The British duo make their film acting debuts in epic style, starring as soldiers in Christopher Nolan’s World War II action thriller Dunkirk (in theaters Thursday night).
Whitehead, 20, was working in a coffee shop for money before he got the call to play Tommy. Styles, 23, came from a very different direction, One Direction music stardom, to earn the role of Alex.
“It was nice to not be the only newbie on set,” Whitehead says. “We were thrown into the same boat, really.”
Off the boat as well, as Dunkirk depicts the famed British troop evacuation across the English Channel, with both characters reeling when their ships are sunk by German attacks.
Whitehead and Styles sat down to discuss freaking out when they were cast, a real fear of drowning and exploring the dark side.
Q: When you found out you landed your first movie roles in a Christopher Nolan film, what was the percentage of joy to panic?
Whitehead: You get the initial hit of excitement. Followed by a plunging sense of panic right up to the first day of filming.
Styles: It was about 50/50. I was totally, completely overjoyed. But then the panic started and stayed with me. Actually, it left about four minutes ago. And now this is bringing it all back.
Q: How real did the drowning scenes feel underwater?
Whitehead: The minute you’re starved of oxygen, you get this slight sense of panic anyway. Added to that the fact that you’re in the dark. There’s something about swimming in the dark that was so much scarier.
Styles: While you’re down there filming and acting out the scene, you’re also thinking, “I cannot breathe for much longer than this,” which obviously helps the situation.
Q: You guys look exhausted even sitting on the beach between scenes. Were you?
Whitehead: I was knackered. Anytime we look tired or cold or waterlogged, it was because a lot of time we were. So when the cameras were on, it was about being as natural as possible and trying to avoid acting.
Styles: We all, along with the crew, were just getting rest when we could. They didn’t put us in heated tents or anything like that between scenes. You were out there still. It really stripped you down to your bare bones. It made the whole film kind of come out in its rawest form.
Q: Harry, your Alex goes dark during battle, was that difficult for a laid-back guy to bring out?
Styles: I really enjoyed it. Absolutely. It’s so different to try and completely remove yourself from a situation and be someone else. It was something new for me.
Whitehead: That scene really highlights Tommy’s compassion and humanity he has managed to cling onto. And Alex is kind of veering toward selfishness, you could say.
Styles: You’re not offending me. He is selfish.
Q: Where do we stand with second film projects?
Styles: Fionn will only do full nude work from now on.
Whitehead: This is his sarcasm. Just FYI. Often, this is misconstrued.
Styles: OK, I’ll put that in my (contract) clause. But I haven’t thought too much in terms of next movie. I’m so excited about this project coming out. Even with the drowning scenes, I quite enjoyed it, to be honest. I’d do it again.
10 Movies that could change your understanding about life
Every movie has the ability to affect its viewer differently. Some films evoke wonder and excitement, while others provoke fear or sorrow, but a commonality among all films is a prevailing message or theme.
Some films can summon such profound questions, that it changes the way you perceive life as you once knew it. The following list contains 10 unique movies that do just that.
10) Donnie Darko
Richard Kelly’s cult-classic Donnie Darko stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a troubled, sleep-walking teen who is insistent in challenging authority and who is often visited by Frank, a monstrous rabbit that urges Donnie to perform dangerous and destructive pranks.
A haunting work of loneliness, alienation and the universal desire for companionship and meaning that’s wrapped in a guise of understated ‘80s nostalgia and head-spinning science fiction mythology, Donnie Darko is a film you shouldn’t miss.
What makes Donnie Darko especially fascinating is its take on multiple realities and universes. The film explores concepts of imploding universes, black holes and alternate timelines. It leaves most scratching their heads and itching for an immediate second viewing. Richard Kelly stated that the film has varying interpretations, which is why the film is still analysed and debated about to this day.
9) The Matrix
A smartly crafted combination of stimulating action and mind-bending philosophy, The Matrix is a film that throws our perceived reality into question. The film’s premise finds Neo (Keanu Reeves), an office-worker by day, computer hacker by night, who is told about the grand illusion. That is, the reality as we know it is false, a simulated and constructed reality in which mankind is unknowingly imprisoned.
The film is an allegory for the concept of a spiritual awakening. Neo is woken up to the fact that he’s been enslaved to the system, the matrix, his entire life. He is re-taught about his unlimited potential as a creator-being, and stands up against the dark forces which impose humanity. Amazing in every sense, The Matrix has a lot to offer, with the potential to change the way you understand the world we live in.
8) Waking Life
Absurd, transporting, and strikingly original, Waking Life poses many life-changing questions, such as ‘What are dreams and what is reality?’ Within the animated film, the line between the dream-state and reality become blurred as the protagonist wanders through various scenarios and interacts with an eclectic cast of characters.
Each character throws science and philosophy into question, and as the main character continues to experience the extended dream, he begins to worry he will not awaken.
Humans and inanimate details are sometimes quite realistic, even recognizable (such as Ethan Hawke) but the computer “painting” can give subjects forms, movements and dimensions that are wildly exaggerated, limber and stylized in cartoon-like fashion. The movie looks like an LSD trip, and is a cult classic that could find a spot in everyone’s top ten list.
7) Cloud Atlas
Colossal in scale, Cloud Atlas follows 6 interwoven story lines that span hundreds of years. The official synopsis describes it as “an exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.”
Cloud Atlas’s prevalent theme delves into the theory of reincarnation, which boasts that an eternal aspect of our self, the soul, experiences any number of lives incarnating here on Earth. The film also explores the concept of karma and the karmic cycle, suggesting that our actions in one lifetime may reverberate into the next.
Although the critic consensus is mixed for Cloud Atlas, one must applaud the film for tackling an unconventional theory such as reincarnation as well as a massively ambitious story line.
6) Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring is a Korean film that follows a Buddhist monk and his journey at a monastery that floats on a lake in a pristine forest. The story follows the monk as he passes through the seasons of his life, from childhood to old age.
Each changing season act as beautiful metaphors and lesson that the main character is experiencing. The film is very quiet, but the breathtaking imagery speaks for itself. Although the story has only a handful of characters and everything takes place in a small area, it encompasses a surprisingly large chunk of the human experience, including lust, love, jealousy, murder, suicide and redemption. It has important things to say about the difficulty of teaching and the elusiveness of wisdom.
This film is about learning from one’s mistakes and becoming a better person by seeking wisdom.
In a number of Eastern faiths, samsara literally means “continuous flow,” referring obliquely to the ongoing cycle of life and death, decay and renewal.
Samsara, the film, turns that idea into a sprawling concept, a continuous flow of images of the natural world and the human tide that dominates it. The film envelops the audience with a barrage of diverse imagery that shifts rapidly from one locale and one theme to the next.
Through watching the continuous imagery, we are given the chance to truly observe our world with utmost presence, something we tend not do in our fast-paced culture. It’s a journey through life and death, and a film which may give you a new perspective on the human experience.
Detachment is a chronicle of one month in the lives of several high school teachers, administrators and students through the eyes of a substitute teacher named Henry Barthes (Adrien Brody). Barthes’ method of imparting vital knowledge to his temporary students is interrupted by the arrival of three women in his life — the damaged and naïve prostitute Erica, a fellow teacher and a troubled teen named Meredith.
These women all have profound effects on Barthes’ life, forcing him to both re-discover aspects of his own personality, and to come to terms with both the tragic suicide of his mother and the impending death of his grandfather.
Henry impacts his students’ lives and makes them more focused and attentive, but he alone can only do so much. The film is a character study of one man, and a social commentary on the failing education and social systems.
Her follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely introverted middle-aged man who hears of the new OS1, the world’s first artificial intelligent operating system. When Theodore meets Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the charming female voice of his OS1, he soon finds himself drawn to her romantically. As he becomes closer to Samantha, Theodore must decipher where his desire to be with her is really coming from.
There are many themes in Her that parallel the issues of our current technology-obsessed culture. We’ve become so attached to our phones, laptops and tablets that we’ve begun to lose touch with an essential aspect of life, authentic human interaction. Her reveals how technology is propelling isolation and loneliness to a scary degree, something we all should consider.
2) Fight Club
Fight Club teaches its viewer many things. A big lesson realized from watching the film is the emptiness that exists within consumerism and materialism. It’s also a film which questions our attachment to identity -are we really who we believe ourselves to be? The film shocks its viewer when we discover that the ‘revolution’ which has been building up is a mere satire constructed to teach the main character a massive lesson about the state of humanity.
1) Life Is Beautiful
Life is Beautiful reveals the power of optimism and perception during dark times. The story is simple: A father tries to shelter his son and family from the horrors of WWII. It teaches us how preserving our child-like innocence can protect us from the troubles life may throw at us. A simple concept that is beautifully crafted.
Obviously this list only skims the amount of life-changing films available today. I didn’t even mention documentaries, because there are too many to start listing. What are some movies or documentaries that have impacted your life?
Riddle: How did you escape with nothing but a scar, while Lord Voldemort’s powers were destroyed?
Riddle: Voldemort is my past, present and future.
Riddle pulls Harry’s want from his pocket and traces it through the air, writing three shimmering words…
Riddle: What?! How dare you laugh at the Dark Lord!
Harry: Now I’m imagining you…Jailhouse Rock…Merlin’s beard!
Harry, giggling slightly under his breath: Elvis…
Holy shit, okay, I’ve been wanting to do this forever because Voldy’s middle name in the French translation is Elvis and I’ve just always found it funny. So this happened in like ten minutes because I have no self control.
