Archive for Rosemary’s Baby

EXCLUSIVE! THE LAST EXORCISM PART II DIRECTOR SPEAKS

Posted in Devils, Ghosts, Interviews, Movies, Sequels, Supernatural with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by darklordbunnykins

nell screaming

The DLB had the chance to speak to The Last Exorcist Part II director Ed Gass-Donnelly last week in his hometown of Toronto about working with series star Ashley Bell, shooting in New Orleans, his vision for the franchise, and working with a low budget

First of all, tell me about New Orleans. Tell me about, obviously the typical thing is it’s a character in the movie, certainly Louisiana was very much a character in the first one, in terms of depression of Ashley’s character, Nell; talk about working there and New Orleans as a character in your film.

Well, the big thing for me is that you’ve got this girl in the first movie that has lived in such a repressed environment. Her father won’t even let her go to school and won’t let her listen to music that’s not Christian music, so I loved the idea of what would it be like for that girl to suddenly be…the movie starts with her sort of lost and feral in the woods, almost no memory of what happened, and then she gets put into a transitional home in New Orleans, so you go from like a cabin in the woods where you have no sense of culture, to suddenly being in the middle of Mardi Gras, and certainly what I love about horror movies is it a chance to explore bigger themes and ideas but in a very sort of pop culture environment, so to me this movie is sort of a metaphor for ultimately girls discovering their own voice and sexuality.

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EXCLUSIVE! “THE THING” DIRECTOR SPEAKS ON CARPENTER, ARMY OF THE DEAD, AND FUTURE PROJECTS

Posted in Aliens, Eye Candy, Gore, Interviews, Monsters, Movies, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Violence, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

Horror fans wait with bated breath for the release tomorrow of The Thing, the much-anticipated and already much-reviled prequel to John Carpenter’s much-lauded classic. The DLB spoke to director Mattjis van Heijningen, Jr., earlier today about the expectations of fans, combining practical effects with CGI, and his future plans, including the status of that much-talked-about zombie epic Army of the Dead.

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TERRIFYING TIFF: ON “MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE”

Posted in Festivals, Movies, Thriller with tags , , , , , , on September 17, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

Martha Marcy May Marlene is not a horror film, but Rosemary’s Baby was a big influence on director Sean Durkin’s debut feature. Starring Elisabeth Olson as Martha, the film traces her character’s escape from a cult and subsequent attempt to integrate back into her family. But are the cult members coming after her? Durkin’s film, which recently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, gradually builds tension, culminating in a taut ending which will frustrate some viewers but is absolutely perfect. Here is a quote from my recent conversation with Durkin.

Sean, you’ve described this film being somewhat inspired by Rosemary’s Baby and Robert Altman’s Three Women. To what extent do you look at this as a horror film? Three Women is very creepy.

Three Women very much in the sense that it’s an experience. It’s not horror but it’s so unsettled and you just go on the journey of these women talking to each other and no one is listening to each other, and the feel of that film really settled on me.

“But I love horror films and I hate when horror films get gory. I love the build-up so I think that very much like that, very much in the desire to portray that, very much settled in my subconscious at some point of my life and just ends up making its way into all the films I make.”

 

Martha Marcy May Marlene opens in limited release Oct. 21.

SPOOKY CINEMA: “BLACK SWAN” REVIEWED

Posted in Movies, Reviews, Sex, Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2010 by darklordbunnykins

BLACK SWAN

Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassell

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Written by Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin

Fox Searchlight

“Lose yourself” is the advice artistic director Thomas (Vincent Cassell) gives to Nina (Natalie Portman), the ambitious young ballerina he has chosen to dance the lead in his company’s new production of “Swan Lake.” But Nina is a scared, tentative young dancer whose fragility embodies the White Swan. Her technique is flawless, but does she have the guile and the sensuality to effectively play the Black Swan? Or will Thomas replace her with the provocative Lily (Mila Kunis), Nina’s perceived rival and could-be best friend?

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TORONTO AFTER DARK: “THE LAST EXORCISM” PREVIEW & REVIEW

Posted in Devils, Festivals, Movies, News, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by darklordbunnykins

The DLB had the chance to see The Last Exorcism last week and was duly impressed (see review below). The Eli Roth-produced horror show opens Aug. 27, and Toronto After Dark is showing the film tonight (Monday, Aug. 16) at 7 pm at The Bloor Cinema. In attendance will be Roth and cast members Ashley Bell and Patrick Fabian. I’ll be interviewing the trio Monday afternoon so look for those interviews the week of Aug. 27th, leading up to its national release.

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TERRIFYING TUESDAYS: THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (2009)

Posted in DVD, Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2010 by darklordbunnykins

THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL

Starring Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov

Written and directed by Ti West

Dark Sky Films/MPI in America, E1 Entertainment in Canada

Samantha (Jocelin Donahue), bloodied but not beaten

The praise being shovelled by critics upon director Ti West’s ‘80s-influenced The House of the Devil is understandable. It’s a well-acted, beautifully-designed creepshow which doesn’t let its low budget get in the way of creating a plausibly dread-filled atmosphere or characters with which we can empathize. Too bad all that love is in service to an undercooked script in which, in the end, not much actually happens.

Director Ti West

The Burrowers’ Jocelin Donahue stars as Samantha, a college student who needs to make some money quickly to pay the deposit on her new apartment. (Her landlady is played by genre vet Dee Wallace.) So she answers a babysitting ad put up around her campus by the odd Mr. Ulman (Tom Noonan: Manhunter). Her best friend Megan (Greta Gerwig: Baghead) warns her off the strange-sounding job but drives her out to the Ulman’s isolated country house all the same. But it turns out that Samantha will actually be “babysitting” Mr. Ulman’s mother, albeit just until midnight. Suitably disturbed by her prospective employer’s lie, Samantha calms her worries by extorting Mr. and Mrs. Ulman (Mary Woronov) for more money. They hastily agree (they need to get to their lunar eclipse event – hint, hint), and Samantha is left alone in their creepy house with midnight – and, of course, Satanic rituals – approaching.

Greta Gerwig as Megan

Ti West’s love for horror is evident. House is set in the early ‘80s and lovingly (slavishly?) recreates that era’s cinematic look and feel, down to Megan’s feathered hair and the credit fonts. Too bad all that effort is in service to a weak story. That the Ulmans are Satanists is giving nothing away, and with that fact established pretty early on, the rest of film’s arc becomes obvious. So Samantha spends much of the movie creeping around the Ulman’s large house, slowly realizing that something is wrong, and we spend much of the film’s 95-minute running time wondering if anything’s going to happen. As to the blood-drenched climax, it’s curiously anti-climactic, with the final sting’s nod to Rosemary’s Baby not exactly unexpected.

Donahue makes a good heroine; she screams well and her interactions with her co-star Gerwig are genuine and funny. We want her to survive. Somewhat wasted is Noonan. Whether or not West wrote the Mr. Ulman part as menacing, Noonan, so blandly menacing as the Tooth Fairy in Michael Mann’s Manhunter, plays him as oddly sympathetic, especially for a supposedly evil Satanist!

Tom Noonan as Mr. Ulman

All that written, The House of the Devil is worth the horror community’s support, mostly because West should be encouraged in his work. His talent is obvious, and we’re sure he’s got a truly great horror show in him. So watch House, preferably in a darkened room, cuddled up with someone you love or lust, especially if they are easily scared.

Rating: 3.5/5

The House of the Devil is out today, Feb. 2, through E1 Entertainment in Canada and Dark Sky Films/MPI in the States.

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