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Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

With Thor: The Dark World and Gravity opening in the last couple of weeks their has been no let up from the summer blockbusters before the big autumn/winter movies come out. During this time it is often hard to find smaller releases, but they are often worth hunting out. I am not just talking about documentaries and art house movies, but low budget genre movies that have failed to receive a wide release. One such film is Jeremy Lovering’s micro budget In Fear. Shot two years ago before star Alice Englert’s mainstream debut Beautiful Creatures, it premiered at Sundance “Spotlight, Park City at Midnight” and has just received a limited UK release.

In-Fear poster

 

Two weeks after meeting Tom (Iain De Caestecker) invites Lucy (Alice Englert) to a music festival in Ireland. On their way to meet friends Tom announces that he has booked a hotel for the night before the festival starts. Lucy is a little unsure at first but is won over by the romantic gesture. On the way to the hotel the pair get lost in maze of country roads. There really isn’t any more I can say without revealing too much of the plot.

in fear

There aren’t that many really scary moments. Instead the movie is full of tension that gradually builds as the movie develops. The story is beautifully simple, it is the audacity of this simplicity that makes it a rare treat for horror fans. The cynical may dismiss it as something they have seen before and those who aren’t fans of the genre just won’t get it. For the rest of us it is a perfectly executed movie made with the confidence to know when to show its hand without being tempted to dilute its central idea. Both in themes and visuals it is full of cues to other movies that I won’t name through fear of giving too much away.

In-Fear

You could describe the way the movie was shot as experimental, writer director Jeremy Lovering kept the script and story from the cast only telling them what they would be filming a day at a time. The scenes were then often improvised to capture genuine shock and surprise from the young cast. On the whole this works well and the cast is excellent: Alice Englert (Daughter of Jane Campion recently seen in Beautiful Creatures (2013) and Ginger & Rosa Ginger & Rosa (2012)), Iain De Caestecker (who can currently be seen on TV in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Allen Leech (Downton Abbey). They are all the perfect blend of relatively unknown but vaguely recognisable actors. They let us as an audience invest just enough in the characters to care what is happening to them but keeping them at just enough of a distance to let the filmmakers push all the right buttons.in-fear Alice Englert

There isn’t anything new or original about the plot, but that really isn’t a problem. There are times when the Irish (although shot in England) setting is reminiscent of the American backwoods so often used in American movies. To see this idea played out in a familiar setting closer to home is both refreshing and unnerving. Horror fans please make an effort to check it out. The more people who watch smaller movies like this at the cinema, the easier it will be for them to get funding and distribution.

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Films based on comic books and graphic novels are big business taking billions of dollars at the box office but this wasn’t always the case. After years of the rights to Marvel comics being sold off for TV shows and rubbish films (often with a tiny budget) movies, then came Marvel studios, their first film, Blade (1998) was a co production with New Line Cinema. Not risking one of their big name comic books their first film and in some ways their most important was Blade. Without its success would all the other Marvel properties have been made, and made with such vast budgets if not for the success of Blade.Blade Comic

A couple of years ago it was reported that the rights to Blade had reverted to Marvel Studios, there has been numerous reports that there was a new film in the works. Would it be a fourth in the existing series or a reboot? If a continuation of the series would Wesley Snipes continue in the title role or would he be replaced? Idris Elba has been frequently mentioned as a replacement. This could be genius casting, not only because he could well be perfect but for the opportunity it creates. The original film series rewrote Blade’s back story, a reboot would give the opportunity to return to an origin closer to the one from the comic books. An origin that like Elba that began in London. Eric Brooks was born in Soho, London in the 1920’s the son of a prostitute. When his mother Tara Brooks experienced difficulties in labour, a doctor was called for but what actually came was the vampire Deacon Frost. Frost feasted on Tara killing her in the process. Blade was born with many of the abilities of a vampire, but without their aversion to daylight. When he was nine years old Eric came across the home of Jamal Afari, vampire-hunter and jazz trumpeter during a vampire attack. The pair destroyed the vampires and Afari became Eric’s mentor training him in hand-to-hand combatant and the use of edged weapons. As he mastered these practices he took the name Blade and became the vampire hunter that first appeared in The Tomb of Dracula comic book.idris-elba

Idris Elba is not new to the world of vampires having appeared in the fantastic Chanel 4 mini series Ultraviolet (1998). He is also no stranger to comic book movies having already appeared to Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012), Thor (2011) and will be appearing in Thor: The Dark World later this year. A diverse actor Elba could bring the same dry humour and comedy that Wesley Snipes did to what is essentially a dark story. The tone for a new version would be set by the direction the director chooses, something between what Guillermo del Toro did with Blade II and Christopher Nolan’s Batman films would be perfect. Now the rights are back with Marvel asks the interesting question of where a new series will fit into the existing Marvel Universe. Given the fact that in the original trilogy the vampires existed without the knowledge of the public at large the same would probably be true of a new story. This would allow Blade to exist in the same universe as The Avengers without them necessarily having to come into direct contact, but given the option to crossover in future. It would work just as well if not more so it Blade existed in his own universe without the interference of any other Marvel characters.Wesley Snipes Blade

Whatever happens it will be good to see new life breathed into a franchise that has already given us to excellent and underrated movies (and a third best forgotten). I just hope they avoid the Disney pitfall of making it a 12A or PG movie, part of the appeal of the Blade is that despite the comic book action it was at its heart a vampire horror.

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