AFI Fest 2014: IT FOLLOWS Review

by     Posted 8 days ago

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An unavoidable sense of dread powers David Robert Mitchell’s remarkable sophomore feature It Follows.  A careful deconstruction of the teen slasher genre as well as a powerful allegory to the fear of sexual disease, of aging, of dying and most of all – the absolute powerlessness to stop it, It Follows is the best kind of horror: the one less concerned with the monster hunting you but more so with the cognizant knowledge that it’s out there somewhere lurking.  It’s ostensibly a horror film about waiting – and how people pass the time until the boogeyman claims them.  It’s terrifying because there are no answers or solutions, no spells or third-act heroes, no way to defeat the monster, no exit… But most surprisingly of all – for a movie about the hopelessness of living and the pains of consciousness, it’s never morose or nihilistic.  In fact – the opposite is true.  Hit the jump, for more.

THE GUEST Alternate Trailer Shows Exactly Why the Film is Badass

by     Posted 63 days ago

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One of the things you may not know about The Guest is that it has some serious swagger.  Some of that vibe may be influenced by movies like Drive, but The Guest has much stronger characters and more humor than that film.  It’s funny, full of action, smart, and extremely stylish.  This new trailer, cut together by V/H/S/2 and Hobo With a Shotgun director Jason Eisener, perfectly demonstrates all of that.  It would be nice if a vehicle this substantive could be the thing that catapults Dan Stevens to domestic stardom, so I’m hoping audiences flock in droves to this new film from Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett.

Hit the jump to check out The Guest alternate trailer (and be sure to read Matt’s review along with my interview with Wingard and Barrett).  The film also stars Maika MonroeLeland OrserSheila KelleyBrendan Meyer, and Lance Reddick.  The Guest opens in U.S. theaters today, September 17th.  If you’re in one of the cities in which its playing, go ASAP.  If not, go next week.

THE GUEST Review

by     Posted 64 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The Guest opens today in limited release.]

From 1974 to 1988, director John Carpenter was pretty much unstoppable. His films were scary, funny, strange, and thrilling. Adam Wingard’s The Guest feels like a lost Carpenter film from the director’s golden age. The picture effortlessly moves between a nerve-wracking mystery to a gleefully dark comedy, and at its best it even mixes the two together. While Wingard carries the Carpenter-esque tone by making excellent use of Robby Baumgartner’s cinematography and Stephen Moore’s score, his greatest asset is Dan Stevens’ tremendous lead performance. And even when the picture starts to get away from Wingard, it never ceases to be an entertaining ride.

IT FOLLOWS Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 72 days ago

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It Follows is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  It’s understated yet has this incredibly bold, unique tone, it plays rather slow but is still suspenseful and, perhaps best of all, it’s got a fun, fascinating idea at the core.  There is a chance that those on the hunt for action, big scares and gore might tune out, but if you stick with it, It Follows boasts quite the payoff and it’s not because of a third act blowout, but rather due to narrative revelations that are deeply connected to everything you’ve just experienced.

Exclusive THE GUEST Poster Featuring Dan Stevens in Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s Latest

by     Posted 91 days ago

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You think you know what Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett are capable of?  Think again.  Their past work including You’re Next and their contributions to V/H/S, V/H/S 2 and The ABCs of Death are still great and all, but their latest feature, The Guest, is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.  It stars Dan Stevens as David, a soldier who shows up at the Peterson family’s door claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action.  The Guest does have a horror quality to it, but it’s more of a bloody action thriller than anything, and an expertly stylized one at that.

With The Guest making its way into theaters in less than a month, on September 17th, Collider’s got the honor of unveiling a brand new poster for the film.  Click here to read Matt’s review and hit the jump to check out that exclusive The Guest poster.  The film also stars Maika MonroeLeland OrserSheila KelleyBrendan Meyer and Lance Reddick.

New THE GUEST Trailer and Poster Show off Dan Stevens’ Charming, Unnerving Visitor

by     Posted 100 days ago

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Icon has released a new trailer and poster for The Guest.  The film stars Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as a mysterious figure who comes to say with a small, Midwestern family under the auspices of being their dead son’s war buddy.  However, his charming demeanor belies a far more dangerous, unpredictable personality.  I really dug the film when I saw it at Sundance, and like the U.S. trailer, this U.K. version does a good job of selling the mystery, the action, and the comedy without giving away too much.

Hit the jump to check out The Guest trailer and poster.  The film also stars Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Sheila Kelley, Brendan Meyer, and Lance ReddickThe Guest opens in the U.K. on September 5th and in the U.S. on September 17th.

