Making an effective horror film that is both original and scary is a difficult puzzle to assemble in Hollywood, so when a filmmaker gets it right, it’s fun to break it down and see how all of the pieces fit together. One filmmaker doing it right is Denver native Scott Derrickson, whose most recent films, Sinister and Deliver Us From Evil, spooked audiences and caught the eye of Marvel Studios, which has tapped him to direct its upcoming Doctor Strange film, a property known for its supernatural nature.
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is hosting Derrickson for a two-night residency beginning tonight at 7:30 p.m., when the filmmaker (and known Kurosawa scholar) will introduce and discuss a 35mm print of the Kurosawa classic, Yojimbo. That leads into tomorrow’s 8 p.m. screening of Sinister, part of the Alamo’s signature Color Commentary program; the film will be presented as the director talks over it, explaining how to layer a film with dread and rely on story, not just shocks, to keep your audience on the edge of their seats.
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“We’re thrilled to have this native son jump into this program,” says Steve Bessette, creative manager for the Alamo. “The stars have aligned to have him here at such a bright moment in his career.” Both films screen at the Alamo, 7301 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton. Tickets — $10.75 for Yojimbo and $15 for Sinister — can be purchased in advance at drafthouse.com/denver.
Mon., Dec. 29, 7:30 p.m.; Tue., Dec. 30, 8 p.m., 2014