Bird Box Early Buzz: Critics Mixed on Sandra Bullock Netflix Horror
Netflix recently made the unprecedented decision to release three of its Oscar contender films in theaters before they hit streaming. Two of which were expected – Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar frontrunner Roma, the Coen Brothers’ anthology Western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – but the third was something of a question mark: Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock and directed by Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier. Right off the bat, Bird Box doesn’t seem like an Oscar movie, but the theatrical release of the film kind of makes sense: it stars an Oscar winner, is directed by a foreign film Oscar winner, and is a apocalyptic horror film that recalls this year’s smash hit, A Quiet Place. Heisserer’s script endeavors to give Bullock a rich psychological backstory to play – something to do with her reluctance to accept motherhood and the redemption she experiences in accepting that role – and the wonderfully self-reliant actress plays that arc earnestly enough. Often, a dystopian drama uses its despairing setting to explore something elemental about existence – usually exploring the bonds of family or community – but Bird Box is surprisingly simplistic in its thematic undercurrents.
Outside of its admiration for mothers, Bier’s film seems to only vaguely hint at other ephemeral ideas, and as a result Bird Box is a curiously hollow experience. For her part, Bullock seems to have placed a foot in each camp, as she has done on occasion in the past, but she’s rather underserved by a writer and director perhaps uncertain about how to maximize the piece’s genre potential while simultaneously keeping it smart. We’re all fumbling into this new parenthood blindly, hoping that we’re raising smart and strong kids while also allowing them to experience the joys of childhood, and it’s that innate understanding of parenthood that makes Bullock’s performance feel real. All of the reviews were effusive in their praise of Bullock, who unsurprisingly delivers another gripping performance as a mother struggling to raise her children in a world beset upon by unseen monsters. They were divided on whether Bird Box’s slow pace was sluggish or atmospheric.
For now, it seems like Bird Box may not be as a strong Oscar contender as Roma or even The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which also met a lukewarm reception. Bird Box is set to hit select U.S. theaters a week before its worldwide premiere on Netflix on December 21, 2018.
Knoxville Horror Film Fest promises zombies, gore and more in 10th year
If you’re looking for somewhere to watch family-friendly Halloween movies with the kids, Knoxville Horror Film Fest definitely is not the place to be. The 10th annual festival will be held Oct. 18-21 with more than 50 films that promise blood, violence and a fair share of frights just in time for Halloween. ‘A pretty strong horror community’Mahaffey created a few horror films of his own after leaving school at UT, he said, earning him slots at some festivals around the country. These thoughts led to the creation of the first Knoxville Horror Film Fest in 2009, which only featured shorts and was held at the Pilot Light. The festival has grown exponentially over the past decade, drawing close to 200 attendees on average in recent years. The film is a horror musical about a zombie apocalypse set during Christmas.
In addition to these full-length movies, more than 50 shorts will be on display at the festival’s two venues – Regal Downtown West Cinema 8 and Central Cinema. Mahaffey, along with Nick Huinker and Logan Myers, worked to open Central Cinema a few months back following years of success with the festival. The theater will be home to two after-parties happening during the festival. How to attend and what to expectMahaffey said he anticipates about 200 people to participate in the festival throughout the weekend. 25 – Friday Pass.$35 – Saturday Pass.$55 – Centerpiece Pass for all Friday and Saturday screenings at Regal Downtown West Cinema 8.$100 – Full festival pass with access to all events at both venues. 200 – R.I.P. Package with festival pass, shirt, poster and admission to Oct.
horror movies at Central.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Horror Movie References
When it was first announced that Sabrina the Teenage Witch would be getting a reboot on Netflix, few were likely prepared for just how dark the new take on the classic story – which is based on a series of gritty graphic novels – would be. In the first season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina alone there are tons of references to horror movies, scary TV shows, a chilling painting, and even a particularly creepy music video.
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Violence breaks out in France as people try to replicate horror film ‘The Purge’
Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. A subreddit dedicated to people freaking out, melting down, losing their cool, or being weird in public.
