Those Winchester boys just can't seem to escape the demons of hell they inadvertently set loose at the end of season one of Supernatural. Unfortunately for the actors that portray Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, respectively), though they're currently the ones doing the chasing on the small screen (and in those exploits they are doing their fighting together), the tables are about to be turned and the stakes (as well as the screen) are about to get bigger, pitting brother against brother in a battle for the number one box office spot.
Perhaps due to a bit of typecasting, both Ackles and Padalecki have been cast in upcoming horror films-- films, I might add, that were originally supposed to be released on the same day of February 13 2009. Since the initial announcements, however, Ackles' My Bloody Valentine 3-D (which we'll get to in a minute) has been pushed up to late January to keep it out of direct competition with such a similar release. Undoubtedly, though, it will still be in theaters when Padalecki's Friday the 13th remake premieres, and can't you just hear the studios' bickering now?
The comparisons and pitting of brother against brother started early, when Padalecki was the first to sign onto a summer project, nabbing the role of Clay in the Friday the 13th remake. While not much is known about the characters or the plot, it is safe to assume Padalecki's role will closely mirror that of his in the 2005 version of House of Wax. With floppy brown hair, a non-threatening wide white smile, and two pencil eraser-sized dimples, Padalecki pretty much screams innocent in such material. In House of Wax, he played the supporting male eye candy, a character who was the sensitive boyfriend type, and who managed to appear pensive even when poking around a creepy mausoleum. Though it was obvious from the get-go he would be... getting it, so to speak, his death scene did at least provide one of the cooler visuals in recent horror film history.
Only a few weeks after the trades reported Padalecki's deal, Ackles' followed suit with the lead in My Bloody Valentine 3-D. Just like with his straight-to-DVD indie release, Devour, Ackles' character in My Bloody Valentine 3-D promises to encompass his trademark duality with which fans and critics alike have fallen in love. Hopping from sarcastic to sadistic with just a slight adjustment of a smirk and in a split second, Ackles successfully towed the line between the game-manipulated and the Satanic manipulator in Devour. Though the film as a whole often felt contrived, Ackles' boyish charm kept the audience in the journey, and you wanted to root for him, even when it seemed clear he was the bad guy. As Tom, a man who returns to his hometown on the eve of the anniversary of a twenty-two victim massacre, Ackles will have to tap into the same conflicting emotions to throw the audience off the track, as he will be suspected of those original murders while inevitably getting caught in the middle of a new string of violence.
So whose film will come out on top... or as the months and weeks tick off on the calendar, will the dates just be spread further and further apart so as not to cause the competition after all? The Supernatural fans I spoke to a few months ago at the convention in L.A. all were eager to tell me which brother they fancied most, but will that preference mean they will only see one film to have that brother come out on top? Or will their support for both boys translate to modest numbers for both films? If you're an avid reader of my blog, you already know where my loyalty (and my money) will lie, but regardless, it is an interesting concept to track nonetheless.