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Every year, we here at PopOptiq celebrate the month of October with a series of articles we like to call 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list to 200 movies, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles.
Note: Since there are so many great horror films and so much to choose from, I am including documentaries, short films and animated films as special mentions in order to make it easier for me to decide what to include.
Special Mention: King Kong
The granddaddy of all monster movies is arguably King Kong. Decades after its release, no other monster »
The film is directed by Italian director Luca Guadagnino, marking his first feature since 2009’s I Am Love. It is written by The Invasion and True Story scribe David Kajganich, and is an adaptation of Jacques Deray’s 1969 film La Piscine, and by extension the source novel written by Jean-Emmanuel Conil. Swinton and Fiennes star alongside Dakota Johnson and Matthias Schoenaerts.
The film’s synopsis is as follows.
In A Bigger Splash, the lives of a high profile couple, a famous rock star and a filmmaker, (Tilda Swinton and Matthias Schoenaerts) vacationing and recovering on the idyllic sun-drenched and remote Italian island of Pantelleria are disrupted by the unexpected visit of an old friend and »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Meet some of the best directors working today, who haven't gone down the blockbuster movie route...
Ever find it a bit lame when the same big name directors get kicked around for every high profile project? Christopher Nolan, Jj Abrams, maybe the Russo Brothers? With so much focus on blockbuster films these days, getting a major franchise job seems like the main acknowledgement of success for a filmmaker. And yes, both the financial and creative rewards can be great. But there are plenty of other directors out there, doing their own thing, from art house auteurs to Dtv action specialists.
Here are 25 examples.
Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve probably seen Lee Hardcastle’s ultraviolent claymations shared on social media. He first started getting noticed for his two-minute remake of The Thing, starring the famous stop motion penguin Pingu. Far from just a cheap one-joke mash-up, »
New festival director criticizes “myopic” battle for premieres and reveals London Film Festival “alliance”.
In its tenth year the once again reinvented Rome Film Festival (October 16-24) will host a streamlined but crowd-pleasing combination of autumn festival titles and potential discoveries.
Among national debuts are Lenny Abrahamson’s well-received Room, James Ponsoldt’s The End Of The Tour, Peter Sollett’s Freeheld, Pal Nalin’s female buddy movie Angry Indian Goddesses and Paul Thomas Anderson’s recently announced music documentary Junun, about Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s travels to India.
UK documentary The Confessions Of Thomas Quick and Chinese box office giant Monster Hunt will also be among the 37 films, documentaries and TV series from 24 countries announced today in the official selection.
The semi-autonomous Alice Nella Citta strand will showcase titles including Deniz Gamze Erguven »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Horror director Lucky McKee unfortunately remains one of those unknown, peripheral genre names, mostly thanks to a number of compromised or abandoned projects following his formidable 2002 debut, May. Over the past several years, he’s made headlines for 2011’s The Woman (another underrated gem from his filmography), and most recently the co-directed effort All Cheerleaders Die in 2013, an expansion of his 2001 short film, which is more or less the comically inclined romp you’d assume it to be. Prizing complex female characterizations, usually featuring muse Angela Bettis, McKee’s twisted visions, though few and far between, are enjoyable and entertaining, usually enhanced by a bit of subtext. About a decade ago, McKee’s sophomore feature, The Woods, would finally land on DVD in the Us following a limited festival circuit run, treated to a torturous release platform despite featuring several notable cast members. A period piece set amongst an all-girls »
- Nicholas Bell
Rome – The Rome Film Festival has unveiled the lineup of its 10th edition comprising a rich mix of crowdpleasing and more esoteric fare, including local launches of James Ponsoldt’s “The End of the Tour,” Michael Almereyda’s “The Experimenter,” Peter Sollett’s “Freehold,” Lenny Abrahamsson’s “Room,” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s docu “Junun” (pictured) about Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s travels to India.
Under new direction by New York-based Italian journalist and academic Antonio Monda, the Rome fest has been renamed Festa del Cinema – which translates literally as “Film Party” rather than festival. The only award is given by the audience.
Monda said he decided to do away with the competition, the juries, and the opening and closing ceremonies “all rituals that I view as too stuffy and conventional, inappropriate to what I had in mind.” He instead kept the audience nod “to underscore the idea of a »
- Nick Vivarelli
Exclusive: Jason London stars in the upcoming supernatural horror from the Chilean director.
Magardich Halvajiyan’s Open Frames will produce and finance the project, which is set to begin shooting in October in Bulgaria.
The story centres on an a former Us police officer who takes a job as security guard in an mysterious building with a sinister past in the Bulgarian city of Sofia.