The 10 Best Netflix Original Horror Movies
As so much of the world quakes in the shadows of The Haunting of Hill House, Netflix’s masterful horror series, viewers are turning to the streaming service for scares more than ever. It helps that this month’s crop of Netflix original movies have turned notably gloomier and creepier with the changing season, most notably in new works like Jeremy Saulnier’s Hold the Dark and Gareth Evans’s Apostle. The platform has amassed a pretty impressive collection of horror films and can just about serve as your one-stop shop for a Halloween horror marathon, depending on how much you like Mike Flanagan. We watched as many of the horror offerings under the Netflix Original banner as possible and ranked the best ones. There are some thrillers and sci-fi action movies that aren’t quite technically horror.
Netflix is going to have its very own Mike Flanagan Channel. While it didn’t premiere on Netflix until early this year, Before I Wake is actually Flanagan’s third film, produced in 2014 and then delayed multiple times. It wouldn’t be a list of horror movies without a Stephen King adaptation or two, and this Zak Hilditch period piece is based on one of the master’s novellas from the 2010 anthology Full Dark, No Stars. This is the only film on this list that one could argue isn’t really a horror film, but the final act gets so Wicker Man weird that we’ve decided it qualifies. Probably the most divisive film on this list is writer-director Osgood Perkins’s moody ghost story, a film way more interested in getting under your skin than making you jump.
With long takes and creepy sound design, Perkins’s film is a challenging one, but it’s a movie that does that one important thing that all the best ghost stories do: coming back to you in the middle of the night like a cinematic haunting. Starring Dan Stevens, The Apostle follows a man invading a cult to find his kidnapped sister, and the closing scenes are as loony as anything you could watch on Netflix – or anywhere else really.
Fangoria Burns Vogue in Hilarious Twitter Diss Over 2018 Horror Movies
Fangoria had the perfect response to Vogue’s negative article on horror movies in 2018. Horror has only gained in popularity over the last few years, thanks to some pretty awesome and unique projects that have breathed new life into the genre. The Vogue article makes some good points about the horror genre in 2018, which have been echoed by fans over the course of the last year. Iconic horror magazine Fangoria isn’t having any of it. While the substance of those aforementioned movies is questionable, they have all done well for horror in 2018 by bringing the genre back to the box office and putting butts in the seats.
Obviously, one can debate forever about whether or not any of these movies can be considered horror, but the same can be said for fashion. The horror genre has changed and morphed over the years as well, and some believe that it’s for the better. The whole argument about horror in 2018 is subjective. Just because hardcore horror fanatics aren’t into the new Halloween movie, doesn’t mean that others aren’t enjoying it and gaining inspiration to make their own horror movies. Suspiria has been getting mixed reviews, and while it’s labeled as a horror movie, it often presents itself as more of an art film, as opposed to horror.
David Gordon Green’s Halloween isn’t all that scary, which is a bit of a problem for horror movies. Let the horror experts decide if 2018 is a good year for horror or not, and let Vogue stick to fashion and whatever hip new look is in season.
Forget Sharknado! Clownado is the bizarre new horror film about storm with killer clowns
The Sharknado franchise may have come to an end, but director Todd Sheets is here to supply your much needed fix of ‘so bad it’s good’ entertainment. From the director’s disturbing mind comes Clownado, an incredibly gory film about a storm with killer clowns. Luckily for you, there’s a trailer you can watch right now. He explained that the film uses only practical effects and old style visual effects, making it reminiscent of various horror classics. So it seems the torch of insanity has been passed from shark to clown.
Sharknado came to end after its sixth instalment, a time-travel epic with Nazis, dinosaurs and Noah’s ark called The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time, which premiered on Syfy in the US on August 19.In August, Sharknado director Anthony Ferrante revealed that the cast actually tried to quit the movie when they found out the film’s title.
Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film
Explore the most terrifying monsters in horror cinema. Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film features more than 50 props and costumes from film and television including A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, The Walking Dead, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bride of Frankenstein, Dawn of the Dead, Hostel, Jeepers Creepers, and Pet Sematary. Themed gallery sections evoke the unsettling sensations associated with cinematic terror. A vampire’s lair drips with blood; zombies shamble through an abandoned containment center; and a thicket of suspended corpses frames a killer’s den. The exhibition offers extensive exhibit films, oral history interviews with the genre’s top directors, and interactive photo ops.
Due to some graphic content, this exhibit is recommended for ages 13 and up.
The Road to Overlord: When Horror Mixes with World War II Movies
There’s a long history of World War II horror movies, including lots of Nazi zombies, tons of malevolent ghosts, and one small army of killer puppets. It’s not exaggeration to say that World War II was a war of many horrors, but as the years have passed, storytellers have used the shocking, world-spanning conflict as the backdrop for many horror stories that go above and beyond the battlefield. Julius Avery’s Overlord, about a squad of American soldiers whose mission sends them straight to a Nazi mad scientist’s horrifying laboratory, is the latest and probably the most expensive World War II horror movie to date, but it’s by no means the first. There’s a long history of World War II horror movies, some of them brilliant, some of them schlocky. These are the World War II horror movies you really need to see….
Below. Before they were household names, Magneto and Superman co-starred in a World War II horror movie from the director of Batman & Robin. The Bloodrayne video games began with a simple, effective premise: a vampire fighting Nazis in World War II. It took three whole films to get around to that storyline in the Bloodrayne movies, and they were directed by notorious schlock maestro Uwe Boll, so whether it was worth the wait or not is debatable. Michael Mann, the director of the crime classics Heat, Manhunter and Thief, took one shot at the horror genre, and the result was a bizarre and ethereal World War II thriller, starring Ian McKellan, Gabriel Byrne and Scott Glenn.
In the immediate aftermath of World War II, with her husband missing, she begins to encounter strange apparitions around the house. The straight-to-video Puppet Master movies were always steeped in the history of World War II, telling the story of a puppeteer who brought his creations to life, only to be hunted by Nazis who wanted his formula. The sequel to the hit horror remake The Woman in Black tells the tale of a group of displaced children in World War II who escape the blitz by staying at a horrifically haunted mansion. Another early Nazi zombie film, Zombie Lake tells the story of a village besieged by undead monsters, who were killed by the townsfolk under unusual circumstances in World War II. There’s a reason most people haven’t heard of this WWII horror movie, but it sure as heck exists, so here it is.
30 Great Classic Black-and-White Horror Movies
For nearly as long as there have been movies, there have been horror movies. Many of the titles on this list of great black-and-white horror movie are well-known classics, others are smaller cult favorites, and a couple are recent works from directors who appreciate the potential power of black-and-white cinema. Among the most iconic of all black-and-white horror films, the talkies of Universal Monster Movies all established the building blocks for what would shape the modern horror film. Even in monochromatic tones, the Universal Classic Monsters painted worlds of horror, eliciting horror through trailblazing cinematic techniques rather than relying on the splatter or gore that would define the genre in later years. The final moment of the film remains one of the most shocking endings in pre-code horror history, and takes a stance now common in horror: that sometimes the worst monsters are those that walk among us, undetected.
Part noir, part horror film, The Seventh Victim is one of the first movies to treat women in horror as fully fledged people with their own thoughts and desires, allowing them full agency. Borrowing elements of horror as well as influence from the Japanese kaiju flicks, Them! is one of the earliest examples of genre fusion under the horror umbrella. While a fantastic movie in its own right, The House on Haunted Hill’s more prominent legacy is rooted in Castle deciding to gear his horror films to a teenage market, a trend that horror films followed moving forward. Master of horror Mario Bava began his career with Black Sunday, an Italian gothic masterpiece and easily his most celebrated work.
The visual of Barbara Steele’s pale skin covered in deep, black holes has become an iconic image from classic horror, perfectly exemplifying her role as both attractive and horrific, desirable and revolting. Based on Henry James’s 1898 horror novella The Turn of the Screw, this remarkably unsettling psychological horror film from Jack Clayton continues to serves as one of the premiere British horror films. Horror films were often set in faraway lands of isolation, but he brought horror to the suburbs, where families were only a monster outbreak away from meeting their demise.
