Tag: Horror

Still Looking Out For Us: Shyamalan’s Split & Mental Illness

Originally published on February 6, 2017. I knew what we were in for the moment I saw the first trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s new film Split. Critics have long had it out for Shyamalan. Before the release of The Visit in 2015, I wrote about how the cultural consensus has consistently and willfully misunderstood him as an auteur. The Visit ended up opening to the sort of widespread acclaim that had evaded his work for over a decade. But when I saw Split’s trailer, I was sure it was about to come crashing down again, buckling under the...

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The Set Design of Ridley Scott’s Alien

It’s impossible to celebrate the 80th birthday of Ridley Scott without discussing his magnum opus – a movie that has transcended cinema and extended its tentacles beyond popular culture. Alien is a film that was largely and wholeheartedly ahead of its time. You need look only at the uncommon heroine – Ellen Ripley – to understand this. From the opening scene of the film, Scott achieves many things. The most fascinating, however, is how he establishes a queasiness and fear in the audience while also maintaining a palpable sense of intrigue through the set design alone. Why Alien works...

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UPDATED: The 100 Best Horror Movies of the 2000s

One of the questions we asked multiple subjects in our Horrortown interview series (which you can read here) is, “How would you respond to those people who say there are no good horror movies right now?” This question was inspired by our shared belief that “right now” is an exceptional moment to be a horror fan. More quality horror films are premiering at festivals, being made available On Demand, and opening in limited and wide-release than ever before. The 2000s have seen some of the best working filmmakers experimenting with the form, altering and enforcing the storytelling genre, opening...

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12 Directors Who Should Come Back to Horror

Horror has a notoriously welcoming community. It’s known for being the starting space for many independent filmmakers, giving them the freedom to explore the industry and have a great time doing it. Some of the most widely recognized voices in film today started there, and we think a few of them should get back into the game and amp up the scares. Check out our list below for 12 directors who once made a horror film (or a handful) and who should almost definitely make more. Adrian Lyne – Jacob’s Ladder Few directors capture the grit and grime of big...

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Saw: A Franchise In Review

In 2004, James Wan and Leigh Whannell entered into the mainstream horror scene with the theatrical release of Saw. Beholden to a slick aesthetic that tends to fall back on shock value—specifically explicit scenes of torture and gore—the film went on to launch a franchise that largely shaped a 2000s era preoccupation with torture porn. Starting with Saw II in 2005, writer and director Darren Lynn Bousman helped to reshape Wan and Whannell’s singular vision into an easily replicated narrative format. Thematically dependent upon actor Tobin Bell’s star-making performance as iconic serial killer-cum-vigilante John “Jigsaw” Kramer, the films that followed Wan’s directorial...

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