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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 29/03/2015 - 18:06

Home is where the cash is while Ferrell and Hart Get Hard at No.2

By Rich Matthews

Just when Dreamworks Animation needed another hit after The Penguins Of Madagascar was a write-off, a musical alien brings Home the bacon for Fox, thanks in part to the dulcet tones of Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin and The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons as the cuddly alien in question. Easily topping the domestic chart with $54m, Home also got off to a soaring global debut bringing home $101.5m opening. Domestic revenue was up a sizeable 10 per cent on the same weekend in 2014, in fact, with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart's R-rated crime comedy Get Hard scoring a decent $34.6m, the largest R-rated opening for both stars.

Off that pace at number three was The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which took a tumble of 53 per cent to nab $22.1m and take its tally to $86.4m ($133.4m worldwide), while Kenneth Branagh's live action spin on Disney's classic Cinderella magicked up a further $17.5m to cross the $150m mark and climb to $281.1m globally. At five, acclaimed horror flick It Follows expanded nationwide to a 1,218, more than half of the films ahead of it, but it still managed to scare up $4m to add it is $800k total.

The back end of the chart, six to 10, saw Matthew Vaughn's stoic Kingsman: The Secret Service ($3.1m, $119.4m US, $302.3m worldwide) doggedly adding to its gross, Liam Neeson's stubborn Run All Night ($2.2m, $23.8m, $39m) running out of puff, the assorted oldies of ageing sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($2.2m, $28m, $63m) staying past their sell-by date, religious flick Do You Believe? ($2.2m, $7.1m) losing faith, and Sean Penn resoundingly failing to be the new Neeson in The Gunman ($2m, $8.8m).

Next weekend summer starts early with Furious 7 roaring off the blockbuster grid to hopefully record-breaking levels and aiming to get a month's head start on Avengers: Age of Ultron on 1 May (23 April internationally).

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 22/03/2015 - 18:06

Insurgent surges to top with $54m and $101m worldwide

By Rich Matthews

In an interesting turn of events for conventional franchise wisdom, Insurgent, the sequel to last year's young adult dystopian sci-fi Hunger Games-alike Divergent, opened to $54m, about half a million less than its predecessor, even though it opened on the exact same weekend. Usually, a sequel that's part of a known franchise either tops the first or falls well below, sealing the franchise's fate. But this is fairly flat - no real drop, but no gains.

Even though expectations are wildly different, it does make those insiders claiming that Avengers: Age Of Ultron will "only make the same" as the first Avengers seem more credible. However, all this performance anxiety remains purely a domestic woe, with Insurgent performing much better internationally than the first one, giving a great overall global start.

Meanwhile, the other two big releases of the week, Sean Penn going all Liam Neeson in Taken director Pierre Morel's The Gunman ($5m), and bible-bashing Do You Believe ($4m) both underperformed at fourth and sixth, respectively. Hell, Penn's attempt at doing the aging action dude schtick couldn't even beat Neeson's current lacklustre effort, Run All Night at third ($5.1m, $19.7m US, $26.3m worldwide). Betwixt those was Kenneth Branagh's Disney live action version of Cinderella ($34.5m, $122m, $253m), which means not only was it knocked off the top after only one week, but it is now lagging Maleficent at the same point, and Matthew Vaughn's spoof spy Mark Millar comic book adaptation Kingsman: The Secret Service ($4.6m, $114.6m, $283.9m), which continues its slow-burn to hit status.

The remainder of the chart, seven to 10: old fogie getaway fantasy The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($3.5m, $24.1m, $53m), Will Smith disappointment Focus ($3.3m, $49.4m, $107.1m), Neill Blomkamp's robot, er, disappointment Chappie ($2.7m, $28.4m, $71.6m) and cartoon franchise resuscitation flick The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water ($2.4m, $158.8m, $275m).

Next weekend should see another a change at the top as Kevin Hart teaches Will Ferrell to Get Hard (as in become tough, not the other thing) and Dreamworks latest animation Home dials up the charm offensive. Course, all of that will be academic come April 3, when Furious 7 is gonna leave the rest of the chart in its dust.

