September 17, 2015
        "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer        

Tag Archives: The Exorcist

The scariest movies ever nominated for an Academy Award

Since it’s Halloween (Happy Halloween everyone), I wanted to do something horror centric but also still relating to Oscar in some way. As such, I wanted to take a look at which scary movies, to one degree or another, were embraced by the Academy Awards. Ideally I’d have focused on Best Picture, but as I’m sure you all know, the pickings there will be mighty slim. Instead, I’ll bounce around, trying to stick to bigger categories whenever possible, but still looking for the most overt examples of genre fare ever cited. I might bend the rules once or twice, but hey…it’s Halloween. I hope you all enjoy.
Here’s the ten scariest movies to catch the attention of Oscar:
1. The Silence of the Lambs – Any list like this has to start with this one, since it almost swept the Oscars in its year. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay…it won five of the big eight categories, part of seven nominations in total. An iconic piece of cinema, it deserves a place at the top of any article of this nature. It’s a perfect representation of horror (though it’s hardly just that) that the Academy thankfully embraced.
2. The Sixth Sense – One of the Academy’s most overt embraces of horror, it received a whopping half dozen citations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay. It was a fleeting embrace as opposed to ushering in a more open minded line of voting by Oscar, but it’s still cool to remember nonetheless.
3. Black Swan – Psychological terror is still terror, so when this film that should be miles away from an Academy member’s tastes got five nods (including Best Picture and Best Director) and won Best Actress, it was an incredibly pleasant surprise. It does harken back to some other movies that they’ve been fond of in the past, so that was a plus, but still…can you believe this was a nominee alongside the likes of The King’s Speech and The Kids Are All Right?
4. The Exorcist – Let me blow your mind for a second…this horror film scored double digit Oscar nominations. Yes, it was nominated for ten Academy Awards (including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress) and won a pair of them, for Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay. That’s horrifically […]

Oscars® “Celebrate the Movies” with Launch of Digital Exhibition In anticipation of the 84th Academy Awards®, the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences has launched “Celebrate the Movies,” a digital exhibition spotlighting iconic moments from 84 films.
Beginning today, January 23, the exhibition will appear on digital billboards in Los Angeles, and on ABC’s digital “SuperSign,” an electronic landmark in New York’s Times Square. It will also be showcased on an online gallery on, and extend to, where fans can share their most memorable movie-going experiences through video or text.
Images will debut in groups of 20 within the next two weeks. The 84 films represented span eight decades, beginning with “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935) and culminating in “Avatar” (2009). Highlights from each decade include “Gone with the Wind” (1939), “Casablanca” (1942), “The Killers” (1946), “Sunset Boulevard” (1950), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), “True Grit” (1969), “The Exorcist” (1973), “Saturday Night Fever” (1977), “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989), “Apollo 13″ (1995), “Shrek” (2001), “Ray” (2004), and “The Dark Knight” (2008). The exhibition highlights all of Hollywood’s major genres, as well as independent, animated, foreign-language, and documentary films.
Included in the first 20 images are the eight that were featured in the key art campaign, which was unveiled in late December.
The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, at 5:30 a.m. PST in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar® presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.
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After “The Thing,” which horror films also need a prequel?

