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In this week's Field Notes From Hell, I tackle a J-horror blunder, the 2021 film, 'Cube.' Plus, what Marvel is doing right with 'Moon Knight.'
Welcome to Field Notes From Hell—the weekly roundup email from my twisted newsletter, Deep Cuts. Each dispatch contains key horror news, thoughts on recent horror films, and personal life updates.
Here are this week’s Field Notes:
The Japanese remake of Cube is rather…pointed
I wouldn’t call Vincenzo Natali’s 1997 cult fave, Cube, a perfect film. It has way too much on its mind for its minimalist get-up: a claustrophobic cube of cubes that confine deathly traps and half-written characters. It was also the poster film for the kind of portrayal that people with autism have had to push aside.
The new Japanese remake, some twenty years later since the original, hopes to resurge the films’ thrills. Directed by Yasuhiko Shimizu, the film replicates Natali’s film, opening with a kill that feels like nothing but a dull derivative of the original’s iconic cold open. As the film dismembers its first pound of flesh, we get a positive inkling that we’re treading familiar waters.
And we’re right. The 2021 remake is virtually the same film (not necessarily a bad thing, but it needs to have merit), and the interesting bits are few and far between. Where Natali’s original deluged a ton of existential out-loud-thinking, Shimizu’s remake riddles its already wobbly story with needless melodrama.
Moon Knight is a welcome detour
Marvel’s TV efforts are leaps and bounds more interesting than their increasingly generic, giga-budget films. WandaVision, Loki, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — all interesting and challenging and unique.
No one can convince this writer that the most recent Spider-Man film is worthy of an Oscar. But you know who deserves an Oscar? The collective public. And I’m glad Marvel decided to give us Oscar Isaac in a role that rivals Tom Hardy’s turn in Venom, what with the ridiculous English accent, perfectly parted curls, and convincing nerdom over Ancient Egypt.
But what’s exciting about Moon Knight is Marvel’s continued trust in matching their I.P. with the right filmmakers. They’ve already bet their chips on an up-and-coming young Egyptian showrunner with Mohamed Diab. And this week’s episode is directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Syncrhonic), two filmmakers with the skills to unpack the series’ time-jumping antics.
Can’t wait to see where things head from here.
Latest horror news and trailers
Much horror news to talk about this week: FKA twigs will star alongside Bill Skarsgård in Rupert Sanders’ The Crow; early buzz for David Cronenberg’s film, Crimes of the Future, are here (and it sounds promising!); and Severance gets a Season Two order!
More on these after the bump. For now, let’s get you in front of new horror trailers, why don’t we? If you only have time for one, check out Gaspar Noé’s Lux Aeterna.
Now onto this week’s most noteworthy horror news:
FKA Twigs has been cast in the upcoming The Crow 🃏 reboot.
The Walking Dead 🧟♂️ is finally wrapping up after 12 years.
Robert Eggers’ Hansel & Gretel 🍭 short film is up now on YouTube.
That’s about everything for now, horror fans! I’ll see you on the next one.