enlists the help of the infamous Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter to gain insight into the mind of another killer, Jodie Foster subverts classic gender dynamics and gives one of the most memorable performances of her career. As her foil, Anthony Hopkins is the archetypical antihero—cultured, quick-witted, and savagely murderous—delivering a harrowing portrait of humanity gone terribly wrong. A gripping police procedural and a disquieting immersion into a twisted psyche, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS swept the Academy Awards (best picture, best director, best screenplay, best actress, best actor) and remains a cultural touchstone.
- New 4K digital restoration, approved by director of photography Tak Fujimoto, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary from 1994 featuring director Jonathan Demme, actors Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas
- New interview with critic Maitland McDonagh
- Thirty-five minutes of deleted scenes
- Interview from 2005 with Demme and Foster
- Inside the Labyrinth, a 2001 documentary
- Page to Screen, a 2002 program about the adaptation
- Scoring "The Silence," a 2004 interview program featuring composer Howard Shore
- Understanding the Madness, a 2008 program featuring interviews with retired FBI special agents
- Original behind-the-scenes featurette
- PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin along with, in the Blu-ray edition, a new introduction by Foster; an account of the origins of the character Hannibal Lecter by author Thomas Harris; and a 1991 interview with Demme
** Dario Argento's THE SANDMAN: The crowdfunding campaign was a huge success, exceeding with 119% to goal. With $195,633 raised by 1082 backers, THE SANDMAN was coming. Hopes were that it'd be released in time for Christmas the following year. It has now been three years since the initial announcement. Sadly, THE SANDMAN has yet to go into production.
In August of last year, IndieWire interviewed Argento. In regards to THE SANDMAN, he had this to say: "Iggy Pop keeps asking, 'How long do we have to wait on this film?' Honestly, it's not my fault. This film is a co-production by many different producers in different countries. They apparently can't agree on a number of things, including where to shoot, locations, things like that. It goes on and on. I know it's been dragging on. Time goes by and they haven't reached an agreement. I must say that I myself have been thinking about some other projects in the meantime. I still need to work on them, think about them." (thanks to Bloody-Disgusting.com)
** Stephen King's IT: The film will be available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $44.95, Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and DVD for $28.98 on January 9, 2018. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the theatrical version in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc also featuring the theatrical version. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition and standard definition; the Blu-ray Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray; and the DVD features the theatrical version in standard definition. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack also include a digital version of the movie in HD. Fans can also own IT via purchase from digital retailers beginning December 19, 2017.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of IT will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range, and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen — frame by frame. Also, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray discs of IT will feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.
Additionally, all the special features, including interviews with filmmakers, featurettes and deleted scenes, can be experienced in an entirely new, dynamic and immersive manner on tablets and mobile phones using the Warner Bros. Movies All Access App, available for both iOS and Android devices. When a Combo Pack is purchased and the digital movie is redeemed, or the digital movie is purchased from an UltraViolet retailer, the Warner Bros. Movies All Access App allows users to watch the movie and simultaneously experience synchronized content related to any scene simply by rotating their device. Synchronized content is presented on the same screen while the movie is playing, thus enabling users to quickly learn more about any scene, such as actor biographies, scene locations, fun trivia or image galleries. Also, users can share movie clips with friends on social media and experience other immersive content. The Movies All Access app is available for download on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
----- November 15, 2017 -----
** HALLOWEEN: The sequel reboot is coming back to the big screen next October. The film is co-written by Danny McBride, and over the weekend he gave some more insight into how they are reviving Michael Myers yet again. In speaking with Yahoo Movies, he talked about getting Jamie Lee Curtis involved, and a little about their approach in where this film relates to the rest of the franchise.
"We're kind of ignoring all the films past the first one," he says. "It picks up after the first one, but it's sort of an alternate reality. It's as if the first HALLOWEEN ended in a slightly different way."
Speaking of Laurie, McBride was also asked about bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis again: "We pitched to Carpenter, and he was into it, which kind of blew David and me away, but I still think nobody was really talking about Jamie. … I think everyone was kind of on the mindset of it'd be a grab to get her, but no one really knew if we would be able to. So Dave and I just busted our ass on this script to really make that Laurie Strode character something she wouldn't be able to say no to. When we finished the script, we sent it to her, and she said she was in. So we just flipped out. We were over the moon about her involvement."
"I just hope that we don't f*** it up and piss people off. This is such a diehard fan base. You don't want horror fans being your enemies because they show up at your house with masks on," McBride says. "We are diehard fans of HALLOWEEN. We're watching all the sequels and where things have taken left turns here and there that maybe bites for fans, and at least trying to deliver what we would have wanted to see. Hopefully that will line up with most fans."