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 15/03/2015 - 18:06

The shoe fits for Disney as Cinderella gets $132m from the worldwide ball

By Rich Matthews

Disney's Kenneth Branagh live-action reboot of Cinderella did go the ball at the US box office this weekend, grossing $70.1m to take its global opening up to $132.5m, and that's with some major international territories like the UK still to come. Disney was also celebrating Big Hero 6 passing How To Train Your Dragon 2 as the biggest animated film released in 2014 after make a late haul in China.

Speaking of which, Cinderella broke records in China as the highest-ever March opener with $25m, and even past last year's similarly themed Sleeping Beauty reimagining, Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie's $69.4m opening. That's mighty beginning for the $95m movie (a lot cheaper than Maleficent for a start), but no one will know for sure if it's actually down its release mate, an animated short that just happens to be called Frozen Fever... Certainly, the demos suggest it may have helped with 77 per cent of the audience being female, 56 per cent under the age of 25 and a frankly huge 44 per cent being under 18. Either way, Cinderella's race ahead of the rest of the pack jumped a recent slow box office up 16 on the same frame last year.

The only other new runner turned out to be well off the pace, however, with Liam Neeson's latest ageing dude actioner Run All Night limping to a meagre $11m, but still coming second in an otherwise still lame field. It marks the lowest opening of Neeson's recent glut of actioners and comes off the heels of his announcement that he will be quitting action movies altogether in a couple of years. His last effort, Taken 3, the final part of the trilogy from Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, grossed $289.5m compared to the previous sequel's $376m.

The rest of the chart from three to 10 was more of the same – and probably the reason that Cinderella was so far in front – with Matthew Vaughn's stoically successful Kingsman: The Secret Service ($6.2m, $107.4m US, $257.7m global) at three, followed by Will Smith's fading Focus ($5.81m, $44.3m, $81m), then a Dev Patel one-two of Neill Blomkamp's problematic robot adventure Chappie ($5.8, $23.3m, $37m) and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($5.7m, $18.1m, $39.1m), both in the same bracket of box office success but one a hit and the other, er, not (guess which way round!), then The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water ($4.1m, $154.7m, $271m), Kev Costner keeping on running at eight with McFarland, USA ($3.7m, $35m), the inexplicably enormous blockbuster American Sniper ($2.93m, $341.5m, $504.5m) back in the top 10, and high school "comedy" The DUFF ($2.9m, $30.3m).

Next weekend, the Young Adults are back with Insurgent, the second part of the newly-labelled "Divergent Saga". Then, on 28 March, Kevin Hart works on Will Ferrell to Get Hard and Dreamworks tries yet again with Home, featuring the nasal tones of The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons as a little purple alien.

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 09/03/2015 - 15:33

Chappie is a soft top while Unfinished Business is, well, already finished

By Rich Matthews

March may be here with spring just around the corner, but the US box office hasn't sprung yet, with North American revenue down an alarming 40 per cent year on year with the same weekend in 2014. This is in part because two of the three new releases have been lambasted by critics prior to opening and the third being a niche piece of counterprogramming for fans of a film about old people.

So, District 9 "wunderkind" Neill Blomkamp now has a second dud in the row following the disappointing Matt Damon dystopian sci-fi Elysium. Even with the internet abuzz with his plans for a new Alien film starring Sigourney Weaver, Chappie – about an artificially intelligent robot with feelings - couldn't withstand a critical battering and could only manage $13.3m ($27m total worldwide). That was enough to pip Will Smith's Focus ($10m, $34.6m US, $71.6m global) to the top spot, but hardly bodes well for its overall long-term chances. Chappie cost Sony $50m, so should make that money back, but any actual profit will likely be limited.

Meanwhile, the other wide release saw Vince Vaughn also getting a drubbing from critics and seeing the lowest comedy opening of his career, with Unfinished Business netting only $4.8m to come in 10th. Directed by Ken Scott, the man behind Vaughn's last comic flop Delivery Man, it's unlikely to even recoup its meagre $35m production costs at this rate. Vaughn is lucky that he's been cast in the second season of True Detective or his Hollywood goose may well have been cooked by this latest epic flop.

