I’m about to write a sentence I never thought I’d be writing. The remake of “The Thing” is actually pretty decent. While it still sounds weird to me to be reading this sentence, it’s true. The reason I’m so surprised to be writing that, is that I was one of the many who were ready to dismiss this film from the moment it was announced. I mean, how could it possibly get out from underneath the long shadow cast by the John Carpenter original? The answer is simple and also the blueprint that all remakes should follow in order to be worthwhile films in their own right.
When "The River" was announced, I was cautiously optimistic. As I've written in the past, I personally love found footage/first person horror, so I was intrigued by the idea of a weekly found footage horror show. I was cautiously optimistic however, as I could certainly see the show having difficulties keeping the found footage formula fresh week after week. Now that the first two episodes have aired, I think it's safe to say that "The River" is doing it wrong.
Believe it or not, the iPad is a pretty solid little gaming device. While the iTunes app store is flooded with zombie games, there's little variety to these games and unless mowing through hordes of the undead is your cup of tea, you're kind of out of luck when it comes to scratching your survival horror itch.
Everyone has seen the video for "Thriller". Rightfully so, too, it's a great song and the video was truly revolutionary for it's time. However, it crowds out dozens of other music videos that have drawn heavily from horror films for their inspiration. Because there are so many of these other, lesser known, videos, here's a list of 10 of my favorites from a pretty diverse mix of genres:
Believe it or not, there hasn't been a numbered "Resident Evil" game released in almost a decade that also feature zombies. At that, the last game that did was the pretty forgettable "Resident Evil 0", so you really have to go back to 1999's "Resident Evil 3: Nemesis" for the last time "Resident Evil" was simultaneously worth playing and featured zombies. Since then, players looking to get their fix of zombie killing have had to turn to ill-advised spinoff games like the Wii lightgun "The Umbrella Chronicles" or clunky, MMO-lite games such as the "Outbreak" series.
It was 1997 and I was a wee lad of only 11 years old. I had spent the day hanging out with my “cool” Uncle, and we had just gotten back from a late night (well, late night for an 11 year old) showing of “Starship Troopers”. Flush with energy from the large Cherry Coke, the box of Buncha Crunch and the gratuitous sci-fi violence I had just consumed, my Uncle realized that the only way this day could get any cooler was to introduce me to a little video game he had been playing recently called “Resident Evil”.
When done right, first person films can be incredibly effective. By limiting the scope of the film to the perspective of one individual with a camera, these films can be incredibly tense and are generally the only type of horror film that can legitimately give me the creeps anymore. However, they also tend to be very polarizing, with many genre fans writing them off as no more than a gimmicky, flash-in-the-pan.
Experiment time horror fans! Find someone who doesn’t like horror films. Be it your squeamish girlfriend, art-house dwelling hipster co-worker or your mother who doesn’t understand why you’re always watching “that garbage”, and ask them to describe “Friday the 13th”. Chances are they’ll talk about how gory the film is, mention all the horny teenagers and nudity, and talk about Jason and his hockey mask and machete. Maybe they’ll also mention Kevin Bacon because, come on, it’s Kevin Bacon. Problem is, that’s not really “Friday the 13th”.
I’ve watched enough film adaptations of HP Lovecraft’s work to know not to expect much from them. Sure, every now and then something like “Re-Animator” or “The Dunwich Horror” comes along that manages to be a solid, watchable movie, but far more often than not Lovecraft adaptations are painful messes. I’ve walked past the DVD box for “From Beyond” dozens of times in my life and have always passed on it for the same reasons I pass on so many Lovecraft adaptations.