Halloween is nearly here — that time of the year where we don frightening costumes and eat way too much candy. And as movie lovers, there's no better time to turn our viewing attention to the horror genre. This weekend there are plenty of movies to choose from. Way too many — 50 plus, by our count. From that mix, our staff horror maven has picked your 10 best viewing (or DVR) bets.
The 10 Best Scary Movie Picks >>
Complete Halloween Weekend TV Movie Guide >> Posted 10.29.10 by reelz
Halloween is the time of year when horror movies are dusted off, rented from a video store, or placed in the queue for some late-night, pitch-dark viewing. But there are scary movies and then there are scary movies.
Check out 13 Actually Scary Movies for the top choices if you're looking for a true fright this season. Posted 10.20.09 by reelz
Variety reports that Sam Raimi — director of all the Spiderman movies, including the upcoming Spiderman 4 — has signed to direct Warcraft, the big-screen adaptation of the popular interactive role-playing video game World of Warcraft. The franchise (often abbreviated WoW) was launched 15 years ago and reached world-wide cult status with the advent of the Internet. (When you're lampooned by South Park, you know you've made it big.)
Reportedly, Raimi will begin shooting Warcraft once he finishes work on Spiderman 4, which goes into production early next year. IMDB currently lists Warcraft's release year as 2011.
We're not sure how we feel about this one. Spiderman 3 was a disappointment because it attempted to please too many people at once, resulting in a narrative mess and a lack of character development. But he's still Sam Raimi, mastermind behind the legendary campiness of the Evil Dead trilogy. And he returned to top form with this summer's Drag Me to Hell. We can only hope that he brings his fun sensibility to something like the WoW universe. Posted 07.23.09 by reelz
In Seance, the latest clip from Drag Me to Hell, a seer (Adriana Barraza) channels the vengeance demon the old gypsy woman has summoned up in hopes of finding some way of placating it. Will it be satisfied with anything less than the soul of Christine Brown (Alison Lohman)? The disturbing laughter -- not to mention the weird gyrations of the seer's tongue -- suggest appeasement is, perhaps, not so easy. Posted 05.27.09 by reelz
Although the new TV spot for Drag Me to Hell is mostly review-quote driven, it does open with a nice extended version of the seance sequence from the trailer in which those assembled chant, "I welcome the dead into my soul." A fair enough omen for all sorts of horrific invasions to come.
The cast and director dig deeper into the horror in a featurette over at Shock Till You Drop. Alison Lohman confesses that, like her character in the movie, she really would kill a kitten to survive. Justin Long professes his love for the performance director Sam Raimi managed to tease out of the maggots and the fly. And Raimi, himself, explains how he tried to incorporate what he has learned about characterization in his work outside the genre to make his return to horror that much more personal. Posted 05.26.09 by reelz
The first step on the road to Hell, as we can see in the first of three new clips from Drag Me to Hell, is getting dragged out of your car by an enraged old gypsy woman (Lorna Raver). Locking the door is no help as she smashes through the window to exact her revenge. And all this before the curse on loan officer Alison Lohman really even gets started.
In the second clip, we get a little comic relief with the first look at how the cursed loan officer's skeptical boyfriend, professor Clay Dalton (Justin Long), reacts to being dragged to a seer to figure out how to lift the curse.
In the third, locked doors once again provide little protection. This time from the menacing shadows of hands that infiltrate from below. Such shadows were also central in an earlier clip, so it looks like this will be one of the demon's favored manifestations. Posted 05.19.09 by reelz
Drag Me to Hell started filming last year before the financial crisis really took hold, but in interviews with Fearnet, the stars of the movie had some fun playing with the implications of its timely release.
Having overheard a conversation about it in her bank, Alison Lohman concludes, "All bankers are talking about this movie." And asked whether she could be considered the hero for putting a curse on a loan officer, Lorna Raver replies "Absolutely." Another cast member, Octavia Spencer, goes even further. "All evil starts with banking," she proclaims with as much of a straight face as she can muster. Posted 05.17.09 by reelz
Most of the terror is in the build up and anticipation in two new clips for Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell. But when the horror finally does materialize, it packs a pretty good punch too.
In the first clip, fear is in the wind for Christine Brown (Alison Lohman). Doors slam, windows blow open and the innocent shadows of branches coalesce into a demonic face on the wall. Then things start to get a little more physical.
In the second, we get an agonizingly extended look at how thoroughly a peaceful sleep can get disrupted by one persistent fly with no sense of boundaries. A glimpse of this was featured in the TV spots released earlier. This is one case though where appreciation of the horror really is enhanced by dragging it out a bit. Posted 05.14.09 by reelz
Legendary curse or urban legend? Neither, says director Sam Raimi in an interview with Movies Online. The details of Drag Me to Hell are, he confesses, "complete fabrication." But the story behind it is a classic morality play:
What we really have at the core here is a timeless story concept ... the idea of a character that commits a sin of greed and has to pay the terrible price for it.
In this case, it's a bank loan officer who is willing to throw an old woman out of her home. Certainly a familiar enough theme nowadays. But to make the movie really resonate with audiences, he wanted to create a morally bankrupt character that he could, nonetheless, get the audience to identify with. Enter Alison Lohman. Raimi thinks she did a brilliant job, but he has qualms of his own about what he had to do to her along the way.
I had to do some pretty awful things to her. I mean, I choked her all the time with that old lady character played by Lorna Raver, grabbing her by the throat. I threw her out of a car, threw fake candy-glass at her, put her in a harness and whipped her around a room for hours on end, buried her alive under 800 pounds of mud. And that was just the first week.
He explains that he wanted to tell her in advance what she would be facing, but he couldn't tell her everything because he was afraid she wouldn't take the part. Posted 05.13.09 by reelz
When your day starts out with a fly crawling up your nose, it's not a good omen. And indeed the horrors keep coming for the cast of Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell.
A pair of fast-paced TV spots have been released, carrying the tagline "Even Nice People Can Go to Hell." Here's the first one, which offers a montage of some of the very unsettling experiences visited upon the unfortunate young loan officer (Alison Lohman) who ends up foreclosing on the home of the wrong old gypsy woman (Lorna Raver).
Posted 05.06.09 by reelz