Sex and Violence as an Art Form in Ti West’s ‘X’

Ah, A24. You bring us so much wonderful, weird horror. From slow, understated supernatural dramas like It Comes at Night and Witch to visceral, chaotic nightmares like The Lighthouse and Midsommar, A24’s horror selection has touched on just about every subgenre that could comfortably fit within the boundaries of what some critics have (somewhat obnoxiously) dubbed ‘elevated horror.’ These are ‘respectable’ horror films, movies that … Continue reading Sex and Violence as an Art Form in Ti West’s ‘X’

Darkness, Hope, and ‘The Batman’

Another year, another Batman reboot. I kid, of course. It’s been five years since we’ve seen the Bat on the big screen, with Ben Affleck’s version appearing in the disastrous 2017 Justice League movie that I think we’d all just like to forget. Since that particular outing left a bad taste in the mouth (and with previous appearances not faring much better), it’s safe to … Continue reading Darkness, Hope, and ‘The Batman’

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’

‘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

It’s Cowboys vs Cannibals in ‘Bone Tomahawk’

I used to hate westerns. My great-grandfather was obsessed with them, and as I kid I never understood why. They bored me to tears. It seemed like every single film in the genre had the exact same plot, the exact same characters, and the exact same showdown at the climax. To younger me, if it didn’t have lasers, aliens, or explosions, then it wasn’t worth … Continue reading It’s Cowboys vs Cannibals in ‘Bone Tomahawk’

‘The House of the Devil’: Satanic-Panic in Style

Before I get into the topic at hand today, first we need a quick history lesson: In the early 1980s, a wave of reports swept the United States, Canada, and many parts of Europe, alleging supposedly occult explanations and causes for a wide range of different crimes and abuse scandals. Dubbed the “Satanic Panic” by the media, largely in retrospect, this rise in religious hysteria … Continue reading ‘The House of the Devil’: Satanic-Panic in Style

“VHS 94:” Mostly Forgettable Analog Schlock

As I’ve said before on this site, I love anthology horror films. I find that, historically, filmmakers are able to be more creative and more inventive with the short film format than they ever are with feature-length films, mostly because they aren’t bogged down with all the narrative trappings that accompany a 90-minute-plus runtime. Movies like Creepshow and The ABC’s of Death are so full … Continue reading “VHS 94:” Mostly Forgettable Analog Schlock

‘The People Under the Stairs’ and its Complex Legacy as a White-Helmed ‘Urban’ Horror Story

You know, it’s a shame that it’s taken me so long to talk about ‘The People Under the Stairs’, considering that it’s the film that this site is literally named after. But since I’ve been cranking out so much content in preparation for Halloween this year, I figured I really have no excuse at this point. And, frankly, the film is as topical now as … Continue reading ‘The People Under the Stairs’ and its Complex Legacy as a White-Helmed ‘Urban’ Horror Story