Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2011

Singer. Songwriter. Fashion designer. Scream queen?

Sounds like Mandy Moore, who first entered the spotlight as a teen pop star in the late 1990s, is determined to be all of the above. And she's going to take her shot at the horror genre with the help of Buried screenwriter Chris Sparling.

Sparling will direct Moore and actor Rodrigo (300, Che) Santoro in Falling Slowly, a supernatural thriller about a couple who find themselves living in an apartment haunted by a dark presence. No word yet on what the dark presence is or if Sparling, who makes his directorial debut on the project, also wrote.

If he directs half as well as he writes, this could be great. Shawn and I dug Buried a lot. The script also earned Sparling a National Board of Review award for best screenplay. But making the transition from writer to director isn't always easy. Just hang back with Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive if you doubt what I say.

As for Moore and Santoro? What knows. With the right script and right director, anyone can be good. I'm not k…

Jason and Shawn review: The Loved Ones and Alien Vs. Ninja

The Loved Ones

Jason: Wow, what an experience. I've never gone from hating a movie to loving it before. But I did here. Believe it! The first 40 minutes or so are disjointed and weird. Then the film has a brilliant turning point and it all comes together in the best possible way. Robin McLeavy is a revelation as Lola, one of the creepiest movie villains of all time. Her family makes the one from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre seem oddly tame. This is a disturbing and crazy film that is also a lot of fun. I have to give it a Good.

Shawn: This is kind of Hostel meets All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, but way better than both. It starts off kinda slow, but man . . . I really dug this movie. The characters were nicely built, and there is some twisted shit that was also pure coolness. The film is loaded with some great gore, great intensity, sex and pure insanity. And zombies! Kinda. A Good for me on this.

Alien Vs. Ninja

Jason: Predator meets Enter the Ninja by way of Mighty Morphin' Powe…

Next on the chopping block: The Loved Ones and Alien Vs. Ninja

I know, the fact someone made a movie about ninjas fighting aliens delights us too. I just had to get that out of the way first.

Torture porn is a horror subgenre that was born with the first Saw movie and then bludgeoned to death like so many of the movies' victims during the years that followed. The premise is simple: find people to torture then do horrible, terrible things to them for the next 80 minutes. See Hostel, Captivity and a slew of other cheap knockoffs if you need a visual reference.

But the Australian effort The Loved Ones is supposed to be a bit different, and it's been getting rave reviews from almost everyone who's watched it, so Shawn and I decided to give a whirl. The Loved Ones is our first film on the chopping block tonight.

Then it's time for ninjas and aliens. What more can we say about it other than it features ninjas fighting aliens. What more could we ask for really? Does the conflict make for fun popcorn viewing? Stick with us!

And stick arou…

Check out this intense TV spot for Bereavement

We first told you about Steve Mena's horror prequel Bereavement back in January. The film was originally going to hit theatres with a limited engagement this Friday, but the release was pushed back due to some problems with the MPAA ratings board. It now lands in cinemas March 4.

The delay not only provided some time to change the poster -- apparently the MPAA didn't like the image of a child holding a knife -- but also kick in a little advertising. We've kindly included one of the TV spots below for your viewing pleasure plus the new poster, which plays up leading lady Alexandra Daddario and her hotness. Hotness and horror go hand in hand you know.

Bereavement is Mena's follow up to his 2004 low-budget slasher movie Malevolence. That film is one of those hidden gems a la Babysitter Wanted and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon that we love here in The Basement. It deserves far more exposure than it got, but did become kind of a cult hit, hence the prequel.


Alien space jockey to return in Prometheus

We haven't given a lot of love to Ridley Scott's Alien prequel project in the past but, when news broke that Prometheus has been transitioned into more of a stand-alone film than a direct prequel, we figured it was time for an update.

Word has filtered online that some elements of the popular franchise Scott started back in the 1970s will return, including the space jockey. Who is the space jockey? He/it is the mysterious skeleton that appeared in the opening scenes of Alien. See the pic below for reference. Apparently the character is being designed as an eight-foot animatronic puppet in favour of CGI. That's cool.

The script also includes a giant semi-human head that pilots a spaceship. Take from that what you will.

Prometheus stars Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender. Look for it in theatres on June 8th, 2012. We have no idea what the film is actually about.

