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Amy Seimetz (#110 of 5)

Pet Sematary Remake, Starring Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz, Gets Trailer

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Pet Sematary Remake, Starring Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz, Gets Trailer

Paramount Pictures

Pet Sematary Remake, Starring Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz, Gets Trailer

Mary Lambert’s Pet Sematary, which was released the same year as the filmmaker made Madonna’s iconic “Like a Prayer” video, hasn’t aged as well as other Stephen King adaptations from the era. As such, it will come as a surprise to no one that a remake is on the horizon. Directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer from a screenplay by David Kajganich and Jeff Buhler, the new Pet Sematary follows a doctor, Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), and his wife, Rachel (Amy Seimetz), who stumble upon a mysterious burial ground near their family’s new home in rural Maine. Tragedy naturally strikes, forcing Louis to turn to an unusual neighbor (played by the reliably unusual John Lithgow) and in the process unleashing an unfathomable evil that will no doubt have hyperbolic consequences.

Film Comment Selects 2014: The Sacrament Review

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Film Comment Selects 2014: <em>The Sacrament</em> Review
Film Comment Selects 2014: <em>The Sacrament</em> Review

With The Sacrament, director Ti West has bitten off more of a premise than his classically modest barebones approach to horror movies can presently chew. The film opens with text describing the working practices of VICE Media, which specializes in “immersion journalism.” VICE reporter Sam (AJ Bowen) explains to us that colleague Patrick (Kentucker Audley) has received a letter from his long-lost addict sister, Caroline (Amy Seimetz), stating that she’s living in a new recovery group somewhere in a suspiciously undisclosed country. Patrick is invited to join her, and Sam, understandably suspecting a potential breaking story about a religious cult, tags along with a cameraman, Jake (Joe Swanberg), in tow to shoot footage for a potential feature.

What the VICE crew initially finds, after a long helicopter ride and a prolonged navigation through a variety of forbiddingly armed wilderness checkpoints, is an encampment called Eden Parish, a cult that’s obviously informed by real groups such as the Peoples Temple Agriculture Project (better known as Jonestown) and the more recent Church of Wells. And, for a while, it appears that West is really on to something, as The Sacrament initially suggests that he’s willing to extend an unusual amount of empathy to a group that embraces sustainable farming, inexpensive medical treatment, and pretty damn good bluegrass music.

Venice Film Festival 2013 The Police Officer’s Wife, Locke, & The Sacrament

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Venice Film Festival 2013: The Police Officer’s Wife, Locke, & The Sacrament

Venice Film Festival

Venice Film Festival 2013: The Police Officer’s Wife, Locke, & The Sacrament

From the rough-hewn humanism of Gary Oldman’s Nil by Mouth to the shiny Hollywood treatment of the Ike and Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It? and everything in between, cinema has found a host of ways to portray domestic violence. But rarely can the subject have been addressed in as conceptually high-handed, chilly, and patronizing a manner as in Philip Gröning’s 175-minute slog The Police Officer’s Wife. Perhaps aiming to evoke the ruptured fabric of the small family unit on which the film focuses, but achieving only a frustratingly distancing effect, Gröning employs a self-consciously fragmented structure. The film unfolds in 59 discrete passages of varying length, each of which is bookended by excruciatingly unnecessary, fade-in-and-out captions reading “Beginning of Chapter” and “End of Chapter.” The Venice crowd initially laughed at the clanging pomposity of this device, and then became progressively, audibly, more irritated; it had easily the most walkouts of any film I saw at the festival.

Poster Lab: You’re Next

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Poster Lab: <em>You’re Next</em>
Poster Lab: <em>You’re Next</em>

Lionsgate sure has been having its fun with the poster campaign for You’re Next, the latest horror thriller from Adam Wingard, who most recently took part in the anthology sequel V/H/S/2, Rex Reed’s favorite film of the summer. The studio first released a trio of your typical, grainy, bathroom-wall-scratchiti one-sheets, with the film’s animal-mask-wearing killers glaring at the viewer, accompanied by blood stains and an overall aesthetic that’s been rampant in this genre since Se7en’s opening credits. But then, Lionsgate unleashed what I first thought was a coincidence of bus-stop-ad overlap: The superimposition of those masked killers on posters for the studio’s other films.

Therefore, it was no accident that the chipper group shot of the stars of The Big Wedding had a machete-wielding wolf crashing the party. Or that the nice quadrant poster of the Tyler Perry-produced Peeples was graced with the presence of an ax-toting sheep. I’ve heard of subliminal advertising, but this is just…bloody hilarious.

Sundance Film Festival 2013: Upstream Color and Big Sur

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Sundance Film Festival 2013: <em>Upstream Color</em> and <em>Big Sur</em>
Sundance Film Festival 2013: <em>Upstream Color</em> and <em>Big Sur</em>

With his 2004 debut, Primer, Shane Carruth challenged the long-held conventions of the sci-fi genre, taking the traditional time-travel narrative and twisting it into a dense examination of human relationships. With Upstream Color, Carruth once again offers up an imaginative but deeply disorienting film that he himself has admitted is virtually “impossible to spoil.”

From beginning to end the viewer is bombarded with a series of bizarre images, beginning with a woman, Kris (Amy Seimetz), being kidnapped and forced to ingest a maggot that subjects her to a sort of mind control. Forced to perform strange tasks and undergo a transplant surgery with a pig (seriously), she’s finally compelled to give up her entire life savings to a mysterious man, who later leaves her battered and bloody on the side of a road. Over a year after the ordeal she attempts to regain control of her life, a traumatized shell of her former self. A chance meeting on a train with a man named Jeff (played by Carruth) leads both to realize that they may be connected in a strange, possibly otherworldly conspiracy. Nothing makes sense.