Suspiria is beautiful, brutal, and one of the most shocking horror films of the year
Suspiria doesn’t so much nail the Bechdel test as set fire to it and then do a naked victory dance around the flames. You should go and see Suspiria – because along with Hereditary – it’s one of the most shocking horror movies of the year. Every second is calibrated to keep you rigid with suspense, tugging you further and further into its world of dance and the occult so skillfully that you reach the spectacular climax in what feels like mere minutes, despite the two hours and 30 minutes running time. It’s the story of innocent Susie – the sort of innocent you can only be when you’ve grown up in a sheltered religious family in Ohio – who follows her dreams and travels to Berlin in the ’70s to dance at the Markos Dance Academy. While the posters and buzz around the upcoming movie have focused on Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton is the conductor at the center of the film, directing its dark melody with her performances.
As the dance instructor Madame Blanc she’s as magnetic as she is unnerving – like a beautiful but venomous insect that could sting at any moment – and as the old man Josef Klemperer she’s a bystander to the cultish madness of the dance company. There’s something so beautiful about the fact that in a movie so entirely about women, the only man of any significance is still played by Tilda Swinton. After watching Fifty Shades of Grey, I’d written her off, after Suspiria I want to lie at her feet and get her cups of tea whenever she asks. The final scenes of the movie are a spectacle that will decorate the inside of your head like bloody cave paintings for weeks after the end credits roll. Most importantly, just because this is a movie about female power, it doesn’t mean the women in it are on a pedestal.
We’ll be called the Swintonites, and it involves a lot of candles, photo collages, and compulsory listening to Thom Yorke’s perfect Suspiria score at least once a day. Watch Suspiria, and I guarantee you’ll want to convert.
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Director Julius Avery had a rule when making the horror movie Overlord – keep the special effects old-school. The 39-year-old Australian makes his Hollywood debut with Overlord, now showing in cinemas here. For Overlord, using real explosions and props not only improves the look of the movie, but it also helps actors give better performances compared with acting against a green screen, he says. Danish actor Pilou Asbaek, who plays Nazi officer Wafner, sat in a chair five hours each day so prosthetics could be glued on his face. If we had not done that, the actors in scenes with him would not have given as real a performance as they did.
DIRECTOR JULIUS AVERY on the prosthetics worn by seemingly invincible villain Wafner, played by Danish actor Pilou Asbaek. Avery says he and the production team love the 1980s movies’ aesthetic. In those days, it was possible to mix horror and science fiction or horror and comedy. Overlord blends horror with action and adventure, he says. The D-Day operations might have been real, but the monsters-versus-soldiers set-up is fantasy and the film also takes a few liberties with military history.
A black soldier, Boyce, played by Jovan Adepo, is shown fighting alongside white comrades, when no such mixed units existed in the United States military during World War II. Avery says the Britain-born American Adepo was picked because he could portray the innocence and vulnerability of the character, a soldier who would learn to overcome fear to save his comrades. The Overlord screenplay was a property that Bad Robot had been shepherding for a while.
13 Underrated Horror Movies From The 2000s That Everyone Needs To See
Just as the advent of VHS in the 1980s meant that the market was flooded with dozens of cheaply made horror movies, so too was the 2000s marked by an avalanche of straight-to-DVD horror. This was a decade where big screen horror hits were scarce-the likes of Saw, Paranormal Activity, and Final Destination were huge, but for the most part the best scary movies were low budget, independent, and sometimes not even released in theaters at all. The film that had the biggest influence on horror in the 2000s was actually released at the tail end of the previous decade, but its impact was immense. The Blair Witch Project was made on a small budget of $60,000 but grossed more than $248 million at the worldwide box office, and the found footage movie became the decade’s big horror craze. The advent of affordable digital filmmaking enabled literally anyone to make a horror movie, any deficiencies in sound and vision excused by the conventions of the format.
