Sophie's introduction into the magic that is the horror genre was watching Halloween at a party in high school, and since then she's never looked back. She may be the wimpiest horror fan you have ever met, but she won't ever let that stop her!
When one watches an older, classic horror film, it can sometimes be necessary to alter our expectations and frame of reference. The special effects may not be up to muster, the delicate sensibilities of its day may seem tame to modern audiences. The mark of a truly transcendent horror film is often apparent in how little the viewer needs to change their perspective to enjoy it. George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is certainly such a film.
When I trace back my journey as a horror fan, I most often credit my introduction to the genre to John Carpenter’s classic 1978 film, Halloween, which I watched at, fittingly, a Halloween party during me freshman year of highschool. The film that I often forget to include, however, is one that I saw one year earlier, that has stuck with me even more fiercely. The movie is Henri-George Cluzot’s 1955 Diabolique, which my eighth grade French teacher played for us in class.
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.
When Danny Boyle’s instant classic, 28 Days Later, was released in 2002, it was revolutionary; not just because it gave us the standard for horrifying and quick moving zombies, but because it was not released in a year that was inundated by films featuring the living dead. Zombie films are a dime a dozen these days. As AMC’s smash hit The Walking Dead has grown in popularity and continues to attract a large viewership, production companies have jumped to capitalize on the trend, even as it might finally be seeing a downturn.
Although primarily known for his novels and short stories, Stephen King’s name is one that has become almost synonymous with all things horror. The mid 1970’s saw the beginning of a steady stream of movie adaptations that still continues to this day. There have been highs (Carrie) and lows (all the Carrie remakes), but with your name attached to so many properties, it is impossible to imagine a world where every movie bearing his moniker is a good one.
“There’s something real about a guy with a knife who just snaps,” Kristen Bell’s character says in the Russian nesting doll opening for Scream 4. Popular culture is full of stories of men - and occasionally women - who “just snap;” from horror to true crime and even comedy. These stories tap into a primal human fear, hearing stories like these we can’t help identify with the victim and often, to our dismay, the killer. But what happens when the perpetrators at the heart of the story aren’t grown men, but young girls? What can we make of that?
As far as zombie movies go, there isn’t typically a lot of variation. More times than not, our protagonist wakes up one day in a world that has radically changed (think 28 Days Later, the pilot of Walking Dead, the Dawn of the Dead remake). In these movies, we are along for the ride while characters try to adapt on their feet to a whole new set of rules.
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