Category Archives: Horror

CANNES LINEUP INCLUDES NEW FILMS FROM SPIKE LEE, JEAN-LUC GODARD

Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard

CREDIT: MEMENTO FILMS

New movies from Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”), Jean-Luc Godard (“The Image Book”) and Oscar-winning “Ida” director Pawel Pawlikowski (“Cold War”) join previously announced Solo: A Star War Story at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, making for a lineup that’s considerably less starry — at least by Hollywood standards — than in years past.Apart from Lee, films with American connections are few and far between. “It Follows” director David Robert Mitchell will present his 140-minute thriller Under the Silver Lake; Egyptian-made “Yomeddine” was directed by NYU Tisch graduate A.B. Shawky; and Brazilian director Joe Penna (whose English-language “Arctic” will bow in the Midnight section) resides in Los Angeles.

At the press conference in Paris, Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux explained that his programming team deliberately selected work by lesser-known and in some cases unheard-of directors. Conspicuous absences include a number of “the usual suspects” — established directors such as Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Mike Leigh to whom Cannes typically invites high-profile spots for each new film. Also missing is Naomi Kawase from a lineup that is otherwise heavy with Asian directors, including a pair of Iranians: Jafar Panahi with “Three Faces” and Asghar Farhadi, who made opening-night selection“Everybody Knows” (starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem) in Spain.

The competition program includes just three female filmmakers, prompting Frémaux to reiterate his position that “the films that were selected were chosen for their own intrinsic qualities,” not the gender of their directors. Acknowledging the importance of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, he said, “The world will never be the same again … and we will question our own practices about the gender parity” in salaries and jury representation, but stressed that “there will never be a selection with a positive discrimination for women.”

Frémaux countered criticisms that the festival may be losing its power to attract high-profile films, unconvincingly suggesting that prize-winning directors Xavier Dolan and Jacques Audiard had not turned down a formal invitation to screen in Cannes, but rather, were still editing their respective films, “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” and “The Sisters Brothers.” And yet, he admitted that American companies in particular can get nervous about how a film’s reception  in Cannes can impact its awards and box office chances, admitting, “When you are on a strategy of a late [fall] release, Cannes might not be the ideal place to show a film.”

Even a cursory survey of past lineups reveals that many films chosen for official selection already have French distribution, which is frequently timed to the days and weeks immediately following the festival. This phenom illustrates not only the way French companies leverage Cannes for publicity, but also the enormous influence they wield over the selection of such films in the first place — nowhere more evident this year than in the exclusion of Netflix from competition.

Frémaux explained that he had personally appealed to Netflix honchos Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos not to pull their films from the festival, and yet, under pressure from the French industry (where a law insists upon a three-year window between theatrical release and streaming), Cannes was forced to exclude them from competition unless Netflix agreed to sell theatrical rights to a French distributor. “We made offers on two films owned by Netflix,” said Frémaux, “and there were candidates for the theatrical distribution of those films,” including the restoration of Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind,” which Frémaux sorely wanted to invite.

Several more movies may be announced in the days to come, including a couple midnight screenings. Asked about whether Lars von Trier (whose “The House That Jack Built” would be a likely candidate) is still persona non grata with the festival, Frémaux enigmatically replied, “We will answer in a few days.”

At just 17 titles, the competition lineup is currently the smallest in decades, although it should be noted that 2017 Palme d’Or winner “The Square” was a late addition to last year’s lineup. Frémaux specifically hinted that they would have liked to invite Terry Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” which is currently tied up in a legal dispute, and said discussions are still underway with Paolo Sorrentino about his two-part “Loro,” the first half of which opens in Italy before Cannes.

Scheduled to kick off a month after the inaugural television-focused Cannes Series event, the festival will unspool from May 8-19 — which is the earliest the festival has taken place in more than 20 years. The parallel Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week programs will take place during the same dates, but technically fall outside the “official selection,” and as such, will announce their lineups later in April.

