Looking for some scares? This week’s guide of what to watch on Shudder features Blood and Black Lace, Mirror Mirror, and The Home…
What to Watch on Shudder: Blood and Black Lace
Mario Bava’s 1964 Blood and Black Lace is surely one of horror’s most visually arresting films. Starring Eva Bartok and Cameron Mitchell, the film is about models who are killed at a fashion house by a masked figure. Visually, the film is a joy to watch. The use of colour, the composition of shots, and the art direction are all spot on. Coupled with this are the costumes and great sets. Blood and Black Lace mixes these wonderful aspects with a suitably satisfying slasher narrative. There is a great sequence early on with numerous suspicious parties keeping their eyes on a bag which contains a diary. This acts as a succinct preview of what is to come.
What to Watch on Shudder: Mirror Mirror
Mirror Mirror fulfils the cult 90s movie trope; the television aspect ratio of Shudder’s version merely adds to this. Released in 1990, Marina Sargenti’s film is very much of its era. A teenage outsider moves to a new home, where she gains magical power through an antique mirror. Mirror Mirror combines supernatural horror with a teen movie. There are definite allusions to Carrie (1976), and Sargenti’s film can certainly be seen as a precursor to The Craft. Whilst not the scariest of movies, Mirror Mirror works as a supernatural teen movie, with some decent sequences. The film stars Rainbow Harvest, Karen Black (Family Plot, Five Easy Pieces), and Yvonne De Carlo (best known as Lily from The Munsters).
What to Watch on Shudder: The Home
L. Gustavo Cooper’s 2016 short The Home is brief, yet unnerving. Set in an Irish home for pregnant young women, the period-set-set film is about an evil that descends on the convent. There is very little by the way of narrative, but this does not matter as The Home is atmospheric, and offers a great final sequence.
To find out more and to sign up to Shudder, visit https://www.shudder.com.
There is still some time to go before the new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises is unleashed (4th May, to be shown before The Avengers in US cinemas). I am trying to avoid the TDKR scoops/spoilers like the plague. In the mean time, here is some stuff on other upcoming releases.
Dark Shadows is out in cinemas on 11th may 2012 and I am really looking forward to it. Warner Brothers have released this fun featurette about vampire history and the film’s televisual past. Dark Shadows is Tim Burton’s first film since 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. The director also has Frankenweenie coming out later this year.
It’s all about the build up to the trailer nowadays. It was announced yesterday that a brand new trailer for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus would air on television during Homeland on Sunday evening. I might have to wait a little longer than that, as I don’t actually watch Homeland. While we wait for that, here is a short featurette on Prometheus and Ridley Scott. Prometheus is out on 1st June 2012.
The Dictator is due for release on 18th May 2012. Sacha Baron Cohen is stepping up promotion for the film, which will hopefully bring the laughs. Above is footage of an Australian television interview with Cohen (in character). Needless to say, there are some silly jibes.
Snow White and the Huntsman
After Mirror Mirror was surprisingly good, Snow White and the Hunstman needs to step up its game. Above is the latest TV spot for the film. I am really looking forward to the film because I like fairy tales and Charlize Theron looks like an amazing Queen. The Florence + The Machine song ‘Breath of Life’, which features in the film, can be heard here. Snow White and the Huntsman is released on 1st June, with previews from the 31st May 2012.
Rock of Ages
I for one am hoping that Rock of Ages will be the hot mess Burlesque was supposed to be. It has all the right ingredients; Tom Cruise as an ageing rocker, an eighties rock soundtrack boasting Journey and Def Leppard, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I have never seen the musical, but I am looking forward to seeing the film. You can view the trailer here. Rock of Ages will open on 15th June 2012.
Mirror Mirror is a visually sumptuous film. Tarsem Singh’s version of the Snow White fairy tale has enough substance to entertain audiences of all ages.
In charge of the kingdom, the Queen is jealous of the youth and beauty of her stepdaughter Snow White. She banishes the young princess to her room, eager to be seen as the fairest in all the land. When Snow White sees the outside world, she is convinced the Queen must be stopped. Snow White needs some help in her plan to reclaim her birthright…
Mirror Mirror is light in tone, which should enamour audiences. The film does not take itself too seriously, the campy feel hits the right balance been joviality and keeping the story engaging. The script is amusing, there is plenty of humour throughout the duration. Pacing is not as tight as it could be, however.
Although it retains the general plot, Mirror Mirror updates the Snow White fairy tale. Singh’s adaptation is somewhat more modern than the Disney version at least. There is a greater emphasis on the power and responsibility of Snow White; she is not quite the passive princess of previous incarnations. There is also more of an accentuation on the importance of working together, which is surely a good message for younger viewers.
Everything about Mirror Mirror is pleasing to the eye. The film features a highly stylised look, something of a trait the director. The art design, costumes, sets and effects are quintessential fantasy in their removal from reality. Colour is used extremely well in the film, particularly in the costumes of Snow White and the Queen.
Julia Roberts is a little irritating as the Queen. The actress had obviously been told to ham it up. Lily Collins is a delight as Snow White, looking every inch the part. Armie Hammer takes to light comedy surprisingly well as Prince Alcott. Nathan Lane provides good support as Brighton.
Mirror Mirror should prove to be enjoyable viewing for both family audiences and those looking for a light and amusing distraction.
Last week was a slow week for trailers, so I decided to carry any forward to this week’s round-up. Despite the teasers for the Prometheus trailer, it is not being unveiled until Sunday. But this week with have the first trailer for Dark Shadows, a new Battleship trailer, Now is Good and a new Mirror Mirror featurette.
From the stills released earlier this year, this was not what I was expecting from Tim Burton’s update of 1960s television show Dark Shadows. Set in the 1970s, the film appears to be far more camp than gothic. There is also more comedy than I was expecting. This is not necessarily a bad thing, readjusting expectations to view Dark Shadows as a comedy makes it appear rather fun. Dark Shadows is released on 11th May 2012.
From the toy company that brought you Transformers… There are definite parallels between this Hasbro toy product-based film and the Michael Bay franchise. I am hoping Battleship is going to be the hottest mess of the year. It should be suitably ridiculous, and shouldn’t take itself too seriously. Whatever the outcome, at least the presence of Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgård will make the film easy on the eye. Battleship is released on 11th April 2012.
Now is Good
This looks as if it will be a bit of a tearjerker. Based on Jenny Downham’s novel Before I Die, Now is Good is about teenager Tessa, who is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Dakota Fanning has proved herself to be a capable actress, but her English accent in the above trailer sounds less than authentic. Now is Good is released on 25th May 2012.
Having undergone a sensible name change, Mirror Mirror seems a very family-orientated film. It is a lot more camp than Snow White and the Huntsman, which is out later in the summer. Above is a featurette about Armie Hammer’s character in the film. Mirror Mirror is out on 2nd April 2012.