Having grown up watching and enjoying Deep Blue Sea, I still went into this threequel with extremely low expectations. Some would say that’s to be expected with the way that shark movies have been for years, with just a few films being able to distinguish themselves. So the big question is, was Deep Blue Sea 3 able to transcend the mold? Not really. But is it what you expect and a little bit more? Perhaps.
There are horror icons, and then there’s Vincent Price. Beginning his career in the Universal Monster Era, Price would find his calling playing the bad guy with his piercing stare, infectious voice, and arguably the best villain laugh. From William Castle to Roger Corman, Price could add class to even the schlockiest of cheese. Even through all the schlock, he does retain a few uncut gems, including one of his unique roles that came right at the tail end of his golden age, and has fallen under the radar: his 100th film, 1971’s The Abominable Dr. Phibes.
Who doesn’t like Christmas in July? Me. That was sort of rhetorical. I prefer to keep Christmas after Thanksgiving so other holidays can enjoy their time in the sun, and with Universal cancelling Halloween Horror Night and many horror movies being moved to later times, I decided to go back through some films I might’ve missed over the years. I guess it’s breaking with tradition to only watch Christmas movies around the holidays, but I finally checked out Krampus (2015).
Looking back, we’ve never left 2012 when it comes to blockbuster films. 2012 was one of the biggest game changing years for movies, giving us The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, Prometheus, the end of the Twilight saga, and the beginning of The Hobbit and The Hunger Games. Of course, the biggest film of the year was The Avengers, relaunching the age of the shared universe we see today. Some smaller films were left by the wayside, including The Cabin in the Woods, conveniently co-written and produced by problematic Avengers director, Joss Whedon. Originally slated for a 2010 release date, The Cabin in the Woods was indefinitely shelved after MGM financially went under, until it was picked up for release by the house that Saw built, Lionsgate. After a screening at the 2012 SXSW festival, the film was finally released proper on April 13th. This was less than a month before the release of Avengers, and probably contributed to its minimum profitability at the box office. Despite that, The Cabin in the Woods did receive general critical acclaim and positive word of mouth that helped gain an audience. Usually, this would be the start of cult classic...
Join award winning Night of the Slasher horror director Shant Hamassian in a filmmaking Q&A.
Dave Franco isn’t a name typically associated with horror or thrillers. After roles in several comedies, including Scrubs, The Disaster Artist (2017), and 21 Jump Street (2012), he makes his directorial debut with IFC Films The Rental. Overall, the movie is a mixed bag with a few pacing issues, but despite that, it’s an entertaining thriller with some cool throwbacks to Hitchcock and a recognizable cast that plays off each other well. It’s a film that has more highs than lows, especially for a debut.
There is a subset of contemporary horror that seeks to return to the formative experiences of its artist's encounters with the genre. The work of directors such as Ti West, David Robert Mitchell, and Adam Wingard evoke the films that got them into cinema (namely, the work of John Carpenter). This nostalgia is sincere and welcome, yet it feels as though that is only superficial, that the nostalgia for the style and technique is of utmost importance and not an understanding of what makes the material unique in the first place. Even more so, it can't be helped to look at these films as being specifically about masculine nostalgia for the genre. So, one might think there should be a feminine answer to this nostalgia. Answering that need in an almost cosmic fashion is The Love Witch, Anna Biller's 2016 femme horror magnum opus.
Dario Argento is an iconic name most associated with the horror genre from outside the good ole’ USA. Unlike many of the later 20th century masters of horror who burst onto the scene, Argento silently rose to prominence in the late 1960's as a screenwriter for spaghetti westerns (co-writing Once Upon a Time in the West with Sergio Leone). Quiet, unsuspecting or assuming, he was lurking in the shadows for the right moment to strike with his first feature. Beginning in 1970, Argento popularized giallo horror, a call back to pulpy Italian murder mysteries. If you’re not familiar with giallo, imagine if Film-Noir focused on primary colors instead of just back and white and was unrestricted by the haze code (sex, drugs, and gallons of blood). Argento’s mark is forever imprinted, serving as an inspiration to the golden age of slashers and helping usher in the zombie genre by producing George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.
Brian Moreland’s Tomb of Gods is a riveting adventure that had me at the edge of my seat from start to finish. Anyone who is a lover of mythology, especially Egyptian mythology, should read this novel.