The horror genre goes through phases. At its height, the main draw was an unstoppable superhuman monster that stalked the hero (usually heroine). Through the endless sequels, that appeal went away. The genre reinvented itself through irony during the 90s and made a new generation fall in love with it. Throughout the genre’s many stages of evolution, it’s usually been about teens making terrible decisions, and the things in the dark that go and attack them. Green Room follows many of the rules for horror and is a captivating film. Writer/director Jeremy Saulnier creates a tense, gory, violent, haunted house film, but instead of the monsters being the undead, they are Neo-Nazis led by the legendary Patrick Stewart.
The best way to describe watching 10 Cloverfield Lane is like eating chocolate ice cream with lemon-infused olive oil: it’s unusual but tastes absolutely delicious. Audiences expecting a Cloverfield spin-off will be greatly disappointed. There’s no giant monster wrecking a city, no shaky-cam, and no T.J. Miller screaming “Oh my god!” It’s a smaller, more humble film that resembles an apocalyptic thriller more than a monster-disaster movie. J.J. Abrams made it clear on several occasions that this film would be a “blood relative” to the original Cloverfield and not feature the first film’s monster. The only thing these films have in common are their extraterrestrial and horror themes. It’s much like what John Carpenter tried to do with the Halloween films by having several films with different stories all set during the holiday (before audiences decried the third film’s lack of Michael Myers). Much like Halloween 3, 10 Cloverfield Lane focus on crafting a new story instead of rehashing an old one. As a result, the sheer quality and ambition of 10 Cloverfield Lane is absolutely enough to make it even better than the film that spiritually preceded it.
“Why don’t more people know about [INSERT GRAPHIC NOVEL TITLE HERE]? [INSERT GRAPHIC NOVEL TITLE HERE] is the best thing ever!
~Every cheated comic book nerd ever.
With almost a century’s worth of tradition, comic books have absolute metric craptons of excellent, well thought-out content, even after you have subtracted the 90% of crap that infests every medium, as predicted by Sturgeon’s Law. And while this 10% might sound pretty damn promising, a lot of it just has simply been lost to time and lack of reprints, mostly due to their lackluster sales.
Which makes sense, from a market perspective: how many newfangled nerds know about the work of Rick Veitch? Who among the steampunk nerds have even heard of the unbridled lunacy that’s in the work of Bryan Talbot? Heck, how many otaku do you know that know the work of Boichi or even Kago Shintarou? Even if you factor in those creators’ excellence, their work often slips through the cracks, by virtue of simple logistics. (more…)
It seems like babysitting is going to be a much more lucrative job in the near future. Ever since the Deadpool movie hit the jackpot with its R rating, the “PG-13=more money”mentality seems to be dying a slow and painful death. Now it seems like the studio suits are giving filmmakers some much-needed freedom when it comes to mature content. The upcoming Wolverine film is supposedly aiming for an R rating, and will hopefully give audiences an appropriately gory adaptation of such a brutal character. Moreover, there is another film is looking to be restricted to unaccompanied audiences under 17. This one in particular is an adaptation of a Stephen King story with one of the scariest clowns known to mankind.
There was old saying, back in the glory days of grindhouse films and low-budget slashers: “When the gore stops flowing, viewers stop showing”.
The now infamous Saw horror franchises obviously took this saying to heart, when they ran their 6 sequels to create a run-away horror mega-hit that finally went out with more of a whimper rather than a bang, with Saw 7. However, there is a bit of good news to share with all our gorror readers, as Saw Legacy was recently announced to have moved out of development hell and into production, backed by a very peculiar writing team…
Based on the legendary horror novel by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist told the tale of a Greek-American Catholic Priest going through a crisis of faith, a Jesuit badass going up against the ancient Babylonian demon-king of the wind (and Hubert Farnsworth‘s bound servant) Pazuzu and fiction’s scariest possessed little girl, Regan McNeil. The book stirred up a lot of controversy on its 1971 release, especially considering that the author allegedly based most of the facts of the exorcism on an actual rite, performed on a 14-year-old boy with the assumed name of Roland Doe.
