The Horror News:
The Cabin in the Unreleased Woods — We’ve all been dying to see The Cabin in the Woods, the Joss Whedon-scripted, Drew Goddard-directed horror movie that has long been pitched as the end to all cabin-in-the-woods horror movies. Well, it’s long been assumed to be the cabin-in-the-woods horror movie to end all cabin-in-the-woods horror movies because no one has actually seen the damned thing and no one knows what it’s really about. It’s been sitting on a shelf collecting dust for over two years, and while that’s normally a flashing red neon sign that reads “We Made A Bad Movie!”, I’m willing to give Goddard’s film the benefit of the doubt because it had the unfortunate fate of being made at MGM, a studio that of late has barely been able to light a film set, yet alone release one.
Lionsgate has freed the film from bankruptcy purgatory, however, and they’ve now set an April 13, 2012 release date. Unfortunately, a release date that far away most likely means that it won’t be making an appearance at Fantastic Fest this year (which is something I’ve been hoping for for the last two festivals), but at least it’s got a date.
Proyas’ Paradise Lost Goes MoCap — Damn it. Damn it, damn it, damn it. I love Alex Proyas (yes, I even love Knowing), but I hate motion capture animation, so it pains me to see that his adaptation of Milton’s 400+ year old Paradise Lost is going that route. I still hold out hope for the film, because A) Proyas has a slicker eye than most commercial directors do, B) I’ve started to actually like Bradley Cooper thanks to Limitless, and C) it’s freakin’ Paradise Lost! Angels versus Lucifer (played by Cooper); Heaven versus Hell, I’m not even religious and yet I’m all for it.
The Horror (Mini)Reviews:
This is going to sound like very high praise, but keep in mind how paltry 2011 has been for the genre so far: We Are the Night is one of the most enjoyable horror movies I’ve seen all year. If you haven’t heard of it or checked it out on IFC yet, it’s a very simple pitch: We Are the Night is Near Dark, but with women. Frankly, I’m surprised Eric Red hasn’t filed a lawsuit to prevent the movie from being released in the States. I’m also surprised that Hans Zimmer hasn’t slapped the production with a similar lawsuit, since Heiko Maile’s score is lifting wholesale from his Dark Knight score.
Yet even with a derivative story about a gang of very old vampires who take a young girl under the immortal wing and a terribly familiar score, We Are the Night will win you over thanks to director Dennis Gansel (its capable and cute cast certainly doesn’t hurt). Familiar vampire tropes are all given a stylish makeover that always looks bigger and more expensive than you’d expect from a German horror movie. He’s put together a polished yet unpretentious horror movie that looks so slick and sexy it’ll no doubt put him on the top of several Hollywood shortlists in the upcoming years (and if it doesn’t, I hope he keeps making fun, freaky and cool genre movies in his homeland). Definitely check it out for an unoriginal and yet totally refreshing vampire movie.
That’s really the only horror movie I’ve watched in the past week (that I’m allowed to talk about, at least). But I did catch last week’s Syfy Original Movie, Super Eruption, and it left quite the impression. Stop me when this sounds familiar:
The film opens on a volcano mid-eruption. Our hero figure is racing between ash clouds and dodging lava balls in a desperate attempt to get to his loved one. But it’s too late, the volcano gives no quarter. Cut to two days earlier and a small town nestled away in an anonymous American mountainside. Our volcanologist is warning that the local mountain isn’t quite so dormant, but no one will listen until some young kids get boiled alive in a fresh spring that’s been superheated by the newly rising lava flow underneath.
Yep, Super Eruption is a flagrant Dante’s Peak rip-off. And it’s a terrible one at that, but – and this is a huge, all-caps BUT – it does come up with something exceptionally wacky to suck you in. Right before the local mountain town is about to be laid to waste by Mamma Nature’s smoldering wrath, the volcanologist gets a Skype call. From herself. In the future. That’s right, as if you ever doubted the promise made by the title of the movie, this eruption is so super, it rips the space-time continuum a new one. Well played, Syfy, well played. (Too bad the movie is still awful despite that bit of awesomeness.)
The Horror Horizon:
Oof, the horizon is a barren wasteland right now. Theaters are filled with superheroes, boy wizards and robots right now, which unfortunately relegates us horror hounds to the DVD shelves for the time being (August brings some big screen respite). Next week sees the release of We Are What We Are, a very interesting Mexican film about a cannibalistic family. Ignore its terrible US DVD art, this clan is not of the Leatherface variety, which will probably make this a considerably slower burn than most horror fans will want, but if you’re in the moody for a moody, grim story that takes its time to get going, do give it a spin. It’s also got a helluva score.
We Are What We Are is definitely the most intriguing release of the week (sorry, Dylan Dog, Dead of Night), but I also have my eye on Supernatural: The Anime Series, a 22 episode production from Madhouse (makers of Ninja Scroll) that’s supposed to cover the first two seasons of the live-action series. Hopefully it’s got half the spark as the TV show, but, honestly, it sounds kind of redundant (and yet a must watch since I am a Supernatural addict).
Oh, and you can bet your ass I’m going to be watching Born to Ride in the very neat future. It only takes one glance at the glorious cover to figure out why. No, it has nothing to do with the airbrushed abs and cleavage. It’s all about those names. Oh yes, you read those correctly. Casper Van Dien and Patrick Muldoon– Johnny Rico and Zander Barcalow reunited for the first time since Starship Troopers! Sweet Lord it’s going to be awful, but I must watch it.