2018 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP

OPENER

“Everybody Knows” (Asghar Farhadi) 

COMPETITION

“Ash Is Purest White” (Jia Zhang-Ke)

“At War” (Stéphane Brizé)

“BlacKkKlansman” (Spike Lee) 

“Burning” (Lee Chang-dong)

“Capernaum” (Nadine Labaki)

“Cold War” (Pawel Pawlikowski)

“Dogman” (Matteo Garrone)

“Girls of the Sun” (Eva Husson)

“The Image Book” (Jean-Luc Godard)

“Lazzaro Felice” (Alice Rohrwacher)

“Leto” AKA “Summer” (Kirill Serebrennikov)

“Netemo Sametemo” AKA “Asako I & II” (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)

“Shoplifters” (Kore-Eda Hirokazu)

“Sorry Angel” (Christophe Honoré)

“Three Faces” (Jafar Panahi)

“Under the Silver Lake” (David Robert Mitchell)

“Yomeddine” (A.B. Shawky)

UN CERTAIN REGARD

“Angel Face” (Vanessa Filho)

“Border” (Ali Abbasi) — PICTURED

“El Angel” (Luis Ortega)

“Euphoria” (Valeria Golino)

“Friend” (Wanuri Kahiu)

“The Gentle Indifference of the World” (Adilkhan Yerzhanov)

“Girl” (Lukas Dhont)

“The Harvesters” (Etienne Kallos)

“In My Room” (Ulrich Köhler)

“Little Tickles” (Andréa Bescond & Eric Métayer)

“Manto” (Nandita Das)

“My Favorite Fabric” (Gaya Jiji)

“Sextape” AKA “On Your Knees, Guys” (Antoine Desrosières)

Sofia” (Meyem Benm’Barek)

OUT OF COMPETITION

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

“Le Grand Bain” (Gilles Lellouche)

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” (Ron Howard)

MIDNIGHT SCREENINGS

“Arctic” (Joe Penna)

“Gongjak” AKA “The Spy Gone North” (Yoon Jong-Bing)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

“Dead Souls” (Wang Bing)

“La Traversée” (Romain Goupil)

“O Grande Circo Místico” (Carlo Diegues)

“Pope Francis – A Man of His Word” (Wim Wenders)

“The State Against Mandela and the Others” (Nicolas Champeaux & Gilles Porte)

“10 Years in Thailand” (Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnon Sriphol & Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

“To the Four Winds” (Michel Toesca)

NETFLIX PULLS OUT OF CANNES FOLLOWING RULE CHANGE

Netflix Pulls Out of Cannes Following Rule Change

Ted Sarandos says Netflix won’t be going to Cannes this year.

Netflix’s chief content officer says that the festival sent a clear message with a new rule that bans any films without theatrical distribution in France from playing in competition. Netflix could screen some of its upcoming movies out of competition, but Sarandos says that doesn’t make sense for the streaming service.

“We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker,” Sarandos says. “There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”

Netflix made a big splash at the prestigious film festival last year with two movies that showed in competition: Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” and Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories.” But after the 2017 announcement, French theaters owners and unions protested the inclusion of these films to Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director of Cannes. Netflix was amenable to having their movies play on big screens in France, but a law in the country requires movies to not appear in home platforms for 36 months after their theatrical release.

Netflix has had day-and-date theatrical releases for such titles as “Mudbound,” Angelina Jolie’s “First They Killed My Father,” “Okja” and “The Meyerowitz Stories.”

Sarandos will not personally be attending Cannes in May, but some of his executives will be there. “It is not a coincidence that Thierry also banned selfies this year,” Sarandos says, of another new rule that doesn’t allow guests to snap pictures on the red carpet. “I don’t know what other advances in media Thierry would like to address.”

Here, Sarandos spoke with Variety about the Netflix rule change.

Are you deciding not to participate in Cannes this year?
Well, it was not our decision to make. Thierry announced the change in their qualification rules [that] requires a film to have distribution in France to get in, which is completely contrary to the spirit of any film festival in the world. Film festivals are to help films get discovered so they can get distribution. Under those rules, we could not release our films day-and-date to the world like we’ve released nearly 100 films over the last couples of years. And if we did that, we’d have to hold back that film from French subscribers for three years under French law. Therefore, our films they are not qualified for the Cannes Film Festival competition.

And you aren’t taking movies to the festival out of competition?
No. I don’t think there would be any reason to go out of competition. The rule was implicitly about Netflix, and Thierry made it explicitly about Netflix when he announced the rule.

Were you surprised by the rule? Netflix had the two biggest English-language releases at last year’s Cannes.
I would say not just on the English-language side. I think they were the biggest films in the world last year with Bong Joon-ho and Noah Baumbach and the star power we were able to bring — Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, it goes on and on. We loved the festival. We love the experience for our filmmakers and for film lovers. It’s just that the festival has chosen to celebrate distribution rather than the art of cinema. We are 100% about the art of cinema. And by the way, every other festival in the world is too.

Did you talk to Thierry before he made the rule change?
I believe it was not just Thierry’s decision. I think it was the decision of his board, which is made up of several exhibitors. I know we didn’t have any conversation with Thierry. I read about it in the press.