It worries me when people actually believe that Beauty and the Beast is about Stockholm Syndrome and/or abuse. Everyone is entitled to their own interpretation, for sure. But when people start shaming others for enjoying the tale, it becomes a problem.
Let’s break it down:
“Beauty and the Beast shows how Stockholm Syndrome works”
Actually, Stockholm Syndrome is yet to be recognized as an actual mental disorder, and people who have been part of hostage situations have denied it.
Stockholm Syndrome involves adapting your actions to please a captor when you feel threatened. It is a survival mechanism. In this case, Belle never changes for the Beast, and instead challenges him every time.
“But Beast kidnapped and captured Belle in his castle. He is a captor”
He didn’t kidnap her. Belle chose to take upon herself a penalty that fell on her father due to his trespassing.
Also, let’s remember that we can’t analyze a film without taking its historical setting into account. The story takes place in a Royal background during the 18th Century, when the justice system was nothing like ours.
As a result, Royalty -to which the Prince, who is now a Beast, belonged to- dealt with trespassers much differently than we do, as they believed their word to be the law.
Yes, the Beast/the Prince is her captor. But only because he is punishing her for what he considers to be a transgression on her father’s part. Let’s remember: this is a character that lost his kingdom, and the only power he now has, has been reduced to the castle and what exists in it. Growing out of this mentality and what has been wrongly taught to him, is part of his character arc (and it’s also why it makes sense that an Enchantress would want to teach a lesson to a Prince and not someone like Gaston, since the entire kingdom depends on him).
“But he’s abusive”
The Beast never insults or physically harms Belle. At most, he’s rude and demanding…in 2 scenes. Yes. When people talk about the Beast’s abuse in the animation, only two or three scenes where he’s yelling or smashing furniture are used to support the theory.
1- The scenes (being rude to Belle on the way to her room, demanding Belle dines with him, and throwing her from the West Wing and smashing furniture) occur on the same day. The very same day he’s had to interact with another person for the 1st time in 10 years, after almost becoming a complete animal. There’s pent up anger, for sure. But never again do we see the Beast being either forceful or violent. On the contrary, he learns his way into gaining his human behavior back.
2- In each of the scenes, the animators made careful decisions to show the Beast’s instant regret. When analyzing a film, we can’t forget the visual cues that it gives us.
3- Belle doesn’t fear him. Even after seeing him easily take on the wolves that attacked her (that is, at his most violent), she confronts him and calls him out on his rudeness. A scared person wouldn’t dare to do so. She’s an immovable force that the Beast doesn’t know how to deal with, not a victim.
4- We can’t choose to forget that the Beast sets her free, which is no small feat for someone who has been brought up in a royal background.
“But it glamorizes abusive relationships by making girls believe they can change men”
No. Choices made by Linda Woolverton (script) and Howard Ashman (lyrics) focus on Belle and the Beast as outcasts, and forcing her to stay in the castle is a plot device to help the characters get to know each other (and, like I mentioned before, it’s justified by the messed up royal background of the Beast).
It doesn’t ‘glamorize’ an abusive relationship. When the Beast is rude and violent, Belle doesn’t take an interest in him and she actively rejects him. It’s only when the power balance shifts and they treat each other as equals, that the friendship and attraction begin.
The tale is more about outcasts finding solace in each other, than about a woman changing a man to fit her standards. Both Belle and the Beast change in some way. Both must look past each other’s appearance and behavior (both are stubborn and set on their ways) to find what is within. The fact that what is in there pleases them both is what makes the tale great. After all, Belle could have found another Gaston inside the Beast.
“But in real life people don’t change for other people”
In real life, people don’t turn into beasts and furniture. There are no curses or enchantments. We’re dealing with a fairy tale that shows us how the world should be, could be or we would want it to be. And if things didn’t work out for the better, there would be no story to tell.
Let’s never forget the striking difference between fiction and reality. And if you’re worried kids will get the wrong message, talk to them. Don’t blame it on the films or the stories.
We can’t and shouldn’t judge a film on account of its validity in real life. In real life, most of us wouldn’t support vigilantism, yet we enjoy films like Batman or The Avengers without a hitch. In real life, we would probably reject terrorism, yet we enjoy Heath Ledger’s Joker (The Dark Knight) and Hugo Weaving’s V (V for Vendetta) despite the fact that both can be labeled as terrorists.
I’ll be writing more about this soon, but for now, I truly hope people will take a closer look at a film before just glancing at the plot and thinking: “oh, this sounds too much like this other thing! It must be the same!”.
Take the time to consider all the elements in a story before letting a Meme or a Tweet define how you see it.
“haz don’t you dare be late” i growled into the phone. here i was walking through the airport in atlanta to surprise my brothers best friend tom on set of the movie he is starring in. spiderman: homecoming.
i was annoyed because i was stuck on a plane for nine hours. i didn’t want harrison to be late, he was gonna pick me up from the air port and drive me to set where everyone was.
i made my way through the large crowded airport happy to be back on the ground. my luggage rolled behind me, i scrolled through my phone changing the song when it buzzed with a text from harrison.
'don’t text and walk. it’s dangerous.’ haz😷
i looked up and saw the bright blue eyes of my big brother. i began walking to the boy whose arms were flailing in the air trying to capture my attention. he began jogging toward me with his arms out stretched.
“buggy!” he shouted as we collided into a big hug. “haz!” i said excitedly hugging my brother. tom has kidnapped him for 92 days, he annoys me but a girl needs her big brother.
The cast and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi give us the lowdown on new creatures, new cast members and who might be going to the dark side.
— SciFiNow Magazine #139
[ I transcribed this myself so please credit + link back to me if you’re sharing/quoting anything from this piece ]
Most film franchises like to play
their cards close to their chests,
but Star Wars is in another
league. It’s understandable that
the franchise known for pulling off one of the
greatest shock twists in movie history wants to
keep plotlines on the down low, but by goodness
it makes it hard to write about them.
So here’s what we know about Star Wars: The Last
Jedi – Rey goes to Luke Skywalker
to seek Jedi training while Finn, Poe Dameron and General Leia’s
Resistance continues to fight against
the First Order, led by Kylo Ren,
General Hux, Captain Phasma and the mysterious Supreme Leader
Snoke. So, basically, exactly where The Force Awakens left off.
There are hints and suggestions at where the story
may go. We know that Finn and new character Rose end up at a giant casino, and we know that Benicio
del Toro and Laura Dern have joined the cast.
But other than that, everything is tightly under
wraps. And, as far as del Toro is concerned,
that’s exactly how it should be: “The fans want
that wrapping paper around that Christmas gift,”
he says. “Don’t give it to them without the paper.
They don’t want to see it when they walk in the
room. They don’t want to know.”
For Kelly Marie Tran, a newcomer to both
Star Wars and movies in general, who plays
Rose, her casting in The Last Jedi came with
mind-boggling levels of secrecy. She wasn’t
even allowed to tell her family that she’d got the
part, or even that she was filming in London, in case they put two and two together. “I told
everyone… I was doing a small indie movie in
Canada. I would send pictures of Toronto that I got from Google to my friends saying ‘this is where I am!’. It was a weird time.”
was similarly tight on set. “Everyone is in these
tinted-window cars, transported from one part of the set to another,” Tran explains. “And you’re
wearing these like black robes. They’re like
secrecy robes, so no one can tell who you are.
It’s insane the amount of security there is.”
Got started on a long awaited campaign for World of Darkness today. The Child character I built for fun/tropes is turning out to be extremely useful. Basically the only thing he started out with before the campaign was talking to his Grimoire and Occult knowledge – now he’s full on the kid from The Sixth Sense and I love it.
Also we unanimously decided his grimoire was basically like Book from Hocus Pocus and he carries it like a backpack because of how big it is.
i really love leverage because the concept has the potential to be super dark and gritty and angsty and morally ambiguous–you’ve got the grieving father of a child who died of cancer, you’ve got legal injustice versus illegal justice, you’ve got characters with severe emotional issues, dark pasts, and substance abuse problems–but instead it’s this sweet, lighthearted, seriously funny show about a found family of master criminals that does things like film a whole episode in the style of the office or name characters’ aliases after sci-fi actors. it still has enough solemn moments to respect the darkness of the characters and the issues that the show handles, but it never falls into that darkness so hard or for so long that the fundamental tone of the series is lost. i really, really love leverage.
100 Overlooked/Underappreciated Horror Movie Gems by Max Molinaro
For the past five months I’ve been writing lists of 20 great horror films that I feel may have been overlooked. Here are those five lists assembled in to one place. Enjoy the scares.
Chances are if you are a giant horror fan you may have seen a pretty decent chunk of these, but a vast majority have likely not seen many of them. This is a list of under seen films or movies that aren’t talked about enough when discussing some of the greats…
Possession– I can honestly say there is nothing else like Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession. Starring Sam Neill as Mark and Isabelle Adjani as Anna, Possession is first and foremost about a dissolving marriage. Anna is done with the relationship and Mark tries to salvage it, but revelation after revelation puts more and more strain on their hopes of living happily ever after. As the film progresses it becomes increasingly surreal and disturbing. Mark is livid and lashes out against just about everyone after Anna leaves him, clearly losing his grip. As bad as Mark is becoming, it is nowhere close to the horrors that Anna is facing. Blood drips her mouth and she frequently disappears into a mysterious apartment building. What she is doing in this apartment is something no one can predict and it is deeply troubling. Neill is amazing, but Adjani is the stand out performance in the film. It is an exceptionally physical performance and you can tell that Adjani is giving it her all. One scene where she has some kind of attack that causes her to flail around the ground is extraordinary and the ending of the sequence is truly disgusting. Possession is really an incredible film with many interpretations and some of the most unforgettable images ever put to on screen.