Micro Review: My Soul To Take

A total misfire from beginning to end. A colossal disappointment from writer/director Wes Craven, who tries hard to create another Nightmare On Elm Street, but misses the mark by a long shot. The film does offer some okay gore, but the story makes no sense and large chunks of the plot are delivered by dialogue that is pure exposition. And don't even get me started on the kills. You see one person stabbed with a knife, you've seen them all. An Ugly from me on this one. Here's hoping Craven bounces back with Scream 4.

Wanna see an intense clip from Battle: Los Angeles?

Well duh. Of course you do. If not, this isn't the blog/radio show/podcast for you.

Shawn and I look forward to the upcoming sci-fi/war epic Battle: Los Angeles with dread and excitement. Dread because we've been sucker punched by cool trailers for shitty movies more times than we can count. Excitement because we hope hope HOPE Battle: Los Angeles will deliver the goods.

The alien invasion flick certainly has promise with its gritty look, combat theme and a great lead actor in Aaron Eckhart. The previews and posters promise big, cool, scary things and the clip below offers more of the same.

But why waste time talking about it. Check out the video below and judge for yourselves. All I know is I'm even more excited for March 11.

Former Robin Hood could have role in new Superman

That's right, Kevin Costner, the Oscar winner who once thrilled audiences as Robin Hood and wooed Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard, is apparently being considered for a role in the new Superman movie.

But who? Could he be shaved bald and cast as Superman's arch rival Lex Luthor? Let's hope not. Not because Costner wouldn't be a good Luthor. I actually think the guy is a decent actor. But everyone who is tired of seeing Superman fight the same villain in every movie raise his or her hand. All of you? Good!

The only promising thing about latest take on the Man of Steel is director Zack Snyder.Otherwise it's hard to care about yet another origin story for a character everyone on planet earth is familiar with.

But back to Costner. Who do you think he should play? Established character or new creation? The film is due out in December 2012.

Jason and Shawn review: 100 Feet and Babysitter Wanted

100 Feet

Shawn: Here is a cheaply made horror film with some great scares balanced out by sequences that are a total fail. The film goes from creepy to cheesy and back again far too often. This had a tonne of potential and delivered about 60 per cent of it in some scenes and 100 per cent in others. The bit where the ghost kills the kid by headbutting him repeatedly was awesome. The big special effects ending was not. This rates a Bad for me.

Jason: Famke Janssen and the house are the real stars of this movie. There's good performances and some nice scares, but other moments -- especially the ending -- fall flat. How can the ghost materialize to hit her but she can't hit back? There's some nice quiet sequences here as well, but too many of them. It throws the pacing off. I wanted to like this movie more than I did. It's worth watching once. A Bad from me as well.

Babysitter Wanted

Shawn: This is how you make a low budget horror movie! And what a great musical score. It t…

Micro Review: RED

Bruce Willis hasn't made a movie this much fun or action packed since he dusted off John McClane. Sure it's lightweight and fluffy, but it's also one of the best examples of pure entertainment Hollywood has produced in some time. If you're going to make a slick, glossy product, then make it fun. And give your superstar a talented supporting cast to work off of. Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and especially John Malkovich are all a hoot to watch. The throwdown between Willis and Karl Urban is one for the books.A Good time at the movies for the wife and I, and we'll be watching it again.

Next on the chopping block: 100 Feet and Babysitter Wanted

When a filmmaker named John Carpenter screened his first horror movie, Halloween, for a young studio executive at 20th. Century Fox he did so without the music. She bluntly told Carpenter his film wasn't scary, that it didn't work. So the director and composer set out to "save it" with music. The score he composed, and the chilling film he made, have become fixtures in popular culture.
Tonight, on a special episode of Film Reviews From the Basement, The X's own Rev. Steve of Do Not Touch This Amp joins us for a discussion on movie soundtracks and their transition from being accompanying music to a big moneymaking business. It's a segment no film or music fan will want to miss. And yes, there will songs.
But we are review show, and that means Shawn and I have a couple of reviews for your listening pleasure. First up is the haunted house spookfest 100 Feet starring former Bond babe Famke Janseen and John Fallon of Arrow In the Head. Then we turn the executioner&…

Iron Man 3 fades to Black

I've had an excessively tough time sitting through Iron Man 2. I loved the first movie, dig Robert Downey Jr and think Jon Favreau is the cat's ass as a director and actor. But the second film is just, well, blah. Worse than blah. Boring! Even with Mickey Rourke. What's up with that!?!

