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2024 EE British Academy Film Awards Longlists Announced

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Lights, camera, action! As the global film industry continues to captivate audiences with its unmatched storytelling and breathtaking visuals, it is time once again for the highly anticipated EE British Academy Film Awards, better known as BAFTA. Known for its unrivalled prestige, the BAFTAs honour the crème de la crème of cinema, highlighting outstanding achievements in both British and international filmmaking. In this article, we delve into the incredible journey that lies ahead by exploring the recently revealed longlist for the 2024 EE BAFTA Awards.

In the ever-evolving landscape of cinema, the EE BAFTA Awards have consistently reflected the industry’s dynamic and diverse spectrum of talent. From groundbreaking independent productions to Hollywood blockbusters that push the boundaries of imagination, the longlist announcement kick-starts the exhilarating countdown to one of the most distinguished events in the film calendar. Round Two voting kicks off today and will determine the nominations, to be unveiled via global live stream on 18 January at 12 pm (GMT) from BAFTA’s 195 Piccadilly HQ in London. Round Three of voting will determine the winners. They will be announced on 18 February from the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London, as part of an unmissable celebration of film hosted by David Tennant.

The EE BAFTA Film Awards voting takes place over three rounds: Longlisting, Nominations and Winners, by BAFTA’s global voting membership, comprising over 7,500 creatives and film industry practitioners. Categories in Rounds One and Two are voted for by the corresponding Chapters or Juries made up of BAFTA members, except for Best Film which is voted for by the full film-voting BAFTA membership.

This year’s longlist promises an extraordinary celebration of cinematic excellence, as the abundance of outstanding performances, visionary directors, and awe-inspiring stories set the stage for what can only be described as an unforgettable year in film. Join us as we delve into the exciting revelations, examine the justified buzz surrounding certain contenders, and shed light on the stories that have captured the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide.

From emotional roller coasters to visually stunning masterpieces, the 2024 longlist showcases the art of captivating storytelling in its many forms. From intimate character studies that unravel the complexities of the human condition to sweeping epics that transport us to new worlds, each film on the list offers a unique perspective, often leaving an indelible mark on its viewers.

So, dear reader, get ready to be immersed in the magic of celluloid as we explore the 2024 BAFTA longlist. From analysing frontrunners to discovering hidden gems, we invite you to join us on this exhilarating ride through cinematic excellence. As the countdown to the grand event begins, expect nothing less than pure admiration, anticipation, and appreciation for the incredible talent that breathes life into the films we hold dear. Let the curtain rise on another remarkable year in film, as EE BAFTA prepares to honour the extraordinary achievements that captivate our souls and inspire our imaginations. The final contenders included on this year’s longlist and eligible for this year’s nominations feature an impressive selection that has garnered critical acclaim and captured the hearts of viewers. Among the front-runners with 15 mentions each are Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” followed closely by  Yorgos Lanthimos’s “Poor Things” with 14 mentions. Here are this year’s 2024 longlists…

The film titles in red are links to reviews by our esteemed group.

BEST FILM

10 films will advance in the Best Film category. 234 eligible films were submitted for consideration. All film voting members of BAFTA vote to determine the longlist, nominations and overall winner. 

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

15 films will advance in the Outstanding British Film category. All BAFTA film voting members were invited to join an opt-in chapter to determine the longlist (of which the top five are nominated). A jury selects the remaining five nominations. In the final round, all film voting members vote to determine the winning film. 76 eligible films were submitted for consideration.

  • All of Us Strangers
  • Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
  • The Deepest Breath
  • The Great Escaper
  • How to Have Sex
  • Napoleon
  • The Old Oak
  • One Life
  • Poor Things
  • Rye Lane
  • Saltburn
  • Scrapper
  • Tetris
  • Wonka
  • The Zone of Interest

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

10 films will advance in the Outstanding Debut category. A jury determines the longlist, nominations and overall winner in this category. 52 eligible films were submitted for consideration.

  • Blue Bag Life
  • Bobi Wine: The People’s President
  • Earth Mama
  • The End We Start From
  • How To Have Sex
  • If the Streets Were on Fire
  • Is There Anybody Out There?
  • Polite Society
  • Rye Lane
  • Scrapper

FILM NOT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE

10 films will advance in the Film Not in the English Language category. All BAFTA film voting members were invited to join an opt-in chapter to determine the longlist. This chapter will vote to nominate five films and will vote for the overall winning film. 59 eligible films were submitted for consideration.

  • 20 Days In Mariupol
  • Anatomy of a Fall
  • The Boy And The Heron
  • The Eight Mountains
  • Fallen Leaves
  • Past Lives
  • Society of the Snow
  • The Taste of Things
  • The Teachers’ Lounge
  • The Zone of Interest

DOCUMENTARY

10 films will advance in the Documentary category. All BAFTA film voting members were invited to join an opt-in chapter to determine the longlist (of which the top two are nominated). A jury selects the remaining three nominations, In the final round the Documentary opt-in chapter votes to determine the winning film. 60 eligible films were submitted for consideration.

