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The nut house. The loony bin. Whatever your term for it, we all know it well... the insane asylum. It is one of the more unsettling settings in which a horror film might play out. To celebrate the December 31st release of Image's Sanitarium, we bring you our Top 11 Insane Asylum Horror Films.
As far as honorable mentions, one of my all-time favorite horror moments is in the insane asylum at the end of Psycho when Norman has completely become Mother. As the scene is very short, we kept it off the list and simply gave it an Hm.
Other notable nuthouse films include the Santa-themed sequel Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 and more hillbillies gone awry in Wrong Turn 4. Give us your picks below.
Now, on to the ....
This film was a turning point for the franchise. In Dream Warriors the Freddy »
- Scott Hallam
"The Exorcist," released 40 years ago this week (on December 26, 1973), is widely regarded as the scariest movie ever made, but after four decades, two sequels, two prequels, and countless spoofs, is there anything about the tale of demon-possessed Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) and the priests who try to save her (Max von Sydow and Jason Miller) left to jolt and shock us?
Maybe there is. "Exorcist" director William Friedkin's 2013 memoir, "The Friedkin Connection," has three chapters full of dish on the making of the film, including which characters were based on famous people, how some of the famous special effects were accomplished, how he came to slap a Jesuit priest, and whether or not the production was cursed. Here are 25 things you may not know about "The Exorcist," many of them from Friedkin's recent book.
1. The real case that inspired William Peter Blatty's novel and screenplay was the 1949 exorcism of a 14-year-old boy, »
- Gary Susman
Every Wednesday, FM writers Simon Columb and Brogan Morris write two short reviews on Woody Allen films ... in the hope of watching all his films over the course of roughly 49 weeks. If you have been watching Woody's films and want to join in, feel free to comment with short reviews yourself! Next up is Hannah and Her Sisters & Take the Money and Run
Simon Columb on Hannah and Her Sisters...
Breaking the mirror into three pieces, Woody Allen uses himself, Michael Caine and Max Von Sydow to depict the regretful, lustful and intellectual sides to his persona respectively. The sisters that bind these men together are central to the story as we find how Hannah (Mia Farrow) and her sisters (Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest). Elliot (Caine) is married to Hannah and falls for her sister Lee (Hershey); Lee is romantically involved with Frederick; Holly (Wiest) is the final sister »
- Gary Collinson
Cinema has always liked telling a good life story, and all kinds of biography – from the humblest to the starriest – have been given a filmic going-over. The Guardian and Observer's critics pick the 10 best in a very crowded field
• Top 10 animated movies
• Top 10 silent movies
• Top 10 sports movies
• Top 10 film noir
• Top 10 musicals
• Top 10 martial arts movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
This is the most radical of all biopics. It does exactly what it promises, breaking the Canadian pianist's intense and troubled life into concentrated fragments. Reassembly is left to the viewer. When he began working on the screenplay with Don McKellar, the writer-director François Girard recognised the pitfalls of the genre. "There are many traps," he said. "The main temptation is to try to cram everything about a life into one film. What you need is a radical idea »
Two things come to my mind when we start rolling into December and the holiday season. No, it’s not peace or love or some such slop. It’s also not blockbusters or award films. It’s cold weather and drinking. This also makes me think of Canada, and this in turn makes me think of legends of comedy: Bob and Doug McKenzie. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the motion picture premiere of the beer-drinking duo from the Great White North. In their film Strange Brew, Bob (Rick Moranis) and Doug (Dave Thomas) must stop an evil Brewmeister (Max Von Sydow) from controlling the minds of Canadians with a tainted beer supply. In one scene, Bob saves the Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane from burning down by pissing all over it. This got me thinking: Would it be humanly possible to put out a large fire by urinating on it? The »
- Kevin Carr
By Todd Garbarini
William Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973), based upon the novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty, is one of the greatest and most powerful American motion pictures ever made. With an impressive cast that includes Ellen Burstyn, Max Von Sydow, Jason Miller, Lee J. Cobb, Jack MacGowran and newcomer Linda Blair, The Exorcist had its origins in a 1949 case involving the purported demonic possession of a young Evangelical Lutheran boy in Cottage City, MD who is still alive to this day, is retired from Nasa, and claims to have no memory of the events that he experienced. Mr. Blatty, who read about the events at the time, thought about the story for years until he wrote the book circa 1969, some 20 years later, in the house of his ex-wife in Encino, CA.
Coming on the heels of my all-time favorite film, 1971’s Oscar-winning The French Connection, Mr. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Hannah and Her Sisters is the definitive Thanksgiving movie, full stop. Why? Well, there’s a lot of Thanksgiving in it. But also, like your family, the one in this movie doesn’t know it’s unbearable, funny, sad, weird as hell, and perfect. It will fuel you with essential patience through Thursday’s festivities, even when your Uncle Werner begins with his conservative rants about Jennifer Lawrence‘s new haircut. She just likes it that way, Uncle Werner! Don’t be on the wrong side of history!
