Picturehouse Acquires YOU’RE NEXT Filmmakers’ New Film THE GUEST Starring Dan Stevens; Slated for Fall Release

by     Posted 40 days ago

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The new film from You’re Next director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett will be coming to a theater near you this fall.  After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews, Picturehouse has picked up U.S. rights to The Guest for a fall release, marking the studio’s second feature film release after making their debut with last year’s Metallica Through the NeverThe Guest 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 caught the pic at Sundance and it’s a great 80’s throwback that’s kind of like a cross between Halloween and The Terminator.  Stevens is excellent in a dark role that is the polar opposite of his Downton Abbey character, and Wingard and Barrett have a ton of fun with the gleefully dark premise.

Hit the jump to read the full press release, click here to read Matt’s review, and be sure to watch Steve’s interviews with Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett from Sundance. 

Simon Barrett Talks THE GUEST, the Pressure of Following Up YOU’RE NEXT, the Non-Stop Action Movie They Almost Made First, and More at Sundance 2014

by     Posted 83 days ago

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One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was The Guest.  Directed and written by the team behind You’re Next (Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, respectively), The Guest is fantastic and as Matt said in his review, it “feels like a lost John 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.”   The story revolves around a soldier that befriends the family of a fallen comrade and becomes a threat to everyone around him when he may not be who he says he is.  Trust me, it’s a film you should be excited to see and I’m sure it’ll be released sometime this year.  The Guest stars Dan Stevens (in an amazingly dark turn), Maika MonroeLeland OrserLance ReddickChase Williamson, and Brendan Meyer.

Shortly after the premiere, I landed an exclusive video interview with screenwriter Simon Barrett.   He talked about the pressure and challenge of following up You’re Next, how much the project changed from inception to the final cut, the other movie they almost made instead of The Guest (a Korea-set action movie that would have been a non-stop chase scene for the entirety of the film), Stevens’ physical transformation, why they didn’t make cameos, and more.  He also revealed that he and Wingard already have their next two projects lined up, with the first set to shoot this year. Hit the jump to watch.

YOU’RE NEXT Review

by     Posted 237 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the Toronto International Film Festival.  You're Next opens tomorrow.]

Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next is the home invasion horror sub-genre played to near-perfection. Through a terrific blend of setting, characters, pacing, and creative kills, Wingard delivers a horror film that even non-horror fans can enjoy. The film falters slightly when it offers more information than necessary, but you’ll suspend your disbelief for the fun, thrills, and excitement you’ll get in return.

V/H/S/2 Review

by     Posted 278 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. V/H/S/2 opens today in limited release.]

The horror anthology sequel V/H/S/2 is a mixed bag, both in terms of the horror shorts it presents and the identity the franchise is trying to acquire. Arriving a year after its predecessor, it’s clear that V/H/S/2 is meant to be the first of what should be an ongoing series where fan-favorite indie directors step behind the camera to deliver a horror short. The sequel attempts to reduce the flabbier aspects of the original, but it also feels more standardized and therefore less exciting. Additionally, two of the four shorts come across as underdeveloped or rushed. But the ones that work are worth the price of admission, and make the strongest case for the existence of a V/H/S franchise.

Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett Talk V/H/S/2, Returning to the Found Footage Format, Why They Enjoy Anthologies, Their Partnership, and More

by     Posted 312 days ago

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If you’re not already familiar with Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, you probably will be soon.  The creative duo has been vitalizing the indie horror scene with their contributions to anthologies like V/H/S and The ABCs of Death, and with their anticipated festival hit You’re Next finally coming to theaters in August and new projects already lined up (Dead Spy RunningThe Guest), Wingard and Barrett are poised to make quite an impression in the coming year.

For V/H/S/2, the team returns to the franchise with “Tape 49” and “Clinical Trials Phase 1”.  While V/H/S met with mixed reviews, the second installment has been praised as a leaner, meaner, more ambitious follow-up with higher stakes and bigger payoffs.  Earlier this week I jumped on the phone for an interview with Wingard and Barrett.  We discussed the lessons they learned on the first film, feeling more comfortable with the found footage format the second time around, what they like about working on anthology films, they’re success as creative partners, and more.  V/H/S/2 also features segments by Jason EisenerGareth Evans and Timo TjahtjantoEduardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale.  Check out the full interview after the jump.

