9.30-10.2.2011: What To Watch – Theater Edition

From frighteningly funny to just plain frightening (and we’re not just talking about the movie), this week’s film premieres could not be more different on the horror plane.  Only one can be the weekend’s winner and it is very clear who it will be, even with its indie status.

Dream House  Starring Daniel Craig (Cowboys & Aliens), Naomi Watts (King Kong), Rachel Weisz (The Lovely Bones), Marton Csokas (Alice in Wonderland), Elias Koteas (Shutter Island) and Jane Alexander (Terminator Salvation).  Written by David Loucka (Eddie).  Directed by Jim Sheridan (Brothers).

If you asked director Jim Sheridan, and actors Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, Dream House was no dream job.  The suspense horror-thriller was a nightmare of a set for Sheridan as he fought over Dream House‘s script and production with producer James G. Robinson of Morgan Creek Productions.  It led to Sheridan being stripped of the film in post-production and the movie without an official premiere or advance screenings for critics.  As for Craig and Weisz, the actors were not satisfied by the final cut of the movie (and probably’s Sheridan’s treatment by the studios) and refused to participate in any promotions, including interviews.  The one positive thing the pair walked away with in Dream House was turning their fictional husband and wife relationship into a real-life husband and wife relationship (congrats!).

Synopsis:  Some say that all houses have memories.  For one man, his home is the place he would kill to forget. A family unknowingly moves into a home where grisly murders were committed…only to find themselves the killer’s next target.  Successful publisher Will Atenton (Craig) quit a high power job in Manhattan to relocate his wife, Libby (Weisz), and two girls to a quaint New England town.  But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her children.  And the entire city believes it was at the hands of the husband who survived.  When Will investigates the tragedy, he’s not sure if he’s starting to see ghosts or if the tragic story is just hitting too close to home.  His only clues come from Ann Paterson (Watts), a mysterious neighbor who knew those who were shot.  As Will and Ann piece together the haunting puzzle, they must find out who murdered the family in Will’s dream house before he returns to kill again.   courtesy of Universal

PG-13 / 91 mins / 2D

Official Website:  http://www.dreamhousemovie.net/

facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/dreamhouse

Twitter:  @UniversalPics

Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil  Starring Tyler Labine (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Alan Tudyk (Transformers: Dark of the Moon and favorites, TV’s Dollhouse & Firefly), Katrina Bowden (TV’s 30 Rock) and Jesse Moss (The Uninvited).  Written by Eli Craig (The Tao of Pong) & Morgan Jurgenson (Glass Desert). Directed by Eli Craig.

Los Angeles traffic inspires rage and other things we’re unable to print here, but for writer Morgan Jurgenson, it inspired a script.  Having been rerouted through a “strange little town,” Jurgenson’s thoughts of flipping the clichéd college students-meet-hillbillies in a small town horror film developed into Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil with fellow 2005 University of Southern California Graduate School of Cinema alum Eli Craig co-writing.  The writing team shopped their much liked screenplay around and ended up having to find funding twice as the first financiers had doubts about the film.  With a now solid budget, and a cast, crew and location, everything fell into place except for the unusually non-sunny weather of Calgary.  Actors Labine and Tudyk’s pairing as Dale and Tucker, respectively, was “magical” as was Craig’s feature film directorial debut and Jurgenson in the role of producer.  Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil has been working the film festival circuit with much success; debuting at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and winning the 2010 SXSW (South by Southwest) Audience Choice Award, the 2010 Jury Prize for First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival, the 2010 Best Director award at Fantaspoa and the Best Motion Picture Award at the Sitges Film Festival.

Synopsis:  Tucker (Tudyk) and Dale (Labine) are two best friends on vacation at their dilapidated mountain house, who are mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, preppy college kids.  When one of the students gets separated from her friends, the boys try to lend a hand, but as the misunderstanding grows, so does the body count.  courtesy of Magnet

R / 88 mins / 2D

Official Website:  http://www.magnetreleasing.com/tuckeranddalevsevil/

facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/magnetreleasing#!/magnetreleasing?sk=wall

Twitter:  @MagnetReleasing

Feed me at sharon@horrorhaven.com

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