Universal Pictures Australia will release an extended sneak peak of the most controversial film of the year. The FIRST TEN MINUTES of THE HUNT will be available to stream tomorrow night THURSDAY 9 APRIL @ 8pm AEST via Universal Pictures Australia YOUTUBE or FACEBOOK platforms.
The film which sparked controversy, including a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump accusing the film of being made ‘to inflame and create chaos’ is a chilling real-world suspense-thriller starring BETTY GILPIN (Glow) and two time Oscar® Winner HILARY SWANK. Set in the dark spaces of a modern America where a sinister organisation ‘removes’ societies undesirables and transports them to a remote location to be hunted for sport by the wealthy elite. However the hunters become the hunted when they capture one mysterious woman who has a powerful will to survive and the skills to exact a bloody revenge.
YOU CAN WATCH THE FIRST 10 MINUTES ON THURSDAY 9 APRIL @ 8PM AEST ON UNIVERSAL AUSTRALIA’S YOUTUBE OR FACEBOOK CHANNEL or RENT THE ENTIRE FILM FROM APRIL 9 ACROSS A VARIETY OF ON DEMAND CHANNELS
From writer-director Tommy Faircloth, and starring scream queen Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp, Silent Night, Zombie Night), discover the horrifying truth about Sister Monday this May!
A Nun’s Curse, also starring Damian Maffei (The Strangers : Prey at Night) and Gunner Willis (“The Resident”) , premieres on DVD and Digital this May from Uncork’d Entertainment.
On a weekend trip, a group of friends are forced to seek shelter inside an abandoned prison where a nun named Sister Monday had once been assigned. During her time at the prison, Sister Monday was suspected of killing prisoners who were serving out their sentences but before she could be questioned, she disappeared. Once inside the prison, they will learn the terrifying truth.
A Nun’s Curse premieres on DVD and Digital May 12 from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Acclaimed actor Dylan Baker (“Hunters”, “The Good Wife”, Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” films) stars in 2020’s most thrilling short film Nightfire – premiering in your lounge room May 1st!
Two American agents (Lorenzo Pisoni and Greg Hadley) are hired to retrieve military chips containing a large sum of government money. Their plan goes awry when an unexpected political prisoner (Dylan Baker) enters the picture.
Bradley Stryker (“iZombie”, “Cold Pursuit”), Francesco Pannofino and Becky Ann Baker (“Hunters”, “Freaks and Geeks”) co-star in the short film, directed by Brando Benetton and co-written by Brando Benetton and Los Silva.
The white-knuckle thriller, produced by a group of friends from Ithaca college, debuts on streaming platforms, including Hulu and Amazon, May 1 via Hewes Pictures.
Summary: It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind…but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley where for generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time-stories that have a way of becoming all too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying tomb.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th September 2019
Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA
Australian DVD Release Date: 12th February 2020
Country: United States, Canada, Hong Kong
Director: Andre Ovredal
Screenwriter: Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Guillermo del Toro (story), Patrick Melton (story), Marcus Dunstan (story), Alvin Schwartz (novels)
Cast: Austin Abrams (Tommy Milner), Hume Baugh (Deodat Bellows), Gil Bellows (Chief Turner), Javier Botet (Big Toe Corpse), Will Carr (Ephraim Bellows), Zoe Margaret Colletti (Stella Nicholls), Victoria Fodor (Mrs. Milner), Natalie Ganzhorn (Ruth Steinberg), Michael Garza (Ramon Morales), Karen Glave (Claire Baptiste), Troy James (Jangly Man), Brandon Knox (Harold Bellows), Kyle Labine (Deputy Hobbs), Jane Moffat (Delanie Bellows), Dean Norris (Roy Nicholls), Kathleen Pollard (Sarah Bellows), Deborah Pollitt (Mrs. Steinberg), Gabriel Rush (Auggie Hilderbrandt), Amanda Smith (Gertrude Bellows), Matt Smith (Mr. Steinberg), Mark Stegar (Harold The Scarecrow/Pale Lady), Ajanae Stephenson (Lou Lou – 8yrs), Lorraine Toussaint (Lou Lou), Marie Ward (Mrs. Hilderbrandt), Austin Zajur (Chuck Steinberg)
Running Time: 108 mins
Classification: M (Australia) 13 (Thailand)
OUR SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths’ Our Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Review:
After the disappointment that was It Chapter Two it is with a sense of relief that I am able to say that Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark was a film that surprised me a lot more than I thought it would. The film feels like it should be described as Goosebumps for teenagers but there seems to be something a little darker to this film that will mean that horror fans of all ages will be drawn to the film.
