"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 cinemathÃ¨que 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."