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Joshua Reviews Alex van Warmerdam’s Schneider Vs. Bax [Piff 2016]

After garnering the most wide spread acclaim of his career with his previous picture, Borgman, director Alex van Warmerdam is back with what may be not only his most accessible film, but also the prototypical black comedy that he has been striving to make his entire career.

Ostensibly a hit man story in the mold of a Spy vs. Spy comic tale, Schneider Vs. Bax is a pitch black comedy that introduces us to our two titular lead characters, Schneider (a suburban father played wonderfully on edge by Tom Dewisplaere) and Bax (who is a writer with a penchant for booze and hard drugs and is played by van Warmerdam himself). Where the humor truly comes in is the picture’s almost farce-style narrative, which sees these two have to deal with their respective hits (which may or may not be born out of less than ideal intentions) as well as their families,
See full article at CriterionCast »

120 Essential Horror Scenes Part 8: Reversals & Reveals

It’s the moment you wait for the entire horror film. It’s not just a plot twist or a payoff but a trigger to your deepest emotions. You want to be shocked and sickened and saddened when the killer is revealed, the hero suddenly dies, or the mystery is solved. Most of all, you want your jaw to be on the floor. **Spoilers obviously ahead**

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The Brood (1979)- Mommy knows best

David Cronenberg’s third horror film is his first truly great movie and also his first superbly acted film. The Brood’s ensemble is solid but Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar stand out as maverick doctor Hal Raglan and his disturbed patient Nola Carveth. Nola’s estranged husband Frank (played by Art Hindle) teams up with Dr. Raglan in the film’s suspenseful climax. He confronts Nola while Raglan attempts to rescue Frank’s young daughter from a group of murderous deformed children.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

[Fantastic Fest Review] Schneider vs. Bax

Hitman films tend to be action-packed and heavy with tropes familiar to that particular sub-genre of thrillers. Yet Dutch filmmaker Alex van Warmerdam hopes to subvert those expectations by crafting an almost absurdist, Beckett-style drama between two contract killers hired to take out the other. Such is the premise of Schneider vs Bax, where two seemingly normal individuals reveal their true colors when put to the test of trying to kill one another. Director van Warmerdam, who brought us the devilishly delightful Borgman a few years prior, also stars as one of the titular leads, Bax, adding a compelling layer of personal subtext to his conflicted on-screen persona. Yet despite being able to create an enticing mood with beautiful cinematography and a deliberately methodical pace, Schneider vs Bax does little to deliver on its auspicious prospects, and all that remains in the end are fragmented concepts that fall to the wayside.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Tiff Review: 'Borgman' Director Alex Van Warmerdam's Relentless, Volatile, And Damn Funny 'Schneider Vs. Bax'

Relentlessly paced, with the volatile ferocity of a rabid pitbull, "Schneider vs. Bax" is, above all else, pretty damn funny. That's if you're into Alex van Warmerdam's distinctive brand of humor. He strikes me as the kind of surgeon who would wear a clown nose while preforming a life-or-death operation, just to lighten up the mood in the room. It's this kind of dark, caustic drollness that takes center stage in the Dutch director's absurd comedy of errors about two hitmen pitted against one another. More playful, but less compelling, than his previous film — the endlessly engrossing "Borgman" — this latest picture won't make too many lasting impressions, but it's a helluva ride in the moment. It's Tuesday, and Schneider (Tom Dewispelaere) is awakened by his lovely wife Lucy (Loes Haverkort) and two young adorable daughters singing him "Happy Birthday." He barely gets a word in edgewise before his handler Mertens (Gene Bervoets) calls.
See full article at The Playlist »

Top 100 Horror Movies: How Truly Horrific Are They?

Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Definitive Scary Scenes from Non-Horror Movies: 10-1

10. Deliverance (1972)

Scene: Squeal Like a Piggy

Video: http://youtu.be/WqNMjZpSbnU

Word to the wise: just because someone plays a mighty fine banjo, it doesn’t mean he or any of his kin should be invited to your family picnic. Based on the James Dickey novel of the same name, Deliverance follows four businessmen as they decide to spend a weekend canoeing down a fictional river before it needs to be flooded. Lewis (Burt Reynolds) leads the crew as the most experienced, followed closely by Ed (Jon Voight). The two novices Bobby and Drew (Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox) also join them. So, in remote Georgia, the four men set out to take in the beauty of nature. Before setting off, they come across a group of mountain men, all of which appear to be inbred. Drew engages in a banjo duet with one of the teenagers, but he doesn’t
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The supernatural need not apply: 5 great examples of existential horror

The supernatural need not apply: 5 great examples of existential horror
The 1988 Dutch thriller The Vanishing hit Blu-ray this week, thanks to the good folks at Criterion. Without a drop of gore, it’s the perfect centerpiece for an All Saints’ Eve frightfest that shivers the soul but doesn’t turn the stomach. And why not round out that scare-a-thon with four more examples of great, relatively bloodless movies that go for your soul instead of your jugular? Here's a list of suggestions. (And if you're looking for more traditional horror flicks, consider perusing our carefully-curated Horror Quintessentials lists.) The Vanishing (1988) The horror genre tends to be about as subtle as
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

Criterion Collection: The Vanishing | Blu-ray Review

Remastered just in time for Halloween, Criterion dusts off George Sluizer’s classic psychological thriller The Vanishing for a Blu-ray release. The Dutch-French co-production stands as the filmmaker’s most internationally renowned and enduring work, its sterling reputation still managing to overshadow Sluizer’s own ill-conceived English language remake from 1992 with a cast headlined by Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, and Sandra Bullock (plus a fresh faced Nancy Travis, a name that often gets neglected in flippant references to the production). With Sluizer’s passing in September of 2014, it’s an eerily timed re-release of his signature work.

