Oz the Great and Powerful (2012) vs. The NeverEnding Story (1984)

March 7, 2013 Eric Volkman

Let’s exit Earth for a while and travel to colorful lands distant from our own. Our contestants in this Smack are a pair of big-budget fantasy epics adapted from popular books. Hailing from storm-wracked Kansas is our challenger, Oz the Great and Powerful, a reimagining of one of the most beloved family films of all time. In this new version, our focus has shifted to the title character, a two-bit carnival magician with a grand stage name. He’s transported to the vibrant land bearing his name and gets thrown into a civil war among several bickering witches.

Flying in from Germany on a giant talking dog is The NeverEnding Story, in which a lonely young boy borrows and reads a book described by its seller as “unsafe.” And we all know what happens when a little boy reads an unsafe book, right? Of course — he gets dragged into the proceedings himself, which in this case means a fight between a fantasy kingdom and a scary black void that threatens to engulf that happy society. […]

The Possession (2012) -vs- Boogeyman (2005)

August 30, 2012 Arthur Tiersky

The Possession: From the writing team and producer who brought you Boogeyman! No, not that Boogeyman, the other one. Yeah, okay, there’ve been a few, so we can understand your confusion. The 2005 Boogeyman! You know, the one with the kid from Seventh Heaven and Zooey Deschanel’s less annoyingly quirky sister? Yeah, that’s the one! Same folks!

And so ends my brief career of writing movie poster copy. But the point is, as you can see, The Possession, the new horror release from the producing shingle of the extremely busy and formerly cool Sam Raimi, comes with quite the pedigree. After Boogeyman (on which they share writing credit with Eric Kripke), screenwriting team Stiles White and Juliet Snowden would go on to pen such immortal classics as Knowing (2005) and The Proud Family Movie (2009). With The Possession, though, they return to their domestic horror roots, so what better way* to celebrate the closing of this vicious circle than with a good old-fashioned Smackdown? […]