‘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

‘Maximum Overdrive’: Stephen King’s Brain on Drugs

Stephen King is perhaps the most prolific and pop-culture-influencing author alive today, particularly within the horror genre. No one else has produced as many iconic, fan-favorite scary stories as the Maine native has throughout his decades-long career. From Carrie all the way up through to The Outsider, King has been steadily cranking out gruesome hits since the early 1970s, and shows no signs of stopping … Continue reading ‘Maximum Overdrive’: Stephen King’s Brain on Drugs

Scares from Space: The Best of Extraterrestrial Horror

Most horror is Earthbound. The terror on our screens is based on monsters from our own world, or at the very least, worlds that are connected to ours. Creatures emerge from the woods or the sea to hunt us for dinner. Murderers and psychopaths escape from asylums or wander out of abandoned campgrounds to stalk us from the shadows. Vengeful spirits and malevolent demons arise … Continue reading Scares from Space: The Best of Extraterrestrial Horror

‘Re-Animator:’ Lovecraftian Horror in it’s Most Delicious, Digestible Form

I hate H.P. Lovecraft. Sure, I love the meme-ry of his work in pop culture, all the references to Cthulu, Elder Gods, and Old Ones, all that fun stuff. I know the Shoggoths and the city of R’lyeh, and I’m pretty well-versed in all the horrors of Dunwich and the madness in the mountains. But man, his writing is just… no fun. At all. Lovecraft … Continue reading ‘Re-Animator:’ Lovecraftian Horror in it’s Most Delicious, Digestible Form

What a Way to Go: The Worst (Best?) Deaths in ‘Final Destination’

With a lot of horror films, plot is somewhat of an afterthought. This is particularly apparent in long-running franchises where the number of sequels and installments begins to outnumber the amount of braincells it took to write each respective script. Saw, Hostel, and Friday the 13th are all series in which is becomes increasingly clear over time that the stories for each film were being … Continue reading What a Way to Go: The Worst (Best?) Deaths in ‘Final Destination’

Legends of Horror, Ranked: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A huge, hulking figure, silent as the grave, and wearing some sort of mask, stalks and slaughters a group of teenage stereotypes one dark and stormy night. Sound familiar? Well it should, because I just described to you what 90% of all slasher films in the 80s looked like, down to exact details. Despite going down in … Continue reading Legends of Horror, Ranked: A Nightmare on Elm Street