In interviews, Thierry said that “the Netflix people loved the red carpet,” but your “model is now the opposite” of what Cannes does. Do you agree with that?
No, obviously not. Do we love the red carpet? I love our filmmakers being on those red carpets. Of course. It’s a very glamorous, very fun event for filmmakers. That is beside the point. That is true of every festival. Last year we were jointly celebrating the art of cinema at Cannes. The divergence is this decision to define art by the business model. In that way, yes, we have diverged.

Will you or other Netflix employees be attending Cannes?
I personally won’t be attending myself. But we will have people there who are in the business of acquiring films, because many films will be there without distribution.

So you could end up buying a movie that’s in competition?
Yes 100%. We don’t discriminate that way.

Netflix acquires movies from film festivals all the time. Ultimately, this rule seems to be about preventing a movie from entering Cannes as a Netflix release.
It was a puzzle to me. Keep in mind last year at Sundance, we produced the film that won the jury prize [“I Don’t Feel at Home In This World Anymore”], and we acquired “Mudbound” in the biggest acquisition of the festival.

Have you had conversations with your filmmakers about Cannes?
We’ve talked to a lot of our filmmakers after the rule change. When we went into making these films and acquiring these films, that rule wasn’t in place. That was a change in dynamics.

Do you think Cannes might change its mind in the future?
Yeah. I do have faith that Thierry shares my love for cinema and would be a champion of changing that when he realizes how punitive this rule is to filmmakers and film lovers.

What is your message for the international film community?
We hope that they do change the rules. We hope that they modernize. But we will continue to support all films and all filmmakers. We encourage Cannes to rejoin the world cinema community and welcome them back. Thierry had said in his comments when he announced his change that the history of the Internet and the history of Cannes are two different things. Of course they are two different things. But we are choosing to be about the future of cinema. If Cannes is choosing to be stuck in the history of cinema, that’s fine.

NORWAY’S MAIPO PREPARES DYSTOPIAN THRILLER ‘FORTRESS,’ SEASON 2 OF ‘STATE OF HAPPINESS’

Norway’s Maipo Prepares Dystopian Thriller ‘Fortress,’ Season 2 of ‘State of Happiness’

Leading Norwegian company Maipo is developing “Fortress,” an ambitious dystopian thriller, and is preparing the second season of “State of Happiness” (“Lykkeland”), the historical series which is competing this week at Canneseries.

“Fortress” is created and penned by two high-profile Norwegian screenwriters: John Kåre Raake, whose track record includes Nordic blockbusters such as “The Wave,” Roar Uthaug’s disaster movie, and “Ragnarok, a family film based on Viking mythology;” and Linn-Jeanethe Kyed, who notably co-wrote “Børning” and “Børning 2,” a action-comedy movie franchise set in the world of illegal sports car racing, and Benjamin Ree’s critically acclaimed documentary feature about the Norwegian chess prodigy, Magnus Carlsen.

“Fortress” takes place in a near future in Norway which is now secluded from the rest of the world by a wall built by the nationalistic government. Norwegians live in absolute sovereignty, relying only on their own homegrown resources and caring solely about national affairs. But when a malicious epidemic starts spreading in the country, officials embark on a race against time to find who is behind the epidemic and seek help to find a cure from foreign organizations which are reluctant to provide any support.

Synnøve Hørsdal, who is producing “Fortress” with Ales Ree at Maipo, said the concept of the series echoes some tendencies of the politics happening in the western world today.

The producer said that in addition to examining the consequences of political decisions that have been made, it will mostly be a suspenseful character driven thriller.

Meanwhile, Maipo is also developing the second season of “State of Happiness” with Mette M. Bølstad (“Nobel”) back on board to write the show. Set to world premiere in competition at Canneseries on Tuesday, the first season of “State of Happiness” takes place in the summer of 1969 in the coastal town of Stavanger and follows four young characters who come from different backgrounds and are thrown into a whirlwind of opportunity during the oil boom which turned Norway into one of the world’s most prosperous countries.

“State of Happiness”‘s second season which will set the action five years later years afterwill also bring back the cast, including British actor Bart Edwards (“UnREAL”), as well as newcomers Anne Regine Ellingsæter Malene Wadel and Amund Harboe.

Hørsdal said one of the biggest challenges Maipo faced to make “State of Happiness” was raising the financing for the 10 million euros series. “Everybody says ‘we want to make different shows that are not Nordic Noir but the reality is that it’s difficult to raise financing for ambitious drama series that are not crime-based.”

