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The Good, The Bad and The Scary – May 25, 2009

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If there’s one place where innovation, fresh new ideas and risk-taking are encouraged and even rewarded, well, it isn’t Hollywood. Studios like the tried and true — it makes more economic sense to produce mediocre sequels and knock offs guaranteed to perform than to back something truly original and hope it finds an audience. But among this week’s remakes and reboots are some new projects that would be perfect for some eccentric-but-brilliant director.


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The Good
Rank Movie
1 ghostbusters375x75.jpg Ghostbusters 3
It took years, but it’s happening: The entire original cast will return, including Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis. How big their roles wil be remains to be seen, as the plot revolves around ghostbusters-in-training. But I’m still excited!
2 nightmare-on-elm-street-freddy-headshot-small-75x75.jpg A Nightmare on Elm Street
Filming has started, including the first scene with Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy. Reports from the set suggest he’s playing it straight and intense. No one-liners, no joking around, just sheer psychological horror. I’m biting my nails already.
3 manson75x75.jpg Helter Skelter
The story of Charles Manson’s summer of madness has been told before, but never on a big budget and never by someone like Oliver Stone. If anybody can capture the bad-trip freakiness this material demands, it’s the man who made The Doors.
4 DragMeToHell75x75.jpg Drag Me to Hell
I’ve been hard on this film because my expectations of Raimi are high, but five new clips have been released, and they look good. Maybe I was misled by the really bad trailer… I’m not 100% sold, but I’ll give it a chance.
5 bruce-willis75x75.jpg Grimm
A horror movie based on fairy tales starring Bruce Willis… sounds like a recipe for a stinkbomb. But the long and detailed synopsis suggests a light and atmospheric approach, which might just be enough to win me over.

This week’s Bads are mostly reminders as to why Hollywood dug itself into the remake rut in the first place: Megalomaniacal directors running wild, pointless sequels that will make money no matter what, potentially promising properties falling into the wrong hands. But at least there’s no new Piranha 3D casting!


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The Bad
Rank Movie
-1 final_destination3d75x75.jpg The Final Destination
No more Final Destination: Death Trip 3D, which is good — typing it was tiring. But the new title is a lame attempt to drum up buzz: It’s the last! Really! Unless it makes big bucks! Then next year, Finaler Destination.
-2 twilight2-75x75.jpg Breaking Dawn
The second Twilight movie is in production, and the fourth is greenlit, even though it looked as though it might not happen. Robert Pattinson was so busy, he wasn’t sure he could squeeze in a project that will earn him millions.
-3 antichrist75x75.jpg Antichrist
Nah, Lars von Trier doesn’t take criticism personally. When half the audience bailed on a Cannes screening of his newest and the other half hurled stuff at the screen, his response was, “I am the best film director in the world.” Isn’t that for somebody else to judge?

-4 munsters75x75.jpg The Munsters
The Wayans Brothers have the rights to film this TV classic and are currently in rewrites. That sound is me locking myself in my apartment and refusing to come out until the project goes away. The only good news is that no one named Wayans will star.
-5 s_darko75x75.jpg S. Darko
Well, it’s here and Daveigh Chase does indeed play Donnie’s little sister. Those are the only positive statements anyone can make about this sad, underbaked sequel to the cult favorite.

That’s it until next week, folks!

David Wellington is a horror novelist whose latest book is Vampire Zero. He lives in New York City with his wife Elisabeth and his dog Mary, named after Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

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