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!
At this point, it is unlikely that the name or even the plot of this movie will be unknown to our readers. Even outside of the horror community, the well-known American remake of this Japanese film became an incredibly ubiquitous piece of pop culture. The story of a VHS tape that leaves a string of bodies in its wake and the soggy girl who comes for its viewers has been parodied to the point that it has lost most of its punch. But the fact remains that Ringu was and is an important film both in Japan and everywhere.
Any movie that prominently features the profile of a pregnant woman in its promotional material has a high hurdle to jump. Following in the footsteps of Rosemary’s Baby, most of these movies end up fighting a losing battle to justify their existence or climb out from the shadow of the earlier and often superior title. Shelley is one such movie that ultimately makes it out of the darkness and into its own little patch of daylight, no matter how bleak that day might be.
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.