Which horror remake has the cash registers ringing at the cinema?
Time Out Dubai staff
10 The Guard Director: John Michael McDonagh Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong
Director John Michael McDonagh shows Tarantino-esque style in his delightful debut, combining a blackly comic tone, a cops-and-smugglers story and snappy, philosophically inclined dialogue. The Guard is set in a small town in County Galway, where sergeant Gerry Boyle (Gleeson) has been content to observe the idiocy of the local toughs and spend time with his terminally ill ma. Suddenly a few murders arrive on his doorstep, bringing with them uptight FBI agent Wendell Everett (Cheadle).
Thanks to his mighty performance, this is Gleeson’s show. The Irish actor is the comic centre and the melancholy heart of a film that’s content to put its engaging characters above their meandering misdeeds. Alison Willmore
Weekly box office: Dhs56,713 Weekly admissions: 1,662 Total box office: Dhs206,402 Total admissions: 5,537
9 Seven Below Director: Kevin Carraway Stars: Val Kilmer, Ving Rhames, Luke Goss, Tia Sage, Brianna Lee Johnson, Matt Barr, Jennifer Trier, Rebecca Da Costa
A group of strangers are trapped in a haunted house, forced to live through the same fateful night of 100 years earlier. Cue horror movie clichés; possessed child murderer? Check. Ghost in the mirror? Yup. Nonsensical twist ending? Of course. A career nadir for a fallen-on-hard-times Val Kilmer. Rob Garratt
Weekly box office: Dhs58,248 Weekly admissions: 1,695 Total box office: Dhs266,531 Total admissions: 7,692
8 Tinker Bell & The Secret of the Wings 3D Director: Tom Rogers, Ryan Rowe Stars: Timothy Dalton, Lucy Liu, Megan Hilty, Anjelica Huston, Matt Lanter, Jesse McCartney, Mae Whitman, Raven-Symoné, Debby Ryan
Secret of the Wings is the fourth chapter in Disney’s fresh saga charting the exploits of Tinker Bell, the 100-year-old fairy originally born in JM Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan. In this instalment Tink explores a forbiddenland and discovers a secret. Former James Bond star Timothy Dalton voices Lord Milori. Rob Garratt
Weekly box office: Dhs84,483 Weekly admissions: 1,754 Total box office: Dhs522,583 Total admissions: 10,879
7 Just Crazy Enough Director: Lance McDaniel Stars: Chris Kattan, Brooke Anna Leedy, Jonathan Beck Reed
Anna Leedy, Jonathan Beck Reed Inconsequential US comedy which is yet to enjoy a mainstream release on home turf. In a high-jinx premise, a pair of twin brothers who are separated at birth – one raised in society, the other in a mental hospital – switch places later in life. Forgettable stuff, although Saturday Night Live star Chris Katten shines as both brothers. Time Out Dubai staff
Weekly box office: Dhs68,003 Weekly admissions: 1,785 Total box office: Dhs68,003 Total admissions: 1,785
6 A Lonely Place to Die Director: Julian Gilbey Stars: Melissa George, Ed Speleers, Eamonn Walker, Sean Harris, Alec Newman, Karel Roden, Kate Magowan
This taut, twisty pursuit thriller from director/co-writer Julian Gilbey makes terrific use of the stark beauty of the Scottish Highlands and is tightly roped together by Melissa George’s lead performance as feisty mountaineer Alison. High in the remote mountains, Ed (Speelers) and his group of climbers discover a weak eight-year-old girl whose speech they cannot understand. Ed and Alison plan to take the girl to the nearest village. But close behind are the two army-trained kidnappers and on the horizon is the girl’s father, ex-Serbian warlord Darko (Roden). The film’s relentless momentum, coupled with Ali Asad’s breathtaking location photography, distract us from the two-dimensional supporting characters. Nigel Floyd
Weekly box office: Dhs67,775 Weekly admissions: 1,962 Total box office: Dhs254,722 Total admissions: 7,341
5 Madagascar 3: Europes Most Wanted Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon Stars: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen
The first two Madagascar flicks earned more than Dhs3 billion, so it’s no surprise that the creators of the third instalment have pulled out all the stops on this one, sending Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman on an adventure that spans three continents in eye-popping, neon-bright 3D. While it’s all very impressive, the story zips and zings so quickly from one clever set piece to the next – it’s a heist flick set in Monte Carlo! No wait, it’s a psychedelic circus romance! – that it’s impossible, especially for kids, to catch all the nuances and jokes. And unfortunately, the message of discovering yourself on life’s journey gets lost in the hubbub. Marisa Cohen
Weekly box office: Dhs72,772 Weekly admissions: 2,095 Total box office: Dhs14,796,517 Total admissions: 349,748
4 Beastly Director: Daniel Barnz Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen
Aiming to do for shut-in monsters what Twilight has for bloodsuckers, this teenage NYC riff on Beauty and the Beast casts Pettyfer as a pretty boy who incurs the wrath of a classmate. Cursed with disfigurement, he’s got a year to convince someone to see past the mask to the heartthrob underneath.
