found footage films

A Brief and Twisted History of Found Footage Films

It’s July 17th, 1999 - 11:50 PM. It’s an oppressive summer night across the United States. The seasonal heat lays thick in the air, and somehow the July night...
Poltergeist

How Poltergeist Destroyed the American Dream (And Why That’s Great)

Filmmakers in the 1980s had a serious obsession with the American dream. Part of it, I think, was due to the fetish-like obsession with ‘50s Americana. People wanted a very Norman...
Sleepy Hollow

Why Sleepy Hollow Should be Remembered as One of Tim Burton’s Best

Almost everything Tim Burton has done in his career has been influenced by Gothic horror. His influences stretch back from the Hammer era to silent classics like The Cabinet...
Jacob's Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder and the Process of Dying

Jacob's Ladder, released in 1990, puzzled audiences and critics. Dealing with complicated issues of loss, grief, paranoia, hallucinations, death, and rebirth, the film demands multiple viewings to be fully...
Night of the Creeps

How Night of the Creeps Revitalized the ’50s Monster Movie

During the 1980s, there were a lot of films that tried to recapture the spirit of the 1950s monster movie. They weren’t just limited to horror either. Everything from Gremlins...
Martin

Why One of George Romero’s Best Pictures isn’t Even a Zombie Film

The name George Romero is synonymous with the zombie sub-genre. His first feature, Night of the Living Dead, was absolutely groundbreaking. It changed the game in a lot of...
In the Mouth of Madness

Why In the Mouth of Madness is One of the Most Underrated Meta-Horrors

Scream and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare are widely regarded as the two movies that kicked off meta-horror in the 1990’s. Both were, in their own way, deconstructions of the...
Halloween, Ginger Snaps

How Ginger Snaps Helped the Horror Genre and Found its Audience

Ginger Snaps--as I've written about here--is one of the best horror movies of the past fifteen years, period. It’s among the great werewolf films of all time. Yes, it...
Alien (1979) The problem with sub-genres - label makers

How Alien Raised the Bar for Visuals in Horror

Throughout most of the 1970’s, horror was very focused on realism. There was a transition period in the previous decade that moved the genre away from the gothic Hammer...
Return to Horror High

Why Return to Horror High was Insanely Ahead of Its Time

Return to Horror High is a low-budget slasher from the late ‘80’s, which was a notoriously bad time for the sub-genre. Not only were the films cheap, they generally...
Mosquito

Mosquito is a Shameless, Goofy Good Time

If there’s one low budget monster movie that people my age tend to remember, even if they’re not necessarily horror fans, it’s Mosquito. I can’t really fathom why that...
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

Why Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers Actually Isn’t a Bad Film

Every once in a great while, a horror film is released that is universally embraced by fans from all walks of life. From the superb writing, visionary direction and stellar acting,...
Lake Placid

What a Croc: Revisiting Lake Placid

While killer animal movies are among the most popular and prevalent horror offerings being produced today, very few are actually remembered as classics. Really, there’s Jaws and that’s about...
Zombie

Why Fulci’s Zombie is the Distilled Essence of Zombie Cinema

It’s a movie of many, many titles. Over thirty years, it’s been known as Zombi 2, Zombie Flesh Eaters, Zombie Dawn of the Dead and more, but the American...
Jamie Lee Curtis in Terror Train

Why Terror Train is a Surprisingly Innovative Slasher

The slasher subgenre boomed after the release of John Carpenter’s Halloween. Where no one was even really sure that Halloween would work—at least not in the way that it...