The director is applying the finishing touches to his thriller Downhill, which WTFilms represents for international sales and was touting to buyers in Toronto. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
London — Simon Boswell, who takes part in Raindance Film Festival’s In Conversation event on Friday Oct. 2, has been composing for film since 1985. Although his early work mainly comprised international horror and fantasy projects (notably Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1989 cult classic “Santa Sangre”), Boswell wasted no time in diversifying, branching out in the early 1990s with Danny Boyle’s home-grown black comedy “Shallow Grave.” Since then, the London-based composer, now 58, has worked in romcoms, comedies and serial TV drama, learning, perhaps more than anything else, that the old maxim “less mean more” is definitely true of film scoring. “You have to understand that the director, the producer, the actors, me and everyone else, we’re all making a delicate sandwich,” he laughs. “And sometimes music may just be a leaf of lettuce rather than a big chunk of meat.”
You’re very prolific. When you started, did you realize »
- Damon Wise
[Originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of Deadly Magazine] Think back to your worst memory of high school. If it doesn’t involve a giant bone-crushing baby, rock and roll zombies, or a Satanic guidance counselor, then you didn’t go to Crowley High, the setting for the beloved TV series Todd & The Book of Pure Evil.
Comprised of two seasons that originally aired from 2010–2012 on Canada’s Space network, Todd & The Book of Pure Evil follows Todd Smith, a heavy metal-loving high school stoner who, along with his best friend Curtis, major crush (and strongly independent) Jenny, and the brilliant Hannah, is forced to face the monsters and evil powers unleashed by The Book of Pure Evil.
The twisted tome (believed to be bound in the foreskin of Judas) can be found by the tormented, the humiliated, and the depressed—making high school its perfect home. For 26 episodes, Todd and his friends (collectively known as “the Gang”) hunt »
- Derek Anderson
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. There’s something irresistibly hip about Asia Argento, even as a concept. The sultry, pouty daughter of trash-horror maestro Dario Argento, her public image as a wild child jack-of-all-trades-as-long-as-they’re-kinda-glamorous (actress, singer, model, director) does make her something of a poster girl for tough, troubled, attitude-y cool (just check out her Cannes red carpet pic or her Twitter account for that matter). But after her first two forays into directing, “Scarlet Diva” (in which she also starred as a self-destructive starlet) and child abuse chronicle “The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things,” she has shifted gears in several ways with her third: she makes a brief, Hitchcock-level cameo, but doesn’t star, and most welcome, she moves from straight-up miserablism to a beguiling cockeyed whimsy. However, “Misunderstood” ("Incompresa"), which played in the Un Certain Regard sidebar in »
- Jessica Kiang
By Todd Garbarini
I have been a fan of the Italian giallo subgenre for 30 years since my initiation into it was precipitated by my first viewing of Creepers (1985), the severely cut version of Dario Argento’s Phenomena, my personal favorite film of his. Subsequent viewings of films by both Mr. Argento and his mentor, Mario Bava, as well as Lucio Fulci, Lamberto Bava, Luigi Cozzi, and Michele Soavi solidified a love for the putrid and the fantastic, and anyone who has seen these movies knows how delightfully entertaining they are: off-kilter camera angles, ludicrous dialogue, and what writer Todd French referred to as “a maddening narrative looseness” are present in these films in a way that they are absent in other genres. There is just nothing like an Italian giallo film. With all of the mock horror films that have been made going back to 1981’s Student Bodies and the later, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Reviewed by Jason Lees
If you head to the multiplex, you're going to find movies made for a mass audience. Jurassic World, just to make its budget and marketing costs back, has to be carefully constructed to appeal to every living sentient moviegoer. If the film has a chance of showing profit, then there has to be a chance that Everyone on earth will find something in it worth watching. That's great if you're making a family-dinosaur-attack-chase movie (or is you're making a happy meal, for that matter). I get it. I understand. I'm not the mass audience member. I'm not the key demographic. Films on that level aren't about art, they're commerce. Product. Some are fun. Some aren't. But they all have to chase that generic audience to make even.
Before it comes off like I'm just blasting Hollywood (and I am), I'll take this moment to just get to the point. »
As a huge fan of giallo I’m always excited to see current filmmakers taking a stab at the genre that was immensely popular in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Filmmakers like Peter Strickland, Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani have had great success in calling back to the work of such filmmakers as Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, and now Argentinian writer/director Luciano Onetti (Deep Sleep) hopes to follow in their footsteps with Francesca, his sophomore feature about a girl who returns back to her hometown 15 years after she mysteriously disappeared. The Argentinian Giallo horror flick will make its World Premiere at the Sitges Fantastic Film Festival in October, from the 9th to the 18th. The first trailer has been released which you can watch below. Enjoy!
