Comedies don't get much more pitch-black than this fiendishly clever film, which will shift into horror for everyone in the audience, although that tipping point varies for each person. In other words, this movie will feel intensely personal for everyone who watches it. And credit must go to the cast, director and writers for making a film that, while unnerving you to the core, teaches you something about yourself in the process.
It centres on Craig (Pat Healy), who is having a seriously bad day: he's been sacked at work and evicted from his home, so before returning to his annoyed wife (Amanda Fuller) he stops for a stiff drink. At the bar he runs into his estranged friend Vince (Ethan Embry), a slacker who gets them into a conversation with Colin and Violet (David Koechner and Sara Paxton), a wealthy couple that's celebrating Violet's birthday by daring strangers to do things for money. In need of cash, both Craig and Vince volunteer, and the initially harmless tasks quickly become dangerous, sparking competition between them. And yet they play on. The question is how far they're willing to go.
Writers Trent Haaga and David Chirchirillo have conceived these challenges as a sliding scale from benign fun to nasty embarrassment to disturbing transgression and finally a full-on nightmare. Because of the way viewers react, this is definitely a film to watch in a crowded cinema, as it's clear which point on this scale is each person's limit: the laughter changes to nervous silence and ultimately gasps of horror. The fact that the movie sparks such a visceral reaction is indicative of its genius. You can't be complacent; you're right in here to the bitter end.
Continue reading: Cheap Thrills Review
The Berlin Film Festival premieres a series of big titles, including Nymphomaniac, The Monuments Men and Yves Saint Laurent. A new trailer stirs buzz for the teen comedy G.B.F. in the UK. And two horror films tease us with trailers promising blackly comical grisliness in Cheap Thrills and more violent nastiness in The Purge 2...
The main global cinematic event this week is the Berlin Film Festival, which showcases high-profile films like Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac and George Clooney's The Monuments Men. After their starry New York premiere last week, Clooney and his gang of costars - including Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin - have been dashing around Europe this week. Here's video footage from The Monuments Men Premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York including the arrival of Director and Star George Clooney as well as appearences from other A-List cast members like Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon and Bill Murray. Incase you missed Shia LabBeouf's Paper bag stunt take a look here.
Another Berlin premiere debuted its first trailer this week, giving us a look at the biopic Yves Saint Laurent. Pierre Niney (Romantics Anonymous) plays the eponymous designer in the film, which traces his rise to fame and romantic liaisons with both men and women in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Unsurprisingly, the film looks stylish and achingly cool. It opens next month in Britain. Watch 'Yves Saint Laurent' trailer here.
When Craig gets fired and receives an eviction notice informing him he has 7 days to pay up or he, his wife and his new baby are out of their apartment, he is desperate for some relief from his troubles. He agrees to go out for a drink with his best friend Vince but, along the way, they meet the excessively rich Colin and his young wife Violet who take them on to a strippers bar to continue their alcohol-fuelled wild night. Colin starts to play a game with them, offering increasingly large sums of money for the first person to agree to a daring act. It stars small, with the challenges being simply downing shots or touching strippers - tasks that Vince takes up with immediacy. Craig, desperate to win some cash to take care of his family, starts to join in, getting himself beat up by a doorman and even agreeing to cut his own pinky finger off. It soon becomes clear, however, that this sick couple have no boundaries in the challenges they are willing to suggest.
Continue: Cheap Thrills Trailer
'Superhero Movie' star Sara Paxton is snapped going shopping in Beverly Hills. The photographers seem unable to stop laughing for some unknown reason.
Claire and Luke (Paxton and Healy) aren't taking their last weekend on the job seriously. The hotel they work in is closing, so they're trying to finally get proof of a legendary ghost. They only have two guests: an angry mother (Bartlett) and her young son (Schlueter). Then a former actress (McGillis) arrives, who turns out to have some psychic abilities. And an older man (Riddle) also checks in, asking for a specific room on the closed-off floor.
Meanwhile, Claire is starting to think that the ghost might be real.
Continue reading: The Innkeepers Review
It's time for summer vacation and the Collingwood family -- doctor dad (Tony Goldwyn), teacher mom (Monica Potter), and daughter Mari (Sara Paxton) -- are heading to their isolated lake house for a little R&R. Sadly, the teenage girl will soon run into escaped killer Krug (Garrett Dillahunt), his son Justin (Spencer Treat Clark), the equally unhinged Francis (Aaron Paul), and gonzo gal pal Sadie (Riki Lindhome). Along with her buddy Paige (Martha MacIsaac), Mari will be tortured, abused, and left for dead. When the criminals show up at the Collingwood home looking for lodging, it's not long before the parents find out what happened... and when they do, the tables are turned and no one is safe.
Continue reading: The Last House on the Left (2009) Review
High school nerd Rick Riker (Drake Bell) pines for popular gal Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton), and she holds a secret torch for him as well. Still, the couple can't get together, and while on a field trip to a local science lab, Rick is bitten by a radioactive insect. Soon, he has superpowers, like incredible reflexes and the ability to climb walls. He becomes the Dragonfly. Meanwhile, mogul Lou Landers (Christopher McDonald) is dying and looks to an experimental DNA treatment to cure him. The procedure backfires, turning the CEO into a life force draining demon. In order to achieve immortality, thousands must die, and while Landers develops an evil persona known as the Hourglass to achieve his aims, Rick tries to save the city -- and get the girl -- at the same time.
Continue reading: Superhero Movie Review
Sydney, as we learn, is a tomboy, hanging out with her father's (John Schneider) construction crew. Since the death of her mother, the blue collar gang has been her only family. When it's time to head to college, Sydney decides to attend her mom's old university, and pledge her sorority. As a legacy, she's a shoo-in for acceptance. But that doesn't stop snobby, selfish "sister" Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton) from targeting our heroine. Jealous of Sydney's genial disposition, her friendship with BMOC Tyler Prince (Matt Long), and her natural good looks, she devises a plan to undermine the pledge. When her strategy works, our poor little girl ends up in the rundown firetrap of the campus nerds. Known as "The Vortex," it's the home to seven dorks, collegiate misfits who help Sydney get back at her snooty Greek tormentors. (If you haven't caught on that this is a post-pubescent reinterpretation of Snow White yet, let this be your explicit notice.)
Continue reading: Sydney White Review
Anyhoo, Aquamarine is a mermaid movie, or rather, "the mermaid movie," as my daughter now calls it, about two best friends (Julia's niece Emma Roberts and teen singer JoJo) who find a lovely (and equally hormonally teenaged) mermaid washed into the oceanside pool at the motel run by Claire's (Roberts) family. With Hailey (JoJo), they teach the newly-legged Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) about land-based life, while she teaches the gawky girls how to use starfish as earrings. But Aqua's on a quest. In keeping with all mermaid movies, she's looking for love. And she figures the first guy she sees, a hunky lifeguard, will be it.
Continue reading: Aquamarine Review