Joe Dante's werewolf movie gets the special edition treatment
A few years after "An American Werewolf in London" opened up the possibilities of the werewolf horror, Joe Dante went a different direction with "The Howling" (Shout Factory), in essence forgoing the usual lone wolf route and framing the drama in terms of the wolf pack.
Dee Wallace, just a year before making "E.T.," stars as an investigative TV reporter recovering from a brush with a serial killer in a retreat called "The Colony," a mix of new age commune, primal therapy, and red meat culture. It also happens to be the hub of a werewolf pack that quickly adds her husband (Christopher Stone) to their ranks, transforming the easy-going vegetarian into an aggressive, meat-eating hunter in the process.
It's more clever than compelling, to be fair, an interesting take with inventive effects (thanks to Rob Bottin), impressive moments of horror, an undercurrent of dark humor, and an earthy, feral sensibility. John Sayles (who previously wrote "Piranha" for Dante) came with Dante from the Corman movie factory and contributes a clever script (adapted from a novel by Gary Brandner) with some character nice touches in the supporting roles (many of them played by his B-movie heroes and genre character actors, from Kevin McCarthy and John Carradine to Roger Corman and Forrest J. Ackerman) and a modicum of wit in the dialogue.
It's a real film buff feast but Dante also uses the opportunity to stretch himself.
Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton star in this thrilling story of survival
Years ago, winter came and never went away. Beneath the surface of an ice-covered world, survivors in Colony Seven struggle to keep their fragile society from collapsing as food dwindles and temperatures drop. Already plagued by illness and internal conflict, the colonists suspect the worst when they lose contact with the only other known settlement. A small group decide to go on a dangerous expedition to discover what happened and what they find is worse than they could have ever imagined. Now the fight for survival really begins.
See these exclusive photos from "The Colony" opening in theaters August 23.
But nobody has any idea why
And... it's not heinously awful!
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels still attached to long-awaited sequel
An eerie American thriller from the Korean director of 'Oldboy'
"Stoker" (Fox) - Hollywood is always drafting new talent from abroad, especially from thriving cinema cultures. From Mexico, we received an injection of new blood thanks to Guillermo Del Toro, Alfonso Cauron, and Alejandro González Iñárritu. Back in the nineties, it was the Hong Kong action stars on both sides of the camera, from Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-fat to John Woo and Corey Yuen.
For the past few years, South Korea has been leading the Asian wave of hit action movies, horror films, and thrillers and Hollywood has once again taken notice. 2013 marks the respective American debuts of three top South Korean directors: Kim Jee-woon ("The Good, the Bad, the Weird," "I Saw the Devil"), who made the Arnold Schwarzenegger come-back film "The Last Stand" (released earlier this year on disc and reviewed here); Bong Joon-ho ("The Host"), whose end-of-the-world thriller "Snowpiercer" is due for release later this year; and Park Chan-wook ("Oldboy," "Thirst"), director of "Stoker," a film that doesn't fit within the usual genre parameters.
I like to think of "Stoker" as a vampire movie without a vampire. At least not in the mythic sense of the term. Mia Wasikowska is dreamy and uneasy as India Stoker, a teenage girl who is preternaturally attuned to the world and disconnected from the kids around her. Matthew Goode is creepily calm and seductive as the uncle she never even knew existed until he arrives for a funeral and stays on in the family manor (he is her Uncle Charlie, in fact, an offhanded reference to Hitchcock's take on another dark uncle-niece relationship). Nicole Kidman is dizzy and disconnected as her weak and ineffectual mother. She seems to want to be there for her daughter, but she hardly seems present in the world at all.