Someone Please Just Put ‘Texas Chainsaw’ Out of Its Misery

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise is… a mess. In 1974, with the release of Tobe Hooper’s now-classic original entry, the series hit the ground running stronger than pretty much any of its contemporaries, save maybe John Carpenter’s OG Halloween. Yet despite this strong start, and the status of its mascot killer Leatherface as a genuine pop culture icon, the Texas Chainsaw sequels have crashed and … Continue reading Someone Please Just Put ‘Texas Chainsaw’ Out of Its Misery

‘Pig,’ and Why We Should All Worship the Ground Nic Cage Walks On

I will defend Nicholas Cage until my dying breath. Sure, he’s a little eccentric. And okay yes, maybe he doesn’t exactly always make the smartest career choices. There’s The Wicker Man, of course. And Ghost Rider. Knowing. The second Ghost Rider. You get the idea. Some real stinkers. And sadly, because of that, there seems to be a consensus within the public, pop-culture consciousness that … Continue reading ‘Pig,’ and Why We Should All Worship the Ground Nic Cage Walks On

‘Scream’ is the Best ‘Scream’ Since ‘Scream’

Meta commentary is, for better or for worse, everywhere in film these days. Movies are increasingly self-aware, self-referential, and self-deprecating, to varying degrees of success. When done well, a movie written in this fashion can be witty and intelligent, savvy in its own genre tropes enough to lampshade and subvert them. When done poorly, however, a movie that tries too hard to be cleverer than … Continue reading ‘Scream’ is the Best ‘Scream’ Since ‘Scream’

‘Jack Frost:’ Help, My Dad is an Undead Snow Lich and Also Michael Keaton

Before we really get into just how deeply unsettling this movie is, let me clear something up first: If you’re like me, you have fond memories from your childhood of wandering through the aisles of some nondescript video rental store (or a Blockbuster, if, unlike me, you actually grew up in civilization) on a Friday night, browsing through each shelf row by row while your … Continue reading ‘Jack Frost:’ Help, My Dad is an Undead Snow Lich and Also Michael Keaton

Festive War Crimes with ‘The Santa Clause’

Okay, so right off the bat, using The Santa Clause as an example of why Christmas movies are inherently terrifying is cheating a little, because c’mon: Tim Allen, right? A Trump worshipping, coke-trafficking snitch whose bizarre growls and groans in the Home Improvement era of his career suggest either demonic possession or genuine mental illness. His hardcore conservative views clash constantly with his Disneyfied, Buzz … Continue reading Festive War Crimes with ‘The Santa Clause’

The Blogger Under the Stairs is Here to Ruin Christmas!

I’ll be honest with you guys up front: I hate Christmas movies. With a burning passion. This is partially because I’m just innately a Grinch of pre-ghost Scroogean proportions. Sure, I’ll stomach a Christmas tree in the house and a few odd strands of twinkling lights, but I’ve never been one to really give myself fully to the holiday spirit. No ugly sweaters, no wreaths … Continue reading The Blogger Under the Stairs is Here to Ruin Christmas!

‘Pumpkinhead’ and How Design Can Elevate a Horror Film from Good to Great

Pumkpkinhead is one of my absolute favorite Halloween-season movies. There’s just something about the bleak, spooky atmosphere and the classic, almost fairy-tale story that makes it a perfect movie for a chilly October night. But if you broke it down into its composite parts, there’s really not much on the surface that seems all that special about it. From a narrative perspective, it’s a fairly … Continue reading ‘Pumpkinhead’ and How Design Can Elevate a Horror Film from Good to Great

Leslie Vernon: The King of the Meta-Slasher

In our previous discussion of the 1983 cult-classic Sleepaway Camp, we talked about how slasher films can fall into a trap of being overly self-important and stagnantly serious. Slashers are inherently goofy, even when played straight, and to pretend otherwise often leads to disaster. Of course, you can have serious slasher flicks, but even the most noteworthy among them like Halloween and Black Christmas still … Continue reading Leslie Vernon: The King of the Meta-Slasher

Legends of Horror, Ranked: Child’s Play

Closing out our franchise countdowns is sort of the black sheep of the pop-culture horror icons. Friday the 13th and Halloween both stick to fairly standard slasher tropes, with a stray exception here and there, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, while having a slightly more surreal and fantastical premise, still mostly feels stuck squarely in the same camp. You see one movie in these … Continue reading Legends of Horror, Ranked: Child’s Play

How ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ Taught Me to Never Count a Franchise Out Too Soon

Ouija is a godawful movie. And this is coming from a guy that likes most of the Leprechaun films. Trying to cash in on the Ouija board IP that Hasbro currently holds trademark over isn’t an inherently and idea. In fact, the Ouija board as a piece of horror iconography is so ingrained in the spirit of the supernatural that, frankly, it’s a no-brainer. And … Continue reading How ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ Taught Me to Never Count a Franchise Out Too Soon