  • 20 Days In Mariupol
  • American Symphony
  • Beyond Utopia
  • The Deepest Breath
  • High & Low – John Galliano
  • Little Richard: I Am Everything
  • Mad About The Boy: The Noël Coward Story
  • The Pigeon Tunnel
  • Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
  • Wham!

ANIMATED FILM

Eight films will advance in the Animated Film category. All BAFTA film voting members were invited to join an opt-in chapter to determine the longlist. This chapter will vote to nominate four films and will vote for the winning film. 17 eligible films were submitted for consideration.

DIRECTOR

16 films will advance in the Director category. Members of the Directing chapter vote for their top 16 to determine the longlist, of which the top female, male, and directors who identify as non-binary (within the voting results range of the top 10 female/male directors) will be longlisted to a max of 11, with female/male gender parity upheld, and of which the top two are nominated regardless of gender. A longlisting jury selects the final places from the next 8 placed female, male & non-binary directors (placed within this voting results range). A nominating jury selects four Directors from the longlist to make-up a nominee list of six Directors. In the final round all film voting members vote to determine the winning film. 206 eligible films were submitted for consideration.

  • Anatomy of a Fall
  • All of Us Strangers
  • American Fiction
  • Barbie
  • The Holdovers
  • How to Have Sex
  • Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Maestro
  • Oppenheimer
  • Past Lives
  • Poor Things
  • Priscilla
  • Rye Lane
  • Saltburn
  • Scrapper
  • The Zone of Interest

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

10 films will advance in the Original Screenplay category. Members of the Writers chapter vote to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members will vote for the winning film. 100 eligible films were submitted for consideration.

  • Air
  • Anatomy of a Fall
  • Barbie
  • The Holdovers
  • How to Have Sex
  • Maestro
  • May December
  • Past Lives
  • Rye Lane
  • Saltburn

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

10 films will advance in the Adapted Screenplay category. Members of the Writers chapter vote to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members will vote for the winning film. 61 eligible films were submitted for consideration.

  • All of Us Strangers
  • American Fiction
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
  • Dumb Money
  • The Killer
  • Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Wonka
  • The Zone of Interest

LEADING ACTRESS

10 performances will advance in the Leading Actress category. Members of the Acting chapter vote to determine the longlist (of which the top three are nominated). A longlisting jury selects a further three performances to create a longlist of 10. A nominating jury then selects three performances from the longlist to make-up a nominee list of six performances. In the final round, all film voting members vote to determine the winning performance. 94 performances were submitted for consideration.

  • Annette Bening, NYAD
  • Carey Mulligan, Maestro
  • Emma Stone, Poor Things
  • Fantasia Barrino, The Color Purple
  • Greta Lee, Past Lives
  • Lily Gladstone, Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Margot Robbie, Barbie
  • Mia McKenna-Bruce, How to Have Sex
  • Sandra Hüller, Anatomy of a Fall
  • Vivian Oparah, Rye Lane

LEADING ACTOR

10 performances will advance in the Leading Actor category. Members of the Acting chapter vote to determine the longlist (of which the top three are nominated). A longlisting jury selects a further three performances to create a longlist of 10. A nominating jury then selects three performances from the longlist to make-up a nominee list of six performances. In the final round, all film voting members vote to determine the winning performance. 108 performances were submitted for consideration.

  • Andrew Scott, All of Us Strangers
  • Barry Keoghan, Saltburn
  • Bradley Cooper, Maestro
  • Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer
  • Colman Domingo, Rustin
  • George MacKay, Femme
  • Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers
  • Teo Yoo, Past Lives

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

10 performances will advance in the Supporting Actress category. Members of the Acting chapter vote to determine the longlist (of which the top three are nominated). A longlisting jury selects a further three performances to create a longlist of 10. A nominating jury then selects three performances from the longlist to make-up a nominee list of six performances. In the final round all film voting members vote to determine the winning performance. 224 performances were submitted for consideration.

  • America Ferrera, Barbie
  • Cara Jade Myers, Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Claire Foy, All of Us Strangers
  • Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers
  • Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer
  • Jodie Foster, NYAD
  • Julianne Moore, May December
  • Rosamund Pike, Saltburn
  • Sandra Hüller, The Zone of Interest

SUPPORTING ACTOR

10 performances will advance in the Supporting Actor category. Members of the Acting chapter vote to determine the longlist (of which the top three are nominated). A longlisting jury selects a further three performances to create a longlist of 10. A nominating jury then selects three performances from the longlist to make-up a nominee list of six performances. In the final round all film voting members vote to determine the winning performance. 338 performances were submitted for consideration.

