(Lake) Mungo, pawn in game of life

Stanley Kubrick mentioned to Stephen King that a ghost story was hopeful because it assumed there was life after death.  In Kubrick’s case, he was speaking about The Shining, but hope is a strange thing to envision in Joel Anderson’s faux docudrama Lake Mungo. In the film, a family deals with the facts in the... Continue Reading →

Witch Finder

Found footage with its anti-aesthetic filmmaking offers an interesting type of the horrific, one conceptualized not only by horrific material, but bound with how the audience experiences time. Although The Blair Witch Project was far from the first found footage horror film, it’s wide dispersal in the culture makes it a touchstone. Looking back at... Continue Reading →

All in the Family

Possession movies are sleight of hand. While questions of good versus evil, the devil versus god, seem to be what their narratives are about, what they really posit are the things that imperil a society. For William Friedkin's The Exorcist, what’s at stake is the body of a rich white girl, a representation of purity... Continue Reading →

Death Becomes Her

  Toni Morrison in her book Playing in the Dark:Whiteness in the Literary Imagination offers an interesting instructional guide to readers of early american fiction with its cursory depiction of characters of color. She stresses reading not just the caricature or absence of characters of color, but in fact to analyze what the color-coded notion... Continue Reading →

A Year in the Life

In a world of franchise concepts, we wonder where things originate. Art in our society becomes not just about now, but how we got to now, was there a purer time, a place where all antecedents come from,. What does home look like now is a question most fictive worlds try to answer. The adaptation... Continue Reading →

Meet the Parent

Implicit in most narratives of monstrosity is how elements foreign and animalistic,  are somehow unfailingly human. We understand implicitly that Frankenstein’s monster is who we are, because it is in the existence of birth that we must begin life accepting the world on its surface. The monster is the child who enters the world a... Continue Reading →

Love in the Time of Mermen

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is a film about who we are asked to be and who we actually are. The film follows Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) a cleaning woman working at a military lab. Her inability to speak frames the narrative. Elisa and her neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins) live in a world... Continue Reading →

I’m going to get you sucker

To some degree the portrait of a vampire is an examination of human loneliness. What are Carmilla or Count Dracula, but beings who have lived out of time. The vampire take life to live without time and because of this, along with a host of religious, sexual, and cultural mores, the supernatural figure is as... Continue Reading →

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