Trailer Talk: This Week In Movies 'The Woman in Black,' 'Chronicle' & More
January 30th, 2012 1:00pm EST
Sadly last week I had to miss “The Grey” due to some other commitments that popped up. I was excited to see it, so I’ll try and get to it soon. However as promised, I did post my interview with “Man on a Ledge” star Elizabeth Banks. Definitely give it a read if you haven’t already.
This week horror dominates the lineup at the box office with the Daniel Radcliffe period piece “The Woman in Black,” the mysterious sci-fi horror/thriller “Chronicle,” the low-budget haunted house movie “The Innkeepers,” and the sappy whale rescue tale “Big Miracle.”
MY PICK FOR THE WEEK: The Woman in Black
THE WOMAN IN BLACK
A young lawyer (Daniel Radcliffe) journeys to a remote village, where he learns that the merciless ghost of a scorned woman is haunting the locals.
Director: James Watkins (“Eden Lake,” “My Little Eye,”)
Writer: Jane Goldman (“X-Men: First Class,” “The Debt”)
Based On: A novel by Susan Hill
Notable Supporting Actors: Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds
ORIGINALITY RATING: Medium. Susan Hill’s novel has been adapted previously into both a TV movie and a play. I saw the stage version of her tale several years ago, and it scared the pants off me, so I have faith it will translate well to the big screen. After hearing excellent reviews of Daniel Radcliffe’s performance in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, I’m feeling confident he’ll bring intensity to this part. Lastly, the music box-like chimes in this trailer just plain creep me out; leading me to believe the film has potential to be at least equally as frightening as the play.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Horror junkies that prefer startling visual and audible scares over blood and guts. If you are anxious to see how Daniel Radcliffe does in his first movie role since the “Harry Potter” franchise, then you should watch “The Woman in Black.”
WHEN TO SEE IT: Opening night.
Three high school pals (Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan, and Alex Russell) acquire superpowers after making a monumental discovery. After they begin to use these abilities though, their lives start to spiral out of control, and their bond is challenged as they welcome their dark sides.
Director/Writer: Josh Trank (“The Kill Point”)
Co-Writer: Newcomer Max Landis, son of director John Landis
ORIGINALITY RATING: High. I was intrigued when I saw this trailer several months ago, and I’m still fascinated now. Using documentary-style footage, it establishes that these kids are meddling with powers outside of their comprehension. They start out innocently at first, but after a short time, chaos ensues when they can’t control one of their own. It gives away enough about the film to hook you; however it thankfully doesn’t spoil the whole story, a rarity in trailers of late.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Viewers that like sci-fi tales like “Cloverfield,” which are told with a pseudo-documentary style of shooting. If you appreciate films like “The Craft” about teens with powers trying to fight against their evil impulses, then you should see “Chronicle.”
WHEN TO SEE IT: Opening night.
After one hundred years of service, The Yankee Pedlar Inn will be closing up for good. The last two employees on staff (Sarah Paxton and Pat Healy) however are dead-set on exposing the hotel’s ghostly past. As the Inn’s final days come closer, the pair starts to experience troubling events which could turn deadly.
Director/Writer: Ti West (“Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever,” “The House of the Devil”)
Notable Supporting Actors: Kelly McGillis
ORIGINALITY RATING: Medium. The whole haunted house premise has been done to death in the horror genre, and the scares in this trailer are pretty predictable. Sarah Paxton is told not to go into the basement, but guess where she goes with just a flashlight to protect her? *Gasp* The basement! The movie does score some originality points, with the concept of having its hotel employees assuming the role of amateur ghost hunters. Kind of reminds me of “Poltergeist” a bit in that regard. Let’s hope the presence of a veteran actress like Kelly McGillis will lend some personality to this average looking film.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT: People who would rather see modern stories than period pieces like “The Woman in Black.” If you loved Kelly McGillis in her turn as a nun in last year’s indie vampire flick “Stakeland,” then you should catch “The Innkeepers.”
WHEN TO SEE IT: Wait for DVD.
In a small Alaskan town, a new reporter (John Krasinski) convinces his ex-girlfriend (Drew Barrymore), to help save a group of gray whales ensnared under the ice in the Arctic Circle.
Director: Ken Kwapis (“He’s Just Not That Into You,” “License to Wed”)
Co-Writers: Jack Amiel (“The Shaggy Dog”) and writing partner Michael Begler
Based On: Thomas Rose’s book Freeing the Whales
Notable Supporting Actors: Andrew Daly, Ted Danson, Stephen Root, Kristen Bell, Kathy Baker
ORIGINALITY FACTOR: Medium. Even though this is based on a true story, the sappy inspirational theme about people of different backgrounds bonding as they help animals is well-traveled. I’m guessing the real energy in this film will come from its lead actors John Krasinski and Drew Barrymore who have shown in the past a knack for dramatic fare mixed with comedy and romance.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Parents looking for a family friendly film to take their kids to this weekend. If you dig inspirational tales based on true stories about people helping animals, then you should check out “Big Miracle.”
WHEN TO SEE IT: Wait a week, so you don’t have to fight the crowds.
Related: Big Miracle, Chronicle, Daniel Radcliffe, Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, The Innkeepers, The Woman In Black, Ti West, Starpulse Exclusives, Movies, Movie Trailers, Columns, Weekend Movie Preview
Photo Credits: © CBS Films, © Fox and its related entities. All rights reserved, © Magnolia Pictures