The Mummy returns, Eli Roth’s debut is rebooted, my cynicism lingers...
So the first reviews are in for the scene- forscene remake of Cabin Fever and much to no one’s surprise, they’re pretty negative. To recap: this is a “re- staging” according to Eli Roth, using exactly the same script as his 2002 original, with neophyte director Travis Zariwny shackled to the director’s chair. Zariwny’s 2p- worth is to have made it more real- world and less funny or timely so basically, he’s taken the strongest features of the original and directed them out. I don’t really blame the guy – directing Roth’s vanity project, what a poisoned chalice! Got me thinking about what terms I’d have to be offered to take the helm on a remake of Hostel 2 ( which I hate). Replace the whole cast with puppies, relocate to somewhere warm and exotic and let me “Alan Smithee” the credits, and Eli, I’m all yours!
The mo mm yret urns
If you haven’t yet had a chance to catch
Goodnight Mommy , do so! This is the Austrian indie I mentioned a couple of issues back and it’s very effective. The story of twin brothers who think their mum has been replaced by someone else after she comes back bandaged post- plastic surgery, it’s itchily disturbing and the kids in it are brilliant. A properly nasty, surprisingly violent bit of psycho- horror, it’s a teeny bit predictable, but despite that it’s a must- see. Now directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz have signed with Universal for their studio debut. The
Fortress focuses on refugees in a container ship whose path to a new life turns out to be not what it seems. There’s not much more out there but I’d expect this to be English language. US debuts from international talent can be hit and miss. JA Bayona followed The Orphanage with excellent drama The Impossible while Pascal Laugier’s English language debut The
Tall Man was a disappointment. Park Chan Wook’s Stoker was a wonderful film, while Alexandre Aja ( Mirrors, Piranha 3D, The Hills
Have Eyes) has never done anything in English as good as Switchblade Romance. And don’t even talk to me about the brilliant Hideo Nakata ( Ringu), whose English- language debut
Chatroom was just hideo- us.
onefor the mummy
Universal has been on about rebooting its monster franchises for quite some time – an Avengers- style crossover universe where the Invisible Man and the Creature from the Black Lagoon get together to fight crime? Not imminently. No, instead we’re getting another Mummy movie. This time it’s set in the modern day, and the Mummy “himself ”, in a bit of bizarre reverse casting, will be played by beautiful young actress Sofia Boutella. Transformers writer Alex Kurtzman will direct; Kurtzman is also down to produce a raft of other monster revivals including Van Helsing , The Wolfman and The Invisible Man . Not massively excited about any of those, either.
Bringing home the Bacon
Call me cynical, but outside of The Conjuring’s empire I feel like the whole future of mid- budget horror is pretty much down to Blumhouse right now. Ghosthouse Pictures has been disappointing, Hammer’s biding its time, and other than The Purge, which they share with Blumhouse, Platinum Dunes seems to be thankfully leaving horror alone for a bit. Keep an eye out for The Darkness , then, due 13 May from Blumhouse and directed by Wolf Creek man Greg McLean. It stars Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell as part of a family holidaying in the Grand Canyon who bring back a dirtyfingered demon. The trailer is glossy, jumpy and scary, the production values are high and the concept is original. Another three- star masterpiece I’m going to thoroughly enjoy!
Another bout of Cabin Fever. Justin Hawkins not present in The Darkness. Kids keen to say Goodnight Mommy.