Genre is a lifeline. We cling to it in order to guide our expectations of a film, and while genres can be blended, we expect them to remain consistent. But just because a clearly stated genre is conventional, that doesn’t mean it’s unshakable. Jim Mickle’s Cold in July pulls its audience into one tone, and then explodes it over halfway through the picture only to blow it up yet again. It can be categorized as a “crime” film, but that doesn’t really do it justice as Mickle constantly shakes up the tone to where the picture can be jarring and schizophrenic. But this approach also makes Cold in July thrillingly unpredictable.
We Are What We Are, a remake of the Mexican horror film of the same name, premiered at Sundance in January to very good reviews. The first trailer is here, and it is effectively creepy. I kept waiting for the jump scare, but instead the clip burns slowly and deeply. The story is set amid a torrential rainstorm that shines a light on the seemingly wholesome Parkers: “As the unrelenting downpour continues to flood their small town, the local authorities begin to uncover clues that bring them closer to the secret that the Parkers have held closely for so many years.”
Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner, Michael Parks, Kelly McGillis, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell, and Jack Gore star. Directed by Jim Mickle (Stake Land), We Are What We Are opens in limited release on September 27. Watch the trailer after the jump.
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is in the midst of unveiling its lineups, and today we’ve got the first images from some films that will be playing as part of the Park City at Midnight program. Briefly:
- The Rambler – Written and directed by Calvin Lee Reeder and starring Dermot Mulroney, Lindsay Pulsipher, Natasha Lyonne, James Cady and Scott Sharot.
- S-VHS – A horror anthology follow-up with segments directed by Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans and Jason Eisener; written by Simon Barrett, Jamie Nash, Timo Tjahjanto & Gareth Huw Evans and John Davies; and starring Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine and L.C Holt, Kelsy Abbott and Hannah Hughes.
- Virtually Heroes – Directed by GJ Echternkamp and written by Matt Yamashita, starring Robert Baker, Brent Chase, Katie Savoy, Mark Hamill and Ben Messmer.
- We Are What We Are – Written by Nick Damici and writer/director Jim Mickle, starring Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner, Michael Parks, Wyatt Russell and Kelly McGillis.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 17 – 27.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share with you today. First up, Royal Pains star Mark Feuerstein is set to join the romantic sci-fi indie In Your Eyes. Written by Joss Whedon, the film centers on two people (Michael Stahl-David and Zoe Kazan) who live on opposite sides of the country but are able to see and hear each other despite having never met. Variety reports that Feuerstein will play Kazan’s “cold, controlling husband.” It’s certainly an intriguing story and I’m a sucker for low-budget/indie sci-fi. Production is set to begin soon in Los Angeles and Boston.
Hit the jump for casting news regarding the horror film Dark Was the Night.
One of my favorite films at Fantastic Fest this year was the vampire road film Stake Land (you can read my review here). While it may have been a small budget film, the scope of the movie is quite big and everything feels of the utmost quality. Gritty, tough, and yet full of heart, this was a fun ride from beginning to end that had a slew of different vampire classes. Although I had yet to see the film when I got the opportunity to interview writer/director Jim Mickle, co-writer Nick Damici, and star Connor Paolo, I had a feeling this was something I would not want to pass up. The news that Stake Land won the Midnight Madness award out of Toronto International Film Festival just a few weeks prior had given me confidence in my decision. Luckily, it worked out quite well because I loved the film and the cast and crew were great. So, hit the jump for my exclusive video interview and time stamp highlights.
Sometimes you take a premise and wring it for all it’s worth and you add some soul, humor, great casting, and gritty action to give it the right flavor. That’s exactly what the post-apocalyptic vampire road movie Stake Land does, as director Jim Mickle takes Nick Damici’s script and fine-tunes the narrative enough to elevate it above a simple romp through vampire infested back roads and really connect with the audience. The biggest draw will be the different classes of vampires Stake Land introduces, but even the retreaded portions of the film are executed so well that the end result is better than the sum of its parts. Hit the jump for my full review and why this was my favorite film of the entire festival.