I wasn’t born yet when Psycho or Jaws were originally released in theaters, so I never quite had the innate fear of showers and sharks that those films inspired. But I’m pretty sure Matt Reeves’ hairy scary thriller Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is going to give some kids nightmares about smart monkeys walking through the woods behind their houses, guns and lanterns in tow. Before we get to these new stills, though, I’m just going to go over and close my windows, blinds, and curtains. You guys don’t hear that horrible squealing out there do you? I didn’t think so.
As part of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, these stills are like a fine chaser to the luxurious intoxicants of the huge image spread we saw the other day. But that’s okay, as the sign that hangs over the metaphorical door here at GFR says, “The more monkeys, the better.” It was a cheap sign.
I hate to be that guy who thinks that all monkeys look alike, but I can’t even tell who it is that’s yelling up there. I just know it’s a fright. What happens in a simian’s life that makes him or her freak out like that? Shitty drivers do it for me, but these guys ride horses. That Yoda-looking guy in the background looks like he doesn’t take shit from anyone or anything. Say goodbye to your monkey budgets, zoos.
The other photo is less intense, but the character designs are so hardcore, this looks like it could be taken from a Muir Woods Little Theater adaptation of Goodfellas. Just don’t laugh, and you should be fine.
Let’s be honest though. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is going to be a movie about humans vs. apes in the aftermath of a viral apocalypse, and even though this is humanity’s chance to shine—with Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Keri Russell serving as part of the surviving population—certain members of the viewing audience like myself are going to revel in watching Caesar’s (Andy Serkis) more primitive society show off their advanced intelligence. Is it only because seeing a monkey holding a shotgun makes me want to chant and twirl batons? Uh, yeah.
Let’s all move to the woods on July 11 when Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters. And if you happen to see any primates in the audience, don’t draw attention to them.