Category: Nightmother

Ouija: Origin of Evil is a Hell of a Parlor Trick

Overview: In 1965, a widow and her two daughters inadvertently unleash evil into their household through a Ouija board. Universal Pictures; 2016; Rated PG-13; 99 minutes. Always Say Goodbye: By all accounts, excluding the almighty dollar sign, Ouija should have been the end of a would-be franchise. When a sequel was announced, the proposition seemed ludicrous. Surely a franchise built on such a poor foundation could only sink lower. Yet, even with the odds stacked against it, Mike Flanagan took the reins of what he decided would be a prequel, a surprising move that wouldn’t even allow the franchise to escape the...

Read More

20 Horror Movies from 20 Countries

Horror is thriving around the world and is enjoyed by people from every country. Some of the best is produced outside of North America, so sometimes it’s necessary to take a little trip to find something fresh and fun. Join us on a trip across the map (from East to West) with 20 horror movies from 20 countries – there’s something for everyone here no matter what kind of fear you prefer to indulge in. Australia: The Loved Ones (2009) Lola wants a prom date, and she’ll make you pay for turning her down. Not to be confused with...

Read More

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy Krueger’s Best Kills

The A Nightmare on Elm Street series has had its highs and lows. The original movie had five sequels, an out of canon revisitation – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is a hard one to define – and a remake. All seven films range from the brilliant to the frustrating to the downright awful. But even the worst films were still successful, and still had interesting ideas and imaginative death scenes – except for the 2010 remake, which isn’t even worth talking about. The breakout star wasn’t Heather Langenkamp, or even Johnny Depp, but Freddy Krueger himself. Robert Englund’s performance was a...

Read More

Under The Shadow: Wrapped Up in Layers of Fear

Overview: Under The Shadow is the story of a mother and child coping with the realities of war while being haunted by something much more sinister. Netflix; 2016; Rated PG-13; 84 minutes. The Big Debut: This year, the Vancouver International Film Festival boasted over 300 titles, several of which are promising horror contenders timed perfectly for our month of HÆlloween. First on the list is Under The Shadow, an Iranian debut directed by Babak Anvari that follows a mother and child under the threat of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Anvari uses ghostly Arabic folklore and political issues to...

Read More

Blue Velvet 30th Anniversary Retrospective

Blue Velvet is the type of film that lingers in your mind long after your first viewing. One that inspires focused and passionate discussion amongst friends. Love it or hate it, it still has people talking to this day, 30 years after its initial controversial release. My friend Eddie says it best: “I don’t like how this movie makes me feel.” Neither did Roger Ebert, by the looks of his infamous scathing review in which he referred to Blue Velvet as “…a story that’s marred by sophomoric satire and cheap shots” but many viewers today find his opinion somewhat misinformed. To...

Read More

Blair Witch is a Worthy Examination of Folklore’s Evolution

Overview: 20 years after Heather Donahue and her film crew disappeared, her brother and his friends make a trip into the Black Hills woods to gain closure and investigate video evidence that suggests Heather may still be out there. What they get instead is glimpse of madness-inducing evil. Lionsgate; 2016; Rated R; 89 minutes. The Blair Witch Product: It’s impossible to make a stronger Blair Witch movie than The Blair Witch Project. The first entered the zeitgeist at just the right time, breaking the rules and format of the genre to become not only one the greats of horror...

Read More

The 11 Scariest Women in Film and Television

Horror is arguably the most subjective and personal genre. While it has been lambasted in former eras for being misogynistic, there are currently many very talented women who contribute enormously to the genre, and they deserve to be celebrated. As a horror fan, it just made sense that to celebrate Women’s Equality Day I’d bring you 11 terrifying women in film. No matter her role, these artists prove they can bring out the terror you crave, so be prepared to get inspired…to death!   LYNN LOWRY At age 68, Lynn Lowry is still killing it. I had the pleasure...

Read More

Don’t Breathe is a Crowd-Pleasing Societal Nightmare

Overview: Three teenagers break into a blind man’s house for the score of a lifetime, but they see more than they bargained for. Screen Gems/Stage 6 Films; 2016; Rated R; 88 minutes. Well, That is Detroit: Upon leaving the theater after watching Don’t Breathe, I witnessed a bit of Midwestern hilarity as an elderly woman turned to her husband and said, “Terrible situation those kids found themselves in, but well, that is Detroit, y’know.” Of course the specific kind of horror the teenagers of the Detroit-set Don’t Breathe encounter is far from the city’s reality. Shot on location in...

