As much as we love Paul Schrader, it’s tough to admit that the acclaimed screenwriter and director has been on a bit of a slide. It has been nearly a decade since the excellent “Auto Focus” and since then, he’s directed three films: the compromised and troubled production of “Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist,” the escort thriller “The Walker” and the WWII sexual fetish pic (really) “Adam Resurrected.” What each of those films share is a diminishing audience and critical regard with each subsequent picture. Since his last flick in 2008, Schrader has been attached to a couple of projects — the Bollywood backed “Xtreme City” and more recently the vengeance pic “The Jesuit” — but none of them have really started moving (the latter project was supposed to have started shooting in March but word has been very quiet). Unfortunately, it looks like Schrader is taking on a pretty terrible sounding work-for-hire gig.
You may have forgotten, but at the end of last year a new Bret Easton Ellis-penned pic bubbled to the surface, the pretty ludicrous sounding “Bait.” The film, originally slated to be helmed by TV producer/director Jonas Pate, centers on Cole, a worker at a posh resort who bristles at the wealth and affluence around him. One evening, he tries to strike up a conversation with a pretty girl who is rolling with a group of elite students. Her boyfriend becomes pissed, and beats and humiliates Cole, who is pushed over the edge and plots his revenge. How? Taking advantage of their yacht trip the next day, he sneaks onto the boat, kills the Captain and takes them all out to shark infested waters and begins to kill them one by one.
So yeah, this sounds like any other rote Hollywood schlock thriller, but Schrader himself will do touch-ups on the screenplay presumably to include more references to Catholicism than were there before. And while this may seem to be an odd and strange move for the helmer who pretty much marches to the beat of his own drum, we never thought he’d do an ‘Exorcist’ movie either and if anything, the 65-year-old Schrader is still full of surprises. [Variety]