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The Influential and Extremely Fun Horror/Monster Films of 1999

January 29, 2015

Deep  Blue Sea

1999 was loaded with fantastic horror/monster films that have stood the test of time, proved to be influential and feature some of the best cinematic deaths via shark attack ever.  I worked at a movie theater in 1999 and remember how swamped we were all year. The movies were selling out left and right and it boggles my mind how packed the The Sixth Sense and Blair Witch Project were.  Some of the films were phenomenons  (Blair Witch, Mummy , Sixth Sense) that pulled in a combined $1.3 billion internationally and were rented over 200 million times in 2000.

The 1999 horror/monster films featured  surprises and innovations that lifted them above the shlock slasher tropes. Several of them have become cult classics (Ravenous, ExistenZ, Audition, Idle Hands) while a couple were legit blockbusters (Sixth Sense, Blair Witch). What I love is that they took risks, went all out and were mostly original.

Without further ado here are my 10 favorite horror/monster films of 1999.

Deep Blue Sea - Deepest Bluest my hat is like a shark fin! Deep Blue Sea is a miracle of awesomeness. We here at MFF love it and our readers are fans as well  (It was voted Best Worst Movie Monster). Deep Blue has one of the best surprise deaths of all time and is endlessly fun. Director Renny Harlin intentionally made the shark one foot bigger than Jaws and apparently doesn’t care about CGI.  While working at the movie theater I would sneak in for the finale and listen to the audience yell with delight. They formed a cohesive voice as they screamed for LL Cool J and Thomas Jane to kill the dastardly sharks. I love Deep Blue Sea and it has most certainly gained a massive following.   Here are 17 cool facts about the film.

Deep Blue Sea

 

The Sixth Sense – “I see dead people and a whole lot of money.” The Sixth Sense was a wunderkind sensation that freaked out millions. It was a neat little story of restraint and twist endings not wrecked by social media. It is one of four horror films (Silence of the Lambs, JawsThe Exorcist) to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and is on AFI’s top 100 film list. The film made M. Night Shyamalan a superstar and led to my favorite superhero film ever Unbreakable.

sixth sense

 

Idle Hands - Cheeky, bloody and kinda awesome. Idle Hands has slowly become recognized as a fun and insular horror film. There are many gleeful set pieces and I loved the combo of Seth Green and Elden Henson. It has a laid back charm that turned gore to 11 and didn’t take the lame sequel route.

Jessica alba idle hands

 

eXistenZ – David Cronenberg (The Fly, Videodrone, Scanners) is the king of thought-provoking horror. eXistenZ has become a cult classic and is adored for its interweaving plot that boggles the mind and doesn’t take it easy on you. The grotesque gore is suitably gross and the existentialism gives the horror buff something different. Cronenberg kinda rules.

 

exist

 

The Mummy - This creature feature was pure popcorn fun that blew away expectations. Whenever my shift ended at the movie theater I would watch The Mummy and love every second of it. Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz had fantastic chemistry and the cast was very likable. The sandstorm scene blew my mind and I love how the humor/action/special effects were juggled. The film played fast and loose while creating memorable moments and characters (I am so happy Stallone turned down the lead role). I also love that The Mummy had two sequels and a prequel which spawned a prequel and two sequels.

The mummy

 

The Blair Witch Project - The Blair Witch Project was a game changer in 1999. The found footage movie was a $20,000 experiment that ended up grossing $248 million worldwide. It was shot in eight days and the directors returned one of the cameras they used back to circuit city when the movie was over.  The result was a haunting final shot that shocked moviegoers who thought the movie was a documentary. The influence of Blair Witch is easy to see today and the marketing campaign was pure genius that occasionally went too far.

Sidenote: The movie was a pain for movie theater employees because of the walk outs, complaints and occasional puke that had to be cleaned up.

blair_Witch_Mikes_Last_Moments

 

Ravenous Ravenous is an odd little film. Dismissed upon initial release in 1999 it has picked up a cult following that is very vocal today. The film is characterized by a quirky soundtrack, bonkers performances and the famous line “he was licking me!” It is clear to see why this film is so adored. Like most cult classics it has an off-kilter vibe that features performances with personality. Ravenous has a personality all its own and can stand alongside films like Evil Dead, The Warriors andDonnie Darko. Roger Ebert was one of the few critics to appreciate the film and he understood the vibe it was going for.

