Super Bad Seed: Brightburn

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Bear with me as I misremember and possibly misattribute a quote.

“At the rate our technology and understanding of genetics is progressing, some day, the first superhuman will rise forth from a tank. What are we going to put in this being’s hands to read? The New York Times? Atlas Shrugged? Or an issue of Superman?”

The quote, not at all verbatim, possibly was from the beautiful Chaos magician and comic book legend Grant Morrison (unless it was from Mark Millar?), a man who has made an exceptional career from superheroes, and who has positioned Superman as a Sun God and as our highest, noblest ideal. I recommend his work very strongly, particularly All-Star Superman, and also his book “Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human.”

Morrison makes the credible argument that a superhero comic is the very best thing we could give someone that has a lot of power to read.

And now, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has given us a vision of a Superman who could well have read … Twitter. Or 4Chan. Or whatever putrid corner of the Internet amplifies the worst thoughts and impulses of America’s boys. Continue reading

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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

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