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

0

img_3467

“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.

Continue reading

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

0

The original post can be found here.

img_2244

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…

Continue reading

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

0
img_1790

(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.

Continue reading

‘Sadistic Intentions’ is another awesome heavy metal + horror film pairing (Originally published for NightmarishConjurings.com)

0
img_1548

Genre standout Jeremy Gardner is gold as a conflicted metal musician in Sadistic Intentions

The original post can be found here.

From Alice Cooper’s and Black Sabbath’s occult-inspired lyrics and gory theatrics, to Rob Zombie’s foray into directing his own features, to films like Trick or Treat, The Devil’s Candy, and Deathgasm— heavy metal and the horror genre have always gone hand-in-hand.  Both genres are known for (and celebrated) for pushing their material to the limits, often relying on violence and shock value for art.  But how far is too far?  With the latest heavy metal-horror film pairing, Eric Pennycoff’s SADISTIC INTENTIONS, we have a great time finding out just how far one jaded metal musician will go to achieve levels of creativity and inspiration for his music.

Continue reading

‘Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse’ is one of 2019’s first horror masterworks

2
img_1230

Aleksandra Cwen in Hagazussa (Courtesy of Doppelganger Releasing)

Coming off 2018– a highly sociopolitical year that contained multiple depictions of witches, femininity, and black magic within horror through the likes of Suspiria, Pyewacket, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina– Lukas Feigelfeld’s debut feature film Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse, which has been circulating the festivals since fall 2017, will finally be available to audiences this month.  And although a slightly different take on witches than we’ve been seeing as of late, Hagazussa is arguably the most subtly gut-wrenching.

Continue reading

Mini Reviews: Velvet Buzzsaw, The Hole in the Ground, Piercing, & Pledge

0

While I was stuck in bed and dying from the stomach flu last week, I caught up with three films that I’ve been highly anticipating for this early half of 2019– and one that I threw in for good measure that has drummed up some quieter buzz amongst the horror critics circles.  (In between my fits of nausea, shaking, and pressing pause countless times to doze off into sick-induced sleep oblivion, I jotted down just a handful of notes for each, which is why they’re only getting mini reviews as opposed to a full page for each of the four.)  All are solid recommendations at the very least– with a couple being more surprising standouts over the others…

Continue reading

Women In Horror Month: Toni Collette’s Contributions to the Horror Genre (Originally Published for NightmarishConjurings.com)

0

Original post is under the “Articles” archive on NightmarishConjurings.com

img_2345

(A24)

As Women of Horror Month befalls us, and we reflect upon all of the distinctive female actresses that make up the singularly-dubbed “Scream Queens” of the horror community, few have delivered as many grappling performances as the beloved Aussie and acting chameleon known as Toni Collette.

Continue reading

‘Pinki’ Short Film Review (Originally Published for NightmarishConjurings.com)

2

Original review posted under “Short Film Reviews” on NightmarishConjurings.com

img_2344

(Panic Fest)

Do you ever sit and wonder what exactly happened to your very first Nokia cell phone from the early 2000s? Or reminisce about where exactly your old cassette player went, when you moved out of your family home? In a 21st century world, in which our computers have been upgraded into laptops, our MySpace accounts upgraded to Instagram profiles, our VHS tapes have become Netflix streaming, and our MP3 players have turned into Spotify apps, technology has become a significant marker into the various chapters of our lives. As we struggle to keep up with the various updates of the techy items that are supposed to make our lives increasingly easier, we often forget about the simpler, outdated items that no longer serve us purpose— even though they may hold years of cherished memories for us.

In Spike Hyunsuk Kim’s charming short film PINKI— which was recently shown at Kansas City’s Panic Fest— these questions about our old pieces of technology that we have since moved on from are begging to be asked.

Continue reading

‘The House That Jack Built’ Director’s Cut is mean-spirited, misogynistic, and tough to watch…but still shamefully enjoyable

1

img_1009Last spring during Cannes Film Festival, you may have read about the 100 or so people who walked out during the latest “gruesome” Lars Von Trier film, The House That Jack Built— resulting in conflicting reviews such as, “Von Trier went too far,” while others proclaiming it as his “best film to date.”  Nothing new for the controversial Von Trier– as his moody, violent, arthouse-style horror-drama films have only won the ‘Pissing the MPAA Off Awards’ rather than Academy Award-winning accolades.  His latest shocker will be no different. Continue reading

Sell your soul to the dance: ‘SUSPIRIA’ quasi-remake is quite enchanting (no major spoilers)

1
img_0580

Dakota Johnson (center) is lead Susie Bannion. (Amazon)

Horror aficionados are particularly skeptical when it comes to accepting the dreaded “remake” and “reboot” treatment of cult classics from the past.  (Four words: ‘The Wicker Man’ remake!! Ugh.)  And when a remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 giallo (Italian horror) masterpiece Suspiria was announced to follow suit, many wondered how a film that iconic could ever be taken into different hands, as well as what else could possibly be squeezed out of a film that isn’t exactly remembered for its super intricate plot.  Fortunately, renowned Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino is at the helm of the 2018 version, and the man has not only given the original film its justice, but he has created an entirely unique piece of art that merely takes the skeletal framework of the original film, and has transformed it into its own, stylish identity.

Continue reading

Blumhouse’s HALLOWEEN (2018) manages to make Michael Myers scary again, while serving as a love letter to final girls/women everywhere (Spoiler-free)

0
img_9931

Nick Castle reprises his role as The Shape in 2018’s Halloween. (Universal)

Two years ago when frequent collaborators Danny McBride and David Gordon Green announced that they were joining forces again for a Halloween franchise sequel, I squealed.  With Green’s indie-film roots combined with McBride’s dark sense of harsh humor, I felt pretty confident that their vision for a modern-day Halloween sequel would fill a void in the hearts of the franchise’s fans everywhere that craved a worthy sequel, after the countless corny and painful-to-watch ones that have notoriously tainted the Halloween franchise over the years (I’m looking especially at you, “Halloween: Resurrection”.)  However…after months and months of numerous media clickbait articles about the production of the upcoming film, with headlines that contained quotes from McBride and Jamie Lee Curtis proclaiming that this movie was “legitimately scary,” a lackluster trailer release in June, and just the annoyance of straight-up over-saturation of the film’s highly anticipated release, I grew worried.  After all, when the people who are behind a film can not stop talking about it to the press, that typically leads to disappointment and disaster. I thought, Who actually says that their own movie is ‘scary’?! Just let the damn movie speak for itself!  But now that I’ve caught one of the upcoming film’s earliest screenings at Salem Horror Fest, I can thankfully say that I was wrong for worrying so much.  Aside from a few nitpicky flaws, David Gordon Green’s Halloween is solid.

Continue reading