  • Anthony Hopkins, One Life
  • Ben Whishaw, Passages
  • Dominic Sessa, The Holdovers
  • Jacob Elordi, Saltburn
  • Jamie Bell, All of Us Strangers
  • Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things
  • Paul Mescal, All of Us Strangers
  • Robert De Niro, Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer
  • Ryan Gosling, Barbie

CASTING

10 films will advance in the Casting category. Members of the Casting chapter vote to determine the longlist. A jury selects the five nominations and in the final round all film voting members select the winning film. 128 films were submitted for consideration.

  • All of Us Strangers
  • Anatomy of a Fall
  • Barbie
  • The Holdovers
  • How to Have Sex
  • Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Maestro
  • Oppenheimer
  • Saltburn
  • Scrapper

CINEMATOGRAPHY

10 films will advance in the Cinematography category. Members of the Cinematography chapter vote to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members will vote for the overall winning film. 186 films were submitted for consideration.

  • Barbie
  • The Creator
  • Ferrari
  • Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Maestro
  • Napoleon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Saltburn
  • The Zone of Interest

COSTUME DESIGN

10 films will advance in the Costume Design category. Members of the Costume and Makeup & Hair chapters vote to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members will vote for the overall winning film. 129 films were submitted for consideration.

  • Asteroid City
  • Barbie
  • Ferrari
  • Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Maestro
  • Napoleon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Saltburn
  • Wonka

EDITING

10 films will advance in the Editing category. Members of the Editing chapter vote to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members will vote for the overall winning film. 197 films were submitted for consideration.

MAKE UP & HAIR

10 films will advance in the Make Up & Hair category. Members of the Costume Design and the Make Up & Hair chapters vote to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members will vote for the overall winning film. 124 films were submitted for consideration.

  • Barbie
  • Ferrari
  • Golda
  • Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Maestro
  • Napoleon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Priscilla
  • Wonka

ORIGINAL SCORE

11 films will advance in the Original Score category. Members of the Music chapter vote to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members will vote for the overall winning film. 131 films were submitted for consideration. Music cue sheets are provided by the entrants and published on BAFTA View.

  • American Fiction
  • Barbie
  • Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  • Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Napoleon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Saltburn
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • Wonka

PRODUCTION DESIGN

10 films will advance in the Production Design category. Members of the Production Design chapter vote to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members will vote for the overall winning film. 151 films were submitted for consideration.

  • Asteroid City
  • Barbie
  • Ferrari
  • Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Maestro
  • Napoleon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Wonka
  • The Zone of Interest

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS

10 films will advance in the Special Visual Effect category. Members of the SVFX chapter vote to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members will vote for the overall winning film. 73 films were submitted for consideration. A supporting Statement and a show-reel of the SVFX work (up to five minutes in duration) can be submitted and are published on BAFTA View.

  • Barbie
  • The Creator
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  • Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  • Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
  • Napoleon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • Wonka

SOUND

10 films will advance in the Sound category Members of the Sound chapter vote to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members will vote for the overall winning film. 172 films were submitted for consideration.

  • Barbie
  • Ferrari
  • Killers of The Flower Moon
  • Maestro
  • Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
  • Napoleon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Wonka
  • The Zone of Interest

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION

Six films will advance in the British Short Animation category. A jury votes to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members are invited to join an opt-in chapter to vote for the overall winning short animation.

  • Crab Day
  • Sweet Like Lemons
  • The Smeds and The Smoos
  • Visible Mending
  • Wild Summon
  • World to Roam

BRITISH SHORT FILM

Ten films will advance in the British Short Film category. A jury votes to determine the longlist and the nominations. In the final round of voting, all film voting members are invited to join an opt-in chapter to vote for the overall winning short film.

  • Essex Girls
  • Festival of Slaps
  • Finding Alaa
  • Gorka
  • Jellyfish and Lobster
  • Jill, Uncredited
  • Mighty Penguins
  • The One Note Man
  • Such A Lovely Day
  • Yellow

As the 2024 EE British Academy Film Awards embark on their journey to honour the finest cinematic achievements, the anticipation builds with each step. With the announcement of the next round of voting to determine the nominations, the film industry waits with bated breath. From the longlisted films, available for viewing on BAFTA View, to the eagerly awaited reveal of the EE Rising Star Award nominations on January 10, and the prestigious EE BAFTA Film Awards nominations on January 18, the path to greatness is paved. The final round of voting, commencing on January 19, will determine the deserving winners, leading us to the highly anticipated EE BAFTA Film Awards ceremony on February 18, where the world will bear witness to the celebration of exceptional talent, creativity, and passion that define the magic of cinema.

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Entertainment

Monsters Unchained | A Guide To The Thrills and Chills of Universal’s Dark Universe

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been enthralled by the iconic creatures of Universal’s classic monster franchise: Frankenstein’s monster, Count Dracula, the Mummy, the Bride of Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Invisible Man. These legendary characters, along with their respective actors such as Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains, and Elsa Lanchester, have all been ingrained in my psyche since childhood. I’ve been dreaming of a place where I could unleash my inner monster, let my freak flag fly, and revel in their ghoulish glory. That place is finally here: Dark Universe, a revolutionary new portal within Universal Orlando Resort’s Epic Universe.