New viewers of Hannah and Her Sisters will find it’s much different than recent Woody Allen movies, which are streamlined, plot-driven efforts. Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine almost feel like elongated short films, but Hannah and Her Sisters dishes plenty of comedy, wordy-ass arguing, despair, and a lot of contemplative moments featuring none of the above. Woody Allen’s character »
- Louis Virtel
Resolution of long-running dispute with estate of Kevin McClory could pave way for cat-stroking mastermind to return to regenerated Bond franchise, as well as his uber-evil organisation, Spectre
The James Bond film series is free to incorporate classic elements such as the villain Blofeld and nefarious organisation Spectre once again after settling a long-running legal case with the estate of 007 co-creator Kevin McClory.
A dispute over rights to the suave British spy has been ongoing since 1959, when writer McClory suggested a Bond film set in the Bahamas to Ian Fleming. The idea eventually came to form the basis of the novel Thunderball, as well as its 1965 film adaptation. Fleming and McClory collaborated on the third Bond film, which introduced both Blofeld and Spectre, but courts later ruled that the Dublin-born writer owned significant elements of the 007 mythos, and he was able to produce the "unofficial" 1983 Bond film Never Say Never Again, »
- Ben Child
With the November 15 news that James Bond producers Danjaq and MGM have acquired all 007 rights owned by late "Thunderball" co-creator Kevin McClory, the question immediately began buzzing: Will arch-villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld (introduced in Ian Fleming's "Thunderball" novel and in the movie "You Only Live Twice" after being teased as the mysterious Number One in "From Russia with Love" and "Thunderball") make his way into the upcoming "Bond 24"? And, beyond that, who would make the perfect Blofeld? Take our poll, below. The traditional image of Blofeld is with bald head, Nehru jacket and a white cat (as played by Donald Pleasence, Telly Savalas and Charles Gray). Then there was Max von Sydow (with hair but without the Nehru jacket) in the unofficial "Thunderball" remake "Never Say Never Again." Of course, Mike Myers parodied the character with his Dr. Evil in the "Austin Powers" franchise. Presumably a new Blofeld »
- Beth Hanna and Bill Desowitz
The Exorcist was banned in many countries including Finland for causing widespread hysteria. The movie debuted on the silver screen on December 26th 1973. There were widespread reports of people fainting and others being institutionalized. Synopsis When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. Director William Friedkin Writer William Peter Blatty Stars Ellen Burstyn Max von Sydow Linda Blair »
William Riead directs the recently completed drama which shot in a number of locations including India.
“We are quite fortunate to be able to bring The Letters, a film that is both life-affirming and heartfelt with a message that will deeply touch and inspire audiences from all walks of life, all around the world,” said Arclight Films managing director Gary Hamilton. “It’s high production value and powerful story will move anyone who sees it.” »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
"You missed a very dull TV show on Auschwitz. More gruesome film clips, and more puzzled intellectuals declaring their mystification over the systematic murder of millions. The reason they can never answer the question 'How could it possibly happen?' is that it's the wrong question. Given what people are, the question is 'Why doesn't it happen more often?' " says the tortured Max Von Sydow in Woody Allen's "Hannah & Her Sisters." While the worldview is bleak, the quote is somewhat telling when it comes to Hollywood's continued pursuit of Holocaust stories. That decades on, filmmakers are still telling stories based on or inspired by the true horrors endured by millions, speaks to the simple fact that the scope and scale of loss is still somewhat unfathomable. But very few films truly express and transmit the overwhelming reality of that dark chapter in human history, and unfortunately, "The Book Thief" suffers from that fate. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
If it were the late '70s, and you were a wunderkind film artist a bit embarrassed about your zeal for space-opera kids' stuff, you went out and bagged yourself a great to class your movie up: Alec Guinness; François Truffaut; Max von Sydow done up like a disco gladiolus. That tradition is as good an explanation as any for the gorgeous, gloriously strange opening moments of 1979's The Visitor, a Euro-American science fiction horror clusterfuck too messy and weird to have hit back in the day but too inventive and accomplished to have been rotting for so long. (It's been given an HD transfer by Alamo Drafthouse.)
It opens with an alien desert under a great radiating blob of sun, as two robed, Jedi-like figures square off, space western style, one in Kenobi brown an »
Directed by Georges Franju
France and Italy, 1960
The idea of what a quintessential French horror film might be, especially in the middle of the last century, would be a conflicting concept, the French being culturally revered as the custodians of the high-brow, the poetically human, and the avant-garde (we even import the word in its French form); horror is a genre maintained to provoke the base and primal, better left to B-movie thrills. Enter Georges Franju, a co-founder of the Cinémathèque Française, to helm Eyes Without a Face, a work to arrive with scorn from both French and Anglophone audiences as it had not been crafted to either of their palettes, but rather an amalgamation of tastes and something completely new.
