INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3 -The First Trailer and Equally Creepy Poster Is Here!

All right, let’s start off with the trailer, which calls this entry “the darkest yet”. Hey, maybe we’ll get an “R” rating! That way we won’t have to put up with loud tweeners talking as if they were in their own living room (with fireworks or something going on outside so they have to raise their voices to hear each other) like we did with, say, “Mama” and “Insidious Chapter Two”.

Great news- Lin Shaye is in the film as Elise Ranier, alive;  this one takes place before the events in Insidious (2010). I read someone calling this a “period piece” due to the fact that the cell phones used for texting in the commercial are “old”. Hey, guess what? There’s no way this movie took place over ten years ago, we already aren’t thrilled when someone calls something taking place in the 80s a period piece. “Mad Men” is a period piece. Merchant/Ivory specialized in period pieces. Something that happened after 2001 is not a period piece. OK, enough of that. Check out the poster (which actually makes sense as long as you don’t try to figure it out immediately) below.

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It might as well end AND HE IS RIGHT BEHIND YOU. Here’s the plot details that have been release so far:

 A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

Leigh Whannell will be helming this one, writing and directing, Fangoria reported exclusively yesterday that Whannell reached out to William Friedkin for advice, and he ended up sort of mentoring him for the film. Read the Fango article, which includes an interview with Whannell here!

Here is one very scary screencap we grabbed from the trailer… if we saw that thing, we’d be out of their so fast we wouldn’t bother saying, “Yeah, I’m outta here.”

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Insidious Chapter 3 will be here next summer. More as it comes in!

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Film Review: ‘Insidious: Chapter 2’

OK, we’re definitely on board! Variety loved it. Bottom line on our hopes for this movie: A. To find out what happens to the Lambert family next and B. a haunted-house thrill ride. Also, we could use a good James Wan-induced scream!

Check out the new Insidious Chapter 2 featurettes – just go  to the official site to see them all,  including some creepy ‘interactive’ features. You may not want to check them out alone in the dark with the sound blasting, though…

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Read Twenty Snippets From Reviews Of ‘The Conjuring’ That Make Us Even More Psyched For Friday! (UPDATED 6/17)

Yup, the long eagerly awaited horror movie from James Wan that got an R-rating from the MPAA for sheer scariness, The Conjuring, will finally be released into theaters this Friday, July 19th (we had to force ourselves not to end that sentence with at least eight exclamation points!!!!!!!!). Every review we’ve read makes us even more impatient and excited to see it. Here’s twenty (it started out as ten quotes, then the piece just …well, took on a life of its own, so to speak) of some of the best, most exciting excerpts/blurbs from various critics lucky enough to have seen it over the last few weeks. Enjoy (and get ready to start jumping from the top of a wardrobe up and down)! I’ve provided links to the reviews whenever possible.

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The Conjuring is probably the best, certainly in a long time. Thoughtful where its competition is glib, featuring substantive and relatable characters, and steadily-paced where most feel lackadaisical, rushed or uneven, Wan has made a truly great movie. And I’m only talking about the parts that I saw from between my fingers. –Todd Gilchrist, The Daily Dead

It’s very difficult to find a modern horror film that doesn’t make viewers laugh at it for even a few minutes, it is the curse of the “we’ve seen it all” audience –but The Conjuring knows you’ve seen it all and still manages to deliver some of the best scares I’ve seen in years.   -Spencer Perry, Shock Till You Drop

The Conjuring is a masterclass in absolute terror that’s destined to become a classic within the genre. There’s no question that for most it will easily be scariest film of the summer… or even the year. The flick showcases the kind of pure, relentless horror that will leave audiences thoroughly creeped out and screaming. –Steve “Uncle Creepy” Barton, Dread Central

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It’s not just the “jump scare.” That’s far too simple. As Wan showed in ‘Insidious’ – and does so even more so in his new film, ‘The Conjuring‘ – he is the unrivaled champion of a specific sort of hold-your-breath scene, where you know the jump is just about to happen. But he holds it. And holds it. And holds it just a little bit more. And just when you think it’s a goof or a head-fake, BLAM!, the thing you knew was going to pop out at you, pops out you – and there’s a good chance you just shouted and made a fool of yourself.  -Jordan Hoffman, for screencrush.com

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Ultimately the sort of relentless, expertly tricked-out scarefest that leaves one feeling happily drained rather than deeply, permanently unsettled, the film nonetheless heightens its impact by playing the material utterly straight where it counts.   –Justin Chang, Variety.com 