Maipo is behind some of Norway’s biggest films, such as “The Ash Lad: In the Hall of the Mountain King,” and Anne Sewitsky’s anticipated “Sonja – The White Swan” about Sonja Henie, the famous ice skater-turned-Hollywood star.

BOX OFFICE: ‘A QUIET PLACE’ SOUNDS OFF WITH HUGE $50 MILLION DEBUT

Box Office: ‘A Quiet Place’ Sounds Off With Huge $50 Million Debut

Paramount Pictures’ thriller directed by John Krasinski soared past estimates to a massive $50.3 million opening in 3,508 theaters. That’s enough to land it the second highest domestic opening of the year to date behind “Black Panther,” which opened in February with $202 million. Since its debut at South by Southwest, .It currently holds an solid 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a B+ CinemaScore.“This much bigger than expected debut comes in an era of ongoing popularity for the horror genre that in North America alone last year generated over $1 billion in box office,” Paul​ Dergarabedian, a media analyst at comScore, said.Paramount’s president of domestic distribution Kyle Davies, attributed the film’s success to positive word of mouth following

“There was a lot of momentum going into the weekend that never stopped,” Davies said. “John Krasinski has emerged as an incredible filmmaker with a story that’s simple, but has clearly resonated with audiences.”
“We could not be more pleased with the result this weekend,” Universal’s head of distribution Jim Orr said. “Kay Cannon and her directorial debut knocked it out of the park. It really overperformed.”

Meanwhile, the eighth frame of “Black Panther” landed at No. 4 with $8.8 million in 2,747 locations. Domestically, the Marvel film earned $665.4 million, making it the third-biggest release of all time behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Avatar.” Globally, “Black Panther” has grossed $1.29 billion.

Rounding out the top five is Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions’ “I Can Only Imagine,” with $8.4 million in 2,894 theaters. The faith-based film has been a force at the box office, making $69 million in four weeks.

Two other newcomers, “Chappaquiddick” and “The Miracle Season” premiered slightly above estimates. Entertainment Studios’ “Chappaquiddick” opened with $5.9 million at 1,560 locations, while LD Entertainment’s “The Miracle Season” saw $4 million at 1,707 locations.

While the 2018 box office is down 2.1% compared to 2017, this weekend is up 35% compared to the same weekend last year.

THE DARKEST NOTHING: PARAPHRENIA (2018) TEASER AND POSTERS

The movie is a cyber crime psychological thriller about the first technically possible “red room” with live video streaming out of a deep web site, with the psychiatrist who is responsible for it using projection technology and the whole platform for manipulating the viewers, who indirectly submit themselves into a deep and disturbing psychotherapy with subliminal messages and explanations about dreams, fears and pop culture references, movies and music, and how they affect the audience subliminally.

This is the first feature length film out of the series, with 5 short movies as bonus material, showcasing the whole back story of the psychiatrist, his entire group and how they got into the underground horror deep web business.

Gallery and more info below!!

FILM REVIEW: ‘WINCHESTER’

Even the most tepid gothic thriller can be “original,” and “Winchester” qualifies: Set in 1906, it’s the first (and probably the last) ghost story to be haunted by the spirit of gun control. Helen Mirren, taking a paycheck role but incapable of slumming (or, at least, incapable of doing so without giving it her all), plays the real-life historical character Sarah Winchester, the turn-of-the-century California widow whose late husband, William Wirt Winchester, left her a 50 percent stake in the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. Mirren, her silver hair swirled into a Victorian bun, a black crepe dress buttoned up to her neck, speaks in an American accent, with a voice of calmly possessed clarity. Sarah sees ghosts everywhere, but she isn’t scared of them. She wants to help them. They’re the spirits of people killed by those dastardly rifles her husband invented.

The way that she helps them is to never, ever stop building rooms onto her sprawling San Jose mansion, a colossal gray Victorian with teal trim and red roofs. To say that she’s renovating the seven-story, 100-room structure wouldn’t do the project justice — the house is metastasizing. Carpenters work on it round-the-clock, sawing and hammering all night long, and the place is a loopy labyrinth of alcoves and walkways and boxy carved chambers. It’s like a cozy bed-and-breakfast the size of Xanadu, as designed by M.C. Escher. The point of all this labor is to give the ghosts a place to come and heal. But some of the spirits don’t cooperate. They’re so testy they need to be locked away, sealed into their rooms with 13 nails.

