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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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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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

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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‘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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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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What I’ve watched lately: ‘I Trapped The Devil’, ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’, ‘The Autopsy of Jane Doe’, ‘A Ghost Story’, ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’, ‘The Innocents’

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Still from The Killing of a Sacred Deer (A24)

Let’s catch up: Behold a list of (mostly) fantastic films I have watched recently.  (Embarrassed to admit that many of these were a first time watch– SO late to the party.)  Regardless– even though each and every one of these deserves an individual, in-depth, analytical review– for the sake of time, I’ll sound off some quick thoughts about each film, and why you should catch up with these jewels (or yell at me because I hadn’t seen many of these until recently.)

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

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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.

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