What does it mean to have a body, and what does it mean to be mortal? How do we factor sense pleasures into a bodily experience that is unpredictable, into a body that will eventually wither and that will invariably experience agony? What do we do when we find out that dignity is an illusion that only holds if circumstance and luck hold as well?
Wes Craven and the Metanarrative Slasher Film
Wes Craven’s films often pay homage to horror. The conventions and themes utilized in a Craven film are playfully aware of the confines of both their genre and the medium of film at large. Looking at three of his most reflective films, this metanarrative commentary can be broken down and understood as both horrifying and creatively boundary breaking. I will examine, in order of release, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994), Scream (1996), and Scream 3 (2000), looking at both the evolution of Craven’s metanarrative commentary and the function it serves in adding to the fright in each film, and how this narrative reflection has affected horror as a whole.
‘Maniac of New York’ is the New Blood You’ve Been Waiting For.
Maniac Harry isn't the scariest thing in NYC It’s impossible to discuss Elliott Kalan & Andrea Mutti’s new Aftershock horror comic, Maniac of New York, without mentioning the film that inspired it. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan begins with panning shots of New York City in decay. The goal of this putrid... Continue Reading →
Big Impacts, Small Footprints.
THE HUMAN SUBPLOT IS THE PLOT “Monsters are tragic beings,” Godzilla co-creator Ishiro Honda was onto something when he observed, “They are born too tall, too strong, too heavy. They are not evil by choice. That is their tragedy.” Humanity is at the heart of the best monster stories. It’s not by accident that... Continue Reading →
Southland Tales, A Look Backwards and Forwards
By Charles Evans There exists a form of received wisdom in popular culture which can be deadly for a work of art or entertainment. Essentially, if enough people decide in advance that something is true, it becomes the de facto truth, and little can be done until a reevaluation occurs. If one occurs at all.... Continue Reading →
The Reign of Classism: Social Bias in Frankenstein
By Sarah Winkler Classicism is defined as a bias toward, or against persons of given social classes. In the films The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), and Frankenstein (1931), there are underlying, or otherwise distinctly presented elements of classism that surround the characters depicted in each film. These are currents of social bias which become highlighted... Continue Reading →
The Postmodernism of Wes Craven’s Scream
By Kole Phelps “What’s your favorite scary movie?” is a question that can mean two things to a horror fan. For some, it’s just a straightforward question, but for others, it brings to mind the image of Drew Barrymore dissolving into terror as a masked killer on the phone asks her the same question. Scream... Continue Reading →
While ostensibly a monster film, it is equally a revenge film and an action film. And I guess a hopping turdman film, which also makes it the only example of that I can think of.
The Top 10 New (To Me) Horror, Cult, and Exploitation Films of 2020
These are films that I saw for the first time in 2020, not necessarily new films.
Visceral and Existential Horrors: The Root of Terror in John Carpenter’s The Thing and David Cronenberg’s Videodrome
Both John Carpenter’s The Thing and David Cronenberg’s Videodrome grapple with the idea of human evolution and our place in the world around us. While both films use quite different methods to communicate their fears, the focus of the horror elements center on the shifting state of nature.