The Winchester Mystery House, as it’s known, is a legendary tourist attraction (according to San Jose folklore, it really is said to be haunted by the ghosts of people killed by Winchester rifles). But in “Winchester,” Sarah’s paranormal real-estate fetishism is more than a wealthy widow’s eccentricity — it’s a compassionate gesture offered to the victims of gun violence. The board of the Winchester Repeating Arms Co., however, thinks she’s gone around the bend, and are using that as an excuse to take away her stake.

To accomplish this, they hire a dissolute physician, Dr. Eric Price (Jason Clarke), to move in and do a psychiatric evaluation of her; basically, they pay him to declare her mentally unstable. What they don’t count on is that Price is a laudanum addict haunted by visions of his late wife, who killed herself (yes) with a gunshot. The movie’s villain, meanwhile, is the melty-faced, vengeful Jack-in-the-box spirit of a Confederate corporal whose brothers were killed by Union soldiers. “Winchester” is the supernatural-schlock version of a liberal think-tank paper. It says, “Look at all the ways guns can kill — and turn people into ghosts.”

Sarah may not be crazy, but the film seems slightly nuts. It was directed and co-written by Michael and Peter Spierig, the German-Australian filmmaking brothers who made the showy, overblown “Daybreakers” (2014) as well as the recent torture-porn sequel “Jigsaw,” and they’re trying, for once, to be “restrained.” But that just means that there’s drawing-room dialogue between Jason Clarke and Helen Mirren that sounds like it came out of a Vincent Price movie; mostly, it’s there to break up the routine ghostly shock cuts. Mirren does all she can to look like she’s having fun, but “Winchester” isn’t a movie about acting. It’s an empty grab bag of a spook show in which the Spierig brothers never do figure out a way to turn the Winchester Mystery House into an exhilarating movie set. It’s more like a hardwood maze that traps us.

TRAILER IS OUT FOR THE CURSE OF ALL HALLOWS EVE

If you like gore, torture scenes and good looking girls all wrapped up in one, then the Curse of All Hallows’ Eve is definitely the one for you. If you like horror films with a story behind the movie as creepy as feature itelf then the Curse of All Hallows’ Eve is definitely one for you. If you like well produced movies with a great cast and excellent direction, then the Curse of All Hallows’ Eve is definitely the movie for you!

Directed by Guy Bodart and his daughter Lorelei Lanford. This is the second time Bodart has collaborated with his leading man Sean Morelli. (Mr Morelli has starred in  Killer’s Mind directed by Bodart) With a wide variety of incredible talent including Vanessa Coleman, Jean Sulli, Jaime Lynch, the expertise behind this feature is truly outstanding.
Miss Lanford can be proud of the time she has put in with her first feature film and has already begun working on her follow-up feature film “House of Terror”

So what is it that has stirred rumors of the latest cursed film that has taken over 3 years in production? Well there isn’t one fateful moment that brought attention to the Curse of All Hallows Eve but a series of mysterious and catastrophic incidents.

When filming initially started one of the first actors to be cast fell ill and had to leave the production. This triggered the start of 3 years of hard work for everyone involved.
Miss Marilyn Weinmann, a legend in the horror industry, later passed away between shooting dates and caused not only logistical issues due to filming but emotional pain to everyone involved.

While these kind of issues would already have had a major impact on production, the creepiest was yet to come. Having shot the movie in Super 16mm rolls, these came out of the laboratory completely empty barring only some streaks. As a result, the entire first section of the film had to be re-shot. There is no denying that this film is eerie both in story and its background.

With all of this knowledge, we can’t wait for the latest Bodart installment. It’s looking like this film has everything you could possibly want from a horror movie.

With over 3 years in production, everyone involved has done well to keep their spirits up and it has definitely paid off as there is talk of the film being picked up by SyFy channel.
Here is the official trailer. We sure cannot wait to see the complete film

VANESSA COLEMAN Star of All Hallows’ Eve

Vanessa Coleman: Debutante of the Month

As Halloween is fast approaching, Horror films seem to come out from everywhere and most of them are huge disappointments.

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When horror film standards seem to be at an all-time low, then a film like All Hallows’Eve comes along.

The biggest (and pleasant) surprise is the star of the film,  Vanessa Coleman. All Hallow’s Eve is her debut film in the US but she is not unknown in her homeland (UK) as she appeared in many theater plays in London.

In All Hallows’ Eve, Miss Coleman plays a dual role. That of the Evil Countess Victoria from the 1400s and a housewife in present time.  We are certain that All Hallows’ Eve is only the start to a long cinematographic career for Miss Vanessa Coleman

Vanessa Coleman Star of All Hallows’ Eve

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