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Posts tagged “Insidious

Saw – 10th Anniversary Release Poster

Saw_10th-Anniversary_posterI remember seeing Saw on it’s release, I remember the battering it dished out, the audience reactions and how pleased I was that this had been made by Australian film makers. Now, 10 years later (10..!!!), as reported last month, Saw has an Anniversary re-release. Read the official press release here:

SANTA MONICA, CA August 27, 2014 – This Halloween, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the theatrical release of SAW, the film that kicked off the most successful horror franchise in history, by bringing it back to theaters nationwide for one week only. The film will open on Friday, October 31st, with select screenings beginning Thursday night, October 30th. The seven SAW films grossed $874 million at the box office worldwide and were hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Successful Horror Franchise” of all time.

SAW was the first collaboration for co-creators James Wan, who directed the film, and Leigh Whannell, who wrote the screenplay. Together, they also created the successful INSIDIOUS franchise, and Wan has gone on to direct such high-profile films as THE CONJURING and the upcoming FAST & FURIOUS 7.

Directed by Wan from a script penned by Whannell, SAW is a psychological thriller focusing on two men who wake up in a secure lair of a serial killer, with a dead body lying between them. The killer, nicknamed “Jigsaw,” leaves them tape recorded messages with details of how to make it out alive. The only way for one man to make it out alive is to do the unthinkable. The two men desperately try to find a way out, while also trying to figure out who’s behind their kidnapping. The film, which was released over Halloween weekend on October 29, 2004, was produced by Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules, and Mark Burg.


The Purge: Anarchy – Trailer

The Purge: Anarchy takes the same basic premise as The Purge but goes in a bolder, more extreme direction. Once again, the story is set in a dystopian America where, in a ghastly effort to weed out the weak and let the strong blow off steam, all crime has been legalized for one twelve-hour period per year.

But this time, the action spills out onto the streets as Frank Grillo plays a man who heads out in search of revenge. Unfortunately for him (and the others with him), it’s not long before the tables are turned on them.

The whole idea of a Purge is horrifying enough, but the trailer gets really disturbing once the rich people show up. Then it starts to feel like an even more awful version of The Hunger Games, right down to the garishly decorated emcee. From here, it looks like The Purge: Anarchy deserves kudos for taking fuller advantage of this sickening premise.

Official Press Release: The New Founders of America invite you to celebrate your annual right to Purge. THE PURGE: ANARCHY, the sequel to summer 2013’s sleeper hit that opened to No. 1 at the box-office, sees the return of writer/director/producer James DeMonaco to craft the next terrifying chapter of dutiful citizens preparing for their country¹s yearly 12 hours of anarchy. Returning alongside DeMonaco to produce the sequel to 2013’s sleeper hit are Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity and Insidious series), alongside Sébastien K. Lemercier (Assault on Precinct 13) and Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay (Transformers franchise), Brad Fuller (The Amityville Horror, A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Andrew Form (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th).


Vicarious Entertainment

Get ready for a new genre label in Vicarious Entertainment. A project by 1821 Media’s Paris Kasidokostas-Latsis and Terry Dougas, who wrapped the Natalie Portman-starrer Jane Got A Gun and are currently developing The Odyssey. The new label will develop, produce and finance four to six thriller and horror feature films. They’ve already got four in post-production.

Vicarious teamed with Insidious producer and Paranormal Activity exec producer Steven Schneider for the Adam Levins-directed dark psychological thriller Estranged, currently in post-production. The heroine has a near-fatal accident that leaves her in a wheelchair unable to remember much. When she returns home six years later, she tries to reacquaint with her family, but she can’t remember who she was or why she left home in the first place. She soon discovers that the family is not what they seem, as shocking and deadly secrets emerge.

For horror fans, controversially, Vicarious has teamed with Campbell Grobman Films to develop Day of the Dead, a remake of George Romero’s zombie extravaganza that is set at Millenium Films. “Our goal is for Vicarious to be a premiere destination that excites creators from all over the world,” said Dougas. “We are giving them creative freedom and allowing them to showcase their strong vision and voice. There are great filmmakers out there and appetite for the genre so it’s a great time for us to be launching.”

Good luck to them… although we’ve seen Romero remakes before and they’ve not been worth the effort.


The Conjuring – Trailer

The Conjuring is inspired by Ed and Lorraine Warren, experts in paranormal activities, who investigated the spirits — both friendly and sinister — who allegedly inhabited the Rhode Island farmhouse of the Perron family. James Wan directs a cast led by Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston.

Also check out the documentary below which focusses on the real case and features survivor Andrea Perron.  “House of Darkness House of Light”, is a collective memoir which chronicles the supernatural events which occurred between 1970-1980, during the decade her family spent dwelling among the spirits in a house alive with death.


Leigh Whannell

Leigh Whannell_movie bannerLeigh Whannell (born 17 January 1977) is an Australian screenwriter, producer, and actor, best known for his work on the Saw franchise.

Leigh Whannell_Dying BreedWhannell was born in Melbourne, Australia, and believes that he inherited his love of storytelling from his mother and his fondness of filmmaking from his father (Whannell’s father was a cameraman in the television industry). A writer since childhood, Whannell worked as a reporter and film critic for several Australian television shows, including ABC’s Recovery, a Saturday morning youth-oriented program. Whannell has described the show in a 2011 blog post:

The result was that instead of following the usual MTV ideal of what teenagers want in a TV show—“Hey kids, coming up next we’ve got some seriously WICKED windsurfing moves!!”—Recovery managed to tap into the so-called “alternative” movement that was in full swing at the time by giving teenagers what they actually want: genuine, unpolished anarchy.

