Monday, October 31, 2011

Thirst (2009)

Sang-hyun is a priest who cherishes life; so much so, that he selflessly volunteers for a secret vaccine development project meant to eradicate a deadly virus. But the virus takes the priest, and a blood transfusion is urgently ordered up for him. The blood he receives is infected, so Sang-hyun lives – but now exists as a vampire. Struggling with his newfound carnal desire for blood, Sang-hyun’s faith is further strained when a childhood friend’s wife, Tae-ju, comes to him asking for his help in escaping her life. Sang-hyun soon plunges into a world of sensual pleasures, finding himself on intimate terms with the Seven Deadly Sins. 

Director: Chan-wook Park
Writers: Chan-wook Park (screenplay) and Émile Zola (novel)
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim and Hae-sook Kim
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Joy Ride (2001)

Followed by Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead (2008). Lewis Thomas is college freshman embarking on a cross-country road trip during summer break to pick up his girlfriend Venna. Along for the ride is Lewis' brother Fuller, a practical joker who uses the car's CB radio to play a cruel prank on a lonely trucker known only by the handle Rusty Nail. The victim of Fuller's gag turns out to be a psychotic murderer and soon the brothers are being pursued by the relentless stalker, who gets his revenge in gruesome fashion.

Director: John Dahl
Writers: Clay Tarver and J.J. Abrams
Stars: Leelee Sobieski, Steve Zahn and Paul Walker
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Franklyn (2008)

Set between contemporary London and the dystopic Meanwhile City, where the separation between church and state has been obliterated to make way for a religion-dominated society. Atheist vigilante Jonathan Preest prepares to seek revenge against Meanwhile City's powerful leader, privileged artist Emilia finds her cynicism and depression accelerated by the difficult relationship she shares with her mother. Meanwhile, sensitive Milo attempts to recover from a recent heartache, just as deeply religious Peter arrives in London to search for his missing son, a haunted Gulf War veteran. As the narrative shifts between the real and imaginary worlds, McMorrow explores the complex relationships between fantasy, faith, and love.

Director: Gerald McMorrow
Writer: Gerald McMorrow
Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Eva Green and Bernard Hill
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Million Dollar Hotel (2001)

Tom Tom takes a flying leap off the roof of the Million Dollar Hotel, an ironically titled dive in the seedy section of L.A. Told in an extended flashback, Tom Tom recounts the murder investigation of a down-and-out artist and son of a media mogul, Izzy Goldkiss, who also fell off the hotel. FBI special agent Skinner, sporting a neck brace, looks into the death only to discover that the building is teeming with weirdos and losers. There is Vivien, who claims to be the fiancée of the rock star; Geronimo, a huckster trying to make a buck by selling Izzy's abstract painting; Eloise, a burned out prostitute with a passion for intellectual literature; and Dixie, who swears up and down that he is the fifth Beatle. As the film progresses, Skinner proves to be just as much of a freak as the hotel tenets -- he was born with a third arm that was surgically removed from his back.

Director: Wim Wenders
Writers: Bono (story) and Nicholas Klein (screenplay)
Stars: Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich and Mel Gibson
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Wolf Creek (2005)

Ben, Lizzie, and Kristy are three friends who, after a night of celebratory drinking, hit the road for a trip to Wolf Creek National Park, where they plan to spend a week hiking and surfing. The three friends are happy to be spending time together, especially after Ben makes the happy discovery that Lizzie is as infatuated with him as he is with her. However, after a long day on foot, Ben, Lizzie, and Kristy make the unpleasant discovery that their car's battery is dead, leaving them stuck in the middle of nowhere. Help arrives in the form of Mick, a burly but good-natured outdoorsman who happens upon them; Mick tells them that he can fix their car, and offers to give them a ride to his place down the road. Grateful but a bit nervous around the gregarious stranger, Ben, Lizzie, and Kristy offer Mick a wealth of thanks for his help, and give him some money for his troubles before they fall asleep around the campfire. The next morning, the travelers find themselves bound, gagged, drugged, and separated from one another, and they realize Mick is not the good Samaritan they imagined. 

