Hey, Here's the Trailer for That New Shyamalan Flick

Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm

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So for those asking how he gets to make another movie, the answer is clear: he shot it as found footage at his own house. Even you could probably get a movie made that way.

It looks okay, I guess. Old people.

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TR Review: How Unfriended Earned My "Like" and "Share"

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 8:00 am

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Despite what certain family members (and readers) might tell you, I do admit I'm wrong occasionally. And when I saw the trailer for Unfriended, a movie set entirely on a computer desktop during a group conference call, I thought there was no way it could work. Even the title seemed - ironically - like a too-late trending topic (though it beats the previous Cybernatural, which sounds like a bareback porn site).

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Digging up the Marrow Looks Like the Next Best Thing to a Nightbreed Sequel

Monday, January 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm

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Yes, it's found-footage style, it's director Adam Green being really self-reflexive (as he loves to do, often to a fault), and it's not as overtly, flamingly as much of a gay allegory as the Nightbreed director's cut. But I'd defy any Clive Barker fan to watch this trailer and not get a major "Midian, where the monsters are" vibe.

With said monsters based on the work of Alex Pardee, who did the visual designs for Sucker Punch (which were great even if the movie was not, you have to admit), I'm hoping we finally have one of these fake-doc movies that doesn't hide the creatures the entire time.

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Unfriended Trailer: Because You Really Wanted a Found-Footage Movie Based on Skyping

Friday, January 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

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I have always been an advocate for horror movies metaphorically dealing with real-life fears, be it nuclear war (Dreamscape) or dating (May). So cyber-bullying to the point of suicide, which is a very modern and very real thing that frightens, is as rife for horror-mining as anything else.

But I'm also an advocate for not watching crappy, blocky, filmed-on-Skype conversations in a movie theater to which I paid full ticket price. If some enterprising kids made this movie for nothing on their laptops, bless 'em - it's the perfect movie to watch online. But when I hear that Timur Bekmambetov, director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, is the guy who developed and conceived this, then got it sold to Universal, I must assume either...

(a) It is so fucking brilliant that we viewers will be able to see past the utterly rotten-looking "cinematography," or...

(b) Universal thinks teenagers are morons who will pay for anything that they call "horror" and can associate with a "visionary filmmaker" (who is known purely for adapting other people's creations).

Also, trailer-makers: Who says "posted to the Internet" any more?

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Paranormal Activity 5 Will Be in 3D, Probably Center on Rich Douche With a 3D Camera

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm

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It has to, right? I mean, it can't exactly be a "found footage" feature in 3D unless the character in the movie is shooting with a 3D camera. And we all know that when you're trying to capture ghosts on camera, one of your primary considerations is that the footage pops right out at you and requires glasses when you're analyzing it for clues.

Maybe the next one can be in Odorama and feature a family that's determined to find out what ghosts smell like.

Project Almanac Is a Terrible Name for a Time-Travel Teen Flick

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm

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We could start with the fact that in the age of Wikipedia, most kids probably don't even know what an almanac is. And continue with the truth that I almost deleted the email this came in because it sounded like the title of one of the zillion or so Holocaust documentaries I get sent invites to around this time every year.

Michael Bay-produced found-footage about time travel? Did not think it would be that. Like, I'd expect a name along the lines of Take-Backsies. Anyway, here's the trailer, which I think I would like a billion times better if it weren't unnecessarily found-footage.

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TR Review: The Houses October Built Blends Truth and Fiction for Class-Struggle Fears

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 10:00 am

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I'm not entirely sure that found-footage was essential as a format for The Houses October Built, but I am certain that consumer-grade cameras was the way to go. We've seen this basic story done slicker on Hollywood production values: Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses involves a group of youngsters (including Chris Hardwick) looking for roadside horror attractions, only to find that the redneck clown in charge of one of them is also part of a family of murderers. Yet while that movie has its charms (or not, depending who you ask), the pleasures are in its very artifice - you know Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Karen Black are gonna ham it up, and they do. Never once do you think that Captain Spaulding is a real person who might follow you home.

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It's Found Footage vs. Extreme Haunts in The Houses October Built

Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

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I know some people are just opposed to found-footage no matter what, but to me, any medium works if you tell the right story for it, and I think this movie might have found it. With Halloween haunted house attractions getting more and more extreme, incorporating things like electric shocks and fake waterboarding, what would - could? - the most extreme one be? And if there were one off-the-books because it did cause actual danger - might something bad happen to people who tried to film it?

Rob Zombie's House of 1,000 Corpses tried to tell a story like that, but descended into incoherence when the director stopped caring about the story. Now he's making a movie about insane clowns.

I think maybe The Houses October Built could school him twice over. Watch the trailer and see what you think.

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Weekend Odds & Ends & Open Thread - The Phanfic Menace, Spider-Dog & More

Friday, September 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm

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-Here's a Kickstarter for an Episode I fanfic novel supposedly based on George Lucas' original drafts.

-Kimota! New Miracleman stories are coming, including one whose mere proposed existence pissed off Alan Moore back in the day.

-The finalists for the next fan-submitted Lego ideas include massive builds of Ghostbusters HQ, General Grievous' flagship and Wayne Manor...so you know they'll end up picking the Hubble Telescope.

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TR Review: Is It Hell? I Dunno. As Above, So Below

Friday, August 29, 2014 at 10:00 am

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They did the upside down thing in Devil too

It's not hard to make me freak out watching people get stuck in tight spaces deep underground, and I suspect I'm not alone - there's a reason The Descent is so popular with the people who've actually seen it, and it isn't just scantily clad babes in miner hats. It's like putting a ton of jalapenos on your sandwich - you know full well they're going to burn and take over the thing, and it makes it harder to tell whether the sandwich beneath is actually any good.

I'm pretty sure As Above, So Below is quite stupid when it comes to the screenwriting, but the camerawork and editing is so effective that I felt close to a panic attack most of the time anyway. If that's what you're into, you could do worse.

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