This reimagined universe is not just a nod to the past; it’s a bold evolution of the classic monsters for a modern audience. The masters of theme park magic have taken these beloved characters under their wing, infusing them with a thrilling new sense of excitement, mystery, and wonder. I knew I was home as I watched the introduction to this foreboding realm. The immersive atmosphere is intoxicating, with every detail meticulously crafted to transport visitors into a world of legendary monsters.

Throughout this article, I’ll take you on a journey through the Dark Universe, revealing the monstrous details of mysterious attractions and ghoulish delights that await. From the experiments of Victoria Frankenstein to a twisted landscape where monsters roam, the Dark Universe is a grim world of myth and mystery. Every aspect of this portal is designed to satisfy even the most discerning monster enthusiasts. So, come join me as we delve into the forbidden world of gods and monsters, where the creatures of our wildest nightmares come to life. Let’s raise our stakes and enter… DAS STAKEHAUS!

IT’S ALIVE!

It’s Alive! It’s Alive!” Next year, Universal – the pioneer of the horror genre will bring its timeless monsters to the present day with the debut of Dark Universe – one of the five immersive worlds featured at the all-new Universal Epic Universe opening in 2025. The most mysterious world of Universal Orlando’s newest theme park, this captivating new land will envelop guests in monstrous adventures across various attractions, shops, restaurants and character meet and greets that will thrill everyone from families to classic Monster fans alike. Created by the award-winning Universal Creative team in partnership with Universal Pictures, Dark Universe blends the iconic stories of unearthly legends like Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Bride of Frankenstein and more with a new generation of monsters and characters, including Dr Victoria Frankenstein – the great-great-granddaughter of the infamous Henry Frankenstein who has continued his misguided experiments. As guests venture through Darkmoor – the ravaged village within Dark Universe –they’ll encounter the characters and subjects of those experiments within a first-of-its-kind theme park environment that offers family-friendly fun while also pushing the boundaries on intensity in a way that only Universal could achieve.

ENTER THE DARK UNIVERSE

The formidable journey begins the moment guests enter its electrifying portal via Celestial Park. As you step through the foreboding portal, a jolt of electricity crackles through the air, like the spark of life itself. The air is heavy with anticipation as you enter a realm where the veil between the world of the living and the realm of the dead is at its thinnest. The decaying cemetery before you is shrouded in a thick, eerie fog that clings to your skin like a chill. Tombstones lie upended, their inscriptions worn away by time and neglect, while twisted roots writhe like skeletal fingers across the ground. The wind whispers secrets in your ear, and the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end as you realise that nothing stays buried for long in this forsaken place. As you venture deeper, the energy coursing through the portal intensifies, building towards a crescendo that will culminate at the imposing Frankenstein Manor, a monolith of darkness that looms large over the village like a spectre of death itself. Will you dare to enter this haunted realm, where science and darkness collide in a maelstrom of terror and wonder?

Image: NBCUniversal

WELCOME TO DARKMOOR

Welcome, brave souls, to Darkmoor, a village shrouded in an eternal twilight where the very fabric of reality seems to unravel like a tattered cloak. As you step into the crumbling blackened stone walls of this foreboding town, the air thickens with an unsettling energy, heavy with the scent of decay and desperation. The once-quaint streets now lie in ruin, scarred by the unholy experiments of the notorious Dr. Victoria Frankenstein, whose twisted creations lurk in every shadow. The creaking of old wooden signs and the distant howling of wolves echo through the night as if the very darkness itself is alive and watching. In this forsaken place, where monsters roam free and the villagers cower in fear, you’ll find yourself drawn into a world of unholy terror and wonder. Enter Frankenstein Manor, where the horrors within will chill your very bones. Stumble upon hidden shops and restaurants, where the eerie atmosphere is only matched by the unsettling cuisine. And venture forth into the woods, where you’ll be able to meet these monsters that lurk around every bend. Guests will embark on thrilling adventures where they can get made up to look like their favourite monsters. This is Darkmoor, a village where survival is a constant struggle, and only the bravest (or most foolhardy) will emerge unscathed. So, brave Universal Orlando’s most chilling ride ever, and dare you enter where the boundaries between reality and nightmare blur like a madman’s canvas?”

“We created a village and a world beyond it where not only can these stories come together, but new stories can come in as well,” explains Pete Carsillo, senior creative director for Dark Universe. “Now you’re in the same place where all those stories come together, but it’s the current day.”