Director: Greg Mclean
Writer: Greg Mclean
Stars: Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath and Kestie Morassi
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Man from Earth (2007)

The story concerns Professor John Oldman, a scientist who summons a group of associates to a cabin one freezing night, and strikes them with a fantastic revelation: he is not a traditional human, but a 14,000 year-old immortal, who has survived centuries of evolution from the Cro-Magnon Era to the present. In the hours to follow, Professor Oldman's earth-shaking assertion about himself challenges the men on spiritual, scientific and historical levels. But the most incredible is yet to come - an even more astonishing truth in which the men's discussions culminate.

Director: Richard Schenkman
Writer: Jerome Bixby
Stars: David Lee Smith, Tony Todd and John Billingsley
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Hatchet II (2010)

Follows Hatchet (2006). Marybeth escapes the clutches of the deformed, swamp-dwelling iconic killer Victor Crowley. After learning the truth about her family's connection to the hatchet-wielding madman, Marybeth returns to the Louisiana swamps along with an army of hunters to recover the bodies of her family and exact the bloodiest revenge against the bayou butcher.

Director: Adam Green
Writer: Adam Green
Stars: Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder and Tony Todd
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hatchet (2006)

Followed by Hatchet II (2010). Ben has just been given his walking papers by his girlfriend and is deeply depressed. Needing a pick-me-up, Ben and his friend Marcus head to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and take in a "Haunted Swamp Tour," with master of ceremonies Shawn guiding guests through a spooky patch of bayou country. Along the way, Ben and Marcus meet a pair of half-bright exotic dancers, Misty and Jenna, as well as Marybeth, a pretty girl who is secretive about her past. As they tour the swamp, Shawn tells his customers about the local legend of Victor Crowley, a deformed man who was taunted by the other children living near the swamp until he was nearly bludgeoned with an axe by his father while trying to open the door of their burning shack. While Ben and Marcus don't think much of the story at first, it doesn't take long before they have serious reason to believe Victor Crowley is still at large -- and is looking to settle some old scores. 

Director: Adam Green
Writer: Adam Green
Stars: Kane Hodder, Joel David Moore and Tamara Feldman
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Exorcismus (2010)

Fifteen-year-old Emma Evans is like any other teenage girl; she thinks that her parents dont understand her. She longs for independence and a life free of family ties and responsibilities and she is prepared to do anything to achieve it. But one day she will be forced to face up to the consequences of her actions. Life seems to be carrying on as normal, until one day Emma starts experiencing frightening fits. Her parents are convinced that her problems are either medical or psychological, but when doctors tests are unable to draw any conclusions, the family is forced to look elsewhere for answers. It all started off as a bit of fun, Emma never really believed it, but the truth is there is something dark and sinister within her, and it wont take long to surface.

Director: Manuel Carballo
Writer: David Muñoz
Stars: Sophie Vavasseur, Stephen Billington and Richard Felix
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Apocalypto (2006)

The Mayan kingdom is at the absolute height of opulence and power, but leaders are convinced that unless more temples are constructed and more human sacrifices made, the crops, and ultimately the people, will suffer. Jaguar Paw is a peaceful hunter from a remote forest tribe whose life is about to be changed forever. When Jaguar Paw's village is raided and he is prepared as a sacrifice that the Mayan deities have demanded, the brave young hunter is forced to navigate a horrific new world of fear and oppression. Fearlessly determined to escape his captors and save his family from a harrowing demise, Jaguar Paw prepares to risk it all in one final, desperate attempt to preserve his dying way of life. However, few who have seen the sacrificial alter of the Mayans have managed to live to see another day. Now, in order to rescue his pregnant wife and young son, Jaguar Paw will have to elude the most powerful warriors of the Mayan kingdom while using his vast knowledge of the forest to turn the tables on those who would rather see him dead than set free.

Director: Mel Gibson
Writers: Mel Gibson and Farhad Safinia
Stars: Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Trujillo and Dalia Hernández
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Boogeyman (2005)

Followed by Boogeyman 2 (2007). Every culture has one - the horrible monster fueling young children's nightmares. But for Tim, the Boogeyman still lives in his memories as a creature that devoured his father 16 years earlier. Is the Boogeyman real? Or did Tim make him up to explain why his father abandoned his family? The answer lies hidden behind every dark corner and half-opened closet of his childhood home - a place he must return to and face the chilling unanswered question does the Boogeyman really exist?

