Monthly Archives: October 2011
Born November 28, 1984 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Mary Elizabeth Winstead has had quite a career in the horror genre. In addition to the films mentioned in the photos above, Mary has had roles in the acclaimed adaptation of the graphic novel Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Live Free or Die Hard, The Ring Two and Sky High and has numerous other productions to her credit. The doe-eyed beauty will next be seen as Mary Todd Lincoln in the film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith‘s Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.
Congratulations to Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Written in Blood’s November 2011 Scream Queen of the Month!!
- ‘The Thing’: Mary Elizabeth Winstead on living up to John Carpenter’s legacy (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Eric Christian Olsen Talk THE THING and ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER (collider.com)
- ‘The Thing’: Mary Elizabeth Winstead on ‘stalking’ Kurt Russell (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
ROSEMARY’S BABY-United States-1968
Directed by Roman Polanski
Screenplay by Roman Polanski
Based on the novel by Ira Levin
I think I’ve watched Rosemary’s Baby maybe three times since its release in 1968. I was six years old back then, and my parents still had a grip on the things that would shape my impressionable mind. They weren’t about to let me watch a wholly adult (in the non-pornographic sense of the word) film about a young woman who gives birth to the devil’s child. I believe I was maybe 15 when I saw the film for the first time. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed. That can be easily explained, though. At fifteen I had not yet learned that the unseen is scarier than what can be seen. I was hoping for blood, gore and scary monsters and Rosemary’s Baby gives us none of that. Watching it later on life I realize that it is a brilliantly written, directed and acted film that deserves the classic status that has been bestowed upon it in the years since its release. Despite his notoriety outside the cinema, one cannot deny that Roman Polanski has crafted a motion picture that works not only as a horror film, but as an engaging and wholly thrilling drama also. Mia Farrow is perfectly cast as Rosemary Woodhouse, the young woman for who the devil comes a-courting. The rest of the cast, led by a brilliant Ruth Gordon in her Oscar-winning role as Minnie Castavet, give performances befitting of their immense talents. Watching Rosemary’s Baby once again, I realize after all these years that subtlety can be a very scary thing. I made my way through Paranormal Activity 1, 2 and 3, The Blair Witch Project and The Last Exorcism and came back full circle to this film that wrote the book on subtle horror.
- The 5 Most Stylish Scenes In Horror Movies (thegloss.com)
Okay, so Halloween will soon be upon us like a vampire upon the neck of a slumbering beauty. Soon the streets will be filled with ghosts, witches, Batmen and Batgirls, Snookis, Charlie Sheens and many more monsters, heroes and celebrities in between. My wife and I don’t have any kids and we’ll both be working that night. Her sister will be at our house passing out candy from a black cauldron of delights. It sounds corny because it is corny.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about your kid’s safety. Trick or Treating for a child can be a fun and exciting thing, but you have to follow certain precautions. It’s not like when we were kids and we lived in neighborhoods where everybody knew everybody and we all got along for the most part. There are people in this world who want nothing more than to cause harm to a child. If you think I’m trying to scare you, you’re right, I am. I want you and your children to have a safe and Happy Halloween. I want your children to all come home with huge bags of candy. I want them to go to school the next day and compare their hauls with that of their friends. The worst thing I want to happen to your child is a tummy-ache from eating too much candy.
One of the best ways to find out what houses, streets or neighborhoods are safe to take your children to is to visit the FBI Sex Offender Registry website. The site offers a state by state registry. You merely have to click on the state you live in and it will take you to a new page. Each page is a little different for each state, but it’s all pretty simple to follow. For most states you can search by city, name, and zip code or within a predetermined radius of a city or school. It’s simple and it takes very little of your time. Isn’t it important to you to know that your child will be safe this Halloween?
Here’s wishing everyone a safe and Happy Halloween! Thank you for your time. The FBI Sex Offender Registry address is below.
- Cute ideas for the little one’s Halloween! (dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com)
Directed by Jim Sheridan
Screenplay by David Loucka
Watching Dream House is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle and discovering that there are pieces missing. You look for them, to no avail, only to have them reappear at a later time, as if they were there all along. Daniel Craig stars as Will Atenton, a seemingly successful editor for a seemingly successful publishing company, who quits his job so that he can spend more time with his wife, Libby (Rachel Weisz) and their young daughters, Trish and Dee Dee. All is well with the family and the film focuses on their happiness, only to shatter it when Will makes a shocking discovery about the house and its previous tenants. To reveal this secret would give away the entire second and final act of the film. Therein, lays the problem with the film as a whole. This revelation and the earlier ‘missing pieces of the puzzle’ scenes combine to make a foreshadowing that nearly ruins the ending of the film.
Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are both quite good in their roles, and their chemistry as husband and wife is convincing. They fell in love on the set and eventually married. It makes me wonder how much of their real selves that they put into their roles. Naomi Watts gives a credible, if somewhat underplayed performance as their neighbor who knows far more about the house’s past than she lets on. Watts has always been an actress who acts with her eyes and that is no exception here.
In all, Dream House could have very well been an exciting entry in the thriller/psychological horror genre. If only the missing pieces of the puzzle hadn’t been revealed so soon; alas, too bad.
Christian Bale and Brad Pitt were considered for the role of Will.
Erik Van Looy was originally set to direct.
Director Jim Sheridan fought with Morgan Creek‘s head Jim Robinson continuously on the set over the shape of the script and the production of the movie. After Sheridan re-shot some scenes because they did not go down well with test audiences, Morgan Creek took away the film from Sheridan’s hands to re-cut it themselves. As a result, they created the trailer which many felt gave away too many of the movie’s secrets. As a result, Sheridan, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz refused to promote the film to the press.
- Dream House – Video Interviews With Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz And Naomi Watts (dreadcentral.com)
- Rachel Weisz: ’360′ To Be Released in 2012! (justjared.buzznet.com)
- ‘Dream House’ saddled with fixer-upper script (today.msnbc.msn.com)
Have you noticed lately that I’ve been in a mood to blog? When was the last time that you saw me blog twice on the same day, much less three times? I can’t explain it; I feel the need and I need to blog. But just because I want to blog doesn’t mean I have something to say. Luckily, this time I have plenty to say. Well, luckily for me. You may have a different opinion.
What I am here to submit for your approval are some rules or pieces of advice for going to the movies. I’m not an expert; I’m just a normal guy who loves movies and goes to them every chance he gets. So this is my guide to you for what to do before, during and after the movie. You may not agree with it and that’s okay. You may even have a few more words of advice to throw in and you are more than welcome to do so. So, let’s begin with what to do before the movie and see where this baby takes us.
1. Know what you want to see. Look in the paper, browse online or use your cell phone and decide what you are going to see, where you are going to see it and at what time you are going to see it. Get the decisions making process out of the way before you leave the house.
2. Leave the baby at home. When I go to see a horror movie like the latest Jason Voorhees flick I want to hear Ki Ki Ki Kill and not Ki Ki Ki Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I can guarantee you that the rest of the audience will agree with me. So if you are going to come to the movies leave the baby at home with a sitter. Babies and movie theatres do not mix. If you cannot afford a sitter then there are two options available to you. The first is to stay home and wait for the DVD. The second is to find out if the theatre has a quiet room where you can take Junior and let him wail to his heart’s content while you watch the movie and leave everyone else in peace.
3. Get there early. Always get to a movie theater early. This gives you time to get your ticket, get your drink and popcorn and find your seat without being in people’s way while the film is rolling. I cannot tell you how irritating it is for a movie to begin and see somebody’s big head and body go floating across the screen on the way to their seat. Another plus about getting there early is you get to see previews of coming attractions. You can keep the commercials, though; whoever thought that up needs to be fed to the lions.
Now, on to what to do during the film; there is only one rule so it is very easy to remember.
1. Sit down, shut up and enjoy the movie. It’s that simple. You paid good money to see this movie and more importantly so did the other people sitting in the theatre with you. So turn off your cell phone, take off your hat, zip your lip and watch the flick. If you don’t you may end up like this:
Or maybe like this
Now, we got before and during out of the way. So what about after the movie, what do you do then?
1. Go home and tell people whether you loved or hated the film. But don’t tell them how it ends or give away too much of the plot. That’s it, that’s the last rule for going to the movies.
Thank you for your time. Take care and stay scared everybody!
This film holds a special place in my heart. I know that may sound corny coming from a 49 year-old man, but the reason is because it was the very first date between myself and the beautiful woman who is now my wife of almost 4 years. There were so many reasons why I was so excited to see this film. The aforementioned first date, of course, but also because this film had so much going for it. It had two of the finest actors of past, present or future in Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland in the lead roles of Lucy and John Bell. There was the performance of Rachel Hurd-Wood as Betsy Bell that, while not Oscar worthy, was able to hold her own against the likes of Sutherland and Spacek.