First Trailer for Adam Wingard’s Horror Film YOU’RE NEXT

by     Posted 1 year, 19 days ago

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The first trailer for director Adam Wingard‘s horror film You’re Next is now online.  The story centers on a family reunion that turns deadly when the family becomes targeted by masked murderers.  Their only hope is Erin (Sharni Vinson), a girlfriend of one of the family members. I really dug the flick when I saw it at TIFF 2011, and I’m excited that it’s finally coming out.  The trailer feels a tad on the generic side, but it doesn’t give away too much, and I like the use of Lou Reed‘s “Perfect Day”.

Written by Simon Barrett, You’re Next also stars Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Barbara Crampton, Wendy Glenn, Margaret Laney, Rob Moran, and Nicholas Tucci, and Ti West.  The film opens August 23rd.  Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

Exclusive Teaser Poster from YOU’RE NEXT Releases the Animals

by     Posted 1 year, 25 days ago

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Lionsgate has begun to promote their upcoming horror flick, and they’re wisely seizing on one of the film’s most iconic aspect: the masks of the three killers.  Each killer wears a different mask, and so Lionsgate is releasing three teaser posters.  Today, we’re happy to premiere the teaser poster for the lamb mask.  The poster also asks “Did you remember to lock your door?”, and I did not, so that was a very helpful reminder.  People who have seen the movie will also note to cover their windows, stay low, and learn as many survival tactics as possible.

Hit the jump to check out the cool teaser poster, and click on the respective links for my positive review from TIFF 2011, my interview with star Sharni Vinson, and my interview with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the first trailer on Thursday, March 28th.  The film also stars AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Barbara Crampton, Wendy Glenn, Margaret Laney, Rob Moran, Joe Swanberg, Nicholas Tucci, and Ti WestYou’re Next opens August 23rd.

Director Adam Wingard and Writer Simon Barrett Talk YOU’RE NEXT, Writing a Strong Female Character, Designing the Iconic Masks, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 27 days ago

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Back in 2011, I caught You’re Next at the Toronto International Film Festival.  I really dug the film, and I’m glad that it will finally hit theaters later this year.  The plot centers on a family reunion that turns deadly when the family becomes targeted by masked murderers.  Their only hope is Erin (Sharni Vinson), a girlfriend of one of the family members.  The film also stars AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Barbara Crampton, Wendy Glenn, Margaret Laney, Rob Moran, Joe Swanberg, Nicholas Tucci, and Ti West.

The film recently played to an enthusiastic crowd at SXSW 2013, and I got the chance to sit down and discuss the movie with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett.  We talked about writing a strong female character from the inside-out, designing the creepy and iconic masks worn by the killers, shooting carefully inside of a historic mansion, and more.  Hit the jump to check out the interview.  You’re Next opens August 23rd.

SXSW 2013: V/H/S/2 Review

by     Posted 1 year, 32 days ago

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The horror anthology sequel V/H/S/2 is a mixed bag, both in terms of the horror shorts it presents and the identity the franchise is trying to acquire.  Arriving a year after its predecessor, it’s clear that V/H/S/2 is meant to be the first of what should be an ongoing series where fan-favorite indie directors step behind the camera to deliver a horror short.  The sequel attempts to reduce the flabbier aspects of the original, but it also feels more standardized and therefore less exciting.  Additionally, two of the four shorts come across as underdeveloped or rushed.  But the ones that work are worth the price of admission, and make the strongest case for the existence of a V/H/S franchise.

Team Behind Buzzworthy Horror Film YOU’RE NEXT to Reunite for Action Thriller THE GUEST

by     Posted 1 year, 69 days ago

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Though many are certainly looking forward to the big-budget studio fare on the docket this year like Star Trek Into Darkness and Man of Steel, a significantly smaller film also has a great deal of anticipation.  The horror film You’re Next first premiered at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival where it picked up considerable acclaim, earning high praise from our own Matt Goldberg (read his review here).  Lionsgate has finally set the film for release this August, and now the team behind the horror pic is reuniting for the action thriller The Guest.

Variety reports that director Adam Wingard, screenwriter Simon Barrett, and producers Keith Calder and Jessica Wu are collaborating once again for the thriller.  The pic “tells the story of a soldier taken in to the home of the family of a fallen comrade, who becomes a threat to those around him when they discover dangerous secrets in his past.”  Production will begin this May.  Wingard and Barrett are also working on an adaptation of Dead Spy Running for Warner Bros, but it appears that The Guest is their next project.

