Tuesday, July 03, 2007

On the Lot: 6 contestant horror films

Tonight, Eli Roth (Hostel I and II) was guest director On the Lot as the contestants presented six horror films.

The Malibu Myth, dir. Kenneth Luby, has amateur journalists (maybe bloggers) going into Malibu Canyon to “investigate” some Manson-like killings. The find a victim, and become cannon fodder for the vampire-ghouls quickly. The young man’s hairy leg seems to present an attractive Achilles heel. There’s a touch of Blair Witch, though in full color.

Anklebiters, dir. Sam Friedlander, as a mother putting a little boy, afraid of nightmares, to bed. Pretty soon there is something under the sheets, and it seems that puppets can become carnivorous. Again, his legs are damaged for life (maybe amputated), long before he could be a teenager, and the police come to investigate. It’s no surprise that the cop makes an easy next mark. These puppets are like piranha for the bodily damage they can do. The concept is particularly gruesome.

Midnight Snack, dir. Andrew Hunt. A woman awakens in a Minnesota thunderstorm, and goes to the kitchen for a snack, and sits down to look for the remote for the TV. The power stays on. But she is living with people she knows and accepts to be ghouls.

Eternal Waters, dir. Jason Epperson. The director says he recruited twins in order to have a boy lay in a casket filled with water. A mother loses a son in a swimming pool accident, and then awakens at night to an intruder, who may or may not be real, as she still has visitations from the son.

Open House, dir. Shira-Lee Shalit. A couple with a very pregnant wife visits a real estate open house. They get a name for the unborn son, and a warning as to what would happen to him in the house.

Profile, dir. Mateen Kemet. An African American is stopped by cops, and imagines what could happen (all the way to the waterboarding) if the cop is white.

Also tonight, HBO presented a 15-minute short from New Wave Films and Warner Bros., “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: HBO First Look” with a lot of discussion of the film by Daniel Radcliffe and other cast members. The order is like a secret society. There are a lot of classroom scenes in the documentary, which deals with the role of a teacher of high-school aged kids with special gifts.

Also, today I saw "Hi-ya" Shia La Beouf as the Everyman teenager in Michael Bay 's Transformers (Dreamworks, Paramount) review here; there was a delicious commercial short from American Express "Ready to Travel" showing a most energetic Shaun White, hopskotching the globe on a snowboard (he was also in a skateboarding tourney on NBC recently). But the commercial is a "real" short film.

Latest scoop is that Ben Affleck is directing his first film, "Gone Baby Gone", which he cowrote with Aaron Stockard based on a novel by Dennis Lahane, due from Miramax by the end of 2007. His brother Casey stars, along with Morgan Freeman.

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