The Devils – There is nothing else like Ken Russell’s 1971 highly controversial film, The Devils. Starring Oliver Reed as Father Urbain Grandier, a lecherous, but respected 17th Century priest, who has great power in a small-fortified French town. He marries a young nun after they fall in love, but that drives a hunchback nun (who as loved Grandier and pictured having sex with him as he appears as Jesus Christ coming down from the cross in the film’s most infamous scene) off the deep end and accusing the priest of witchcraft and consorting with the devil. The Devils is insane and feels like a demented acid trip. Filled with amazing performances and unforgettable scenes, The Devils is one of the most interesting (certain people would say offensive) and greatest horror dramas ever made.
Martyrs – This is a rough one that’s may even be too much for some horror movie veterans, let alone folks new to the genre. Martyrs is a French directed by Pascal Laugier and stars Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoï. The film follows the two female leads as one seeks revenge for being kidnapped and tortured in her youth. She’s been psychologically damaged and has become ruthless in her pursuits. She is also racked with guilt about something she witness during her initial escape many years agao, which leads to some of the film’s most frightening sequences. It’s a brutal and in many way nihilistic as it is part of the New French Extremity movement, where you’ll find a smorgasbord of hyper violent cinema. If you can get past the darkness and the violence, you’ll see that there is more to the film than meets the eye and there are many ways to interpret its message.
Ginger Snaps - John Fawcett’s Canadian teen horror film follows Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle), two sisters with a morbid fascination with death. One night they are attacked by what was originally thought to be a rabid dog and Ginger is bit. She soon begins acting strange (and I mean strange for the Fitzgerald sisters, because they already had a reputation) and slowly begins to change physically. It is clear that she is becoming a werewolf and she begins to turn on her sister, the only person she has ever cared for. Ginger Snaps is one of my personal favorite werewolf movies, second only to the classic John Landis film An American Werewolf in London. This tragic tale is sometimes darkly funny, but is ultimately a story about girls entering womanhood. It’s an intelligent take on puberty through the guise of a werewolf movie.
From Beyond – “Humans are such easy prey”. From the director of Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon, and many other people involved in that film, comes From Beyond, the best film to date to be directly based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft. The film stars Jeffrey Combs (the Re-Animator himself), Barbara Crampton, Ken Foree and Ted Sorel and is a gory body-horror film unlike anything you’ve seen before. When two scientists create a device that let’s them see through reality to a metaphysical world, they mistakenly open a door that risks unleashing horrible beasts on the rest of the world. Their experiment turns into a disgusting nightmare that would make Lovecraft himself proud as the film reminds you “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far” (Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu).
Eyes Without a Face – This French pseudo-slasher film, released the same year as Psycho, remains just as shocking today as it did all those decades ago. Directed by Georges Franju and starring Pierre Brasseur and Alida Valli, the film follows a mad doctor as he kidnaps and murders women in order to remove their faces and transplant them on to his disfigured daughter. In many ways the film is as grotesquely beautiful as it is disturbing and continues to be highly influential across the globe.
Stake Land – Director Jim Mickle’s second feature is an ultra low budget that combines vampire and zombie apocalypse stories in some incredibly unique ways. Starring Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Danielle Harris and Kelly McGillis, Stake Land follows survivors of a vampire apocalypse as they do everything in their power just to survive. Damici plays a bit of a badass vampire slayer, which Paolo is just learning the ropes. Both scary and sad, Stake Land is a character driven indie that is a must.
We Are What We Are – Jim Mickle’s follow-up film to Stake Land was even better and proved that Mickle is a director to watch. A loose and superior remake of a 2010 Mexican of the same, We Are What We Are is a film about family suffering from the lose of the mother. The father (Bill Sage), an old fashioned man, now must lay the burdens formally helf by his wife on his two daughters (Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner) and those burdens are unlike that of any normal American family. Just like Stake Land is ultra low budget horror drama is depressing, but you can’t look away as this family begins to buckle under the weight of their own traditions. Michael Parks also stars and he is always a welcomed presence.
Trick ‘r Treat - I love Trick ‘r Treat so much. I now watch it every Halloween alongside John Carpenter’s classic Halloween. It’s that good. This horror anthology directed by Michael Dougherty and starring Dylan Baker, Brian Cox and Anna Paquin is one of the most purely fun horror films to come out in the past decade. Featuring several short stories that are intertwined both in the editing and with characters has just about everything you could ask for and perfectly captures the spirit of the holiday.
The Devil Rides Out – Though some effects and storytelling elements may be a tad dated for some, this little known Hammer Horror classic directed by Terence Fisher and starring Christopher Lee, Niké Arrighi, Charles Gray, Leon Greene, and Patrick Mower gets that all good horror films need to have a certain kind of atmosphere to be effective. This is classic battle of good versus evil and has Christopher Lee in a rare role of playing a hero instead of one of his many classic villainous roles.
Splinter – Another dirt cheap monster movie, Splinter is directed by Toby Wilkins and stars Shea Whigham (on of those “you’d know him if you saw him actors”), Jill Wagner, and Paulo Costanzo. Whigham plays an escaped convict who becomes stuck in a secluded gas station with a young couple when a strange virus turns its hosts into a horrid creature. Similar to Carpenter’s The Thing is some respects, Splinter is a tightly paced, claustrophobic, and creepy monster movie and I love it.
Kill List – Upcoming British director, Ben Wheatley, delivered a morbid look into the darkness of a man’s soul with his 2011 horror-thriller starring Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, and MyAnna Buring. It follows two contract killers as one of them, a family man outside of work, becomes increasingly violent and spirals out of control. Like Martyrs, Kill List is a very dark film that can be interpreted in many different ways. The third act of the film is simply terrifying.
Pontypool – Possibly the most original take on the zombie film in the past couple of years, this Canadian horror film directed by Bruce McDonald and starring Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, and Georgina Reilly is really something special. Set almost entirely in a radio station where radio announcer, Grant Mazzy, tries to understand the chaos going on outside just by listening to the incoherent reports he is receiving from his colleagues and from the horrible sounds he is hearing. Is there a riot? Is it zombies? What is causing all this violence outside and with the crew of this small radio make it through the night alive? You’ll never guess what’s going to happen next in this highly intelligent horror film.
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End – The original Wrong Turn was a serivable slasher film about a couple of mutant hillbillies offing beautiful middle in the middle of the woods, both with this first sequel the franchise really stepped it up a notch and then a couple of notches after that. Directed by Joe Lynch, the film follows a group of people on a reality TV game show set in the wilderness, but of course the wood are home to a family of inbred mutant cannibals. This is a movie that’s for the gorehounds out there. Right from form the get-go the film pulls no punches and features grisly deaths throughout.
Santa Sangre – This might be the one that may be just too much for some casual filmgoers. Directed by one of cinema’s all time greats, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Santa Sangre is an abstract work of very surreal art. Though there is more a clear cut narrative that some of Jodorowsky’s other work like Holy Mountain (which I absolutely LOVE, but I can see why it might by an acquired taste), Santa Sangre cans still be described as very avant-garde. Starring Axel Jodorowsky, Adan Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell, and Thelma Tixou, Santa Sangre is not a film with a plot that I could succinctly describe. It is a film that to have to experience because it really is art and pure as art can come. Jodorowsky is really just a brilliant madman.
The Bay – This is a found footage horror film directed by Barry Levinson. Yeah, that Barry Levinson who directed Diner, The Natural, Rain Man, and Wag the Dog. The Bay is Levinson trying something outside his comfort zone and that is reason enough for one to give it a try, but it helps that it is a really well done film. Based on the horrifying real life parasite known as Cymothoa exigua, The Bay is a story about a fictional town being almost completely wiped out in the course of a day by the wretched little tongue eaters. Disgusting and genuinely creepy, The Bay is really successful little film from a director doing something outside his wheelhouse.
The Loved Ones - Directed by Sean Byrne and starring Xavier Samuel and Robin McLeavy, The Loved One is a violent Australian film that’s not for the faint of heart. A teen is kidnapped and tortured by a crazed young woman and her father as they hold a mock prom in their isolated home. Just when you think things can’t get any worse for Brent (Samuel) they of course get far more terrible. The relationship between the murderous duo is a fascinating one as you slowly learn more and more about them as the film goes one. You’ll never want to go to a school dance again after this.
City of the Living Dead – Directed by the “godfather of gore” Lucio Fulci, this Italian film is fun, gory, atmospheric, and stylish. It kicked off Fulci’s unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy, where the other two films will probably be included in later editions of this series of articles. It’s a bit silly at times, but it’s a fun zombie film that could only be made in the time and country that it was made. Some good Lovecraft references peppered in throughout as well are nice touch.
F (aka The Expelled) – I suspect that this is the least know film on this list and it’s a shame because this is a damn good British horror film. Directed by Johannes Roberts and starring David Schofield, the film follows a high school teacher, who is getting dumped on from almost every direction. His day only gets worse when he gets into a conflict with his daughter that might cost him his family and is job. Those problems soon take second fiddle to something even worse as Schofield begins to be tormented by several hooded kids. Eventually the faceless hoodlums become violent and begin murdering the few people who have remained at the school several hours into the night after the school day has ended. This is a dark, tightly paced, well directed and acted, film that I high recommend you seek out. Also features a really haunting and fantastic musical score.
