Browsing across IMDb today, I stumbled across a trailer for a film I have been deeply anticipating in 2017. Next to the thumbnail for that trailer, I saw a trailer for a film I have no positive expectations for.
CHiPs was an hour-long television show in the 70s/80s that followed two highway patrol men on their various interactions on the road. This year, we will be receiving a big-screen CHiPs remake starring Michael Pena and Dax Shepard (Shepard also writes and directs). And the film looks…problematic, to say the least.
Based on the trailer, the film looks to be taking the beat-for-beat formula of 21 Jump Street and attempting to bank on that formula’s proven success. What 21 Jump Street benefited from, though, was the talent of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Dax Shepard’s track record as a writer-director is less than stellar by comparison.
All I can say is: “Chip Happens.” Chip indeed.
On a brighter note the new trailer for Raw, the French language horror thriller from first-time feature director Julia Ducournau, was also released.
The film looks disturbing, grotesque, and utterly beautiful. Apropos of the title, there is a raw energy to the trailer that is wholly engrossing. Hopefully the film lives up to its snippets, but the footage American audiences now have should be enough to pique any horror fan’s interest.
Speaking of horror fans, XX appears to be a horror film geared straight to a niche fan audience. An anthology film helmed by four female directors, the film also sports horror alums like Sheila Vand (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) and Angela Trimbur (The Final Girls). The trailer features the two actresses for mere fractions of a second, and indeed the 90 seconds of footage we get does not reveal much about the film.
There is an inherent problem with anthology horror films. The success of the V/H/S franchise kind of jump-started this trend of indie anthology horror films that mainly go straight to VOD. They are, on the whole, hit or miss. But I don’t know if they have ever been great.
XX does feature some talent, though, that could separate it from its ilk. Karyn Kusama directs a short, and her film The Invitation made my Best of 2016 list. Roxanne Benjamin, also directing, has produced the aforementioned V/H/S and V/H/S/2, as well as the taut indie thriller Faults. And musician St. Vincent is also credited as a director on the film; not sure exactly what that will translate into.
XX is a film to keep an eye on if you’re a die-hard horror fan. But I have a feeling it will end up stranded within the vast catacombs of Netflix’s horror section.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)