The entrance of a movie theatre is lined with the blood curdling posters of slasher films, each one teasingly more brutal than the last. As you walk past, a pattern begins to emerge. A villainous celebration is on display showing off an array of monsters from wolfmen to pin-headed demons, but what about that defiant woman poised for action in the foreground, is she not also the star? Behind every great horror villain, there’s a great heroine and too long have they been dismissed as interchangeable, superfluous eye candy. Ask yourself this, where would Michael Myers be without Laurie Strode? Probably at Camp Crystal Lake with a bunch of faceless teens.
Author Craig Stewart
The killer Piranha series has come a long way from the squealing rubber puppets of Joe Dante’s classic Jaws clone. It’s become a symbol of offensively gratuitous sexy violence. Much like in Piranha 3D, the screen overflows with blood and breasts; exposed skin and bone are in abundance. These shocking images are wrapped up neatly by a truly cruel sense of humor, which, if you’re feeling a little on the dark side, is incredibly infectious. It’s Piranha 3DD and it makes no apologies.
So one kid turns to the other kid and says in a nasally voice, “Hey, I dare you to go into the woods.” After the kid nonchalantly dismisses the image of his mother waving her finger as a warning to stay away from the forest, they both decide to venture on and discover whatever horrors or joys are concealed inside the thick maze of ominous trees. In essence, this is the basic force of a road trip horror movie. It tells us why we should be afraid of forbidden places.
Sometimes Wes Craven makes films with serious intention; you can tell because they usually have something to do with either subverting the classic family unit or nightmares. Then there are the ones he makes with a smirk on his face. Deadly Friend is the latter, and the smirk is undeniably infectious.
Some films, whether they’re good or bad, have a strange magic about them. They operate as a kind of fascinatingly damaged fable, made all the more intriguing by their mix of clichéd and inspired moments. As you watch it, you’re thinking this is the most poorly constructed scene I’ve ever… and before the thought is finished, a truly unique visual graces the screen creating the most wonderfully absurd juxtaposition between drudging mediocrity and supreme artistry. This is the mysterious dynamic of Mary Harron’s The Moth Diaries.
The faceless killer has been a staple of the horror genre for as long as there have been heroines trying to escape them. The formidable shape of an unidentifiable stalker speaks to our fears of the unknown and allows us to project whatever horrors we can muster onto their adaptable and mysterious psyche. Often these villains are explained to death (literally) either by the end of the film or at least by the third or fourth sequel. Although the unknown is and will forever remain the ultimate universal fear, perhaps the narrative trick of having your villain represent that fear has become old hat, as seen in the sometimes interesting, but all too often tedious ATM.
Everyone huddles into the crowded theatre where we wait shoulder to shoulder for the screen to ignite with a new horror film from the creators of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Anticipation and expectation build upon each other creating a frenzied vortex of vicious impatience like a bunch of children waiting to take a skeptical first bite of their birthday cake. Will the film satisfy? Will it respect or look down upon the films from which it spawned? Is this just going to be another slap in the face of horror? With these worries in mind, the opening credits begin and don’t fret, this story has a happy ending.
An old foreboding mansion, scary noises in the dark and ominous looks from the local townsfolk; these are the essential ingredients in making a classically gothic horror film. In The Woman In Black, all of these elements are laid on as thick as imaginably possible, reminiscent of the early works of Mario Bava. It’s a spooky clash between the world of superstition and the world of logic. Like most ghost stories, the scientific world crumbles to its knees, bowing to the unknown forces lurking just behind the door, out of reach of studious scrutiny. It’s about he fear of the unknown and its infinitely terrifying possibilities.
Robin Hardy, director of the cult classic The Wicker Man, shared his thoughts with Next Projection in a Q&A about his newest film The Wicker Tree.
This film carries with it a secret pressure that cannot be ignored; a kind of exciting anticipation that only a sequel to a classic film can muster. Much like George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead, Dario Argento’s Mother of Tears, or Wes Craven’s Scream 4, Robin Hardy has returned with The Wicker Tree, a sequel to his 70s cult classic The Wicker Man.