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The Horror!

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Continuing with the October horror theme I decided to discuss a mainstream horror movie I’m actually quite excited about. If you have read this blog for any length of time you’re probably well aware I have a slight bias towards indie films when compared to major studio motion pictures. Well although this is slightly true, it does not mean I do not like major studio films. For example, opening this Friday is Quarantine.

Trailer One

Trailer Two

This film definitely has a Cloverfield, meets Saw II, meets 30 Days Of Night feel. Sometimes when you try to mix up a couple hits and a miss in a blender like that it comes out all wrong. However every now and then it turns out great and I think this is going to be one of those cases. That said keep in mind what this film is not – it is not a instant classic or a genre bender like Let The Right One In (That I saw at VIFF and it was everything I expected). It is a popcorn flick through and through, and there is nothing wrong with that. Make sure to check out Quarantine this Friday, and make sure to check out Super U‘s ‘The Horror!’ contest that opened earlier this week for all your quick fix horror needs.


October – a month of horror

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Its now October and thus begins the month of horror around my house. I’ve always loved horror movies, and recall watching every Friday The 13th back to back one halloween. This October seems to have the ball rolling with selections like Splinter, Shiver, and a film that received a third screening at VIFF because it was received so well – Let The Right One In. Of these Let The Right One In in is without question the best, I can say that confidently having only seen it and not the other two. The reason Let The Right One In is such a genre bending film that it will cross over to the mainstream and not just have the label of another horror film.

Speaking of horror films, Super U has just opened its The Horror! film contest that will run through the month of October. There already a number of great submissions so make sure to go check them out and vote on your favorite. Also if you’re a filmmaker and have a horror classic waiting in the wings then make sure to submit an entry as they will be accepted until October 26th!

Let The Right One In – english remake?

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As first reported by the film nuts over at Row Three:

Cloverfield director Matt Reevess is given the unenviable task of remaking Tomas Alfredson’s fabulous Swedish vampire instant-classic, Let The Right One In. While I quite dug Cloverfield, it had a lot more going on in the aesthetic and tone department than the gimmick that it could have bee, the usual remake rules apply: I doubt that Reeves remake can find the razor thin balance of emotion that Alfredson managed. The film is delicate and I am a bit skeptical that it will survive remake mauling. The reminted Hammer Studios own the rights for the remake and are behind the production. It is interesting that they are going back to their vampire roots, but taking things in a very modern direction (i.e. subtle drama, remake, etc.)

I caught the original at Fantasia earlier this year (where it won the Audience Award, not to mention that it picked up best narrative feature at Tribeca). While I have a few minor issues with where it went at the end, I still love the movie. A Lot. Marina is expected to see it very soon and her thoughts will show up with her VIFF coverage. Likewise Andrew & I are going to watch it in October as it is on the Toronto After Dark lineup. If you have not caught the original at a festival yet, when Magnet Releasing puts it out in the cinemas: Run, don’t walk…

As you can see from previous blog posts I am very excited about this film. That said I can not see it being redone in Hollywood fashion. Big budgets and remaining of horror films tend to turn out horribly, and dilute the quality of the original. If you don’t believe me go watch any J-Horror film with an american counter part. Watch the J-Horror film first and then the american remake. I think you’ll find yourself rather upset and hoping that this kid ends up taking his revenge on some Hollywood producers…

Written by superuwatchers

September 25, 2008 at 9:34 am

VIFF: The must watch list

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Today at the Super U office we received our Vancouver International Film Festival sponsor package containing tickets, passed, and a little swag as well. The reason we received such a sweet package is because we are sponsoring the When Life Was Good screenings on October 2nd & 7th at the festival. When Life Was Good is a Canadian film that is generating a ton of buzz lately, so make sure to follow its VIFF experience through the exclusive vlog on Super U.

