by HELEN GEIB
As everyone knows, October is the big month for horror films. As readers of this blog may know, Hollywood horror is something I usually do my best to avoid. The avoidance principle inspired me to try a different format with this month’s edition of the theatrical releases post, namely to feature one movie per represented genre. The full release list organized by release date is at the end; titles are linked to the movies’ pages in the IMDb for the curious.
Let the Right One In (2004) is a Swedish vampire novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It was a bestseller at home and has been translated into a number of languages, including English. Lindqvist wrote the screenplay for the novel’s first film version, also called Let the Right One In; it was released (in Sweden in 2008 and internationally in 2009) to rave reviews. The Swedish film is a tough act to follow, quality-wise, although- inevitably- subtitles limited it to a small part of the American remake’s potential audience. The second movie version has been re-titled Let Me In and the action transplanted from suburban Stockholm to a small town in New Mexico; the time period has stayed the early ’80s. It was written and directed by Matt Reeves, best known for directing Cloverfield. It stars Chloe Moretz from Hit-Girl, er, who stole the show as Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass, as the eternally 12 year old vampire. Kodi Smit-McPhee (the son in The Road) is the local boy who becomes enamored with his new neighbor. Richard Jenkins takes the principal adult role of the girl-vampire’s Renfield.
Other horror films coming this month: Case 39, Jackass 3D, My Soul to Take, Paranormal Activity 2, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter
Let Me In‘s main opening weekend competition is The Social Network, the new film from director David Fincher (Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) about the founding of Facebook. The film was adapted from the book The Accidential Billionaires by Ben Mezrich. The apparently-unflattering-to-just-about-everyone-if-not-everyone version of the story presented in book and film is hotly contested by many of the people involved, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (played in the film by Jesse Eisenberg). One of the few things everyone agrees on is that Facebook was launched at Harvard in 2004 as a new on-line social network for college students. Court cases and bitter fallings-out followed soon after. I’m actually not all that interested in the subject. I am very interested in David Fincher, one of the top visual stylists working in Hollywood today. The trailer suggests he’s in fine form in The Social Network. Also in the cast: Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song, Rooney Mara, Max Minghella.
Other dramas coming this month: Hereafter, Secretariat
Not one of the likelier-looking October releases, Life as We Know It earns its place in the spotlight by virtue of being the month’s only rom-com. Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel star as a mismatched couple thrown together when their mutual best friends are killed in an accident, after having named the pair as their infant daughter’s guardians. It was directed by Greg Berlanti (The Broken Hearts Club).
Action/Comedy/Comic Book Movie
Now, Red is the month’s sole stand-in for not one, but three popular categories; however, it would have made the feature slot even in the face of competition. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren are former black-ops agents called out of retirement when they are targeted by the agency for elimination. Doesn’t that sound like a blast? Of course, they could get the tone completely wrong, or go horribly wrong in any of a dozen other ways, like so many comic book adaptations have. But I’m definitely willing to give it the benefit of the doubt until I walk into the theater on or around October 15. Oh, and the title? It stands for “retired, extremely dangerous.” Red is based on a comic series by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner and was directed by Robert Schwentke (The Time Traveler’s Wife, Tattoo). The full of familiar names supporting cast includes Mary-Louise Parker, Karl Urban, Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfuss, James Remar, Julian McMahon, and Ernest Borgnine.
Full releases list:
Saw 3D: The Final Chapter