During the dog days of winter, studios are known for dumping the films they are less proud of. If on top of that, the production companies refuse to show said movies to critics, it’s very likely the new release is a dud.
This upcoming weekend is a particularly crowded one: Jake the Giant Slayer, 21 and Over, The Last Exorcism Part II and Phantom, all open this Friday. Of all four, Exorcism and Phantom weren’t shown to the press. Let’s speculate why.
The Last Exorcism Part II: Up to a couple of months ago, this movie was called The Last Exorcism 2, a massive oxymoron. Part I was quite effective. A documentary crew followed a priest who performed exorcisms at the Bayou. (Spoilers ahead) Nearly everybody died in the original except for the possessed girl. The sequel drops the mockumentary approach and focuses on the victim, from a clinical perspective. It didn’t work thirty years ago with The Exorcist 2, I doubt it will now.
Phantom: A poor man’s Hunt for the Red October, Phantom chronicles the power struggle between a submarine captain with mental problems (Ed Harris) and the mysterious technician who is actually a terrorist (David Duchovny). Considering the rest of the cast (William Fichtner, Lance Henriksen, Jonathon Schaech) and how cheap the film looks in the trailer, it’s a miracle Phantom didn’t go straight to video.