Laika Animation Studios takes a page out of the Tim Burton playbook with this spooky, good-natured film about a lonely young boy who -like Haley Joel Osment- can see dead people. And talk to them too. Nobody believes him, of course, making him an outside in his own town and even in his own family. But when zombies start coming alive and pursuing the townspeople, it’s Norman who must come to the rescue! Usually, we try to avoid movies with puns in the title but in the case of ParaNorman, we happily made an exception.
House at the End of the Street
Jennifer Lawrence is the fastest rising star in Hollywood at the moment. She plays the lead in an incredibly successful blockbuster franchise, she’s appeared in a number of acclaimed dramatic films and she’s been nominated twice for Best Actress at the Oscars. And she’s only 22 years old! With the wealth of big offers that are currently falling onto her plate, it’s probably safe to say that she won’t be appearing in mid-budget horror movies like House at the End of the Street anymore. Enjoy this opportunity while you still can.
One of 2012’s most heavily-acclaimed movies, Holy Motors is a mad, surrealist fantasy from French director Leos Carax. It stars Denis Lavant as Mr Oscar, an eccentric and mysterious man who’s ferried around in a white limo, transiting between his ‘appointments’ where he transforms into strange characters like a broken old woman and a wretched, flower-eating tramp. Co-starring Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue, this endlessly inventive film has been described as “a gorgeous furry teacup of a film, preposterous and filled with secrets” by the Guardian and “an exhilarating, audacious, lunatic rocket-ride” by Empire Magazine. Are you sold yet?
V/H/S In this new anthology of terror, VHS sees some of America’s most talented young directors as they are given the task of delivering horror shorts based around the theme of ‘found footage’. Some of the bigger names involved include Joe Swanberg (best known for his mumblecore classics like Hannah Takes the Stairs) and Ti West, who is quietly making a name for himself as a thoughtful director of slow-burn horror movies. If you’re looking to scope out the next generation of horror maestros, there’s no better place to start than here.
Wrong Turn 5
From the director of Sharktopus comes the fifth entry of a film franchise we never knew existed. Taking place in a small mining town in the middle of nowhere, a group of visiting college kids find themselves the targets of a terrifying cannibal family headed by Doug Bradley (best known as Pinhead from the Hellraiser movies). The trailer is incredibly gory and would suggest that there’s a lot of tongue-in-cheek humour to be found in this campy shocker.
From American History X director Tony Kaye, it’s a searing look at the American education system as seen through the eyes of a substitute teacher (Adrien Brody). Joining him onscreen is a wealth of great TV actors like Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Lucy Liu (Elementary) and William Petersen (CSI). Brody hasn’t had a great role for quite a few years, but early reviews suggest that he’s very good in Detachment, which should hold the Academy off from revoking his Oscar — like they should have after Splice.
Ray Winstone plays Frank, a man confined to a care home when Alzheimer’s begins to strip away his memory. One day, a young man arrives, wishing to reconnect with a father who no longer knows him. Together, they get the hell out of dodge and go on a trip that begins to reveal everything about their past and present. When he’s given a chance, Winstone will always deliver a solid performance – just see something like Nil by Mouth or Sexy Beast. Alongside him is one of Britain’s brightest young stars in Sturgess; together, they are the Harry Corbett and Wilfred Brambell of modern actors.
On a dirty weekend away in Essex, two couples find themselves caught up in the legend of a vengeful monk and his haunted tree. Oh yes: and they also happen to be filming the entire thing on a handi-cam. This film might seem like a British retread of The Blair Witch Project, but its trailer assures us that it is “Terrifying” (Total Film) and that it “is going to scare the bejesus out of you” (Empire). However, upon further investigation, the reviews from those two magazines don’t seem to feature any of those words. Where did those pull-quotes go? Were they stolen by the Mad Monk??
Richard Gere is a retired CIA operative who’s back in the game and on the trail of a legendary Soviet hit man. With his new partner Topher Grace helping him out, they soon find themselves in grave danger as the hunter becomes the hunted, etc… We’re long-time fans of Richard Gere and in this movie he’s joined by Martin Sheen as the CIA director, bringing all the gravitas any film could ask for. But whatever you do, do not watch the trailer to this film. It is so utterly layered in spoilers that it pretty much ruins the entire story. But let us just say this: from what we’ve seen of the spoilers, The Double looks to be a very solid and twisted thriller.
Cowgirls n’ Angels
Young Ida is accepted into an all-girl rodeo troupe run by retired cowboy James Cromwell. While making new friends and discovering her passion the rodeo, she also finds herself in a position to finally track down her estranged father. This sassy equine adventure has just about every element a pre-teen girl would want in a movie: it’s a coming of age story about an independent young woman that’s full of ponies and cute boys.
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