The height of his fall is illustrated by the success, at number three of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($8.6m, $29.6m worldwide), which opened on more than 1,200 fewer screens than Unfinished Business. The geriatric comedy stars Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, and marks a pleasing one-two for Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel, who also stars in Chappie. Between Hotel and Business, in spots four to nine, were Colin Firth kicking ass (at the box office) in Kingsman: The Secret Service ($8.3m, $98m, $248.3m), The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ($7m, $149m, $259.4m, BDSM sensation and World Book Day school outfit-inspiring Fifty Shades of Grey ($5.6m, $156.5m, $527.7m), Kevin Costner running drama McFarland, USA ($5.3m, $29.4m), Olivia Wilde horror flick The Lazarus Effect ($5.1m, $17.4m) and high school comedy The DUFF ($4.9m, $26.1m).

Just outside the top 10, American Sniper ($4.5m, $337.2m, $500.2m) became the biggest film released in 2014 (it had a limited opening at the very end of the year), passing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and crossed the $500m mark worldwide.

Next weekend, Disney lets Kenneth Branagh take them to the ball with the latest live-action rendition of Cinderella, which will likely massively outperform thanks to a little animated short running on the front called Frozen Fever ...

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 01/03/2015 - 17:53

Focus gets Will Smith to number one – just

By Rich Matthews

Getting to number one counts, no matter how much you gross to get there, but $19.1m for the slick Will Smith comedy crime caper Focus is a little underwhelming. Even megaflop After Earth (costarring Smith's son Jaden) opened to $27.5m.

Easily one of the lowest openings of his blockbuster career (we're ignoring the likes of Ali, The Legend Of Baggar Vance and Six Degrees Of Separation, for instance) the Warner Bros heist flick co-starring Margot Robbie does at least have the distinction of knocking softcore hit Fifty Shades Of Grey ($10.9m) off the pole, but even that is more muted by the fact that Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Secret Service ($11.8m, $85.7m, $185.1m) actually pulled ahead of the sexathon for the first since both flicks opened head-to-head three weekends ago. It even fell behind the SpongeBob sequel ($11.2m, $140.3m, $215.3m) to come fourth.

Focus, though, did only cost $50m to produce thanks to Warners' clever use of tax breaks around the globe, so it looks likely to make money once international grosses are factored in. Warner Bros bigwigs blamed bad weather.

Meanwhile, Fifty Shades kept its end up better internationally, where it's still rock solid with a tally of $338.4m and a global gross of $486.2m. Relativity was behind the other new release to hit the chart – at five – with micro-budget horror flick The Lazarus Effect, starring Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass, which opened behind predictions with $10.6m. It's still a win seeing as Relativity only paid $3.3m for it in the first place.

The rest of the chart, six to 10, was constituted of McFarland USA ($7.8m, $22m), Clint Eastwood's jingoistic army blockbuster American Sniper starring Bradley Cooper ($7.7m, $331.1m, $440.7m) closing in on Guardians Of The Galaxy as the 2nd most successful 2014 release, Lionsgate high school comedy The DUFF ($7.2m, $20.1m), Julianne Moore's Still Alice ($2.7m, $12m) climbing 24 per cent following her Oscar win, and the continued U-bend progress of dire sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2 ($2.4m, $10.3m).

Next weekend, Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson hope their Unfinished Business antics will laugh their way to the top, although they have to get past Neill Blomkamp's highly anticipated AI action drama Chappie, starring a be-mulleted Hugh Jackman.

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Screenjabber Podcast: We Focus on It Follows

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 28/02/2015 - 16:30

Join Katie Wong, Mark Searby, Amon Warmann, David Watson and host Stuart O'Connor as they pay tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy, then review a few of the new releases on offer in UK cinemas this week: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Boy Next Door, Catch Me Daddy, Focus and It Follows.

You can listen to and download the podcast – or subscribe to it on iTunes ... plus you can follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

PubQuest: We're looking to take the Screenjabber Pubcast on the road, and want your input. Know a great pub in London we should visit to record the show? Drop us a line and let us know.

WriterQuest: We're seeking some more writers, particularly those who want to cover video games for us. Please get in touch if you're keen.

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Win a copy of Sons of Anarchy: S7 on Blu-ray or DVD

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 27/02/2015 - 16:56

Rejoin biker gang SAMCRO in the most violent, dark and thrilling instalment to date as the series finale of Sons of Anarchy is released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 2. And thanks to Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, we have ONE copy on Blu-ray and ONE copy on DVD to give away.