Image: NBCUniversal

THRILLING AND UNSETTLING ATTRACTIONS

MONSTERS UNCHAINED: THE FRANKENSTEIN EXPERIMENT

Welcome, dear thrill-seekers, to the darkest recesses of the Dark Universe, where the boundaries of sanity are tested and the terror is palpable. Step into the foreboding Frankenstein Manor, where the scent of decay and electricity hangs heavy in the air. This is Universal Orlando’s most terrifying attraction yet, this state-of-the-art dark ride takes guests deep into the catacombs of Frankenstein Manor, where Dr. Victoria Frankenstein conducts her twisted experiments. In a vain display of her genius, she invites guests into her laboratory to witness a demonstration of her ability to control monsters. But her plans go awry when her attempts to control the most dangerous of monsters, Dracula fails, unleashing a maelstrom of monstrous horrors, and you are about to become their prey. As you venture deeper into the darkness, the shadows seem to writhe and twist around you, like living tendrils of malevolence. The crackle of electricity and the hum of machinery will send shivers down your spine as you navigate the dimly lit corridors, pursued by the likes of Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. The very air seems to vibrate with malevolent energy as you evade their grasping hands, and monstrous wails echo through the darkness. But wait, what’s this? The Phantom of the Opera’s haunting melody wafts through the shadows, accompanied by 14 individual flames that dance in eerie harmony, casting an otherworldly glow over the macabre scene. And then, the question echoes through your mind: who is the true monster here—the creator or her creations? Will you escape the clutches of these unholy abominations, or will you succumb to their primal fury? Only one thing is certain: in the Dark Universe, terror awaits around every twisted corner…

Speaking about Victoria Frankenstein, Greg Hall, creative director of Dark Universe had to say, “We see a maniacal side of her even though she’s our hero. The monsters are released and it’s up to her, Frankenstein and Ygor to help save the day while we’re stuck in the middle of this chaos” speaking about the attraction experience he also said that “What I want guests to say is, ‘That was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life — and you have to try it. It’s hard to scare people these days. We want to make sure they have fun, and they see something they’ll never forget”.

Image: NBCUniversal

CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF

Step into the shadows of darkness, where the moon casts an eerie glow and the whispers of the forest seem to echo through the trees. The Guild of Mystics beckons you to a colourful encampment shrouded in mystery and foreboding, where the all-knowing seer and leader, Maleva, awaits. She warns you that you bear the mark of the werewolf, a curse that threatens to consume you at any moment. As you board the wagon, the rustling of leaves and snapping of twigs signal your descent into the heart of terror. The air is thick with tension as you hurtle through the dark forest, the sound of gnashing teeth and glowing eyes closing in around you. The wind rushes past your face as you spin and weave through the trees, desperate to escape the snarling pack of werewolves that stalks you. Will you outrun the curse or succumb to its primal fury? For 2 minutes and 37 miles per hour, The family coaster, Curse of the Werewolf will leave you breathless and begging for more. Enter if you dare, but be warned: once you’re bitten by the thrill of this family coaster, there’s no turning back.”

While Maleva does make an appearance in the 1941 film “The Wolf Man,” her Dark Universe version is updated to reflect the fictional culture of the Guild of Mystics, which is rich with beauty, violence and, of course, werewolves.

Speaking about this attraction, Pete Carsillo, senior creative director for Dark Universe had to say.. “It feels really updated, but you could literally trace this Maleva back to another Maleva back to the movie. So now you experience Maleva and her Mystics, but it’s with a lot of richness and a lot of color — stuff you couldn’t get in the old black and white.

Image: NBCUniversal

MAKE-UP & MEET AND GREETS

DARKMOOR MONSTER MAKEUP EXPERIENCE

Step into the eerie confines of Dr. Pretorius’ notorious laboratory, where the boundaries between human and monster blur. Within these crumbling walls, a team of masterful artisans await to unleash your inner Monster. As you surrender to their skilled hands, they’ll transform your visage into a terrifyingly alluring masterpiece, complete with elaborate face paint and temporary tattoos. Immerse yourself in the Darkmoor Monster Makeup Experience, where the lines between reality and nightmare dissolve. Become one with the darkness as you don the skin of a werewolf, vampire, mummy, or some other fiendishly fantastical creature. The whispers of the dead echo through the lab, as the air thickens with anticipation. Will you dare to unleash your inner monster and join the ranks of the forever damned? Allow the masterful makeup artists to breathe life into your deepest desires, and unleash your inner beast upon the world. Let the transformation begin… if you dare. Some of have waited our whole lives to unleash our inner monsters, so count me in.

“If you want to be a monster, you can actually be made up like a monster,” says Pete. “Or if you want to be a little more meta, you can come in and get your whole family covered up in temporary tattoos. In Dark Universe, you can walk around with [temporary] tattoos on when you’re five!”