First Teaser Trailer for S-VHS Horror Anthology

by     Posted 1 year, 90 days ago

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In preparation for its debut at Sundance 2013, a new teaser trailer has gone online for horror anthology sequel S-VHS.  Much like S-VHS is an improved version of VHS tapes, S-VHS hopes to outdo its predecessor with sequences directed by Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgun), Gareth Huw Evans (The Raid: Redemption) and Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre), Edúardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale of Blair Witch Project and Adam Wingard (You’re Next), plus a segment from You’re Next writer Simon Barrett.  The new trailer doesn’t do much more than tease and beyond the footage of a young girl’s birthday party which gets violently interrupted, it’s hard to separate any substance out of the flashes of footage that follow.  S-VHS premieres at Sundance 2013 on January 19th.  Hit the jump to check out the trailer for yourself.

Sundance 2013: First Images from S-VHS, VIRTUALLY HEROES, THE RAMBLER and WE ARE WHAT WE ARE

by     Posted 1 year, 136 days ago

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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.

Horror Anthology Sequel V/H/S 2 Adds Directors Gareth Evans and Eduardo Sanchez

by     Posted 1 year, 166 days ago

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If Halloween’s got you hankering for another horror anthology, you’ll be pleased to hear about the gaggle of directors attached for V/H/S 2.  Chief among them are Gareth Evans (The Raid) and Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project, Lovely Molly).  The duo will be co-writing and co-directing different segments of the second installment of this year’s found-footage collection of horror shorts.  Also joining the directing team will be Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun), Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre) and Sanchez’s producing partner, Gregg Hale.  Hit the jump for more on V/H/S 2.  

Writer Simon Barrett Talks V/H/S, YOU’RE NEXT, THE ABCS OF DEATH, and the Pros and Cons of Making Horror Outside the Studio System

by     Posted 1 year, 185 days ago

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V/H/S is the latest release to capitalize on the found-footage craze. The anthology film is structured around a group of criminals who are hired to break in to a desolate house and retrieve a mysterious videotape. When they arrive at the house they find the owner dead in his recliner, facing a stack of TVs and a massive pile of videotapes. In order to locate the correct video they begin watching the tapes one by one, each being a segment in the film. These shorts include new interpretations on a monster, a masked stalker, a killer in the woods, a ghost story and some good ol’ Satanists; effectively providing a snapshot of the horror genre. V/H/S is directed by Adam Wingard, Ti West, David Bruckner, Joe Swanberg, and newcomers Radio Silence.

During the press conference for the film, I was able to sit down for a one on one phone interview with writer Simon Barrett, who provided the script for the segment “The Sick Thing that Happened to Emily when she was Younger” and the wrap-around story “Tape 56”. During the interview we discussed his thoughts on the distant release scheduled for You’re Next, what we can expect from The ABCs of Death, and what’s wrong with studio horror today. Hit the jump for the full interview.

YOU’RE NEXT Duo Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett to Adapt DEAD SPY RUNNING

by     Posted 1 year, 213 days ago

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Director Adam Wingard and co-writer Simon Barrett are set to adapt Jon Stock‘s novel, Dead Spy Running.  Per Deadline, the story follows “Danny Marchant, a young DJ on the rise in the international world of electronic dance music,” who is forced to go on the run after he’s framed for the murder of his father, an MI6 agent.  Here’s my favorite part of Deadline’s description: “he gets deeper into the world of espionage while never forgetting his background and skills as a DJ.”  I haven’t read Stock’s series of novels, but I assume this is a comedy of some kind.  Right?  Or does scratching records defeat the terrorists? It’s worth noting that the synopsis of the book makes no mention of the character being a DJ, so I don’t know where Deadline is getting their info on that detail.

Whether it’s played straight or not, Dead Spy Running will be a change of pace for Wingard and Barrett, who previously created the horror films A Horrible Way to Die and the great You’re Next (my review), the latter of which recently received a released day of August 23, 2013.  The duo also provided one of the segments in the upcoming horror anthology V/H/S (my review), which opens October 5th.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of Jon Stock’s Dead Spy Running.

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