With many of the big names in horror-John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, Wes Craven-either semi-retired or moving away from the genre, new names started to emerge. The huge success of Saw helped James Wan begin his steady rise to the top tier of Hollywood blockbusters, while independent filmmakers such as Brad Anderson, Ti West, and Lucky McKee made scary, clever, and distinctive films that are among of the decade’s best. More than any other decade, the 2000s is packed with underrated and underseen gems that took horror into some fascinating places. So here’s 13 of the best that are worth revisiting or seeing for the first time.
This Camgirl Horror Movie from the Producers of ‘Get Out’ Looks Terrifying
Everyone who has ever used the internet knows that it’s mostly a dark and fucked-up place full of hateful losers and cursed Furbies, and horror movies have finally started catching on. Over the past few years, there’s been a whole slew of films trying to tap into the unique terrors of being online. Some are awful, but most of them come from the same place: Blumhouse Pictures. Now, the studio has another horror movie about the internet coming-and from the looks of the trailer, it’s going to be fucking terrifying. The movie, Cam, follows a camgirl named Alice desperate for internet popularity whose life takes a twisted turn after her account is mysteriously hijacked by someone who looks exactly like her.
The trailer somehow manages to simultaneously tap into the terror of being locked out of your social media account and having your identity stolen online, while also taking the whole thing in a very dark, surreal direction-beginning with Alice slitting her throat on camera for views. Cam stars Madeline Brewer of The Handmaid’s Tale and was directed by Daniel Goldhaber from a script by former camgirl Isa Mazzei. It debuted earlier this year at Fantasia Film Festival, where it took home awards for best screenplay and best first feature. Give the trailer a watch above, and check out the whole thing when Cam hits Netflix on November 16. Between this and that bizarre movie where a bunch of iPhones turn into some kind of sentient smartphone monster and lay waste to a city, maybe it’s time to just log off for the day.
‘Overlord’: 10 burning questions about the World War II zombie movie
Just when you think the scary movie season is over, here comes a bunch of undead Nazi experiments to liven up the box office. It is not, though this could conceivably be the same film universe that’s invaded by rampaging alien monsters decades later. What they find, though – with the help of local French woman Chloe – is that the Nazis are using a serum to turn dead villagers and others into hard-to-kill, super-strong zombies. There’s lots of war death and buckets of blood, yet also some seriously effective body horror, as one dude in particular is resurrected in all his bone-popping glory. Then there’s Wafner who gets half his face blown off and turns into a creepy supervillain.
Teenagers into video games will probably really want to see it, however.
Just like the first Predator, Overlord starts as a war drama, and then quickly switches gears and goes full monster film. We begin, much like Saving Private Ryan, with a scene of soldiers trying to invade France. It’s a nerve-wracking airdrop sequence that sets the tone for the rest of the film, where we get to know a group of American soldiers and listen to their banter, just before the plane gets shot down and we see the agonizing and harrowing reality of war. Like many ensemble war films, the characters are so paper-thin they are little more than types. We meet the nice and innocent soldier, the wisecracking prankster, the in-over-his head war photographer, and so on.
Most of the film is spent inside Chloe’s house, with characters planning the rest of their mission, dealing with Chloe’s little brother – who has some great comic relief scenes with John Magaro’s wisecracking character – and contemplating the trials and tribulations of war. Overlord is a war film first, and a zombie film second, and it somehow works if you take it for what it is. Overlord never fully embraces its B-movie glory, but it comes very damn close. The practical effects are gnarly, characters start getting parts of their faces blown up, and there is some disturbing imagery once the Nazi experiments are uncovered. As a horror film, Overlord owes a lot to Re-Animator.
Not to be outdone by the men, Ollivier’s Chloe is also perfectly capable of taking down some Nazis without any help, getting some of the most badass stunts in the film. Overlord is at its best when dealing with the soldiers bonding, all thanks to the great chemistry between the cast that makes you care for these characters despite their lack of depth.
