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Link to pic @my Send a noteboard - 31/08/2010 05:29:48 PM
I recently rented a direct-to-video horror movie called "Open House." The interesting thing about it was the way it was promoted. The front cover of the box shows the faces of five actors in the film, with their names at the top. The names listed are Brian Geraghty, Rachel Blanchard, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Tricia Helfer. The two most prominent faces are Paquin's and Moyer's with Blanchard's being an almost unrecognizable shdowed face in the back. The synopsis says:
"When a couple on the brink of divorce attempts to sell their house on their own, they discover that one of their potential buyers isn't apt to leave. The unwanted guest tortures the couple from their basement and they have little hope of getting out of their marriage and their home alive."

Sounds like Vampire Bill & Sookie Stackhouse are the stars of another horror movie, right? Well it turns out that they're barely in it and have no scenes together. The main victim star is Blanchard, who's all but invisible on the cover, and while Moyer is her ex-husband, he is killed off in his first scene. No victim "couple," despite the promotion. Paquin plays Blanchard's friend who is the first to stumble over the killer and get whacked. The really humorous part is that Helfer is arguably the main star in the film, having the biggest part. She and the other male lead are the villains, a psycho couple who take over the house, Helfer being the driving force in their evil, with her love interest being merely the needy sad type of psycho, who secretly keeps Blanchard alive, hiding her from his scenery-chewing partner. Helfer's character displays a wider range of emotions and mental states, while the male villain is stoic and blank-faced most of the time. The "heroine" mostly whimpers through her gag in her limited screen time. Based on the screen-time criterion, Geraghty would be first-billed and Helfer second, with Blanchard a distant third, and Paquin and Moyer down below the real estate agent on the list.
And three years ago, the promotional material WOULD have emphasized Helfer's role. She would have been the biggest name, the synopsis would be describing the movie in terms of Helfer's character with maybe an aside like "featuring appearances by Anna Paquin (X-men) and..." And that synopsis would have been far more honest and accurate.

However, thanks to True Blood and Hollywood politics (the director is also named Paquin, suggesting her relative got the chance to direct a movie by being able to bring her and her boyfriend/fiance onto the film), tons of fans might be duped into buying or renting what they think is a romantic horror movie where the couple's relationship is tested and repaired by their traumatic experience, like "Vacancy" or a number of Stephen King stories. Instead, they get this movie which is sort of a psychological/hostage/tension drama where the "heroine" has to try winning over her tormentor. It's kind of funny, and the evidence of Helfer's sudden fall down the sci-fi horror hierarchy tempts one to feel as sorry as you can for a woman who makes a living exploiting her sexual appeal (she still has to do all the dirty work of the sex scenes).
Amy
formerly known as Amyrlin



Btw I miss you too ~ K.B. 1971-2006
VERY misleading!
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Poor Tricia Helfer... - 30/08/2010 07:27:48 PM 892 Views
Link to pic - 31/08/2010 05:29:48 PM 835 Views

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