Category Archives: Subgenre

V/H/S/ 2 (2012) Review

 

No doubt thanks to monetary success of the Paranormal Activity franchise, the found footage genre has exploded within the last decade.  I confess: I’m not terribly versed in the subgenre, having only seen the first Paranormal and not its forefather, The Blair Witch Project.  However, the format has been used in so many other film genres (superheroes in Chronicle, monster movie in Cloverfield) that despite being a relatively new subgenre, the shaky cam footage nearly instantly loses the edge or intensity it inherently brought and instead requires the filmmakers to be creative in their use of the format.  Luckily, V/H/S/2 does this in spades. Continue reading

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Psycho (1960) – Review 1

Grade: A

Movie Poster for PsychoWe’ll get the pleasantries out of the way first: Yes, it’s been a while since the last post.  Yes, I loved this movie (and you should see it).  It’s a classic for a reason: Psycho has a gripping story, devious plot turns, murder, intrigue, heck, it has it all.  The film is a stark departure from the horror films of previous decade: you no longer have to worry about the supernatural monster, but the monster within yourself.  Psycho doesn’t use any of the previous horror tropes and clichés: it creates a world in which everything appears normal, but if you dig deep, you’ll realize how wrong it all is.  Continue reading


Curse of the Demon (1957) – Review 2

Grade: B+

First off, my apologies for the tardiness. I shall condemn myself by watching endless hours of Friday the 13th films, all the while laughing and uncontrollably being fixated upon the travesty that is the Friday franchise.  However, to the review!

I have not watched a lot of Satanic films, but so far, I’ve been intrigued with the genre, and I desperately want to see more of these types of films.  So I went in to Curse of the Demon with relatively high expectations of the film.  For a plot summation, see Warden Walker’s review of the film.  Much of what I have to add to the film he already covered (effects, mood, etc.), but I wanted to talk more about the protagonist.  And I use the term ‘protagonist’ in the most technical of terms, because to be frank, I found John to be one of the most difficult protagonist to root for in recent memory. Continue reading


Curse of the Demon (1957) – Review 1

Night of the Demon

Grade: B+

As I started to think about how I wanted to begin this review of Jacques Tourneur’s Curse of the Demon, I decided to go find the movie poster first.  And what I found is awesome.  This poster does more to make my point about this film than I could have imagined.  At first glance, the image of the demon is laughable, but stare at it for a minute.  The dark, scraggly fur, the yellow eyes, the absolutely molten lower jaw; there is still something threatening about this goofy looking monster.  Yes, the monster does appear in the film, and yes, this film does still deserve that giant banner simply stating “HORROR!”

The note at the bottom of the poster reading “Skeptical?” is really what this movie is about.  The protagonist, Dr. John Holden (Dana Andrews), is a scientist attempting to disprove and debunk claims of witchcraft, the dark arts, and the powers of Satan.  Unfortunately, when his colleague is mysteriously killed in an “accident” (mauled by a giant demon), Holden refuses to give up his investigation and is targeted by his colleague’s murderer, the nefarious Dr. Julian Karswell (Niall MacGinnis).  Stuck in his stubborn American ways, Holden dangerously shrugs off the continually mounting evidence to the existence of demons and dark magic.  When he finally begins to believe, it becomes a race against the clock to prevent his own death. Continue reading


The Thing from Another World (1951) – Review 2

The Thing movie poster

Grade: C+

I was not expecting much out of this movie.  Sure, it appeared on multiple lists of the top whatever best horror movies, but I wrote it off because it was 1950s sci-fi horror; it screamed B-movie, ripe for Mystery Science Theater 3000.  I mean, the title of the movie is The Thing from Another World.  Come on.  So, my interest in the film and my reasoning for adding it to our list was simply because this was the movie that John Carpenter masterfully remade into his The Thing in 1982, and I thought it would be cool to see the movie that inspired Carpenter.  I didn’t give it a fighting chance.

I knew that I had made a mistake about 30 seconds in, as the first name to appear on the screen was that of Howard Hawks and then the title tore open in that creepy font identical to the one used by Carpenter 30 years later (see The Man in Black’s review).  But as the film continued, I began to think, “Is this a good movie?  More so than I ever could have guessed.  Is this a good horror movie?  …Yes and no.” Continue reading


The Thing from Another World (1951) – Review 1

Grade: B-

To quote Samwise Gamgee, “Well, I’m back.” What a terrible thing, homework is! I’m excited to get back into the fray of reviewing films. How I’ve missed this blog!

And in kicking back to form, we review The Thing from Another World.  Taking place in Antarctica, a team comprised of military and scientist personnel discover the scientific finds of the century: an actual flying saucer and an extraterrestrial (the Thing)  frozen in ice.  Unfortunately for the team, the ice unfreezes, and the Thing gets loose.  What follows is a somewhat predictable (but enjoyable!) monster film as the Thing randomly attacks the team, and the divide between the scientists and the military become even starker. Continue reading


Supernatural Season 1, Part 2

Average Grade: B

Impala, forest

The Winchesters' hunt for their father leads them into the heart of a national park.

Continuing where the pilot left off, the second episode of the series, “Wendigo,” finds Sam and Dean traveling to Colorado in search of their missing father.  Following the coordinates that he left behind, the brothers wind up in the middle of a national park.  But when they get there, they find that something in the woods has been kidnapping and killing campers for a very long time.  Upon meeting the sister of the latest disappearance, Dean is compelled to help her while an exasperated Sam complains that Dean is getting sidetracked from the hunt for their father.

What is established in the second episode–and solidified in the third episode, “Dead in the Water”–is the formula for the rest of season. Continue reading