Autumn Tale

What Movies Look Like This Fall


Thrills and Chills

It used to be we could count on fall's spookshow triumverate -- Michael Myers, Jason, and Freddy Krueger -- to do their bloody best to scare the bejesus out of us this time of year. These days, however, Jamie Lee Curtis is more likely to be seen padding her pocketbook with tongue-in-cheek cell phone advertisements than, well, ripping the tongue out of some ghoul's cheek. That's progress, I suppose, but maybe if we don't tell John Carpenter he'll make another great film someday. Maybe. This season's thrillers, supernatural and otherwise, include Heist, a caper flick with Delroy Lindo and Gene Hackman as master thieves out for one last score. And if you think that's not startling enough, consider that it's written and directed by dialogue-meister David Mamet. (Oct. 26)... Joy Ride, from neo-noir lynchpin John Dahl (Red Rock West), looks creepy enough from the trailers: Steve Zahn, Paul Walker, and Leelee Sobieski scare up some bad juju in the form of a trucker from hell via a CB radio they fiddle with while road tripping. Do they even make CB radios anymore? Spooky. (Oct. 5)... Don't Say a Word posits Michael Douglas as a child psychologist whose daughter has been kidnapped by the lunatic fringe and who must suddenly secure a six-digit number from the shattered mind of one of his own pro-bono patients. Whoa -- paging Dr. Excitement! (Sept. 28)... Not to be outdone in the what-the-hell?! department is David Atkins' Novocaine, in which funnyman Steve Martin plays a dentist gone awry. Wait -- haven't we seen this before? Alas, no talking, omniverous shrubbery is in sight this time out, but with costars Helena Bonham Carter and Laura Dern under the NO2 as well, we can only expect lotsa laffs and, to judge from the press photos, plenty of creative maxillary refurbishment as well. "Root canal? I thought you said rip my jaw off!" Haw! (Oct. 19)... David Lynch's Mulholland Drive -- once a TV show, now a feature film -- is also on board, with Dan Hedaya, Robert Forster, and Billy Ray Cyrus (!) doing nasty things to each other that may or may not make sense to anyone but Mr. Lynch. (Oct. 12)... Bones is former Spike Lee DP Ernest Dickerson's second foray into horror territory (the first being Demon Knight). Rapper-cum-porno king Snoop Dogg stars as an undead thug-lifer, alongside Pam "Please, Quentin, hurry up and make another film" Grier. The good news is that it's written by the scribe behind cult film Brain Dead. (Oct. 24)... Finally, hopes are ridiculously high for director Steve Beck's remake of the classic William Castle thriller 13 Ghosts, starring the always cool Tony Shalhoub, the always titillating Shannon Elizabeth, and the always irritating Matthew Lillard. And, apparently, 13 ghosts. Boo. (Oct. 26)

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