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Guns, dames and hats: you can't have a film noir without them, can you? Take a look at the Guardian and Observer critics list of the best 10 noirs and you'll realise things aren't that simple …
• Top 10 westerns
• Top 10 documentaries
• Top 10 movie adaptations
• Top 10 animated movies
• Top 10 silent movies
• Top 10 sports movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
Nicholas Ray's astonishingly self-assured, lyrical directorial debut opens with title cards and lush orchestrations over shots of a boy and a girl in rapturous mutual absorption: "This boy … and this gir … were never properly introduced … to the world we live in …" A shriek of horns suddenly obliterates all other sound – their shocked faces both turn toward the camera, and the title appears: They Live by Night.
Meet 23-year-old escaped killer Bowie Bowers and his farm-girl sweetheart Keechie Mobley (Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell), in an imaginary idyll »
Legendary director Martin Scorsese recently wrote an article for The Daily Beast revealing his eleven favorite horror films of all time. It's a pretty solid list. In fact, I enjoy all of the films that he's listed. He also provides a little commentary on why he picked each of the films.
What do you think of his list, and how many films on it have you seen?
1. The Haunting
“You may not believe in ghosts but you cannot deny terror!” was the tagline for this absolutely terrifying 1963 Robert Wise picture about the investigation of a house plagued by violently assaultive spirits.
2. The Isle of the Dead
There’s a moment in this Val Lewton picture, about plague victims trapped on an island during the Greek civil war, that never fails to scare me. let’s just say that it involves premature burial.
3. The Uninvited
Another, more benign haunted house picture, »
- Joey Paur
Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 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, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. I am including documentaries, short films and mini series, only as special mentions – along with a few features that can qualify as horror, but barely do.
Come Back Tonight To See My List Of The 200 Best!
Directed by Terence Young
Written by Robert Carrington
Directed by Terence Young, »
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
The title Cat People could be misleading. Half-cat, half-human creatures roaming the streets (akin to An American Werewolf in London) is the first thought that comes to mind when the title – and its sequel The Curse of the Cat People – appeared in the BFI Gothic Season guide. Instead, this 1943 staple of the Universal horror film catalogue is a moody, sinister approach to psychiatry. Indeed, the question lingering in the fog, as to whether the woman is a cat at all is only answered in the third act of the film.
Set within the misty, fashionable streets of New York, Irena (Simone Simon) is a Serbian woman who is obsessed by the panthers and large cats in the New York Zoo. While drawing the majestic creatures (including a dagger, »
- Gary Collinson
From Nosferatu to Twilight, gothic films have explored what frightens us – and why we are willing victims of our fear. A few days before Halloween, and as the BFI begins a nationwide season, Michael Newton is seduced by horror, sex and satanism
Beyond high castle walls, the wolves howl. The Count intones: "Listen to them! The children of the night! What music they make!" And those words usher you into a faintly ludicrous cosiness, the comfortable darkness of gothic. For gothic properties are altogether snug, as familiar as Halloween costumes – a Boris Karloff mask, the Bela Lugosi cape, an Elsa Lanchester wig. So it is that many of us first come to the form through its parodies; I knew Carry On Screaming! by heart before I saw my first Hammer film. And yet, within the homely restfulness, something genuinely disturbing lurks; an authentic dread. And watching these films again, we »
- Michael Newton
More news is coming out of the sexy creatures who populate the hallways of the Scream Factory. Two more Blu-rays are on their way which deserve a spot in your collection and on your shelf. Read on for details.
From the Press Release
It’s time to unleash our primal animal nature and succumb to the unbridled cravings for a generous dose of suspense, unspeakable desires and good old-fashioned horror storytelling! On January 21, 2014, Scream Factory™ is proud to present the provocative 1982 thriller Cat People Collector’s Edition Blu-ray™. Directed by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull), this memorable cult hit is a remake of 1942 Jacque Tourneur horror noir classic. The all-star cast includes Nastassja Kinski (Tess, Savior), Malcolm McDowell ( A Clockwork Orange), John Heard (Prison Break, The Sopranos), Annette O’Toole (48 hrs), and features music by Giorgio Morotor (Top Gun, Flash Dance) with the “Cat People” theme sung by legendary artist David Bowie. »
- Uncle Creepy
“It’s time to unleash our primal animal nature and succumb to the unbridled cravings for generous dose of suspense, unspeakable desires and good old-fashioned horror storytelling! On January 21, 2014, Scream Factory™ is proud to present the provocative 1982 thriller Cat People Collector’s Edition Blu-ray™. Directed by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull), this memorable cult hit is a remake of 1942 Jacque Tourneur horror noir classic. The all-star cast includes Nastassja Kinski (Tess, Savior), Malcolm McDowell ( A Clockwork Orange), John Heard (Prison Break, The Sopranos), Annette O’Toole (48 hrs), and features music by Giorgio Morotor (Top Gun, Flash Dance) with “Cat People” theme sung by legendary artist David Bowie.