Then there is the story behind the film. The story of the Bell witch is the most documented haunting in American history. It is the only reported case in which a spirit has caused the death of a living human being. The first time I remember reading about the Bell witch was in the pages of Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery. I was enthralled with the story of this vengeful entity who made life a living hell for John and Betsy Bell. Can you see why I was so stoked to see this film?
The first part of the film moves along rather nicely. It grows a bit tedious in some places, but for the most part is a faithful adaptation of the events that took place on the Bell farm in Adams, Tennessee from 1817 to 1820. The scenes of the haunting and the torture of Betsy Bell by an unseen force are well filmed and well acted and Sutherland and Spacek are at the top of their game. I am enjoying the film and intend to recommend it to friends the first chance I get. That is until the ending causes all that came before it to come crashing down like a house of cards.
Throughout the entire course of this film director/co-writer Courtney Solomon leads us to believe that he believes in the legend of the Bell witch. The ending that is tacked on to this film is like a slap in the face. Why does there have to be a rational explanation for the Bell witch? Why were the filmmakers not satisfied with what could have been an intriguing adaptation of an amazing legend in American history? The supernatural is not a rational thing, so why treat it as such?
Thank you, Courtney Solomon, for ruining a legendary tale. At least you didn’t ruin my date.
Written and Directed by Declan O’Brien
Wrong Turn 4 is a heartwarming family movie about 3 young boys who, despite their individual physical and mental deformities, are able to band together as one and survive in a world that is cruel to them at every turn.
Nah, I’m just f**cking with you. It’s a prequel to the original Wrong Turn and it has lots and lots of blood, gore, dismemberment and decapitation. It tells the story of Three Finger, One Eye and Saw Tooth from the time that they are kids incarcerated at Glenville Sanatorium in 1974; to 2003 when they entrap, torture and kill a group of teenagers holed up in the now abandoned building to escape from a horrific snowstorm. Hmm, I really think that it might have been in their best interest to take a chance with the blizzard.
Now, anyone who is a fan of the Wrong Turn series knows that it’s famous for one thing and that is lots and lots of gore. That’s why I was a little worried when I saw that the writer/director for this film was Declan O’Brien. O’Brien was the director of Wrong Turn 3, which was by far the weakest film in the bunch. So I was a little worried. But after the death by garroting/decapitation and the human fondue scene I can easily say my worries were for naught. O’Brien seems to have learned from his mistakes and his time behind the camera for this installment is well spent.
Wrong Turn 4 is not going to appeal to everyone. If you like a gory horror film then it is definitely for you. If not, there’s always Twilight.
Sean Skene, the actor who portrays Vincent, also doubles as Three Finger in the film.
In the special features section of the DVD, Terra Vnesa, Jenny Pudavick, Caitlyn Wong and Tenika Davis name the cutest of the inbred Hillbillies.
- Event Report: Screamfest LA 2011: Exclusive Night #4 Photo Gallery, Chat with Declan O’Brien, and More! (dreadcentral.com)
- Cautious New Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings Imagery (dreadcentral.com)
- Exclusive: Declan O’Brien Talks Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings from the Set (dreadcentral.com)
- Wrong Turn 4 – Win a Signed Poster and Copy of the DVD (dreadcentral.com)
- Bloody Mary options in Boston and beyond (boston.com)
EVIL DEAD II: DEAD BY DAWN-United States-1987
For all intents and purposes Evil Dead II is a direct remake of the original The Evil Dead. The story is the same, the setting is the same and it even features Bruce Campbell as Ash in a repeat performance. In fact, I even considered posting the same review from the first film. So what’s the big idea about this film? Why does it stand out against the original which is a great film in the first place? Well, that is what I am here to tell you.
Do you remember I said that the first Evil Dead was like a forest fire and that if you get in its way you’ll be left trampled underfoot and burned to a crisp? Well, it’s not like that at all with Evil Dead II. It’s more like there are two forest fires, one on your left and one on your right and they are coming at you with all the speed and flame that they can muster. You run straight ahead but there’s a train coming. You turn around to run the other way and BEEP! HONK! you get SPLATTERED by a semi! Yeah, that’s why Evil Dead II is even better than the first.
Oh, yeah, one more thing. It’s got Bruce Campbell in it and he’s got a chainsaw for a hand. Groovy, hail to the king, baby. Hail to the King.
- Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell gear up for ‘Evil Dead’ remake (insidemovies.ew.com)
- Drag Me to Hell (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- The Evil Dead (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Sam Raimi to remake The Evil Dead (independent.co.uk)
- Bruce Campbell Joins Twitter and Confirms the ‘Evil Dead’ Remake (moviefone.com)
Directed by Robert Wise
Screenplay by Nelson Gidding
Can a house be evil? Or can a person slip so deeply into insanity as to think that they are wanted by an unseen supernatural force? That is the true question that is behind ‘The Haunting’. Four people spend a weekend at Hill House to determine whether it is, indeed, haunted. There’s the professor, the one determined to find out that there are such things as ghosts. Then there’s the skeptic, the heir to Hill House who only sees an opportunity to make money. What about Theodora, the clairvoyant? Why is she at Hill House? Better yet, why is sweet, sheltered Eleanor there? As the saying goes; Hill House has stood for 90 years and might stand for 90 more…and we who walk here…walk alone.
Watching this film I found it very easy to see the influence it might have on films like Paranormal Activity or The Blair Witch Project. The Haunting is a film that proves that what you can’t see is much more terrifying than what you can. Strange and frightening things happen at Hill House ‘in the night, in the dark.’ The walls are pounded upon by unseen hands; there are disembodied voices and walls that move as if an unseen force is pushing against them. There is also the haunting by physical contact, such as with dear, sweet Eleanor (“My God, whose hand was I holding!?!”)
Today, in this age of ‘found footage’ films like PA and TBWP, a film like The Haunting may not seem all that scary. But these are different times we live in. The world is more violent and people have become jaded to the old frights such as ghosts and haunted houses. It takes more to scare us and that task is getting harder and harder. One could easily say that The Haunting was the Paranormal Activity of its time.
Claire Bloom was intrigued to the play the role of a woman who was attracted to another woman. She said she got along with everyone on the set, except for Julie Harris, who tried everything to avoid her and not talk to her. At the end of the shoot, Harris went over to Bloom’s house with a present and explained that the reason she had kept to herself was to stay in character, because Harris’ role in the film was that of an outsider that none of the others understand or will listen to. Bloom was happy to hear the real reason behind Harris’ behavior, since Bloom stated that she really liked Harris and could not understand what she herself had done wrong to be treated like that by her co-star.
Director Martin Scorsese named this his favorite horror film.
Director Robert Wise read a review of Shirley Jackson‘s novel “The Haunting of Hill House” in Time Magazine and decided to get the rights to the novel. He later met the writer herself to talk about ideas for the film. He asked her if she had thought of other titles for the novel, because the title would not work for the film. She told him that the only other title she had considered was simply “The Haunting”, so Wise decided to use it for the film.
THE EVIL DEAD-United States-1981
Written and Directed by Sam Raimi
The very first word that comes to my mind regarding Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead is masterpiece. Stephen King described it as ‘the most ferociously original horror film of the year’ at the time of its release and nothing could be closer to the truth about this movie. There is ferocity to this film that a hundred other horror films could only have wet dreams about. It starts off slow and picks up speed like a forest fire. Get in its way and you will be burned to a crisp and trampled underfoot and left in a pool of your own boiling blood and gore.
The Evil Dead possesses one of the most threadbare plots that I have ever seen in a film. Five friends venture to a remote cabin where they find The Book of the Dead and a tape recording of demonic incantations. They read the book and play the tapes and all hell breaks loose. One by one they are all taken over by flesh possessing demons. All but Ash, that is; he’s the final girl of the film. He’s the one who has all the fun chopping off limbs, decapitating, poking his thumbs into eyeballs and listening as his now demonic girlfriend chants ‘We’re gonna get you’ over and over and over again. It seems the only way you can beat these evil dead baddies is through total bodily dismemberment. Oh, what a joy!
I watch The Evil Dead at least twice a year. It helps to remind me just what a horror film should be made up. Three parts fun, three parts fear and three parts blood and gore with a simple uncluttered plot. If you haven’t seen it, what the hell are you waiting for, a written invitation? Geez!
- 25 Things You May Not Know About ‘The Evil Dead’ (moviefone.com)
- Bruce Campbell Talks Evil Dead Remake (dreadcentral.com)
- Bruce Campbell Says That Ash is NOT in ‘The Evil Dead’ Remake (moviefone.com)
- Drag Me to Hell (jmountswritteninblood.com)