timespace coordinates: 2000’s Spiderwick Estate in New EnglandThe Spiderwick Chronicles is a 2008 American fantasy adventure film based on the bestselling book series of the same name by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. It was directed by Mark Waters and stars Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Short, Nick Nolte, and Seth Rogen. Set in the Spiderwick Estate in New England, it follows the adventures of Jared Grace and his family as they discover a field guide to fairies while battling goblins, mole trolls, and other magical creatures. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 1888 Transylvania
Van Helsing is a 2004 American dark fantasy action comedy written and directed by Stephen Sommers. It stars Hugh Jackman as vigilante monster hunter Van Helsing, and Kate Beckinsale as Anna Valerious. The film is an homage and tribute to the Universal Horror Monster films from the 1930s and ’40s (also produced by Universal Studios which were in turn based on novels by Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley), of which Sommers is a fan.
The eponymous character was inspired by the Dutch vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing from Irish author Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. The film includes a number of monsters such as Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and werewolves in a way similar to the multi-monster movies that Universal produced in the 1940s, such as Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula.
Sommers expanded the story of Van Helsing in two direct spin-offs:
- The animated prequel titled Van Helsing: The London Assignment takes place before the main events of the film, focusing on Van Helsing’s mission to try to stop Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from terrorizing London.
- There is also a one-shot comic book, published by Dark Horse Comics, titled Van Helsing: From Beneath the Rue Morgue, that follows Van Helsing on a self-contained adventure that occurs during the events of the film, just after the death of Jekyll/Hyde in Paris but before Van Helsing returned to Rome. In the adventure, Van Helsing deals with Doctor Moreau and his hybrid mutants.
In May 2012, Universal Pictures announced that they would be rebooting the film with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci as a two-year deal to produce a modern reimagining and Tom Cruise to star as the title character and also produce the film. Rupert Sanders is in talks to direct the film. Orci spoken to IGN that he has hinted that both The Mummy and Van Helsing reboots will have a shared universe. On November 11, 2015, Variety reports that Jon Spaihts and Eric Heisserer will write the reboot, but Cruise left the film. However, in 2016, Cruise signed back on to star in Kurtzman’s The Mummy, which was released in theaters on June 9, 2017. (wiki)
spacetime coordinates: 2020 – 2021 upstate New York
Speaking of the political and social commentary the film encouraged, director Krasinski said, “The best compliment you can get on any movie is that it starts a conversation. The fact that people are leaving and talking about anything is really fun—but certainly about deep stuff like that, is awesome.” Krasinski, who did not grow up with horror films, said that prior films of the genre such as Don’t Breathe (2016) and Get Out (2017) that had societal commentary were part of his research. In addition to considering his film a metaphor for parenthood, he compared the premise to US politics in 2018, “I think in our political situation, that’s what’s going on now: You can close your eyes and stick your head in the sand, or you can try to participate in whatever’s going on.” He cited Jaws (1975) as an influence, with how the protagonist police officer moved from New York to an island to avoid frightening situations, and was forced to encounter one in his new location with shark attacks.
Matthew Monagle of Film School Rejects said A Quiet Place seemed to be “the early frontrunner for the sparsely intellectual horror movie of the year”, like previous films The Babadook (2014) and The Witch (2015). Monagle said Krasinski, who had directed two previous films, was “making an unusual pivot into a genre typically reserved for newcomers”, and considered it to be part of a movement toward horror films layered “in storytelling, [with] character beats not typically found in a horror movie”. Tatiana Tenreyro, writing for Bustle, said while A Quiet Place was not a silent film, “It is the first of its kind within the modern horror genre for how little spoken dialogue it actually has.” She said the rare moments of spoken dialogue “give depth to this horror movie, showing how the narrative defies the genre’s traditional films even further”.
Bishop Robert Barron was surprised by strikingly religious themes in the film. He likened the family’s primitive, agrarian life of silence to monasticism, and commends their self-giving love. Barron noted the pervasive pro-life themes, especially in the choices of the parents, as Mrs. Abbott risks everything to give birth to a child, and her husband lays down his own life so that the children can live: what Barron sees as the ultimate expression of parental love. Sonny Bunch of the Washington Post also commented and expanded on a pro-life message.
Krasinski, who had recently become a new father, said in a conference interview “I was already in a state of terror about whether or not I was a good enough father,” and added that the meaning of parenthood had been elevated for him by imagining being a father in a nightmare world, struggling to simply keep his children alive. Jonathan Hetterly, writing in Shrinktank, saw the film’s whole premise as a commentary on modern American paranoid parenting, saying that Krasinski “viewed the premise as a metaphor for a parent’s worst fears”.
Krasinski himself has told CBS News “The scares were secondary to how powerful this could be as an allegory or metaphor for parenthood. For me, this is all about parenthood.” (wiki)
spacetime coordinates: 2017 San Diego / Wyoming / Everglades > ChicagoRampage is a 2018 American science fiction monster film directed by Brad Peyton, and loosely based on the video game series of the same name by Midway Games. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It follows a primatologist named Davis Okoye who must team up with George, an albino gorilla who turns into a raging creature of enormous size as a result of a rogue experiment, to stop two other mutated animals from destroying Chicago. It is the third collaboration between Peyton and Johnson, following Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) and San Andreas (2015). (wiki)It is the all-time best reviewed film based on a video game, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
The Crazies is a 2010 American science fiction horror film directed by Breck Eisner, with a screenplay by Scott Kosar and Ray Wright. The film is a remake of the 1973 film of the same name by George A. Romero, who is an executive producer of the remake. The original film follows two stories, one about the civilians and soldiers in the town and the other following politicians and military leaders away from the town. The remake focuses on a family that lives in the town and has to survive the outbreak.The Crazies stars Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell. The film takes place in the fictional town of Ogden Marsh, Pierce County, Iowa, “friendliest place on Earth,” whose town water supply is accidentally infected with the “Trixie” virus. After an incubation period of 48 hours, this virus gradually transforms the mental state of the infected into that of cold, calculating, depraved, bloodthirsty killers, who then prey on family and neighbors alike.
Tomb Raider is a 2018 action-adventure film directed by Roar Uthaug, with a screenplay by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons, from a story by Evan Daugherty and Robertson-Dworet. It is based on the 2013 video game of the same name, with some elements of its sequel by Crystal Dynamics, and is a reboot of the Tomb Raider film series. The film stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, who embarks on a perilous journey to her father’s last-known destination, hoping to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, and Kristin Scott Thomas appear in supporting roles.Producer Adrian Askarieh told IGN in an interview that he may oversee a film universe with Just Cause, Hitman, Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and Thief. Askarieh however is not officially accredited with the production of this movie. (wiki)