‘Mandy’: How Heavy Metal Inspired 2018’s Most Psychedelic Action-Horror Film
It’s a fitting description of the score to the pre-destined cult classic; its atmospheric metal guitars and proggy synthscapes dictate the aura as much as any linear plot line. Dunn came onboard through a previous collaboration with Jóhannsson, though he was familiar with Beyond the Black Rainbow through his connection with Black Mountain keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt. Mandy is authentically metal – from O’Malley’s thundercloud guitars in the film’s final act to the various visual references to iconic bands. At some point, she played me that song, and I realized it was right for the opening credits. Despite the film’s numerous nods to heavy music of yore, the crew were adamant to never ape their idols.
He wanted to create a hybrid of all of those sounds. Mandy fucks with your head in that sense, both sonically and visually. Though the film is set in 1983, it feels fascinatingly displaced from time – and its most disturbing, buzz-worthy scene capitalizes on that disorienting dreamscape mood. Early in the film, cult leader Jeremiah Sand tries to seduce Mandy with the strains of a dopey psychedelic folk record that he himself recorded. Cosmatos is keen to tease Jeremiah fans with one bonus tidbit that happens to intersect with his own metal passions.
There’s a scene in Black Rainbow where the villain is wearing what I call this ‘fantasy outfit’ and is coming down this corridor, calling out the name of the protagonist. Despite its occasional campiness, this tale of mourning and redemption actually originated from a raw, personal place for Cosmatos.
Netanyahu’s son shares image of embattled deputy AG as horror film character
Amid calls from right-wing lawmakers for the dismissal of Deputy Attorney General Dana Zilber, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son shared an image Thursday of the senior lawyer appearing as a character in a horror movie. Zilber has come under fire in recent days after criticizing the so-called culture loyalty law during a Knesset committee meeting, prompting Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to call for her to be fired. Yair Netanyahu later issued a statement on his Facebook account following media inquires on the post. Netanyahu did not say why he had deleted the post with the image of Zilber, screen captures of which were published by Hebrew media. Last year, he was criticized for posting a cartoon that appeared to adopt anti-Semitic themes to take aim at his parents’ critics, including former prime minister Ehud Barak, Labor party activist Eldad Yaniv, and Menny Naftali – a former caretaker at the Prime Minister’s Residence who is at the heart of allegations of wrongdoing over which Sara Netanyahu is facing indictment.
In January, recordings emerged where Yair Netanyahu was heard making disparaging comments about women during a night of excess in a series of Tel Aviv strip clubs. The explosive recordings of the younger Netanyahu, published by Hadashot TV news, also featured him trying to parlay, apparently in jest, a gas deal worth billions of dollars to get cash for strippers from a gas tycoon’s son. Yair Netanyahu is also involved in a legal dispute with the left-wing think tank Molad, each suing the other for libel.
The Best Horror Movies of 2018
In 2017, Split and Get Out delivered a pair of winter surprises and became two of the year’s top earners in the horror category, catalyzing an insanely profitable 12 months for the genre that was highlighted by the certified global smash, It: Chapter One. Toni Collette entered the canon of cinema’s most terrifying mothers, and a strong fall slate – including the Halloween sequel – has rounded out another stellar year for horror films. Here are the best movies in the genre so far in 2018. It’s been the horror surprise of the year, generating high critical praise and making a play to become this year’s first $200 million scary movie. The EndlessThe third feature from directing duo Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson stars the pair as brothers who have struggled to assimilate into society after fleeing a strange death cult ten years prior.
HereditaryOver the past three years, A24 has made a small tradition of releasing an annual high-class, brooding horror picture, and in 2018 they set a new high bar with Hereditary. In addition to being one of the best reviewed films of the year so far, Hereditary also had the biggest opening weekend ever for its mini major studio, which has already signed Aster on for his sophomore feature. It’s brought to you by writer-director Brian Taylor, making his first solo feature after teaming up with Mark Neveldine for wild outings like the Crank movies. You don’t realize how much less alone those zombie noises make you feel until they’re gone! The Night Eats the World might also be the best title of the year.