As any horror movie fan will tell you, it’s all about the sound when it comes to frightening the audience.  Well, The Conjuring nails it.  You have to prepare yourself to live in fear of what is coming while watching the movie, because the sound cues, or the hushed silence of a scene, is going to get you no matter how impenetrable you may think you are to scary movies.  —-Kathryn Schroeder, filmfracture.com

…This is something else entirely. For full-on fear and dread, the kind that makes you start squirming at the beginning of the scene, because you know someone’s about to open a door they shouldn’t, this movie starts creepy and maintains a hold on your spine for the next 112 minutes. –Alanso Durande,  The Wrap

The Conjuring manages to take what you expect from a film of this style and offer surprise on top of surprise. Instead of going for cheap gags and fake jump scares, the film sets-up and pays off every time with little room for you to prepare yourself for what comes next. Lest you think that The Conjuring will settle for typical “Here’s a scary lady face” or “Listen, a weird noise!” you’ll be in for a rude awakening when its relentless visuals cause you to lose sleep.  -Spencer Perry, Shock Till You Drop

If you get seriously freaked out by effective horror movies, I warn you… “The Conjuring” will stick with you. I can’t wait to see it again, and I am excited to see it with a big crowd. I think that shared theatrical experience of being terrified is one of the great thrills of being a film fan, and this should be a great example of that.  -DrewMcWeeny, HitFix

This sort of expert audience manipulation doesn’t come purely from scrimping and saving and working within budgetary constraints that prohibit the filmmakers from showing their monsters. It comes from truly understanding what is scary and how to maximize that suspense, with or without the money to show the monster that will eventually invade viewers’ nightmares.  -Todd Gilchrist, The Daily Dead

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The question is never what’s behind a particular corner, but the awful worry that something is already beside you; that it (and there are a lot of variations on “it”) can come from all sides.  –Samuel Zimmerman, Fangoria.com

…this house has seen many years of strange occurrences, murder and death, curses and witchcraft, and pain.  Just when you think you know the one evil presence that is lurking within you discover it’s much more perplexing than you ever expected, and a great deal more fun to watch because of it.  —Kathryn Schroeder, filmfracture.com

THE CONJURING not only wants to scare you, but loves to. Even indoors, the film’s action spreads out, soaking every inch of the frame. It’s twice that Wan stages multi-tiered spookshow set pieces, and both are intense, terrifying pieces of work. The entire film is. –Samuel Zimmerman, Fangoria.com

[Wan] springs the surprises within those long shots, timing things so they actually do surprise, often letting the creepy stuff actually creep up — this is the rare horror film where the fear isn’t in what terrible vision the movie might cut to next but in what might reach from the shadows you’re looking at.  -Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice

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Even as Wan employs familiar fright tactics, he brings to the material an evident emphasis on chilling iconography and careful rhythms, as opposed to leaning on money shots and hokey mythology to generate forgettable jolts…  even down to its very last shot, “The Conjuring” demonstrates a scary — and welcome — amount of care.  —William Goss, film.com

I can’t speak to the film’s accuracy in depicting the events in question, and I generally speaking have no sense of spirituality to bounce off of the events in the film. But there are things in Wan’s film that, for the sake of me sleeping soundly, I’d prefer never to see again.  –-Todd Gilchrist, The Daily Dead

There are scary movies, and then there are SCARY movies.  The Conjuring fits into the latter category as it will undoubtedly frighten you to the point of laughter, make you squirm in your seat, cover your eyes, and wish you had left the lights on in the house because you will be afraid of the dark when you get home.  The Conjuring is the horror movie we dream of, because it’s a hark back to an older style of horror filmmaking, before torture, excessive blood and guts, and the like took over cinema screens, and found-footage too. —Kathryn Schroeder, filmfracture.com

EXTREMELY effective. The Conjuring is home to some of the single most frightening haunted house scares ever committed to film. My biggest fear going in was that some of these moments would come off as goofy or too over-the-top, but Wan manages to clearly ride the line between reality and the absurd as if he were a stone grinding against the blade of a razor.  —Steve Barton, Dread Central

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…it takes almost no time for “The Conjuring” to immerse the viewer in its spell, as it teases seemingly minor jolts into frissons of terror, and turns a simple game of hide-and-seek into a tour de force of sustained excitement.   -Justin Chang, Variety.com

Most thrillers stop being terrifying when their mysteries are revealed, but in the screenplay by Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes, the more we know, the more we dread. As for me, I was screaming. Out loud. Which I generally don’t do in crowded theaters. For a movie like this, that counts as a standing ovation.  —Alanso Duralde,  thewrap.com

BONUS!  Two more great blurbs, added today -both the below are from Rolling Stone magazine’s Peter Travers:

  • “It scared the living crap out of me”.
  • “Know this: You’ll scream your head off.”