Synopsis: It’s been 15 years since the disappearance of little Francesca, daughter of the renowned storyteller, poet and dramatist Vittorio Visconti, »
Hey UK! Make your way to Sheffield during the weekend of October 23rd through the 25th if you want to get your fantastic film fix. The Celluloid Screams: Sheffield Horror Film Festival returns to Showroom Cinema for its sixth edition with a weekend packed full of premieres, previews, special guests and more.Karyn Kusama's The Invitation will open the festival. Other festival favorites like Deathgasm, Goodnight Mommy, The Witch and They Look Like People are also part of the lineup. Then, to close the festival, Goblin is coming to town for a live performance of Dario Argento's Profondo Rosso, also known as Deep Red. And check out that lineup for their annual all-nighter! A Nightmare on Elm Street, Re-Animator, Phantasm and The Texas Chainsaw Massacare 2? Sign us...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Luca Guadagnino is reuniting with his A Bigger Splash cast—Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton—for a remake of Dario Argento's Suspiria. More news of projects in the works: Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne's La Fille inconnue with Adèle Haenel, Olivier Gourmet and Christelle Cornil; Joachim Lafosse's L’Economie du couple with Bérénice Béjo and Cédric Kahn; Eleanor Coppola's Bonjour Anne with Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin and Arnaud Viard; Maria Schrader's Stefan Zweig biopic with Josef Hader and Barbara Sukowa; Doug Liman's Luna Park with Tom Cruise; Michael R. Roskam’s The Faithful with Adèle Exarchopoulos and Matthias Schoenaerts; and more. » - David Hudson »
The Reykjavik International Film Festival (Sept 24-Oct 4) has 12 first and second features competing for its Golden Puffin Award.
The films are:
As I Open My Eyes, Leyla Bouzid (Fra/Tun/Bel/Are)Babai, Visar Morina (Kos/Ger)Barash, Michael Vinik (Isr)Krisha, Trey Edward Shults (Us)Mediterranea, Jonas Carpignano (Ita/Fr/Us/Ger/Qat)Motherland, Senem Tuzen (Tur/Gr)Sleeping Giant, Andrew Cividino (Can)Slow West, John Maclean (UK/Nz)Sparrows, Runar Runarsson (Ice/Den/Cro)The Here After, Magnus Von Horn (Swe/Pol) We Monsters, Sebatian Ko (Ger)Wednesday May 9, Vahid Jalilvand (Iran)
This year’s jury comrpises Frederic Boyer, artistic director of the Tribeca Film Festival and Les Arcs; producer Agnes Johansen; Laufey Guðjónsdóttir, director of The Icelandic Film Centre; Dagmar Borelle; and Paola Corvino.
Other programme highlights at Riff include the first two episodes of TV show »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
Dario Argento, arguably Italy’s finest ever horror director (and one of the best horror directors ever for that matter), turned 75-years-old on Monday 7th September, 2015. When I became aware of this milestone, it got me thinking about Argento and his films. Almost immediately after came the news that the much talked about Suspiria remake is going ahead, with Luca Guadagnino in the director’s chair.
Argento is an auteur, a man who has developed a visual style all of his own, works outside of the studio system (his films were routinely financed by his father Salvatore, before his 1987 death) and who writes everything that he directs. He directed his first featured in 1970 and has released films every decades since then.
Invariably, some have been better than others. While Argento might have been the brains behind one or two masterpieces, he’s also been responsible for some cinematic atrocities, »
- Lewis Howse
For some time, director David Gordon Green was developing a remake of Dario Argento's classic Suspiria. He described his version as "a very faithful, extremely elegant opera", although it was ultimately derailed when the budget for the film hit $20m. "The economic model for a horror movie was not where I wanted it to be make a $20m elegant movie from a guy who was an unproven horror director", he said. In an era where Paranormal Activity films cost a few million, you can see his point.
However, he revealed earlier in the year that "I'm actually hopeful that it's happening, with a great Italian director that I had breakfast with last week".
And finally, the identity of said director looks like it's been revealed.
Luca Guadagnino, who is currently promoting his »
Directors Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy, two of the five partners from the Canadian film production company Astron-6, have reunited from their 2011 effort Father’s Day (a feature co-directed by all five members of their collective) for The Editor. Another reconstitution of vintage genre cinema, this time around they satirize the more ridiculous elements of the once popular giallo movement of film, those Italian thrillers often dubbed in English which gave rise to horror auteurs like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Sergio Martino, Emilio Miraglia, Mario Bava, and a host of others.
Incredibly silly but with enough moments of bloody gore to appeal to audiences who might have no idea exactly what Brooks and Kennedy are aping, the film is filled with charmingly deliberate jabs at unintentionally ridiculous flourishes from a bygone era. While its own narrative is so over-the-top it’s almost not even worth recounting, the film is fun, »
A remake of Suspiria, Dario Argento‘s gorgeous and dreamlike tale of witchcraft at a boarding school for dance, has been in the works for a very long time. For most of that period, David Gordon Green was planning to direct the film. He’s said his version was going to be “a very faithful, extremely elegant opera. […]
- Russ Fischer
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