The seventh season of the hugely popular and critically acclaimed Sons of Anarchy returns with 13 action-packed episodes beginning 10 days after the tragic events of season six with Jax in jail on a parole violation, grappling with his inner demons. With the club’s full support, he sets in motion the brutal machinations that will lead to complete and merciless retribution. From the creative genius of Kurt Sutter, Sons of Anarchy is an electrifying drama with darkly comedic undertones that explores a notorious outlaw motorcycle club’s (SAMCRO) desire to protect its livelihood.

Starring returning cast Charlie Hunnam as SAMCRO leader Jax, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior, Theo Rossi and Kim Coates, the latest series boasts cameos from former Buffy the Vampire actress Charisma Carpenter and rocker Marilyn Manson as a drug addict and high-ranking member of a neo-Nazi prison sect.

For a chance to win, just follow @Screenjabber on Twitter and tweet the following text:

Follow @Screenjabber and RT for a chance to win Sons of Anarchy: S7 on Blu-ray or DVD.

For an extra entry, just pop over and LIKE the official Screenjabber Facebook page.

The competition will close at NOON on Sunday March 15, 2014. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

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Sons of Anarchy Q&A: Peter Weller (Charles Barosky)

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 27/02/2015 - 16:46

A: You know I've directed four seasons of Sons of Anarchy now. And now they wrote a role in for me about this bad cop or retired cop who essentially manipulates the ports in Stockton. And speaking of trickle down economics you know, there’s a brilliant thing about Sons of Anarchy. That I talked to Kurt Sutter about, 'cause he has a degree in theatre. He has a master’s degree in History of Theatre and he really knows his minimalist theatre. And he knows his theatre of nihilism, his theatre of the absurd. And Genet is one of his favorite guys.  And he’s one of the few people I can talk to on a movie set about Jean Genet and Ionesco. I don't know if you know who these people are but Kurt comes from that. And if you really scratch the surface of the Hamlet story, Sons of Anarchy. Or take it as a homophobic biker story, which my racist in-laws in Georgia do. Because it’s like homophobic, racist white boys on bikes you know, beating the shit out of people of color. And that’s why they dig it. And they don’t see the Hamlet in it. But if you go any farther than that it is a modicum of vigilante, trickle down politics in this show. You know, you turn your turn your head to the group that is essentially protecting you and you don’t enforce the law there. Just so the economy is working, just so the grass is growing. And the money is coming. And you know, this loosely, what was based on a motorcycle club in Modesto years ago, back in the 50’s and 60’s. So if you look closely at it, there’s a political statement here, there’s an economic statement. The whole thing is based on economics. And it’s not for a big piece of the pie if you notice. Nobody’s ever really getting rich in Sons of Anarchy. Even the Mexican cartels aren’t getting rich but it is an economic manipulation. That’s the whole thing they’re doing. Anybody ever looked at it like that?

A: Have you guys followed all the seasons of Sons of Anarchy?

Q: Yes.

A: Okay a lot of people are really on board with Sons of Anarchy or don’t know where Sons of Anarchy went. They put in a couple actors. Because about two years ago Sons of Anarchy took a turn right after they came back from Ireland, and then the big, explosive fourth season, you know. The fifth and sixth seasons were less about dignity and the club manifestation of control as they were about individuals trying to find their own panicked place in the sun. Did you notice that? You know, Clay, Jax, all of it. So Ron Perlman came up to me during a scene we were shooting in season five in a bar. The air conditioning broke down and central casting calls up the real Hell’s Angels. Tthe extras here are the real deal. Did you know that?

Q: They use real MCs as extras?

A: Hell’s Angels baby. It’s a Hell’s Angels show.

Q: But they have a SAG card?

