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Entries in Horror (185)

Monday
Jan142019

Interview: Toni Colette on horror, grief, and her prismatic performances

by Nathaniel R

Toni Collette gives one of the year's great performances staring into the abyss of her own life in "Hereditary"Toni Collette doesn't like horror movies. We relate but there are exceptions: horror films starring Toni Collette are events. Her resistance to the genre,  she refers to both of her biggest horror hits as "classic dramas", may be the strange key to why she's so superb in them, grounding them in emotional truths while simultaneously having the kind of stylistic range as an actor that can lift right off with them into otherworldly places. 

We recently sat down after an encore screening and lively Q&A of Hereditary. Her sole Oscar nomination came early in her career as the grieving mother of little Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense (1999) and in a way, twenty years later, she's bookended that great early success with another very different grieving mother. This one's much harder to love but the performance is even better. Even if you don't love horror movies, it's impossible to miss the fact that her Annie, a self-indulgent artist and resentful mother, is a tour de force performance from an actress at the top of her game. Annie's life is traumas stacking up on traumas but Toni's performance keeps stacking brilliance upon brilliance.

Though she's played her share of narcissists or flighty women, the actress herself comes across as generous and grounded, thrilled by the collaboration of filmmaking. She rolls her eyes about herself and other actors if anyone gets too precious or self-involved about the craft. Though she loves acting dearly, she hilariously refers to it as her "day job" as we're making small talk before the interview.

In a rare turnabout, as we sat down, Toni asked the first question. So we'll begin right there....

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Friday
Dec282018

Review: "Bird Box" on Netflix

by Eric Blume

The new limited-theatrical-release / now-on-Netflix movie Bird Box is a puzzlement. It’s a post-apocalypse thriller directed by Oscar and Emmy-winner Susanne Bier, and stars Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, Jackie Weaver, and Trevante Rhodes as survivors of a world-ending crisis.  A lot of talented people are involved in this film, so it’s a true curiosity that the whole thing ends up a gigantic shrug.

The details of this apocalypse are a little murky, but it goes something like this. Scary creatures (which we never see) are appearing around the globe, and they tap into your deepest fears somehow(?), and cause you to immediately commit suicide...

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Wednesday
Dec262018

YNMS: "Us"

by Chris Feil

Yesterday, Jordan Peele was our Santa Claus doling out cinematic gifts. First thing Christmas morning, the writer/director of the Oscar winning Get Out dropped the trailer to his follow-up to that mega-smash, the cryptically titled Us. And the internet promptly snapped - or snipped, given the film's scissor fascination.

Curiosity would naturally be at a fever pitch for what Peele has in store for us for his sophomore feature, and Us has smartly been quiet until now. The film centers around Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide, a mother taking her family (including Winston Duke as her husband) on a beachside vacation only to be visited by a menacing family of their doppelgangers, The Tethered.

The trailer, which really plays like an extended teaser, gives us hints at the themes Peele is working with - family, trauma, self-reflection. And if Peele's promises that this film would be more firmly planted in horror elements hadn't convinced you, hold onto your butts...

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Thursday
Nov292018

Sundance 2019 Lineup: Lots of Promising Topics and Great Actresses

The Sundance Film Festival runs January 24th through February 3rd next year. Let's look at the five of the key program lineups in brief. Which films are you most excited about. TFE might be going this year, we're not yet sure.

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Alfred Woodard stars in "Clemency"

16 World Premieres will be competing for the Sundance crown (won last year by The Miseducation of Cameron Post). The new crop is all writer/directors (except where noted) and Sundance has been very careful about diversity, noting in their press release that the US dramatic competition section is 53% female directors, 41% directors of color and 18% LGBTQ directors. But they had a ton to choose from which helps with diversity. There was a record number of submissions for the 2019 festival with 4,018 features hoping to be selected, 1767 if those made from within the US...

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Wednesday
Oct312018

Soundtracking: "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

by Chris Feil

To some degree, The Nightmare Before Christmas feels like the bastard child of Disney’s animated musicals. Granted the film was originally released under the Touchstone label due to concerns of frightened children and timid brand alignment. But in the years since, it’s grown beyond its cult following into full Mouse House acceptance, certainly one of the most merchandised of its era and most revisited thanks to inherent traditions in its duel holiday premise. So why does its music not get discussed alongside its peers?

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