Happy Sunday, fiends! Welcome back to your weekly round up of the top news items in horror. Did you get out and see Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man, which opened theatrically this weekend? Reviews have been really solid, with just a few naysayers, which is totally predictable. Fans and critics, by and large, seem to really love Elizabeth Moss’s performance as well. It hurts my heart to have not been able to go see it myself this weekend, but hey, being poor sucks.
Do you know what does not suck? Travis Stevens’ Girl on the Third Floor, which hit Netflix this week and if you haven’t seen it yet-do. Now. Phil Brooks aka CM Punk stars as a man with a shady past trying to renovate an old house for his pregnant wife so they can get a second chance at a good life…and wackiness ensues! Seriously though, finding an original take on a haunted house story is not easy (as a writer of one, I speak from experience), but Stevens infuses his horror with sly humour, a bit of the erotic, a touch of the absurd and surreal, and delivers on the gore. Plus, CM Punk is a revelation as a leading man (he has a small role in the Soska Sisters’ Rabid), using both his face and line delivery reminiscent of Bruce Campbell. Put Punk in all the things! The soundtrack and score are fantastic as are the special effects, which are quite cringe-worthy at times, and Stevens builds a lot of tension, while constantly disarming you with a funny bit of dialogue.
File under ‘Ok?’ Syfy has ordered to series a take on George Romero’s Day of the Dead and I don’t know how to feel about this news. It’s been a while since we’ve heard any news about Romero’s son bringing his father’s undeveloped script for Road of the Dead to the big screen, this news though, with The Walking Dead and Black Summer, the small screen just feels a little full with Romero knock offs as it is. Not sure what Day of the Dead could add. As always, I’ll keep an open mind.
The big news of the week, though? The trailer for Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) and Jordan Peele’s reboot of Clive Barker’s Candyman dropped and holy shit. The trailer is lush, colourful, immediately engaging, and drops you right back into that familiar feeling of dread the first time you saw the original film. The cast looks fantastic, lead by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman) who plays an artist who inadvertently brings the Candyman back to terrorize the neighbourhood of Cabrini Green. Look, I was excited about this film the moment it was announced. I adore the original film and even like the two sequels, not to mention Barker’s original short story, “The Forbidden.” Tony Todd is such an amazing actor and elevates whatever he’s in and his portrayal of the Candyman became iconic the moment we first see him on that parking garage menacing Virginia Madsen. I rewatched the uncut Scream Factory Blu-ray last week and the film still has a power few horror films possess. Bernard Rose did a fantastic at crafting his adaptation into an emotional journey and commentary on race and class. The sequels tried to push Candyman into slasher territory, but the original is so much heavier. Jordan Peele co-wrote this spiritual sequel with Win Rosenfeld and like his previous films, Get Out and Us, Candyman seems to be very layered with a lot on its mind, but don’t forget Nia DaCosta is the director here, and though I haven’t seen Little Woods, she has floored me with this trailer alone! Not being hyperbolic here, the trailer brought me so much joy I couldn’t stop smiling. I can’t wait for June 12th, because I will definitely be at the theatre opening night.