There’s a pedestal that exists and it’s shared by the top horror icons of cinema. Balancing on its precarious surface are the likes of Frakenstein’s Monster, Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and of course, Freddy Krueger. These characters transcend the screen and become a permanent part of culture, immortalized by their ability to represent some horrible communal fear. They are both contemporary and timeless, forever kept alive by our dreams and nightmare… Well, mostly nightmares.
Author Craig Stewart
The power of the Paranormal movies has always come from the idea that a force beyond our understanding has turned all its energies toward terrorizing some seemingly innocent, relatable person. We never really know why it’s there and despite characters theorizing and investigation, a sufficient veil of mystery is always draped. It’s about the terror of dealing with some destructive force you can’t reason with, you can’t prevent or hide from; something that’s completely out of your control.
The engine kicks on, the chain starts to spin and a roaring buzz sound screams out across the open Texas landscape. The person holding the chainsaw defies description; a strange mix between businessman and housewife, all wrapped up in the guise of a butcher. Oh yes, and he’s wearing someone else’s face.
Hellraiser is not a movie that’s meant to be stumbled upon; it’s meant to be desired, to be sought out much like the coveted puzzle box that sits at the center of its story. Once opened, the box gives you an experience beyond pain and pleasure, an ecstasy of excess that surpasses any experience on earth, including death. The film is about getting under your skin, testing your limits, it’s about the fine line between repulsion and attraction and learning to enjoy that which seems unenjoyable. If these ideas don’t appeal to you, maybe you should just put down that puzzle box before you accidentally open the gates to hell and walk away while you still have your skin.
What if you were a powerful person? What if you had the strength to show people exactly how you feel, to push back when they push? Most of us might find this question liberating, but as we learn from Brian De Palma’s Carrie, pain and horror is cumulative and the more we receive, the more we can dish out. Bottled up within all of us is the desire to lash out and destroy that which seeks to destroy us. Acting upon this desire can result in a gymnasium engulfed in flames, parental figures crucified by kitchen utensils and of course, buckets of blood.
An adventurous horror film, both dramatic and socially charged; a bloody gorefest and a slapstick comedy… Is there anything George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead doesn’t do? It has zombies going shopping, dangerous bikers running amuck through a consumerist paradise and cannibalism! Such an array of elements, it’s understandable some people consider the film too intense. But what’s the thread that holds the entire blood soaked quilt together? Deep down, the film’s main concern is showing us an intimate portrait of decay in the most extreme sense of the word.
It’s not a remake, but it might as well be. It’s a sad, sad statement, but it’s true. The moment Shark Night 3D opens, you become aware of an inherent laziness in the filmmakers. Lets just say, if you’re making a shark attack movie, don’t blatantly rip off Jaws, and if you do, at least make it self aware or tongue in cheek or do something interesting with it. It’s great if you want to make a simple scary movie, the problem comes when you forget to make it scary and the movie just becomes simple.
It’s the perfect sequel. Now, before outrage ensues, please note the distinction between “perfect sequel” and “perfect film”, cause we all know that The Exorcist IIIdoes have its shortcomings. Where it excels is the way it expands upon the ideas, both thematically and stylistically, of the original film while still offering up a completely fresh take on the subject matter.
Is there an image more frightening than a killer with a knife wearing a white expressionless mask with two black holes where his eyes should be? The answer is no. It’s simple, iconic and direct. It is death, creeping from out of the shadows to destroy you. It is Michael Myers.
A nightmare begins; the screen is splashed with bright primary colours, the shots contain a maniacal energy as they shift gracefully from one threatening composition to another accompanied by a pulsing rock score complete with strange howling and secret voices whispering… This is Dario Argento’s Suspiria, this is his nightmare.