** Quentin Tarantino's MANSON: As filmmaker Quentin Tarantino readies his next project, he has revealed that the film isn't going to center around the Manson family murders as previously reported. In the wake of the collapse of the Weinstein Company due to multiple allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at Harvey Weinstein, it was revealed Tarantino has recently been seeking funding for the film with the likes of Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio up for roles.
However story and plot specifics remained top secret with agency reps having to visit Tarantino's office to see the script which was completed almost half a year ago. Speaking with Indiewire this week, Tarantino says the main focus isn't on cult leader Charles Manson but rather a specific year: "It's not Charles Manson, it's 1969."
That's all the filmmaker would reveal about the film which, if it does include Manson, would likely only incorporate him for a few scenes at most as he was a key figure in that year along with Nixon taking office, the moon landing and the Vietnam War. Filming is likely targeting an early 2018 release. (thanks to DarkHorizons.com)
** ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?: Paramount Players (a new division at Paramount Pictures) is moving forward with a film based on the Nickelodeon series ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?, according to Variety. The script will be written by IT screenwriter Gary Dauberman. Matt Kaplan will produce the film.
The series involved standalone stories in each episode framed by a campfire involving a group of teens who called themselves the Midnight Society. The tales ranged from modern fairy tales to vampire and alien-themed tales.
The show was initially a Canadian series that got picked up by Nickelodeon and aired as part of its Saturday night block. Dauberman says the plan is to "honor the darker, scarier tone of the show" which was groundbreaking for Nickelodeon at the time.
----- November 14, 2017 -----
** BLOOD BAGS: A modern take on classic Italian horror cinema. The movie is written and directed by Emiliano Ranzan. Night. Two thieves, Tony and Alex, break into an old, seemingly abandoned mansion: while looking for something valuable to steal, they split. As he explores the ground floor, Tony, the older of the two, is assaulted and murdered by a mysterious presence.
** ZOMBILLENIUM: Zombillenium is an amusement park like no other: only genuine werewolves, vampires, zombies are employed there… for eternity. One day, Hector, a young compliance officer, comes to control the park's safety and threatens to shut it down. Francis, the vampire who manages the park, has no choice but to bite him to protect his business.
----- November 13, 2017 -----
** DARK: The disappearance of two kids in the German small-town of Winden opens abysses that turn the concept of time on its head. The question is not who has kidnapped the children...but when.
** TRUTH OR DARE: Universal Pictures has announced the release date for another horror film from Blumhouse with the release of TRUTH OR DARE now set for April 27, 2018. Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey lead the cast of the supernatural thriller from Blumhouse Productions where a harmless game of "Truth or Dare" among friends turns deadly when someone—or something—begins to punish those who tell a lie—or refuse the dare. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
** ANOTHER WOLFCOP: Alcoholic werewolf cop Lou Garou springs into action when an eccentric businessman with evil intentions seduces Woodhaven's residents with a new brewery and hockey team in this outrageous horror-comedy sequel.
----- November 8, 2017 -----
** SUSPIRIA remake: Shot earlier this year, the new take of Dario Argento's iconic original 1970s Italian film has people curious and concerned. Luca Guadagnino is not an obvious choice for the material, but his superb ability to stylishly paint sensory portraits with his scenes makes him a fascinating one. In a new interview with Criterion, the helmer says he's still got a few more months of post-production work to complete before the film is done:
"I have three months until I finish it. It's a very special film, and I'm proud of it. I wonder all the time how people will react to it, being that it is based on a masterpiece. I often find myself in the position of saying 'Oh, it's ridiculous!' when I hear stories that they want to remake a movie like 8 1/2, so I don't know if I'm going to be served the same dish.
I can say that my SUSPIRIA is a very personal film; it's like oxygen to me. When I saw the original movie thirty-two years ago, the emotion I felt was so strong, so mind-blowing, and so important to my upbringing. I wanted to investigate the experience I had watching that film." (thanks to DarkHorizons.com)
** Universal Dark Universe: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan have departed their posts as masterminds behind the planned shared universe of classic monsters. Not only that, but the expensive offices set up on the studio lot for the franchise are now practically empty, and no new monster film has a release date, with only BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN going through a script overhaul. This move is not surprising, as director Kurtzman's kickoff film for Dark Universe, THE MUMMY, tanked at the domestic box office with a paltry $80 million and some of the worst reviews of star Tom Cruise's 36-year career.
----- November 3rd, 2017 -----
** THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT TV series: In an interview with the Diminishing Returns movie podcast, co-director Eduardo Sanchez revealed that THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT would be finding a new home on cable/streaming. Here's what Sanchez had to say: "For us, it's a very natural thing to go and say, 'Hey, let's do a frickin' Blair Witch show. You can say it's from the original creators and we can bring in a whole bunch of interesting directors to direct episodes."