Image: NBCUniversal

MEET THE MONSTERS

Step into the shadows of the Dark Universe, where the boundaries between reality and nightmare blur, and the inhabitants of the village will make your heart skip a beat. As you wander through the twisted streets and crumbling architecture, you’ll encounter the infamous Universal Monsters, their eerie silhouettes lurking in every corner. Say hello to Frankenstein’s Monster, his bride, Dracula, the Invisible Man, and the Wolf Man as they roam free, their eyes glowing with an otherworldly light. But beware, for these are not just mere caricatures – they are the living, breathing embodiment of terror. And then there are the characters created just for this twisted world, like Victoria Frankenstein the eccentric great-great-granddaughter and her monstrous assistants, who will weave a spell of wonder and dread around you. Meet Ygor, the sinister servant with a twisted grin, or the Invisible Man, whose presence is only felt through his unsettling whispers. The air is alive with the scent of decay and death, and the sounds of screams and howls echo through the darkness. Will you dare to take a photo with the Bride of Frankenstein, her porcelain skin glowing in the moonlight? Or will you flee from the grasping hands of The Hounds, monster hunters who patrol the streets in search of their next victim? You’ll even stumble upon a talented musician who will regale you with songs and tales of the classic Universal Monsters stories. Come, join us in Darkmoor Village, where fear is palpable and the unknown lurks around every corner. But be warned: once you enter our domain, there’s no turning back.

“There’s so much for guests to do and see and discover. I really hope that the strokes that we’ve taken here feed the monster kids that are out there — the people who really love the legacy. And I hope that it starts a fire of passion for these characters in new audiences!”-Chris Frisella, executive producer of Dark Universe

Image: NBCUniversal

UNSETTLING CUISINE

As you step into the foreboding realm of Dark Universe, you’ll find yourself entranced by the eerie allure of two restaurants that will transport you to a world of dark fantasy. The choice is yours: indulge in the sinister ambiance of Das Stakehaus, a vampire-run dining hall where the “familiars” of the night serve up a menu of succulent kebabs, burgers, and sandwiches amidst an atmosphere of ancient mystique and foreboding. Or, succumb to the allure of The Burning Blade Tavern, a smoldering windmill-framed tavern where the scent of sizzling meats and periodic flames waft through the air, beckoning you to sink your teeth into a meal that will leave you howling for more.

DAS STAKEHAUS

Darkmoor’s most ominous restaurant. As you dine, be wary of the vampire “familiars” who serve you, their piercing gazes seeming to size you up as potential meal. But fear not, for their sinister intentions are matched only by the tantalizing aromas wafting from the kitchen. Savor each bite, as the shadows cast by the flickering torches dance across the walls, conjuring tales of ancient battles fought and won. And when you’ve finished your meal, browse the shelves for macabre merchandise and apparel that will make you the envy of all who dare to venture into this haunted realm. In Das Stakehaus, the walls are adorned with artwork that reimagines the world through the eyes of the creatures of the night, casting vampires as heroes in their own twisted tales. Will you find yourself entangled in their dark fantasy, or will you emerge unscathed, with only a taste for blood or adventure? The choice is yours, but be warned: once you enter this realm, there’s no turning back…

Image: NBCUniversal

THE BURNING BLADE TAVERN

As you step into the foreboding gates of The Burning Blade Tavern, the air thickens with an otherworldly energy, The windmill’s blazing inferno crackles and spews forth a mesmerizing dance of flames, casting an eerie glow over the rustic, weathered walls. It’s as if the spirits of the past have converged upon this forsaken spot, their whispers weaving a spell of temptation around every succulent bite. And what a feast awaits! Savor the savory aroma of sizzling burgers, the spicy tang of wings, the snap of bratwursts and pretzels, and quench your thirst with a specialty brew that will leave you howling for more. But be warned: the tales that unfold within these hallowed halls are not for the faint of heart. The “Hounds” – Darkmoor’s most feared monster hunters – regale patrons with boasts of their gruesome conquests, while their trophies stare down from the walls like malevolent sentinels. Will you dare to indulge in a meal amidst these hunters, or will you flee into the darkness, forever changed by the secrets whispered within these ancient stones? Many years ago, an angry mob of villagers torched the old mill during the infamous Frankenstein incident back in1931. Now, the mill has become their favorite hangout. The mill that stands atop this restaurant erupts into flames every 20 minutes.

Image: NBCUniversal

Other fun nods to the Universal Monsters universe will include shops and snack stands, including:

De Lacey’s Cottage – Near Frankenstein Manor sits De Lacey’s Cottage food stand, where the original Frankenstein’s Monster once received sustenance and friendship. Here, guests can find a variety of snacks and cool treats like cinnamon bread, ice cream, twisted taters and more.

