The new Are You Afraid of the Dark? reboot is arriving this week, just in time for Halloween season. A whole-new Midnight Society will gather to tell some scary stories – only this time, the stories are coming to life. A new, and surprisingly long, Are You Afraid of the Dark clip brings the Midnight Society together at a creepy carnival. Plus: the reboot’s writer spills the beans on the many horror references fans will encounter along the way.
When I was a young lad, Are You Afraid of the Dark? was a big deal. I was obsessed with all-things-spooky, and the horror anthology series aimed at younger viewers scratched that itch. The production values weren’t the best, and the stories themselves weren’t even that scary. But damn it, the show tried, and it was fun to spend some time with the Midnight Society as they told their tales of terror.
Are You Afraid of the Dark? writer BenDavid Grabinski spoke with Bloody Disgusting about the upcoming miniseries and revealed that horror fans can expect a bunch of references packed into the three episodes. “It’s all very, very deeply nerdy but in a way that if you don’t know the references you won’t know [they’re] references,” Grabinski said, adding:
“The kids’ names are Rachel Carpenter, Graham Raimi, Gavin Coscarelli, Louise Fulci and then Akiko Yamato, and then her brother is Officer Hideo Yamato, which is [referencing] Hideo Kojima…So a bunch of just deeply nerdy stuff,” Grabinski says. “There’s a bad guy in the show, you’ll find out his real last name is Cochran because I really like Halloween III…It’s one of those things where it’s like, it passed the smell test. I have a thousand references in it and no one on set knew they were references, which to me is the magical level. It’s like some movies where it’s like, here’s Officer Spielberg and Romero, and I’m like, ‘Well, that’s a little too much.’ We all have our own internal barometer over what is too much and what is corny or too obscure.”
Across the three hour-long episodes, the series follows members of an entirely new Midnight Society, who tell a terrifying tale of the Carnival of Doom and its evil ringmaster Mr. Tophat, only to witness the shocking story come frightfully to life.
As aquatic horror further dominates 2019’s slate, Rob Grant’s Harpoon flashes sharpened fangs despite a lack of predatory creatures. No sharks, no crocodiles, just three “friends” airing their grievances while stranded at sea. After catching the film in Montreal at the Fantasia Film Festival, I’m still waiting for a rival title to dethrone Harpoon’s signature mean spirit and hostility. As per my full review back in August, you’re in for a devastatingly dark good time. Yellow Veil Pictures and Dread continue to rep challenging, out of the norm genre cinema Luz, y’all, with this “psychos at sea” title confirming no such change.
The film opened in limited cinemas on October 4, but fret not – Harpoon hits Video On Demand platforms today! In honor of Grant’s cruise into madness hitting wider audiences, here’s an exclusive clip that shows desperation in its bloodiest form.
As you can see, Richard Christopher Gray, Jonah Munro Chambers and Sasha Emily Tyra are willing to find nutrition anywhere possible. With their water supply dried up, talk of seadog myths leads to the drinking of seagull blood as a substitute. In the name of Richard Parker, Rich bites into an aviary corpse in hopes its juices will quench everyone’s thirst – if they can stomach the salty, thick liquid. To confirm, this is hardly the lowest depth Grant’s parched and hungry characters will sink.
Harpoon is sharper than rose thorns, angrier than Los Angeles commuters stuck in traffic, and tightly wound to the point of snapping. Gray, Chambers and Tyra display despicably delicious chemistry as their performances are tested by everything from betrayal to exhaustion. It’s impressive how to the point Grant’s vision cuts in one of the year’s most destructive quick-witted thrillers, all narrated by a cameo Brett Gelman “appearance.” Please, dear readers, don’t let Harpoon float on by into “underseen” territories.
Check out the film’s full synopsis below:
Rivalries, dark secrets, and sexual tension emerge when three best friends find themselves stranded on a yacht in the middle of the ocean desperate for survival. With plenty of alcohol and very little food and water, emotions run high and their delusions become a reality. As the days stretch on and death seems inevitable, their terrifying truths float to the surface.
