Archive for March, 2011

“INSIDIOUS” WEEK CONTINUES: MORE FROM FILMMAKERS JAMES WAN AND LEIGH WHANNELL

Posted in Devils, Ghosts, Interviews with tags , , , , , on March 31, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

The new horror film Insidious opens tomorrow (April 1). Will you be going to see it? Here director James Wan and screenwriter/actor Leigh Whannell discuss coming back to original horror, how the film has changed since its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, and the creation of the screenplay

 

What was it like coming back to an original horror property which horror fans don’t always support.

James: Which is ironic. They always complain that there’s no original stuff, but when original stuff comes along, like Splice, no one goes and sees it which is so annoying.

It definitely is tough because the tough aspect of that is that a studio looks at that, right, or the financing company looks at that and goes, ‘Well, why should we finance original stuff when no one wants to go see it, when we can just make sequels that people are already aware of and has a built-in brand name?

So it’s definitely tricky, but that’s part of the reason why when we started making Insidious [we wanted] to make it as low-budget as we can so we don’t have any of those problems. There’s a big difference between making a film for less than a million dollars than let’s say making a movie for three million dollars, which is still super low budget…

 

Leigh: Or $15 million where all of a sudden people’s opinions count.

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DVD REVIEW: “BLACK SWAN” (2010)

Posted in Art, Beauty, DVD, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Sex, Thriller with tags , , , , on March 29, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

Black Swan (2010)

Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Barbara Hershey

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Written by Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLauchlin

 

Like every other critic, the DLB was mightily impressed by Black Swan. Likewise, the DVD, available today (March 29), provides an intriguing look at the making of an A-list horror film.

Divided into three parts, `Black Swan Metamorphosis` is a relatively brief but comprehensive three-part look at the creation of the film. Aronofsky and his collaborators discuss key aspects of the production, including Portman`s ballet training, production design, cinematography and of most interest to horror fans, Portman`s film-long transformation into the titular Black Swan which involved a very subtle blending of CGI and practical effects. Most gratifyingly, Aronofsky admits that Black Swan is a horror film, and that the story of the ballet is essentially that of a `were-swan`. Well worth picking up.

Film: 4/5

DVD: 3.5/5

“INSIDIOUS” WEEK: JAMES WAN & LEIGH WHANNELL TALK ABOUT THE “SAW” LEGACY

Posted in Devils, Ghosts, Gore, Interviews, Movies, Serial Killers, Thriller, Violence with tags , , , , , , , on March 28, 2011 by darklordbunnykins


Insidious, one of the best original American horror films to come out in awhile, gets a wide theatrical release this Friday, April 1, and The DLB suggests you stop complaining about all the remakes and sequels clogging up cinemas and go see it.

Leigh Whannell (l) & James Wan (r) of "Insidious." Photo: Sean Plummer

Insidious stars Patrick Watson (Watchmen) and Rose Byrne (Get Him To The Greek) as Josh and Renai, young parents whose son Dalton (Ty Simkins) falls into what appears to be a coma. To make matters worse, the couple’s house appears to be haunted. But it’s not the house that’s haunted, it’s their son.

I sat down in Toronto last week with Insidious‘s director James Wan and screenwriter/co-star Leigh Whannell to discuss the film, as well as the legacy of Saw, the first film they worked on together which, of course, went on to make tons of money and spawn multiple sequels of varying quality. I’ll be presenting that interview throughout the week. Here the duo talks about the impact of Saw upon their lives.

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MOVIE REVIEW: SUCKER PUNCH (2011)

Posted in Art, Beauty, Fetish, Images, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

SUCKER PUNCH

Starring Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish and Scott Glenn

Directed by Zack Snyder

Written by Zack Snyder and Steve Shibuya

Naming your film Sucker Punch is a dangerous move because it allows critics like me to write things like “Sucker Punch: emphasis on the ‘suck.’”

Now that’s a rather glib assessment of such a visually striking film, but it’s accurate. Sucker Punch looks fantastic, but unlike the quick, startling jab promised by the title, it’s more like a slap in the face to the ideas of character and plot.

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SINFUL CINEMA: “ALIEN 2: ON EARTH” (1980)

Posted in Aliens, DVD, Gore, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

 

ALIEN 2: ON EARTH (1980)

Starring Belinda Mayne, Mord Bodin and Roberto Barrese

Written and directed by Ciro Ippolito

Midnight Legacy

 

Italian knock-offs of Hollywood hits were a rampant phenomenon in the 1970s. Perhaps the most successful example artistically was Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1978). Released as Zombi 2, it benefitted from the Italian release of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead under the name Zombi. Similarly Alien 2: On Earth tries to piggyback off the success of Ridley Scott’s landmark 1979 hit Alien, albeit to comparatively lacklustre results.

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“IN THE WOODS” PLAYS FEMALE EYE FILM FESTIVAL TONIGHT

Posted in Events, Festivals, Movies, Reviews with tags , , on March 19, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

The 11th annual Female Eye Film Festival, which is Ontario’s only festival showcasing films by women, delves into thriller territory tonight (March 19) with the 9:30 pm screening of director Vilma Zenelaj’s debut feature In The Woods.

Zenelaj’s sister Greta stars as Eva, a woman hoping to reconnect with her husband Steve (David Landry) during a weekend camping trip outside L.A. But Steve and Eva, whose marriage has been strained by her affair and his financial setbacks, aren’t as alone as they think. Carl (Rocco Di Nobile) has a gun, binoculars and a curious interest in Steve and especially Eva.

In The Woods unfolds pretty much as one would expect given that hackneyed scenario. Cell phone coverage is intermittent, Carl may or may not be as creepy as he appears, and Steve may or may not still be in love with the wife who cheated on him with an employee. Too bad the thrills are pretty much non-existent, replaced instead with too much often unsubtle dialogue delivered by the three leads with conviction if not a great deal of nuance. The “twist” ending is telegraphed from the film’s opening scene.

In The Woods screens tonight (March 19) at 9:30 pm at the Rainbow Cinemas Market Square (80 Front St. E.), followed by a Q&A with the director and cast. For more information, visit the Female Eye Film Festival website.


EXCLUSIVE! “SAW” DIRECTOR JAMES WAN TALKS ABOUT “INSIDIOUS”

Posted in Devils, Ghosts, Interviews, Video with tags , , , on March 18, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

The DLB got the chance this afternoon to interview James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the Australian duo responsible for directing and writing/starring in the original Saw film. Their latest collaboration is a genuinely spooky old-school ghost story with a twist. Insidious opens April 1st and I’ll be posting bits of the interview in the lead-up to that date.

In the meantime, here is some video from that interview where I ask James to explain his take on Insidious‘s demon.

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