(D: Rob Zombie, 109 min)
All Hallow's Eve is still two months away, so why release Rob Zombie 's remake of the 1978 John Carpenter horror classic now? Because there haven't been any memorable horror flicks all summer? To get the back-from-vacation and back-to-school crowd? Or as one cynical NOW writer quipped: "Probably so they can release the DVD on Halloween." Bingo. It's hard to see how Zombie - not the sharpest of directors - can improve on Carpenter's fright flick. Cancelled advance press screenings aren't a good omen either.
(D: James Wan, 110 min)
Middle-aged guys who've been burned and fight back always make exciting film subjects. Think Charles Bronson. Clint Eastwood. Michael Douglas in Falling Down. Now Kevin Bacon joins that angry wild bunch in Death Sentence, playing a man whose son has been murdered. Justice fails, so Kevin takes the law into his own hands, not knowing that the murderer was part of a gang. Brutal violence ensues. We can't wait.
Both open Friday (August 31). Screened after press time - see reviews of both September 4 at www.nowtoronto.com/film.