Category: Nightmother

Hush is Brutal and Nuanced

Overview: A deaf writer’s isolation is punctured when a sadistic serial killer enters her home. Netflix; 2016; Rated R; 81 minutes. Dead Silence: When compared to director Mike Flanagan’s previous film, Oculus, Hush seems to play it by the book, at least when it comes to its surface-level horror. Flanagan and co-writer Kate Siegel display a full awareness of tropes and story beats of the genre they’re working in, and instead of offering deconstruction, they lean into them. Hush is very much a traditional slasher film, with the hook being that the lead character is deaf. There is no...

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Slither Turns Ten: Is It the Perfect 2000s Horror?

Slither’s official website is still operational and in its original state. Visitors today are immediately exposed to one of those forced introductory flash animation ads that were all the rage in web-design in 2006. Poke around a little and you will discover that the site still allows you to download free promotional Slither icons to use in AOL Instant Messenger. In a way, it’s like a virtual trip to a different era. That distinctive feeling that it belongs to “some other time” isn’t exclusive to the film’s preserved online marketing. The opening of Slither is its own throwback to an...

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Emelie Is Chilling In Its Commitment

Overview: When a couple head out for their anniversary celebration, their children quickly detect something menacing about their new babysitter. Dark Sky Films; 2016; 80 Minutes. Early Excellence: First-time director Michael Thelin wastes no time earning the confidence of horror-informed viewers. The opening abduction scene immediately reveals Thelin’s well-thought approach to crafting dangerous events to the most startling and effective degree. When a movie earns comparison to Michael Haneke within two minutes of runtime, and the craftsmanship only improves from there, the experience is one that’s certain to stick around a while. Emelie: Sarah Bolger plays the eponymous Emelie,...

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The Witch is Sublime Horror

Overview: A Puritan family, banished from their community, relocates to the edge of the woods where satanic forces undermine their unity and faith. A24; 2015; Rated R; 93 minutes. Seduction of the Innocent: From the moment the film’s title, stylized as The VVitch, appears on screen, there is something decidedly off about what we’re witnessing. It’s not simply the persistent sense of dread set by Jarin Blaschke’s gloomy cinematography, or Mark Korven’s score of violently clashing strings punctuating large gaps of silence, which create reason for pause. These elements enhance but do not overtake or distract from our central...

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Bone Tomahawk is the Year’s Best Romantic Horror/Western

Overview: In the 1880s, a small posse lead by a rough-and-tumble sheriff head into hostile territory with a hobbled husband seeking to save his kidnapped wife. RLJ Entertainment; 2015; Rated R; 132 Minutes. Pushing Boundaries: Ask anyone who has seen Bone Tomahawk about their experience with the film, and the reply (positive or negative) is certain to start in reference to the same scene. I’m so confident in this statement that beginning my review of the film anywhere else would feel insincere. So, yes, Bone Tomahawk has a scene as violent, gruesome, and brutal as anything ever included in a...

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Goodnight Mommy Pairs Two Kinds of Horror

Overview: Twin brothers develop suspicions regarding their mother, whose face is covered in a post-surgical bandage. RADiUS; 2015; Rated R; 99 minutes. How to Twist: Goodnight Mommy does not have a twist, at least not in the traditional cinematic understanding of the word. Dependent upon one’s level of familiarity with the sort of films from which Goodnight Mommy draws its influence, the speed at which the movie reveals its narratively transformative secret will differ for every viewer. Because I have wasted much more energy than I would like questioning the value of movies that are seemingly built specifically to...

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7 More Chilling Real Life Stories That Should Be Horror Films

We’ve celebrated the past and present of horror films all through October. With one day left before Halloween, we’re taking a little break from that… so that we can discuss the hopeful future of horror films and the frightening past and present of real life.  Keeping with a newly-established tradition, here are seven more frightening real-life stories that I think would make incredible horror films: … 1. The Hands Resist Him When a California couple purchased a painting from eBay, they likely had no idea that they were about to spark an entire internet-borne mythology. But after they hung the...

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A Horrortown Historian: Ted Geoghegan On We Are Still Here

Throughout the month of October, Audiences Everywhere will be publishing a series of interviews with renowned horror directors in which we will discuss current and upcoming films, and also get the artists’ take on the contemporary horror landscape. Our final interview in this series is a conversation with Ted Geoghegan, the director of this year’s exceptional breakthrough horror film We Are Still Here. In a way, Ted Geoghegan is the perfect person with whom to wrap up this amazing and insightful interview series. The initial thesis behind the Horrortown series indicated that we were seeking to investigate just what...

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A Look at Lynchian Horror

At some point you have probably come across the term “Lynchian.” It’s often used thoughtlessly to explain away weird imagery and seemingly ineffable behaviour in film, but it’s in the popular vernacular for a reason. David Lynch’s particular outlook and cinematic approach has made him the authority on dream-like ambience. The distinct sense of unease in his movies often comes from his interest in the uncanny; a “disturbing unfamiliarity in the evidently familiar.” The abstract concepts he puts on screen inspire fear because they are uncomfortably close to our own reality. In Twin Peaks, the ceiling fan on the...

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Horrortown Down Under: Kiah Roache-Turner Talks Wyrmwood and the Horror Genre

Throughout the month of October, Audiences Everywhere will be publishing a series of interviews with renowned horror directors in which we will discuss current and upcoming films, and also get the artists’ take on the contemporary horror landscape. Next on the list, Kiah Roache-Turner, the director of the punk rock pre-apocalypse horror action film Wyrmwood. Horror is an odd genre for me. Movies like Alien and The Thing are among my favorite movies period, but the genre always has a few entries on the “Worst of the Year” category. Once in a blue moon, the genre will get an adrenaline shot to the heart and...

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Its Progeny

Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror feature The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has gone down in the annals of American cinema history as a modern-day classic. Alongside such contemporaries of the same dramatic canon and thematic content as John Carpenter’s Halloween and Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes, Hooper’s seminal film of low-budget scares and viscerally-felt terror has not dissipated at all in the intervening forty-plus years since the its initial theatrical release. Following on its heels, and situated across the temporal expanse of just over ten years, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 saw theatrical release in 1986, earning Hooper even more morally...

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Horrortown’s Last Great Magic Trick With Adam Robitel

Throughout the month of October, Audiences Everywhere will be publishing a series of interviews with renowned horror directors in which we will discuss current and upcoming films, and also get the artists’ take on the contemporary horror landscape which we’ve dubbed Horrortown. Next up, Adam Robitel, filmmaker behind the critically acclaimed The Taking of Deborah Logan and co-writer of the upcoming Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.  Let me tell you a secret: Adam Robitel is a magician. He may not carry around a card that says so, and if asked he’d probably humbly admit that he’s more of an apprentice, but...

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