Tag Archives: John Carpenter

Review: The Thing

When you’re trying to live up to the standards, or perhaps exceed those set by John Carpenter’s The Thing, you’ve got your work cut out for you. While Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s version offers a nice thrill, it doesn’t come close to, well, replicating the elements that made Carpenter’s piece iconic.

It’s 1982 in Antarctica. A team of Norwegian scientists travel across the snowy tundra trying to track a mysterious signal. Upon pinpointing the position of the transmission, their vehicle plummets into a massive abyss and the group uncovers something out of this world.

In comes Dr. Sander Halversen (Ulrich Thomsen). With his trusty assistant, Adam (Eric Christian Olsen), and a newly recruited paleontologist, Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), by his side, he travels to the location to examine the specimen, some sort of creature encased in the ice. With the help of the on-site Norwegian scientists, they dig it up and bring it back to the campsite where Sander takes a tissue sample confirming they have indeed made a monumental discovery. While the group celebrates their newfound fame, the ice thaws and the creature escapes.

Click here to read more.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Interview: The Ward’s Lyndsy Fonseca

Lyndsy Fonseca has been around for quite a while, but over the past few years, her career isn’t just on the rise, but on a rocket. In 2010 we saw her in Hot Tub Time Machine, the a few months later as Katie in Kick-Ass and now she’s about to get to work on the sophomore season of the CW show Nikita. She’s certainly been busy, but nestled in there was yet another feature film, John Carpenter’s The Ward.

After wrapping Hot Tub Time Machine, Fonseca stepped into the North Bend Psychiatric Hospital as Iris, a rather intelligent and welcoming resident eagerly awaiting what she hopes to be her final evaluation. However, when a young woman named Kristen (Amber Heard) is thrown into the ward, strange things start to happen and the girls realize it’s not their freedom they need to be fighting for, but their lives.

Not only is The Ward Fonseca’s very first horror film, but it’s her first horror film with renowned director John Carpenter. Perhaps it was intimidating at one point, but now, Fonseca has only the best to say about Carpenter, attributing quite a bit of this fantastic experience to him. With The Ward’s July 8th release fast approaching, Fonseca took the time to chat about working on the film, her upcoming projects, the status of Kick-Ass 2 and even a little about The Hunger Games.

(And yes Nikita fans, I am now kicking myself for starting to watch the show after conducting this interview rather than before. Oh well; until San Diego Comic Con! For now, check out my interview with Fonseca on The Ward.)

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Interview: The Ward’s Danielle Panabaker

Danielle Panabaker is easily becoming one of my favorite actresses to interview, not just because she’s a nice and insightful person to talk to, but also because she tends to work on the kind of films I’m drawn to – horror films. And not just any horrors film, rather, pieces that offer a fun kind of scare. Back in 2009 she starred in the remake of Friday the 13th and then, last year, in one of my favorite films of 2010, The Crazies, and now she’s in John Carpenter’s The Ward.

Panabaker plays Sarah, one of four patients Kristen (Amber Heard) meets when she’s unwillingly admitted to the North Bend Psychiatric Hospital. Iris (Lyndsy Fonseca) is bright and welcoming, Zoey (Laura-Leigh) a little on the shy side, Emily (Mamie Gummer) a bit too friendly and then there’s Sarah who’s, well, not particularly nice to anyone. Regardless, when a malicious entity makes its presence known, the girls must work together to survive.

To promote the film’s July 8th release, Panabaker took some time to tell us all about her experience making The Ward from working with Carpenter and her co-cast to her own personal preparation and feelings about the horror genre in general. Check it all out and more below.

Click here to read the interview.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Interview: The Ward Director John Carpenter

It’s been about ten years, but director John Carpenter is finally back behind the lens of a feature film and we’ve got Showtime’s Masters of Horror to thank. With dozens of titles to his name, Carpenter felt the need to take a step back from directing. However, when Masters of Horror summoned him to helm yet again, the experience reinvigorated the passion that, well, has terrified us all for years.

