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Trailer Tracker: Trance, The Last Exorcism: Part II, and more

From vague titles to those that make no sense whatsoever, this week on Trailer Tracker we have horror, indie and B-movie fare on the docket. First is Danny Boyle’s latest effort Trance starring James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson. After the low budget The Last Exorcism scored some solid dough in 2010, Lionsgate decided a follow-up was a feasible option and thus comes the trailer for The Last Exorcism: Part II. 

After its well received debut at Cannes, Matthew McConaughey extends his streak of winning indie roles with Mud, a southern set thriller in the spirit of Huckleberry Finn but with a darker, crime-centric twist. Finally, former A-lister and Oscar winner Halle Berry continues her descent in oblivion with The Call, a direct-to-DVD-calibre thriller about a police dispatcher trying to stop a killer. You rang? This is Trailer Tracker.



Danny Boyle is nothing if not an eclectic director, having dabbled in horror, sci-fi, comedy and drama both foreign and domestic (depending on where your foreign and domestic ties land of course). This time Boyle simultaneously tackles the heist film and psychological thriller in Trance starring James McAvoy as an art auctioneer who joins with a group of criminals to steal a painting. But after a blow to the head makes him forget where he stashed the prize (and with the baddies understandably peeved) he undergoes hypnotherapy sessions to recover his memory. But what is real? 

Boyle has been pretty much in the clouds in his post The Beach days, having crafted a string of acclaimed movies and earning himself some Oscars along the way. Here, McAvoy is joined by Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel and written by frequent collaborator John Hodge. There is nothing to suggest the filmmaker’s jump to thriller territory wont be as bountiful as his other genre hops, and if anything the trailer promises a slick looking diversion, even if this isn’t the kind of fare that garners awards consideration. 

The Last Exorcism: Part II 

It’s rarely a good idea to make a sequel to a horror film, as is it unwise to do so for a film that sports a title that indicates a standalone effort, and certainly as is it to make the jumping off point of said sequel the ending that killed the original. Continuing with the mini-craze of found footage exorcist thrillers, The Last Exorcism: Part II picks up with female lead Nell in the wake of, uh, whatever was supposed to be happening in “Part One’s” climax. If the prospects of this follow-up weren’t shaky enough, the trailer is neither scary, nor does it offer anything remotely original to the flailing subgenre.


After winning 2012 performances in Killer Joe, Magic Mike and Bernie, Matthew McConaughey has easily managed to rinse the stink of his rom com days from his bronze skin, and doesn’t look to be letting up with upcoming roles that include Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club. The most under the radar however is Mud, a film that competed for the Palme d’Or last year and will make an appearance at Sundance in 2013. In Mud McConaughey plays a mysterious drifter who wins over the trust of two teenagers, who then aid him in escaping his past. Praise was strong for the film from Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) so we’ll have to see if this newly mature Matthew McConaughey can win over some award voters as well as fans and critics.


The Call 

About the polar opposite to McConaughey, after winning her Oscar for Monster’s Ball, starring as a Bond girl and frying toads in a major blockbuster franchise, Halle Berry has sank off the radar with a string of little-seen indies and B-movie clunkers. Such a run continues with The Call, a direct-to-DVD-calibre thriller inexplicably getting a wide release in March. Following a police dispatcher whose previous actions resulted in a death, she is given a chance at redemption when she receives a call from a victim being pursued by the same killer. Cue the done-to-death rescue operation with the victim communicating from the trunk of a car. 

The only glimmer of hope in this film is that The Call is directed by Brad Anderson who has brought us quality flicks Session 9, The Machinist and Transsiberian. Unfortunately he also helmed the horrid Vanishing on 7th Street in 2011, which puts this flick squarely in the “skip it” realm for me.





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