A: They got to have a SAG card yeah. David Labrava was a Hell’s Angel. The big dude is Hell’s Angel. There are all Hell’s Angels extras.. They’ve got to have a SAG card right. But you know, you either pay the thousand dollars a day for stunt guys, which sometimes you have to do. Or you call up JJ in central casting, he just retired. And I want eight gun qualified extras and these guys come in. And they got the gang tats, you’ve got to cover them up and so forth. Yeah I mean, you don’t get people off the street to behave like this. How are you going to teach them how to fire a Glock in five shots? You’ve got to know what you’re doing with a gun. And you want eight guys who really know what they’re doing with a gun. We also want eight guys that the feds aren’t looking for in the next five minutes. You also want guys who will do what you ask. And those guys are very accommodating you know. So it’s a tight, really rigorous show. My point was that Ron came up to me in the middle of this thing and said you know, I really don’t know where this show is going man. You know, I’m trying to get where Clay is happening here and I got to go shoot this scene at the end of the day after this bar scene. The air conditioner broke down. I've known Ron a long time. But Ron was only emblemizing what a lot of the actors thought. Wow, it seems like I’m losing dignity. Look, these are not really dignified people. They’re trying to maintain a dignity amongst themselves, which is the great irony of life 'cause we’re all of these people. We all are as despicable in some ways as this.

Sons of Anarchy Season 7 is out on Blu-ray and DVD on 2nd March from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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Interview: David Robert Mitchell on It Follows

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 25/02/2015 - 12:46

By Garry McConnachie

As A kid, David Robert Mitchell experienced a nightmare that would remain in the back of his mind throughout his formative years a film-maker. Such was its effect on him, Mitchell realised adding his own flair to it could make for a pretty cool horror film.

Fast forward to 2011 and his writing process for It Follows began in earnest and just three years later it was premiering at Cannes Film Festival. The critical acclaim and audience reaction that followed now has horror fans amped for what is one of the best horror films to come out of America in quite a few years.

The story of Jay (Maika Monroe), who is stalked by a ghostly presence after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, It Follows bears all the hallmarks of a classic from Monroe's lead performance to the dreamlike aesthetic and the goosebump-inducing score.

Mitchell admits it has been a long process but also, a journey he has had fun with.

He said: "The dream was from when I was a kid. It was so long ago. I only remember certain pieces and moments from it. And the feeling it gave me. Even the sequences I remember aren't in the film. It's more just the way it made me feel.

"I had it in the back of my head for many years. I had always intended to make a horror film at some point. I thought this would be the thing I would turn into a horror. I'm always working out story ideas.

"I come up with ideas in a certain moment and sit down and write the thing out and build it in the moment. Other things I have the idea in my head for a few years or even longer. This is one of those cases where I added little pieces to it over the years without writing anything down.

"There was point where i was writing a lot and decided I should try and write that script and have it ready. Over the years I'd decided it would be fun to have this thing that could be shared between people. Passed between people. Then I started thinking it would be interesting to pass it through sex. The sex itself would be the thing that would connect the characters both physically and emotionally.

"I wrote it in 2011 and the script came out really quick. I was just ready to write it at that point."

With her star turn in It Follows coming so soon after her performance in The Guest, Monroe is swiftly becoming the new go-to scream queen and David reckons she was perfect for the role of Jay.

He said: "When we cast Maika she was just filming The Guest, so that wasn't how we had seen her. She was just fantastic.

"The strength of her performance, we could tell immediately she had what the film needed. She carried the film. The believability of her performance, of her character, in what is ultimately an insane situation that could border on being silly in some ways, depended on us caring for her character, and believing in her and worrying about her safety.

"Maika has those qualities. It was about having a really strong actress in that role. The worst thing would have been having those moments of terror - it's very easy in horror to veer off into B-movie territory if the performances aren't strong enough. I love a lot of B-movies, but we were trying to walk a line between those things."

Making the switch indie comedy-drama in the shape of The Myth of the American Sleepover to nerve-shredding horror was one of the big attractions for David.

"It was fun," he said. "It was a challenge to myself. It does some similar things to my first film with some of the quieter moments - that subdued dreamy naturalism that I'm fond of. But it goes to moments of chaos that are very different. I hadn't done that before and it was fun to do."

And of that "dreamy naturalism", Mitchell's striking visuals coupled with the score from Disasterpeace is a cinematic match made in heaven.

He said: "It's about suggesting a dream state. We connect to it. There are a lot of things that are familiar but they're just not quite right. Disasterpeace is fantastic. I'd heard his music from the FEZ video game score and thought it was great. I was excited to hear what he could come up with.

