She’s Not Imagining Things: ‘The Invisible Man’ & Horror’s History of Believing Women (Originally published for Bloody-Disgusting.com)

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The original article was published for Bloody-Disgusting.com on March 5, 2020.

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This editorial contains spoilers. 

“You’re not going out of your mind. You’re slowly and systematically being driven out of your mind.” – Gaslight (1944)

It’s one of the oldest tropes in the book of psychological horror: something unusual/terrible happens; female protagonist gets caught in the crossfire and blamed for it; no one believes said woman and thinks she’s crazy; we, the audience, can see she’s telling the truth and know she should be believed; woman eventually is vindicated or she wins our empathy, at the very least. In the mean time, something, someone, or a pocket of society is actually pulling the strings and the wool over her eyes through cruel mind games, manipulating, policing, abusing, and surveying her mind and body, as she fights that much harder to prove that no, she’s not “crazy”— she’s just being gaslighted.

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Metalsploitation: The History of Heavy Metal in the Horror Film (Originally Published for Bloody-Disgusting.com)

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The original article was published for Bloody-Digusting.com on April 9, 2020.

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Blood, Satan, the occult, fighting off zombies, social chaos, violence, death— on the surface, these descriptors sound like your average indicators of our favorite horror movies, however, they’re just as representative of horror’s musical cousin equivalent: heavy metal. Just like metal horns and concerts pair so perfectly, these misfit subgenres have been tied together for decades— even coming together as one in the form of “metalsploitation,” (yep, a real term) in which heavy metal music is exploited, satirized, and, most importantly, portrayed lovingly within its own, unique variety of horror films. In honor of the latest heavy metal-horror movie to join the subgenre’s slate, the Alexandra Daddario-starring We Summon the Darkness that’s arriving on VOD this week, we’re looking at each decade of heavy metal’s progression and relationship to the horror genre.

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The Devil to Make Her Do It: THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER & Depictions of Satan and Women in Horror (Originally published for Bloody-Disgusting.com)

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The original article can be found at Bloody-Digusting.com.

This article contains spoilers.

For as far back as the genre’s inception, horror has been pinning its protagonists against the biggest baddy, seducer of sin, and purveyor of evil within existence: Satan. Whether he’s looking to claim an earthly human body or he’s manipulating characters into doing his “work,” horror has been fascinated with the Devil for decades— but especially in regards to his relationships with women and female characters.

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How Ari Aster Embraces Horror Conventions to Create His Own Unique Contributions to the Genre (Originally Published for Bloody Disgusting)

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The original article can be found at Bloody-Disgusting.com.

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This decade gifted us a plethora of auteur filmmakers that brought something completely fresh to the horror genre, while still managing to derive influence from beloved classics of the past— Jennifer Kent, Issa Lopez, Robert Eggers, Jordan Peele— to name a few. But there’s one creator in particular who has excited myself and many others to next-level degrees with his assuredly eccentric, provocative, ballsy filmmaking style: Ari Aster.   

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A Love Letter to Great Indie Horror: THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL Turns 10 (Originally published for Bloody-Disgusting.com)

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The original post can be found at Bloody-Disgusting.com under “featured editorials.” 

2009 big-budget studio horror was chock-full of lifeless remakes, satirical horror-comedies, and even emerging fresh takes on zombie movies, but slow-burn, ‘80s-inspired nostalgia— which we now see in droves— was never really on the slate…that is, until the masterful combo of a little slasher/Satanic cult/haunted house indie called The House of the Devil came along.

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TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID and the Justified Inclusion of Child Violence within Horror Films (Originally Published for Bloody-Disgusting.com)

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(Original post can be found at Bloody-Disgusting.com. This editorial contains spoilers for Tigers Are Not AfraidIt Chapter TwoThe Nightingale, and The House That Jack Built.)

Issa Lopez’s poignant and revelatory Tigers Are Not Afraid has made such an impact on the horror genre because it differs from so many others films that are given to us: its narrative is told through perspectives that we never see enough of in mainstream cinema; its fantastical elements often add to the film’s sense of peril, as opposed to solely bringing the characters comfort; and, most interestingly, it contains a fearlessness to incorporate grim (but necessary) portrayals of child violence into its storytelling.

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10 Films that may have influenced AHS 1984 (Originally Published for Bloody Disgusting)

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The original post can be found under “Editorials” at Bloody-Disgusting.com.

 

For those of us who have trudged through all 8 seasons of the rollercoaster ride that is American Horror Story (for better and for worse), one subgenre that we’ve been impatiently waiting for Ryan Murphy & Co. to tackle is the 1980s “golden age” of horror: slashers.  After all, there is nothing that AHS delivers more on than the gratuitous sex, gore, campiness, and questionable morality that thrives in the slasher subgenre.  And finally, for the show’s upcoming ninth season, 1984, we’re getting the Friday the 13th season of our dreams.

So before we don our mullets and bust out the campfire songs, let’s look at 10 films that may have inspired AHS 1984.

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TINGLE MONSTERS is much more than the first-ever ASMR horror film (Originally published for Nightmarish Conjurings)

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The original post can be found at NightmarishConjurings.com under “Reviews.”

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The first-ever ASMR horror film, aptly titled TINGLE MONSTERS, is upon us— but this effective 10-minute short film from writer/director/star Alexandra Serio has much more on its mind than auditory relaxation triggers.

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Live from NYC: Q&A with ‘Midsommar’ director, ARI ASTER! (Originally published for Bloody Disgusting)

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“This is a different film- there are things that bolster other things in this cut that I always did miss.”

In a Q&A session after the premiere of his intended director’s cut of Midsommar in New York this weekend (read my review), Ari Aster admitted to feeling “self-indulgent” by releasing this version so soon after the theatrical cut’s original July 3 release to the masses. However, Aster quickly realized how necessary it was for him to show a fuller story of his initial vision.

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MIDSOMMAR Director’s Cut Adds (Even More) Depth to the characters REVIEW [Originally published for Bloody Disgusting]

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The original post can be found under “Reviews” at Bloody-Disgusting.com

“This is not releasable,” Ari Aster joked, as he introduced his “more complete” Director’s Cut of Midsommar in New York this past weekend. 

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ORPHAN wasn’t perfect, but I still love it 10 years later (Originally published for Bloody Disgusting)

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The original post was published on July 24, 2019 under “Editorials” at Bloody-Disgusting.com.

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Something is wrong with Esther, alright.

Released on this day 10 years ago, Jaume Collett-Serra’s unique twist on the bad seed subgenre, Orphan, pummeled its way into theaters after weeks of both anticipation and controversy, going on to earn $78 million at the box office over its relatively modest budget. Both influenced by, yet also a subversion of the tropes of previous films such as The Bad Seed, The Omen, and The Good Son— and undoubtedly affecting the coldness within this year’s The ProdigyOrphan is one of the more memorable psychological horror efforts we were given in 2009.

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Before we had MIDSOMMAR, we had The Wicker Man (1973)

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Christopher Lee in The Wicker Man

The original post can be found here.

For those of us who were lucky enough to catch Midsommar already, we noticed that Ari Aster’s sophomore psychedelic, folk horror film derives an incredible amount of influence from Robin Hardy’s 1973 masterpiece, THE WICKER MAN.  Everything from its (seemingly) warm, welcoming commune members, to its commentary on intrusive outsiders barging in on dissimilar cultures, to its fiery third act (which I won’t discuss here) Midsommar is indebted to this folk horror classic, and we thought we would swing around the maypole again and remind you why this film is so integral to the horror genre. Continue reading