Pretorius’ Scientific Oddities – “Guests can take home a piece of the immortal world of Dark Universe with commemorative merchandise and mementos

A SHADOWY WORLD OF LEGENDARY MONSTERS

“And so, dear friends, as the curtains close on our journey through the shadows of Darkmoor that is until 2025, I leave you with a haunting whisper: come, join me in the darkness. Let us venture forth into the heart of this eerie realm of Gods and Monsters, where the boundaries between reality and nightmare blur. The wind whispers secrets of the damned in your ear as we venture into Frankenstein Manor for a thrilling ride on Monsters Unchained , the moon casts an otherworldly glow throughout Curse of the Werewolf , and the scent of decay wafts through the air. Welcome to Dark Universe, where the monsters you thought you knew come to life in a world of unspeakable terror. The rustling of dry leaves signals the approach of Dracula’s minions, while Frankenstein’s monster lumbers forth from the shadows, its eyes aglow with an unholy light. The ghosts of film noir flicker like lanterns in the darkness, guiding you deeper into the abyss. And amidst this macabre landscape, tantalizing aromas waft from the shadows: rich coffee, sweet pastries, and savory meats sizzle on ancient grills. Come, indulge, at Das Stakehaus where mortal flavours meet monstrous delights. Quench your thirst with a glass of ‘Dracula’s crimson concoction that will leave you shivering in delight. And as you dine amidst the darkness. These classic monsters will finally have a home in one unique and incredible immersive world in Dark Universe, the line between reality and horror is but a whisper away. The legacy of the Universal Monsters is hard to overstate, after all the IP is over 100 years old and it’s safe to say the creative team behind this world has taken on this project with great respect and admiration.

“It’s really about the care that has been taken, as we’ve crafted these stories and this land, to really respect the history of these films,” says Chris. “But we’re not being charged with creating a museum. We are being charged with creating a living, breathing world and experience.” Dark Universe is world where all of the classic Universal Monsters stories really happened — and soon, guests will be able to venture into the shadows and experience what that world looks like today.

Until we meet again, may your nightmares be filled with sweet terror…

To prepare for the electrifying chills and thrills that await in Dark Universe, guests can now purchase a variety of new merchandise themed to the new land – including apparel, accessories and more. The collection is available for a limited-time and can be purchased at the Universal Epic Universe Preview Center in Universal CityWalk and on https://shop.universalorlando.com/shop/. Stay tuned – more details about Universal Epic Universe will be revealed in the months ahead. For more information about Universal Epic Universe, visit https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/gb/theme-parks/epic-universe.

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Rebecca Hall’s ‘Four Days Like Sunday’ Set to Begin Filming

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Kaylee Hottle and Rebecca Hall in “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” (2024). PHOTO: DANIEL MCFADDEN/COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES

Get ready for Rebecca Hall’s much-anticipated debut as a writer, director and star, in the upcoming film “Four Days Like Sunday,” currently in pre-production!

Set in the vibrant mid-1990s, the movie tells the story of 12-year-old Jane as she rebels against her role as caretaker to her fading Broadway diva mother, Sylvia, who is navigating a recent divorce. Against the backdrop of their grand country house, Sylvia entertains three male dancers from her tour and eagerly awaits the arrival of her younger boyfriend, Dale. As Jane navigates the chaos, she undergoes a transformation from childhood to a wiser, freer, and more independent state.

Filming is scheduled to begin on 5th August 2024, promising an exciting production in the heart of London!

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‘IF’ Review | The Most Meaningful and Heartfelt Movie of The Year, Delights With Pure Imagination

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This review was made possible by watching an advanced screening

The most meaningful and heartfelt movie of the year. “IF” enchants with delight and wonder as John Krasinski crafts a love letter to our childhood, making us experience emotions that ultimately hit me right in the feels as he reminds us to never lose sight of our imagination! 

In a cinematic landscape often dominated by cynicism and darkness, John Krasinski’s “IF” is a breath of fresh air, a heartwarming and endearing tale that will leave you beaming with joy as it expertly balances the magic, wonder, and adventure of childhood with the poignancy, trials, and tribulations of adulthood, creating a narrative that is at once both nostalgic and universally relatable. The real magic of “IF” lies in its ability to tap into the collective shared childhood experience by evoking memories of our imaginary friends & the adventures we’ve shared with them. 

“IF,” is a whimsical fantasy family adventure that explores the concept of abandoned imaginary friends or IFs as they call themselves. In this heartwarming tale, Bea, a young girl played beautifully by Cailey Fleming discovers her unique ability to see these unwanted characters and reconnect the forgotten IFs with their original creators who have now fully grown up as she embarks on a magical journey through this imaginative, colourful, and creative world. As one girl learns the power of imagination and friendship. Bea thinks she must be hallucinating – until the man in the apartment upstairs reveals he can also see the IFs. 

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Several years ago, Krasinski, known for his work on “A Quiet Place,” penned a script intending to uplift his children who were struggling with feelings of depression amidst the challenges of the pandemic. Krasinski not only wrote the script but also took on the role of director for the film. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Cailey Fleming, Steve Carell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr., and Fiona Shaw, among many other A-listers lending their voices to the characters, “IF” was inspired by the impact of the pandemic on Krasinski’s daughters, Hazel and Violet.