But I might have to force myself to catch the entire film now that Shane Black is in final negotiations to helm Iron Man 3.

Who's Shane Black? He's considered one of the best screenwriters in the business. Black wrote the first two Lethal Weapon movies, The Monster Squad, The Last Boy Scout, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Last Action Hero (we forgive you for that one, Shane). He also wrote and directed the brilliant Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, which starred Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer.

Oh yeah, he was also one of the soldiers in Predator. The guy who told all the jokes.

This is great news. Black's scripts are edgy, funny and violent. He could breathe the right amount of life back into a…

Mark 2011 as year of the sequel

Further proof that Hollywood is out of fresh material, the following is a list of sequels due out this year:

First sequels:
Cars 2
Diary Of Wimpy Kid 2
Hangover 2
Happy Feet 2
Hoodwinked Too!
Johnny English Reborn
Kung Fu Panda 2
Piranha 3DD
Sherlock Holmes 2

Second Sequels:
Alvin & The Chipmunks 3
Big Momma’s House 3
Madea’s Big Happy Family Too
Paranormal Activity 3
Transformers 3

Third Sequels:
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Pirates of the Caribbean 4
Scream 4
Spy Kids 4
Twilight: Breaking Dawn (part 1)

Fourth Sequels:
Fast Five
Final Destination 5
Puss In Boots
X-Men: First Class
Winnie The Poo (kinda)

Sixth Sequels (Kinda):
The Muppets
Rise of the Apes

…and Harry Potter comes in as a Seventh Sequel.

Isn't that fucked up!?! Do we need all these sequels? Does anyone really care? I know I don't. Out of the above list I am keen to see Sherlock Holmes 2, Piranha 3DD, Scream 4 and Fast Five. I will likely see Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and Paranormal Activity 3. The r…

Zombie heads to Salem for his next film

The shock rocker film turds unfairly pissed on for his remake of Halloween is almost ready to get back behind the cameras.

Rob Zombie told The List his next film, The Lords of Salem, should begin pre-production in March with a planned production start scheduled for June.

The film, based on his original script, follows a DJ in Salem, Mass., who unwittingly unleashes a horde of demons when she plays a cursed record. Ten bucks says the demons could have something to do with all those witches burned at the stake in that state.

I've dug pretty much everything Zombie has done film wise and enjoy most of his music. We in The Basement will give the movie a view when it eventually hits theatres.

Carpenter's The Ward finds a home

Don't know what this means in terms of John Carpenter's first film in nine year's getting a theatrical release or not, but The Ward will be distributed in North America through ARC Entertainment and XLrator Media Partnership.

Never heard of them. That can't be good. And it's puzzling too as the trailer below shows the film being distributed around the world by Warner Bros. Hmmmm. Hopefully we'll know more, including a release date, soon.

The Ward stars Amber Heard as Kristen, a beautiful but troubled young woman, who finds herself bruised, cut, drugged, and held against her will in a remote ward of a Psychiatric Hospital. Creepy stuff ensues. I admit, I get chills when I see From The Director of Halloween appear in the preview.

Enjoy the footage, and we promise to keep you updated on Carpenter's return to cinemas!

Jason and Shawn review: Red Hill and Hatchet 2

Red Hill

Jason: There's a lot to like in this lean post-modern western from the land Down Under. The villain, Jimmy, is one of the best, baddest and toughest hombres to grace the screen in some time. And the character's back story actually makes him a compelling part of this movie. So much so that he overshadows the film's hero, Shane. It's the lack of a strong main character that hurts Red Hill the most. I loved the film's action and violence and it looks great, but the weak protagonist has me giving it a Bad.

Shawn: This movie starts off pretty slow but has a nice build, culminating in the worst first day on the job our hero could ever have. The build up certainly didn't let me down. The action scenes and kills are really good and brutal. The bad guy, Jimmy, is awesome. I was definitely entertained by this well-made movie and will see it again. I give it a Good.