Who Can Kill a Child? – This Spanish horror film directed by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador follows and English couple (played by Lewis Fiander and Prunella Ransome) on holiday. They arrive at their destination to find all the adults missing and the islands children stalking them. The kids turn violent and the couple must do whatever they can to survive. Adding to the peril, the wife is pregnant, which just makes their quest to survive all the more desperate. This is a harrowing film and you can imagine by the title and by the end you may have an answer to the question it asks.
Frozen – Let’s this out of the way first: I’m not talking about that wonderful Disney film, I’m talking about Hatchet director’s Frozen, so we should just let it go (wink). It’s just a coincidence that this is the third single location horror film on this list after Splinter and Pontypool, but is can be a wonderful challenge is low budget horror filmmaking sometimes and it pays off in spades in Frozen. The premise is simple as it is just a film about three characters played by Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, and Kevin Zegers as they are stuck on a ski lift after the ski lodge shuts down for the night. They’re only option is to find a way down or freeze to death over the next week while the resort is closed. Their escape is hindered by the cold, height, and a pack of wolves waiting for some tasty human meat to come down and that is where the horror lies. It’s a film that’ll have you asking, “what would I do in this situation?” and “how quick would I start to turn on my friends?”. This is a horror movie that relies on tension and sound design as opposed to gore and jump scares and shows Adam Green’s potential after doing the fun Hatchet films.
The Burning – This is just pure 80s. Everything about this movie is just so much of the time. This is a quintessential 80s slasher film, which was just a knock-off of Friday the 13th(which in turn was riding the coattails of Halloween). Directed by Tony Maylam and featuring some gory makeup effect by famed special effects makeup artist Tom Savini, The Burning is just a blast of a film, with a memorable villain named Cropsy. Fun fact: a young Jason Alexander’s very first feature film role.
The House of the Devil – The film that put Ti West on the map, The House of the devil is a brilliant throwback to low-budget 80s horror. Shot to look like it was done with grainy film stock used in the early 80s, the film gets the tone and look of the time perfectly. A college student takes a baby-sitting job, but finds out the job is more than she bargained for when the house’s owners turn out to be members of a satanic cult. It’s a slow burn that racks up the tension to a big climax. The film features the great character actor Tom Noonan who excels at playing both a kindly and creepy older gentleman. The House of the Devil is the first great film from one of horror’s best young minds.
Cheap Thrills– What would you do for five bucks? Ten? A hundred? Ten thousands? Would you say something that’ll get you slapped in the face? Would you vandalize a neighbor’s house? Cut of a finger? Those are the questions that the characters played by Pat Healy (The Innkeepers) and Ethan Embry (Can’t Hardly Wait) have to answer when they meet David Koechner (Anchorman) and his wife Sara Paxton (The Innkeepers) at a bar one night. The film is darkly funny and equally twisted. Pat Healy gives a layered performance as man that’s always gotten the short end of the stick and never done anything about it, but may finally step up under some insane circumstances. Cheap Thrills by E.L. Katz is a mean little piece of fascinating thrills that leaving you asking “what would I do?”.
The Werewolf– A stranger comes into town on a dark night, lost and confused. He runs afoul with an angry drunk and the wino winds up dead. It looks like an animal attack, but no one knows what kind of animal and where the stranger went of too. It sounds fairly generic, especially with such a simple title, but this 1956 B—movie is better than you’d think. Great makeup effects plus a 50s sci-fi twist on the classic werewolf myth and better character work than most genre films of the period, the film is a cheesy fun way to spend 79 minutes.
Monkey Shines – From master of horror George A. Romero, Monkey Shines Alan Mann played by Jason Beghe (Chicago Fire), who is rendered quadriplegic after a tragic accident. A friend of his, a scientist, gives Alan an unusually intelligent capuchin monkey to help him out. The monkey isn’t just unusually intelligent, but hyper intelligent due to medical experimentation. The monkey, Ella, quickly becomes attached to Alan and overly protective of him. Due to the experiments, they unknowingly become linked telepathically linked and Ella acts on the angry feelings that Alan never would act on in a million years. Alan eventually becomes a prisoner in his own home and is helpless due to his condition. His inability to move is a simple, yet highly effective way to create a ton of suspense throughout the film.
The Dentist– From director Brian Yuzna (Society) and producer Stuart Gordon (director of Re-Animator and From Beyond) The Dentist is about exactly what you think it is. Corbin Bernsen plays a dentist who is pushed too far by his cheating wife and stressed filled job. He takes matters into his own hands and begins torturing and murdering anyone that his the misfortune of finding themselves in his chair. You know how you get especially squeamish with little things like nails being pulled or stepping on tacks? This whole movie is little things like that involving teeth and the mouth. It’s gross and it’s under the skin like any of the best Yuzna/Gordon productions.
Lake Mungo – A 2008 Australian horror mockumentary tells the story of the drowning of the 16 year old Alice Palmer and how her parents and brother deal with the events after her death. The film is highly atmospheric and a great slow burn. There are elements of a mystery as to why Alice is appearing in home videos after her death and what she was actually like in life as opposed to the face she put on for her family. More creepy and intriguing than outright scary, Lake Mungo should be a film that sticks with you for a while. It is also pretty interesting if you’re a fan of Twin Peaks and you start seeing that the entire film plays out like an homage to the classic series.
The Tunnel – An Australian found-footage film that follows a small investigative news team looking to learn the truth behind a possible government cover-up regarding a recent water shortage. They enter the sewer system under Sydney, but soon they see an emaciated looking figure lurking in the shadows. They lose their sense of direction in the labyrinth and realize that something is stalking them. The Tunnel is pretty damn terrifying. It’s claustrophobic, tightly scripted, and tense from beginning to end.
Eden Lake – One of several British horror films on this list today is 2008’s Eden Lake. The film stars Kelly Reilly as Jenny and Michael Fassbender (one of this generation’s greatest actors) and Steve, a young couple on a romantic getaway at a remote lake. Everything seems perfect until they have a run-in with some punk teenagers. Steve confronts them, but then decides that him and Jenny should just move further down the beach. The confrontation eventually escalates and turns dangerous as the teens chase down the couple with deadly intent. More brutal and disturbing than the initial setup might suggest, Eden Lake is a relentless thriller.
In the Mouth of Madness – The last good film John Carpenter made before he lost his mojo, 1994’s In the Mouth of Madness feels a little bit Stephen King-like in a few parts and a lot like H.P. Lovecraft just about everywhere else. As the title might imply, the film is about the nature of insanity and has a bit of commentary on the nature of horror storytelling. Starring Sam Neill (second time he’s been mentioned on this list) as John Trent, a fraud investigator looking for a horror novelist’s, Sutter Cane, final transcript. Cane’s recent novel has been a massive success, but there have been reports that it has been driving some readers mad. Trent travels to the town that inspired Cane, but soon begins seeing horrible visions and the line between real and nightmares quickly becomes blurred.
Psycho II – Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is a classic, a masterpiece, and one of the most influential horror films ever made, so a sequel may seem like a crime against the art form. Surprisingly though, Richard Franklin’s 1983 Psycho II is not the horrid mess that many sequels to classics like The Exorcist II and Jaws 3 are. After 22 years in an institution, Norman Bates is released and returns to the infamous Bates Motel. He tries to lead a normal life and shed his “Mother” persona, but bodies begin to pile up and Norman starts to feel a little mad. Of course it’s not nearly as good as the original (despite what Quentin Tarantino thinks. He actually prefers the second one), but this sequel is an entertaining twist filled psychological thriller. Anthony Perkins returns to the role of Norman and he’s just always great.
Inside – From directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, this 2007 French film is one of the most relentless and grisly horror films ever made. Weeks after being involved in near fatal car accident and losing her husband, a young pregnant woman, Sarah, answers the door the door to a strange woman late at night. The woman begins harassing Sarah and is quickly escalates. It becomes clear that this woman only wants one thing: Sarah’s baby… Sarah is brutalized and fights to survive as anyone else who enters her home as a potential savior meets a gruesome fate at the hands of the deadly home invader. Dark, bloody, and non-stop, Inside is one of France’s best modern horror films.
Dog Soldiers – More British horror from The Descent director Neil Marshall in the form of Dog Soldiers. Essentially it is a low-budget Predator with the alien hunter swapped out for a family of werewolves. While on a training exercise, a squad of British Army soldiers is left out in the middle of the woods and is forced to duke it out with the pack of monsters. Gory, fun, and really well directed, Dog Soldiers is a blast. Many of you reading this have also seen the director’s work in the Game of Thrones episodes “Blackwater” and “The Watchers on the Wall”
Excision – Starring 90210’s AnnaLynne McCord and directed by Richard Bates, Excision is a powerful and disturbing high school horror film. The film follows Pauline (McCord), a mentally disturbed high schooler, with hopes of becoming a surgeon. There are several expertly shot dream sequences, soaked in blood and featuring confrontations with Pauline and her ideal self. Outside the dream, Pauline is extremely creepy as she emotionally scars everyone around. She very flippantly decides that she wants to lose her virginity and propositions a guy that’s tormented her in school. They meet at motel and what happens is sure to gross a majority of viewers out. After that Pauline becomes more aggressive in her acts and eventually does something that no one will forget…
The Lovely Molly – I watched the film on Netflix on a whim a while back, not knowing anything about it at all. That was a good call on my part because Lovely Molly is a super creepy ultra low-budget horror film. It’s incredibly subtle in the ways it attempts to frighten you and you’ll be uneasy for more of the film than not. Just watch, knowing that if you’re paying attention, it will pay off. Directed by Eduardo Sánchez, the mastermind behind The Blair Witch Project.