 Ravenous” is clever in the way it avoids most of the clichés of the vampire movie by using cannibalism, and most of the clichés of the cannibal movie by using vampirism. It serves both dishes with new sauces.

Ravenous Guy Pearce

 

Lake PlacidLake Placid is a weird hybrid that boasts an A-list cast, B-movie humor and a  30 foot crocodile. David Kelly’s (Ally McBeal) screenplay was a fun little thing that played like an R-rated screwball comedy met a creature feature and spawned something really weird. Steve Miner fresh of Halloween H20 (a guilty pleasure of minecaptured the tone really well and managed to give us a hammy creature feature full of cheeky moments and Betty White profanity. Lake Placid was never meant to be Jaws with a crocodile. It knew what it was and managed to be fun, plucky and fully aware of itself.

lake placid

Audition – Audition is considered to be one of the scariest movies ever made. It has one of the biggest shocks of all time and is a nasty delight. Rolling Stone called it “one of the best movies you’ve never seen” and The Guardian ranked it at 21 on its best horror films ever list. You kinda have to watch Audition.

Audition

Sleepy HollowTim Burton’s tale of the headless horseman is a sumptuous and beautifully designed horror film. Roger Ebert said it wasthe best looking horror film since Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and he is 100% correct. Sleepy Hollow’s visuals have been burnt into my memory and I remember being blown away by what I was watching.

ricci sleepy hollow

sleepy hollow

What 1999 horror films did you like?

 

John’s Horror Corner: The ABCs of Death 2 (2014), and a guide to its short films and directors.

January 23, 2015

the-abcs-of-death-21 MY CALL:  Only die hard gore and horror anthology fans should even consider this schizophrenic mix of wildly inane short films.  Overall this is nothing special.  But I’ll bet you could make one Hell of a drinking game out of it!  MOVIES LIKE ABCs of Death 2:  Some other fun, decent and/or clever anthologies include (in order of release date):  Black Sabbath (1963), Tales from the Crypt (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973), Creepshow (1982), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye (1985), Creepshow 2 (1987), Tales from the Dark Side: The Movie (1990), Necronomicon: Book of the Dead (1993), Campfire Tales (1997), 3 Extremes (2004), Trick ‘r Treat (2007), Chillerama (2011), Little Deaths (2011), V/H/S (2012), The Theater Bizarre (2012), The ABCs of Death (2013), The Profane Exhibit (2013) and V/H/S 2 (2014).

This movie features a wide range of filming styles, varied and (sometimes) creative special effects, some nice use of stop-motion, standard animation and all manner of gore delivered in both serious and humorous context.  Are you looking for a film that features dismemberment, murderous grandmothers that won’t die, mass murder, bath salt-induced mania, tentacles, zombie court and weird transformations?  Well, depending my interpretation of what I saw in the melee of clips from this film you may be in for all that…all be it in small doses and of questionable quality.  As a fan of gross-out gobs of gobbledy-gook horror and creative and/or funny and/or just plain awful twisted death scenes, I thought that this movie would NO MATTER WHAT be a big pleaser for the darker side of my soul.  I was largely wrong.  I had thought the same of The ABCs of Death (2013), which was in fact better than this “sequel” but also similarly not so great.

Like a child’s ABC book, the film is comprised of 26 individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter. Each director had total freedom to choose a word to create a story involving death; 26 directors from around the world have contributed all manner of random death clips.

I’m a huge fan of horror anthology movies. They get a little flack because they come from a range of writers, directors and production quality–but that’s what I like.  It also makes horror shorts available to those of us who do not attend film school or genre-geared film fests (e.g., Fantastic Fest).  We get to taste a lot of stories and ideas and, if we don’t like one of the shorts after a few minutes just wait for the next one to start.  If you don’t like a film in Creepshow (3 stories) you’d wait 20-30 minutes for the next story.  With V/H/S (5 stories) one need wait only 15-20 minutes.  However this has 26 stories, so you’d only have to wait what?  Maybe 5 minutes?  Sadly, because of generally low quality and uninspired shorts, you’ll find yourself waiting a lot.

Below is an ABC guide to the shorts, their directors and their past work, a few components of the short and an occasional comment…

“A is for Amateur” by E. L. Katz (Cheap Thrills)
Nudity; drug use.  This humorously shifts from an edgy, sleek first-time hitman’s fantasy to a fumbling cruel reality.  Beautifully shot!  Good blood work.  Funny.

