Horror Sommelier: February 23rd, 2018

Every week join Brennan Klein, your horror sommelier, as he runs through the upcoming theatrical releases and pairs them with the perfect horror film for a killer double feature.

 

ANNIHILATION

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Directed by: Alex Garland
Starring: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Benedict Wong, Oscar Isaac

Rating: R
Run Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Synopsis: A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don't apply.


 

Pairing: 28 DAYS LATER… (2002)

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When Alex Garland has a new movie coming out, the only difficult thing about choosing a double feature is the sheer variety of awesome works the dude has pumped out over the years. For my money, if you’re going the horror route, go no further than the Danny Boyle epic 28 Days Later…, which Alex Garland wrote back at the turn of the millennium. This rage zombie masterpiece is a nerve-jangling, awe-inspiring piece with political undertones and some truly spectacular shots of the vast, empty British countryside that are intercut with aggressive shots of adrenaline right to the heart. I frankly kind of loathe the crummy digital cinematography in the movie, but everything else is cranked up to 11!


 

GAME NIGHT

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Directed by: John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein
Starring: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Billy Magnussen, Kyle Chandler, Sharon Horgan, Jesse Plemons

Rating: R
Run Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Synopsis: Max and Annie's weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max's brother Brooks arranges a murder mystery party -- complete with fake thugs and federal agents. So when Brooks gets kidnapped, it's all supposed to be part of the game. As the competitors set out to solve the case, they start to learn that neither the game nor Brooks are what they seem to be. The friends soon find themselves in over their heads as each twist leads to another unexpected turn over the course of one chaotic night.



 

Pairing: FEAR, INC. (2016)

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Here’s a recent film that not nearly enough people paid attention to. This meta horror flick from Vincent Masciale is another take on the formula brought to the mainstream by David Fincher’s The Game. Taking on the escape room fad rather than the murder mystery night that Game Night is parodying, Fear Inc. sees a young man paying a company to turn his life into a horror film that may or may not turn out to be despicably real. It’s full of fun, detailed little winks to classic horror films that show off just how much the filmmakers really genuinely care about the genre.


 

EVERY DAY

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Directed by: Michael Sucsy
Starring: Angourie Rice, Justice Smith, Owen Teague, Maria Bello

Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Rhiannon falls in love with A, a mysterious spirit who inhabits a different body every day. Feeling an unmatched connection, Rhiannon and A try to find each other on a daily basis, always unsure of what or who the next day will bring. Soon, the realities of loving someone who is a different person every 24 hours starts to take its toll, leaving Rhiannon and A to face the hardest decision either has ever had to make.



 

Pairing: WARM BODIES (2013)

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The teen paranormal romance subgenre that cropped up after the massive success of Twilight is mostly not something that interests me, but Warm Bodies – from 50/50 and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane director Jonathan Levine – is a sterling exception. A delightful relationship between a human survivor and a lovestruck zombie develops in this movie, which has all the bubbly charm and horror genre inflection that the Stephenie Meyer series lacks (there’s literally a reference to Lucio Fulci’s Zombie. Like, come on!).