Monday, March 16, 2009

New Horror Out On DVD This Week...

It's actually another slow week in horror releases, but unlike last week and the week before that... there's no real gems in here. Well, I shouldn't say that, there's a couple of films that I'll be checking out, which could be great, and I'll get to them after I talk about the films that I probably won't be checking out. In any case, you can click on the titles and go to their pages on for more information or you can go to our Youtube page to see all the trailers.

First off, don't expect to get "Twilight" on Tuesday, they're waiting until Saturday to release it, which... I don't really get. Nobody seems to be mentioning why, so I'll just forget about it and just march on through. It's really not something that we would usually discuss, as it's a huge budget studio film AND it's for kids. Having said that, it is about vampires. It's based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer and it was adapted for the screen by Melissa Rosenberg. The film was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who's done some pretty cool films. She spent most of her time as a production designer, but then came out with "Thirteen" in 2003, where she collaborated with a fourteen year-old. Hardwicke then went on to direct "Lords of Dogtown" and "The Nativity Story" before doing "Twilight". As for the plot of "Twilight", it's about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen. And, you know what? Here's a reason for you to check it out... it had a budget of $35Million and pulled in 10 times that. So, they're doing something right. In fact, horror developed for younger audiences is big business. Are you about to write a screenplay? Hmmm... keep that in mind, huh?

So, "Twilight" aside, the biggest film of the week would probably be "Walled In", which stars Mischa Barton of "The O.C." fame. It was written and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, who's... well, done not much else that I know of, but that could be because he's French and I don't watch many French films. He did win an award for Best French Script for "Les Jolies choses" in 2001 and you, uh.. may have seen that, maybe. Based on the novel by Serge Brussolo, "Walled In" is about recent engineering grad Sam Walczak, played by Barton, who is supervising the demolition of a building that has some secrets. She discovers that many of the past inhabitants were entombed alive within the walls of the pristine building by its obsessed architect and, as she unravels the story, she is drawn into the dark and frightening reality which forces her to accept her own dark past and turn the tables before she becomes the last victim. Sorry dudes, rated R for "some violence"... no mention of nudity.

"Chrysalis" isn't really a horror film, it's more sci-fi, but it's a slow week and I dig movies like this... it's from French filmmaker Julien Leclercq and the only other film to his credit is the award winning short horror, "Transit". I also wanted to mention it because I sorta dissed French film when discussing "Walled In" and this is a French film that looks pretty f'ing good. It takes place in Paris in the year 2025 and it's a violent, sci-fi crime thriller about a cop haunted by a murder he couldn't stop, a young woman scarred by her past and the hunt for a killer with a taste for sadism... all in a city where sleek technology meets a conspiracy of violence and corruption.

"Satanas", being released as "Satan" here, is an award winning Spanish film from Andres Baiz. Actually, it's not just award winning, it's multi-award winning, having one Best Latin-American Film at The Ariel Awards in Mexico, Best Columbian Film at The Bogota Film Festival, Best Film & Best Colombian Film at The Cartagena Film Festival and it was also nominated for another 3 or 4 awards elsewhere... it's based on the Mario Mendoza book and inspired by true events about three interconnected stories happening in the eve of the infamous Pozzetto Massacre. Three characters looking for love, redemption and second chances in a world reigned by their own fears, temptations, passions and pains, which will end up in a trigger of tragic events. One person's comments are, "it's the story of several people in Bogota, Columbia... it follows each of them into what I can only describe as a descent into hell, climaxing in a convergence of their worlds with an ending that will stay with the viewer for a long time."

That's really it for this week, there's a couple of films that were mentioned, but weren't available... I'll look into those. They've also rereleased a few for the horror history buffs, including "The Haunted Castle" (1921), "Faust" (1926), "Last Rites" (1979) and "Lost Souls" (1981). "The Haunted Castle" and "Faust" are both silent German chamber drama's from F.W. Murnau. "Faust" is really the classic of the two and it would end up being his last German film. "Last Rites" is NOT the flop from 1988 starring Tom Berrenger, it's the Spanish classic from 1979. Lastly, "Lost Souls" has 'never been seen by American audiences' and it's a 'jaw-dropping exploitation masterpiece', 'the most shocking film ever from the director of the shocking cult classic, "Men Behind the Sun".

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