“B is for Badger” by Julian Barratt
Humorous gore; dismemberment.  Tongue-in-cheek nature documentary gone wrong.

“C is for Capital Punishment” by Julian Gilbey (A Lonely Place to Die)
Decapitation.  A wrongful execution.

“D is for Deloused” by Robert Morgan (various short films)
Claymation; decapitation.  Very creepy and a little trancy.  I didn’t really get it, but I liked it. untitled

Anyone else reminded of a Tool music video right about now?

“E is for Equilibrium” by Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead)
Comedy.  Two island castaways discover a woman washed ashore.  Very goofy.  Really liked it. Alejandro-Brugues

This short tells a truly cute story in a very cute way and it ends in a cute murder and a cute kind of happiness.

“F is for Falling” by Aharon Keshales (Kalevet, Big Bad Wolves) and Navot Papushado
Arabic (?) language; broken bone.  This film didn’t seem to fit in well. Not that it was bad.

“G is for Grandad” by Jim Hosking
Full frontal elderly male nudity.  Ungrateful punk visits his grandfather.  Weird.

“H is for Head Games” by Bill Plympton (Mutant Aliens)
Animated slapstick gore.  Lots of weird imagery and weaponized body parts and bodily functions.

“I is for Invincible” by Erik Matti
Patricide; immolation; decapitation; foreign language.  Trying to kill grandma for her inheritance but she just won’t die.

“J is for Jesus” by Dennison Ramalho
Portuguese; full frontal nudity; genital torture; dismemberment; stigmata.  Gay exorcism.

“K is for Knell” by Bruno Samper and Kristina Buozyte
Mass murder ensues a lunar event.  Then things get weird.

“L is for Legacy” by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen
Horrible CGI, lousy middle school quality make-up.  Beyond stupid! “M is for Masticate” by Robert Boocheck (Horrific) Bath salts. Slow motion filmed crazy fat guy neck-biting some poor shlub. M-is-for-Masticate

Evidently bath salts also cause instant body hair growth. Lord, look at those shoulders. It’s like he’s wearing a sweater!

“N is for Nexus” by Larry Fessenden (Beneath, Wendigo)
Nudity.  Extremely stupid, not in a good way.

“O is for Ochlocracy” by Hajime Ohata (Metamorphosis)
Foreign language; zombies.  Zombies try and prosecute their still-human assailants in court.  Fun idea.  Dumb film. url10 “P is for P-P-P-P Scary!” by Todd Rohal (Nature Calls)
So stupid that it’s annoying.

“Q is for Questionnaire” by Rodney Ascher (Visions of Terror)
Surgery.  Brutally gory surgery scene.

“R is for Roulette” by Marvin Kren (Blood Glacier)
Russian Roulette, foreign language.

“S is for Split” by Juan Martínez Moreno (Game of Werewolves)
Gory.  Home invasion.  This one was really quite good.

“T is for  Torture Porn” by the Soska twins (American Mary)
Very, very, very weird.  Basically a porn job interview turns into a live-action Hentai with men as the victims of tentacle porn rape.

“U is for Utopia” by Vincenzo Natali (Haunter, Splice, Cube)
Immolation.  An unbeautiful person in an otherwise beautiful world is “solved.”

“V is for vacation” by Jerome Sable (Stage Fright, The Legend of Beaver Dam)
Nudity.  Morally reprehensible, but one of the better shorts.

“W is for Wish” by Steven Kostanski (Manborg)
Organ removal; stop-motion.  Zany, campy, gory fantasy fun.  Very funny.

“X is for Xylophone” by Julien Maury (Inside, Livid) and Alexandre Bustillo
This short film boils down to one goretastic punchline.

“Y is for Youth” by Sôichi Umezawa
Japanese; transformation; Tokyo Shock; phallic stuff; evil sperm.  This is bonkers.  A woman turns into a dog that spits sharpened pencils, that turn into worms, which combine into a worm hand…and that’s not even a fraction of the really weird shit.

“Z is for Zygote” by Chris Nash
Birth scene.  A very long-term pregnancy gets very weird and VERY gory.  Gross…but a very cool film. the-abcs-of-death_510-copy

As Above, So Below: Tomb Raider and the Hunt for the Redeeming Ending

January 22, 2015

As Above So Below movie poster

As Above, So Below is not a good film but it tries to rise above the rest. It features an Indiana Jones type heroine and an unexpected ending that left me satisfied and not thinking about the nausea inducing camera work. In a day and age of horror remakes, sequels, remakes, reboots and spin-offs I liked the new direction of As Above.