By Adam Frazier With Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s prequel to John Carpenter’s “The Thing” now in theaters, we decided to look at three horror films that could use a bit of the old retroactive storytelling treatment.
The problem is, most of the influential (and not-so-memorable) horror films of our time have already been remade, which makes it hard to justify a prequel. If you look at recent horror remakes like “A Nightmare on Elm Street” or Rob Zombie’s “Halloween,” these films serve more as prequel/remake hybrids as they attempt to explain the motives of their killers by showing us their origins.
We’ve seen this before with 2006’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning,” which showed the birth of Leatherface. Oh, and don’t you dare forget about 2004’s “Exorcist: The Beginning.” Years before Father Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil’s soul, he encountered the demon Pazuzu in East Africa.
Pazuzu. Yeah, sure – whatever. Also consider “Amityville II: The Possession,” the 1982 film which served as a prequel to Stuart Rosenberg’s 1979 original. No other genre has seen more remakes, sequels, prequels and reboots than horror — but there are still a few titles worthy of further exploration.
Ok, so it isn’t necessarily a horror film. It’s more of a science-fiction thriller with loads of explosions — but it’s got a scary looking monster who stalks soldiers in the jungle and kills them (in grotesque, terrifying ways) one by one.
The most interesting thing left unexplored about the Predator to me is the creature itself. The Predator isn’t just some mindless movie monster. It’s an advanced life form with its own code and set of beliefs.
It hunts for sport, but refuses to fight an unarmed opponent. In various films we’ve seen the Predator as an honorable, deadly opponent – and yet we only have hints as to where they come from or why they honor the hunt.
Think “Apocalypto” meets “Avatar” — a prequel that takes place on the Predator homeworld and examines the culture of these intergalactic hunters. Tribes of warriors riding fierce beasts, hunting exotic game, elders teaching younglings the way of the hunt.
There’s so much to explore – why do they hunt? What is their relationship with their environment? Do they have any natural predators? Who are their Gods? How do they behave socially towards one another — do they interact in families? What are their politics?
Of course the […]

The Top 10 Scariest Horror Films from the last 20 years

By Scott Mendelson The goal of this list is pretty simple. I’m sure we’re all sick and tired of seeing countless ‘scariest movies of all time’ lists every Halloween that basically include some combination of the same several movies. Among the movies that will not be on this list: “Psycho,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Exorcist,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Jaws,” “Halloween,” “Alien,” and “The Shining.” Nothing against those films, but I’d imagine that any film nerd who cares enough to read a list of great horror films has probably already seen them. By limiting the list to the last twenty years, we automatically discount most of the staples that usually fill up such ‘best of’ lists for Halloween. Oh, and another thing, this is purely about theatrical movies that actually scared me, regardless of how high they rank in the quality totem pole. “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Se7en,” and “The Sixth Sense” are among my all-time favorite movies, but they didn’t particularly frighten me. So, without further ado, let’s dive into, as the television network TNT likes to call them ‘the new classics’.
Candyman (1992)
Based on a short story by Clive Barker, this genuinely disturbing fairy tale concerns an urban legend that haunts a poverty-stricken housing project in Chicago. As a grad student (Virgina Madsen) investigates the legend of Candyman, the hook-handed murderer who can be summoned by speaking his name into a mirror three times, Helen Lyle finds herself affected by the unending violence and desperation that grips Cabrini-Green. Effortlessly weaving in ideas involving class and race without aggressively preaching, director Bernard Rose crafts a mournful little picture where the underprivileged find it easier to blame their misfortunes on a ghostly hook-handed psychopath than accept the random misery and violence in their midst . Deftly dealing with the core power of urban legends (they only have power if you believe them), the film resists revealing the truth about the mythical Candyman until the last possible moments. Personified by a foreboding but sensual Tony Todd in a star-making-but forever typecasting performance, the world of Candyman is one where it’s easier to fear the boogieman than to fear your neighbors.
This one is Wes Craven’s masterpiece, bar none, and easily the best of the “Nightmare On Elm Street” series. The picture works as a deconstruction of the slasher genre, an emotionally wrenching portrait of grief, and a genuinely terrifying piece of horror of […]

Hollywood Movie Roundup: ‘Social Network’ to add millions of friends Three adult-skewing titles hit the multiplex this weekend – “The Social Network,” “Let Me In” and “Case 39.” Of the three, Sony’s “Social Network,” a biopic about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his unscrupulous ascent with the social website looks to outdistance itself from the competition with about $20-$25 million. Unfortunately, “Let Me In” and “Case 39” should pull in about $6-$8 million.
The film, directed by David Fincher, stars a string of fresh faces: Jesse Eisenberg (Zuckerberg), Andrew Garfield, Rooney Mara, Armie Hammer among many others. Of those, Justin Timberlake who plays Napster creator Sean Parker, is the standout name above the marquee. Aaron Sorkin of “West Wing” fame wrote the script about the youngest billionaire of all-time whose greatest flaw in launching the biggest social network of all time was that he was – anti-social.
Critics have been banging a drum for this film for quite some time, even putting it at the same level as Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane.” “Social Network” has a glowing 98% Rotten Tomatoes Score with such premium critics like Manohla Dargis of the New York Times clapping, “Mr. Fincher and Mr. Sorkin offer up a creation story for the digital age and something of a morality tale, one driven by desire, marked by triumph, tainted by betrayal and inspired by the new gospel: the geek shall inherit the earth.”