Deadgirl – Do not watch this on a date. I repeat. Do not watch this on a date. It won’t go over well. Or maybe give it shot, you may have an interesting night depending on whom you’re with. This 2008 high school horror film is gross and miserable. One day two boys, high school seniors who can only ever hope of finding a girlfriend, discover a naked woman chained up in a basement. They soon learn that this strange mute girl is not just a tortured woman, but that she is in fact a zombie. This is where the film gets really heavy and after deciding that neither of them can do it, they convince a jock to rape the so-called “Deadgirl” and it’s all down hill from there. The only way I could accurately describe the film is pure melancholy.
The Tenant– The third film in Roman Polanski’s thematic “Apartment Trilogy” following Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby, The Tenant is a paranoia fueled psychological horror film. Polanski himself plays a quiet, average man who moves in to an apartment after the previous tenant attempted to kill herself by jumping out the window. The landlord and the other renters begin to complain and chastise our protagonist for being too disruptive, when he is actually being anything but. The horror takes place in his mind as all these different outside forces start to come down on him and he begins to break. This one can only be described as mind-bending and features an unforgettable third act.
Berberian Sound Studio – British and psychological horror seem to be the unintentional theme of this edition with Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio starring Toby Jones. Jones plays a British foley artist, Gilderoy, who comes to Italy thinking he’s going to help with sound work on a film about horses. He arrives and soon learns that the film he is to work on is a giallo film. Gilderoy is new to horror films, so he is already out of his element being in this foreign country. Much like The Tenant’s protagonist, Gilderoy is an average and quiet man, who is needlessly thought of as greedy and rude by his Italian collaborators. All he asks is that he be reimbursed for his plane tickets, like he was told he would, but everyone gives him the runaround. From there Berberian Sound Studio becomes crazier and crazier as Gilderoy slowly becomes as insane and dark as the film he is working on.
Maniac – This 2012 remake of the 1980 film of the same name directed by Franck Khalfoun and stars The Lord of the Ring’s Elijah Wood as the film’s titular psycho. Shot almost entirely from the killer’s point-of-view, Wood’s character, Frank, is a shy and awkward man with a dark secret and even darker desires. His dimly lit home is filled with female mannequins. Frank murders women, scalps them (while most are still alive), then takes the top of their heads to place on his mannequins in order to give them personalities. Maniac’s violence is brutal, uncomfortable to watch more often than not, and horrifying to say the least. Wood is perfect as the awkward, yet menacing murderer, and by the end you may just feel like a maniac yourself.
The Children– Similar in premise to Who Can Kill a Child (which I mentioned in last month’s edition), The Children is yet another 2008 British horror gem about two families staying at a secluded home to celebrate the New Year. Everything seems normal at first, with some typical familial drama, but the young children begin to act very strange. They soon become sadistic and violent, which leads their parents to struggle with the fact that they either have to kill their own children or be brutally murdered by them.
The Fly II– I’ve written extensively about The Fly II for some reason, which you can check out right here. To make it brief I’ll just say that Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of The Fly is just about perfect in my mind and one of my ten favorite horror films and while the sequel isn’t as good, it’s a fun ride and much better than one might expect.
Ginger Snaps: Unleashed– Almost as amazing as the previously mentioned original, the sequel follows Emily Perkins as Brigitte Fitzgerald, Ginger’s sister, as she deals with the physical and mental toll that the events of the first film have taken on her. Just as impactful and raw in terms of pure emotions, this is a rare horror sequel that can hold its own with the best of them.
Braindead – Peter Jackson’s third feature and final outright splatter is arguably the goriest film ever made. On top of the insane over-the-top gore gags and gross out moments, it’s a wacky comedy, a dark familial drama, and a quirky romance. It’s an unforgettable film from on film’s greatest modern filmmakers. The film is more commonly known in America as Dead Alive.
The Prowler– Similar to The Burning in that is doesn’t really break new ground in the vast landscape of 80s teen slasher movies, but the film features some top notch makeup effects from the master Tom Savini. Not much more to say other than if you’re looking for a good slasher movie, The Prowler will satisfy.
The Stepfather – It’s soooooo good. Joseph Ruben, the director of Breaking Away and The Good Son, film from1987’s The Stepfather is such a fantastic work. Lost star Terry O'Quinn play’s the new stepfather to a young woman, who unbeknownst to the rest of the world, murdered his previous family and plans to continue his murderous cycle of entering and destroying families. O'Quinn’s performance is impeccable as the titular psychopath. The film was followed by two lackluster sequels and an awful remake in 2009.
Motel Hell– A pseudo parody of the horror films of the time when it was released in 1980, Motel Hell is a real cult classic. The unusual horror-comedy was ahead of its time in many ways and includes of the most bizarre images put to screen. The film’s killers, Vincent and Ida Smith, are an odd pair of farmers who capture innocent men and women and plant them in their garden, where they are fed until they are ready to be harvested and eaten. The sound of the heads sticking out of the ground will be embedded in your mind for a long time.
Humanoids From the Deep – Executive produced by the B-movie king himself, Roger Corman, 1980’s Humanoids From the Deep is an exploitive schlockfest about sea faring monsters with an urge to mate with attractive young human females. It sounds like it could be pretty offensive and it probably is, but the film is so much fun for that reason. Directed by Barbara Peeters, one of the few notable female filmmakers in the realm of 70s and 80s exploitation horrors, the film is the best of 50s B-monster movies mixed with the trashiness of the low budget 70s grunge horror.
A Tale of Two Sisters – A 2003 South Korean horror film from director Kim Jee-woon (director of I Saw the Devil) continues to prove that some of the scariest films come out of Asia. The film centers on a pair of sisters struggling with increasingly terrifying events surrounding them and their maniacal stepmother. The film is very creepy and unpredictable (unless you saw the crappy American remake, The Uninvited, in 2009)
The Hunger – A beautiful and haunting film from 1983 directed by Tony Scott and starring the great David Bowie and the now legendary Catherine Deneuve as a married couple of vampires living in New York. Susan Sarandon plays a doctor that Bowie needs help from when he begins to rapidly age, which leads to a chain of events that reveal that Deneuve has been hiding something deadly and Sarandon becomes entangled with this secret in some unexpected ways.
Alligator – This 1980 monster film directed by Cujo director Lewis Teague is fun satire of monster movie clichés that pokes a little fun at them, but at the same time uses them to great effect. With great effects work and an entertaining performance from Robert Forster, Alligator a real treat. The film also has the balls to kill children, something not normally seen in horror films like these.
Street Trash – Not a film for everyone, Street Trash is just as trashy as the title and poster would imply. Hobos melt in toilets and a severed penis is thrown around like a football in slow motion in James Muro’s 1987 cult classic. Appropriately disgusting while poking fun at homeless behaviors and all sorts of gross oddities on top of the super cheap production, Street Trash is a film that will turn off most, but it’s a corny good time.
Shutter – This 2004 Thai horror film by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoomis a twisty ghost mystery and is utterly horrifying. A photographer begins seeing strange shadows in his pictures and can’t escape en entity that is out to get him due to a mistake from his past. The film plays with your emotions as it becomes unclear who is the villain in the story, but it is always scary.
Trauma – Dario Argento, the Alfred Hitchcock of Italy and the master of giallo, delivered this creepy film in 1993 with his daughter Asia Argento starring. A killer stalks the streets and is decapitating staff members of a local hospital and Asia plays a women suffering from anorexia who is caught in the middle of it all and begins losing loved ones. The decapitations are graphic and the film shows the heads living on for a few seconds after the fact, which is an insanely creepy image. The film was one of the director’s last good films before the quality began to slip in the late 90s.
The Curse of the Werewolf– Surprisingly one of the only, if not the only, major werewolf works made by Hammer Films in their heyday. Directed by Terence Fisher and starring Oliver Reed as the cursed man, the film is a dark one that throws everything you know about the rules of werewolves out the window. After a lengthy setup where Reed’s character is the product of the rape of his mother by a tortured vagrant and the boy suffers from some unusual habits growing up, he grows into a seemingly normal man. One night he undergoes his full transformation and begins to kill. Bleak and high in emotions, The Curse of the Werewolf is on of Hammer’s best.
The Ghost of Frankenstein – Universal’s third Frankenstein film from 1942 isn’t nearly as talked about as the original two classics, but Island of Lost Souls director Erle C. Kenton delivered an exceptional film with Lon Chaney Jr. as the monster, Bela Lugosi as Ygor, and Cedric Hardwicke as Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein. Set years after the Bride of Frankenstein, the film see’s Frankenstein’s son return to his father’s home and finds that he blamed for the supposed cure of the Monster. The film was the last truly great serious take on the Frankenstein story for sometime and was also used heavily has a source of parody just as much as the first two in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein (which shares the same general plot).
Afflicted – A Cronenbergian found footage film about two video bloggers traveling Europe. In France, one of them goes back to their room with a beautiful woman, but he is found alone and bleeding in bed when his friend busts in. In Italy he seems very ill and his symptoms becomes more and more extreme until he shows signs of superhuman abilities. When his hunger and aversion to sunlight become too much, it becomes very apparent what he is becoming. The film is able to pull off things using the found footage motif that do not seem possible to pull off in camera and on such a tight budget. The film is dramatic, exciting, scary, and one of 2014’s best. Read my full review here.
The Den – A creepy found footage film shot mostly on the desktop of a young grad student performing a social experiment on an Omegle-like website. While chatting with the usual online crowd she comes across what looks like a very real murder. She is slowly tormented with more and more frequency by unknown forces and seems to think that someone is out to get her and her loved ones. Creepy, memorable, and inventive, The Den is worth a look and a standout in an overcrowded subgenre.