The story revolves around an intrepid alchemy scholar named Scarlet (Perdita Weeks) hunting down the Sorcerer’s Stone. Scarlet is intelligent, selfish, driven and the child of a lost adventurer.  Her globe-trotting quest leads her to the catacombs of Paris where things will eventually go wrong. While in Paris she reunites with her ex-boyfriend George (Ben Feldman) and the reunion is far from pleasant.  The last time she saw George she was leaving him to be arrested in a Turkish prison. He isn’t happy about the ordeal but Scarlet armed with new evidence convinces him to take the journey into the catacombs.

 

I like that the characters push themselves into dangerous situations because of their obsession with history. It is refreshing to see a kamikaze female character that has a black belt in Krav Maga (which she doesn’t get a chance to use in hell) and doesn’t think twice about putting herself in danger. She is a driven individual who you do not want to hang out with (you will probably end up dead or stuck in a Turkish prison).

As Above So below map

 

They gather a crew of Parisians who know the tunnels and they embark on a quest that will not end well for most of them.  There are several moments when your hand will slap your head due to incredibly poor choices. For instance, if you see a cult singing music underground maybe you shouldn’t go deeper and deeper into the weirdness. Eventually, pianos pop up out of nowhere and they will enter a tiny tunnel that has “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” written above it. However, Scarlet lives by the motto “you have to break an egg to make an omelette” and her crew suffers many cracks in her omelette making.

The fact that they shot most of the film in the actual Paris catacombs is impressive. However, due to the shaky camera work the locations become moot. This is a shame because it is no easy feat to fit a production down there. They had amazing access to a great location and tried to waste it via pinballing camera work. The directors  John Erik and Drew Dowdle (Devil..which I think is underrated) had this to say about it. 

They’re 200 miles of tunnels, five stories underground, that hold the remains of six million bodies. So there’s bones and skulls. It was cold, it was dark, there was no bathroom down there. Water up to your waist some days. You’d sometimes have to crawl around on all fours for an hour at a time. It was gnarly. We’re the first feature to get permission to shoot in the off-limits areas. We were like, “We’re not bringing lights, we’ll just do it docu-style.” In a lot of scenes the actors light the scene themselves with their head lamps.

as above so below

Here is what I love about As Above (SPOILERS!!!!!!!). They eventually find themselves in hell and many of the team start to die. As things get bleak Scarlet makes a mad dash through the catacombs in order to replace the sorcerers stone and turn the world around. Just as you think bleak will prevail (Think Blair Witch), Scarlet saves the day and three people survive. I realize that several young people died but it is kinda nice that we don’t get the stock everybody dies ending (Think Grave Encounters).  It seems like another day in the life of Scarlet and you are convinced she and George will find themselves in more shenanigans in which a couple of red shirts will die.

Many horror films annoy me due to inevitable borrowing, repeating and blood-letting. As Above combined horror with adventure and I left the experience feeling satisfied. It won’t become a cult classic and the 27% Rotten Tomatoes score is understandable. However, I had fun with the film and I really liked the idea of it.

Watch As Above, So Below. Appreciate what you see of the catacombs and let you know what you think about the ending!

Only Lovers Left Alive: The Vampires of Detroit

January 21, 2015

Only Lovers Left Alive movie poster

Jim Jarmusch sure is cool. Only Lovers left Alive is a laid back treasure that takes its time and builds super cool characters. The story of two vampires exploring the Detroit landscape is wonderful, literate and always entertaining.

Tom Hiddleston plays a melancholy vampire named Adam who is increasingly annoyed by the zombies (humans) and spends his days in isolation. He is a popular underground musician whose music is known world wide. He has one human friend named Ian (Anton Yelchin) who is the only “rock and roll kid” he likes. Ian runs his errands, buys all his musical equipment and is given a final task. Adam wants him to find somebody who can make a solid wooden bullet.

Sensing that her husband is in a funk Eve (Tilda Swinton) makes plans to visit.  When we first meet her she is chatting about olden days with Christopher Marlowe (which finally put my lit degree to use!). I love how Marlowe (John Hurt)  wishes he would have met Adam before he wrote Hamlet. I also love when Eve explains why Adam might be sullen:

“I mainly blame Shelley and Byron and some of those French assholes he used to hang around with.”

