Director Neil Jordan’s vampire drama Byzantium is finally getting a Canadian release this weekend. The melancholy film stars Saoirse Ronan (The Host) as Eleanor, a vampire (although that word is never used) tired of living on the run with Clara (Gemma Arterton, St. Trinians). The DLB had the chance to speak to Ronan during last year’s Toronto International Film Festival during a roundtable with the young Irish star.
Archive for the Violence Category
TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D
Starring Alexandra Daddario, Trey Songz, and Tania Raymonde
Directed by John Luessenhop
Written by Adam Marcus & Debra Sullivan and Kirsten Elms
Nearly 40 years after its release, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is no longer “just” a horror classic. It is a brand, with the direct sequel Texas Chainsaw 3D, out today, just the latest iteration in a line of sequels, prequels, and remakes. The fact that this new Chainsaw manages to draw fresh blood makes it all the more impressive because, really, who thought this might actually be good?
The Toronto After Dark Film Festival returns to the newly renovated Bloor Hot Docs Cinema this year, opening with two highly anticipated entries, the Irish horror comedy Grabbers, screening at 6:45, and The Soska Sisters’ blackly comic American Mary (as seen above).
As I’m about to head out the door to see Paranormal Activity 4 (review tomorrow), The DLB will have to cut and paste each summary:
Toronto After Dark returns to The Bloor Cinema tonight for the final installment of its summer series. First up, at 7 pm, is music video director Joseph Kahn’s Detention. The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson stars in this horror comedy about a killer stalking the halls of Grizzly Lake, and reviews have been surprisingly positive.
Next up, at 9:45pm is V/H/S. A found footage anthology film that scared the shit out of Sundance audiences, it sees a group of thieves screening a series of disturbing videotapes during the search for a piece of rare footage. Directors on the film include David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Ti West, Chad Villella, Justin Martinez, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Nicholas Tecosky, Simon Barrett and Tyler Gillett.
Visit Toronto After Dark’s website for more details.
For all those Torontonians (or Southern Ontarians) who have only ever seen Jaws on video or DVD, get yourself to the TIFF Bell Lightbox ASAP to experience Steven Spielberg’s classic horror show in all its digitally remastered glory. The theatre is showing the version of the film being released on Blu-ray August 14, and it looks and sounds amazing, having had itself digitally scrubbed.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER
Starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper and Rufus Sewell
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
Written by Seth Grahame-Smith
20th Century Fox
Much like the founding father himself, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is as honest a title as any movie has ever had. Indeed, if you give yourself up to its sheer ridiculousness then you’ll have a great time in the theatre. If you are especially fond of the laws of physics or decide to tsk-tsk the assorted clunkers that litter Seth Grahame-Smith’s script – which he adapted from his own book – then you’ll likely shake your head in disbelief and wonder how many Duplass Brothers films the budget could have covered. To you I say fuck off.
Winnipeg-born actor Kristopher Turner will soon be seen across North America starring as psychiatrist Dr. Gavin Murphy in the upcoming CTV/NBC hospital drama Saving Hope. But before he landed that prestigious gig (as well as his recurring role on the MuchMusic drama The L.A. Complex), Turner starred in first-time director Casey Walker’s horror comedy A Little Bit Zombie as Steve, a harried husband-to-be who tries to keep his brain cravings hidden from his future bride.
Are you a horror comedy fan?
I certainly am now. That movie was one of the most fun I’ve ever had working on a set. It was a blast. And most of it came down to our director Casey Walker who had complete control over this film. It was a crowdsourced movie before even Facebook was around. He started crowdsourcing it in 2006. It’s been a grassroots project right from the beginning, and with this being his first big feature and having complete control over it, it was such a freeing experience to be able to be creating this and not having other producer notes coming over our head; like, we got to make the movie that we wanted to make.
What can horror fans expect from this movie?
In the same way it’s paying homage to and making fun of the horror genre, it’s making fun of the romantic comedy genre. It’s sort of taking the piss out of and paying homage to all those zombie worlds.
Saving Hope premieres on CTV and NBC Thursday, June 7, at 9 pm ET/PT.