Would You Rather – We’ve all played the game would you rather and in 2012’s film inspired by the game, things are taken to the next level and beyond. Starring Pitch Perfect’s Brittany Snow as a player in a sick game and horror movie icon Jeffrey Combs as the game master, Would You Rather sees a group of unsuspecting victims who wind up in a deadly version of the game. Increasingly brutal, set almost entirely in one room, and a film that successfully makes you ask “what would I do?”, Would You Rather is a surprisingly good little film. Combs is also wonderfully hammy.
Frontier(s) – The 2007 French horror film by Xavier Gens is almost on the level as Inside when it comes to horrific violence. A group of friends feels riots in Paris only to encounter a cannibalistic family, who proceeds to torture and torment the frightened group. Essentially a more violent French take on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with some extra twists, Frontier(s) is one of the most extreme horror films of the 2000s.
Them – The 2006 French-Romanian horror film directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud isn’t the graphically violent French horror film that I’ve mentioned while doing this project, but it might be the most terrifying. The plot it simple as it revolves around a couple be stalked and chased by hooded kids in and around their new home. Suspenseful and unrelenting, Them is truly thrilling.
The Girl Next Door– This 2007 film was directed by Gregory Wilson and based on a novel by Jack Ketchum. Like the best Ketchum stories, the film is dark and incredible ugly. The plot is simple, but the morality of it all is complex as it tells the story of a teenage girl who is trapped and tortured by her aunt as the neighborhood kids watch and don’t know how to deal with the morbid situation.
Offspring – Another dark tale from the mind of Jack Ketchum, Offspring is a 2009 film directed by Andrew van den Houten. The film follows a married couple who have to protect themselves and their family from a small savage clan of cannibals. Since the film is Ketchum story, thing are not that simple as some of the protagonists might be just as monstrous as the cannibals.
May – A modern cult classic, the 2002 film directed by Lucky McKee follows the lonely May as she slowly loses her grip on reality in her attempts to gain more friends. May is one of the most interesting and damaged characters from any horror from the last decade and the morose film ends with one of the creepiest images ever put to screen.
The Hills Run Red – A little known film, 2009’s The Hills Run Red by Dave Parker follows a group of teens as they search for a long lost horror film, which is supposed to be one of the best and most grisly slasher films ever made. Instead of the film, they find the real life killer that the film was possibly based on. The Babyface killer in the film should be and would’ve been a modern slasher icon had the film gotten a proper release, but it’s available and should be checked out by horror fans. The film also subtly draws connections to real life quest that all die hard horror fans go one to find smaller films and obscure gems that they’re only heard of in magazines, on reddit, or in podcasts. That quest is something that exists almost exclusively for the horror genre (there might be some that search for old sci-fi, foreign films, or pre-code Hollywood movies, but horror is the big genre for searchers).
The Exorcist III– It would probably be easy to write off The Exorcist III since the original ranks high up on the list of the greatest horror movies ever made and The Exorcist II: The Heretic is one of the worst films ever made, but III ignores the first sequel and is a real horror movie gem and has a pretty sizable cult following. Starring Oscar winning actor George C. Scott as the Lieutenant William F. Kinderman character from the original film (who was played by Lee J. Cobb in the original) as he investigates a string of religious themed murders near a psychiatric hospital where a mysterious patient claims to be a long dead serial killer. The film is directed by the writer of original two novels and screenwriter of the original film, William Peter Blatty, who shows great restraint as the film continually builds and is remarkably tense throughout.
Thale - Aleksander L. Nordaas’ 2012 Norwegian supernatural horror film is a super creepy tale (pun intended) about two men who find a speechless woman with a tail. There is a mystery here to the big picture going on and to how this woman ended up trapped in this basement, making the film a very compelling one. Outside of the dark basement where most the film is set lays something very creepy out in the woods.
Severance – A horror comedy that can be described as the British version of The Office meets Friday the 13th. A company team-building retreat, a group of co-workers end up being victims of a small group of psychopathic serial killers. The film’s general plot makes it sound like something we’ve all seen a hundred times before, but Severance stands above many modern slashers due to its dry and dark British wit.
Idle Hands - A 1999-horror comedy directed by Rodman Flender and starring Devon Sawa (Final Destination), Seth Green, Elden Henson, and a young Jessica Alba. Sawa plays a high schooler finds that his right hand is possessed after it kills his parents and his two best friends and he has to stop it before it can kill anyone else, including the next door neighbor girlfriend. The film is so over-the-top 90s in a way that will make it a very fun, albeit dumb, nostalgic experience for a lot of people of a certain age.
Maniac Cop 2– Even better than the original, 1990’s horror sequel by Maniac and original Maniac Cop director William Lustig returns to continue the story of the vengeful undead Maniac Cop Officer Matthew Cordell, who continues to reek havoc on the dirty streets of New York. Die Hard’s Robert Davi as Detective Lieutenant Sean McKinney takes over the lead from Bruce Campbell as the man with the tall order of catching the unstoppable killer, who is even more bloodthirsty than he was in the original.
Stitches – If Asian horror movies are usually destined to be really friggin’ scary and Australian horror movies turn out to border on nihilism more often than not, then modern British horror movies have two options; being dark and depressing like Eden Lake and Don’t Look Now or darkly humorous like Severance and 2012’s horror comedy Stitches by Conor McMahon. The film follows a group of teens who were a partially at fault for the death of clown at a birthday party in their youth and his return to murder them years later. The film is filled with some really inventive kills and good liners and who doesn’t love a good grouchy killer clown?
The Relic – Set in Chicago, The Relic from 1997 by Timecop director Peter Hyams is simply a super solid B-monster movie. The film a little bit Alien and Aliens, a little Predator, some Jurassic Park, and pretty much any monster movie you can think of thrown into a pot to make a fun monster bash that is ultimately a super solid guilty pleasure. Penelope Ann Miller and Tom Sizemore star in the two lead roles.
The Faculty – This underrated 1998 Robert Rodriguez film was penned by Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer screenwriter Kevin Williamson. With this film Williamson’s self aware hip high school horror film began to ware thin, but the film has just enough charm and wit to be fun time. The film was accused of ripping of many classics like Invasion Of The Body Snatchers but is really more of a loving homage. Beyond the fact that it is a purely entertaining 90s teen horror flick, the film has fantastic cast of young stars who mostly went on to have highly successful careers and are still thriving today (Josh Hartnett is currently killing it in Penny Dreadful).
Willow Creek – Bobcat Goldthwait doing a found footage horror movie sounds strange, given that his past work includes the phenomenal World’s Greatest Dad and the wonderfully dark God Bless America, but 2014’s Willow Creek is another winner from the comedian/director. It closely follows the Blair Witch formula, but the performances and the writing are very strong in this one and the film’s climax after a very extended take is insanely creepy.
Hour of the Wolf – Ingmar Bergman. The man is without a doubt one of the most legendary icons of world cinema and in 1968 he teamed with frequent collaborators Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann to make one of the closest representations of a nightmare that film has ever seen. Like any Bergman classic, the film is ripe with heavy drama and complex emotional tensions throughout and on top of all that, Sydow’s descent into madness is a gorgeous work of surrealist terror.
The Beyond – Easliy one of Lucio Fulci’s most popular films, The Beyond is an insane cult classic with some spetacually gory kills. The film follows a woman who inherits a hotel in New Orleans, not knowing that it is one of the gates of Hell and that everyone who enters will meet a horrible fate. Zombies, eye gouging, dog attacks, spider attacks, and a 6-shooter with apparent unlimited ammo abound in this Kind of batshit and super nonsensical film, making The Beyond is prime example of low budget Italian horror of the 70s and 80s.
Snowtown – This one is a bummer. Based on the true of one of Australia’s most infamous serial killers, the film is filled with scenes of implied pedophilia, incestual rape, and eventually (obviously) murder. The tone is bleak, the performances are pretty stellar, and the tone will leave you feeling sick to your stomach, even if much is left to your imagination. The film was released in 2011 and was directed by Justin Kurzel.
Frankenstein’s Army – A World War II set found footage film. For Russian soldiers in the midst of war, you might ask yourself how they got a hold of such a nice camera that records sound and shoots colored film, but after a few minutes you’ll forget about it since the creature effects are nuts. A Nazi grandson of Victor Frankenstein is creating an army of reanimated corpses fused with deadly bladed weapons, leading to some of the most memorable movie monsters of the 2010s.
The Town the Dreaded Sundown (1976) – Released two years prior to John Carpenter’s Halloween, 1976’s The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a early slasher film that is not talked about nearly as much as it should. Loosely based on the true story of the Phantom Killer in the town of Texarkana, Texas in 1946. The silent masked killer is very much a prototype Jason Voorhees and true crime have of the film makes it really stand out from the huge number of slasher films that would inundate theaters throughout the following decade.
Citadel – 2012 Irish psychological horror film written and directed by Ciaran Foy about a widowed father suffering from agoraphobia, who has defend himself and his baby from a faceless gang of hooded people. The film is another bleak one that is a good companion piece to 2010’s The Expelled. Citadel is an incredibly tense and layer thriller, with an impeccable leading performance by Aneurin Barnard. For a director’s feature film debut the film in extraordinarily mature work that deserves more attention.
The Cottage – A British horror comedy from 2008 by director Paul Andrew Williams and stars Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Jennifer Ellison, and Steve O'Donnell. Serkis and Shearsmith play a couple of brothers/criminals, whose kidnapping goes south when a crazed killer attacks them and their hostage. The film is darkly funny and makes a good companion piece to Severance.
