One of the robots lurks near a fresh kill in Chopping Mall

There’s a moment in Chopping Mall, a 1986 sci-fi slash-ploitation flick about a trio of mall security robots that go rogue and start offing teenagers, where one character snaps at another, necessitating an apology. What follows is a line so sublimely stupid that it seems almost purpose-built to launch the movie into cult classic territory. Without an ounce of cynicism, the offending party apologizes, justifying her faux pas by saying: “I guess I’m just not used to being chased around the mall in the middle of the night by killer robots.”

It Review

Stephen King’s It terrified readers upon its release in 1986 and went on to be the best-selling book of that year. The inevitable filmed adaptation hit TV screens in the form of a miniseries in 1990. With the first trailer dropping this week for the 2017 big screen, big budget adaptation of the Master of Horror’s work, now seemed like a good time to revisit Pennywise and the Losers’ Club as they were more than a quarter century ago: is It still the frightfest that kids of the ‘80s and ‘90s remember It being?

The 1933 King Kong is many things. Like any piece of cultural history the film can be framed in various conversations privileging or critiquing its qualities. It’s a cinematic tour-de-force in special effects. It’s a myth-making vehicle that achieved a kind of cultural iconography equaled in cinema only by movie stars, Westerns, Star Wars, Samurai movies, the early 1930s run of Universal monster movies, etc.

Did you hate It Follows? Bored by The Witch? Then The Blackcoat's Daughter (originally titled February and hitting VOD/select theaters March 31st) is not the film for you. Oz Perkins' directorial debut is not some unholy combination of those two aforementioned indie films, but it follows suit with the trend of moody horror flicks that turned heads on the festival circuit. Similarly it may drive audiences to claw at its metaphorical throat.

Back around '07 and '08 French horror was pummeling critics and fans alike with shocking and brutal titles like Frontier(s), Inside and Martyrs. These were the types of movies being hyped at film festivals and advanced screenings as being endurance tests--movies that induced physical reactions such as puking and fainting amongst the audience. The standard for that sort of "press" has been morphed and distorted time and time again since those "glory days" and it'd be fair to say that most genre fans haven't seen anything quite that extreme since.

The second collaboration of Kristen Stewart and writer/director Olivier Assayas was a welcome idea, as Cloud of Sils Maria was a magnificent piece of film, with both Assayas and Stewart proving their skills as storytellers. Personal Shopper, this second jont, has moments of brilliance to remind us of the potential between the two, however a great deal of Assayas' decisions pull the film down into a pulpy ghost story.

It wasn't until I was well ensconced in my horror loving fandom that I saw the original TV mini-series adaptation of Stephen King’s It.

Ken Watanabe as Dr. Serizawa in Godzilla (2014)

Over sixty years ago, Godzilla (1954) was born from Japan’s attempts to come to terms with the dual horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those same atomic age fears still run strong in director Gareth Edwards and screenwriter Max Borenstein’s re-launch, Godzilla (2014). In their film, a nuclear power plant disaster, clearly reminiscent of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi tragedy, helps feed the rise of a pair of giant, highly-destructive monsters.

2016 was the year of John Gallagher Jr. With the release of both 10 Cloverfield Lane and Hush, genre fans everywhere were introduced to the indie darling and allowed to see his range as an actor. The shift from a lovable and charming small town southern man to a sadistic killer is quite a turn, and the proximity of the films’ release dates made the shift even more stark.

I have never seen Misery, but I couldn’t help but think of it when watching the 2014 Spanish film, Shrew’s Nest. Set in Madrid in the 1950’s the film centers around a young woman (called only “La Niña”) and her older sister, Montse. The women are the last living inhabitants of their family home, and both seem to be struggling with the growing disconnect between them.