Indonesian director Joko Anwar’s feature was released in his country last year, but it finally made its way to American audiences in October, and it focuses on a family that has just lost their mother to illness and must now deal with the chilling legacy she left behind. Terrified won best horror feature at this year’s Fantastic Fest, and is an absolutely excellent tale of the supernatural featuring some amazing deaths and creature effects. What Keeps You AliveWriter, director, and producer Colin Minihan has created his best work yet with his third feature, which puts an intimate spin on the cabin in the woods subgenre.
War is hell: Overlord and the history of battle-set horror movies
The new thriller Overlord may be set during D-Day, but its roots go back to the 1950s and 60s. Director Julius Avery slips an aesthetic tipoff into the opening credits, styling the font to emulate the mid-century B-movies that filled out drive-in double features. In intention and execution, Overlord has more in common with retro throwbacks like Dead Snow or Iron Sky, paying homage to the mad fusion of history and conjecture that gave us They Saved Hitler’s Brain! decades earlier. Though Overlord and its ilk make deliberate overtures to their predecessors, these films also belong to a bygone era in a more unwitting sense.
The nexus of the war and horror genres, once the province of exploitation films like Ilse, She-Wolf of the SS, has been overrun by allegory. In 2018’s film culture, where the internet’s opinion factory appends a coded subtextual reading to horror cinema with the investigative diligence of Encyclopedia Brown, an undaunted Avery has dared to make an apolitical movie about Nazis. Major wars take on a character all their own in these films, assigned an identity and meaning to correspond with a plot mounted on a smaller scale. The elastic significance of a war can be channeled into any horror premise under the sun. Ravenous slipped a couple decades back in time to equate the savagery of cannibalism with the brutality of the Mexican-American war.
Guillermo del Toro has made no bones about his stance on the Spanish civil war, ruthlessly denouncing the fascists in two separate films. Overlord doesn’t have much to say about the Nazis, other than that they were decidedly bad folks, tinkering with the laws of nature and science behind the scenes of combat. Overlord stops short of these extremes, though it has its fair share of grisly fun once the curtain’s been drawn back on the Nazis’ sinister plans. Overlord has no discernible interest in making a statement, and at present, that feels less like a creative choice and more like an omission.
Which was a fun 90 minutes at the multiplex, but really more of a PG-13 thriller than a horror flick. Nor is it, I hasten to say, much of a horror film, despite being a remake of one. Italian director Luca Guadagnino has turned Dario Argento’s campy ’70s classic-a crimson bloodbath of a movie-into a self-serious art film set in Berlin, which is so stylized and airless that it’s impossible to feel much of anything watching it beyond confusion. Horror needs an element of fun, of dark delight, and I defy you to take any delight in Suspiria, or to explain what on earth is going on in that final set piece, in which heads explode and bodies fall apart and never once does your heart race. It has been rolling out slowly across the country and may eventually perform well at the box office, probably because there is so much pent-up demand for horror, and so much goodwill for Guadagnino after the transporting Call Me by Your Name.
There is buzz around horror maestro Jason Blum’s investment in Blumhouse TV. Since Netflix’s original movie offerings are finally getting good, I watched Gareth Evans’s new film The Apostle with great anticipation. Which brings me to The Haunting of Hill House, a 10-part series on Netflix which comes to us from director Mike Flanagan, who gave me a thrill or two with his films Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Hush. Horror is about dark delight, yes-but it’s also about intensity, a quality in extremely short supply in Hill House. I’ve enjoyed many a low-budget, badly acted horror film, but the good ones race along so quickly that you don’t care.
This all the more disappointing because just living through 2018 has felt a bit like a horror film. The counterintuitive thing about scary movies is they can actually make us feel better, not worse, about the horrors in the real world. Otherwise, here’s to the golden age of horror returning in 2019..
The erotic film actor did not win a school board seat
A Brick school board candidate criticized for his appearances in low-budget horror films characterized by gore, nudity and violence against women was the low vote-getter in Tuesday’s election, according to the Ocean County Clerk’s Office. In a campaign largely absent of published materials expressing his views on education-related issues, Young finished sixth out of six candidates vying for three seats on the Brick Board of Education. Young gave few if any interviews related to his candidacy, and he repeatedly failed to respond to requests for comment from NJ Advance Media, including before and after his loss on Tuesday. A post by Young on his personal Facebook page on Tuesday railed at critics who asserted that, in light of the subject matter of his film work, he should not be on the school board. Young’s total of 5,903 votes was less than half of the 12,194 votes garnered by the contest’s high vote-getter, Nicole Siebert, a newcomer who will take the seat of John Lamela, who did not seek another term.
