The remake of the 1974 film serves as a companion piece to 'Ready or Not' in re-examining gender dynamics within the genre.
[This story contains spoilers for Black Christmas, Ready or Not and Hustlers]
Horror has long been a space to talk about femininity and gender, whether it's the overt abortion allegory of 1974's It's Alive or the role of the final girl in countless slashers. 2019 has been particularly pointed in how the horror genre uses gender to critique issues affecting women today, and this weekend'sBlack Christmas, a loose reboot of the 1974 Bob Clark-directed sorority horror feature, caps a year that saw a number of films looking at the horrors women face, and their desire to stand up and fight for their rights.
Where the original Black Christmas dealt with sexual harassment and a side plot on abortion, director Sophia Takal and co-writer April Wolfe's take is a pointed critique of today's culture. Their leading lady, Riley Imogen Poots, is a student of Hawthorne College and is a rape survivor. While Riley is still suffering the effects of her trauma, the college has moved on, with the administration not believing her claims and only her sorority sisters and a few others standing in solidarity with her.
Screenwriter Wolfe has said that the movie was inspired by the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court justice accused last year of committing sexual assault as a teenager. It's easy to see this influence reflected onscreen. The fraternity at the center of the movie is one with roots deep in the founding of America. Riley's friend Kris Aleyse Shannon brings up that the founder of Hawthrone owned slaves and his statue, once the centerpiece of the campus, has been removed due to cultural sensitivity. As Riley and her friends are set upon by the frat, it's discovered that their power comes from the statue itself. This blending of the mystical and the historical also popped up earlier this year in the film filmReady or Not. That film also involved a final-esque girl, played by Samara Weaving, being hunted by her rich in-laws.Ready or Not | Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
The family at the center of Ready or Not also have its wealth and, by extension, its power, gifted to them through magical means. The family patriarch effectively sold his soul to a man named Mr. Le Bail who granted him money and prestige. In return, anytime a family member gets married their spouse must “play a game.” Weaving's Grace is the new initiate tasked with surviving a game of hide and seek and, like the women of Black Christmas, realizes that being a woman means she's perceived as lesser. In the world of the rich, powerful, and male, she will always be the sacrificial lamb. So when her husband, a man going presumably against his family and willing to throw away money for love, ultimately turns on...
Netflix has released the first trailer for Extraction. This one, on paper, has a whole lot going for it. For one, it's one of few new blockbuster-level releases viewers will be able to watch this month, as movie theaters all around the country remain closed. It also features Chris Hemsworth in the lead. To top it all off, he's reunited with Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Avengers: Endgame, who are producing the original thriller. And, based on this first trailer, this could certainly be something to look forward to this month.
The trailer opens up with Chris Hemsworth doing some intense cliff diving/meditation before some of the action kicks in. We get the sense that Hemsworth has something of a death wish. We then get to the heart of the matter, which sees this man having to rescue the son of a drug lord, who was kidnapped by a rival drug lord. Things escalate, to say the very least of it, and Hemsworth is left trying to fight off impossible odds to keep this kid safe. This does seem to lay everything out on the table, seemingly not leaving much up to the imagination, but it's an impressive trailer. Lots of action. Real stakes.RELATED: Netflix's Extraction Poster Shows Chris Hemsworth as a Deadly Black Market Mercenary googletag.cmd.pushfunction ;
New Netflix original Extraction centers on a hardened mercenary's mission, which becomes a soul-searching race to survive when he's sent into Bangladesh to rescue a drug lord's kidnapped son. The cast also includes Rudhraksh Jaiswal, David Harbour, Derek Luke and Golshifteh Farahani. Taking to Twitter, Chris Hemsworth expressed his excitement in sharing the trailer, especially at this moment in time, given what's going on in the world.'So happy to finally be able to share the trailer for Extraction with you all! This has been a difficult few months for all of us, and we hope this will provide a bit of entertainment while we are all staying home.'
This trailer arrives after an Extraction poster proved to be quite popular after it was unveiled. Netflix has been ramping up its work with A-list filmmakers in the past few years and this is a huge example of that. The Russo brothers, coming off of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, have been busy producing a number of high-profile projects. In this case, Joe Russo wrote the screenplay and is producing alongside his brother, Anthony Russo. Re-teaming them with Hemsworth, who plays Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, makes this an impressive package deal.
Sam Hargrave, a longtime stunt coordinator who has worked on quite a few massive blockbusters in his day, including Captain America: Civil War with the Russo brothers, is making his feature directorial debut. Hargrave also worked on Atomic Blonde, The Hunger Games series and Suicide Squad, as well as a few other MCU titles like Thor: Ragnarok. So he knows his way around a big...
For the second season of its popular horror anthology series “Into the Dark,” the executives at Blumhouse Productions were looking for something extra special: A gay slasher movie. The Hulu Original series premiered last October to positive reviews, with new episodes released monthly and all tied to a certain holiday. The feature-length episodes are essentially films, which allowed Blumhouse to develop relationships with up-and-coming genre writers and directors who may otherwise not have their work seen on such a large platform.
For “Midnight Kiss,” a sexy gay slasher set among a group of LA gay friends on New Year’s Eve, 2019, Blumhouse tapped out gay talent — writer Erlingur Thoroddsen and director Carter Smith. Rather than having to sell skeptical execs on a gay script, Thoroddsen was thrilled to learn Blumhouse was chasing gay content.
“They were very open to kind of different interpretations of what that meant. They kind of let me just do my thing,” Thoroddsen told IndieWire during a recent phone interview. “Once Carter [Smith] was on board, they kind of give us a little bit of free reign to play within those parameters.”
“I think that says a lot right there,” Smith added. “It isn’t something we brought to them and they hem-hawed about, and were like, ‘Oh, I don’t know, blah, blah, blah.’ This is something that they actively wanted, which was kind of exciting.”
“Midnight Kiss” takes its name from a game the friends play every New Year’s — each member of the group has to find a stranger in a club to kiss at midnight. The rules state that it can’t be someone in the group, and it has to be consensual. Thereafter, they can do whatever they want with the person until 6 am, regardless of their relationship status. When they arrive at a gorgeous vacation house outside of Palm Springs, hand-lettered cards await them, announcing the game is afoot. Meanwhile, a killer in a leather dog mask is slowly picking off the friends one by one.
Aside from one straight girl in the group, all of the characters are gay.
“I really wanted the gay characters to be front and center, to be the protagonists and have this as their story,” said Thoroddsen. “So it wasn’t putting one gay friend or some extra characters on the sidelines; it was really focusing on a group of all-gay friends and trying to be very true to how this group of friends would interact.”
Aside from the very first victim, all of the gay characters are played by out gay actors. Surprisingly, that directive came from the top. “Blumhouse and Hulu were very excited by...