Having long harboured the desire to create a film for his children, Krasinski found inspiration in the imaginative worlds his daughters would delve into. Witnessing the genuine joy and authenticity with which they played, he was motivated to capture this magic on screen. Through “IF,” Krasinski aimed to show his daughters that this world of imagination and make-believe is always within reach, a place where they can be anything they desire. This magical world is ever-present and waiting for them to explore.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Imaginary friends, these elusive entities existing solely in a child’s vivid imagination, serve as a comforting beacon amidst the chaos of adulthood. In this whimsical tale, away from the foreboding presence of sightless extraterrestrials, audiences are treated to a cascade of endearing characters and a wave of nostalgic charm that instils a heartwarming sense of joy and wonder. “IF” is a delightful escapade that celebrates the virtues of curiosity, creativity, and innocence, rekindling the essence of childhood wonder, and reminding us that the magic is always within reach.

Featuring a star-studded lineup of IFs including Steve Carell, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Keegan-Michael Key, and more, the film introduces a mix of charismatic imaginary beings brought to life through the distinct voices of these esteemed actors. Each character, with its unique backstory and quirks, adds a human touch to the ethereal world, resonating with both younger viewers and their older counterparts.

The film’s exploration of imaginary friends serves as a poignant reminder that our childhood aspirations and dreams are not just fleeting fantasies, but rather tangible time capsules that hold the power to shape our future. These creations, born from our imagination, are a manifestation of our hopes, desires, and innermost ambitions – a reflection of who we wanted to be and what we wanted to achieve. As we grow up and face the harsh realities of adulthood, it’s easy to lose sight of these childhood ideals, but the film suggests that we don’t have to let go of that spark. By tapping into the imagination and embracing the spirit of our youthful selves, we can reignite our passions, rediscover our sense of purpose, and continue to evolve into the best versions of ourselves. In this way, imaginary friends become a powerful tool for self-reflection, creativity, and personal growth, reminding us that even as we age, we can still hold onto the essence of our childhood dreams.”

Through the vibrant personalities of figures like Blue, Unicorn, Sunny, Spaceman, and Ally, the movie explores the boundless bounds of a child’s imagination. A blend of conventional and eccentric companions, such as Blossom, Ice, Cosmo, and Marshmallow creates a tapestry of humour and charm that engages viewers in a realm where the fantastical meets the mundane in delightful ways. Most significantly Lewis, an old teddy bear voiced by Louis Gossett Jr sadly passed away and the film is lovingly dedicated to him with such a touching tribute after the credits rolled.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

To render the unseen into vision, director John Krasinski enlisted the expertise of VFX supervisor Chris Lawrence and the revered effects studio Framestore, weaving together around 800 meticulously crafted shots featuring a diverse ensemble of 42 CGI characters. Within this narrative realm, a poignant blend of fantasy and magical realism flourishes, engendering a profound sense of belief in the audience as they witness these ethereal beings coalesce on screen. Employing a blend of physical puppets and digital animation, the film sought to honour the sanctity of space and performance, poised on the precipice of seamlessly integrating these otherworldly entities within the tangible fabric of the film universe.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Through this meticulous fusion of technical prowess and artistic vision, the film emerges as a testament to the transformative power of storytelling, poised to captivate audiences with its charm and artistry.

With a captivating blend of computer-generated CGI forms seamlessly integrating into the real world, expertly led by the dynamic duo of Fleming and Reynolds, As the live-action leads, they exhibit effortless chemistry on-screen, commanding attention and drawing the audience in. The initial wariness between Bea and Cal gives way to a warm and engaging rapport, characterised by witty banter and exasperation.

As Bea navigates the challenges of transitioning through her teenage years, she finds solace in these quirky and unique imaginary friends, embracing the comfort and security of childhood delights. Meanwhile, the film’s relationships take centre stage, led by the charismatic performance of Ryan Reynolds and standout Cailey Fleming, alongside Fiona Shaw. The movie’s greatest strength lies in its nuanced balance between lighthearted moments and emotional depth, evoking a sense of warmth and family, particularly during poignant reunion scenes.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

One of the film’s most endearing relationships is that between Bea and her father, played by Krasinski, which is charmingly tender and heartfelt.

Michael Giacchino’s music score for the movie “If” is a masterclass in emotional depth and thematic complexity. The composer delivers one of the best scores of his career, weaving a sonic tapestry that perfectly captures the film’s poignant exploration of connection whether that’s from human or imaginary. Giacchino’s themes are creative, heartfelt, and sincere, expertly conveying the emotional highs and lows of the characters’ journeys. From the tender warmth to the soaring grandeur of the score’s more uplifting moments, every note feels carefully crafted to elevate the film’s emotional impact. Giacchino’s score is a stunning achievement, showcasing his remarkable composer skill and ability to tap into the heart of a story.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In essence, “IF” is a cinematic celebration of the power of imagination, brought to life through a tapestry of endearing characters and heartfelt moments that left me feeling nostalgic and uplifted. With its colourful jumble of personalities and whimsical storytelling, the film is a captivating journey into the enchanting world of make-believe that will warm the hearts of viewers of all ages. 

IF” hits theatres on May 17. 

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