Episode 328 - "Unfriended'

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Red State is Kevin Smith's first foray into the realm of films that could be considered horror. Playing out as a mish mash of genres, the film starts out in a fashion that could only be described as teen sex comedy, before transitioning into something more akin to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and then finally resulting in a bit of an action movie style standoff between Michael Parks as Abin Cooper, the leader of an extreme religious group, and John Goodman as ATF agent Joseph Keenan.

Horror as a genre trains fans to expect, look for, and even anticipate death in the movies we watch. Final Destination took those exact specifications and created a franchise out of it. With hindsight it's now way too easy to look back and pick apart the earlier entries and forget the things that they did right that made them popular enough to warrant multiple sequels. Final Destination 2 took what was set up from the original, kept aspects of the tension, but embraced the ridiculousness that was always under the surface of the original. 

It’s often a debate between Stephen King fans on the quality of adaptations of his work and unfortunately, there is often very little time between these developments or re-visions. Big Driver is one of the more recent productions of a novella from King’s grim collection, "Full Dark No Stars."

Scream rolled into the horror genre as a form of commentary on all that had come before it. The tropes, trappings, and clichés that had turned modern audiences away from the horror genre, and the slasher subgenre more specifically, were turned on their head in the slyly written script by Kevin Williamson. The next step for the Scream world was to comment on what makes the horror sequel successful or utterly useless. Enter 1997's Scream 2 with Williamson back as writer and Wes Craven as the director.

Stare into the dark soul of the tempura shrimp, IF YOU DARE.

Mental health has long been a well that horror draws from. The things that we don’t understand about our own minds can be fascinating and sometimes frightening, and so it is no surprise that the asylum is a common setting for horror. In 2010, one such film was released, and it would have likely gone completely unnoticed, if not for the name attached to its title, John Carpenter’s The Ward.

The new era of horror is here and it is not afraid to show its age. The lovers of the online world will feel right at home in the world that Unfriended builds around Facebook, Spotify and Google. Director Levan Gabriadze and writer Nelson Greaves dissected that spirit of the online world and infused it into a horror film for a new generation. Unfriended is a fresh approach to the genre as it isn't exactly a found footage or possession movie of recent years.

Say what you will, the Final Destination franchise has definitely made an impression on audiences over its run. The conceit is so simple that all it needs is a few tweaks here and there to make it bankable each time out. The slasher genre is crowded to be sure, but Final Destination was able to carve itself a niche in that market that kept people coming to the theater to see a new batch of pretty people offed in elaborate, sometimes hilarious ways.

In the current state of things, it seems that horror films have started to shift their focus less on the aftermath of devastation in post apocalyptic scenarios and more towards the very tangible and gripping terror of the road that leads there. Set in a fictional representation of Detroit, Lost River revolves around the struggle of one lower class, single parent family and their fight for survival against very real and dangerous adversaries.

Love it or hate it, Scream was a movie that made waves. It has been referred to as the film that revived the horror genre during its release in the 90's. Horror veteran director Wes Craven teamed with the then unknown screenwriter Kevin Williamson to bring a postmodern view to the horror genre and, more specifically, the slasher subgenre. At the time of Scream's release, Jason was hopping bodies via mutated fetus, Michael was chasing babies with bloody runes, and Freddy was dead.

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