Weekend Forecast for October 18-20, 2013
By Reagen Sulewski
October 18, 2013
You knew it couldn't last forever. Two weeks of Oscar contenders is followed this week by... a horror film and an action team-up that we'd probably have been really excited about 20 years ago. And, okay, a film that might be throwing in for some Oscar potential, but not, like, as a major one. Look, I told you not to get used to it last week.
Leading the way is Carrie, the update of the 1976 adaptation (feel free to smack anyone who says “they finally made a movie out of that?”) of Stephen King's first novel, about a young girl with telekinetic powers who is pushed past her brink and just decides to kill everyone (look, if the film's own commercials can't respect spoilers, you can't expect me to). Chloe Grace Moretz steps into the title role initially played by Sissy Spacek (and which earned her her first Oscar nomination) looking ages younger than Spacek did – which is for good reason, since Spacek was 27 compared to Moretz's 16. Now, Julianne Moore as the psychotic hyper-religious abusive mother – that's aces casting.
While remakes of horror films are often quite pointless affairs meant to simply ramp up the gore to today's standards, Carrie is a story that might actually have more resonance today, thanks to the greater attention paid to bullying, particularly by girls to other girls. While I won't go so far as to paint this as some kind of PSA or After School Special (don't bully or you might get telekinetically killed! A lesson for us all), but it does seem to be a least aware of the issue. Director Kimberly Peirce – most famous for Boys Don't Cry – would seem to be the best possible director to put onto this project if you were aiming for that kind of approach. Of course, the film is ultimately going to be judged on its horror creds, although by the nature of the story, that's limited to the frenetic end. Will today's horror fans have the patience to sit through 90 minutes of teen drama to get to the destruction? That's more of a question for what the word-of-mouth will be, but looking at it from the perspective of how it's being sold, this should capture a lot of those fans, and use its female-focused story to pull in an audience that can sometimes be reluctant to see horror. With this in mind, I'd give it a good chance at a minor breakout to around $26 million this weekend.
Escape Plan features the pairing of two of the hottest actors of yesteryear, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Stallone plays a security expert who has himself placed within facilities he's designed in order to find their weak points. Only *this* time, the prison he's dropped into might really be unescapable what with its fancy electronics and eerie identically masked guards and whatnot. And with no one having a record that he's really not a hardened criminal, he may be utterly screwed. And yet! Why not team up with an actual criminal in the form of Arnold - looking rather cootish in this role, though the artificial (?) grey hair certainly goes some way towards that.