The Kindred – An ultra low budget monster movie from 1987, Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow’s The Kindred is a super entertaining effects filled romp. When a medical researcher’s mother dies, he, his girlfriend, and his team go to her home to uncover the secrets of her research, only to find that she created something truly horrific. The characters in the film are all exceptionally likeable, which is odd for a film of this kind and there really is no accounting for why they are so easy to like. You don’t want them get killed off, which goes a long way to make the film an exciting ride. The film also features Oscar winning actor Rod Steiger in a supporting role.
The Dark Half– Directed by George A. Romero and based on a story by Stephen King, the film is similar and far better than Secret Window. It sees Timothy Hutton as a King-esque author, who “kills off” the pseudonym he has been using for most of his very successful career. Shortly after that decision, someone that looks just like the author begins killing people involved with the man and his publishing. Hutton is great and the movie is appropriately Stephen Kingy.
The Awakening– A 2011 British film directed by Nick Murphy and starring Rebecca Hall and Dominic West. Set in 1921, Hall plays a paranormal investigator who doesn’t believe in the supernatural and wishes to disprove claims of ghost. It is an interesting setup and different than the usual haunted house film and the plot goes on to be a surprisingly layered and complex one.
Q: The Winged Serpent – Directed by Larry Cohen, the director behind such classics like Black Caesar, The Stuff, and the It’s Alive trilogy, Q from 1982 with stars Michael Moriarty and David Carradine is B-movie gem. The effects may leave much to be desired for some, but the stop motion Quetzalcoatl monster is a fun throw back. On the surface the film is a fun monster movie, but Moriarty shines as a paranoid and smarmy crook.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) – Not a remake and not a traditional sequel, this 2014 slasher film is a strange hybrid of the two and that is a major reason why Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Town That Dreaded Sundown is special. Set in modern day Texarkana, where the original film is screened every Halloween, the film finds the town rocked by copycat killer or maybe even the original Phantom. The film is produced and conceived by Ryan Murphy and pretty much everyone behind the camera is a crew member of American Horror Story, so many there are many stylistic similarities there. The film is very respectful to the original and seeing 1976 cult classic will only enhance your appreciation of the new film, though it is not essential. Some might not see passed its slasher movie trappings, but it’s an old school slasher film that they don’t make anymore, so fans longing for the good old days of masked killers hacking teens will have an excellent time with this one.
Mad Love – Directed by Karl Freund (who was the DP of Dracula) in 1935, Mad Love tells the story of doctor (played by the great Peter Lorre) in love and obsessed with a woman he can’t have and his devilish plans to eliminate the man in her life. The doctor performs surgery on the woman’s lover interest after his hands are mangled. He wakes from surgery and finds that he is an expert knife thrower. There are twists, high drama, and a suspenseful climax, which all add up to Mad Love being an under appreciated classic.
Curse of Chucky – Everyone has seen all the Child’s Play movies, but 2013 saw the release of the franchise’s first straight-to-DVD feature, so it may have slipped under some people’s radar. The goal of the film was to steer the series back to it’s darker roots after the previous films digressed into board comedy (although that doesn’t mean they were bad. Bride of Chucky is arguably still the best). The film successfully reinvigorates the franchise and makes Chucky threatening again. It is still fairly funny at times, but it the darkest film since the Child’s Play 2.
The Brood – A classic film from the great David Cronenberg, The Brood is film about marriage and divorce manifesting themselves as horror. The film has big ideas about the power of the human mind and psychological trauma. Samantha Eggar and Art Hindle are the two leads and Oliver Reed co-stars as psychotherapist in one of his many great horror movie roles. Released in 1979, the film is one of Cronenberg’s first major releases after several much smaller films like Shivers and Rabid and it is one of his most outwardly scary films. Many ideas and stylistic choices of The Brood can be found in Scanners and Videodrome.
Found – Scott Schirmer directed this 2012 ultra-low budget film about a young boy who is obsessed with horror films and suspects that his older brother might just be a serial killer. Humorless in its execution and unrelenting in its depiction of violence, the film was banned from a release in Australia.
Opera – A relatively later Dario Argento film that certainly has one of the thinnest plots and some of the most nonsensical characterization from the director, but what it lacks in story, it makes up for in uncomfortable imagery and brutal violence. The lead character is forced to watch grizzly murders while needles are taped under her eyelids to keep them open, which a surprisingly nauseating image that could only come from the mind of the Italian master of horror.
Blood and Black Lace – Directed by the legendary Mario Bava, Blood and Black Lace is the father of all giallo films that came after. Every troupe that would become common in the genre can be found in this film and fans of later Bava works, Argento films, some Lucio Fulci films, and many more will see it’s influence everywhere.
Grabbers – A 2012 Irish monster comedy from director Jon Wright is a fun film in vein of Attack the Block. The general plot revolves around a small town being attacked by a large tentacled beast and they only way to for the townsfolk to protect themselves is to have as much alcohol in their blood. Needless to say, the whole town getting drunk leads to film to be funnier than the average monster movie and the high production values of such a small film really make it stand out.
Wake Wood – A modern Hammer Horror film from 2011 stars Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle, and Timothy Spall. The premise is vaguely reminiscent of Pet Semetery as a mourning mother and father use a pagan ritual to bring their daughter back from the dead. The performances are strong and the film is moody as Hell as it harkens back to some old school European horror with modern day horrors visuals.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes – Never officially released (but it’s coming at some point), this indie mockumentary is deeply unsettling. Directed by Quarantine and As Above, So Below director John Erick Dowdle, the film tells the story of a serial killer that kidnaps and tortures his victims in the small town of Poughkeepsie. The killer often films his deadly deeds and those offer many of the film’s more disconcerting sequences. The acting is a little hammy at times, but the film is very effective and will stay with you for some time.
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy – An epic 4-hour documentary on the entire A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise that features cast and crew interviews from a majority of the key players from the legendary films. The stories found in the doc are incredibly engrossing, highly informative, and very honest. The origins of Freddy, the films’ impact on pop culture and film, and much more is explored at length and even the lesser film’s in the series are given their due. The commentary on Elm Street 2 is particularly hilarious at times.
The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh – The 2013 feature film debut of Rodrigo Gudiño follows a young man who returns home after the death of his mother. The film is one of grief, loneliness, and regret and is tightly scripted by Gudiño. The lead of the film begins seeing something in and around the house that frightens him to his core and it is an image that is utterly creepy (albeit a little to CGI-y later, but it still manages to work).
Bubba Ho-Tep– An elderly Elvis and an elderly black JFK versus a cowboy hat wearing mummy should be enough to sell anyone, but when Elvis is played by Bruce Campbell and the film is directed by Phantasm creator Don Coscarelli, then it really becomes a must see. Campbell is at career best as a depressed and forgotten Elvis, who needs a walker and has a growth on his “pecker”. He gets one last chance to do something good in his life when he learns that a mummy is loose in the old folks home and is sucking souls. It’s a wacky setup, but the film is surprisingly heartwarming and Campbell really gets to show his real acting chops.
The Sacrament – A slow burn and atmospheric found footage film that is loosely inspired by the real life Jonestown Massacre. The Sacrament is directed by the wonderful Ti West and stars You’re Next stars AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, with Kentucker Audley and Gene Jones as the charismatic leader of the cult who a Vice news crew is documenting. The film builds and builds to a dark and disturbing climax, much like West’s previous outings The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers. Jones is stellar as the manipulative and intelligent as you can understand why many of his followers left their previous lives to join him on this secluded island colony.
You’re Next – I’m well aware that most horror fans have probably seen You’re Next, but I’m going to cheat and point it on anyway since it wasn’t huge at that box office and I love it. It’s soooooo friggin’ good. It’s funny, gory, scary, thrilling, surprisingly, subversive, and everything you want in a horror film. Just watch it if you haven’t seen it.
do u ever just sit there and think about the fact that Rey is the one who marked Kylo with that scar and that is effectively saying, “YOU’RE MINE” [in the world of Fantasy]?
and she also buried his saber in the snow – like, “ur sword [read: allegiance] belongs to ME.”
do u ever just sit there and think about the fact that these two enemies had the most intimate moments of any SW enemies we’ve ever seen? Even more so than Obi-Wan and Anakin? Like intimate really is the word to use here [and for antis who need dictionaries, please look up the word intimate before you freak out; it doesn’t mean what you think it means].
do u ever think about how they’re being advertised together, how they’ve been confirmed filming for WEEKS together for the Ahch-To set, how the databank was updated to say shit like, “mysterious connection” and JJ said, “interesting relationship,” and Rian said, “two halves of the dark and the light,” and I just.
If you can afford it, go see The Dark Tower right now. Its an action film with a black male lead who is allowed to have emotions and be sensitive while also being badass. It also defies the “no poc in fantasy or scifi” rule more than once. It’s also just a good movie.
“You are sad. You don’t remember what you want. You don’t remember wanting. It passed long ago. And nothing ever changes.”
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a film from 2014 directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. This film is her first feature film and it is not a bad one at that. I usually dislike vampire films but this one I am very fond of. It’s not a bloody messy gore film, it’s a film about loneliness, an art-house horror.
The film is set in Bad City, a place not a lot happens, and people aren’t very happy. Arash (Arash Marandi is a young lad living with his drug-addicted father. Arash’s father is in debt to the local drug dealer, Saeed (Dominic Rains). A lonely, beautiful vampire, The Girl (Sheila Vand) who roams through the night on a stolen skateboard meets all these characters throughout the film and forms an unlikely bond with Arash.
