2017 was a horrific year, but it was also a great year for horror cinema. 2016 gave us some instant classics, but I would argue that this year’s offerings were more diverse, fascinating, and forward-thinking. There were mainstream films—IT, Annabelle: Creation, and Happy Death Day, to name a few—that I didn’t personally love, but their success has paved the way for more genre cinema overall. We’re finally seeing stories that reflect our times. I had the honor of witnessing this upsurge of conversation and success at Sitges’ 50th anniversary event, which was my cinematic and personal highlight of the year.
Insidious: The Last Key has officially arrived in theaters this weekend, and to get you ready for another trip into The Further, here’s our final interview from the recent press day for the film, where Daily Dead sat down for a chat with none other than Lin Shaye, who has deservedly become the franchise’s leading lady.
He’s co-starred in and written all four films in the Insidious series, and he even sat in the directorial seat for the previous sequel, but for The Last Key, Leigh Whannell is taking audiences, and franchise favorite Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), back to the past, as we get to experience where it all started for our favorite parapsychologist, who must stop a powerful demonic force that once terrorized her as a young girl and is back to wreak more havoc.
Hey everyone. Having written and rewritten this introduction four times, I’ve resigned myself to a simple fact: I can’t rewrite what has been. I can’t change what is done. But the future isn’t set in stone, and my present is better than it’s been in a very long time. I guess which is to say that I’m forever an optimist; I can’t help it and frankly, I don’t care to change. It’s just the way I’m built. So, it was a busy year, and many of the reasons why you’ll see described below with my list of favorite things from 2017. As you’ll see, horror—and horror people—never let me down.
He took us into the morgue with The Corpse of Anna Fritz, and for his second feature film, Hèctor Hernández Vicens aims a morbid lens at a world gone mad in Day of the Dead: Bloodline. With the reimagining of George A. Romero's Day of the Dead coming out to theaters, VOD, and Digital HD beginning January 5th from Saban Films, Daily Dead recently spoke with lead actress Sophie Skelton, and we also had the pleasure of talking with Hèctor about the movie's twisted love story, paying homage to Romero's work while still telling a different tale, and incorporating symbolism into the living dead narrative.
Happy 2018, everyone! For most of us, 2017 was a bit of a challenging year, but what remained a constant bright spot for this writer was the deluge of amazing horror and sci-fi offerings that kept the last 12 months from feeling like a complete loss. I was fortunate enough to have been able to take in well over 200 movies throughout 2017, so when it came time to whittle down my list of favorites, let’s just say some tears were shed while I had to make some very difficult decisions about what to include here.
Over thirty years ago, George A. Romero introduced us to the lovable zombie Bub, the surly Captain Rhodes, and contagious cabin fever in Day of the Dead. One of the most memorable entries to the living dead genre, Romero's 1985 movie is the inspiration behind the new reimagining Day of the Dead: Bloodline, which tells a much different story of the zombie apocalypse. With Day of the Dead: Bloodline coming out in theaters, VOD, and Digital HD beginning January 5th via Saban Films, Daily Dead recently had the pleasure of speaking with lead actress Sophie Skelton (Outlander, Ren) about her character Zoe, the legacy of Romero, the new movie's intense take on zombies, and much more.
Over the last seven years, we’ve watched the Insidious franchise become one of the biggest in modern history, but even more remarkable than that impressive feat is the fact that it has also become the perfect showcase for veteran actress Lin Shaye, whose character Elise Rainier has become a fixture throughout this series. And what began as a quirky supporting player introduced very late in the game in Insidious has now become something so much greater, making Elise one of the very best characters we’ve seen in modern horror.
For many, last year was filled with ups and downs, but one definite highlight was the varied and impressive output of genre entertainment. We’re in a golden age of horror in which we’re seeing incredible works of art in multiple mediums, and there’s so much out there to be thankful for.
Arriving today on VOD is Psychopaths, the latest movie from prolific genre filmmaker Mickey Keating, who has helmed six feature films over the last six years, and currently serves as the host for the Shudder exclusive series, The Core. Psychopaths follows various storylines on one fateful night as murder and mayhem take over the streets, and features performances from Ashley Bell, Larry Fessenden, Mark Kassen, Angela Trimbur, Josh Ethier, Jeremy Gardner, and Jeff Daniel Phillips, who serves as the film’s narrator.
While no stranger to the realm of horror, filmmaker Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan) is a newcomer to the world of Insidious, as he was recently brought on to helm the latest chapter in the franchise, The Last Key. This fourth Insidious film goes back to where it all began for Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye)—her childhood home—as a dark presence has settled in that’s terrorizing the house’s new resident, and only she has the power to stop to it.
Escape From New York is one of the greatest genre films ever made. It’s lean, it’s mean, and it has an absurd premise and setting that’s just begging for exploration. It’s a bona-fide John Carpenter classic. And much like Halloween before it, it inspired quite a few knockoffs. From Sergio Martino’s 2019: After the Fall of New York (1983) to Lockout (2012), Escape From New York has become a regular genre knockoff touchstone. But today, I want to focus on just two: Enzo. G Castarelli’s Bronx series.
While Hammer achieved international fame (and notoriety) for their colorful and bloody adaptation of Gothic classics, their first foray into the horror genre was not The Curse of Frankenstein. Just a few months before that, the studio released another kind of monster flick—also starring Peter Cushing—called The Abominable Snowman. It sounds cheesy, without doubt, but what could have been a silly man-in-rubber-suit schlock picture becomes something just as chilling as its location. It affects something of the atmosphere that Algernon Blackwood employs in his cosmic horror stories.
By now I’m sure you know the formula for this column. I introduce one of our beloved horror icons as a means to steer you toward one of their lesser-known works. Nothing too complicated, but I’ve found it works. This time around, however, I worry that my usual spiel will bury the lede, as I’ve made a profound discovery in the made-for-TV horror fairy tale Snow White: A Tale of Terror, featuring Sigourney Weaver. This movie, ladies and gentlemen, is the silliest horror movie ever made.