Eve leaves Tangier and heads to Detroit in order to cheer up her morose lover and partake in conversations about Shakespeare, quantum theory and Jack White. Eventually, her kid sister shows up and much to Adam’s annoyance drinks his friends, blares his music and forces them to music clubs.

Swinton and Hiddleston are wonderfully cool and they immediately build a lived in chemistry. The two love each other deeply yet have different personalities. Basically, she married a tortured musician and has to deal with him for hundreds of years.

only lovers left alive tim hiddleston

After Snowpiercer, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom Tilda Swinton is proving herself to be the best actress around. She is a chameleon who disappears into her roles and I still can’t believe she was Mason from Snowpiercer. She worked with Jarmusch before in Broken Flowers and her performance gives in to his style of cool detachment. Tom Hiddleston is perfect as the sulky vampire who is simply getting older. The new generation bores him and he misses the days of playing chess with the world’s best writers. Hiddleston carries effortless cool on his shoulders and he makes the role look easy.

Only Lovers Left Alive is a cool experiment that will live on as one of the best vampires films ever made. It flips the genre on its head and I love how it shows the evolution of the creatures. They may be getting wiser and more mature but they still are vampires who need blood. There is a danger to them even as they lay around listening to pretentious music.

Watch Only Lovers left Alive. Then, check out Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes. I guarantee it is the only movie where Bill Murray drinking out of a coffee pot chats with RZA and  GZA.

 

Ragnarok: A Fun Norwegian Film about Family, Vikings and an Angry Lake Monster

January 19, 2015

Ragnarok movie poster

Ragnarok is an earnest little Norweigan film that centers around a family looking for Vikings and finding an angry prehistoric beast. It has a refreshingly simple A/B/C structure and plays like National Treasure met Jurassic Park and they went to Norway.

Ragnarok opens with a tribe of 9th century vikings on the hunt for treasure and glory. They arrive at a lake and are promptly slaughtered by an angry beast. Cut to modern times and we meet a widowed archaeologist named Sigurd (Pal Sverre Hagen) who is obsessed with the lost viking ship. Sigurd is right about the ship but his unfounded and wild ideas cause him to lose funding and receive a demotion at the museum he works at. Luckily, his friend Allan (Nicolai Cleve Broch) shows up with some new evidence and the game is on.

Ragnarok dad

The movie borrows heavily from other films (Raiders, Jurassic Park 1-3) and the name Steven Spielberg comes up in many reviews. However, despite the similarities Ragnarok has a personality all its own. Director Mikkel B. Sandemose used his limited budget well and focused on believable character dynamics instead of bombastic action. Sigurd is the classic absent-minded father who loves his children but is too caught up with his work/grief to take care of them. The kids love their father but are annoyed by his love of all things Viking lore. It isn’t surprising that Sigurd would take his kids on a wild goose chase into the unknown Finmark wilderness to find proof of viking life.

Raganrok scenary

The journey is beautiful as Sandemose and his cinematographer Daniel Voldheim break out the wide-angle lens and let the scenery speak for itself. The journey eventually leads them to an isolated island where nothing good will happen. An unexpected treat of Ragnarok is the badass female heroine Elisabeth (Sofia Helin). Elisabeth works with Allan and it is evident why he hired her. As things go bad Elisabeth starts taking care of business. The movie becomes a series of problems to be solved which leads to an exciting centerpiece involving ziplines, flare guns and an angry monster.

Ragnarok river

The monster of Ragnarok is a curious creature. I was never quite certain if it was a total jerk or a misunderstood monster who only wants its stolen eggs back. Nevertheless, he is a formidable beast who should be left alone. Ragnarok does a solid job of introducing the monster. If they previews hadn’t wrecked the surprise the introduction would have been pretty amazing. You know nothing about the monster and I like that. It wasn’t explained away and there is a supernatural vibe to it. How long has it been alive? Is it an ancestor of the original beast? Does it just want to be left alone? Is it protecting something?

Ragnarok monster

Ragnarok is a fun little film that doesn’t reinvent the wheel but does tell a neat story. I love all things Vikings and angry sea monsters so I enjoyed the film. I appreciated the original story and can’t wait to see what the director does next. This may sound random but a double feature of Ragnarok and Rare Exports would make for a fun holiday treat.

