Miss Rose of Summerisle

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[NOTE: This post was originally published on my version of this blog at the now-defunct Open Salon, on October 8th, 2011, one day after Diane Cilento’s passing. I’m including the original comments to my blog post, because why not?]

Let’s kick off the weekend with a short tribute to the late Diane Cilento, who passed away yesterday at the age of 78.  The beautiful Ms. Cilento was both a Tony (Tiger at the Gates) and an Oscar (Tom Jones) nominee, and was also known for being Sean Connery’s ex-wife.  Sadly, to this last point, there are uncomfortable accounts of his abominably abusive behavior towards her.

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We’re Here for Your Children: The Curse of La Llorona

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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 franchisehas 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.

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Bad Kiddies and Kitties: Pet Sematary (2019)

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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

Us (2019)

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I love participating on Dead Times, even if the sleep deprivation shows (i.e. I’m not the most animated guest.)

Dead Times

Hello and welcome! In today’s episode we are talking Jordan Peele’s new movie Us. We break down all the symbols, all the allusions, and try to decipher the central allusion. We also try to figure out which celebrities might have been replaced by their tethereds.

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The Exorcist (1973)

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I had the honor of guest hosting this episode of Dead Times with Peter and Tim!

Dead Times

Hello and welcome to our giant episode on “The Exorcist!” I give up hosting duties on this one for Al, who brings a wealth of research and insight into the movie and its making. And wow, do we have a lot to talk about! Everything from how Super Mario is a perfect for the film to controversial theories about its content.

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The Rabbits Have Come Home to Roost: Us (2019)

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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