Tag Archive: paranormal thriller


It sure looks like it should be connected to The Mothman Prophecies.  One of the best supernatural thrillers ever made, director Mark Pellington’s 2002 sleeper hit has its twentieth anniversary this year.  If you missed it, you missed some of Richard Gere and Laura Linney’s best character work.  It also co-stars Will Patton, and at least in the trailers for the new contemporary Western meets supernatural horror tale Outer Range, you might agree it looks like an outright sequel to The Mothman Prophecies.  Patton, like Clancy Brown, Michael Ironside, and JK Simmons, is in a small league of character actors that bring authenticity and legitimacy to any project he associates with.  He co-stars in the series with Josh Brolin, whose return after 20 years to the cowboy hat will evoke his father, James Brolin, who had plenty of Old West television stints across the decades.

Calling it a “supernatural cult Western” isn’t right, so maybe we’ll call attach the old labels “weird Western” or “paranormal Western,” which may or may not be about another creepy cult.  Or maybe it’s a new branch of The X-Files.  It definitely brings a heavy paranormal horror vibe.  Check out this trailer for Outer Ridge, beginning on Prime Video this week:

Continue reading

Ben Walker as Lincoln

Would the real Abraham Lincoln please stand up?

With all that has been written and all the photographs we have of Abraham Lincoln, moviemakers keep trying to convey their own visions of the one and true 16th U.S. president.  Americans have such a revered image of Lincoln that Hollywood has rarely portrayed him.  Famed director John Ford’s brother Francis played Lincoln in a 1913 production called When Lincoln Paid.  In 1930 Walter Huston, father of famed director John Huston, portrayed Lincoln in D.W. Griffith’s Abraham Lincoln.  But the two best-known and best-loved performances were by Henry Fonda in John Ford’s 1939 production of Young Mr. Lincoln, and Raymond Massey in 1940’s Abe Lincoln in Illinois.  In 2012 we saw two major movies with Lincoln as the lead character, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln starring Oscar nominee Daniel Day-Lewis, and Benjamin Walker as a younger Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.  The latter was dismissed by critics as fluff for the most part, instead heaping praise on the big Spielberg film.  This is unfortunate, because in any other year Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter might have received a better reception.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter poses the purely fantasy idea that Abe Lincoln was not only a politician and patriot but an apprentice hunter cleaning up the countryside to avoid the spread of vampires throughout the U.S. before and during the Civil War.  Gettysburg wasn’t just about conquering the Southern rebellion, it was about defeating the vampire-laden confederacy.

abraham-lincoln-vampire-hunter

Where Daniel Day-Lewis opted to play Lincoln as craggy and gruff, more so than Raymond Massey portrayed him in Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Benjamin Walker’s take is much closer to Henry Fonda’s pleasant and forthright everyman from Young Mr. Lincoln.  Despite Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter offering up an admittedly male, historical version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, director Timur Bekmambetov went well beyond what you’d normally find in a film so blatantly tied to a gimmick, that of screenwriter/novelist Seth Grahame-Smith following up his earlier well-received mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  In fact, pushing aside for a moment the vampire hunting, the film offers an admirable view of the president, and in particular his relationship with Mary Todd.  And that is saying a lot for a film that is part axe-waving and vampire killing.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: