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    Q&A: Leigh Whannell on Death, the Elderly and “INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2″

    INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 is a surprising film. Less the slow build scare-a-thon of the first (and even James Wan’s summer hit THE CONJURING), this film is an aggressive whirlwind that’s no longer approaching The Further with trepidation, but charging through and searching for its weirdest bits. Of course, in what’s become something of a recurring motif in the work of Wan and writer Leigh Whannell, it’s presided over by opposing forces, and guided by sage elderly characters. In a conversation that’s largely focused on death and my budding theory that Wan & Whannell find the elderly to be last vestiges of superstition, the writer tells FANGORIA of the film, their undervalued DEAD SILENCE and his preoccupation with our eventual end.

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    “DARK TOUCH” Trailer: The year’s unsettling, other telekinetic tale

    It seems crude to put it in such general, comparative terms, but I do suspect that DARK TOUCH will be the better rendition of “Carrie” we see this year. It’s an unapologetic, dark Ireland-set film that re-envisions fundamentals of that teenaged, oncoming womanhood tale (telekinetic girl lashing out) and warps it to a more unsettling place. While hope is held for Kimberly Peirce’s handling of the Stephen King novel, will the re-adaptation have the interest in being so stark and prodding as DARK TOUCH?

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    Q&A: Patrick Wilson on “INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2”

    The first INSIDIOUS meant many things to those involved in the production, and when it became a financial and critical success back in 2010, many of their hopes were validated. The film proved that James Wan was not a one-hit-wonder, following the underwhelming reception to DEAD SILENCE and DEATH SENTENCE, and demonstrated that Jason Blum could produce successful horror outside of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY found-footage wheelhouse. And INSIDIOUS made Patrick Wilson a bona fide leading man, following high-profile ensemble roles in THE A-TEAM and WATCHMEN and independent starring turns in LITTLE CHILDREN and HARD CANDY.

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    “CANNIBAL” (TIFF Movie Review)

    There are moments of exquisite stillness in Manuel Martin Cuenca’s CANNIBAL. Some might say too many. But for those willing to go along with its deliberately tentative pacing, CANNIBAL  delivers a poignant – if not always totally gripping -minimalist narrative about a man who eats people and the woman who loves him.

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    “ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW” trailer eerily exploits unauthorized Disney locale

    “Bad things happen everywhere,” so says a character in Randy Moore’s acclaimed, controversial ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW. Everywhere extends to the so-called Happiest Place on Earth where the manufactured magic of Disneyland—complete with iconic characters and rides—and the family-friendly company’s recognizable title cards are utilized to frame a surreal, horrifying trip in the first trailer for the film.

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    “UNDER THE SKIN” (TIFF Movie Review)

    There is a scene in director Jonathan Glazer’s unsettling and unusual masterpiece BIRTH where his camera hugs actress Nicole Kidman’s face as tightly as possible. In that sequence, we study Kidman’s porcelain visage as she watches an opera. Not one word of dialogue distracts us from her eyes, her lips, her skin. The character is clearly processing an idea—that a mysterious child may be the reincarnation of her dead husband—and that idea slowly evolves into an epiphany resulting in a single tear streaming from her rapidly reddening eye. It is without a doubt the single most alarming example of an actor’s “inner voice” in effect this critic has ever seen, and a majestic moment of “pure cinema,” uncompromising in its ambiguity and reliance on sound and image to make magic.

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    “A FIELD IN ENGLAND” (TIFF Movie Review)

    With only a handful of movies, writer/director Ben Wheatley has already established himself as one of the finest filmmakers of his generation. Always toeing genre lines, his greatest achievement thus far was probably KILL LIST, a viscous hit man movie transformed into occult horror with one of the most disturbing finale twists since his obvious influence THE WICKER MAN. The genre journalists all immediately demanded that he dabble in horror again and now he kind of has with the twisted art house hallucinogen he calls A FIELD IN ENGLAND. Like KILL LIST, the movie is not pure horror, but it does boast some of the most disturbing images destined to flicker across screens this year.

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