1-20 of 71 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
Fighting off a 60’s sugar hangover of Disney singalongs and reluctant nannies, musicals took turns being either idealistic (Hair) or Good Book Wavin’ moralistic (Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar), and we called them Rock Musicals – the music (slightly more) hard hitting, the lyrics speaking to the issues of the day – spirituality, war – heady stuff (on paper). But who was giving the Devil his due? Where was a musical about the fun side of sin, temptation, sacrifice, and ill gained ecstasy? Where was the rock musical About rock and roll? And then, yay and verily, it did arrive on the world’s doorstep in a black bassinet, cackling and screaming, eager to please and ready to reign. Welcome to Phantom of the Paradise (1974). As a wise old Glam queen once said, “Life at last! Salutations from the other side!”
Released on Halloween by 20th Century Fox, PotP did not reign. At all. »
- Scott Drebit
Special Mention: The Most Dangerous Game
Written by James Creelman
Genre: Survival Horror
The first of many official and unofficial screen versions of Richard Connell’s short story of the same name, The Most Dangerous Game was made in 1932, in the era known as “Pre-Code Hollywood,” a time when filmmakers were able to get away with sexual innuendo, illegal drug use, adultery, abortion, intense violence, homosexuality, and much more. It was during this time that a film like The Most Dangerous Game was allowed to be made and shown to the general public without fear of censorship. The film was put together by producer Willis O’Brien while in pre-production on King Kong, and features several of the same cast and crew members, as well as props and sets from Kong. Despite these obvious cost-cutting measures, Dangerous Game never feels like a second-rate production, »
- Ricky Fernandes
Scott Derrickson's films up to this point have mainly been in the horror genre; in addition to directing such box-office hits as "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," "Sinister" and "Deliver Us from Evil," he wrote the scripts the 2000 slasher sequel "Urban Legends: Final Cut" and the Pang Brothers' 2007 supernatural horror film "Messengers," among others. Which leads one to wonder: will the director's work on Marvel's "Doctor Strange" lead the McU in a more macabre direction than we've previously seen? Try to garner some clues, if you can, from Derrickson's picks for the 10 greatest horror films of all time, submitted to us as part of this month's Ultimate Horror Movie Poll, which ranked the 100 greatest horror films of all time based on votes sent in by more than 100 horror movie professionals. Will the comic book hero's feature-film debut give us a dash of surrealistic color, a la Dario Argento's most-heralded film? »
- Chris Eggertsen
Special Mention: Un chien andalou
Directed by Luis Buñuel
Genre: Experimental Short
The dream – or nightmare – has been a staple of horror cinema for decades. In 1929, Luis Bunuel joined forces with Salvador Dali to create Un chien andalou, an experimental and unforgettable 17-minute surrealist masterpiece. Buñuel famously said that he and Dalí wrote the film by telling one another their dreams. The film went on to influence the horror genre immensely. After all, even as manipulative as the “dream” device is, it’s still a proven way to jolt an audience. Just ask Wes Craven, who understood this bit of cinematic psychology when he dreamt of the central force behind A Nightmare on Elm Street, a film intended to be an exploration of surreal horror. David Lynch is contemporary cinema’s most devoted student of Un chien andalou – the severed ear at »
- Ricky Fernandes
Here we are at what is a surprisingly modern list. At the beginning of this, I didn’t expect to see so much cultural impact coming from films so recently made, but that’s the way it goes. The films that define the horror genre aren’t necessarily the scariest or the most expensive or even the best. The films that define the genre point to a movement – movies that changed the game and influenced all the films after it. Movies that transcend the horror genre. Movies that broke the mold and changed the way horror can be created.
10. El laberinto del fauno (2006)
English Language Title: Pan’s Labyrinth
Directed by: Gullermo del Toro
It’s more a dark fantasy film than a horror film, but it would be tough to make a list of 50 of those. Plus, it has enough graphic, nightmarish images to push it over the threshold. »
- Joshua Gaul
HitFix's Ultimate Horror Movie Poll, which highlights the 100 greatest horror films of all time as voted on by over 100 genre filmmakers and experts, not only showcased the enduring power of No. 1 finisher "The Exorcist," it also cemented the status of the '70s and '80s as a Golden Age of horror (films released during those decades took up nearly half of available slots). The '70s and '80s, incidentally, saw the artistic rise and mainstream breakthroughs of both Wes Craven and David Cronenberg, horror icons who placed more films in the Top 100 than any other director (four titles each). Meanwhile, the list revealed one undeniably bleak statistic: only one movie in the Top 100 was directed by a woman. For me, the most gratifying moment of our Ultimate Horror Poll came when compiling the data was finally over, and I could take a step back and fully appreciate, as a reader, »
- Chris Eggertsen
Cinema greats Dario Argento and William Friedkin joined Rome Film Festival’s artistic director Antonio Monda on stage for a ‘Close Encounters’ discussion. What started as a retrospective; turned into a candid tell-all.