Katrina Bowden co-stars in the horror-comedy sequel Piranha 3DD, which opens wide today. The 30 Rock star plays the virginal Shelby, not her first venture into the genre as she also starred in the underrated Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. Bowden can next be see in the Toronto-shot psychological thriller Nurse 3D co-starring opposite Paz de la Huerta (Into the Void, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
Katrina, you’ve starred in a couple of horror films now, including Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. Are you a horror or horror-comedy fan?
I like horror-comedy. I think it’s a really fun genre, and when it’s done well it’s really great to watch.
Horror movies I’m not so great with. I get so scared. I’m kind of a baby when it comes to that. I’ve never really been a horror fan myself, going out to go see the new horror movies, for the only reason being that I can’t really handle them. I respect how they’re made; I think it’s a really cool genre to be part of it and to make.
What do you like about your character Shelby?
She’s kind of like the damsel-in-distress. She’s kind of shy and a little bit more reserved, but then everything bad that happens to her and has all these close calls and she almost dies. She’s in no way a hero type of person, but it was fun to play a shy type of girl.
What is your director John Gulager really good at?
He’s really good at making things look really gross. The blood, the vomiting scene, he was very excited to do that scene. I think I did that five times because he wanted the puke-up to be the perfect one. And he’s really good at setting things up to be really shocking. He did all the Feast movies; that’s kind of his thing and he does it really well, and he does it in a funny, humorous way.
What was the mood like on set?
It was fun. It was very light-hearted and fun, and we all had a good time. We all knew we were getting ourselves into something… we’re going to be covered in blood and be in the water, and we were down for anything.
Without giving away too much, your character Shelby is involved in a rather nasty sexual encounter with a boy and a piranha. What was that scene like to film, especially given how bloody it gets?
It was pretty difficult. I think like any kind of love scene, it’s really uncomfortable to shoot, but then you add all these extra elements into it, it becomes that much more uncomfortable and awkward for everyone.
So that was a really hard night, wondering how it was going to turn out. I wanted it to look good and be funny and realistic. It was a hard scene to shoot, but I think it turned out really well. It was worth it.
What was it like working with the piranha themselves?
That was actually really cool because the guys who did the special effects for the movie they made all that, and I just find that fascinating that they can create these kinds of things that can move and do things and spit blood. They’re really beautiful in person. I think it’s cool that they did so much practically instead of relying on CGI for everything.
You also star in the upcoming horror film Nurse 3D. What was it like to work with your co-star Paz de La Huerta?
She’s definitely a very intense person. Not the easiest person to work with, but it really helps her craft. She just dives into a character, even if her character happens to be a psychopathic serial killer. So it doesn’t really equal a fun working environment, but I think it will help the movie definitely.
Are you eager to have fans see a darker side of you in that film?
Yeah. I was really eager to do some darker roles or something more intense or different from what I’ve already done. I think it’s challenging
Both that film and Piranha 3DD are in 3D. What are the challenges of working in 3D?
I do like 3D. I think it’s a really cool way to shoot a film as an element that a lot of movies don’t have. It makes it a little more difficult shooting-wise because there are more shots where you have to be conscious of where things are in terms of where the camera is. But it’s fun, and it’s not really that much different from shooting a regular movie.
The DLB recently sat down with Oren Peli, the director of the first Paranormal Activity movie and producer of the upcoming horror film Chernobyl Diaries about a group of tourists visiting the site of the 1986 Ukrainian nuclear disaster. Here Peli talks about his memories of Chernobyl, working with first-time director Brad Parker, and scary Serbian secret forces dogs.
What memories, if any, did you have about the Chernobyl Disaster when you were coming up with the story idea?
I was 16 when it happened, and the main thing was there was so much confusion and misinformation about what happened. I remember that the Soviet government didn’t actually admit that anything was going on. I think it was either a Norwegian or Swedish scientist who noticed this big radiation cloud over Europe, and wondered what the hell was going on. And finally they did admit it, I think, two or three days after the fact. ‘Well, it was the weekend. We didn’t want to bother anyone during the weekend.’ All these weird excuses.