Whannell had originally auditioned for the host role, but was later employed as a reporter; Whannell’s first interview was with Jackie Chan and he has stated that “Recovery is the best job I’ve ever had …”

James Wan_Leigh WhannellIn 2003, Whannell appeared in a minor role in The Matrix Reloaded. While in film school, Whannell met James Wan, who would eventually go on to direct the horror film Saw (co-written by Wan and Whannell) in 2004. After making a short film to showcase the intensity of the script, the feature film was made and became a low-budget sleeper hit in late 2004. Whannell played Adam Stanheight in the film, one of the main characters. The popularity of Saw led to a sequel, Saw II, which was directed and co-written by another young horror filmmaker, Darren Lynn Bousman, and on which Whannell co-wrote and revised Bousman’s original script, titled The Desperate. Whannell also served as an executive producer.

Insidious Leigh Whannell and Lin ShayeAround the same time, Whannell returned to collaborate with Wan and they wrote a film called Dead Silence, which Wan directed. It was slated for a 2006 release, but small problems with the title pushed the release date back to March 2007. In 2006, the duo composed the story for Saw III, with Whannell writing the screenplay for the third time. It was again directed by Bousman and was released on 27 October 2006. Whannell has a featured cameo, reprising his role as Adam. Saw III was a huge financial success and raked in $33,610,391 on its opening weekend, making around $129,927,001 worldwide (after 38 days in cinemas) and is currently the most successful Saw film to date.

Whannell’s writing partner, Wan, was chosen to direct the film Death Sentence, the first feature film with their participation that they did not write themselves. Whannell has a small role as Spink in Death Sentence.

Insidious_posterIn 2008, Whannell took off his “writing hat” to perform alongside Nathan Phillips in Dying Breed, a low-budget Australian horror film about a team of zoologists exploring the Tasmanian wilderness to locate a creature thought extinct, the thylacine, aka Tasmanian tiger. Instead, they wander into the domain of cannibals who retain their infamous ancestor Alexander Pearce’s taste for human flesh, and become prey.

Before and during the production of Saw, Whannell sought medical treatment. “I was going through a bit of a tough time healthwise and suffering anxiety,” says Whannell. “The anxiety manifested itself in physical ways. I was suffering headaches everyday for nearly a year. It was serious stuff and really started affecting my life.” Spending time in a hospital inspired him to endow the lead antagonist of the Saw series, Jigsaw/John Kramer, with cancer. “It was weird to be 25 and sitting in a neurological ward and I’m surrounded by people who actually had brain tumors. It was very scary and it was my first proper look at mortality. I really wanted to get my health back and it really hammered home how important good health is. If you’ve got that, you’ve got everything.”

Insidious_demon_wallpaperWhannell wrote the script for and acted in the 2011 paranormal thriller film, Insidiouswhich was directed by Wan and produced by Oren Peli of the Paranormal Activity franchise. A sequel, Insidious, Chapter 2 is due out in late 2013.

In relation to the Saw franchise, Whannell stated, also in 2011: It’s hard to say definitively, because we don’t own the copyright for it. The producers could make 10 more if they wanted to. But, if we’re to take them at face value, they told us that they were definitely done with it. They’re pretty exhausted. They’ve been making one a year every year for the past seven years, so I think they need some time off.


House of Horror

French director Xavier Gens first made a name for himself in the horror community with Frontier(s), which premiered as part of the Toronto festival’s Midnight Madness program. He diverted into semi-mainstream fare with the very ill-fated adaptation of Hitman, then went back to more hardcore genre fare with The Divide, which hits theaters on January 13, 2012.

Slash Film reports that Gens is set to direct a film that will be produced by horror director James Wan (Saw, Insidious). He’s taking over from Javier Gutierrez, who was set to direct earlier this year. The movie is House of Horror, which focuses on “a gruesome crime scene” that is the aftermath of a massacre, and will blend found footage and traditional photography.

SYNOPSIS: The House of Horror is a horror-thriller that centres around a gruesome crime scene. The film is shot with a blend of found footage, interrogation video, news cameras and classical cinematography. The film focuses on the aftermath of a horrific massacre; five college students, brutally murdered inside a decrepit, abandoned home.

We are thrown right into the mix as the lead Detective, Mark Lewis, and the police department’s psychologist, Dr. Elizabeth Klein, question a suspect. The young man at the centre is John Ascot, bound by handcuffs in a mobile command station. During the interrogation, John explains everything leading up to the deaths of his friends.

We discover that they were amateur ghost-hunters, seeking out paranormal phenomenon at the abandoned house believed to be haunted. What started out as a harmless activity turned into something truly terrifying and more than they ever could bargain for. John explains to the police that he isn’t responsible for his friends’ deaths, but rather, it was the house. He tells them he believes the house is a gateway to hell; a place of concentrated evil.

We slowly witness an eerie change in John’s demeanour through the course of the movie. Things take a disturbing turn when John hints at the notion that he is possessed by the Devil. Detective Lewis and Dr. Klein are forced to unravel the mystery of how John’s friends were murdered. All this leads to a stunning revelation about the man they’ve been interrogating and a gut-wrenching conclusion.