There are things humans aren’t meant to know. What the future has in store, for one. How many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, for another. Pursuing answers to these mysteries has a way of leading people into the clutches of winged creatures who promise answers but whose motivations are far from pure. For John Klein (Richard Gere) and the residents of Point Pleasant, WV, the penalty for their misplaced trust could prove far worse than watching as a mean-spirited owl steals their candy.
There’s an old saying that a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor. Whether that’s literally true is a question best left for someone with stronger sea legs. However, the idea that a finished product is better for the hardships it endures is correct in other instances, such as a certain classic film, one that’s set on the high seas and renowned for being something of the cinematic embodiment of Murphy’s Law.
There have been many thought-provoking works exploring the seemingly never-ending adversarial relationship between humans and the natural world. Grizzly is not one of those works. Instead, 1976’s Grizzly – about a killer bear tormenting campers at an unnamed national park – features a scene where two hikers return to their campsite after a nearly ten-mile-long trek through the woods and begin tending to a mysteriously already-lit campfire. Later, a female park ranger announces her intent to dip her feet in a nearby stream only to start unbuttoning her top.
In its opening moments, Victor Frankenstein confesses: “You know this story.” It’s true, Mary Shelley’s tale of a brilliant doctor who seeks to conquer death has been told and retold countless times over the last, oh, two hundred years, to varying degrees of success. After all this time and all of these interpretations, some may opine that the story, much like the creature Frankenstein cobbles together from bits of dead flesh, is best left in the ground.
If you’re unfamiliar with 1986’s The Wraith, perhaps the best way to explain it is using a different film, one which would be released nearly a decade later. The Wraith follows a similar narrative trajectory as The Crow in that both films are about a man who returns from the grave to avenge his death at the hands of a violent gang, picking them off one-by-one.
The present day setting of Rings, the 2017 re-launch of the long-dormant Ring franchise, means big changes for Samara, the ghost child who spreads a fatal curse via VHS tapes. Unless she adapts her increasingly dated tactics, she’ll have to content herself with preying on a shrinking food chain of VCR users. Mostly she’ll be crawling out of the televisions of grandparents, patrons of poorly-funded local libraries, and horror reviewers.
In Boo! A Madea Halloween, the razor-tongued, short-fused Madea (Tyler Perry, who also writes, directs, produces, and plays two other characters) and a trio of friends – although that seems too strong of a word – are pressed into babysitting duty on Halloween night. The babysittee is Tiffany (Diamond White), Madea’s 17 year old grandniece who is desperate to spend Halloween at a local frat party.
In the (sort of) fab four that is the Alien quadrilogy, Alien is the scary one, Aliens is the thrill-y one, and Alien 3 is the messy one. But what about Alien: Resurrection? The franchise’s fourth film is undoubtedly the nutty one, and that’s not just because its title refers to rebirth while the film itself, to date, stands as the narrative conclusion of the series.
Our homes are our castles. They’re where we can shed the trappings of the day – whether that refers to the metaphorical walls that keep others from getting too close or the pair of pants that keeps us from getting arrested. When we’re in our home, neither is required. As such, our homes are more than our safe spaces; they’re also where we are most vulnerable. The idea of the sanctity of that world being breached by someone or something elicits a level of revulsion that makes it a perfect core to build a horror story around.
Alien 3 is the kind of movie people write books about – but not in a good way. During its tortured, six-year slog to the big screen, the film famously chewed through prospective writers, directors, and plots like acidic blood through metal floors. The eventual finished product, which was directed by a young David Fincher, is no less chaotic. The film is at times brilliant, producing moments that have become iconic, like the juxtaposition of an alien birth scene with a funeral for a pair of fallen friends or Ripley’s face-to-face (or cheek-to-face) alien encounter.
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