Man of Steel meets We Need to Talk About Kevin in Brightburn, the James Gunn-produced “What if Superman bad?” movie that’s had folks buzzing since its mysterious announcement last year. Gunn, who cut his teeth in the Troma movie scene – a disruptive production company infamous for splatter and farce-fueled horror movies like Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead and The Toxic Avenger – before becoming a big shot with The Guardians of the Galaxy series, has his gore-tastic fingerprints scattered throughout Brightburn, though the superhero script-flipper’s signature touch is decisively missing, Brightburn lacking the mark of a seasoned filmmaker with keen editorial prowess, a knack for subjective horror, and Gunn’s dark, cruel wit. Read More
]Yikes. What a spooker of a first look. The debut trailer for the much anticipated It: Chapter 2 has ceremoniously dropped, setting the tone for what appears to be a deliciously dark showdown between the evil clown Pennywise and the Loser’s Club. With Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, and more joining the lines of Bill Skarsgård as the malevolent nightmare clown, the sequel from director Andy Muschietti has its work cut out for it. 2017’s adaptation of It was an absolute box office powerhouse and quickly become not only the highest-grossing horror movie of all time but the highest-grossing R-rated movie as well. This first look should do more than enough of the heavy lifting to get potential audiences stoked for the second chapter of Steven King’s feared novel. Scare yourself and take a look down the sewer grate. Read More
The Curse of La Llorona is why people say they don’t like horror movies. In an age of Us, Hereditary, The Babadook, The Witch, Get Out, Raw, It Follows and so so many more outstanding horror movies, it’s why some still think they don’t like the genre. Why they falsely assume it’s inferior cinema. Sure, this particular movie isn’t retroactively responsible for the distaste of scary movie avoidant moviegoers en masse but this brand of slick, soulless sludge is. With nothing more than an anorexic concept held loosely together with poorly-telegraphed jump scares, children constantly screaming and countless scenes of creeping through creaking casas in the dark, The Curse of La Llorona is the laziest pedigree of studio horror fare, coasting on brand familiarity and age-old genre tropes to pass the minutes by with nothing in the way of inspiration to lift it up or differentiate it from the pack. Read More
For the forty years that Steven King’s novels have been translated to film, my home state of Maine has been his primary setting. Maine, as interpreted by King, is a land of many terrors: telekinetic prom queens, sewer-dwelling clowns, rabid Saint Bernards. Perhaps it’s the fact that ninety percent of the state is covered by forested land, amplifying that innate human fear of the unknown and unknowable wilderness, that makes Maine such a suitable setting for King’s horrors to unfold. There’s something inherently spooky about the woods that even as a kid, growing up on property that ran aground dense second-growth forest, I was able to tap into. I remember dragging my younger brother or helpless elementary-school friends deep into those woods, conjuring up faux-folklore about past peoples, haunting spirits and killer cryptids. Read More
Comedy and horror exist in harmonious marriage to one another. Even the grimmest horror exploits regularly squeeze uncomfortable laughs from packed crowds, too hopped up on their own nerves not to giggle with anticipation or great relief after a big scare. Screams and laughs are the wine and cheese of any good horror movie, a perfect pairing, and Jordan Peele’s uncompromisingly cool Us comes boasting a delicious vintage of both. Read More
2019 is already off to a hot start when it comes to my favorite genre: horror. Between Gaspar Noe’s wrecking ball of a breakdown with Climax, the highly overlooked creeper The Prodigy, and Nicolas Pesce’s anti-love body horror cat and mouse game Piercing, 2019 is off to the races with fantastic offerings for the genre. Even the slight (and only tangentially horror) Happy Death Day 2 U was a fun theatrical distraction. But the year is long and the number of potential horror hits higher than ever. There is no doubt that a handful of these will be joining our countdown of the 100 greatest horror films of the decade come the end of the year. Check out the breakdown of what to expect for horror for the remainder of 2019.
Do note that this is not a comprehensive list of all 2019 horror movies to come as I’ve intentionally left off fare like the second untitled Annabelle sequel (first time director and a checkered past with the franchise has me thinking it won’t be very good) and The Curse of La Llora (the trailer was simply awful, hoping the film is much better.) Similarly I don’t have New Mutants on here (not convinced it’ll ever see the light of day at this point honestly) and the 47 Meters Down sequel (does not look inspired in the least bit). So don’t come after me.
A husband and father’s scheme to kill a prostitute goes wrong when she stabs herself first in Nicolas Pesce’s devilish Piercing. Pesce’s bloody adaptation of Ryū Murakami’s short Japanese novel of the same name is deeply sardonic in nature, a clever two-person play on that age-old “desperate man kills sex worker” trope that flips the script in deliciously dark manner. Picture American Psycho for millennials, with less business card panic attacks and more feminist subversion, and you’ll be somewhere in the right ballpark. Read More
Love ’em or hate ’em, horror movies are more popular now than they have ever been. And for great reason. This decade has delivered a multitude of diverse horror options, smashing box office records, and even earning a slew of major awards nominations along the way. What’s more, the genre of late has taken a notable step forward out of the schlock, ceaseless sequels, and torture porn of the decade that preceded it and instead allowed fresh voices to give the genre a fresh coat of paint. Whether you prefer plain-ole slashers, psychological thrillers, sensual vampires, classic possessions, evil haunted houses, or even killer mermaids, the 2010s have delivered in spades. And then some. Read More
A pretentious bore posing as high art, Suspiria is a stuffy dance horror melodrama that manages to make a murderous coven of ballet witches boring as sin. At two-and-a-half grueling hours, the film from Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name) is the most masturbatory of remakes, one that painfully tacks a superfluous hour of runtime onto the original without any added content. By the time Suspiria finally reaches its blood-soaked conclusion, I stood at such an emotional distance, with a countenance of such bored apathy, as to not even enjoy its macabre platter of dark ritual and liberal gore. Read More
Halloween is just around the corner so I decided to torture myself with doing a little listicling for all you wannabe scared-to-go-to-sleepers out there. And Sweet Satan was this process painstaking! Like poking flaming needles in my eyes while my ankles were hobbled by a split ax. Or something like that. I flipped, back-flipped, see-sawed, hemmed and hawed.. etc. As a horror movie aficionado, whittling an entire decade of my favorite genre down to a mere two-hands-worth of selections was Sophie’s Choice after Sophie’s Choice. With no Meryl Streep to help! Which is probably why the last time I did this, I ended up with 13 entries. And though some of these may seem like obvious entries or redundancies that you’ve seen before, I really haven’t seen anyone nail the best of the decade, so this is me putting my feet to the fire and throwing the cards out there. Read More