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Horror – the new arthouse cinema?

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050205_scorupco"Do we get the culture we deserve, or do some people smarter than us give us the culture we want?" So asks director Andrew Douglas, whose "Amityville Horror" remake is part of a rash of horror films afflicting the box office. Bob Tourtellotte in Reuters tries to relate the renewed popularity of the genre to the tense state of current events.

In the New York Times, Christian Moerk writes about how every big name actor seems to be panting after horror roles recently. Horror films are apparently the cred-preserving way to appear in a purely commerical film, and with, since the films have a tight shooting schedule, are relatively cheap to make and almost certain to turn a profit, they’re win-win for everyone. Except, dare we say, audiences who must put up with poorly conceived, derivative films that are often as not just remakes of older American films or films from Asia.

"Dominion: A Prequel to the Exorcist" is not a remake, as suspiciously familiar as it may sound. It’s the title Warner Bros. has apparently settled on under which to release Paul Shrader‘s version of the "Exorcist" prequel. You may remember how, displeased with the non-gore of Shrader’s version of the film, Morgan Creek Productions canned him and hired Renny Harlin (of "Deep Blue Sea" and "Driven") to eventually completely reshoot it, resulting in the version that flopped in theatrical release last year. If you don’t remember, the New York Times has a recap of the whole thing:

Perhaps someday a cinemathèque will present both versions in a
simultaneous, side-by-side screening. The dueling films could provide
fodder for a textual analysis of the auteur theory, with almost
identical material yielding wildly different results in the hands of
two temperamentally opposed artists: Mr. Schrader, the thoughtful,
restrained art-house filmmaker ("Affliction"), and Mr. Harlin, the
vigorous director of Hollywood action films ("Cliffhanger").

The article also goes into how Warner Bros. is indeed planning to hit up the arthouse theaters with its limited release of Shrader’s version of the film, planned for May 20. And Yahoo! Movies has a trailer for George Romero’s latest zombie epic, "Land of the Dead."

+ Horror Films Boom Amid War, Anxiety

+ The Oscar for Best Zombie Goes To… (NY Times)
+ Double Your Pleasure? Early ‘Exorcist’ Take 2 (NYT)
+ "Land of the Dead" trailer (Yahoo! Movies)


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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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