Box Office Battlefield: Nightcrawer, Saw, and Before I Go to Sleep

Box Office Battlefield Nightcrawer, Saw, and Before I Go to Sleep

The weekend warriors of October 31, 2014 includes Nightcrawer, Saw, and Before I Go to Sleep, as well as two limited releases. Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars, Box Office Battlefield is here to help you decide which movie(s) will take priority over the others and determine who will be victorious.

Last weekend, Ouija edged out the competition for pre-Halloween frights, but John Wick made a valiant effort to toss some money its way. There is one big contender for the gold this weekend, but we also see the return of a popular horror movie that started the torture porn craze. I wanna play a game! This is the Box Office Battlefield:

Nightcrawler Title Movie Logo

Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy) Rated R [117 min] – When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, and Riz Ahmed

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 96% • Audience – 92%

What they’re saying:

“A smart, engaged film powered by an altogether remarkable performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, it is melodrama grounded in a disturbing reality, an extreme scenario that is troubling because it cuts close to the bone.” – Kenneth Turan (LA Times)

“Jake Gyllenhaal is mesmerizing as the MacGyver of masturbatory shut-in Googlers, Oswald Cobblepot with Pat Riley hair, raised in a crawlspace on Robert Kiyosaki books.” – Vince Mancini (FilmDrunk)

What I’m saying:

I love the trailer and I dig Jake Gyllenhaal’s frantic character. Nightcrawler feels very fresh and has a upbeat tempo that will pack a punch in theaters. The reviews are highly favorable as you can see, and I have no doubt that this will be one of the most unique movies of the year. SEE IT!

Before I Go to Sleep Title Movie Logo

Before I Go to Sleep (Rowan Joffe) Rated R [92 min] – A woman wakes up every day, remembering nothing as a result of a traumatic accident in her past. One day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her. Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Anne-Marie Duff

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 41% • Audience – 54%

What they’re saying:

“If it weren’t for the diligent performances of its stars, who inject some emotional depth into this bogus claptrap, “Before I Go to Sleep” would be an unwatchable, titter-inducing catastrophe.” – Stephen Holden (NY Times)

“The story is so poorly-plotted, nonsensical, and misogynist that it’s hard to imagine one person liking this material, much less millions of literate book lovers.” – Drew Taylor (The Playlist)

What I’m saying:

Before I Go to Sleep looks very De Palma-esque, which worries me because I absolutely hated his last film Passion. Although the actors are all there, the premise could get very one note I feel. When it comes to making a mystery thriller like this engaging comes down to the direction, and if the narrative is hard to follow and makes little sense then it’s definitely a lost cause. WATCH IT ON NETFLIX!

Saw Title Movie Logo

Saw (2004) (James Wan) [Re-release] Rated R [103 min] – With a dead body lying between them, two men wake up in the secure lair of a serial killer who’s been nicknamed “Jigsaw”. The men must follow various rules and objectives if they wish to survive and win the deadly game set for them. Starring Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, and Tobin Bell

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 48% • Audience – 84%

What I’m saying:

In my book, alongside Hostel, Saw is one of the best original torture porn movies that began a new wave of horror. Before the traps became basically a parody of themselves, this low-budget thriller adequately utilized each and every element of the story well. Unfortunately the acting could be up for a few Razzies, but the visual style and the originality makes up for its faults. And this is also a really fun movie to watch in theaters with friends. MATINEE IT!

Horns Title Movie Logo

Horns (Alexandre Aja) [Limited] Rated R [120 min] – In the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death, a young man awakens to strange horns sprouting from his temples. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella, and Joe Anderson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 48% • Audience – 52%

What they’re saying:

“Radcliffe gives it his all and makes the film worth seeing. But the supernatural story feels scattered.” – Cluadia Puig (USA Today)

“Somewhere inside this lumberingly long fantasy-horror is a smart little black comedy trying to scuttle out.” – Peter Bradshaw (Guardian)

What I’m saying:

I’m not sure what kind of accent Daniel Radcliffe is going for here, but I find it hilariously different. Although the movie is kind of being crapped on, I think that it’s worth a shot. If you can get a group of friends together to pitch in to rent on VOD, I’d say it would be worth the look. Patience will be tested, but if you’re mind is open I would say it won’t disappoint. RENT IT!

ABCs of Death 2 Title Movie Logo

ABCs of Death 2 (Many Directors) – [Limited] Not Rated [125 min] – Another 26-chapter anthology that showcases death in all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty. Starring Many Actors

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 68% • Audience – 46%

What I’m saying:

I found maybe half of the first ABCs of Death to be frightfully amusing – more for their creative effort than actually execution. But ABCs of Death 2 is really trash. Maybe five of the 26 short films are worth a look. All the others are really too bizarre to enjoy with little substance to leave in your mind to wander. I think the opening credit sequence is the best part of this movie. WATCH IT ON NETFLIX!

I don’t think Saw is going to draw in audiences this Halloween weekend. Everyone is going to be out and about, and then it will be November 1. And general audiences will not want to watch horror after October 31. Jake Gyllenhaal has a great draw for audiences. With Nightcrawlers‘ positive reviews, it stands to be the clear victor. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be:

Winner: Nightcrawler


Movie synopses courtesy of IMDb.com and Tomatometer Scores from Rotten Tomatoes

Find me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus

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