Of course, the logical follow-up questions would be about the format. Will the series serve as a prequel or sequel to the films? Will it be an anthology series per episode or per season? Will it be filmed in standard format, or in the "found footage" format that the original film made popular again?
While definitely in favor of a move to television, Sanchez was purposefully cautious with his answers; making sure to keep them vague this early in the development process: "Well, you know, I can't really discuss. I think that the idea of a Blair Witch anthology has always been very – just a really interesting thing. You're close. You're in the ballpark. You know, and I think it might be one of those things that might be – you know – the more you think about it, you're like, 'That might be the perfect… a TV show.' You know? So, we'll see what happens, but I think that's the next big thing for Blair Witch. Probably TV." (thanks to BleedingCool.com)
** POLAROID: The film was recently moved from August 25, 2017 to Thanksgiving weekend, with a November 22 opening day. Now, the horror flick is being taken off this year's list of films and moved to an unspecified date in 2018.
** THE HERETICS: The upcoming film tells the pagan tale of Gloria (Nina Kiri), a young girl who is abducted by a troubled man (Ry Barrett) who claims that a cult is hunting her down. His goal is to protect her until sunrise but, while restrained, Gloria falls deathly ill. While her friends and family desperately search for her, the source of her illness becomes more apparent. She's not sick…she's changing.
A71 and Black Fawn Distribution have recently jointly acquired the Canadian rights from Breakthrough Entertainment to distribute THE HERETICS to horror fans across Canada. The film is expected to hit DVD and Blu-ray in early 2018. Directed by Chad Archibald, produced by Black Fawn Films.
----- November 2nd, 2017 -----
** LEATHERFACE: In Texas, years before the events of the TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, in the early days of the infamous Sawyer family, the youngest child is sentenced to a mental hospital after a suspicious incident leaves the sheriff's daughter dead. Ten years later, he kidnaps a young nurse and escapes with three other inmates. Pursued by authorities, including the deranged sheriff out to avenge his daughter's death, the Sawyer teen goes on a violent road trip from hell, molding him into the monster now known as Leatherface.
The origins of the infamous TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE are finally revealed when LEATHERFACE arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital), DVD and Digital December 19 from Lionsgate. The film is currently available On Demand. Starring Stephen Dorff as a vengeful Texas sheriff and Lili Taylor as the Sawyer family matriarch, the legendary monster gets his mask after three asylum inmates escape and leave a blood-soaked trail. From French filmmakers Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (INSIDE), the LEATHERFACE Blu-ray and DVD are loaded with never-before-seen special features, including deleted scenes, an alternate beginning and alternate ending, and will be available for the suggested retail price of $21.99 and $19.98, respectively.
- "Behind the Bloody Mask: Making Leatherface" Featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- Alternate Opening
- "The Pit"
- "Trailer Confession"
- Alternate Ending
** PET SEMETARY remake: Variety is reporting that Paramount Pictures has dug up two PET SEMETARY directors, Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, for the remake of the 1989 original. The pair are best known for their critically-acclaimed 2014 indie horror film STARRY EYES, as well as the anthology HOLIDAYS and MTV's SCREAM series. Jeff Buhler and David Kajganich have written the screenplay, and Alexandra Loewy is executive producing.
1408 scribe Matthew Greenberg was brought on to pen this new adaptation about a family who move to a small Maine town along a highway often used by high-speed trucks. Nearby lies a pet cemetery and further beyond that an ancient indian burial ground which can resurrect the dead, but those who come back aren't quite right. When the toddler son is killed in an auto accident, the grieving father uses that power – but at the cost of several lives and his own sanity.
** ASH VS EVIL DEAD Season 3: Hope you studied your Necronomicon. Ash is back in session February 25 on STARZ.
** THE ART OF HORROR MOVIES: Multi-award winning horror and dark fantasy writer and editor Stephen Jones looks at the rich history of horror films, from their silent birth in the late nineteenth century to their full-blown explosion in the mid-century up to their present-day horrific, high-tech incarnations.
Through a series of informative chapters and fascinating sidebars profusely illustrated with over 600 rare images, including film posters, lobby cards, advertisements, promotional items, covers of tie-in books and magazines, and original artwork inspired by classic movies, this handsomely designed hardcover traces the development of the horror film from its inception, and celebrates the actors, filmmakers, and artists who were responsible for scaring the pants off successive generations of moviegoers!
----- November 1st, 2017 -----
** HALLOWEEN: From Jamie Lee Curtis Twitter page: Some wounds never heal. Michael & I will see you all next Halloween 10/19/18.
