Is it just me or is the horror genre in a slump lately? Hardcore horror-hounds are made to hunt for a good, effectively scary flick outside the Hollywood system, mostly in the indie circuit or overseas territories. Nevertheless, the major studios continue trying with a new trio of supernatural tales.
As a big fan of the original ‘Poltergeist’, I’m not entirely sure how to feel about this upcoming remake. Not that my love for the Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg production should cloud my judgment. The problem is that the preview looks overblown and relies heavily on CGI and jump scares rather than creating an atmospheric mood. Too few horror flicks ever do that anymore, which is why we have so many bad, supposedly scary movies lately. Still, I like that the filmmakers have kept some familiar aspects, particularly the clown doll. Seeing Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert involved also eases my hesitation somewhat. We’ll see what word of mouth is like after this weekend.
I know that the haunted Victorian mansion seems like a played-out plot setting, one that has been around since practically the beginning of cinema itself. But with Guillermo del Toro at the helm, his name misting over the screen while Clint Mansell’s music plays in the background, I’m totally excited for this supernatural thriller that will hit theaters just in time for Halloween. Starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston, I can already tell that del Toro aims for a suspenseful atmosphere that builds to a hopefully satisfying conclusion. I can’t wait for this one.
‘The Last Witch Hunter’
Supernatural fantasy movies haven’t exactly made waves with moviegoers. Look at recent flops like ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters’ or ‘Seventh Son’. Yet that doesn’t stop studio heads from trying, especially if they can capitalize on a star’s current popularity. Personally, I like Vin Diesel; he brings a certain macho charisma reminiscent of 1980s action flicks. But the guy frankly doesn’t have much range. Other than the ‘Riddick’ franchise, he has yet to successfully carry a film by his lonesome. While this looks to hopefully correct that, I fear it won’t. The preview makes the production appear all snazzy, fantastical and action-packed, but I also worry from what is seen that the movie will have a fair amount of boring council meetings. I’m sure I’ll give it a watch but more likely on Blu-ray than in theaters.
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