For the first time ever on Blu-ray, this definitive collector’s edition of Cat People features anamorphic »
- Jonathan James
Blu-ray Release Date: Jan. 21, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $29.93
Studio: Shout! Factory
In Schrader’s horror fantasy update, Nastassja Kinski (One from the Heart) stars as Irena, a beautiful young woman who arrives in New Orleans and discovers love for the first time—only to find that the experience brings tragic feline consequences. The tremendous passion of this girl’s first romantic love is so strong, however, it bypasses the chaos around her – including the extraordinary demands of her brother (Malcolm McDowell) – as it pushes her on to her own bizarre destiny.
A mild success when it was first release more than 30 years ago, Schrader’s erotic R-rated film has come to be regarded as a cult favorite. It co-stars John Heard (After Hours), Annette O’Toole (48 Hrs. »
Kirk Douglas movies: The Theater of Larger Than Life Performances Kirk Douglas, a three-time Best Actor Academy Award nominee and one of the top Hollywood stars of the ’50s, is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" featured star today, August 30, 2013. Although an undeniably strong screen presence, no one could ever accuse Douglas of having been a subtle, believable actor. In fact, even if you were to place side by side all of the widescreen formats ever created, they couldn’t possibly be wide enough to contain his larger-than-life theatrical emoting. (Photo: Kirk Douglas ca. 1950.) Right now, TCM is showing Andrew V. McLaglen’s 1967 Western The Way West, a routine tale about settlers in the Old American Northwest that remains of interest solely due to its name cast. Besides Douglas, The Way West features Robert Mitchum, Richard Widmark, Lola Albright, and 21-year-old Sally Field in her The Flying Nun days. »
- Andre Soares
Monster Weekend, London
The BFI's ambitious season Gothic: The Dark Heart Of Film casts a celebratory shadow of gloom over the next four months. Proceedings begin this weekend, as the forecourt of the British Museum hosts screenings of such monstrous classics as Jacques Tourneur's occult mystery Night Of The Demon, and Terence Fisher's definitive Hammer reworkings of Dracula and The Mummy. There's horror-themed music beforehand, and fancy dress is encouraged, though using the Ancient Egypt galleries as a prop store is forbidden.
British Museum, WC2, Thu to 31 Aug, bfi.org.uk
Future Cinema Presents Dirty Dancing, London
Somehow, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey's star-cross'd, 1960s-by-way-of-the-1980s fairytale has become the definitive summer outdoor movie, to the extent you'd have thought everyone in the country had seen it outside the comfort of a cinema by now. »
- Steve Rose
The 33rd Cambridge Film Festival (Sept 19-29) has unveiled its 2013 line-up, comprising 150 titles from 40 countries.
Alongside Hawking, other special guests to the festival will include directors Lucy Walker (The Crash Reel), Roland Klick (Deadlock), Mark Levinson (Particle Fever), Julien Temple (Oil City Confidential), Ramon Zürcher (The Strange Little Cat), Małgośka Szumowska (In The Name Of), Marzin Malaszczak (Sieniawka), Matt Hulse (Dummy Jim) and Andrew Mudge (The Forgotten Kingdom), Bob Stanley, John Pearse and actress Stephanie Stremler (Dust On Our Heart).
Strands include Young Americans, aimed at showcasing »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Wallace Beery: Best Actor Academy Award winner and Best Actor Academy Award runner-up in the same year (photo: Jackie Cooper and Wallace Beery in ‘The Champ’) (See previous post: “Wallace Beery Movies: Anomalous Hollywood Star.”) In the Academy’s 1931-32 season, Wallace Beery took home the Best Actor Academy Award — I mean, one of them. In the King Vidor-directed melodrama The Champ (1931), Beery plays a down-on-his-luck boxer and caring Dad to tearduct-challenged Jackie Cooper, while veteran Irene Rich is Beery’s cool former wife and Cooper’s mother. Will daddy and son remain together forever and ever? Audiences the world over were drowned in tears — theirs and Jackie Cooper’s. Now, regarding Wallace Beery’s Best Actor Academy Award, he was actually a runner-up: Fredric March, initially announced as the sole winner for his performance in Rouben Mamoulian’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, turned out to have »
- Andre Soares
Gregory Peck from ‘Duel in the Sun’ to ‘How the West Was Won’: TCM schedule (Pt) on August 15 (photo: Gregory Peck in ‘Duel in the Sun’) See previous post: “Gregory Peck Movies: Memorable Miscasting Tonight on Turner Classic Movies.” 3:00 Am Days Of Glory (1944). Director: Jacques Tourneur. Cast: Gregory Peck, Lowell Gilmore, Maria Palmer. Bw-86 mins. 4:30 Am Pork Chop Hill (1959). Director: Lewis Milestone. Cast: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn. Bw-98 mins. Letterbox Format. 6:15 Am The Valley Of Decision (1945). Director: Tay Garnett. Cast: Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp. Bw-119 mins. 8:15 Am Spellbound (1945). Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming, Bill Goodwin, Norman Lloyd, Steve Geray, John Emery, Donald Curtis, Art Baker, Wallace Ford, Regis Toomey, Paul Harvey, Jean Acker, Irving Bacon, Jacqueline deWit, Edward Fielding, Matt Moore, Addison Richards, Erskine Sanford, Constance Purdy. Bw-111 mins. 10:15 Am Designing Woman (1957). Director: Vincente Minnelli. »
- Andre Soares
When you hear a title like “The Leopard Man“, it likely conjures images of the Syfy Channel’s bevy of science fiction schlock like monstrous snakes fighting mega alligators, Sharknados, mythical beasts and half-human half-whatever hybrids. The name definitely doesn’t suggest a film as sophisticated and expertly crafted as The Leopard Man truly is–the sensational title merely serves to arouse your interest and get you into the seats of the theater. Most directors wouldn’t have the ingenuity to avoid crafting a hokey literal vision of a title like that but Jacques Tourneur and Val Lewton were going to prove otherwise.
