In this week’s movie trailer round-up, two horror franchises return, Iron Man takes a turn toward the morose, Bruce Willis makes more wisecracks and Nicholas Sparks cashes another check. Roll ‘em! EVIL DEAD Release Date: April 12, 2013
As if a normal, theatrical trailer simply wouldn’t have been gross enough, the trio of studios behind the “Evil Dead” remake decided to unleash a red-band trailer (previewed at New York Comic-Con) online, so that fans of the horror classic could revel in all of its tongue-puncturing glory. Those with a weak stomach should not take a gander at this trailer — but then again, those with a weak stomach aren’t the ones interested in seeing how Sam Raimi’s splatter-fest will be recreated for the Twitter generation. The gory nuances are there, from the chainsawing to the arm-sawing to unrelenting depravity of the graphic imagery (we see you, cheek-less undead girl!). But where’s the humor? The original “Evil Dead” was a camp classic because it was campy, and while this straightforward horror rehashing might offer a new spin, it also might be a terrible “Silent Hill” knockoff. Here’s to hoping that “Evil Dead” honors the 1981 original’s schlock values, which are just as crucial as the vomit-inducing punches of terror. A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD Release Date: Feb. 14, 2013
Most of the action in the new trailer for the fifth “Die Hard” installment was already revealed in the first preview earlier this month , making this one a bit more expendable. Still, there are a few subtle nuggets of John McClane cantankerousness to nibble upon, including Bruce Willis’ uncomfortable expression as he sits between two fidgety ladies on a plane ride to Moscow. Meanwhile, the final exchange — “Need a hug?” “We’re not a hugging family.” “Damn straight.” — suggests that the father-son story of “A Good Day To Die Hard” will be handled more appropriately than the introduction of McClane’s daughter in “Live Free or Die Hard.” This trailer isn’t required viewing if you’ve seen the first one, but hey, every weekday could use an injection of John McClane’s crotchety wisdom. CARRIE Release Date: Mar. 15, 2013 One month before the new “Evil Dead” hits theaters and two months after “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D” arrives, yet another horror reboot arrives at the beginning of 2013, when “Carrie” slashes its way into theaters in March. Director Kimberly Peirce has had untapped potential since “Boys Don’t Cry,” while “Hugo’s” Chloe Grace Moretz (who is only 15!) has promise as the telekinetic killer that Sissy Spacek made famous. And yet… this teaser trailer leaves us cold. WIth nothing but tired voice-overs and a “gotcha!” reveal of the blood-soaked heroine at the finale, this preview basically says, “Hey! Remember ‘Carrie’? This is that, again!” Even in teaser form, there’s not a semblance of a reason as to why this “Carrie” will expand upon the original, or even its awful sequel. Dear MGM/Screen Gems: allow the Stephen King classic to reintroduce itself to a new generation of horror fans. DRAGON Release Date: Nov. 30 This martial arts-based Cannes selection, which will receive a limited theatrical release in the States next month, posits itself as an action-packed “History of Violence.” Unlike David Cronenberg’s pensive drama about a former criminal whose samaritan act brings his shady past back into the fold, Peter Chan’s story appears to be built on brute force, with character studies taking a backseat to loosened filling and “Crouching Tiger”-esque acrobatics. That said, “Dragon’s” trailer is well-rounded, with badass declarations (“I’m not going back… You must die”) given as much screen time as the philosophical ponderings presented to our hero, played by Donnie Yen. It’s hard to say whether “Dragon” could become a “Kung Fu Hustle”-sized crossover hit, but this new look has us Americans highly intrigued. MUST-SEE TRAILER OF THE WEEK IRON MAN 3 Release Date: May 3, 2013 Remember when Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” series decided to get “dark” in its third (and worst, and ultimately final) installment? Let’s hope that the “Iron Man” franchise doesn’t share a similar fate, and the first trailer for “Iron Man 3″ is startlingly smile-free. With director Jon Favreau releasing the reins to Shane Black, Tony Stark’s winks and wisecracks are replaced by universally grave expressions (could Don Cheadle possibly look more concerned?), talk of regret and apology, Ben Kingsley’s close-up as the evil Mandarin, and Iron Man masks that are either ripped off or broken into bits. The climax is the dismantling of Stark’s hillside mansion, but perhaps the most memorable image is the final one, with Robert Downey Jr. sorrowfully dragging his superhero suit behind him through the fallen snow. We may be witnessing the first moves of the “Iron Man” movies toward a “Dark Knight”-like bleakness, and whether or not that’s a strong play, this trailer effectively establishes a mood. Stakes will be raised, answers will not be as clear-cut, and movie theaters will be packed, as they should be.