Friedkin on Argento
“His work is so unique. The colour, the settings, the music, the strange angles: he’s an impressionist painter like Goya or Caravaggio. He has the ability to let his imagination go on set. Who else can make fear and death entertaining?” said Friedkin.
“These are not Italian stories, but stories that originate from my inner soul - they could »
Attention Deadites, a marathon hosted by Bruce Campbell featuring the first three installments in The Evil Dead franchise will air on October 30th on Starz. Also: a Murder in the Dark clip, Gentle Giant Ltd.'s Morgan Jones mini bust details, A Nightmare on Elm Street screening, and Synapse Films on Vhx.TV.
Evil Dead Marathon: Press Release: "Beverly Hills, Calif., October 20, 2015 – Setting the stage for the premiere of the highly anticipated Starz Original series “Ash vs Evil Dead,” Starz presents a marathon of the cult classic Evil Dead horror franchise on Friday, October 30 beginning at 8:00 p.m. Et/Pt hosted by Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell (Ash). The marathon will conclude with a sneak peek of the first episode of “Ash vs Evil Dead” at 12:15 a.m. Et/Pt.
- Tamika Jones
The Witch: I’m not a witch, I’m not a witch!
Sir Bedevere: But you are dressed as one!
The Witch: *They* dressed me up like this!
Crowd: We didn’t! We didn’t…
The Witch: And this isn’t my nose. It’s a false one.
Sir Bedevere: [lifts up her false nose] Well?
Peasant 1: Well, we did do the nose.
Sir Bedevere: The nose?
Peasant 1: And the hat, but she is a witch!
Throughout history, witches have always gotten a bad rap. The Salem Witch Trials proved that.
Things didn’t improve with the birth of cinema. Filmmakers have had a magical time telling the tales of sorcery, magical powers and witchcraft.
Good or bad, funny or downright scary, their stories have fascinated moviegoers and these burnt offerings show no signs of slowing down. »
- Movie Geeks
A mile-wide river of the macabre has always flowed through del Toro’s work, from his ornately drawn vampire debut Cronos, via his giant bug B-flick Mimic to the ickier moments in his most recent movie, Pacific Rim. But even more so than The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, del Toro’s last excursions into horror, Crimson Peak clearly expresses the filmmaker's affection for Hammer's output, Roger Corman’s Poe cycle, as well as such literary touchstones as Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights and The Turn Of The Screw.
Mia Wasikowska stars as Edith, the daughter of a wealthy American industrialist. Edith has designs on becoming a novelist, »
Special Mention: Death Proof
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
The obvious reference points of Death Proof are such movies as Vanishing Point, Roadgames, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, and even Spielberg’s Duel – but Death Proof is influenced by more than just vehicular horror. Tarantino’s homage to the road-fury genre is really two movies in one, offering two versions of the same story about two separate groups of beautiful women who are stalked by a homicidal maniac who uses his car (his weapon of choice) to terrorize and eventually kill his victims. Death Proof can easily be viewed as two slasher films, with the second half acting as a sequel, offering new, beautiful victims for the murderous Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) to terrorize. It’s a grim stalk-and-slash picture with a blaring commentary of female empowerment. Replace the typical sharp edged blade with a car, and »
- Ricky Fernandes
When discussing the arthouse-inflected new wave of Giallo last week, the elephant in the room failed to be mentioned- the downward decline of the genre’s spiritual godfather, Dario Argento. The remake of his 1977 genre benchmark Suspiria is being made with his blessing (he is on board the project as a producer), another sign that he is one of the few classic horror directors unafraid of having new directors reinterpret his back catalogue. He himself even tried to remake his 1975 film Deep Red in 3D at the turn of the decade, only to be refused financing after the latest in a string of critical and commercial backfires.
Both of these facts point to the idea of a director who is permanently stuck in the past, with a stubborn refusal to adapt to modern horror trends; even whilst still directing Giallo movies, he retains the old school exploitation aesthetic that alludes »
- Alistair Ryder
It’s what most horror films are known for: the gore that splatters on the screen. But when done right, the flying viscera becomes more than just gallons of red stuff, it becomes a chilling reminder of the fragility of the human body and of the ingenuity of filmmakers in making our most twisted fears and fantasies into a stomach churning reality. Grab your barf bag!
Antichrist (2009)- His and her pain
As far as horror sub-genres go, torture porn is up there with found footage as the most understandably reviled by audiences. With Antichrist, Lars Von Trier attempted to write a film that dealt with his personal demons. Confessing that he had been suffering from depression while writing the screenplay, Trier ended up bringing torture porn to its logical conclusion by taking the title of the sub-genre all too literally and creating a macabre near-masterpiece out of trashy genre origins. »
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
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
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. »
- email@example.com (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
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, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
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 »
- email@example.com (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
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