Previews: Inside Out TV Spot, Maggie Trailer and More

A cornucopia of film-related goodness in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the latest Inside Out TV spot, a Terminator Genisys featurette, Maggie trailer and lots more…

Inside Out TV Spot

Here is the latest Inside Out TV spot. The Disney Pixar film has been doing fantastic business in the US, and looks certain to replicate that in the UK with its summer holiday’s release. With the voices of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling, Inside Out hits UK screens on 24th July 2015.

Terminator Genisys Featurette

The cast and crew of upcoming Terminator Genisys talk about protagonist Sarah Connor in this new featurette. The famous action heroine is played by Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke, who indicates that there will be nods to the original film in this latest instalment of the franchise. Terminator Genisys is released on 2nd July 2015.

Ant-Man TV Spot

Marvel’s latest super hero to receive the big-screen treatment is Ant-Man. From the above TV spots and earlier trailers, the film looks to offer a fair amount of humour. Starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, Ant-Man launches its way onto the big screen on 17th July 2015.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Poster

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation poster

Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt in the five instalment of the Mission: Impossible film franchise. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation sees the IMF disbanded, leaving Ethan and his team trying to combat deadly terror attacks. With Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames also returning, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation bursts into cinemas on 30th July 2015.

Maggie Trailer

Arnold Schwarzenegger must once again play the hero in new thriller Maggie. The film is a teenage girl who is infected during a zombie outbreak, and her father’s efforts to protect her. Also starring Abigail Breslin, Maggie is set for release on 24th July 2015.

Ted 2 Trailer

So teddy bears coming to life is something that I dream about. Ted is a little lewd for my tastes, but the first film was enjoyable enoughTed 2 reunites Mark Wahlberg and Seth McFarlane, and brings on board Amanda Seyfried as Ted’s lawyer. Ted 2 hits the big screen on 8th July 2015 in the UK.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Trailer

The trailer for the latest instalment of the Paranormal Activity franchise is here. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension sees a family discover some old VHS tapes which hold a nasty surprise. The conclusion of the horror franchise is scheduled for release on 30th October 2015.

Vacation Poster

Vacation poster

Here is the latest poster for upcoming comedy Vacation. The film is the latest in the National Lampoon franchise, and sees a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) taking his family on a road-trip vacation. Also starring Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth, Vacation is release in UK cinemas on 21st August 2015.

The Secret Life of Pets Trailer

I know what pets to all day; the nap and eat and nap some more. That is to say, they live the life. New animated comedy The Secret Life of Pets takes us behind closed doors. Featuring the voices of Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper and Hannibal Buress, The Secret Life of Pets  is set for release on 24th June 2016.

Fantastic Four Photo Shoot

Here are the stars of the new Fantastic Four film looking dapper. Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell star as the superhero quartet in the reboot of the Marvel franchise. Fantastic Four launches its way onto the big screen on 6th August 2015.

Spectre Vlog

Here is the latest blog from the set of new James Bond move Spectre. Director Sam Mendes discusses filming a scene that takes place amidst the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City. Starring Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz, Spectre will be released on 6th November 2015.

Magic Mike XXL Clip

The marketing for sequel Magic Mike XXL has been wonderful. This latest clip suggests the tongue-in-cheek attitude will continue in the film. Whereas the first film descended into schmaltz, here’s hoping this instalment will keep the tone humorous. The film is, after all, about male entertainers. Magic Mike XXL is released in cinemas on 3rd July 2015.

Film Review: Paranormal Activity 3

For the third instalment of Paranormal Activity filmmakers go back to the past. A prequel to the first two movies, Paranormal Activity 3 is better than the second one in that it at least shows some innovation.

In September 1988, young girls Kristi and Katie live with their mother and her partner Dennis. Strange occurrences begin to take place, which coincide with the arrival of Katie’s imaginary friend Toby. Dennis decides to set up video cameras around the house in order to capture any unusual incidents…

Using the same format at the first two films, Paranormal Activity 3 uses video footage to tell its tale. Again, like the first two films, it seems unusual that someone would concentrate on making sure they were filming in a moment of sheer terror. Nevertheless, the style gives the film an authentic feeling.

Making the third film a prequel was a sensible choice, given that the first two films gave successive films little place to go. It also allowed writer Christopher B. Landon to give a back story to the sisters featured in the first two films. There is a little amusement to be gained from the late-1980s costumes, toys and technology, which is also a bonus.

In terms of frights, Paranormal Activity 3 features the same jumpiness as the first two films. Many of the scares have been recycled from the first two films. However, directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman bring some creativity to the film. The ‘Bloody Mary’ sequence is one of the films most frightening episodes. Similarly, the oscillating camera is used to great effect in the film.

As with so many horror films, the ending is a letdown after all the build up. The film would have been scarier if events remained unaccounted for. Although this may have frustrated some viewers, it would have made the film stronger overall. As it stands, the ending is rather weak.