A Dutch couple on a road trip, Rex (Gene Bervoets) and Saskia (Johanna ter Steege) run out of gasoline. A heated argument leads to reconciliation, and they properly refuel at a gas station rest stop packed with tourists due to the Tour de France. Saskia goes into the store to get drinks and never returns,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Vanishing (1988)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Oct. 28, 2014

Price: DVD $24.95, Blu-ray $39.95

Studio: Criterion

Johanna ter Steege and Gene Bervoets in The Vanishing.

Dutch filmmaker George Sluizer’s 1988 mystery-thriller The Vanishing is written by Tim Krabbe, who adapted his own novel.

The movie focuses on a young man (Gene Bervoets) who embarks on an obsessive search for the girlfriend who mysteriously disappeared while the couple were taking a sunny vacation trip. Now, his three-year investigation draws the attention of her abductor (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu), a mild-mannered professor with a diabolically clinical mind.

An unorthodox love story and a truly unsettling thriller, The Vanishing unfolds with meticulous intensity, leading to an unforgettable finale that has unnerved audiences around the world.

Presented in Dutch and French with English subtitles, the Criterion Blu-ray and DVD editions contain the following features:

• New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

• New interview with director George Sluizer

• New
See full article at Disc Dish »

31 Days of Horror: 100 Greatest Horror Films: #10-1

Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time around for one simple reason: that is, the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. Enjoy!

Special Mention:

Un chien andalou

Directed by Luis Buñuel

Written by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel

France, 1929

The dream – or nightmare – has been a staple of horror cinema for decades. In 1929, Luis Bunuel joined forces with Salvador Dali to create Un chien andalou, an experimental and unforgettable 17-minute surrealist masterpiece.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

100 + Greatest Horror Movies (pt.6) 25-1

Throughout the month of October, Editor-in-Chief and resident Horror expert Ricky D, will be posting a list of his favorite Horror films of all time. The list will be posted in six parts. Click here to see every entry.

As with all lists, this is personal and nobody will agree with every choice – and if you do, that would be incredibly disturbing. It was almost impossible for me to rank them in order, but I tried and eventually gave up.

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Special Mention:

Shock Corridor

Directed by Samuel Fuller

Written by Samuel Fuller

1963, USA

Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose the killer at the local insane asylum. In order to solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum, Barrett sets to work, interrogating the other patients and keeping a close eye on the staff.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Greatest Horror Movies Ever Made Part 7: The 62 Greatest (# 31-1)

31 – Rosemary’s Baby

Directed by Roman Polanski

USA, 1968

Roman Polanski’s brilliant horror-thriller was nominated for two Oscars, winning Best Supporting Actress for Ruth Gordon. The director’s first American film, adapted from Ira Levin’s horror bestseller, is a spellbinding and twisted tale of Satanism and pregnancy. Supremely mounted, the film benefits from it’s strong atmosphere, apartment setting, eerie childlike score and polished production values by cinematographer William Fraker. The cast is brilliant, with Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes as the young couple playing opposite Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer, the elderly neighbors. There is ominous tension in the film from first frame to last – the climax makes for one of the greatest endings of all time. Rarely has a film displayed such an uncompromising portrait of betrayal as this one. Career or marriage – which would you choose?

30 – Eraserhead

Directed by David Lynch

USA, 1977

Filmed intermittently over the course of a five-year period,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Greatest Horror Movies Ever Made Part 7: 50 Greatest Horror Films (# 15-1)

25 – Halloween

Directed by John Carpenter

1978 – Us

A historical milestone that single-handedly shaped and altered the future of the entire genre. This seminal horror flick actually gets better with age; it’s downright transcendent and holds up with determination as an effective thriller that will always stand head and shoulders above the hundreds of imitators to come. Halloween had one hell of an influence on the entire film industry. You have to admire how Carpenter avoids explicit onscreen violence, and achieves a considerable power almost entirely through visual means, using its widescreen frame, expert hand-held camerawork, and terrifying foreground and background imagery.

24 – Black Christmas

Directed by Bob Clark

1974 – Canada

We never did find out who Billy was. Maybe it’s for the best, since they never made any sequels to Bob Clark’s seminal slasher film, a film which predates Carpenter’s Halloween by four years. Whereas Texas Chainsaw Massacre, released the same year,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Tiff Picks 09: Alex van Warmerdam's The Last Days of Emma Blank

[/link] Of Emma Blank Director: Alex van WarmerdamCast: Marlies Heuer, Gene Bervoets, Annet Malherbe, Eva van de Wijdeven, Gijs NaberDistributor: Rights Available. Buzz: Can't say that I'm familiar with the Dutch film industry or helmer Alex van Warmerdam, but I've made room in my schedule for this dark comedy based on a couple of stills and the trailer. Tiff's Dimitri Eipides describes this as "a dark comedy so cynical it's bound to make your head spin. The director even casts himself as a dog. Alex van Warmerdam pushes his way forward with a brilliant adaptation of a near-impossible screenplay." I could see this being a fit on a label such as IFC Films. The Gist: Emma is a lady living in high style, surrounded by family members who double as maids and servants. Everyone hopes Emma’s bad health will soon do her in, letting them inherit her substantial wealth.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

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