The series was stuck in development hell since 2012, when the first attempt to create a TV series was made, but now it seems that FOX have given the go-ahead to finally bring the classic to the small screen…
Editor’s Note: This review originally ran during the 2014 Fantastic Fest. We’re rerunning it now that It Follows is in limited release.
David Robert Mitchell’s The Myth of the American Sleepover is a movie about the resigning of innocence; the last gasp of youth that is gracefully exhaled before inevitably breathing in the fumes of the adult world. Like American Graffiti before it, there’s an overwhelming sense of melancholia that hangs over the movie’s single night setting, as if the writer/director is mourning the cycle of childhood as it moves into the dawn the responsibility. With his follow-up feature, Mitchell has crafted a natural progression in terms of thematics, only he adds a dash of perverse Cronenbergian genre play, resulting in what may be the defining horror film of this generation. It Follows is a dynamite piece of supernatural storytelling, equal parts touching and thrilling. Though fundamentally the film is more of the same from Mitchell, who is emerging as the premiere cinematic observer of youth in the modern auteurist pantheon. (more…)
As we all know, Halloween is a hodge and a podge of various cultural and religious traditions. The Jack O’ lantern, the holiday’s cheerful, grinning orange mascot is based on an old Irish legend of a man who was so evil he was kicked out of Hell. Jack was sentenced to wander for all eternity, with only a burning coal inside a hollowed-out turnip to light his way. Upon their arrival in America, the Irish found that the pumpkin was a far more user-friendly carving medium for their disturbing little tradition.
Trick Or Treating also has Celtic origins: On the festival of Samhain, the spirits of the dead walked the earth, and people would leave food out for them, hoping this would keep the dead from vexing the living.
It became an American tradition in the early 20th century as a way of keeping the young from vexing homeowners. Essentially, the adults of America made a deal with the nation’s children: “Stop breaking and burning our cities every October 31st, and you can go to any home you want and get free candy”. America’s youth accepted, and Trick Or Treating has been practiced in nearly every American community for almost a century.
Today, we explore the nerdiest of Halloween traditions: The Halloween horror movie marathon.
Sometimes escape is necessary.
Whether it be from the doldrums of the everyday or a deliberate dodging of the authorities which dog us in the aftermath of a mistake, the natural instinct to retreat and regroup is not only imperative but also innate. For it is in these acts of retirement that human beings can re-discover and re-affirm what truly drives them. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s second feature, Spring, revolves around such a retreat, as their seemingly unremarkable protagonist, Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci), jets off to Italy in order leave behind what may be the worst turn of events his young life has even seen. Though through this withdrawal, Evan finds not only the girl who may be the love of his life, but also a newfound respect for the world around him. Arguably the greatest quarter-life crisis story conceived since Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, Benson & Moorehead’s second motion picture is a stirring, life-affirming work of idiosyncratic art.
Oh yeah…it’s also a horror film. (more…)
Don’t let Electric Boogaloo fool you: Roger Corman started it.
Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus simply improved upon the cheapo tyrant formula that came to dominate drive-in style cinema in the 60s and 70s. Technically, The Weinstein Brothers perfected the mold, taking the schlock-factory model and somehow managing to add genuine quality into the mix (a shocker, I know). But none did it quite like Golan & Globus, whose somewhat unbelievable rags to riches story was fueled by pure, maniacal love for cinema. And much like he captured the Outback mayhem that was Australian genre cinema in the 70s with Not Quite Hollywood, Mark Hartley has returned to give us The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films. Only by narrowing the focus of the film and making it much more about Golan & Globus as people (though the constant talking head impersonations of the brothers threaten to turn the cousins into cartoons), it gives Electric Boogaloo an intimate edge that the director’s previous cinema documentaries lacked. Frankly speaking, Mark Hartley’s third picture devoted to the niche racks at your local video store (or, more accurately in 2014: Netflix Queue) might be the best movie about movies since Ted Demme’s A Decade Under the Influence. (more…)