5 Great Film and Music Moments From 2014

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Real cinema happens when a filmmaker uses all of the tools at his or her disposal to provide the viewer with an experience they can’t get in any other medium.  Sound, vision, and narrative all collide and the experience can occasionally be so singular and indelible you wonder why you, as a viewer, don’t advocate for yourself and seek the feeling out more often.  It’s like a drug.

Often times, these moments are accompanied by a piece of music that buoys them to such a degree that you can’t imagine the scene playing out in any other way.  While I didn’t see every movie released this year, it was easy to come up with five moments from the ones I did see that struck me in this manner.  Hit the jump for 5 Great Film and Music Moments From 2014.

Exclusive Look at THE GUEST and the Transformation of DOWNTON ABBEY’s Dan Stevens

by     Posted 88 days ago


The Guest opened in limited release last week and, after performing well, is platforming out into more theaters this weekend.  The new film from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett (You’re Next, V/H/S/2, A Horrible Way to Die) is a lot of fun (as evidenced by this insanely cool trailer) and a big part of that is the swagger and southern charm that former Downton Abbey standout Dan Stevens brings to his role.  He’s an absolute badass here.  You can get a glimpse of that in this exclusive clip of him talking about his approach to the part.

Hit the jump to check out our exclusive clip for The Guest (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 is now playing and expands to additional cities this Friday, September 27th.

THE GUEST Alternate Trailer Shows Exactly Why the Film is Badass

by     Posted 96 days ago


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.

Dan Stevens Talks A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, Scott Frank, THE GUEST, Being an Action Star, and More

by     Posted 96 days ago


If you go to a movie theater this weekend, there’s a good chance you’re going to see Dan Stevens.  That’s because in a weird turn of events, he  has two films coming out this week, director Adam Wingard’s The Guest and director Scott Frank’s A Walk Among the Tombstones.  Both films are excellent and worth seeing, and Stevens is able to show that can lead an action movie (The Guest), and hold his own against Liam Neeson in a key supporting role (A Walk Among the Tombstones).  For more on The Guest, read Matt’s review.  For more on A Walk Among the Tombstones, click here for our previous coverage. 

During my recent video interview with Dan Stevens, he talked about Scott Frank’s script for Tombstones, his character, being an action star in The Guest, meeting Adam Wingard for the first time, future projects, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.


by     Posted 97 days ago


[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.

Director Adam Wingard and Screenwriter Simon Barrett Talk THE GUEST, the Fallacy of Boring Art Films, and Their Quest to Evolve

by     Posted 97 days ago


The Guest is easily one of the best times you’ll have in a theater this year.  It’s funny, full of action, smart, and extremely stylish.  Three years ago I wouldn’t have thought Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey would be a contender as an action star/serious badass, but I would have been wrong.  He’s on fire here (as you can probably tell by the film’s trailer).  So are director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett (A Horrible Way to Die, V/H/S/2, You’re Next), who continue to mine the genre field and find interesting ways to make their material relatable and exciting.

I recently sat down with Wingard and Barrett to talk about the film.  I should note that I’ve interviewed the duo many times in the past, so I wanted to go a little bit off the beaten path with my questions here and focus solely on aspects of The Guest (and their career) that we hadn’t discussed before.  I also tried to dig a bit into what they’re next project is, but that question was answered far more successfully yesterday.  Hit the jump to check out the interview (and be sure to read Matt’s review).  The film also stars Maika MonroeLeland OrserSheila KelleyBrendan Meyer, and Lance Reddick.  The Guest opens in U.S. theaters tomorrow, September 17th.

YOU’RE NEXT and THE GUEST Filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett to Remake I SAW THE DEVIL

by     Posted 98 days ago


I’ve long been fond of director Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett‘s collaborations (A Horrible Way to Die, V/H/S/, and You’re Next among them) and I think you guys will have a total fucking blast with The Guest.  So I’m definitely excited (and a little surprised) to learn that they will be tackling a remake of Kim Jee-Woon‘s modern masterpiece I Saw the Devil.  Though the original South Korean film was just released in 2010, I’m confident that Wingard and Barrett have what it takes to make an English language version of the story feel fresh and relevant.

In additional good news Keith Calder and Jessica Calder, who shepherded the duo’s last two features, will return to produce the film alongside Dredd producers Adi Shankar and Spencer Silna. If you’re at all a fan of serial killer films, you’ll want to check this out.  Hit the jump for more on the I Saw the Devil remake. 