Based on the novel by Alvin Schwartz the film follows a group of young friends – the horror-obsessed Stella Nicholls (Zoe Margaret Colletti – Annie, Wildlife), the very mature Auggie Hilderbrandt (Gabriel Rush – Moonrise Kingdom, No Letting Go), the fun-loving Chuck Steinberg (Austin Zajur – Fist Fight, Kidding) and the outsider that nobody knows anything about Ramon Morales (Michael Garza – Wayward Pines, Timeless)who find themselves in a world of paranormal trouble after trying to out-run the town’s resident bully – Tommy (Austin Abrams – Paper Towns, Gangster Squad) after a Halloween prank goes badly wrong.
While trying to hide, and in a bid to impress Ramon, Stella leads the group into the ‘haunted house’ the house where it is alleged that Sarah Bellows (Kathleen Pollard – The Shape Of Water, The Handmaid’s Tale) killed a number of the town’s children a few years earlier. Sadly for the friends and Chuck’s sister Ruth (Natalie Ganzhorn – Make It Pop, Wet Bum) visiting the house makes them part of a series of stories that could cost them their lives.
The most intriguing part of the film is that while it is supposed to be a film aimed for teenagers director Andre Ovredal (Trollhunter, The Autopsy Of Jane Doe) gives the film a darker edge that makes a lot more interesting for an older audience as well. Where the film works well though is that it doesn’t fall into any of the mistakes that It Chapter Two did. The team of screenwriters which includes the legendary Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) have made the key central characters likeable which instantly means the audience are barracking for them to live when the horror starts. The team have also carefully chosen which stories from the original novels to use and the result is an interesting collection of ‘horrors’ that in no way feel like a group of short stories put together to make a larger story. The only weakness is at times that the ‘horrors’ at hand don’t always seem to mirror the fear or nightmare that the character it relates to has as well as it could have done.
Given the creative minds of Del Toro and Ovredal coming together for this film there is little wonder that the horror and fantasy aspects of this film look so good. The ‘creatures’ and horrors that are seen throughout the film do have a real Pan’s Labyrinth feel and look to them. It’s these horrors that also seem more ‘scary’ than what you would expect in a film aimed at teenagers. The end result though is a film that will also be enjoyed by adults rather than films like Goosebumps that are more suited to teenagers. It also means that sequences like the Scarecrow sequence and the scenes in the mental hospital and Police Station are going to stick in the minds of the audience a lot longer than many of them would have expected them to.
The young cast also put in great performances. Zoe Margaret Colletti leads the way with a performance that is much more mature than her years would suggest. In a challenging role Colletti is a real stand-out and it is obvious that she has a great career ahead of her. Her character goes through a range of emotions from sheer fear to worry about the relationship that she has with her father and the young actress doesn’t skip a beat no matter what situation her character is put in. She is well supported by Michael Garza who really announces himself as an actor to watch while veteran actor Gil Bellows (The Shawshank Redemption, Patriot) also brings his A-Game to the film.
Creepily spectacular Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is a throwback to films like Jeepers Creepers and Gremlins, films that were aimed for teenagers but had more of a horror side than most films aimed at that age-group. On reflection we should have expected something special when the minds of del Toro and Ovredal came together but I don’t think any of us expected something as enjoyable as this.
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Getting away is just the beginning in director Lane Tolan’s Getaway, premiering on DVD and Digital this April.
Halloween’s Scout Taylor-Compton stars in an unnerving kidnapping thriller from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Tamara Miller has planned a weekend lake getaway with her two best friends. When she gets kidnapped by a backwoods cult, eerie and unexplained occurrences arise. Will she make it out alive or become the treasure of these deranged lunatics?
Landry Allbright (“Star Trek : Picard”), Lane Tolan (“Hey Arnold”), Jamil Walker Smith (“Stargate Universe”), Jaclyn Betham (“The Haves and Have Nots”), Ben Deschaine (Super Shark), and Chrystopher Ryan Johnson (“The Riches”) star in a Lane Tolan film.
Betham and Toran wrote the script.
Getaway is available on DVD and Digital April 14 from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Summary: A group of online friends travel to a Pop Culture convention to try and buy a rare comic they believe can warn them of an upcoming pandemic.
Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA
Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA
Australian Home Entertainment Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Toby Haynes
Screenwriter: Ryan Enright, Gillian Flynn
Regular Cast: Deson Borges (Wilson Wilson), Dan Byrd (Ian), John Cusack (Dr. Kevin Christie), Christopher Denham (Arby), Sasha Lane (Jessica Hyde), Ashleigh LaThrop (Becky), Jessica Rothe (Samantha), Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton (Grant), Rainn Wilson (Michael Stearns)
Guest Cast: Josh Bywater (Carson), Rammel Chan (Starweaver/Josh Chandler), Jose Antonio Garcia (Donald Resnick), Jenna Heffernan (Jenny), Dustin Ingram (Tallman), Farrah Mackenzie (Alice), Jeanine Serralles (Colleen), Cory Michael Smith (Thomas Christie), Michael B Woods (Rod)
Running Time: 50 mins
Classification: TBC (Australia) TBC (Thailand)
OUR THE UTOPIA REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths’ Utopia Review:
They say that art mirrors life and that has never been more true than when it comes to the brand new Amazon Prime series Utopia. The pilot gives us an early glimpse that a new pandemic is about to spread across the globe, yes it could be plucked straight from our headlines at the moment, but what separates Utopia from the hundreds of other pandemic or post-apocalyptic television shows or movies out there is the fact that here the prediction of the pandemic may have already surfaced in a graphic novel of all places.
Utopia centres around a group of four ‘friends’ who have all met online after they realised a pattern in a strange graphic novel titled Dystopia. When an ultra rare copy of its sequel, titled Utopia, is put up for auction by a naive couple at a convention named FringeCon the four friends – Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges – Living With Yourself), Ian (Dan Byrd – Easy A), Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop – Fifty Shades Freed) and Samantha (Jessica Rothe – Happy Death Day) – all travel to the convention with the intention to buy Utopia so they can explore their theory that the comics predict the world’s pandemics.
But they are not the only people after Utopia after a rich art collector wins the auction suddenly a young boy called Grant (Javon Walton – Euphoria) breaks into the penthouse to steal it while at the same time two assassins – Arby (Christopher Denham – Argo) and Michael Stearns (Rainn Wilson – The Office) – also pay a visit to the penthouse to retrieve the valuable item.
The best way to approach the Utopia remake is to have never seen the original British series. From the pilot episode you can tell that this is a series that is going to have many twists and turns throughout – so not knowing what is going to happen next is going to be key. Especially with the cliffhanger of the pilot which sees a character turn up that may just hint that everything in the graphic novels is based on real life.
Tone wise Utopia feels like a nineties show such as Buffy but with some edge. As soon as Samantha drops the ‘c’ word you know that the show is going to go into adult territory, the head shots that the assassins deliver as they hunt their victims later on only enhance that theory. Having said that though there is a deep intelligence to the show. The theory that the graphic novels can predict what pandemics are to come gives the show a real suspense element that you feel is only going to get expanded even further and a brief news report we hear hints that a pandemic is just starting as well.
The key to the show working though are the characters and whether they are interesting to the audience, luckily Utopia seems to have that problem well and truly solved. Wilson Wilson seems to be one of the most interesting characters to have surfaced on television for awhile, while the other three friends also could easily carry the show. After the pilot the relationship between Ian and Becky is not so much ‘will they’ but instead ‘what will they do now’ while the great acting that we know Jessica Rothe is capable of also means we are very curious to see what happens with Samantha next.
Keeping the acting in mind the casting of Rainn Wilson in such a sinister role is also a stroke of genius. We are so used to seeing his comedy side that his cold-heartedness here is a bit of surprise and there still seems to be a lot of room to further expand his character as well.
There is little doubt that once you start watching Utopia that you will continue to watch. There are just too many questions that are left after the pilot for you not to want. Questions around who the hell Grant is, what the four friends will do next and even whether or not the assassins will go after them are more than enough to keep you watching. And then there is of course the big mystery – who the hell is Jessica Hyde and is she real? Yes television fans I think our answer to iZombie has finally landed.
Summary: When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 27th February 2020
Thailand Cinema Release Date: 13th March 2020
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: Australia, United States, Canada, United Kingdom
Director: Leigh Whannell
Screenwriter: Leigh Whannell
Cast: Michael Dorman (Tom Griffin), Harriet Dyer (Emily Kass), Amali Golden (Annie), Benedict Hardie (Marc), Aldis Hodge (James Lanier), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Adrian Griffin), Nick Kici (Taylor), Renee Lim (Doctor Lee), Elisabeth Moss (Cecilia Kass), Storm Reid (Sydney Lanier), Sam Smith (Detective Reckley)
Running Time: 124 mins
Classification: MA15+ (Australia) 18 (Thailand)
OUR THE INVISIBLE MAN REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths’ The Invisible Man Review:
There has been a lot of commentary recently about the ‘new breed’ of horror films. The term has been given to films like Midsumma and Hereditary, films that supposedly show that the ‘new breed’ of horror filmmakers who are now ‘woke’ and incorporate social issues into the horror that their characters face.
