Movie or book? That is always the question when Hollywood chooses to turn a beloved novel into a movie. Some adaptations have been delivered nicely; I won’t say flawlessly because let’s be honest, that’s never happened! Today one adaptation we will be talking about is the movie Shirley, based on the novel by Susan Scarf Merrill.
Dark Sky Films is “the little engine that could” of the horror scene. Over the last decade, this team has been involved in distributing indie horror gems, continuing the grand tradition of exhibiting the work of promising new talents. They’re the A24 of horror, minus the social media campaign (sadly that’s pretty bare bones). But if you see their logo, you know you’re in for some good old genre twisting: haunted houses, werewolves, axe maniacs, and vampires of course.
The term cinematic super villain is one I’ve been throwing around for a while. Every so often, there comes a filmmaker that makes uncompromisingly dark, shocking, and provocative material that leaves an impact on the viewer. Then, they never stop; they make a career out of showing up out of the blue with a new, devilish feature. This isn’t the exploitation scene. No, these are the film festival darlings that thoughtfully mirror the moral bankruptcy in our world, directors along the lines of Abel Ferrara, Larry Clark, Lars Von Trier, Michael Haneke, among others. They don’t hide that they’re the “bad guys” and we the viewer begin to root for them, or we at least better brace ourselves for what we’re getting into. Sometimes these directors make horror films, and yet, some of the scariest films aren’t even classified as horror. Enter director, Gaspar Noe.
Was the way we used to make films better? Are we slowly diverging into a worse way of making films, or simply losing out on the classics due to a new wave of filmmakers? Let's dig a little deeper together, and see why this question might hold some genuine value.
HorrOrigins presents a call with Midsommar producer Patrik Andersson & Hargas co-concept creator Martin Karlqvist. Patrik and Martin give background, answers questions and give advice to our audience. [VIDEO BELOW]
Effective horror films don’t always need a lot of blood, guts, and gore. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) is a prime example. The horror lies in a Satanic cult trying to control Rosemary’s (Mia Farrow) reproductive process. It’s a slow-burn, psychological film with little splatter. The Other Lamb, directed by Malgorzata Szumowska and written by C.S. McMullen, is a film whose terror lies in the abusive authority that a cult leader, Shepherd (Michiel Huisman), exerts over his flock, a group of women divided into “wives” and “daughters.” One daughter, Selah (Raffey Cassidy), gradually resists his influence, and her awakening is an affront to the patriarchal leader. The Other Lamb doesn’t feature geysers of blood and a massive kill count. Rather, it’s at times subdued, loaded with religious imagery, stellar cinematography, and clever use of the camera. Parts of it may feel too slow for the casual viewer, but its premise is creative, even if the execution is sometimes faulty.
Ah, good, old-fashioned possession films, ones where a character, usually a young girl, goes from happy and smiling to a series of low growls and mean insults directed at family members. These bone-bending tales have existed for a long time, the most recognizable being The Exorcist (1973), and I find it ironic that one of its best followers is a film simply called The Possession. Perhaps that’s the secret to these types of movies, a simplistic title and the viewer getting what they were promised. That’s a good thing. Whether you believe the marketing that said this film is ‘based on true events,’ or not, the end result is a good film.
Within the last decade, horror movies have made a great comeback at the box office.
Horror is now one of the most popular genres of cinema, bringing in millions of dollars at the box office. Horror has never been bigger, which explains the countless number of horror films that are currently shooting or in some stage of production. The following is a tentative schedule, meaning that the release dates for these films are liable to change. And with the coronavirus, many of these horror films, especially with a 2020 release date, are subject to be postponed to a later date. In addition, I will list the movies at the end with an unannounced release date.
Everyone recognizes the sharpened blade of a towering killer or the jagged pipe that gorges victims. It’s just as important of a tool as perhaps the mask, outfit, or voice of these characters. It’s what makes them memorable, terrifying or intimidating. So let’s go back in the past and see some of these lethal weapons and see what made them work and how they fit with each character’s personality.
As previously discussed in the Maniac Cop review, the Golden Age of the slasher genre ran from 1977 to 1993. A key figure associated with the slasher genre is the late Wes Craven, one of the most influential horror filmmakers of all time. If anything, you at least know him for creating A Nightmare on Elm Street and it’s flagship boogieman, Freddy Krueger. While breathing new life into the genre, Craven is also probably best known for ending the cycle (and his franchise) with New Nightmare. Almost immediately after, Craven ushered horror fans into the meta-age with Scream, a game changer upon release that reignited Craven’s career after a few financial duds. Suddenly, Craven’s name could be stamped on any property and it would get immediate attention. This brings us to Wishmaster, a film that could have been the definitive end of the slasher Golden-Age.