Performances in Paranormal Activity 3 are fine. Chloe Csengery is well cast as the young Katie. Sound employed effectively in the film. Like the first two instalments, the use of sound and the use of silence is integral to getting the frights. Pacing in the film also works well; the slow build at the beginning is necessary to set the scene.

Paranormal Activity 3 will satisfy viewers looking for more of the same. There are some good frights, but it feels as if the franchise has now gone beyond its peak. There seems little need for a fourth chapter.

Paranormal Activity 3 Trailer

It’s that time of year again. For the third year running, the makers of Paranormal Activity are serving up another slice of the action around Halloween time. This instalment is a prequel to the first two films. I found the second film a bit disappointing as it was too similar to the first. I don’t think this will be a problem for the new film, as it is more of an origins story. Also it is set in 1988, and what’s not to love about that? Check out the trailer above; it is pretty scary. Paranormal Activity 3 is out on 21st October 2011.

Film Review: Insidious

People in horror movies never actually seem to watch horror movies themselves. Otherwise, they would know to scarper at the first sign of danger, unlike the protagonists in Insidious.

Josh, Renai and their three children move into a new home. Before they have finished unpacking, strange things start to occur. When the couple find their oldest son Dalton in an unexplained comatose state, they decide to pack up ad leave. Moving into a new home, the family find that whatever was previously haunting them has followed…

Insidious is a good schlock horror that provides a decent amount of frights for those who buy into it. Some elements are unsurprisingly silly; seemingly a prerequisite of the modern horror film. Nevertheless, Insidious is an effective possession movie overall.

Much is made in the film’s publicity of the fact that the makers of Saw and Paranormal Activity are at the helm. Creator of Saw James Wan directs and Leigh Whannell writes, while Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli is one of the film’s producers. Given the success of these two recent franchises, it is easy to see why they have been played up in the advertising for the film. Although it is most comparable to Paranormal Activity of the two, thankfully Insidious is its own movie. The film does not draw too heavily on previous haunting films, despite the inevitable comparisons to The Haunting in Connecticut and The Amityville Horror among others.

One of the best things about Insidious is that the film injects a healthy dose of humour into proceedings. The appearance of Specs and Tucker lighten the atmosphere at the right time. They relieve some of the tension and sombreness that had hitherto been building. Whilst Insidious is unlikely to rank alongside cult classic Evil Dead II with this mix of horror and comedy, this aspect does distinguish the film from being just another generic possession movie.

Certain scenes in the film evoke Ridley Scott’s Legend, with their polemical imagery and use of colour. The booming score is pivotal in enhancing the sense of apprehension. The use of a recurring vintage tune is reminiscent of the Halloween series and Jeepers Creepers in giving an innocuous song a more menacing turn. Effects are good, although there is one particular use of CGI that cheapens the look of the film.

Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are aptly cast as protagonists Josh and Renai. Ty Simpkins is believable as young Dalton, while Barbara Hershey is underused as Lorraine.

With its nods to numerous horror films, Insidious is a well-crafted movie that effectively delivers the scares. It’s not The Haunting, but should prove to be popular amongst horror aficionados.

Film Review: Paranormal Activity 2

Paranormal Activity 2 is a prequel that offers much the same as its predecessor. Although there are some good scares, the film lacks the innovation that would deem it a great sequel.

Following a break-in at their home, Daniel decides to install cameras to ensure the security of his wife, daughter and baby son. The cameras begin to capture strange occurrences, which seem to be focused on baby Hunter…

Paranormal Activity 2 is seamless in its position as a prequel, keeping the same theme and featuring characters Micah and Katie from the first film. The style of the film is also adhered to; the combination of security and hand-held cameras exhibit continuity from the original.

Michael R. Perry’s screenplay offers authentic interaction between the family members. The dialogue seems naturalistic, and the relationships between family members are quite believable. Where it falters is the lack of originality to really differentiate the film from the 2009 hit.

The overriding problem with Paranormal Activity 2 is that it repeats much of what happens in the first film. Like Paranormal Activity, the film is set up so supernatural incidents slowly build to a thrilling climax. Although the use of dates and times give the film the documentary feel attained by the original, the narrative and pacing mimics the first film far too much.

Furthermore, a number of the scares are identical to the first film. The use of the moving pots and pans, for example, appears completely reminiscent of Paranormal Activity. Likewise, director Tod Williams replicates the combination of tension-building scenes and surprise scares that worked so well in the original.

There are several jumpy moments in Paranormal Activity 2. However, there are also moments that are laughable. It is unclear whether this is the desired reaction, or whether these are unsuccessful scares. Again, the film repeats what was done successfully in the original; not reveal too much of the cause of the activity.

For fans of the first film, Paranormal Activity 2 offers more of the same scares that made a hit of its predecessor. Those expecting a little creativity or a twist to proceedings may be disappointed.