Relativity Media’s Overture Films R-rated vampire tween pic “Let Me In,” a remake of the Swedish film “Let the Right One In,” tells the tale of an outcast middle school boy who befriends the new outsider girl in his apartment building. Only problem is, she’s a vampire and needs blood to survive. Despite her ugly side, the boy decides to stick by her side as the cards become stacked against her. Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins and Chloe Moretz (“Kick Ass”) star. Similar to “Social Network,” critics are savoring, awarding it an 82% fresh Rotten Tomato score. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly exclaims, ”(Director Matt) Reeves hasn’t just remade the Swedish cult vampire film ‘Let the Right One In’ into a more fluid and visceral movie. He’s made it more dangerous.”
Award season pundit, Jeffrey Wells, thinks “Let Me In” should be nominated for Best Picture: “’Let Me In’ should be one of the ten 2010 Best Picture nominees. It’s that good. If this happens, would ‘Let Me […]

Emile Hirsch, Matthew McConaughey head to New Orleans for ‘Killer Joe’ New Orleans continues to be a hotbed for filmmaking in the wake of “Green Lantern” with William Friedkin’s “Killer Joe” set to shoot there.
The production, which was announced at the Toronto Film Festival, with “The Exorcist” vet in the director’s chair, will pair Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch.
“Killer Joe” is billed as a black comedy and will start lensing on November 8. Voltage Pictures is financing.
Hollywood Reporter describes the plot as follows:
The script, by Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning writer Tracy Letts, centers on a brother (Hirsch) and sister combo who plot the death of their mother for the insurance money and hire “Killer Joe” Cooper, a cop and contract killer (McConaughey) to do the deed.
Both Hirsch and McConaughey were last seen in theaters last summer, respectively starring in “Taking Woodstock” and the romantic comedy “Ghost of Girlfriends Past.” Hirsch recently finished the sci-fi film “The Darkest Hour” for Summit Entertainment.
Photo Credit:Paramount Classics
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Terrifying “Exorcist” receiving director-approved Blu-ray treatments

By Sean O’Connell The puke will be extra green. The blood will be a vivid red. In fact, everything about William Friedkin’s masterful “The Exorcist” will be amplified when it arrives on a two-disc, high-definition Blu-ray set on Oct. 5 from Warner Home Video.
Friedkin’s “Exorcist” — believed by many to be the scariest film of all time — has been released and re-released in multiple versions since that first screening in 1973. But the director is going on record to say that, through technological advances and the inclusion of rare footage, this will be the version true collectors will want to own.
“After my final cut of the original ‘The Exorcist,’ I took out 12 more minutes before we actually released it in theaters,” Friedkin said in a release. “Years later, (author) Bill Blatty asked if I’d consider reviewing some of that rejected footage (which he always felt should have remained) with an eye towards putting it into a new version. Bill gave me the best piece of material I’ve ever received, and because of that, and because the film had such a major reputation over some 25 years, I agreed to revisit all these scenes.
“When I saw them, I came to realize that Bill was, in fact, right,” Friedkin continued. “With technical advances, scenes that didn’t work then could now be fixed with CGI and there were others that I thought strengthened the spiritual aspect of the film. Warner agreed and released a whole new theatrical print in 2000 which we called ‘The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen.’ And I now agree with Blatty that this is the best and most complete version.”
And now that it’s on Blu-ray, expect this to be the best-looking version you’ll own. “The Extended Director’s Cut” contains three new documentaries: Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist, including new revealing set footage produced and photographed by cinematographer Owen Roizman, as well as camera and makeup tests, interviews with Friedkin, actress Linda Blair, author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty and Roizman himself; The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now featuring a tour of the iconic locations where the film was shot, including a visit to the famous “Exorcist steps”; and Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist — with Friedkin and Blatty discussing the different versions of the film and showing outtakes. The result is a new immersive viewing experience that takes you on […]