A former board member who ran on his own, John Barton, finished fifth in the balloting, with 7,434 votes, less than 300 votes behind Young’s running mate, the Rev. Rob Canfield, and more than 1,500 ahead of Young. Brick residents narrowly rejected a ballot proposal asking if the district should raise an additional $198,000 in property taxes to pay for a full-time police officer at each of the four public schools, with 12,720 no-votes to 12,593 yes votes. Later, the good doctor embarks on an ill-fated, blood-soaked effort to mate Bigfoot with human women. In the school board race, Young’s anti-tax message was summed up by a campaign sign he shared with Canfield, a youth minister at a church in Tinton Falls who in recent days had distanced himself from Young, insisting he knew only that his running mate was an actor and a Republican.
The Brick board raised taxes this year in light of state aid cuts imposed by the administration of Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat. According to a report in The Brick Shorebeat, records show that Wohlrab runs a super PAC named America’s Urban Future, which has received contributions from an insurance firm, Fairview Associates, that has a contract with Brick public schools.
Why Do We Like Horror Movies?
Malcolm Turvey, director of the Film and Media Studies program and a professor whose courses have included one called The Horror Film, has answers-and a list of flicks that will scare your socks off, make your skin crawl, and teach you a thing or two about the human condition in the process. There are many different theories, according to Turvey. We could enjoy rooting for the protagonists as they battle the monster, Turvey said. This thrill may be especially pleasurable in a context where there’s no real threat to us, Turvey said. Frankenstein, which Turvey requires his students to read because it is so important and which is 200 years old this year, gets at the power of science to alter nature in a fundamental way, while the newer movie Get Out tackles real social and racial fears.
One thing horror aficionados complain about is overuse of the startle response, according to Turvey. Silence of the Lambs had a compelling female protagonist, Turvey said. Hannibal Lector was a strangely charismatic villain, Turvey added, recalling the final scene, in which Lector has escaped and is going to eat the doctor who has tormented him. The first Halloween film, which initially interested Turvey in horror, was strong in many ways. Many horror films stand out because they break new ground, and put new twists on old tropes, Turvey said.
Halloween, Silence of the Lambs, and Alien are at the top of Turvey’s list of favorite horror movies, in no small part because of the nostalgic value they hold for him. Turvey tries to show students excellent horror films from a range of eras, cultures, and aesthetics, including Frankenstein and Dracula from the ’20s and ’30s; the ’40s film Cat People; the ’50s sci-fi horror movies The Thing.
10 Dumbest Ever Horror Movie Protagonists
Horror films are usually so full of dumb people that they’re practically a prerequisite. We’ve all sat down to watch a scary movie and found ourselves screaming at the screen when some idiot with a common sense bypass goes down into the basement when they should be running out the door or decides to split from their group after uttering the immortal words ‘I’ll be right back’ when a maniac killer is on the loose. The thing about horror movies is that they kind of rely on idiots to propel the plot. If they didn’t have imbeciles making bad decisions, we wouldn’t get to witness the grim and gruesome situations they find themselves in. In other words, if horror films were populated by real-life people with logical thought processes and sound judgement they’d be over before they’d even really begun.
It’s not too much of an exaggeration then to say that without dumb protagonists in horror movies, we wouldn’t actually have horror movies. They’re as essential an ingredient to the horror film as the big bad villain or the final girl. Some stupidity is to be expected but certain acts of sheer idiocy in horror films defy all logic no matter how hard you try to suspend your disbelief. Some horror protagonists make decisions so utterly brainless that you can’t help but wonder if they’ve got a death wish. Here’s to those characters – the dumbest of the dumb in the horror genre – in all their idiotic glory.