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The Conjuring – Movie Review

Thanks, Patrick, for sharing such a great review. I’m pretty sure my husband (Mr. Horror Boom–though I’m the horror superfan in the family) ALSO wishes you lived up here in our area, since I’m going to have to pay for his ticket and STILL drag him to go see this with me (especially if there’s a Thursday night preview) like I did with, oh, Insidious, Sinister, Mama, and many others! Lili Taylor blew her voice out screaming? That’s not a huge surprise (poor woman). Uh-oh… my voice was pretty scratchy for 24 hours after seeing Mama in the theater. Oh, and I hear the cast are all wonderful, but that Vera Farmiga more or less steals the show acting-wise.

The Big Séance Podcast

First of all, if you are a fan of this genre of film, YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE! You WILL see this movie! (Although… some of you may want to see an afternoon matinee so that when you leave the theater you can go to a park, watch the bunny rabbits play, and soak in the last hours of sunlight before you’re home checking rooms and corners.)

Okay, now that I have that out of my system, we can get to the review and the details. Last night I attended an advanced screening of the much anticipated film, The Conjuring, starring Patrick Wilson (Insidious, Evening), Vera Farmiga (A&E’s Bates Motel), Ron Livingston (The Odd Life of Timothy Green), and Lili Taylor (The Haunting, HBO’s Six Feet Under, and TV’s Hemlock Grove). The film is directed by James Wan (

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See Promising First ‘Insidious: Chapter 2’ Trailer: Hello Terror, (And Tiny Tim) My Old Friend

Whoo-hooo!

OK, straight up: I’m not sure how they’re going to explain away the fact that the first Insidious ended (Er, SPOILER ALERT FOR INSIDIOUS (2011)!!!! with Patrick Wilson‘s possessed character strangling Lin Shaye‘s character to death, after which it is established the (fucking terrifying) old woman in black finally got her hands on and her spirit into him – just NO RETCON, PLEASE, JAMES WON! That was one of the most awesome, chilling, clever endings I’ve seen in a long time. The icing on the cake was the smash cut to the title credit — when a horror movie does that BOOM! I’m OUT! drop-the-mic style ending, which was/is master of horror John Carpenter‘s trademark, picked up later by other horror directors who are clearly horror fans (example: Sam Raimi). This here horror fan has been known to spontaneously shout, “YEAH!” and burst into applause seeing a horror movie in the theater that ends this way, not caring whether or not the rest of the crowd joins in or not (as Mr. Horror Boom slumps down in his seat). OK, anyway, I’d buy it explained away as a dream. Lin Shaye is shown in the cast on the IMDB page, maybe CPR brings her back… oh hell, for now I’ll trust Wan. “Specs” and his partner are in the trailer –and the cast list on the IMDB page–too. Enough of my yakking, take a look at the trailer for Insidious Chapter 2 theatrical trailer above!

New Spooky-Ass Image/Poster from James Wan’s Insidious: Chapter 2 (BeyondHollywood.com)

Click on the big red link below to read more and see the awesome poster with the ominous tagline You Are Never Alone... oh, and there’s an image here we added, too.

Man, that poor kid has been through a lot!

 

New Spooky Image from James Wan’s Insidious: Chapter 2 | BeyondHollywood.com.

 

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Insidious: Chapter 2 will be released on September 13, 2013!  BRING IT ON, BABY!

Sinister (2012) – Disturbing New Red Band Trailer Will Put Asses In Seats!

The Red Band trailer for  Sinister is unnerving because we’re used to dialogue–or voice-over narration– telling us the set-up for the film. Here? No such thing. We simply see all the increasingly scary images, and the tension builds to freaky levels...

I think I first saw the Sinister  trailer this summer, and it definitely and swiftly was added to my “must see”  list.These days, that doesn’t always equate to “must see in theater”,  sometimes it’s “must watch as soon as I can obtain it, as long as it costs less than ten bucks”, but you get the idea. However this, THIS  new Red Band trailer, may very well get my ass in a movie theater seat!

