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

Nic Cage Soars as Nic Cage in Stellar Love Letter to Nic Cage ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’

I feel like I’ve gone on the record more than enough times on this site in defense of Nicholas Cage. The movies of his that I’ve explicitly covered, Mandy, The Color Out of Space, and Pig, are all amazing films because they exist in what I like to call the “Post-Cage” era. That is, the age of cinema where we’ve all sort of collectively identified … Continue reading Nic Cage Soars as Nic Cage in Stellar Love Letter to Nic Cage ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’

‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once’ is Wonderful, Beautiful Madness

Coming off of last month’s X, I didn’t think it was possible for me to love A24 any more than I already did. Boy, was I wrong about that. If you have even a casual interest in film, odds are you’ve been hearing quite a bit of buzz about Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s (or simply Daniels, as the duo call themselves) new film Everything, … Continue reading ‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once’ is Wonderful, Beautiful Madness

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’

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’

Halloween ‘Kills’ More Than it Does Anything Else

The Halloween franchise has had just about as long and storied a history as a horror series can possibly have at this point, with all the highs and lows that naturally come with something that’s been more or less ongoing for over forty years now. From John Carpenter’s seminal 1978 classic all the way through Rob Zombie’s ill-conceived reimaginings in the early 2000s, this slasher … Continue reading Halloween ‘Kills’ More Than it Does Anything Else

‘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