Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2017

Who On Earth Asked For Halloween: Resurrection? But Why I Love Busta Rhymes' Freddie Harris

Exhausted and numb from twenty years of booze, pills, and helicopter parenting, Laurie Strode anxiously endured the days leading up to Halloween with her usual edginess. Call her overly cautious, but on October 31, 1998, the menacing figure who gave her a gnarly left upper arm scar from a sharp kitchen knife, by the hands of fate, found her at the private boarding school in northern California where she taught. Once she knew her teenage son was out of harms way, she broke the security entrance sensor, busted an ax out of its casing, and screamed "Michael!" as the music swelled with the orchestral remix of John Carpenter's original score. I get goosebumps every time I watch that scene.

Black Horror Films: Page One (2017)

When veteran actor Abel Worthy--typecast as the first victim--suspects real danger on his latest film set, bloodthirsty creatures force him to step into the role he was destined to play.

Written by Tarik Davis
Directed by Don P. Hooper

Even with a wealth of sincerity behind wanting your internal sleuth flipped on their head, the lingering insistence on our conditioning from endless fictional stories we've watched and read before acts as a safety net in order to assure and/or guard us from any possible disappointment. This probably rings true the most in genre (primarily sci-fi and horror) products. Concerning itself with formula, horror's extreme exploration into the darkness is at times, in need of its predictability so audiences aren't left completely in the dark themselves. Even if a monster, killer, or a killer monster keeps coming back, there's still a hero or heroine, weapon in hand whether it be physical, psychological, or both at ready to combat the symbolic re…

Interview: Taking A Stab At Tragedy Girls With Star Alexandra Shipp

The current horror film festival circuit has all been abuzz about this revolutionary dark comedy horror film, Tragedy Girls since 'brilliantly turning the slasher genre on its head' at South By Southwest earlier this year. It picks up where Heathers (1988) come Jennifer's Body (2009) left off and orbits into our digital universe with an intelligence and ambition fueled by the film's two leads, Brianna Hildebrand (Sadie) and Alexandra Shipp (McKayla). Entrenched in a world addicted to small bright, portable screens, besties Sadie and McKayla want in on the millions gone wireless; getting their attention to #TragedyGirls with their "like and favorite" motto while the duo's small town is plagued by a series of brutal murders. Sadie and McKayla are on the prowl to carry the torch of sensationalizing violence for fame. By any means necessary. What enriches this story is the performances. And Shipp as McKayla creates one of the most memorable characters welcom…

Horror Blackademics: Candyman's Revenge On Gentrification

"How much did you pay for this place?" Fear, Entitlement, and Urban Space in Bernard Rose's Candyman
written by Aviva Briefel and Sianne Ngai

Horror Film Reader, edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini

Concept: Based within the 'haunted house' trope, "all horror or Gothic narratives derive from this point of private proprietorship, one that produces anxieties about proprietorship in general, these narratives subsequently establish anxiety as a form of emotional property." Fear is an inherited right owned by those privileged enough to own property. There is a struggle between both property and who has a right to be afraid.

Wicked Rewind: Candyman (1992)

If you come across a list titled 10 Essential: Black Horror Films, you'll witness a variety in how the Black experience is expressed through the channel of what is feared by collectives within the community and the people behind the production. I curated this list for a well-known horror site at the time and wanted to put something together that was special, thoughtful, and most importantly, not predictable.

I feel like I should've predicted the comments section where someone was perplexed about Candyman (1992) not being on the list.

1974 Brings Back That Magical Feeling Of Strong Found Footage Horror

Written & Directed by Victor Dryere

Found footage elevator, 1974 focuses on a serene, married couple begin to use a camera to film all of their mundanity on the rise of wife, Altair's (Diana Bovio) birthday. In careful and creepy follow up's to a night of partying and blissfully entangled in the activities of newlyweds, disorienting nightmares, non-responsive phone calls, and strange objects begin to appear and unsettle the pair, more husband, Manuel (Rolando Breme) than Altair. As time slowly passes, a few more people are involved in unfolding a mystery that only crescendos at the very end. 1974 is an extremely simple story, but it does manage to induce both dread and anticipation while leaving the mystery open for our imaginative devices.

Kane Hodder's Story Is So Heart Warming, It May Save The World

A montage of Jason Vorhees killing a bunch of people putting a smile on my face is a pretty strange reflection on my own possibly wavering sanity. Really, its a reaction peaked by memories from solo viewings to social interactive commentary about these not-so mindless slasher films. I love revisiting the latter Friday the 13th films because this one person out of the half dozen was able to give the star character, signature menacing movements in his undead form. In turn, the man most remembered for playing this horror icon, Kane Hodder, turned me into a puddle of sympathy with no makeup in another role, the beginning of Hatchet II (2010) as a lonely man who loses everyone he's ever loved. I was reminded so vividly of these gripping reactions while watching the stunt man/actor's life chronicled in To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story. This feature documentary just magnified all of those feelings with a sincerely honest, funny, fearless, and self-aware Kane taking back his n…

Tragedy Girls Leads The Charge Of Teenage Horror For The 21st Century

October 17, 1997, I walked the short two block distance straight between the movie theater and my home completely drenched in a teenage adrenaline rush. My allowance money, half a grain of I Know What You Did Last Summer's box office success, set off a wave of Friday night horror theater outings I didn't get to experience with the 80's slashers I watched on HBO. This night stands out so much because of its revelation that horror was that special part of my identity that I would healthily obsess over.

These were the kind of moments that help me today, now as some sort of halfway decent horror journalist, understand and hope that a film like Tragedy Girls will have a similar effect. I'm beginning with the younger movie audience here because, this is exactly the kind of movie that would've given me that same feeling, were I 14 going on 15 again. But that's not to say that Tragedy Girls won't be enjoyed by all. It's dark camp, self-awareness, and intellige…

Veronica Is A Tragically Beautiful, Sobering Head Trip

I thought of a dozen ways of exactly how to approach opening the case for the Mexican mystery horror thriller Veronica. Two women, doctor and patient, attempt to uncover what keeps the other so removed from reality that deflection and manipulation become an essential survival technique. My blinking cursor was stagnant for quite some time, because in order to expose its roots to relay just how effective its 81 minutes was, I would have to listen to the sound of my own voice again, covering my own anxiety from light, to find the darkness again of experiences that haunt me even to this day. I'd rather not divulge details. And it speaks altitudes of Veronica's success at an mesmeric, solemn, and dangerous cathartic piece of art it actually is.