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Posts Tagged ‘Fede Alvarez’

Don’t Breathe 2

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

Your mileage may vary, but I loved DON’T BREATHE, director Fede Alvarez’s followup to his EVIL DEAD remake, once again produced by Sam Raimi. It was a hit at the time, and they talked about a sequel, but Alvarez was getting bigger offers, like THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB. Which I also liked, but it didn’t really catch on. Now five years have passed, and I haven’t noticed DON’T BREATHE turning into a big thing, but we finally got that sequel, written and produced by Alvarez and directed by his usual co-writer Rodo Sayagues, in his directing debut. Hey, I’ll take it!

Stephen Lang (MANHUNTER, HOSTILES) returns as “The Blind Man,” or Norman Nordstrom as he is apparently named. He’s a Gulf War vet who lives in a rickety house in a largely abandoned area of Detroit with a rottweiler named Shadow and a young girl named Phoenix (Madelyn Grace, 2 episodes of Z-Nation). He home schools her, trains her in survival tactics, and only rarely allows her to go into town with his Army Ranger friend Hernandez (Stephanie Arcila, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels).

Phoenix calls him Dad, and we have to wonder what’s up here because we’ve seen part 1. In that one he was a victim of home invaders and went uncomfortably far in exacting his vengeance on them, then he was revealed to (SPOILER FOR THE FUCKED UP TWIST IN PART 1) have the woman who killed his daughter in a hit-and-run accident imprisoned in his basement, pregnant with a “replacement.” So there are many reasons for concern here. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

It’s fair to say that earlier in the century The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was a pop culture phenomenon. Stieg Larsson’s three novels, posthumously published starting in 2005, were worldwide hits. I enjoyed the stories through their 2009 Swedish movie adaptations (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST) which launched their star Noomi Rapace (PROMETHEUS, PASSION, DEAD MAN DOWN, THE DROP, CLOSE) into international movie stardom, and their leading man Michael Nyqvist into spending his last years playing bad guys in Hollywood movies including ABDUCTION, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL and JOHN WICK (where he delivers the best syllable: “Oh.”). David Fincher’s 2011 English language take on the first book was pretty great and even got Rooney Mara an unlikely but well-deserved Oscar nomination.

But it wasn’t a big enough hit to justify a sequel budgeted for Fincher, Mara and Daniel Craig, so after years of haggling they went with plan B: a lower budget sequel with new director and cast, based not on the next in the trilogy but a continuation written by new author David Lagercrantz. And nobody really seemed to be waiting for that.

Except me! Selling point #1: director Fede Alvarez, who really impressed me with EVIL DEAD and DON’T BREATHE. Selling point #2: less grim and rapey, more fun and actiony. You still got the trademark fucked up and fetishy shit of the snow-bitten Larssonverse, but in this one our heroine is never sexually assaulted, but does have high speed chases on multiple vehicle types. Hot move: ditching police cars by jumping your motorcycle onto a frozen lake. (read the rest of this shit…)

Don’t Breathe

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

tn_dontbreatheDON’T BREATHE is the new film by EVIL DEAD remake director Fede Alvarez, and the most up-my-alley new horror movie I’ve seen in at least a couple years. Once it really got going I found myself alternating between wincing and having a big smile that I couldn’t get off my face. It’s produced by Sam Raimi, and I daresay it is almost a non-supernatural spookablast. I’m not gonna say it’s as good as DRAG ME TO HELL, but that might be the last time I had this much fun watching a horror movie in a theater.

Now, keep in mind, I also liked EVIL DEAD. I had a great experience with some friends who all got a big kick out of its eviscerating-all-previous-standards-of-what-can-be-done-in-an-R-rated-movie audacity. Then almost everybody else I knew, both in life and in the comments here, seemed genuinely offended that I found any redeeming quality of any kind in that movie. It might be the most backlash I ever got for a positive review.

But I think this is different! It’s dark, and it definitely Goes Too Far at one point, but I think it’s more of a crowdpleaser. I think some of you guys will love it? (read the rest of this shit…)

Evil Dead (2013)

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

tn_evildeadnot to be confused with THE EVIL DEAD (1981). They take the ‘the’ out to streamline it, like FAST AND FURIOUS.

I’m an EVIL DEAD 2 man myself. But I love THE EVIL DEAD too. It’s a timeless classic that I dig out every couple of years and it keeps getting better. And I never wanted them to remake it. But the truth is, I’m afraid, that that first one is pretty forgotten in our culture. I know this by the overwhelming number of genuine horror fans, not just Johnny-come-latelys, who are confused why the remake looks so serious. You have to keep explaining to them, no, this is supposed to be a remake of the first EVIL DEAD. The one before EVIL DEAD 2? That sequel is just such a perfect do-over that it eclipses the first one in the popular consciousness.

This is in that rare category of horror remakes where instead of somebody (Platinum Dunes or whoever) buying the rights and cashing in on the name the original director decides to get it over with, picks out a director himself, produces it and is pretty hands on to try to make it worthwhile. The originator of this strategy might’ve been George Romero with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1990). It was also used successfully by Wes Craven for THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006) and THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (2009). Note that he had nothing to do with A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010). That’s what they’re up against here.
(read the rest of this shit…)