Beastly is a fairy tale that preaches inner beauty while refusing to obscure the looks of its doomed hero. Once he’s had a sulk, Pettyfer sets his sights on Vanessa Hudgens, who can see the depths of his alter ego. ‘I’ve seen worse,’ says Hudgens. It’s hard to say the same about Beastly. AA Dowd
Weekly box office: Dhs91,822 Weekly admissions: 2,613 Total box office: Dhs315,921 Total admissions: 9,019
3 Ice Age: Continental Drift Director: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier Stars: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Nick Frost, Queen Latifah
Blue Sky Studios’ series of family-friendly cartoons about the adventures of three prehistoric chums – Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth and Diego the sabre-tooth tiger – gears up for a fourth instalment. Its predecessor, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, is currently the fourth highest-grossing animated film of all time, making this follow-up wholly inevitable. This time, the movie is setting out to sea, as the continents begin to shift and our heroes are set adrift on a floating iceberg, where they encounter pirates, sea monsters and discover a new country. Time Out Dubai staff
Weekly box office: Dhs265,505 Weekly admissions: 6,607 Total box office: Dhs11,904,238 Total admissions: 282,162
2 The Amazing Spider-Man Director: Marc Webb Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan, Campbell Scott
It’s web 2.0. Five years since Sam Raimi hung up his ‘I Love NY’ cap and Tobey Maguire ditched the Spandex in Spider-Man 3, it’s the turn of director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) and British actor Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) to turn back the Spidey-clock and start again. Memories are short in Hollywood, and generations are measured in dog years.
This version of the Marvel Comics staple is an origin tale (dead dad, classroom bullying, spider-bite) which is low on psychological trauma and high on teen woes. Again we learn how Peter Parker (Garfield) lost his parents and gained a mask. But the evolution into a swinging city vigilante is framed by recognisable adolescent awkwardness and romantic troubles involving his schoolmate and new girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Stone), daughter of the city’s chief of police (Denis Leary). Garfield is more robust and charming than Maguire, and he forms a pleasing Brit-acting axis with Rhys Ifans, who plays his adversary Dr Curt Connors, later The Lizard.
Webb and the film’s writers have done a smart job of making a snappy blockbuster with few pretensions: The Amazing Spider-Man is light on its feet and feels both intimate and expansive, smoothly making the transition from hanging out in school corridors to hanging off the sides of buildings. Webb offers no radical rethink about how to craft a comic-book movie, but he delivers a enjoyable rush over a patchwork of genres – romance, action, sci-fi, horror and comedy – while avoiding bumps at the joins. The action sequences are gripping and have a bouncy, parkour-style giddiness to them. Garfield gets the best lines and is a comic, often slapstick, presence for much of the movie as he learns how to cope with his new powers.
Spidey is the ultimate New York superhero, and this is full of nods to the city’s movie heritage. There’s a touch of Woody Allen to some of Garfield’s twitchy scenes, while King Kong looms over Spidey’s skyscraper-top encounter with The Lizard. There’s even a scene where Parker mopes down the street with his shoulders hanging low like De Niro in Taxi Driver. This lone gun with a red sock over his head also feels an urge to clean up the streets – but his New York is mostly benign, a place where crane drivers and cops wave him on his way and the skyline sparkles in approval. Soft, yes, but also satisfying. Dave Calhoun
Weekly box office: Dhs361,013 Weekly admissions: 7,578 Total box office: Dhs9,890,652 Total admissions: 189,073
1 Silent House Director: Chris Kentis, Laura Lau Stars: Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens, Julia Taylor Ross, Haley Murphy
This is an unimaginative ‘re-imagining’ of La Casa Muda, a low-budget Uruguayan horror movie from 2011 that was allegedly shot in one continuous take. The ‘real terror in real time’ gimmick of the original was a sleight of hand, of course, and the same is true here: despite many additional light sources, there are still plenty of dark shadows in which sly edits can be hidden.
In this version, the camera has a distracting obsession with Elizabeth Olsen in compromising positions, but the star of Martha Marcy May Marlene gives a committed, convincing performance as Sarah, a young woman assailed by strange noises and creepy apparitions in her family’s neglected summer house.
Instead of adding the redundant character of Sarah’s childhood friend, Sophia (Julia Taylor Ross), filmmakers Chris Kentis and Laura Lau should have plugged the original’s plot holes and straightened out its logic. There is also a confusing tendency to blur the line between supernatural phenomena and the more tangible, twisted family secrets that are conveniently blanked out by the film’s amnesiac heroine. Time Out Dubai staff
Weekly box office: Dhs302,671 Weekly admissions: 7,961 Total box office: Dhs302,671 Total admissions: 7,961