Exclusive THE GUEST Clip: Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett Discuss Making the Film with Nicolas Winding Refn

by     Posted 98 days ago


If you’ve seen Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s work in films like A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next and V/H/S, their latest, The Guest, will come as quite the surprise because it’s strikingly different in so many respects.  It stars Dan Stevens as David, a guy who shows up at the Peterson family’s door, claiming to be a good friend of their son who died in action.  However, soon after welcoming him into their home, there are some mysterious deaths in town and Anna Peterson (Maika Monroe) suspects they might be connected to David.

The Guest does have a fair amount of bloodshed and loads of suspense, but this one’s much more of an action thriller than a horror movie and that was the focus of some of the conversation at The Guest’s Q&A at Sundance NEXT FEST.  Wingard and Barrett sat down to field some questions from moderator Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) and the audience, and we’ve got an exclusive look at highlights from the discussion.  Hit the jump to watch The Guest clip and hear what Wingard and Barrett had to say about making the switch to more action-heavy material, choosing music for the film and why they had to redo their big car crash. The Guest invades theaters this Wednesday.

Dan Stevens Talks A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, Evoking Sympathy for the Bad Guy, Love of 70s Thrillers, THE GUEST, and More

by     Posted 99 days ago

dan stevens a walk among the tombstones slice

It’s been two years since Dan Stevens departed Downton Abbey and he’s not lost any time actively pursuing some amazing new roles in theater, film and television.  In his latest movie, A Walk Among the Tombstones, he stars opposite Liam Neeson playing a heroin trafficker bent on revenge who hires a private investigator (Neeson) to hunt down the serial killers (David Harbour, Adam David Thompson) that brutally murdered his wife.  Opening September 19th, the crime drama also stars Boyd Holbrook, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Sebastian Roché, Mark Consuelos, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.

At the film’s recent press day, Stevens discussed why he finds it exciting to explore new and different roles, the challenge of transforming himself for each one, the appeal of playing a bad guy who’s a victim, his love of 70’s noirish thrillers like Klute, Dirty Harry, and The Conversation, his collaboration with director Scott Frank on the darkness of his character, how music helped him prepare for his role in The Guest, and what it’s been like working with his childhood heroes – Neeson, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and John Travolta — on Tombstones, Night at the Museum:  Secret of the Tomb, The Cobbler and Criminal Activities.  Hit the jump to read the rest of the interview:

Fall 2014 Horror Preview: ANNABELLE, OUIJA, THE GUEST, ABCS OF DEATH 2, and More

by     Posted 111 days ago


It’s been a rather rough year for horror.  So far, there hasn’t been a surprise hit like The Conjuring or very many strong films at all for that matter.  The Purge: Anarchy and The Sacrament are good enough, but if I’m tallying up the 2014 releases that I’ll probably watch again in the coming years, there’d only be three on the list – Stage Fright, Afflicted and Oculus.

But the good thing is we’ve still got four more months to go, and September and October alone have a lot to offer.  Hit the jump to find out which upcoming horror movies could be worth checking out in our Fall 2014 Horror Preview.

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

by     Posted 124 days ago


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 133 days ago


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 138 days ago


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.

TIFF Adds World Premieres of FACE OF AN ANGEL, TUSK, and Canadian Premiere of THE LOOK OF SILENCE with Midnight Madness and Documentary Lineups

by     Posted 146 days ago


Last week, the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival announced its initial lineup of films that will be screening this September, which range from The Judge to Rosewater to This Is Where I Leave You.  That large, eclectic list was only the start, though, as today TIFF has announced the films that will be screening as part of the Midnight Madness, Documentary, and Masters programmes.  These new additions include the world premiere of Kevin Smith’s Tusk as well as Michael Winterbottom’s Amanda Knox-inspired The Face of an Angel, the Samuel L. Jackson-fronted survival pic Big Game, and the concluding installment of the horror franchise [REC] 4: Apocalypse.  Additionally, Adam Wingard’s excellent The Guest and Joshua Oppenheimer’s Act of Killing sequel The Look of Silence will have their Canadian Premieres.

Read the full list of newly added films after the jump.  The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4th – 14th.

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

by     Posted 178 days ago


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.

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