Saturday, 22 April 2017

EX_MACHINA_Alt




It looks like Alex Garland's adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer's creepily brilliant novel ANNIHILATION has been pushed back to 2018. It's not bad news though, as this is one film I don't want to see rushed through production. Take your time Mr. Garland. Get it right. It also gives you more time to seek out and devour VanderMeer's SOUTHERN REACH trilogy (of which ANNIHILATION is the first book), ahead of the film's release.

But first enjoy some alternate/fan art inspired by Alex Garland's wonderful EX MACHINA...




















Saturday, 15 April 2017

PURE GROUND




Mean. Snarling. Cruel. Cold.

You're asking for it punk, and this is what you deserve.




Sunday, 2 April 2017

SUSPIRIA 2017: Grand Hotel Campo dei Fiori




As a horror film that can be considered to be the epitome of sensory experience over narrative (even though its fairy tale narrative is much stronger than its critics give it credit for), the real stars of Argento's SUSPIRIA are its sights and sounds. And what sights it has to show you: the neoclassicism (with fascist undertones) of Munich's Königsplatz; the delicate Art Nouveau beauty of that same city's Müller'sche Volksbad; most importantly, the insanely gorgeous facade (based on the Haus zum Walfisch in Freiburg, Germany) and interiors of the Tanz Akademie, constructed at De Paolis Studios in Rome. As shot and lit by Luciano Tovoli, these sets and locations (in perfect accord with Goblin's score) are the defining characteristic of Argento's masterpiece.

I'm one of the heretics who has an optimistic attitude towards Luca Guadagnino's upcoming SUSPIRIA remake. I have faith in the Italian auteur's vision, and I think he may surprise us with a film that is at once respectful to the original, and an occult horror film that is very much his own (Guadagnino's commitment to not settling for a rehash can be seen in his abandonment of Tovoli's primary colour aesthetic).

The one feature that I think we will see carried over from the original (as well as TENEBRAE etc) is the importance Argento placed on architectural setting, and a prowling camera that exploits those spaces to enhance atmosphere, tension and fear. You can see it in Guadagnino's previous filmography, such as 2009's Tilda Swinton starrer, I AM LOVE

I recently did some research on one of SUSPIRIA 2017's primary locations, the Grand Hotel Campo dei Fiori in Northern Italy, and the results are very pleasing. The abandoned building, a Belle Époque-era resort situated on a mountain top, is in a state of dereliction and appears to be in pretty poor shape. It'll be interesting to see how much licence the local government gave Guadagnino's set decorators to prepare it for the shoot. Will we see it in this dilapidated state, or will it be restored to the grandeur of Argento's Tanz Akademie? Take a look below.






























Thursday, 16 March 2017

Poison Lips (DREDD)



I can't believe I've come this far without so much as a mention of one of my fave movies of the last 10 years: Pete Travis and Alex Garland's DREDD. A perfect blend of classic Carpenter and Verhoeven, efficiently packaged in an ultra-violent and meticulously designed hand grenade of sci-fi cool. It's a fantastic film, and I long ago lost count of how many times I've rewatched it.

Vitalic's "Poison Lips" - which plays over the top of the scene in which Judges Dredd and Anderson bust a Slo-Mo den with spectacularly violent results - has become an iconic track for DREDD's fans. These cold, druggy sounds really nail the hopelessness and nihilism of life on the streets and in the towering slums of Mega-City One.