7 items from 2015
Although relatively scarce, horror movies directed by women are out there. You may have to turn over a few rocks to know who they are and their material might be a little more difficult to get your hands on, but these directors deserve just as much attention and scrutiny as their male counterparts, who have long dominated the genre. The following discusses selections of female directors’ forays into the business of terror. (This post contains spoilers)
The late director Antonia Bird’s Ravenous is a bizarre amalgamation of humor and horror that explores cannibalism with warped nuance. The strangely cacophonous score builds up tension as craven outcasts face a glutinous and depraved attacker whose strength seems fortified by his consumption of human flesh. Set during America’s westward expansion, the metaphor of humanity’s insatiable appetite for power is plain to see, but its execution indulges in such »
- Lane Scarberry
I blame David Arquette. A film’s cast is only as strong as the script they’re bringing to life, but it’s difficult not to get excited when a strong ensemble comes together for an interesting project. The last time a cast announcement got me truly jazzed was the 2001 action/comedy 3000 Miles to Graceland — Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner in the same movie? Plus Kevin Pollak and Christian Slater? It turned out though that a fantastic cast is far from a guarantee of quality as the movie ended up being a tone-deaf disappointment. I promised myself I’d never again get preemptively excited for a film based on its casting. But then Bone Tomahawk came along. The cast shuffled a bit in the early days, but the final roster includes Russell, Richard Jenkins, Patrick Wilson, and Matthew Fox in a dark western about an attempt to rescue innocents from a tribe of cannibals in the Old »
- Rob Hunter
As you may remember from my last column (and you better… you better), The Diabolical was well and truly “the s–t”! Well, guess what, creeps? That’s right, that flick’s co-writer/die-rector Alistair Legrand has stopped by the Crypt o’ Xiii to talk all about his foray into our beloved horror biz!
Famous Monsters. Welcome Big A! As this is yer first time at the rodeo known as the horror biz, what challenges did you face bringin’ The Diabolical to the screen?
Alastair Legrand. First of all, I can’t believe I’m talking to Famous Monsters; this is amazing. In response to your question, this was the best graduate film program I could have done, and a proper response would be ten pages long. The first main challenge was convincing the producers that I was the right man for the job—proving to them that I had »
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. »
Horror isn't known for being a woman-friendly genre. From the flailing histrionics of Fay Wray in "King Kong" to the slasher sub-genre and its attendant bevy of brainless, scantily-clad female victims, there's a perception -- in some ways warranted -- that the horror film caters in misogyny. And yet that's also a frustratingly reductive viewpoint. It seems obvious but I'll say it anyway: boiling down the horror genre to "Friday the 13th Part VII" is like boiling down the comedy genre to Adam Sandler's "Grown-Ups." There is so much more to horror than "a girl running up the stairs when she should be going out the front door." So what of the women working behind the scenes? The number of high-profile woman directors who have worked in the genre remains frustratingly limited, yet there are a few who have not only managed to infiltrate the boys' club but created »
- Chris Eggertsen
Pop quiz: What do the utterly delightful and whimsical Paddington, the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter, and the brutal, bone-crunching cannibalism movie Ravenous all have in common? Producer David Heyman. Most would know Heyman for being the producer who plucked Harry Potter from relative obscurity and brought it to the big screen, in turning making him one of the most important movie producers of the last 20 years. But did you know that were it not for Ravenous, it's possible the Harry Potter movies, as we know them at least, would have never happened? We spoke to Heyman recently ahead of today's home video release of Paddington (read the first part of that interview here), and that's when a shared love for Ravenous revealed the chain of...
- Peter Hall
Hollywood has no shortage of talented composers crafting mostly serviceable tunes for the next young adult literary adaptation or prestige awards tearjerker. But for every auteur like Hans Zimmer and John Williams, you have musical yes men pounding out ominous notes in anticipation of the next horror movie jump scare or making ratatat noise to underscore a superhero chase scene. The film world screams for diverse sounds, but is often left wanting when scores become interchangeable to feed the Hollywood machine. The current film decade is no different from any other in terms of talent, mediocrity, and ingenuity, but could always use a boost from professionals who bring specificity to the table. These five forgotten or diminished artists, each among them with varied yet singular skills, are screaming to be brought back into the Hollywood fold to create their signature sounds.
One of the most prolific composers from the 90’s, »
- Shane Ramirez
7 items from 2015
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