Harpoon is available to rent on VOD today, October 8, 2019.
If you’ve ever wanted to see Will Smith bicker with himself, it looks like Gemini Man is going to be the film for you. Ang Lee‘s special effects-driven action flick has old man Will Smith fighting young man Will Smith, which means the Will Smiths get to shout insults at each other in between bullets. A new Gemini Man clip has the Smiths engaged in a standoff. Things don’t go well.
Gemini Man Clip
Every time I see new footage of Gemini Man, I can’t help but remember Rian Johnson’s Looper. That movie had a similar concept: an older version of a man battling his younger self. But it didn’t rely on digital tech – it simply slapped some make-up on Joseph Gordon-Levitt and made him look like Bruce Willis. And it worked! And worked well!
But here, we get a digitally created young Will Smith dealing with a current-day Will Smith, and I have yet to be sold on the idea. And this clip doesn’t exactly help – it’s quick, and there’s something off here about Smith talking with Smith. But maybe in the full context of the film itself all of this will coalesce. Will Smith is one of the last true movie stars, and he can be damn fun to watch with the right role. Here, he has two to work with. And he’s working with Ang Lee, a wonderful filmmaker who loves to play around with technology. That’s a lot of positive stuff wrapped-up in one project.
“The two Will Smith’s coexisting, with one looking so much younger, in this medium the feeling is kind of existential,” Ang Lee told /Film at a roundtable interview. “It really makes you wonder about your own existence and what would you tell your younger self. And also see your trajectory when you’re young.”
Lee and company have also stressed that this isn’t just a digitally de-aged Will Smith we’re seeing in the movie. It’s a creation from scratch:
“We did it from scratch. That’s why I don’t like to call it de-aging, it’s not just a brush-up. Age has more mysteries than just the wrinkles. When we started I was looking at him and thought, “Should he look older? Is he too young?” No. It’s kind of sad what life does to you. Every layer of skin, every bone, it’s just sad how much you age, even your enamel in your teeth, it’s all the subtle changes. It’s very inspiring, actually.”
In Gemini Man, Smith plays Henry Brogan, “an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move.” The movie also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, and Benedict Wong.
Jojo Rabbit has a lot to say about hate and love, especially since Taika Waititi‘s anti-hate satirical film is about Nazis. But it’s probably best said by Scarlett Johansson‘s Rose, the mother of the titular Jojo Roman Griffin Davis, a lonely German boy whose imaginary friend happens to be Hitler Waititi. Watch Rose teach Jojo a valuable lesson about love in the new Jojo Rabbit clip below.
Jojo Rabbit Clip
“Love is the strongest thing in the world,” Rose gently states to a disbelieving Jojo, who counters that metal would actually be the strongest, followed by dynamite and muscles. But love is the central driver of the plot of Waititi’s anti-hate satire, which follows a Hitler-worshipping German boy as his values are flipped on their head. Stephen Merchant, Rebel Wilson, Sam Rockwell, and Thomasin McKenzie also star in Jojo Rabbit, which has earned critical raves since it made its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
/Film reviewer Chris Evangelista loved this aspect in particular about Jojo Rabbit, writing in his review that “ Jojo Rabbit wants to ascribe to the belief that there’s always a chance for redemption and that the best way to stamp out evil is to allow kindness to prevail.”
Here is the synopsis for Jojo Rabbit:
Writer director Taika Waititi THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, JOJO RABBIT, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother Scarlett Johansson is hiding a young Jewish girl Thomasin McKenzie in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler Taika Waititi, Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.
Jojo Rabbit opens in theaters on October 18, 2019.
Paolo Sorrentino, who won Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards for the Fellini-esque “The Great Beauty,” returns for another visual feast of beautiful people and places on display. Below, check out a clip of Sorrentino’s new film “Loro” — which is now finally in U.S. theaters after a release in Italy more than a year ago — exclusive to IndieWire.
