At first, the strange intrigue around “The Interview” seemed like a brilliant ploy by Sony to get attention for a holiday release that, though controversial, looked like a box office dud. The whole thing, delightfully nasty leaked emails aside, looked like a marketing plan gone terribly wrong.
I mean, look at this message from the purported North Korean hackers:
“The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”
It reads like a line from a South Park movie.
Well, Sony has now pulled the movie’s Christmas Day release and Homeland Security’s involved so it must be real. Some want to let pirates distribute it. But Sony can turn this lump of coal into a great gift for consumers — by simply switching the theatrical release to a streaming release.
“The Interview” could be the best test case ever for releasing a first-run movie via streaming now that the viewing public has been primed by round-the-clock publicity. Terror threats presumably would not be part of a normal first-run streaming release but the necessity, in the case of “The Interview,” of moving the whole shebang online to avoid violence creates an interesting paradigm for future releases. It would be cool to watch uncut interviews from the movie junkets, maybe a fake red carpet (shot on a soundstage) and all the trailers in one place as part of the price of admission.
Of course, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu may not want to touch this because of potential hacking danger to their own online systems, but it is a real shame that this threat could stop even a supposedly silly movie like “The Interview” from being seen.
I got to playing with my AppleTV last weekend after a long-delayed software update and spent an embarrassing amount of time on Vimeo, a curated channel for indie filmmakers. Streaming TV is giving audiences access to amazing and innovative content — in the same way that Netflix and Blockbuster Online brought the independent film movement mainstream. This little animated short was one of my favorites: http://vimeo.com/82542938
Here’s a list of the main streaming services and how they work.
October is the perfect time for horror-movie binge watching, and Netflix provides some excellent options. This Halloween, try streaming a few of these scary movies:
The Dark Humor
If you’re a horror-movie fanatic, you may enjoy your comedy with a side of creepy. If you want to laugh as much as squirm, Odd Thomas won’t leave you disappointed. The movie follows the escapades of the aptly named “Odd,” a short-order cook with the gift of seeing the supernatural. Anton Yelchin manages to portray depth and tragedy right alongside humor and levity in this fantasy-horror movie. Odd Thomas is funny, gruesome, and at times surprisingly heart-wrenching – definitely worth the watch.
The Teen Scream
What slumber-party in the nineties was complete without the witchy-revenge of The Craft? When the main character moves to a new town, she finds friends in three other outcasts rumored to be witches. When the girls discover their power to get payback on kids at school, things get dark quickly, and the newcomer must find a way to escape the group with her life. Get a bag of popcorn and a bottle of glitter nail polish and let the good times roll.
The Mind Trip
The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods is really a tribute to horror movie fans everywhere. I love that even though the movie is filled with archetypes, stereotypes, and seemingly familiar horror-movie plots, even the most die-hard horror fan will find something new and surprising in this rollercoaster ride of a movie. The movie starts out typically enough, with a group of college students heading for a weekend at a cabin in the woods. But nothing is what it seems in this tale, and the college students soon discover a world where horror plays a distinct and crucial role.
The Haunted House (With a Twist)
Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin is all grown-up and seems to have a real knack for horror. She stars in this story of a haunted house, or rather a haunted family, stuck in a time loop seemingly without end. The only person who seems to notice this loop is the teenage daughter, so she takes it upon herself to try to free her family from eternal déjà vu. Personally, I liked that the audience knows from the beginning that the family are haunting the house. It puts more focus of a deeper plot that gives this haunting-horror movie a unique twist.
Ah, Roman Polanski’s classic. A young couple move into a new apartment, and the wife thinks that life is going great – her actor husband has landed a dream role and they are expecting their first child. But she slowly grows suspicious that their intrusive neighbors have a dangerous, slightly Satanic interest in her unborn child. Even if you don’t normally watch horror movies, this mystery thriller should be the top of any to-watch list.