Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Checking out the fall fear fest at the Movie Trailer Park

While it is much too soon to think about Halloween(which never stops those early candy displays from showing up in stores by Labor Day), Hollywood already has a good number of fear filled flicks ready to roll for the autumn movie going season.

Some of these films will be out well before All Hallow's Eve,as well as after, and not all of them are out-and-out horror shows. So, whether you prefer your cinematic scares straight up with a twist or slow baked into a mystery meat pie, these trailers should serve as a sinister sampler of what's to come.

First up is Flatliners, which is a sequel and/or a reboot of the original 1990 movie about medical school students experimenting with life after death. Kiefer Sutherland does reprise his role from that film but the main focus of the plot is on Courtney(Ellen Page) who recruits her friends into joining her high tech quest to break on through to the other side.

As someone who has seen the 1990 version, this looks more like a reboot than a sequel to me yet why anyone felt this story needed to be followed up is beyond me.  The story doesn't seem that much different other than younger faces(Nina Dobrev,Diego Luna and Kiersey Clemons) and better special effects doing a modern re-enactment here. Then again, there may be more to this movie than meets the eye, we shall see in September:

Coming out in time for Halloween and on a Friday the 13th no less, Happy Death Day tags along for college student Tree Gelbman(Jessica Rothe)'s birthday on campus which ends in her gruesome demise.

However, Tree wakes up to discover that it's her birthday again and she must discover the identity of the masked killer before she meets her deadly fate yet again. Yep, this is Groundhog's Day crossed with Scream yet I suspect without none of the original creativity along for the ride.

This might be a fun little slasher movie, I suppose, but I don't know which is worse, the dopey mask that the killer wears or the constant replay of that goofy song that Tree chose as her ringtone for the day:

For something featuring grown-ups, director Darren Aronofsky brings us mother! this September and yes, the exclamation point and lower case lettering is intentional.

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Grace, the young wife of Eli(Javier Bardem), who is helping her husband fix up their rather isolated country home. The arrival of  a pair of strangers(Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) sets off a strange string of events that disrupts their happy harmony or was it so happy to begin with?

The vibe that I'm getting from this trailer is in the vein of those European influenced suspense films of the 1960s, such as Rosemary's Baby or The Collector. Whether or not the source of the terror here is real or imagined, this does look like a film that will stir up plenty of discussion and hopefully, be worth talking about:

In the suspense section, we find The Snowman, an adaptation of one of the best selling Harry Hole detective novels from Norwegian crime author Jo Nesbo. Michael Fassbinder plays Harry, who is on the hunt for a serial killer that may have resurfaced from the past.

Working with new recruit Katrine Bratt(Rebecca Ferguson), Harry has to connect the current wave of murders to several cold cases in order to track down the killer, who has threatened to strike again at the next snow fall.

Nesbo does have a strong following and casting Fassbinder in the lead role is not too shabby. My only doubt comes from the end shot in this trailer that features a horrible surprise in a garage that might elicit more giggles than gasps from it's intended audience.

I may be wrong on that but my instinct is telling me that particular reveal may make the difference between The Snowman becoming a trick or a treat at the box office this October:

To round things up, Kenneth Branagh is not only directing the latest version of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, he is playing the lead role of detective Hercule Poirot as well.

That could work either for or against him, as not only is Poirot one of the most popular fictional detectives in pop culture history, several actors have portrayed him most memorable in the past, such as Albert Finney in the 1974 adaptation and David Suchet in the acclaimed BBC series from 1989 to 2013.

Folks do have their preferences when it comes to Poirot(personally, I enjoyed Peter Ustinov's take on the character) and many fans may be overly critical of Branagh's performance. Those arguments ought to be engaging, to say the least.

However, the real reason that most people will go to see this movie is not for the whodunnit plot(it has been adapted four times, after all) but the large cast, which includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Leslie Odom Jr, Johnny Depp and Daisy Ridley to name a few.

It is fitting to have this film arrive in theaters in November as we will certainly be treated to quite the Thanksgiving feast of acting with the possibility of certain performances being deliciously sweet and sinister. If any more luck, hopefully this classic mystery will be a savory relief from our real world terrors and set the tone for better things to come from the reel world as well:

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