“Loro” offers a colorful history of Silvio Berlusconi played by the wonderfully expressive Toni Servillo, the Italian media tycoon and politician who served as Prime Minister of Italy and was driven by all manner of appetites. The populist leader began running for office in 1994, and spent nearly two decades at the epicenter of Italian politics. He famously remained involved in his business holdings despite conflicts of interest, and was brought down on charges of bribery, child prostitution, and tax fraud.
The film looks at Berlusconi through the eyes of Sergio Morra, the scheming, coke-sniffing manager of a sex-trafficking ring. From the South of Italy, Sergio, along with his equally drug-addled girlfriend Tamara Euridice Axen, travels to Rome to get closer to Berlusconi and his powerful inner-circle of politicians and businessmen. Everyone is jockeying for power, and money isn’t the only currency.
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Packed with graphic sex and freely flowing substances, “Loro” provides another showcase for the roving, ever-searching camera of Sorrentino, who works here again with cinematographer Luca Bigazzi, who also shot the director’s best-known films, “The Great Beauty” and “Il Divo.” They also worked together on Sorrentino’s English-language works, the film “Youth” starring Michael Caine, to the popular HBO series “The Young Pope,” starring Jude Law and now set for the spinoff, “The New Pope,” also with Law but this time adding John Malkovich to the mix.
As “Loro” was released in Italy in 2018, it’s not eligible for the International Feature Film Academy Award this year. Last year, the country submitted “Dogman” and this year submitted “The Traitor,” from veteran auteur Marco Bellocchio. Italy’s last film in the running to claim the Oscar win was, in fact, “The Great Beauty” in 2014.
In the clip below, a boozy night out in Rome takes an unexpected turn.
The latest Charlie's Angels TV spot and first clip tease some explosive action. Elizabeth Banks is behind the camera for the reboot and it looks like she took some time to do something fresh with the franchise. The first clip for the upcoming movie was unveiled during an interview with Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska. The clip features the women in hot pursuit while Stewart is dressed like a jockey.
The Charlie's Angels international TV spot features some new footage and mostly concentrates on Naomi Scott's Elena Houghlin as she joins the elite team. Most of the footage is made up from previous trailers and spots, though it's put together in a new way. Elizabeth Banks was recently asked why she decided to take on the project. She had this to say.
"As a filmmaker I wanted to tell a story about women working together and expand upon the idea of sisterhood and sorority that was meaningful to me when I was making Pitch Perfect 2. I'm not old enough to have watched the first run of the television show, but my two sisters and I did watch reruns. The three of us getting to pretend we were Charlie's Angels was so inspirational. It's a show about women doing a job that very few women had ever done before, which was detective work, whether on television or in real life. They were running around with guns, they were going undercover, they were getting to do something different every day and fighting bad guys. I mean, don't we all want to do that?"
While the cast of Charlie's Angels are good pals now, it didn't start off that way, or so Kristen Stewart thought. Stewart admits that she was really nervous about meeting her co-stars and decided to peak out her trailer window a few times before going out to introduce herself. "I did this thing that I was really embarrassed about," she said, referencing a gesture she made with her hand on Naomi Scott's chin. However, Scott thought it was "cute."
Naomi Scott almost wasn't a part of the Charlie's Angels cast. Elizabeth Banks says, "Naomi was in Power Rangers with me... She actually almost wasn't in the movie because she's also Jasmine in Aladdin." It appears that Scott's schedule with the Disney remake was pretty hectic, but in the end, she was able to make it work. Banks says they pushed the movie back a bit, which is what allowed Scott to come on board.
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Charlie's Angels hits theaters on November 15th. Elizabeth Banks has nothing but great things to say about her young cast, who have become like a little family unit now, thanks to the production. Banks calls Ella Balinska a "ninja" when talking about how she can basically do anything. Kristen Stewart is the "epitome of the modern American woman," according to Banks. You can check out the full interview below, along with the clip and TV spot, thanks to the Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube channel. The clip begins at the 4:42 mark.