Hatchet 2

Jason: Writer/director Adam Green comes dangerously close to dropping the ball with Hatch…

Next on the chopping block: Red Hill and Hatchet 2

A small-town sheriff facing down a ruthless, bloodthirsty outlaw certainly sounds like the makings for a good Western. And that's exactly the premise of director Patrick Hughes's Red Hill. The only difference is the film takes place in present day Australia.

Red Hill is our first film on the chopping block tonight. The other is Adam Green's Hatchet 2. Which is a sequel to Adam Green's Hatchet, don't you know? Hatchet is a Basement favourite, but Shawn and I were less than thrilled with Green's follow up Frozen. Does the director redeem himself with Hatchet 2? Stick with us!

By the way, the hottie above is Danielle Harris. She stars in Hatchet 2. Just wanted to justify putting a picture of a pretty girl on this page.

But the fun doesn't stop with the films. Being movie geeks, Shawn and I have spent a lot of time in movie theatres. Some of the visits have been good, some bad, and a handful have been ugly. With theatre attendance on the decline, we thought we…

X-Men: First Class trailer looks kinda classy

The Wolverine movie was a lackluster affair, a ball dropped, a missed opportunity. While we wait for the eventual, an apparently much better, follow up care of Darren Aronofsky, 20th. Century Fox moved ahead with a prequel to the whole damn X-Men universe.

X-Men: First Class hits theatres June 3. The trailer was released today and, in less than two minute of footage, actually looks better than the entire Wolverine movie. Matthew Vaughn -- Kick Ass, Layer Cake -- directs the early days of the X-Men, back when Professor X could walk and he and Magneto were buddies.

That means its a period piece. Having it set against the Cuban Missile Crisis is interesting, and Vaughn has done a fine job of selecting a cast that looks like their older counterparts. If the movie is half as good as X-Men and X2 then we've got a decent movie on our hands.

Enjoy the trailer!

Micro Review: The Green Hornet

I didn't expect to like The Green Hornet as much as I did. Truth be told, I didn't expect to like it at all. It's a decent popcorn movie that makes fun of the super-hero genre while still playing within the confines of it. Seth Rogen and Jay Chou have a nice chemistry and comedic timing, Christoph Waltz makes for an amusing villain and Cameron Diaz is only mildly annoying as the love interest. And thank you director Michel Gondry for adding just enough visual style to make it look more interesting than it really is. A Bad review on this one.

Are the Coen brothers working on a horror script?

Comedy. Drama. Western. No matter the genre, Joel and Ethan Coen can do no wrong. But how about a horror movie?

The brothers eluded to just such a prospect in an interview the Empire magazine. When Ethan was asked about future projects, and the question was posed about a potential horror film being in the mix, he told the publication: "Funny you should ask, yes, we're working on a couple of scripts now, one of which it would be fair to call a full-on horror movie. Frances McDormand is the monster."

Given that McDormand is his sister in law, the latter part is probably a joke. But the former does sound possible. Of course it could all be bullshit too, but the idea of two of the cleverest writer/directors in the business tackling The Basement's favourite genre is grounds for a rum and Coke.

Which I will go and have right now . . .

Micro Review: Paranormal Activity 2

A lean, mean scare machine that lacks some of the punch of the original film but still delivers the goods. This is actually a prequel to Paranormal Activity, and it does a fine job of blending the events in this film with those of its predecessor. Audiences are treated to one of the best jump scares in movie history, the creation of a solid mythology for what is obviously an ongoing series, and Katie Featherston's tremendous rack. And yes, it's pretty darn scary at times. A Good review from this Basement dweller.

More Monsters on the way

Shawn and I shared our thoughts on Gareth Edwards's much-hyped sci-fi drama here (and on the player to the right) . . . just in time, it seems, for a sequel to be announced.

Edwards told the fine folks over at Dread Central that Vertigo Films has decided to move ahead with a follow up to his ultra low budget film. As for his involvement? It sounds like the British helmer might not be that involved at all given his commitment to direct the latest U.S. version of Godzilla.

"I'm not sure how involved I can be right now, and I don't think my next film really should be a sequel just yet," he said. "I'd like to do something else first, but I would definitely be open to returning at some point."

He goes on to say: "Whoever comes in should definitely be given free rein to put their own spin on this world, and I know they'll get the right person."

