"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 30 October 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.





Horror movies, as the Scream franchise has so profitably demonstrated, require only a few time-tested props and premises to achieve their success these days: the hack director, the trendy soundtrack, the MTV-ready trailer, and most important, the one unique angle that can help distinguish a project from all its look-alike brethren via a catchy title and a memorable tagline.

Lately, however, Hollywood's shockmeisters appear unable to meet this challenge. Halloween H20 mainly proved that Jamie Lee Curtis' plastic surgeon is far more skillful with a knife than Michael Myers could ever hope to be. Urban Legend was just Seven for atheists. And Gus Van Sant's upcoming shot-for-shot exercise in re-Psycho-ing Hitchcock for the children of Kevin Williamson appears destined to establish a new benchmark for unabashedly Craven autocannibalism.

Isn't it time for some fresh blood? Some new twists on old ideas, instead of old twists on old ideas? With that in mind, we offer the following Halloween treats to all the freaks, bloodsuckers, and myriad other scary monsters of Hollywood: five high-concepts in search of low-to-moderate financing.

Next ... Natal attraction!

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