In 2009, actor Liam Neeson starred in Pierre Morel’s surprise sleeper hit Taken, and what began was an onslaught of early year/before spring Neeson action releases that solidified the star as playing aging, ‘could-be real life’ superheroes. Since then, there are only two things certain about early action film releases; there will always be one featuring kick-ass icon Jason Statham playing the younger, balder super human hero, and one featuring Neeson, usually playing a wrinkled, more seasoned action star who could very well be your father (or grandfather)–which was badass three films ago. Deep down I am secretly waiting for Hollywood to come to their senses and announce a showdown between the two action superstars. Now talk about a kick-ass early year action release that we kinda saw coming.
Halloween has a very fundamental, ABC rubric in the cinematic film world; A usually stands for absurdity, and the countless absurd efforts to scare people in a genre that defines it’s own rules; B is for blood, lots and lots of blood; and C is for Carrie. Hailed as the most popular film to watch on Halloween, Carrie has been in the film world since its first adaptation in 1976, a performance made iconic by Sissy Spacek. Since then, the character has really struggled to find any solid footing in a sequel and a made for television movie. In its third attempt, director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry, Stop-Loss) delivers a surprisingly satisfying modern retelling of beloved horror novelist Stephen King’s first ever published novel. Serving more as an homage and ode to the novel and classic film, Peirce and company tip their hats and inevitably add small nuanced changes to the story as it appeals to a new generation that can understand the ridicule and embarrassment of traumatic high school pranks with the inclusion of social media and modern technology. Yes, Facebook and smartphones have a lot to do with Carrie’s demising high school reputation.