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The scariest ghost story I have ever seen filmed in black and white began as a 1959 novel by acclaimed author Shirley Jackson who was also known for her stories The Lottery and We Have Always Lived in a Castle. Robert Wise, the film’s director, read the novel The Haunting of Hill House and was impressed enough with it that he optioned it for MGM. He used the skills he honed from his … Continue reading →
- Jonathan Stryker
Welcome to The Last Horror Blog, a biweekly column on all things horror. Hollywood may be mostly interested in rebooting and remaking popular horror films these days, but some of the genre’s best titles were actually adaptations based on books and short stories. The Haunting (the 1963 original) was a film version of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby were both inspired by the works of William Peter Blatty and Ira Levin, respectively. Before Stephen King became so vocal in his disdain for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, the author was thrilled to have one of the icons of moviemaking adapting his novel. Fiction has given us the framework for some really great horror cinema – and it still does in the world...
- Mike Bracken
Bruce Dern in ‘Nebraska’: AFI Fest 2013 highlight The Los Angeles-based AFI Fest, which kicked off last Thursday, November 7, 2013, continues until next Thursday. On Monday, November 11, the highlight of AFI Fest 2013 is Alexander Payne’s Nebraska (7:00 p.m. at Tcl Chinese Theatre), likely to earn a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for veteran Bruce Dern, who earlier this year took home the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. (Photo: Bruce Dern, Will Forte in Nebraska.) Set in Kentucky (kidding), Nebraska accompanies an elderly man (Dern) and his son (Will Forte) as they travel from Billings, Montana, to Lincoln, Nebraska, so he can collect sweepstakes prize money he believes he has won. In sum, Nebraska is what’s called a Road Movie, in which the Road is a metaphor for Life. Shades of brothers Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise getting to know one another in Barry Levinson’s Rain Man, »
- Andre Soares
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
With Halloween in the air, we thought it would be fun to reach out to the horror genre's biggest and brightest stars - both legends in the industry and up-and-coming superstars - to ask them two quick questions: What's your biggest fear, and what's your favorite scary movie? Read on for the results!
Some of the results will make you laugh. Some will make you shiver... and some, well some are just too funny for words. Sit back and get ready to hear from the likes of Anne Rice, John Carpenter, Robert Englund, the "Ghost Adventures" crew, cast members from "The Walking Dead," George A. Romero, and many - Many - more. Who knows? You may even find some new movies you should check out or at least revisit.
Let the scares begin!
1) I »
- Uncle Creepy
Talk to Russ Tamblyn about "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" or "West Side Story" and he rolls his eyes. Enough already. But he's showing up Tuesday night at The Regent in Westwood to do a special 50th anniversary pre-Halloween Q & A for a movie he's justifiably proud of that involved no dancing, the original 1963 "The Haunting," directed with screw-tightened efficiency by Robert Wise, who cut his teeth making movies for Val Lewton. (Yes, he also directed "The Sound of Music.") Starring the late great Julie Harris as a mousy young woman, Eleanor, who comes into her own as the object of attention of a haunted house, the movie based on the Shirley Jackson classic "The Haunting of Hill House" is utterly terrifying. And influential. You'll see many of the psychological thriller tropes still in use today in such films as "The Conjuring"--accomplished without CGI. I first saw this as »
- Anne Thompson
If you love horror marathons, Halloween has got to be your favorite season. Don't forget Epix network has a great one entitled All Hallows' Evil Halloween Movie Marathon that features the premiere of Nightmare Factory and now offers fans the chance to win a prize!
All Hallows' Evil Movie Marathon brings us nine fright films including Nightmare Factory, which is an Epix original documentary about F/X masters Knb Efx. The marathon kicks off at 8 p.m. on October 30th and runs through Halloween.
To support the premiere, Epix is hosting the Nightmare Factory Halloween Contest from October 24th-31st. Fans can enter for a chance to win a custom ghoul or vampire bust created by Knb. To participate, fans must submit a photo of their best Halloween look (make-up and/or costume) to Epix via the official Epix Facebook page or via Epix on Twitter (@epixhd). Entries should include »
- Scott Hallam
To promote the arrival of James Wan's 'The Conjuring' on DVD and Blu-ray today Warner Bros have unleashed a cool new infographic entitled 'Elements of a Warren Case' which details just some of the facts surrounding both paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, as well as the Perron farmhouse featured in the movie and the incredibly creepy Annabelle doll. 'The Conjuring' starred Patrick Wilson ('Insidious'), Vera Farmiga ('Bates Motel'), Ron Livingston ('Office Space'), Lili Taylor ('The Haunting'), Mackenzie Foy ('The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1'), Joey King, Hayley McFarland, Kyla Deaver and Shanley Caswell ('Detention') and is now available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray across the Us. »
Guillermo del Toro has partnered with Penguin Classics to curate the Penguin Horror hardcover series, featuring his favorite horror, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal stories. EW obtained the exclusive cover art for each of the six books which is designed and illustrated by Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley. The series includes: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft, The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, Haunted Castles by Ray Russell (a Penguin Classics debut), Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and American Supernatural Tales which celebrates the nation’s brightest literary lights, including Poe, Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and-of course- Stephen King.
The post Penguin Horror Series Curated by Guillermo del Toro appeared first on Sound On Sight. »
While not as insane and jam packed as last week, the week of October 15th is still loaded with gems old & new that deserve a spot on your shelf. The remake of Maniac finally bows onto Blu-ray & DVD, which comes highly recommended since it’s one of the best 2013 has to offer. The HD love for John Carpenter continues with an upgrade for In The Mouth Of Madness, another one of the Horror Masters most underrated that ranks among his best and concludes his “Apocalypse Trilogy”. Check out what else this week has to offer below, with Fright At Home!
Fright At Home: October 15th’s DVD & Blu-ray Releases
Blu-ray / Criterion
At his secluded chateau in the French countryside, a brilliant, obsessive doctor (Children of Paradise‘s Pierre Brasseur) attempts a radical plastic surgery to restore the beauty of his daughter’s disfigured countenance—at a horrifying price. »
- Justin Edwards
Haunt enthusiasts, by this point in October you’ve more than likely been chased by myriad ghouls in fog-filled, seasonal parks across SoCal, but did you have the ability to fire back? We did, and it was sublime! Read on for our review of the intensely unique experience that is Haunted Hollywood Sports.
Located at 9030 Somerset Blvd. in Bellflower, CA, Haunted Hollywood Sports is the seasonal re-creation of Hollywood Sports, a park dedicated year-round to the pursuit of Airsoft and Paintball. For the uninitiated, the former is basically paintball without the mess. Resembling the military-style firearms they mimic, Airsoft weaponry favors 6mm plastic BBs in lieu of paint, BBs which can be fired rapidly and with velocity; in this case, at zombies and zombie rednecks that pursue guests within the park’s three shadowy ‘Killhouses.’
Arriving to the spookily decorated attraction on September 27th for media night, we first found our way to Club Crimson, »
- Sean Decker
Genre icon Guillermo del Toro, whose love of classic terror tales from Poe, Lovecraft and other literary giants is well known (and has influenced many of his own works), has teamed up with literary giant Penguin Books to curate the “Penguin Horror” hardcover book series. The Pacific Rim director personally selected titles from his favorite horror, science fiction and fantasy stories for the collection, which features the drop-dead amazing cover art shown here, rendered by artist & illustrator Paul Buckley and recently revealed by Entertainment Weekly. “To learn what we fear is to learn who we are,” del Toro writes in the essay “Haunted Castles, Dark Mirrors: On the Penguin Horror Series,” which serves as an introduction to the collection. The titles announced for the series include The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft, The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, »
- Gregory Burkart
Way back in January, on this very website, we covered the scariest movies according to their Wikipedia page plot summaries. To say the least, the article sparked a lively discussion. Hordes of anonymous Internet denizens were shocked, horrified, appalled and most of all confused, steadfastly incapable of understanding why an adult human would judge a film on its Wikipedia page plot summary instead of just, you know, watching it.
And I get it. I get it, guys. I'm with you.
In fact, in the name of solidarity, I'd like to publicly acknowledge that there are Wikipedia page plot summaries of horror movies that (gasp) aren't even scary! I know! I feel like we're getting somewhere, everybody. I feel like we just had a breakthrough in group.
Here are ten that could maybe use a 3 a.m. edit or two by a bored computer nerd in Wyoming.
10. 'The Haunting' »
- Nick Blake
★★★★☆ Following last year's The Cabin in The Woods, traditional horrors have started to seem seriously out of date. Thankfully, with Saw director James Wan's The Conjuring (2013), a return to the traditional tropes are as fresh as ever in what is an unnerving, albeit kitsch horror of remarkable finesse. Purportedly based on a true story concerning paranormal investigators/demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, dressed as if they've just fallen off the cover of a Carpenters album), we are thrown head-first into a homage to the haunted house and possession chillers of the 1970s and 80s.