In the 1930s, even with The Great Depression going on, Universal Studios began banking big on their first leg of monster pictures, the fantastical black and white nightmares provided much-needed escape from the real devastation of the times. Hollywood had gotten a wake up call after the »
- Josh Soriano
For today's sophisticated audience, it's not all about jump scares – the best horror movies keep playing even if you shut your eyes
There's nothing like genre junkies to cut to the chase. The glory days of drive-in-theatre critic Joe Bob Briggs may be past ("No dead bodies. One hundred seventeen breasts. Multiple aardvarking. Lap dancing. Cage dancing. Lesbo Fu. Pool cue-fu… Joe Bob says check it out"), but his spirit lives on. While movie critics have been going into raptures over The Conjuring – comparing its director James Wan to David Lynch, calling his direction "rhapsodic", finding his film "a metaphor for moviegoing itself" – horror afficionados have been getting down to basics: how many jump scares does it have? And: are they the right sort?
You know jump scares. The moment in a horror film when the protagonist wipes the steam from a bathroom mirror and sees the psycho standing behind them. »
- Tom Shone
The British Film Institute (BFI) is to launch a major project dedicated to Gothic cinema, which includes more than 150 films and around 1,000 screenings throughout the UK.
Running from August until January 2014, the Gothic project include the longest ever season at BFI’s Southbank venue in London, UK wide theatrical and DVD releases, an education programme, a new BFI Gothic book, a range of partnerships, special guests and commentators including project ambassador Sir Christopher Frayling.
Heather Stewart, creative director at the BFI, said: “Gothic has never been more potent or popular, reflecting the turbulent times we are living in, our deepest fears and hidden passions.
“The British discovered sex in vivid Technicolor through Gothic. With a new generation gripped by the post modern Gothic world of Twilight’s ‘vegetarian’ vampires, Harry Potter’s spells and El James’s 50 Shades, its meaning has mutated yet again. It’s now time to look back into the deep dark beating heart of »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
The horror/thriller Reunion is currently seeking production support through CrowdFunding site Indiegogo.
Reunion is an independent film spearheaded by a diverse team of professional industry veterans. Check out the full details below, as well as the trailer.
From The Press Release:
It's a cold, stormy and thunderous night. Trapped in his own home, former rock stars Brad Norton and Grant Foley prepare for the return of their infamous band when a strange woman, Mia, shows up at their door looking for her son she calls "Alan." Unbeknownst to them, she is guided by a dark spirit and is convinced Brad kidnapped her long-lost son.
The filmmakers have assembled an experienced crew from Emmy-award winning TV shows, studios such as Lionsgate, and feature films such as "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Star Trek: Into Darkness," and "The Dark Knight." Starting with a rock solid screenplay written by »
Jacques Tourneur's 1957 satanic horror film Night of the Demon was adapted from M. R. James' Casting the Runes. Since then, the ghost-story scribe's tale has been dramatized in multiple forms, and it's about to get another remake. Gremlins and Howling director Joe Dante is teaming up with Simon Pegg for a new twist on James' classic. The Playlist shared a synopsis from the film's website: "When up-and-coming actor Jake Harrington inexplicably hurls himself in front of an oncoming subway train, celebrity gossip blogger Mark Dunning smells a story in Harrington's connection to self-help guru Simon Karswell. What Dunning isn't prepared for is the secret behind Karswell's motivational-speaker success: a command of dark occult...
- Alison Nastasi
Directed by Joseph Kosinski.
A drone repairman stationed on a desolate future Earth becomes humanity's last hope for survival following the arrival of a mystery woman.
Oblivion, the new sci-fi from writer/director/producer Joseph Kosinski (and director of Tron: Legacy), was, for me, an unfortunate mixed bag. While well-acted and very well-produced, the individual ingredients do not add up to a greater whole, with many parts of the film (such as a bloated running time, maudlin drama and overly familiar story elements bordering on cliché) dragging the film down.
First, the positive. Sci-fi lives or dies on its premise: without an interesting premise or hook (such as the time travel of Looper or the diverse world of Pandora in Avatar), the film will be unable to engage the audience and draw them into its story. »
- Flickering Myth
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