Read More

30 Years Later, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Hasn’t Lost a Bit of Buzz

The house anecdote about Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror masterstroke, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is that it was so terrifying, viewers left the theater thinking they’d just seen the goriest film ever made; a full-body submersion into blood, guts, and other assorted human viscera. The punchline, of course, is that Hooper had actually shown next to nothing, instead using quick cuts and frantic camerawork to engage the audience’s collective imagination, whipping them up into a hysterical frenzy. It’s not a stretch to guess that the film these impressionable viewers thought they saw might look a little bit like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. One of...

Read More

Ten Years Ago, The Descent Turned American Horror Inside Out

Over a decade later and we still talk about The Descent by describing its parts. That’s pretty common with horror films, really. The best of them always operate as a start-to-finish experience, but are typically discussed afterward by cataloging singular images—Regan’s 360 degree head twist, Leatherface waving his chainsaw against a burning sunrise, the creepy hallway twins urging Danny to “come play,” etc. Even the most learned and experienced horror fans, when pressed to discuss a shared love of a favorite fright feature, are susceptible to just passionately mentioning scenes and recalling their effect. The release of Neil Marshall’s film...

Read More

Train To Busan is a Delightfully Pessimistic Ride

Overview: When a zombie virus takes over Korea, a recently divorced father has to learn the meaning of moral propriety if he wants to keep his daughter safe. Next Entertainment World; 2016; Not Rated; 118 minutes. Survival of the Jerkiest: At the core of every zombie text, there lies a central unspoken conflict: “Insidious self-interest vs. reckless altruism.” Put simply, “Do I escape and let this person die, or do I risk my own life to save another’s?” It’s a dilemma so potent that the video game developer Telltale recently created an adaptation of the TV show The Walking Dead...

Read More

The Purge: Election Year Delivers On a Twice-Broken Promise

Overview: Crime is legal for another whacky evening. Universal Pictures; 2016; Rated R, 103 minute. Revisiting Promise: For cult film fans, the conceptual premise upon which The Purge film series is built represents the promise of a rich and exciting intersection where two cult-favorite cinema styles might meet: the first being an exercise of screen hyper-violence meant to reflect a real-life violence from which the American people are detached but complicit (typically Vietnam, Iraq, or other unjust industrial war efforts) and the second being speculations of indeterminately futuristic societies that serve as suggestively slight extensions of some current social logic to its damning...

Read More

It’s All For You: The Omen Turns 40

“When the Jews return to Zion and the comet rips the sky and the Holy Roman Empire rises, then you and I must die. From the eternal sea he rises, creating armies on either shore, turning man against his his brother ‘til man exists no more.” Evil exists. In 2016, there’s no denying it. Any of us could turn on the news right now or venture to the current events outlet of our choice and see the headline…the omen, if you will, that’s enough to make most of us forever question human decency. And yet many of us still...

Read More

Holidays Weighs Dated Feminine Expectations & Traditions

Overview:  An anthology of horror vignettes loosely tied to Western Holidays. Vertical Entertainment; 2016; Rated R; 105 Minutes. Recalibrating: Behind the title and structure of the new anthology short horror collection Holidays, there is pulled something of a backdoor switcheroo. While the movie’s name and its projected intention give every indication that the collection seeks to use horror storytelling to explore and subvert the cultural traditions and embedded mythologies behind the subject holidays, that does not really happen. Not many of these short films exhibit any curiosity toward their holiday subject matter and at least one barely even acknowledges...

Read More

The Invitation is Horror Through Emotional Vulnerability

Overview: A man is invited to a dinner party at his ex-wife’s house, but he begins to suspect dark and ulterior motives at the heart of the gathering. Drafthouse Films; 2015; NR; 99 minutes. Mercy Killing: In the film’s opening minutes, the metaphor at the center of The Invitation is constructed. We’re not yet aware of its full significance, or how it will play out with our characters. What we do know is that what we’re watching has some significance, even if we are unable to fully parse it out from the insignificant. When Will (Logan Marshall-Green) mercy-kills a coyote...

Read More