After a seemingly purposeless opening involving the spook hunters and a murderous doll (that gives more than a slight nod to 1988's Chuckie debut Child's Play), we meet the homely Perron family. The Perrons have recently moved into a tumbledown farmhouse on Rhodes Island, and before long the »
- CineVue UK
The Conjuring movie may have broken horror genre box-office record - even considering inflation (photo: paranormal investigator Patrick Wilson in The Conjuring) James Wan’s Warner Bros.-distributed horror movie The Conjuring, starring Patrick Wilson (Little Children, Watchmen) and 2009 Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), opened with more than twice its reported $20 million production budget at 2,903 North American venues this past weekend, July 19-21, 2013. According to weekend box-office actuals found at Box Office Mojo, The Conjuring took in an outstanding $41.85 million — including an estimated $3.31 million from Thursday evening and midnight screenings. The horror movie also earned an additional $3.4 million internationally. Which movie is the box-office record holder in the original R-rated horror movie category? The Conjuring vs. The Sixth Sense, What Lies Beneath The initial gross of James Wan’s supernatural tale means The Conjuring has had the most successful domestic opening ever for an »
- Zac Gille
*Comes home. Locks Door. Turns all lights in house on. Ties all closet doors shut. Secures all windows. Sets up laptop. Gets ready to write*
Alright, I think I’m ready to start this review… [hears tiniest creaking sound]
*Wets oneself. Runs into bedroom screaming. Slams door shut. Jumps into bed. Hides under all available covers. Cowers in fear. Is never heard from again*
Wow James Wan, you really want to live up to your Twitter handle (@creepypuppet), don’t you?
Maybe I’m just being a big baby, because paranormal activities and supernatural hauntings scare the bejesus out of me, but The Conjuring reduced me to a squirming, uncomfortable, terrified little child in desperate need of his favorite blankly for protection – and I f#cking loved every minute of it. I’ve never been so excited to be scared into submission, because ever since the first trailer hit for Wan’s summer horror blockbuster, »
- Matt Donato
The haunted house movie is a genre nearly as old as film itself, and one that, much like its typical subject, hasn’t undergone much renovation. While technological advances (Steadicam, home video), trends (“found footage”, true crime) and tweaks to the basic format have brought us a few variations in make and model over the past 100 or so years, the basic idea is always the same: people move into a place where bad things happened, and bad things start happening to them.
It’s a story that we’ve all seen dozens, if not hundreds, of times. So when a haunted house film comes along that is able to tell us what we already know in a way that still gets under our skin, it is both a admirable achievement and a deliciously thrilling excuse to get the living shit scared out of you with a bunch of shrieking strangers. »
- Brian Juergens
Director James Wan has assembled a fantastic core cast for "The Conjuring," not filled with movie stars but with Class-a character actors like Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as The Warrens. Their counterparts are Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor as the heads of the large Perron family, who move into a farmhouse in Rhode Island that's haunted up the ass.
Of these four leads perhaps the most physically/emotionally challenging role went to Lili Taylor as Carolyn Perron, who begins to disintegrate under the stress of ghostly bombardment. Taylor's career spans decades, from early roles in "Say Anything…" and "Mystic Pizza" to ensemble pieces like "Short Cuts" and "Public Enemies." We sat down 1-on-1 with the actress for a lively chat about possessing Republicans, being underrated and throwing 1999's "The Haunting" under the bus.
In this movie you have a lot of kids, like five whole children. You grew up »
- Max Evry
Los Angeles — Just one glimpse of her face is followed by a flash of familiarity.
But, oh, that name just isn't coming.
Together again for the first time: filmgoers, meet veteran character actress Lili Taylor.
After 25 years making movies, Taylor said the public most regularly approaches her about work in "Mystic Pizza" (1988), "I Shot Andy Warhol" (1996) and the 1999 remake of the `60s horror classic "The Haunting."
"I feel like that's a nice spectrum, because you've got your indie, you've got your big one," the 46-year-old actress noted in a recent interview.
"Or they can't remember," she continued, "because I'm one of those who they think I either walk my dog in their neighborhood or I live in their building. And that's the kind of actor I am, which is fine."
To the stranger, she says, "`I know you think I'm in your building. It's `The Haunting' and that's where you know me from, »
It's great to see such confidence in a genre project that you can greenlight a sequel before the first installment has even hit theatres. James Wan's 'The Conjuring' arrives in Us theatres this Friday and due to some early positive feedback from the preview screenings scribes Carey and Chad Hayes have been rehired to pen the sequel. The story based on the real life story of paranrmal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren will hopefully terrify audiences this weekend and see the sequel pushed forward for development. Patrick Wilson ('Insidious'), Vera Farmiga ('Bates Motel'), Ron Livingston ('Office Space'), Lili Taylor ('The Haunting'), Mackenzie Foy ('The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1'), Joey King, Hayley McFarland, Kyla Deaver and Shanley Caswell ('Detention') all star in 'The Conjuring'. »
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