Carpenter makes his return with The Ward, a story from Michael and Shawn Rasmussen about Kristen (Amber Heard), about a young woman thrown into a psychiatric hospital. There, she not only meets the other patients, Emily, Sarah, Zoey and Iris (Mamie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker, Laura-Leigh and Lyndsy Fonseca), but the ward’s resident evil entity, too.

After so many years, you’d think Carpenter would have this down to a science. While he does to a point, he also emphasizes the fluidity necessary when making a film. When it comes to working with a cinematographer, his actors and even burning houses down, an abundance of planning is great, but ultimately, it depends on the situation and it’s vital to be able to adapt. In honor of The Ward’s July 8th release, Carpenter told me all about his process starting with finding the right script to taking the footage to the edit bay. Check it all out in the interview below.

Click here to read the interview.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Interview: The Crazies Director Breck Eisner (Post-Screening)

Getting the opportunity to talk to a director who created a film you absolutely love is a frustrating double-edged sword. You’re thrilled to have the opportunity to chat, but there isn’t nearly enough time to squeeze in every question. This is the fortunate/unfortunate case with Breck Eisner.

He’s the man behind the remake of George A. Romero’s The Crazies. After a slew of poorly made and blood drenched reboots, it’s fantastic to experience something so refreshingly original that still manages to pay homage to the source material. Even if you’ve watched Romero’s 1973 original, Eisner’s film is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. When an experimental biological weapon called Trixie accidently infiltrates Ogden Marsh’s water supply, it’s only a matter of time before the townsfolk go crazy. The film follows four survivors as they try to escape their hometown now overrun with violent versions of friends and loved ones while eluding the army who’s prepared to exterminate anyone with the potential to let the virus loose.

Check out what Eisner told me about creating some of the most memorable moments, utilizing the appropriate amount of gore and even a little update on his next project, Flash Gordon.

Click here to read the interview.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Interview: The Crazies Director Breck Eisner (Pre-Screening)

Thanks to a handful of sloppy remakes, the concept of a horror reboot has gotten a bad rap. Will Breck Eisner’s attempt at modernizing George A. Romero’s The Crazies be any different? Until I get a peak, it’s impossible to know for sure, but based on my chat with Eisner, it certainly has potential.

In the original film, a top-secret biological weapon is accidently released and contaminates the water supply of Evans City, Pennsylvania. We watch the action unfold and the townsfolk go mad from two points of view: a group of survivors trying to outrun the virus and the military desperately working to contain it. In Eisner’s version, the premise remains the same, but the focus shifts to another quaint town, Ogden Marsh. Eisner also opts to change the points of view. Rather than depict the catastrophe from two ends of the spectrum, he’s keeping the focus on the few townsfolk who retain their sanity played by Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson and Danielle Panabaker.

It may not sound like much, but this will ultimately make his version of The Crazies far different from its predecessor. Will this be the key to making it a successful reboot? My hopes are high, but we’ll find out for sure when The Crazies hits theaters on February 26th. For now, check out what Eisner told me about making the film his own while still having it honor the source material.

Click here to read the interview

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Interview: The Crazies’ Danielle Panabaker

Danielle Panabaker oddly enjoys being terrorized for a living. Just last year we watched as Jason Voorhees tormented her and a group of unsuspecting teens in Friday the 13th and now she’ll have to outrun a terrible virus with the power to turn you into a psychopathic killer in The Crazies. The film is a remake of the 1973 George A. Romero original during which a top-secret government virus called Trixie accidently infects the water supply of Evans City, Pennsylvania. Breck Eisner’s reboot moves the action to a town called Ogden Marsh, where average citizens like Becca Darling (Panabaker) are subject to the horror of not knowing who maintains their sanity and who has been transformed into a murderous monster.

Check out what Panabaker told me working on The Crazies, her relationship with her sister Kay and plans to continue her horror career with John Carpenter’s The Ward.

Click here to read the interview.

1 Comment

Filed under Interviews