"I reached out to him a few years ago and told him I was putting together a horror film and thought it would be wonderful if he could do the music for it. I sent him the script and my first film to watch. He like that and agreed to work on It Follows.

"It was really fun for me. I was genuinely excited to hear what he would come up with for it. We had conversations about what we were going for. The editor and I had built a complicated temp score as we were doing the film. A movie like this, a horror, you need a score there. We used that as a starting point, a guide, then built off it. There was a lot of back and forth but it was just about letting him create music for these scenes. He's so great."

As with all good horror, the themes are always open to interpretation and, with It Follows, some have seemingly misconstrued the use of sex in the film as an 'anti-sex' statement from Mitchell. This isn't an interpretation he agrees with, however.

Mitchell said: "All I can say is I personally wasn't trying to make a puritanical statement with the movie. I'm aware of the concept being played but I don't see it that way. It's not my read or my interpretation of the film.

"If someone wants to read it that way they have every right to. If someone wants to be offended by it that's unfortunate. It's not how I see it.

"Yes, the character opens herself up to this danger through sex but it's not about sex. It's about anything in the world - life itself. Opening yourself up to danger. In this film, sex is something that also temporarily frees the characters.

"The way I see it, it's dealing with the fact we're all mortal, all here for a limited amount of time and sex and love are one of the few ways we can push that all away and temporarily live in the moment and keep death at bay. I'm a fan of analysis in terms of film and all different kinds of reads are valid. I may not be a fan of some but they have the right to exist."

It Follows is out in the UK on February 27

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PREVIEW: FrightFest Glasgow 2015

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 25/02/2015 - 12:01

By Garry McConnachie

This weekend, gore hounds and horror fiends will be descending on Glasgow to join in the annual Film4 FrightFest weekender celebrations.

With an eclectic selection of films and talent on display over the course of Friday 27 and Saturday 28 February, the appetites of those attending are sure to be satisfied.

Here we take a look at our most anticipated films of the festival.

First up is the European premiere of Chris Sparling's The Atticus Institute. The 70s-set shocker follows Dr Henry West (William Mapother), the founder of the institute, and his studying of telekinesis and ESP. However his tests are mysteriously shut down when subject Judith Winstead (Rya Kihlstedt) shows powers beyond even Dr West's comprehension.

In Marcus Nispel's The Asylum, hell is quite literally unleashed upon a group of unsuspecting teens when they decide to host an all-night party in a derelict building. The discovery of old vinyl records unwittingly leads the group to play them backwards but, unbeknown to them, doing so results in them fighting for their lives as they face an unspeakable horror.

Anything with Eli Roth connected to the production is bound to pique the interest of horror fans. The latest is the Roth-produced Clown, directed by John Watts. Here doting dad Kent is left standing in for a no-show clown at his son's birthday. Unfortunately for Kent, his costume turns out to be the skin of demon intent on turning whoever wears it into a crazed killer – and they can't take off the make-up, wig or big red nose. If only the demon had a tiny clown car for all his demon pals…

The Blair Witch Project is a classic the found footage sub-genre of horror. It spawned a raft of copycats – mostly inferior but, on occasion, something terrifying broke through the sea of mediocrity. Spanish directing duo Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza brought us the [Rec] series. The pair joined forces to direct the first two films in the franchise – both of which were superb. Plaza went solo for [Rec]3 and, for the most part, ditched the found footage approach for something more conventional. And fun. But less terrifying. Now it's Balaguero's turn with [Rec]4: Apocalypse and we return to the apartment of the first two films where reporter Angela is rescued and taken to an oil tanker for examination. But her hell on Earth is set to be dialled up to 11 as the demonic virus follows her on board.

Speaking of The Blair Witch Project, documentary The Woods gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how a little indie horror turned into a global phenomenon. With input from directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick, as well as recordings of auditions and pre-production tapes, this could be an intriguing and insightful glimpse behind the camera.

One of the most anticipated films of the weekend is sure to be Australian zom-com Wyrmwood, directed by Kiah Roach-Turner. It centres around mechanic Barry (Jay Gallagher), who goes searching for his sister after she is abducted by sinister gas mask-wearing soldiers who want to use her for flesh-eating experiments. Expect laughter, splatter and… KC and the Sunshine Band.

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