To say that is a new form of filmmaking though is probably a little bit of a misconception as you could possibly argue that horror filmmakers were doing that a long time before it became a Hollywood trend. Early horror films regularly used the ‘horror’ to point out so-called anti-social behaviour. Remember all those slashers where the babysitter got killed because she fooled around with her boyfriend rather than watching the kids? Yep, that was filmmakers making a social commentary about promiscuous teens. Then there were films like Saw and Hostel that graphically look at the impact of greed and lust on society.
On the flip side there were also films like I Spit On Your Gave. Released in 1978 the controversial film showed what happened when a woman decides to get bloody revenge on a group of men that sexually assaulted her. Then in 2014 came James Cullen Bressack’s Pernicious which showed the dire consequences of what happens after three young backpackers disrespect Thai culture while visiting the country.
Most of the films I have just mentioned were pretty hard-hitting, but nothing will prepare you for the psychological horror of Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man. A lo of people will probably write this off as another remake of the famous 1930s film which of course was based on a novel by H.G. Wells. Nothing could be further from the truth though as Whannell takes the basic character of an invisible man and turns it into a menacing villain looking to further torture a woman who has just left him to escape an abusive relationship.
When it comes to the horror genre Whannell is one of the modern day godfathers. As a writer he created the paranormal worlds of franchises like Saw and Insidious, while as he director he also gave us the criminally under-rated Upgrade. With The Invisible Man he introduces us to Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid’s Tale) a woman trapped in a severely abusive relationship with a psychopathic scientist named Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen).
With the help of her sister Emily (Harriet Dyer – Love Child) and her good friend Detective James Lanier (Aldis Hodge – Straight Outta Compton) Cecilia manages to escape the prison that is Adrian’s home. But as she goes into hiding she suddenly finds herself stalked by an entity that she can’t see – an entity that she believes is Adrian. The torture then begins as the ‘invisible man’ sets out to separate her from those she loves and hurt anyone that he feels stands in his way.
What Whannell has done here is take the invisible man character and deliver it to the audience in a way that no filmmaker has ever done before. We thought Hollow Man was spine-cilling but that is child’s play compared to what Whannell does here. The terror that Cecilia is put through by her tormentor mirrors what domestic abuse sufferers go through every day of their lives. The fear of not being able to leave their own home, having family members and friends not believe what is happening to them and of course the awkward legal meetings that they must endure should they chose to report their tormentor. Here those moments are brought to the screen as circumstances force Cecilia and Emily to meet with Adrian’s lawyer – his own brother Tom (Michael Dorman – Daybreakersi).
Whannell allows this film to hit its audience with the subtleness of a sledgehammer. His unique directional style allows the audience to always know where the invisible horror is and as a result they find themselves just as on edge as Cecilia is. As a filmmaker Whannell knows not to bother frightening his audience with jump scares and lame horror sequences instead he will reveal what to the naked eye looks like an empty frame on the screen only to then suddenly have a knife appear and you know that the ‘horror’ is present. It is easy to see that Whannell is a well-versed film fan and he strives to deliver the kinds of movies that he as a viewer would be impressed with as well. What he is created here is psychologically terrifying movie that even Alfred Hitchcock would have been proud of.
As is the tradition of Blumhouse produced horror films The Invisible Man allows for some lesser known actors and actresses to shine. Moss shakes off her ‘television actress’ tag with an amazing performance that should deservedly gain some Oscar talk when it comes to the next lot of nominations. As an actress she has to deliver everything from serious dramatic moments talking about her trauma through to fight sequences against a villain she can’t see… that is some pretty physically demanding work right there.
She is also well supported by the dangerously under-rated Michael Dorman who has previously shown his brilliance in films like the chilling Acolytes and vampire flick Daybreakers. Here Dorman plays the menacing lawyer Tom remarkably well and hopefully this gives him more of a profile in Hollywood.
The Invisible Man is a chillingly brilliant horror film that again shows why Leigh Whannell needs to be considered one of the best filmmakers currently going around. The psychological nature of the film takes the horror genre to a whole new level and shows why the term ‘modern day re-telling’ need not always mean a film that is going to be groan-worthy. If you are a serious film lover than please do not write of The Invisible Man as just another popcorn horror film as this is one of the best films that you are likely to see in 2020.
Kyle McGraths’ The Invisible Man Review
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