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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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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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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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

MIDSOMMAR solidifies Ari Aster as a contemporary master of bizarro horror

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There is a handful of contemporary auteur filmmakers that are bringing something completely fresh to the horror genre, while still managing to derive influence from classics of the past– Jennifer Kent, Robert Eggers, Jordan Peele– to name a few.  But none have excited me quite to the degree of the eccentric, strange, provocative, ballsy filmmaking style that Hereditary (and now Midsommar) creator Ari Aster possesses.

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10 of the Most Unsettling Moments in Doll Horror (Originally published for Bloody-Disgusting.com)

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

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There is a very specific reason why I asked my mother to return the many porcelain dolls she bought for me when I was a kid: I watched too many horror movies. Porcelain dolls, baby dolls, life-size dolls, and especially ventriloquist dummies: I had seen far too many of those damn things open their eyes, come to life, and kill people in movies, and I wanted no parts of it.

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In Fabric Review- Overlook Film Festival (originally published for NightmarishingConjurings.com)

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The original post can be found here.

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Kill, couture, kill!  You’ve got an evil-spirited dress wreaking havoc upon all those who encounter it, pitch-black humor about consumerism, demented kill scenes, Peter Strickland’s direction, and an A24 distribution.  IN FABRIC is the British horror-comedy that we didn’t know we needed.

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‘The Lodge’ Review – Overlook Film Festival (originally published for NightmarishConjurings.com)

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The original post can be found here.

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I’ve never been too keen on having children, quite frankly, and thanks to Veronika Franz’s and Severin Fiala’s 2014 feature Goodnight Mommy and now their much-anticipated English-language follow up, THE LODGE, not only do I not want to have children of my own, but I sure as hell do not want to be a stepmom anytime soon either…

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The 10 Most Memorable Mother Figures in Horror Since 2010 (Originally Published for NightmarishConjurings.com)

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The original post can be found here.

It’s Mother’s Day, and no one sacrifices their heads and literally goes to hell more for you than your mother.  Within the horror genre of the 2010s, we’ve witnessed brave moms, nurturing moms, witchy moms, mentally ill moms, grief-stricken moms, and everything in between, creating one of the most unforgettable decades for motherly horror than ever before.  Here are the 10 Most Memorable Mother Figures within the Horror Genre of the 2010s. (Spoilers Below)

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Shudder’s ‘The Ranger’ is good ol’ fashioned slasher fun (with punks)

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(Shudder)

Sure, we may have had our fill of the ’80s nostalgia horror trend that has been running rampant over the last couple years, but I will never complain about a fun-loving slasher indie, set in the all-too-scary deep neck of the woods (scary for me at least, because I am terrified of the woods) with a crew of scintillating punk kids and a delectable performance from Jeremy S. Holm as a psycho ranger at its core.

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