“The Mother and the Monster”: I review “The Babadook”

for AmCon. Should've decided in advance how spoilerous I wanted to be; if you haven't seen it yet, I'd definitely recommend either skipping this review or stopping after the first couple paragraphs. One of the year’s most widely-praised horror movies, Australia’s “The Babadook,” methodically chews through a list of terrifying questions: What happens when you can’t protect your child from tragedy and grief? When you can’t protect him from the people around him? From himself? From yourself? … [Read more...]

Small Screens: Several Very Short Movie Reviews

What I've been watching.Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Actually pretty fun, once you get past the narcissism and abuse of women.EDIT: I should say that the latter two elements aren't things I wish they'd left out of the movie. They add texture to what could have been a plasticky, "drugs R fun!", self-consciously edgy cliche. F&LILV manages to be neither a cautionary tale nor an ad for addiction.Whiplash: Miles Teller is a super actor. This is not the movie to see him in. It's a … [Read more...]

The Horror of Wallpaper/Wallpaper in Horror

I'll always be grateful to my parents for leaving up our bizarre dining-room wallpaper with the huge nodding flowers. Sort of mutant-like. The late '70s and early '80s were a special time for wallpaper... as Kindertrauma proves. I love the idea of this post and love the execution even more. … [Read more...]

“A Russian Guide to Scary Movies”: Russia Beyond the Headlines

Russia’s first horror films appeared before the Revolution in 1917 and, unfortunately, did not survive to present day. These first films had largely to do with the flowering of symbolism and other decadent tendencies in Russian literature that actively promoted interest in mysticism.Later, horror movies were not produced in the Soviet Union, where the only permissible artistic method was socialist realism. The screen version of Nikolai Gogol’s “Viy” remains the only example of a horror movie … [Read more...]

Dark, Dark My Light: “Martyrs”

Well, let's start spooky movie season with a series of horrifying bangs.All I knew about Martyrs going in was that people argued about whether it should be considered "torture porn," and that the title ended up playing a big, religiously-inflected role. I'm glad I didn't know anything else about it; I was totally unprepared for its genre shifts and plot twists. I got a lot out of it and am convinced that the movie does not treat torture pornographically--there's no chop-licking, no greasy … [Read more...]

“40 Non-Horror Movies for Horror Fans”: Kindertrauma

with a cornucopia, especially of interest to fans of that late '70s - end of the Cold War aesthetic. Sign me up! … [Read more...]

“What’s the Punishment for Being a Stock Character?”: I Watch “As Above, So Below”

for AmCon: Well, I’ve never seen a Pelagian horror film before.“As Above, So Below” is a collision of lots of intriguing ideas and settings. It’s about a British professor’s quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone in the Paris catacombs, despite warnings that the Stone is hidden near “the gates of Hell.” So we get treasure-hunt adventure; religious horror; nature horror, as the archeological spelunkers get trapped in cave-ins and swim through tunnels deep underground; and what we might call “j … [Read more...]


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