Scheduled for release on January 20th, Underworld: Awakening is the upcoming fourth entry in the successful action/horror franchise that has so far grossed nearly $300 million worldwide. Shot in 3D and boasting the return of Kate Beckinsale to the role of Selene, the film is being directed by Swedish duo Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein, representing their first outing at the helm of the series.
Back in May I visited the Vancouver set of the film to get a look at some of the action and interview cast and crew including Beckinsale, Marlind & Stein, new cast member Michael Ealy, and visual effects supervisor James McQuaide. In the process I was given a look into the relatively fraught production, which began principal photography without a finished script and was allegedly operating on a rather tight shooting schedule.
Also in the mix will be a discussion of this installment’s new features, including a twelve-foot-tall “uber-lycan”, a half-vampire/half-werewolf girl named Eve, the addition of a “Big Brother”-esque biotech company called Antigen, and perhaps a more ferocious Selene than you’ve ever witnessed before.
See inside for the full set report.
The first few weeks of August have come and gone and the summer of 2011 has had its share of big budget, summer blockbusters to deepen pockets and hustle children with promises of action figures and printed t-shirts. Super 8, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, X-Men: First Class, and the well-received Rise of the Planet of the Apes read out like a bank statement, each one worth millions and bringing in profits to ease studio woes. It’s a typical summer in the entertainment realm- tons of action with high returns.
But it’s the smaller films that are usually forgotten during this time of year- the films that have a high impact but cost a fraction of what the explosive-prone, star-studded box office beauties do. Those of us living in the bloody, paranormal kingdom of Hollywood horror are often reminded that those low cost flicks can be just as worthy as the ones that break the bank. Just this year, Insidious once again proved that small budgets can go big- conjuring up memories of past horror sensations that have accomplished the same magic trick- turning a few bucks into a few million.
Death. It’s the most final of words; even in the thesaurus it is synonymous with words like ‘finish’ or ‘exit.’ To death, there’s no beginning, middle and end. There are no more birthdays, no more promotions at work. And that’s what makes death so damn terrifying- the fact that it’s all unknown. The fact that there really is nothing to look forward to once the clock stops ticking.
I was in high school when Final Destination hit theaters. I didn’t even bother to go and see it; I figured it was another cookie-cutter example of a teen slasher flick. From the sound of it, I was certain it would be some guy dressed as father death slinging a scythe around. Boy, was I wrong. It was an original; not necessarily a masterpiece, but a breath of fresh air amidst masked killers and by the book adolescent cinema. Now, here we are, eleven years later and looking dead in the eyes of ‘Final Destination 5′, the latest installment in the franchise. While most of us had tuned out after the massacre that was 4, those who believed in the idea stuck it out- and, thanks to their perseverance, this one is coming out smelling like roses. Some are going so far as to argue that this film is going to be the best of the series; while others, at the very least, have bestowed best sequel honors on the film. Since I haven’t seen the film yet, I can’t pass judgement- but our very own Mr. Disgusting actually liked it. Knowing how much he loves the series (probably as much as I love Justin Bieber), this is quite the compliment; and certainly a reason for me to be there this weekend.
In honor of Final Destination 5< ?a> (review), I took a trip down memory lane with story elitist Jeffrey Reddick, producer Craig Perry, and the man himself, actor Tony Todd; after all, if it weren’t for Flight 180, this bridge over troubled water wouldn’t exist.
Even at its onset, 2011 seemed like a real delicate time for horror. Is handheld horror still going to be the rage by the time Paranormal Activity 3 hits theatres? Has romance-heavy horror run its course? Will the French continue to impress us? Late last decade, “torture porn” – a phrase coined by New York Magazine’s David Edelstein – finally seemed to start dying out (it’s amazing Captivity didn’t single-handedly kill it off and it seems to have officially ended – for all intents and purposes – with Saw 3D) and now that remakes and reboots have taken over, along with the above mentioned trends, what’s going to be the next big thing? After the strong (and very profitable) theatrical run Insidious had earlier this year, it might be ghosts flicks, but even that’s starting to seem stale at this point. Like the last few years, foreign output and oddball indie surprises seem to be the only thing keeping the genre afloat, so thank God for Magnolia.
But it hasn’t been all bad. In fact, I could make a Top 10 list right now. So, let’s look back at the year so far, and examine some of the films and events that are shaping the future of the genre.