Corpus delicti

What does it mean to be a conventional horror movie? When terror and fear are the subjects, then any movie could truly be a horror. All The President’s Men is a horror movie about the goliath of the president running amok, a true serial killer. A Few Good Men is a horror movie about group... Continue Reading →

The Shape and the Thing

Generally it’s supposed that Alfred Hitchcock modernized the horror movie, taking films once located in dark castles and European villages into the suburbs and backcountry of America, creating a horror movie that was more concerned with pathology and carnage then the classic tenets of gothicism. Hitchcock’s singular impact can be argued as a film like... Continue Reading →

Bound

Every child’s story is how they bury their parents. Whether with a spade full of dirt or years on the psychologist’s couch, growing up means the acknowledgement of who we were with our parents and who we are now. Jessie (Carla Gugino), the heroine of Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel Gerald’s Game... Continue Reading →

A Woman Under the Influence

Possession movies are always predicated on bad influence. Often these influences come from an outside malicious force, one that wants to cause death and pain to an innocent person. A good example of this is William Friedkin’s The Exorcist where a little girl is possessed for no other reason than to create doubt and terror.... Continue Reading →

Great Ape

Bob Goldthwait’s Willow Creek is not only familiar because it mimics the most famous found footage movie of all time The Blair Witch Project, but because it hops on the trend of reality shows based on cryptozoology. The movie tells the story of tourists going on a pilgrimage to see where the Patterson–Gimlin footage was... Continue Reading →

Pit Happens

Hillbilly horror stories aren’t new. Culturally we place our collective fears on the outposts or wild places of the world. Films like Deliverance, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, Wrong Turn, and a million other horror or horror adjacent movies work within this conceit. Chad Crawford Kinkle's Jug Face (2013) operates in an in-between... Continue Reading →

Death in a Small Town

Tobe Hooper’s television miniseries Salem’s Lot is an interesting example of the new horror of the seventies interacting with more traditional horror elements, which emphasized Gothic settings like haunted mansions, traditional monsters like vampires and scares built on suspense rather than brutality. Translated from Stephen King’s book about a tiny New England town slowly overrun... Continue Reading →

Fathers and Daughters

Fear is an open-ended question, and perhaps one of the essential fears of childhood is parental abandonment. Oz Perkins’s film The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015) describes both a spiritual and emotional type of abandonment. The movie begins at a girl’s Catholic school during holiday break. The atmosphere of the school is desolate, the snow of upstate... Continue Reading →

Send in the Clown

There’s a strange allegory in the new adaptation of Stephen King’s coming of age story It. I don’t understand exactly what that allegory actually is. I know what it should be, that the alliances we make as children are purer in some ways than the one’s we make as adults. That childhood phobias, fears, and... Continue Reading →

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