Director: Stephen Kay
Writers: Eric Kripke
Stars: Barry Watson, Emily Deschanel and Lucy Lawless
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Friday, October 21, 2011

The Call of Cthulhu (2005)

A dying professor leaves his great-nephew a collection of documents pertaining to the Cthulhu Cult. The nephew begins to learn why the study of the cult so fascinated his grandfather. Bit-by-bit he begins piecing together the dread implications of his grandfather's inquiries, and soon he takes on investigating the Cthulhu cult as a crusade of his own. As he pieces together the dreadful and disturbing reality of the situation, his own sanity begins to crumble. In the end, he passes the torch to his psychiatrist, who in turn hears Cthulhu's call.

Director: Andrew Leman
Writers: H.P. Lovecraft (short story) and Sean Branney (screenplay)
Stars: Matt Foyer, John Bolen and Ralph Lucas
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dead Silence (2007)

In the quiet town of Ravens Fair, children taunt one another with spooky stories about a ventriloquist whose mind was ravaged by insanity. Mary Shaw was a popular entertainer until she was accused of murdering a young boy. Subsequently hunted and captured by the vengeful townspeople, Mary's tongue was cut out before she was mercilessly killed and committed to the earth in the company of her handmade collection of vaudeville dolls. In the years that followed, the town seemed to be haunted by those ghastly puppets. After mysteriously disappearing from Mary's grave, the menacing figurines would sometimes be glimpsed by the damned in the dead of night -- their appearance consistently foreshadowing the death of whoever laid eyes upon them. Entire families were found slaughtered, their tongues brutally torn from their mouths in a sickening scene that eerily recalled the execution of the elderly ventriloquist. Newlyweds Jamie and Lisa Ashen both grew up in Ravens Fair. Now, following Lisa's inexplicable death, Paul has returned to the pair's hometown in order to say his final goodbyes and find out the truth about his wife's enigmatic demise. After being reunited with his ailing father and the aging man's pretty young bride, the grieving widower will finally uncover the shocking truth behind the curse that has plagued Ravens Fair for as far back as he can remember.

Director: James Wan
Writers: Leigh Whannell (screenplay) and James Wan (story)
Stars: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta and Donnie Wahlberg
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Lo (2009)

Love presents many challenges to couples...but none so daunting as the one Justin faces with his girlfriend April. Kidnapped by demons, April's mystery begins to unfold when he finds an ancient book that she has left behind. Using the book, he contacts the demon Lo, ordering it to help him rescue his girl from the fiery pits. However, Lo has ideas of its own, particularly on the subject of whether Justin is master or dinner.

Director: Travis Betz
Writer: Travis Betz
Stars: Jeremiah Birkett, Sarah Lassez and Ward Roberts
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The Strangers (2008)

After returning from a wedding reception, a couple staying in an isolated vacation house receive a knock on the door in the mid-hours of the night. What ensues is a violent invasion by three strangers, their faces hidden behind masks. The couple find themselves in a violent struggle, in which they go beyond what either of them thought capable in order to survive.

Director: Bryan Bertino
Writer: Bryan Bertino
Stars: Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler and Gemma Ward
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

Steve Zissou is an eccentric and renowned oceanographer who has decided to seek out and enact mortal revenge on a shark that ate one of the men on his team. Along for the ride is Ned Plimpton, a young man who has joined Zissou's crew after showing up claiming to be the seaman's long-lost son and Zissou's co-producer (and estranged wife), Eleanor. As the expedition ensues, the two bond and Plimpton falls for a female journalist who is writing a piece on Zissou. The crew meets a host of obstacles on their journey, including pirates, kidnapping, and bankruptcy.

Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach
Stars: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and Anjelica Huston
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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Insidious (2011)

The Lambert family moves into an old house and begin to suspect that they are under siege from otherworldly forces when their young son inexplicably falls into a deep coma. As devoted parents Josh and Renai struggle in vain to uncover the root cause of their son's condition, the stress of the situation gradually begins to take its toll on their once-strong relationship. Later, when darkness falls and specters appear to reach out for them from the shadows, the frightened parents realize they're dealing with powers beyond human comprehension.

Director: James Wan
Writer: Leigh Whannell
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Ty Simpkins
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