When Dr. Génessier (Pierre Brasseur) identifies the body of his daughter Christiane »
- Zach Lewis
It’s that wonderful, frightful, cool and creepy time of year again, when everything including the leaves on the trees are dying and our taste buds are craving sugary sweets and pies made from the guts of our jack-o-lanterns. It’s October, which means Halloween is nearly upon us! Get you costumes completed, your home haunts constructed and your candy collected for trick’r treaters, because you have to make time to watch some of the scariest movies this time of year.
In an effort to assist you in your cinematic scare-fest, we’ve come up with a list of the scariest movies to watch on Halloween… with one caveat. We have excluded virtually all “slasher” flicks. Why? Well, let’s just say we all know them, we all love them on some level, but really… don’t we all want something more in our scary movies? In honor of »
- Movie Geeks
Define Gothic and Dracula immediately comes to mind. The high-arches and cobwebs, the creatures that scurry across the floor and the long drapes that falls from the ceilings – blood on the tips of fangs and white-skin like moonlight in the night. Kim Newman goes as far to state that 1931’s Dracula this “was the true beginning of the horror film as a distinct genre and the vampire movie as its most popular sub-genre”. Indeed, only in this month’s Empire magazine, they have noted how 31 actors have portrayed the fanged-villain – and Bela Lugosi’s unforgettable performance surely remains the most defining portrayal. The double bill of Dracula and The Mummy may initially appear to be connected by their supernatural content alone, but the Universal Horror films are joined by their »
- Gary Collinson
“What an excellent day for an exorcism”.
Director: William Friedkin
Plot: Little Regan MacNeil begins to show signs of demon possession… there’s only one thing to do: call in the Exorcist!
It’s my honest opinion that the best horror movies are the ones that don’t merely exist to scare the s**t out of their audience through constant jump scares or gratuitous shots of blood and guts. No, the best horror movies (like so many we’ve previously discussed in this year’s Thn HalloweenFest) are the ones that have more to them then just gore and screaming blondes.
Take William Friedkin’s sublime 1973 effort, The Exorcist, easily one of the most engrossing and interesting horror films ever produced, as well as being one of the scariest. Based on the equally brilliant novel of »
- Matt Dennis
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 24 Oct 2013 - 06:46
Another 25 unsung greats come under the spotlight, as we provide our pick of the underappreciated films of 1995...
The year covered in this week's underrated movie rundown was significant for a number of reasons. It was the year that saw the release of Toy Story - the groundbreaking movie that would cement Pixar's reputation as an animation studio, and set the tempo for CG family movies for the next 18 years and counting. It was the year that saw James Bond (played by Pierce Brosnan for the first time) emerge for GoldenEye after a six-year break. It was also the year of Michael Mann's Heat, Dogme 95, and the moment where Terry Gilliam scored a much-deserved hit with 12 Monkeys.
As ever, we're focusing on a few of the lesser-known films from this particular year, and we've had to think carefully about what's made the cut and what hasn't. »
Chicago – William Friedkin graced Chicago with his presence at a special event during the 2013 Chicago Critics Film Festival and it’s an evening that I’ll never forget. Not only is the director of classics like “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist,” recently released in a lavish 40th anniversary Blu-ray edition, one of the most important filmmakers of his era but he’s also incredibly funny, smart, and well-spoken. Fans of film owe it to themselves to read “The Friedkin Connection,” released earlier this year and even sampled in this release. And his heavy involvement in this release, including interviews, featurettes, and a commentary, make it a must-own for classic movie fans. That and it’s still one of the scariest movies ever made.
There are many, many things to love about “The Exorcist” but my most recent viewing of the original theatrical edition (the superior to the director’s cut, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Elitist and pretentious, or an endangered species? Whatever your feelings, there's no doubt that arthouse movies are among the finest ever made. Here the Guardian and Observer critics pick the 10 best
• Top 10 romantic movies
• Top 10 action movies
• Top 10 comedy movies
• Top 10 horror movies
• Top 10 sci-fi movies
• Top 10 crime movies
Peter Bradshaw on art movies
This is a red rag to a number of different bulls. Lovers of what are called arthouse movies resent the label for being derisive and philistine. And those who detest it bristle at the implication that there is no artistry or intelligence in mainstream entertainment.
For many, the stereotypical arthouse film is Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin was a classic art film from the 1920s and Luis Buñuel investigated cinema's potential for surreality like no one before or since. The Italian neorealists applied the severity of art to a representation »
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