As far as I'm concerned a sequel, prequel or whatever is a bad idea. I really dug Monsters…

Witness the first Avenger

Those of you who were lucky enough to catch the Super Bowl (damn you localized snowstorm!) on Sunday also caught a glimpse of the Big Game teaser for the Captain America movie.

I didn't get to watch the preview until late yesterday and was blown away by the footage. It has an old-school vibe befitting the World War 2 era and appears to have captured the feel of the original Captain America comics. I like how Chris Evans comes across both pre-super serum and after. It's great to see The Howling Commandos make an appearance and who doesn't dig the brief glimpse we get of The Red Skull?

Naturally, we must hold our excitement in check pending the film's release this summer. But my anticipation level has ramped up considerably for Captain America. The movie is due out July 22.

Jason and shawn review: Let Me In and Monsters

Let Me In

Jason: I have a love/hate relationship with this movie. On the one hand it's beautifully made, expertly acted, gruesome, dark and gritty. On the other, it's a pointless remake that lacks the heart, soul and emotional core that made Let the Right One In so damn good. Thankfully the vampire here is still a monster and still a little girl. Chloe Moretz is brilliant. Director Matt Reeves is a master at staging shots and atmosphere, but the film is sluggish and doesn't generate many thrills. Let Me In rates a Bad. We didn't need it to be made, but at least it isn't a total failure.

Shawn: Branding something as Made In the U.S.A. doesn't make it better. I guess cashing in on the success of something else is what America is best at. I have yet to see the original, but am willing to bet it's better. This moves at a slow pace and I have a big gripe about the CGI kill in the tunnel. Usually I can accept CGI, but it was unnecessary here. The idea of this mov…

Next on the chopping block: Let Me In and Monsters

What can we say other than we here in The Basement love our monsters. Maybe it's that primal fear left over from when we were children scared of the hairy monster in the closet or the masked bogeyman under the bed, but monsters or fascinating. Monsters are cool. As long as they are on the big screen that is.

Tonight we're putting two little-seen but well-regarded horror tales on the chopping block. First up is Cloverfield director Matt Reeves's vampire film Let Me In, which is a remake of the Swedish flick Let The Right One In. The Basement's Matt Bellamy actually likes the remake better, so that has Shawn and I curious. Speaking from my own experience, Let The Right One In is a modern classic. Never mind the horror part.

Then we take on Monsters, the low-budget directorial debut of Gareth Edwards that promises big things in terms of giant aliens running amok. We're jazzed to see it, but will Monsters actually be any good? Stick with us!

And stick around for our in…

A good look at The First Avenger in action

Empire magazine has scored a bunch of pics from the upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger and we've decided to be lazy and post one of them here. Hey, it's the web. We can do that.

I'm actually looking forward to this flick and think Chris Evans is the perfect choice for Cap. He's a good actor, he looks all American and the costume suits him. Any doubts? Look below. The film is also set during World War 2, which is tres cool.

Directed by Joe Johnston, the action adventure also stars Hayley Atwell and Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull. It hits theatres July 22.

Another Inception star could join The Dark Knight Rises

My hands down favourite working actor is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He was brilliant in Brick, the best part of Killshot and The Lookout, and got a much deserved bit of public exposure as Arthur in Inception.

Now Deadline has it that Gordon-Levitt could be re-teaming with writer/director Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight Rises. No word yet on who he will play or how large the part. Knowing Nolan, it will be something interesting.

In addition to the returning cast of Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman, Nolan has added two stars to his final Batman film: Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and Gordon-Levitt's Inception co-star Tom Hardy as villain Bane. That's a great cast and up them to anyone who thinks otherwise.

Gordon-Levitt is currently finishing work on the sci-fi thriller Looper with Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt.

New Scream goes retro

Talk about a boring ass day for film news. So boring we're jumping on the poster bandwagon to satisfy fans who crave new news from The Basement on a daily basis.

Below is the new poster for Wes Craven's Scream 4, due in theatres April 15. It's fairly similar to the poster for Scream 3 and keeps the motif started with the first two entries. Why I type all this when you can look at the poster is beyond me.
The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Hayden Panettiere, Britt Robertson and Emma Roberts. We've included the trailer for your viewing pleasure.