 

 

 

The MFF Oscar Nominations: Celebrating the Films/Performances/Scripts That Weren’t Nominated

January 16, 2015

Hello all. Mark here

The Oscar nominations were released yesterday and the world is in an uproar! There are front runners, snubs and for some reason people are still shocked. The whole process should not be looked at with emotions or logic. It is clinical, political and kinda easy to predict. Now that all eyes are on the nominees I want to let you in on some of 2014’s best offerings that weren’t nominated. I’ve put together an MFF special list that nominates the scripts/movies/performances that could be left behind.

Sidenote: I’ve left out movies like Selma, Nightcrawler, Cake, Interstellar and the like because you will be hearing enough about how they were snubbed.

Without further ado here are the eclectic nominees!

Best Picture

Calvary –  Next to Boyhood Calvary is the best film of the year. John Michael McDonagh’s follow-up to The Guard is beautifully told and features a wonderful performance from Brendan Gleeson

Edge of Tomorrow – The blockbuster of the year. Tom Cruise is back in form and Emily Blunt was fantastically badass.

Snowpiercer – Controlled chaos at its finest.

The Guest – The Guest plays like Terminator, Halloween and Universal Soldier had an awesome kid

Cheap Thrills – It should have been a gross little thing yet managed to create a grounded story with mysterious characters.

Blue Ruin – A Tension bomb. It will stress you out.

Under the Skin – Once you watch a Jonathan Glazer film you cannot forget a Jonathan Glazer film. 

The Raid 2 – The Best action film since The Raid. 

Only Lovers left Alive – Jim Jarmusch sure is cool.

Winner! Calvary

Calvary movie poster

 

Best Director

Gareth EvansRaid 2 – There was almost too much awesomeness in The Raid 2

Jonathan GlazerUnder the skin – Under the Skin was haunting, memorizing and uber memorable

Jeremy SaulnierBlue Ruin – I don’t where he came from but he made something amazing for next to nothing.

John Michael McDonaghCalvary – He can write, direct and tackle big issues with ease.

Bong Joon-HoSnowpiercer - This film juggled so many odds aspects it could have come crashing down with ease. Bong Joon-Ho kept it on the tracks.

Winner! Gareth Evans 

1797711_ca_raid_gareth_evans_JLC

Best Actor

Tom HardyLocke - Tom Hardy + One car = A whole lot of acting. Dude was awesome.

James McAvoyFilth - McAvoy’s performances gave humanity to a monster and turned him into a sad little fellow.

Brendan GleesonCalvary – Hands down the best performance of 2014. After In Bruges and The Guard he needs some recognition.

Chadwick BosemanGet on Up – He really went for it and pulled off a pretty great James Brown.

Nicolas CageJoe – Cage can still act and it makes me happy.

Winner! Brendan Gleeson. 

Calvay Sligo

Best Actress

Shailene WoodleyThe Fault in Our Stars – The film had all the trappings of teenage sad fluff. However, Woodley carried the  film with a stubborn grace that make the film infinitely better

Eva Green300: Rise of an Empire  – Eva Green chewed the scenery and kicked ass. 

Emily BluntEdge of Tomorrow – It could have been a throwaway sidekick role but it became so much more.

Scarlett JohanssonUnder the Skin – Scarlett really went for it and captured vulnerability and awe.

Essie DavisThe Babadook – Davis had to play so many emotions I lost count after two minutes.

Winner! Scarlett Johannson

Under the skin Adam Pearson

 

Best Supporting Actress

Regina HallAbout Last Night – The funniest female performance of the year.

Maika MonroeThe Guest – I just really like The Guest.

Tilda Swinton - Snowpiercer - Tilda Swinton is awesome. She owned Snowpiercer. 

Kelly ReillyCalvary – She was a big reason why Calvary had so much heart.

Alison PillSnowpiercer – In her few moments on screen Pill proved to be psychotic, violent and a pretty good teacher.

Winner! Tilda Swinton

Snowpiercer axe

 

Best Supporting Actor

Robert PattinsonThe Rover – Pattinson dissapears into the character and it all culminates with him singing Keri Hilson’s song “Pretty Girl Rock.”

Rob BrydonTrip to Italy - Rob Brydon remains likable even as he is being a little punk. You gotta watch these movies.

