‘Wolf Creek:’ Sadism in the Outback

Aliens, werewolves, ghosts, and demons. All of these monstrous staples of the horror genre have been endless sources of terror onscreen for generations of movie-goers. Everyone has their weaknesses, that one thing that scares them more than anything else. Maybe it’s bugs, with movies like The Fly and Arachnophobia making you positively squirm in your seat. Maybe you’re deeply Catholic, and anything involving a possession … Continue reading ‘Wolf Creek:’ Sadism in the Outback

An October Mission Statement, Part II: Electric Boogaloo

Hello, dear readers. Last year, in a moment of misplaced clarity about what this site had become, I made a personal vow to dedicate the entire month of October to non-stop horror content. Every single day, 31 days in a row, new, fresh material for you to consume, perfect for the Halloween season. Rankings, new reviews, and recommendation lists, day after day, all month long. … Continue reading An October Mission Statement, Part II: Electric Boogaloo

An Environmentally-Unfriendly Visit to ‘The Bay’

When I was a teenager, I did a three-year program called the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School. Part of a larger initiative all throughout the state of Virginia, the program was, essentially, a way for select students to take college courses and pursue some higher education while still in high school. It was an amazing experience, one that prepared me for my actual college years better … Continue reading An Environmentally-Unfriendly Visit to ‘The Bay’

Savageland: Found Footage Horror Gets Sickeningly Political

I’ve been on a bit of a found footage kick lately. I know some of you out there really can’t stand the genre, due either to its conventionally low production values or its tendency to induce motion sickness faster than not-quite-up-to-code teacup ride at a sketchy carnival, but I’m a huge sucker for any film made with a handheld camera and roughly six dollars. They … Continue reading Savageland: Found Footage Horror Gets Sickeningly Political

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

‘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

Two-Tone Terror: Horror in Black-and-White

There’s a certain tendency with younger audiences, one which I myself can be guilty of as well from time to time, to naturally skew towards newer films rather than those that came out before they were born. If you give them a choice between a modern release and something from decades ago, especially if it’s in black-and-white, they will almost certainly choose the contemporary option. … Continue reading Two-Tone Terror: Horror in Black-and-White