** TRICK 'R TREAT and KRAMPUS update: A full decade on since its release, filmmaker Michael Dougherty's cult horror anthology film TRICK 'R TREAT could finally be getting a sequel after garnering such a strong following since its release.
The original followed four interconnecting stories on a single Halloween night as key characters faced the consequences of disrespecting tradition. Filmmaker Mick Garris spoke with Dougherty earlier this month on his podcast Post Mortem and the pair discussed the possibilities of a sequel. Dougherty, who recently wrapped filming of the sequel to 2014's GODZILLA reboot, says:
"My hope is that once [GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS] has been put to rest that I can dive back into [TRICK 'R TREAT 2]. It's currently the first week of October, so obviously my mind is drifting back to it. I would love to finish writing it in post-production [of GODZILLA], and then I'd love to make it my next project. But we'll see."
Dougherty followed up his original film with another holiday-themed horror tale KRAMPUS and in the same interview suggests the pair could be part of an interconnected universe:
"The films have certain common elements which I don't know if anyone has found them all. In my mind, two ancient deities who protect these quasi-mystical qualities will probably exist within the same universe and maybe get a drink and swap stories between holidays, and in [KRAMPUS], there are certain threads that connect them if you pay attention." (thanks to DarkHorizons.com)
** William Friedkin talks THE EXORCIST and IT: In a new and lengthy interview with Indiewire, filmmaker William Friedkin has confirmed that he's never seen any of the other films or shows in THE EXORCIST franchise. Friedkin directed the first one, considered one of the greatest films of all time, while the follow-ups by other directors have yielded mostly divisive reaction. John Frankenheimer's second film was widely panned, but certainly was quite different and has garnered a few key fans over the years including Martin Scorsese.
William Peter Blatty's third one has grown a cult audience as well and is now often praised despite the various compromises it suffered – a director's cut of it hit disc last year. Both versions of the prequel-set fourth film were not well regarded, while the TV series has proven fairly well-received if poorly rated. Of all of them, Friedkin has only seen a bit of the second film:
"I never saw any of the EXORCIST films, not even Bill's [William Blatty, author of THE EXORCIST novel]. I saw a few minutes of THE EXORCIST II, but that was only because I was in the Technicolor lab timing a film that I had directed – I forget which one – and one of the color timers at Technicolor said, hey, we just made a print of THE EXORCIST II, would you like to have a look at it? I said OK. I went in, and after five minutes, it just blasted me. I couldn't take it. I thought it was just ridiculous and stupid. But that was only five minutes, so I can't make an ultimate judgement about it. It just seemed to me to have nothing to do with THE EXORCIST.
I know Bill [Blatty] did one, which was not meant to be called THE EXORCIST III. It was from another novel he'd written called 'Legion.' I had no interest. I loved Bill Blatty. I dedicated my documentary to him and we remained close friends to his death. But I know that he had to make a lot of compromises – he had to put an exorcism scene in there, which he never intended, so that the producers could call it THE EXORCIST III.
Of course horror these days is focused on other things, with this year's adaptation of Stephen King's IT becoming the most successful horror movie of all time at the box-office – not accounting for inflation. Friedkin reveals he has seen the film and really enjoyed it, but points out the film can't come close to the number of tickets sold by his original film:
"I thought it was a little bit over the top, but IT was really good. The clown was pretty scary stuff. I really like it. But here's the thing. It will never have as many admissions as THE EXORCIST in terms of people who came to see it. The price of a ticket when 'The Exorcist' came out was probably on average less than two dollars; I think today it's closer to nine.
Neither THE EXORCIST nor any of the other films that made a lot of money will ever have as many viewers as GONE WITH THE WIND. I think it cost 15 cents or a quarter to see. So you can't talk about how many people saw this more than something else because of the difference in the value of money. But it's kind of unusual for Warner Bros. to get behind a story like that because THE EXORCIST has been such an important film to them. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Still, I liked IT. I thought it was terrific." (thanks to DarkHorizons.com)
** AMITYVILLE THE AWAKENING bombs: The Weinstein Company released its first film since the Harvey Weinstein scandal this weekend – and it did not go well. The frequently delayed AMITYVILLE THE AWAKENING, announced in 2011, shot in early 2015 and finally released on Saturday, was pushed out by Weinstein's Dimension Films label on to just ten screens. The Blumhouse Productions title stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cameron Monaghan and Bella Thorne and was already released for free on Google Play from October 12th, so the new film wasn't expected to do much business domestically.
The film came in 59th at the weekend box-office, raking in a total of $742 which means its per screen average sits at just $74 – one of the lowest PSAs for a new film ever recorded. To put that in comparison most films in the top ten had a per screen average (PSA) of $1,200-1,800, JIGSAW opened to a $5,525 PSA. (thanks to DarkHorizons.com)