It may seem like horror is mainly used to elicit fear and terror, but its ability to frighten and rattle its audience is actually rooted in an unlikely emotion: sympathy. Even the most cynical character can be found worthy of redemption if the circumstances which jaded them are deemed tragic, and even the darkest villains are made more interesting by exposing their insecurities. It is this gray area in which brilliant author Joe Hill seeks to explore the darkest depths of the human mind throughout his portfolio of work, and the result of his inquiries is a large stack of fascinating publications.
This is a Cinderella story about a girl who could never quite shake off the soot from her heels. The girl who found her prince, made her way to the kingdom, but still couldn’t fit into her glass slipper—at least, not the way the old princess did, not like Rebecca.
In 1813, renowned writer Jane Austen published a book called Pride and Prejudice, which tells the story of the Bennet sisters, who are gussied up and married off to wealthy suitors, one by one. The only sister who seems to question this system is Elizabeth, the rebellious member of the family, who feels strong disdain for the system that treats her more like property than a proper citizen. In 2009, author Seth Grahame-Smith put a new twist on the old tale by creating a parody novel called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which loosely follows the same basic outline, but adds an entirely different obstacle to the tale: the living dead.
2016 is hereby declared the year of the female filmmaker.
A few exceptions aside, for several years, a spot in the director’s chair seemed like a seat reserved only for those in the boys’ club. However, a revolution has been quietly brimming beneath the surface, with more and more women stepping behind the camera as of late and genre films leading the way in this massive reconstruction.
For centuries, annual holidays have been widely celebrated as a time to put aside one’s worries and responsibilities in order to come together with loved ones and enjoy each other’s company. Holidays are magical, not only because they represent a time of love and harmony, but also because many of them are commemorated on a global scale, making them not only a positive junction, but a universal one that can be shared by nearly all of humankind.
With Jeremy Saulnier’s merciless Green Room coming out this week, what better occasion to look back at one of the greatest siege films of all-time, by the master himself, John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13? Read on, and discover that what sets Carpenter’s classic apart from all that came after it isn’t just the relentless action, but the significance of the violence from the perspective of those perpetrating the brutal standoff.
When most people think of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film, The Birds, their minds usually jump to the frightening image of the poor, innocent school children running down the street next to a green-clad Melanie Daniels, played by Tippi Hedren. The sounds of the children shrieking as crows dive in and peck viciously at their little scalps is undoubtedly one of the most disturbing and iconic scenes in cinematic history, but what many Hitchcock fans may not realize is that the true terror of this film doesn’t lie with the birds, but with the folk of Bodega Bay. The townspeople’s treatment of outsider Melanie Daniels is the real thing to fear in The Birds, and the winged vertebrates themselves act only as a personification of the locals’ unwelcoming attitudes.
Pride and Prejudice and...zombies? It may sound like a strange combination, but the parody novel written by Seth Grahame-Smith has already hit number three on the New York Times bestseller list, moved up on Amazon's catalog of popular novels from a spot in the 300s all the way up to number 27, and sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. Mainly derived from Jane Austen's iconic 1813 Regency romance novel, mixed with an impending zombie apocalypse and warrior-trained daughters, this kooky mashup has been received shockingly well, and even spawned several books of the same nature by other authors, hoping to cash in on Smith's clever trend.
Demonic activity, skinheads, and psychopaths: these are the words one might use to describe the upcoming genre films of 2016. From a possessed painter, to a devilish leg wound, to full-on war waged within the confines of a futuristic apartment complex, blood flies and fingers point in what looks to be one of the most intense, purposely-paced and experimental years for independent films to date.
Quentin Tarantino is possibly the most prolific writer/director working in film today. His first feature-length film, Reservoir Dogs, came out back in 1993, and yet the man still manages to surprise us with his hard-hitting dialogue, unconventional humor, and radical social and political commentary. This is a man who serves as a prime example of succeeding as a result of respecting one's elders, as he learns from those great filmmakers who came before him, while still managing to thread his own style through his intricately woven, homage-heavy film résumé.
Alal has come to town to win back his wife and son, but he's off to a rough start. After picking a fight with a local citizen for no apparent reason, Alal lands himself in jail, where he'll wait for approximately two days until he goes to trial to further decide his fate. While he sits shamefully in his cell, thinking his situation couldn't possibly get any worse, a man named Al Daban strolls into the holding station with a secret hidden up his sleeve. Al Daban may bear an officer's uniform, but his regard for respecting laws and ancient customs comes to a screeching halt once the subject in question begins to involve anyone other than himself.
In the new horror anthology Southbound, five tales merge to create one cohesive storyline through the back roads of hell. On the endless trail into unknown, hot southern depths, all of the characters involved in this Twilight Zone-esque collection of stories will be confronted with their sins in their own personal hells.
[Editor's Note: This movie was previously titled February, but after being acquired by A24, the film is now referred to as The Blackcoat’s Daughter.]
An all girls boarding school creaks and moans while it sits in the middle of the whipping winds of a vicious blizzard. Catholicism is taught here in the form of diligent prayer and respect for elders, but these practices are not all that Bramford houses. While many of the pupils are devout followers and good students, some girls, like little lonely Kat, have felt too much despair at too early an age to find solace in the grace of God. Kat sees the devil in every sin she endures -- in the destruction of her past, in the harassment emitted by a fellow classmate, and in the emptiness of her solitude, Kat sniffs out traces of the devil's lure, and in her disappointment with the world, can't help but find comfort in the embrace of Satan’s seductive, comforting claws.
In his long-awaited follow-up to the brutal 2009 prom night from hell feature film The Loved Ones, writer/director Sean Byrne is back with an even more outrageous spin on a group of innocents pulled into a deadly situation.