THE GUEST Full-Length Trailer Saves the Film’s Big Surprises

by     Posted 105 days ago

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The Guest was one of my favorite films from the SXSW film festival this past March.  As a fan of You’re Next, V/H/S and A Horrible Way To Die screenwriter Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard, it was interesting to see them successfully take a step or two outside of the horror genre.  The film is incredibly stylish with an amazing score and just really, really nails the vibe its going for.

Following the teaser trailer from a few months back, today’s new full-length trailer doesn’t really communicate that vibe.  It’s serviceable and gives you a nice breakdown of the plot, but the atmosphere is largely missing.  So if this clip puts you on the fence, remember to go ahead and take the leap once the film comes out.  You won’t regret it.  Check out Matt’s review here for more on that.  The film stars Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Sheila Kelley, Brendan Meyer, and Lance Reddick and will be released on September 17th via Picturehouse.  Hit the jump for The Guest trailer.

THE GUEST: 5 New Images from the Upcoming Film by the Creators of YOU’RE NEXT

by     Posted 145 days ago

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Following yesterday’s teaser trailer, Picturehouse has now released five new The Guest images.  The film, which is from You’re Next screenwriter Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard, stars Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as a soldier who befriends the family of a fallen comrade and becomes a threat to everyone around him when it turns out he may not be who he says he is.  I really enjoyed the film when I saw it at Sundance, and I really hope it finds an audience.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The Guest opens September 17th, and also stars Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Sheila Kelley, Brendan Meyer, and Lance Reddick.

DOWNTON ABBEY’s Dan Stevens Is Creepy Company in THE GUEST Teaser Trailer

by     Posted 146 days ago

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Picturehouse has released The Guest teaser trailer online.  The film stars Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as a soldier who befriends the family of a fallen comrade and becomes a threat to everyone around him when it turns out he may not be who he says he is.  The Guest is from You’re Next director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett, and they’ve delivered another terrific movie.  I caught the flick at Sundance, and it felt like lost John Carpenter film from the 1980s.  Plus, it has an amazing performance from Stevens.  Seek this one out.

Hit the jump to check out The Guest teaser trailer.  The film opens in September, and also stars Maika MonroeLeland OrserLance ReddickChase Williamson, and Brendan Meyer.

Sundance 2014: THE GUEST Review

by     Posted 304 days ago

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From 1974 to 1988, director John Carpenter was pretty much unstoppable. His films were scary, funny, strange, and thrilling.  Adam Wingard’s The Guest feels like a lost Carpenter film from the director’s golden age.  The picture effortlessly moves between a nerve-wracking mystery to a gleefully dark comedy, and at its best it even mixes the two together.  While Wingard carries the Carpenter-esque tone by making excellent use of Robby Baumgartner’s cinematography and Stephen Moore’s score, his greatest asset is Dan Stevens’ tremendous lead performance.  And even when the picture starts to get away from Wingard, it never ceases to be an entertaining ride.

TIFF 2012: AT ANY PRICE Review

by     Posted 2 years, 67 days ago

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The American Dream is based on keeping the nuclear family intact and creating uninterrupted growth of property.  Our families can always be closer, and we can always have more wealth.  That’s the “dream” part, since families can’t stay close if some members expect to grow their independence, and acquiring more wealth usually means taking it away from somebody else.  Ramin Bahrani‘s At Any Price doesn’t show the corruption of the American Dream; it shows the American Dream’s complexity.  Set in the American heartland and revolving around farming—the industry our nation was built on, and one that still relies on family relationships—At Any Price is a thoughtful, rich exploration of how there’s not enough dream to go around.

Jason Reitman’s LABOR DAY Starts Production; Updated Synopsis Released

by     Posted 2 years, 158 days ago

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Director Jason Reitman has commenced production on his next feature, the drama Labor Day.  The film is based on the Joyce Maynard novel of the same name and centers on a 13-year-old boy who convinces his reclusive mother to take in a drifter over Labor Day weekend.  It’s later revealed that the man is an escaped convict and the three spend a weekend together that will “shape them for the rest of their lives.”  Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin star as the two leads, and Reitman felt so strongly about his cast that he pushed the production schedule back a year until both Winslet and Brolin were free.

Reitman wrote the screenplay himself and is directing Labor Day as his follow-up to last year’s Young Adult.  As a big fan of Reitman’s past work (Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air), I’m eager to see him tackle this weighty dramatic material. Clark Gregg and James Van Der Beek also star in the film.  Hit the jump to read the full press release, which includes the updated synopsis.

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