As of this writing it has been one day since Lorraine Warren – half of the infamous duo responsible for the ‘true haunting’ tales inspiring the billion dollar Conjuring franchise – has died. I’ve been observing many social media messages not only mourning her death, but pseudo-canonizing her as some sort of spiritual warrior to fight evil in the beyond. There are also reminders out there of the Warrens’ con-artistry, and unfortunately, worse than that.
Stepping out of that debate, Lorraine’s death coincided with opening weekend of The Curse of La Llorona, a spin-off of the “Conjuringverse” and one that’s surprisingly free of many of the typical tropes of this franchise.
Photo by Chillerpop
I come as cold as a corpse to the story of Pet Sematary. It’s a part of the Stephen King canon I have yet to read, I never did get around to seeing its 1989 predecessor, and it’s far from my favorite song by The Ramones. I had no expectations here. All I knew is that it involved family grief, an Indian burial ground (never my favorite horror trope), and that the great Fred Gwynne was in the movie. Continue reading
WARNING: THIS BLOG POST WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS for US
“…a big part of this for me was feeling like some of my favorite offerings in the horror genre work allegorically. Which, Get Out was not, really. It wasn’t an allegory. Get Out was about what it was about. It was about race. But horror that pops tends to do so because there’s a bigger picture behind the images.”
This comment was by Us writer and director Jordan Peele in an interview with Gizmodo. I love horror that codes for larger social anxieties. The more cryptic, the better. I love knowing that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre could be about the loss of the American dream and/or the gas crisis of the 1970’s, and that The Exorcist could be about the breakdown of the American nuclear family in the shadow of 1960’s counterculture.
Peele is someone that wants to give us the gift of entertaining, well-made and important horror films. And with Us, his average remains at 100%. Continue reading
[NOTE: My first blog post, ORIGINALLY POSTED FEBRUARY 25, 2010 1:38PM on Open Salon. I cringe at the dated-ness and the bad writing.]
It was not my intention to launch this blog with vampires. After many discussions with a friend and fellow horror fan who has begun to actively loathe the vampire genre, I’m starting to come around to his point of view that the bulk of current fictions about the creatures utterly drains them and their stories of anything original and compelling. I’m lying to you, of course – I’m a fan of True Blood, and I must, with great shame, admit that I enjoy the WB’s Vampire Diaries.
However, Martha P. Nochimson’s rather puzzling attack on Kathryn Bigelow and her excellent film “The Hurt Locker” now forces me to talk about one of my favorite films, Bigelow’s vampire romance/thrill ride Near Dark. Nochimson’s point that high-testosterone war films are often favored over “chick fare” is lost in her bizarre accusations of Bigelow ‘pandering to males’ and being a ‘transvestite director,’ as though Bigelow is obliged to make only romantic comedies or Jane Austen adaptations. Continue reading