Obviously I consider When Life Was Good a must watch. It is extremely important to support Canadian films at every opporutiny and there is not a better candidate at this years festival than When Life Was Good. However VIFF is not just Canadian films, thus here are my top four foreign picks at VIFF:

JCVD (France): Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself in this crime comedy that opens with the aging action star on the low end of his career, fighting a drug habit, his daughter’s custody case and now a major P.R. problem — for he’s soon to find himself in the middle of a bank heist, with the world looking on and the Muscles From Brussels as the number one suspect

Let The Right One In (Sweden): Twelve-year-old Oskar lives with his mom in a particularly bleak section of Stockholm. Geeky, awkward and just plain weird, Oskar is one of those kids that bullies seem to sniff out. One night, while practicing stabbing a tree (in lieu of his tormentors), Oskar meets the new girl who just moved in next door. Eli, preternaturally pale and self-possessed, might smell a little odd, but like Oskar she’s dying of loneliness–as well as the need for human blood.

RocknRolla (Britain): When a Russian mobster sets up a real estate scam that generates millions of pounds, various members of London’s criminal underworld pursue their share of the fortune. Various shady characters, including Mr One-Two, Stella the accountant, and Johnny Quid, a druggie rock-star, try to claim their slice…

Flame and Citron (Denmark): Copenhagen, 1944. Denmark is occupied by Nazi Germany. Flame and Citron are two legendary resistance fighters charged with liquidating Danish informers. By order of their commander, they now consent to kill Germans as well. But when Flame is asked to execute his girlfriend Ketty, an enigmatic Stockholm courier, he questions his orders wondering who Ketty really is. In the struggle for freedom all zones appear grey and it becomes increasingly unclear who is friend and who is foe. Based on true events.

The one I want to see no matter what is JCVD, although that should be obvious from my pervious blog posts. After that I’d say Flame and Citron and then Let The Right One In are #2 and #3 respectively. RocknRolla will have a wide release so I feel less of a need to see it now, but I still would like to catch it in a festival atmosphere.

I’d be interested to see your must watch lists, so please comment and let me know what you’re attending. Make sure to get your tickets ASAP – they are selling out fast!

New takes on old genres

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Every now and then a film comes along and completely changes how you look at a genre. For the last few years no one has had a new take on the horror genre and the most innovation we experienced was the rise and fall of ‘torture porn‘. Well that is all about to change with Let The Right One In. The movie is not a traditional horror film, it’s a relationship story about an introverted girl who teaches a shy bullied kid how to stand up for himself. It’s sweet in every way you wouldn’t expect. Beautiful and haunting, Let The Right One In is a film you must see.

Luckily it is a movie you can see if you live in either Vancouver or Toronto. Toronto After Dark is going to show it at their festival in mid October, and the Vancouver International Film Festival is showing it as well. Below is the synopsis from the VIFF Website as well as the trailer from Toronto After Dark:

Twelve-year-old Oskar lives with his mom in a particularly bleak section of Stockholm. Geeky, awkward and just plain weird, Oskar is one of those kids that bullies seem to sniff out. One night, while practicing stabbing a tree (in lieu of his tormentors), Oskar meets the new girl who just moved in next door. Eli, preternaturally pale and self-possessed, might smell a little odd, but like Oskar she’s dying of loneliness–as well as the need for human blood.

Director Tomas Alfredson (Four Shades of Brown, VIFF 04) has done the seemingly impossible by reinventing the hoariest of horror genres–the vampire film–with sly wit and surprising sweetness. The beauty is in the details, and Alfredson’s particular genius is apparent in small perfect touches. The scene where Eli and Oskar dance to bad Swedish disco is a particular standout, but the film is filled with wonderful grace notes. The film’s most enduring quality, however, is how perfectly it captures the aching loneliness of people on the outside. It is this need for human contact that makes even the most horrific of acts somehow forgivable. Kudos must be given to the film’s two young leads whose natural and deeply affecting performances lend the film emotional honesty and rare power. A massive hit on the genre film circuit, Let the Right One In reminds you of the power that horror cinema, done right, can have. Winner of the Film Festival Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature, Tribeca 2008, and Best Film, Best Director and Best Photography at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival.

If you are in Toronto you can get your Toronto After Dark VIP passes here, something I consider a great value at $99 for all 17 screenings. If you are in Vancouver you can get your Vancouver International Film Festival tickets and passes here. Make sure you get your tickets for this one quick, I have a feeling it will sell out fast.