Ben Umstead
U.S. Editor; Los Angeles, California

Ben joined Team Twitch in the summer of 2009 when he moved to NYC. There he established an east coast conglomerate of writers for the site. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he works as a producer and script consultant.

Crowdfund This: Southern Gothic Goes DIY In UNFINISHED BUSINESS

For many of us, our childhoods were filled with ghost stories. Whether it was around the campfire, or sneaking a read with the flashlight under the covers, or catching a midnight movie, there was something vital and enduring about those... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Fantastic Fest 2015: It's A Classic Horror Grab Bag In THE BABYSITTER MURDERS Trailer

Ahead of its big screening at Fantastic Fest down in Austin, director Ryan Spindell and the fine folks at Trapdoor Picturess have offered up a fresh trailer of their award winning short film The Babysitter Murders. While you may at... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

The Trailer For POV Actioner HARDCORE Totally Is

Ahead of its world premiere tonight in Toronto's Midnight Madness section, a trailer has dropped for Ilya Naishuller's first person actioner Hardcore. The less said about the trailer the better, but first...You may recall that Naishuller and his team were... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Hey, NYC! Wanna See SICARIO Early And For Free?

With Denis Villeneuve at the helm I betchya that answer is YES. The Quebecois director has been raking up a complex and eclectic filmography over the years, from Prisoners to Enemy, and his Cannes premiering Emily Blunt starring cartel thriller... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

THE FORBIDDEN ROOM Trailer: What Do Baths, Flapjacks And Volcanoes Have In Common? Guy Maddin!

To dream the volcanic dream... to flap jack the un-flap-jackable air...Canadian avant-garde darling Guy Maddin has teamed up with Evan Johnson to co-direct the phantasmagoric menagerie The Forbidden Room, a pulp adventure infused layer cake of cinematic WTFs and pure... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Fantastic Fest 2015: The Final Wave Of Films Hit

The final wave of films for the 2015 Fantastic Fest has come crashing down on the collective heads of cinephelia with a raucous fervor. Or something of such extreme ilk...Anyway, more treats are in store for those headed to the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

THE LOBSTER: UK Trailer For Yorgos Lanthimos' Latest Is Silly And Weird

Riding off favorable buzz at this year's Cannes, Dogtooth director Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster is coming to the UK and Ireland on October 16. While the US currently doesn't have a release scheduled, the below trailer is our first real... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Fantastic Fest 2015: Behold, The Short Film Lineup!

Any regular reader knows that Fantastic Fest is boatloads of fun, chock full of great films. And many of those films are short films.Last year, I had such a blast with the slew of shorts programming I attended I can't... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: BLIND, A Stunning, Sensitive Ode To The Lonely

What we see: A street in Oslo, Norway. A dress shop. Pedestrians stream on by. Standing inside of the shop is a German Shepard. It Barks. Spittle hits the window. Pedestrians stream on by. What we hear: A woman's voice,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Spielberg's BRIDGE OF SPIES Leads The 2015 New York Film Festival's Main Slate

The 53rd New York Film Festival starts September 25 - October 11 at the Film Society Of Lincoln Center, and boy are they packing a punch this year.Their Main Slate was announced today, leading with the world premiere of Steven... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

John Logan & Patti Smith Bring JUST KIDS To Showtime

Patti Smith's 2010 memoir Just Kids is one of those books that is just full of magic. Charting the protopunk's bohemian New York Days with artist Robert Mapplethorpe, Smith's work nabbed the National Book Award for nonfiction for damn good... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Toronto 2015: First Wave Of Films Arrive, Vallée's DEMOLITION To Open

The 40th Toronto International Film Festival is just around the corner (September 10 - 20), so with that our first wave of films arrives today. Leading the pack in Galas is Jean-Marc Vallée's latest Demolition, with screening spots for Ridley... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

VICTORIA: The One-Take Wonder Of 2015 Gets A U.S. Trailer

Since its premiere at Berlin in February, Sebastian Schipper's kinetic Victoria continues to make waves everywhere it goes. And now we've got a U.S. trailer ahead of its October 9th release from Adopt Films.The big reason that the film is... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

QUEEN OF EARTH Trailer Offers Up A Cheeky Thriller Throwback

There's something so knowingly corny about the trailer for Listen Up Philip director Alex Ross Perry's Queen Of Earth, that it just becomes some kind of wonderful. That something is the deep-throated voice over which totally edges the trailer into... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

SPECTRE: New Trailer Pits 007 Against The Shadows Of His Past

Seems as if this Daniel Craig era of James Bond flicks has been about origins and shared histories and secret-secrets tucked nice and deep underneath even more secrets, which for a spy series makes some sense, especially when it seems... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

THE REVENANT: First Trailer For Iñárritu's Next Looks Stunning

Alejandro González Iñárritu follows up his Oscar winning Birdman with what looks to be his most ambitious film to date, the epic survival tale, The Revenant. Based partially on the novel by Michael Punke, the film follows Leonardo DiCaprio as... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: TRAINWRECK, A Decidedly Safe Ride To Coupledom

Comedienne Amy Schumer has drawn a lot of eyes (and sometimes ire) for her Comedy Central sketch show Inside Amy Schumer, which lampoons, subverts and raises the ground under many traditional American roles women find themselves pigeonholed in at work,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Fantasia 2015 Exclusive: THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE Trailer Terrifies

Fantasia is a big place, with some of the biggest genre movies of 2015 screening across its marathon four weeks.But as we know, films come in all shapes and sizes. And it is sometimes the smaller pictures, the intimate, low-budget... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Comic-Con Reel Delights

This afternoon the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Force Awakens entered the hallowed Hall H at Comic-Con with... what exactly?We were told prior that no clips or trailers would premiere. Nor was that rumor about Colin Trevorrow directing... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Ben Affleck To Co-Write, Direct And Star In Solo BATMAN

And so it was that the age of the Batfleck truly began.In news that has surprised no one, Ben Affleck, who has his first outing as the caped crusader in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice next spring, will be... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  
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