OK, I’m not above admitting the main thing that sold me was that ten-word review from Eric Walkuski at JoBlo.com:. SINISTER IS GOING TO FUCK UP A LOT OF PEOPLE.  DEAL,  Sinister!  I am ON BOARD! If it were up to me, that’d be the tagline. Sinister: It’s Going To Fuck Up a Lot Of People.  OK, before I write about what else for this trailer has a lot going for it, check out this pair of short but promising HD clips:

Not too shabby …and if you go to the official website for the movie here,  they’ve got loads of even more impressive and creepy media there. Whup! Time-out, let me clarify. The description of the media as ‘creepy’ only applies if you watch it in the daytime. Watch it after dark and the scare level ratchets up to very frightening. The site keeps the official plot description short and sweet:

SINISTER is a frightening new thriller from the producer of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films and the writer-director of THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE. Ethan Hawke plays a true crime novelist who discovers a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a nightmarish experience of supernatural horror.

Supernatural horror can be one of the trickiest things to pull off successfully. To really sell it, you don’t just need scares and a storyline, you need to set the tone right with the soundtrack, camera choices, staging, score, and general atmosphere. Oh, and characters that we care about or identify with.  Two other supernatural horror movies that got a wide release this summer had me looking forward to them: The Possession,  which seemed to have a fresh take on the familiar exorcism theme (according to reviews from many critics and friends I trust, it really didn’t, but worse yet, wasn’t scary) and The Apparition,  which…OK, not so much excitement on The Apparition,  especially as it got closer to the screening date (and I didn’t even consider putting up a ‘milestone’ countdown to the release date, as I did with The Possession).  My point is, the general consensus was that they were a let-down.

The Red Band trailer for Sinister  is unnerving because we’re used to dialogue–or voice-over narration– telling us the set-up for the film. Here? No such thing. We simply see all the increasingly scary images, and the tension builds to freaky levels simply because we (like Ethan Hawke’s character) don’t know what we’re looking at.

We do get familiar images of a family settling into their cozy home for the evening, tucking the kids in …then the father find an old storage box with mysterious reels of Super-8 footage.* He sets it up and starts calmly watching what appears to be a cheerful family enjoying their pool party on a playful sunny day, having snacks, then the next footage we see of the family–after dark– looks like two bodies bound to sun-lounge pool furniture, roughly pulled into the deep end of the same family pool by something off-screen (I assume with bricks or cinderblocks attached to them).  Wait, WHAT?  Then it just gets freakier. We’re not sure what we’re seeing, but we become increasingly confident that whatever it is, it’s going to be fucked up.

By the time we get to the really  disturbing shots at the end of the trailer, there’s no music shoved in our faces as the home movie footage reel shows an entire family of four being hung (it looks less like a suicide and more like a lynching by some invisible force). No music at all, in fact. There’s just the quiet whirring of the film projector, then a cut to black.  Boom.



I also was impressed that the trailer did something different for a contemporary horror trailer (besides no dialogue), which was to toss the ‘seat jumper’ moment (if that upside-down shirtless kid unfolding weirdly out of the cardboard box, then stretching his mouth open and letting out a demonic yet terrified screech at the top of his lungs didn’t make you jump,  I’m pretty sure you temporarily felt like your blood run cold) into the mix 2/3 of the way through, rather than after the title card. One TV spot is guilty of that, but I doubt that was a conscious choice by the filmmakers.  By now, I was automatically cringing after the title card, waiting for an in-your-face loud jolt, that never came …just the card ominously melting through.

I don’t think I’m the only one fed up with this cookie-cutter format for genre trailers. I was sick of the trend–which first turned up in TV spots, then spread to theatrical trailers–over ten years ago. EVERYONE is ready for that jump. The vast majority of US horror trailers now take this by-the-numbers approach: Establishing scene, plot exposition, a creepy (or what they think is creepy) moment, building to a flurry of images while the music speeds up along with it, then TITLE CARD, then wait for it… LOUD NOISE, CHEAP JUMP! followed by a voice-over such as  The (insert vague and shitty title here)… Opening in theaters (insert date here).

Speaking of release dates,  Sinister  will be hitting theaters on October 12th. The website has enough cool content to check out now (just the font they chose is original and creepy), but also certain pages are “Coming Soon”. I’m guessing we’re going to get quite a bit more information (hopefully not so much we go in partially spoiled) and press on Sinister   between now and then), and I’ll be passing on all I can!


*thank God that for once, this is as close to ‘found footage’ as the movie comes –since later in the trailer the projector bursts into flames, apparently after the projector starts running on its own in the middle of the night. Love the shot of Ethan Hawke stepping in front of the screen,  foreshadowing him turning into a character on one of the doomed family’s reels.