This film is stunning, black and white photography by Lyle Vincent, whom I haven’t heard of before. But I will be sure to keep an eye on him in the future. It is shot beautifully. The whole aesthetic of this film is why I love it so much. I find the story a bit bland, although some of the dialogue are really beautiful. The relationship between Arash and The Girl is very odd but comforting, interesting in an odd way. Let me say odd again because odd. The music is good throughout the film.
Some parts of the film move really really slowly. It’s quite easy to notice that it was originally a short film, I feel like it was stretched out beyond what it should be, you know. I see a lot of Jim Jarmusch in this film, (who I adore), so I’m not mad about that.
I really like this film, I found its atmosphere really compelling. I adore films with this kind of lonely, sad, dark thing going on. Like A Coffee In Berlin for example. I think about this film a lot and I find myself wanting to be there, in the dark streets. It is odd, I know. But yeah, watch this film, you’ll love it or you’ll hate it x
Wow, I didn’t expect for that meta to get as popular as it did. So I thought I would grace you guys with some more examples.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please go here. I talk about the framing of a shot, the lighting, color, and context of a scene. There were too many examples of this, and my post was already long enough. Down below are just examples of what I was talking about to further drive the point home, just cause I felt like it.
Close up shots typically contain just the face and shoulders of a subject, with a little headroom above. This prevents ‘floating head syndrome’ as the shoulders suggest to the brain that there is a body below! These shots are the most common of all as they can convey a real sense of emotion and help the audience to connect with the subject.
They are both in a warm fiery glow.
You can judge the quality of light in a film scene through the hardness or softness of its shadows. Hard quality light has dark shadows with sharp edges and often feels more raw than soft quality light. Soft lighting, commonly used in older films, has lighter, diffused shadows and tends to feel more sentimental.
Color temperature is one of the first things to note when studying the lighting in a romantic scene. Is it orange? Bluish? White? Most often, warm colors add to an inviting, romantic atmosphere. For example, the warm light in the sunset scene in Titanic draws the audience in, unlike the cold, blue lighting later in the movie, after things get dire.
I went into context in my previous post. I’m not gonna duplicate that here.
However what I did not mention is the slowing down of a scene for dramatic effect of a special moment. Kylo has fire behind him that seems to slow slightly. In several romantic action movies, we have the same visual.
Watch the embers of fire in the back slow down
Will and Elizabeth are in battle, so the color is bluish. It doesn’t end well either (spoiler). However, my focus is on the destruction around them, but they are the only two people in the world at that moment. Kylo has explosions behind him that seems to slow like he and Rey are the only two people around in their scene (whatever and where ever it is).
Just a good Star Wars image of the lighting warm glow soft shadows– a confession of Love.
Here we have the glowing lights in the back and the up close shots.
Finally this one. Where everything slows down again. It’s just the two of them. The frame again is close-up, the color is blue – it is bleak– Steve is going to sacrifice himself -it’s sad– but its slowed down for dramatic effect. As if they are the only two that matter at that moment. Notice when he looks back to the other people in the shot. They are regular speed.
In movies, you see a slowing down effect when tragedy is about to strike. Think Cliff Hanger where you watch the woman fall to her death or a car crash in say Fast and Furious. You see it also when two lovers kiss amid chaos, or someone saves someone else just in time. It adds drama.
Kylo Ren is not moving to hurt someone or to save someone. He is not falling or diving out of the way of some explosion.
This signifies to me that at this moment he and whoever is in front of him are having a moment where they are the only two people in the world chaos and explosions be damned.
FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST SPECIAL INTERVIEW: ROMI PARK x RYOSUKE YAMADA - When the 2 Eds Meet!!
Fullmetal Alchemist, the movie that has been attracting attention and is soon to be the opening screening at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Ryosuke Yamada and Romi Park, together as two fans of the manga who have played the protagonist Ed in the live action and anime versions respectively, discuss their thoughts on the passionate love for FMA and its adaptation to live action.
“I cried like a baby at the scene with Ed, Al, and Winry” (Park)
It’s almost time for the opening of the live action movie of Fullmetal Alchemist, an almost legendary dark fantasy manga that has sold a total of 70 million copies as a series worldwide and has had 2 anime adaptations. Ryosuke Yamada, who with an extraordinary resolve took on filming as the lead role [of the movie], is actually close friends with the long time voice of anime version Ed, Romi Park. We started by asking the two fans of the manga to tell us the story of how they met.
Y: The first time I met her was over lunch. Because Romi-chan is the Ed that I’ve always seen, I kept fidgeting unsure of what to do… Her personality also resembles Ed… how should I put it, she’s cool. She told me her honest feelings about the live action adaptation and, after watching the movie very attentively, she also gave me her exact impressions on it so I was very happy. We talked about a lot of things like the hardships that only someone playing Ed would understand and It was a wonderful time.
P: The first impression I had of Yamada-kun was “what beautiful eyes this kid has!” Straight ahead, the inside of those transparent eyes were full to the brim with a fighting spirit intent on carrying Fullmetal Alchemist on his shoulders to the very best of his ability… As someone who played the same Ed, I also started overflowing with more happiness than I thought I would.
At the time [of the anime] Park, the senpai Ed, also felt the pressure of playing the protagonist of this worldwide popular work.
P: The work Fullmetal Alchemist itself is something quite like a black hole and this monster created by (Hiromu) Arakawa Sensei takes everything away from you. That’s why, in order to carry [FMA], it’s important to be able to take an enormous amount of heat. It’s just like, “Your body, mind, soul, everything, hand it over!” because it’s constantly doing a lot of tampering with your interior. Every week, every week I submitted myself to this monster with all my power, would be wrapped up in it, and would have everything taken away. It was a work that needed that much infinite power.
Y: I wanted to give importance into not thinking about it deeply. However, because the human being standing on-set is me, I did what I could on top of obviously taking on Ed’s appearance, rewatching the anime, and also reading the manga over again many times. I had to stand on-set, not as the manga’s Ed nor the anime’s Ed, but as “Ryosuke Yamada’s Ed” so as it’s expected, some originality also became necessary there. When I take on filming, I stand on top of many things that I’ve studied so I don’t really think about it too deeply and just face all of the things that happen on-set earnestly, giving importance to reacting.
“In my 24 years of life, this is the work that I’ve poured everything into.” (Yamada)
It is also said that Yamada personally went all out and took on dangerous action scenes. Was there something you were carefully about during filming?
Y: Just “don’t get injured” I guess. That’s what I’d always think while doing [the action scenes]. That’s why in the beginning, the scene where I jump off from a roof to leap onto Cornello (Kenjirou Ishimaru) was filmed on the day we finished shooting. They built a roof set and dug a hole about 5 meters deep in the ground that I was supposed to run and jump into. But that scene was something that I had never done until then so it was fun. What was the most important [scene] during shooting was the fight with (CG-created) Al. There, I had to punch an opponent that wasn’t there and Al’s height is 2 m 20 cm so…
P: That was amazing!
Y: My punches don’t reach him you know. It was also my first time having to punch with my left hand instead of my right. If it was with my right then I could have very good form, but I couldn’t do that with my left so I earnestly started shadow boxing at home while researching it. That scene was very tough, but after watching the completed scene I was extremely satisfied.
P: In the movie, this was the scene that I also got caught up in the most, to the point of almost forgetting to breathe. Ed, Al, and Winry’s unavoidable feelings seem to have a triple intersection, making me teary-eyed and my heart tremble. Despite that Yamada-kun, I can’t believe Al wasn’t there during shooting! It’s really amazing! Without fail I always had Al there, Rie (Kugimiya)!
Among the appearing characters the precious partner, younger brother Al, and the brothers’ childhood friend Winry have an especially strong emotional attachment.
Y: I also had a lot of time involving Winry and Tsubasa (Honda) also knew the character very well herself so in both her relation to me and in our exchanges she was thoroughly Winry. She’d always say things like, “Your face is pretty. Your face is pretty, but your height…” (laughs). I’d reply with “Shut it! Idiot…” though. We were able to start shooting with that kind of relationship so it was really easy to play [Ed with her]. Even the scenes that became emotional were like a well-played melody that didn’t fall into dissonance. I think that if it hadn’t been Tsubasa, maybe I wouldn’t have been able to play Ed.
P: For a little while, when the movie started, Al didn’t speak so it made me very impatient, but the moment he spoke, I cried out in complete joy, "…, ah! Al! Al spoke!“ (laughs). Seeing the exchanges between Yamada-kun’s Ed, (Atomu) Mizuishi-kun’s Al, and Honda-san’s Winry made me feel once again that Fullmetal Alchemist really is a "story of bonds.”
The movie completes Lust, making you feel like there will also be further development and that’s the place where expectations for a sequel are swelling up.
Y: Of course, I’m very eager to do it. Because there’s still many characters that haven’t appeared, and it’s not like we’ve told the whole story. Director (Fumihiko) Sori, the staff, and cast - everyone is also hoping for a continuation to become a reality.
P: (About appreciating the movie) This new Fullmetal Alchemist really got to me, to the point that inside of my mask there was a mix of tears and boogers. Starting with Yamada-kun, the passion that everybody having to do with this movie has is impressive. Even if it’s just one more person, I would like you to watch it. And if you could support [this movie in order] to be able to meet even more Fullmetal Alchemist, I’d be happy. To put it another way, I want to see [a continuation]!
Y: Because Romi-chan said it, we have to make it now.
P: Wait! Is it just me [saying it]?
Y: Well then, it’s because the ‘2 Eds’ are saying it so…
P: Yeah, the 'Eds’ [said it]!
Source: DVD & Bluray Data Magazine Nov. 2017 Issue [Oct. 20, 2017] Scan: twitter @yamachi_c