Ben MendelsohnStarred Up - He plays the best/worst dad ever. Dude is amazing. 

Michael PenaFury – With End of Watch and now Fury Michael Pena needs some recognition.

Ethan EmbryCheap Thrills - Just watch the movie. Embry does a great job.

Winner! Rob Brydon

The Trip to Italy ocean

 

The 10 best scripts that won’t win any awards.

Guardians of the Galaxy - I am Groot. Drax has great reflexes.

Calvary – You have to watch this film.

The Double – Richard Ayoade is pure gold.

Starred Up – Brutal, believable and features a neat father/son relationship.

John Wick - It opens with puppy death but totally redeems itself with its world building.

Oculus The Best WWE produced film about an evil mirror ever.

Only Lovers Left Alive - You drank Ian!

Snowpiercer - I really love this film.

Grand PianoGrand Piano has no right to be so fun.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa – Knowing me. Knowing you!

Winner! Calvary AGAIN!!!!!

 

What movies would you nominate? What did I miss?

 

2015 Horror Movie Preview: Mark’s 10 Most Anticipated Horror Films

January 13, 2015

Hello all. Mark here

2015 is looking like a fun year for horror. Some of the big hitters (Shyamalan, Del Toro) are going back to their roots while Vin Diesel grows a beard and battles witches. I’ve compiled a list of ten films that I cannot wait to watch.

Here is the list!

The Visit – 09/11/2015

m-night-shyamalan

M. Night has gone back to his indie roots and I am stoked to see what he comes up with. Night independently financed the film with Jason Blum (Insidious, Sinister, Purge) and he shot it somewhat secretly in Pennsylvania.  The guy has talent and hopefully rights his ship with The Visit. We need more people telling original horror stories and hit or miss M. Night always creates something original (sans After Earth and Airbender).

It Follows – 03/27/2015

It follows

Currently sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes It Follows is building a lot of momentum. The film starring Maika Monroe (The Guest. Great movie!)  plays with conventions and people are noticing. This could be the sleeper horror hit of 2015.

High-Rise – ?/?/2015

High-Rise movie poster

Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Sightseers, Field in England) is amazing. He makes memorable films that  walk a tight rope of insanity/realism. I’m not sure if High-Rise will be a horror film but from my experiences with other Wheatley films it will be violent, dark and exhausting.  High-Rise stars Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Sienna Miller, James Purefoy and Jeremy Irons.

Crimson Peak – 10/16/2015

crimson peak

I am hoping that this will be more Devil’s Backbone/Pan’s Labyrinth than The Strain/Pacific Rim. When Del Toro goes little things get better. The cast is amazing with Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam and Mia Wasikowska entering the haunted house. I can’t wait for the set design and 800 page backstory Del Toro wrote for the story.

Poltergeist – 07/24/2015

Rockwell

I am not a fan of remakes, prequels, reboots and sequels. However, Sam Rockwell is starring in the film. It can’t be that bad.

The Lazarus Effect – 02/27/2015

Wilde

The Lazarus Effect centers around medical students bringing people back from the dead. Guess what happens? The cast is solid (Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Donald Glover, Evan Peters) and most interestingly the guy who directed the fantastic documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi is helming the film.

31 – ?/?/2-15

31

Here is the synopsis for Rob Zombie’s crowd funded new film.

Five people are kidnapped on the days leading up to Halloween and held hostage in a place called Murder World. While trapped, they must play a violent game called 31 where the mission is to survive 12 hours against a gang of evil clowns.

The craziest thing about 31 is that Rob Zombie is saying it will be more brutal than House of a 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. This film will hurt to watch.

The Last Witch Hunter – 10/23/2015

vin

Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie and Elijah Wood battle witches. I kinda need to see it. Also, Breck Eisner directed the surprisingly effective Crazies remake so this film has a chance.

What We Do In the Shadows – 02/15/2015

what we do

A vampire horror comedy mockumentary starring Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) sounds amazing. Stoked to see what they do for day jobs!

Insidious: Chapter 3 – 06/05/2015

line shaye

Insidious: Chapter 3 has a few things going against it. It is a prequel, James Wan isn’t directing and Patrick Wilson/Rose Byrne won’t be returning. However,  I do like that Lin Shaye and her team of cheeky demon fighters are back. Chapter 3 could be pure garbage or a pleasant surprise. I can’t wait to find out.

What horror films are you excited for in 2015? Let me know!

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