Tagged horror

Midsommar Burns with the Midnight Sun

Hereditary (2018) turned a lot of heads for a few reasons, the first of which was probably a total sucker punch of a plot point that was tough for even the most jaded horror fans. Another was the way in which director Ari Aster slid back and forth between the visual language of independent drama and the surrealistic peaks of the character’s supernatural visions. Midsommar is his follow-up to that breakthrough movie, and it is in many ways a...

Annabelle Comes Home Offers a Lighter Kind of Spooky High Jinks

In the ranks of creepy cinematic dolls and toys, the Annabelle offshoot of the Conjuring franchise has been holding her own against the likes of a recently resurgent Child’s Play (2019) and James Wan’s other creepy doll film, Dead Silence (2007). Annabelle Comes Home is the third film to feature the possessed doll since her initial appearance in The Conjuring, and while the other films have looked further back into the origins of the doll, this new offering moves...

The Nightshifter, Now on Shudder, Is a Twisting Genre Mash-Up

Stênio (Daniel de Oliveira) is a mortician who works the overnight shift in a Brazilian metropolis in the throes of gang warfare. The mundane aspects of his work keep him pretty busy, but he also has the ability to communicate with the dead, who are eager to tell him the stories of their deaths and, in some cases, their wishes for revenge. As Stênio’s strained marriage with Odete (Fabiula Nascimento) gets even worse, one of his “patients” gives him...

The Brothers Paranormal Is a Thrilling and Multilayered Asian American Ghost Story

With their coproduction of Prince Gomolvilas’s The Brothers Paranormal, Theater Mu and Penumbra Theatre have brought a must-see performance that sets a high bar for intercultural speculative theater. Directed by Lou Bellamy and billed as a “darkly comic chiller,” the play goes far beyond that description as it unfolds into a stirring adventure involving two Thai American ghost-hunting brothers with dubious qualifications for their calling. At turns horrifying and moving, profound and endearing, it sees the titular Brothers Paranormal...

The Curse of la Llorona Lacks Spirit

I’ve been bingeing a lot of the Supernatural lately. So much that it is a race to finish the entire run in time to conclude the final 15th season with the rest of the real-time fans. One of the charms of that show is how it manages to simultaneously reference, honor, and have fun with the horror genre all in the same program. There are enough weirdo references to reward lifelong genre fans and enough wit to keep it...

The Haunting of Henderson Close Fills the Bill for a Spooky Ghost Story

Because I am a sucker for a plot line with a spooky ghost story, I was drawn to The Haunting of Henderson Close. I was not disappointed at all. Many years ago, a street in Edinburgh named Henderson Close was closed and then built over. Due to the unique nature of the area, it has become a tourist attraction where our protagonist, Hannah, serves as a tour guide, showing people the nooks and crannies of the old street. One...

Jordan Peele’s Us Is Smart, Silly, Scary, and Sophisticatedly Surreal

If Get Out wasn’t enough to convince you that Jordan Peele has a brilliant eye for horror, his latest production, Us, firmly solidifies him among the greatest of directors. His new film is brimming with brilliant staging, clever design, and a level of snark that always keeps the audience engaged in the film’s strange and disturbing nature. There’s a certain playful energy to Us, which functions as an intricate story worth deciphering in its many allegories and assemblies as...

Rob Guillory’s Farmhand Proves You Really Can’t Go Home Again

A Louisiana farmer named Jedidiah receives a vision giving him the information to grow and harvest human organs. His children, Zeke and Andrea, who left the farm years ago, returns upon his request to help him take care of things. The farm is now a super-high-tech, booming business that gives organic transplants to people in need. But with that success come malicious adversaries trying to steal Jed’s work. Unfortunately for Zeke and Andrea, Jed may not be as guiltless...

Overlord Reanimates a Dead Genre

If you told me a year ago that I would be walking through the rain to see a late-night screening of a World War II zombie movie, I would scoffed and gone back to researching New Zealand immigration laws. Things change, of course, and the great thing about movies is that all it takes is one or two totally solid ones to shift the landscape and kick off another trend. As easy as it is to disparage the entertainment...

Suspiria Spills Over with Stimulating Shocks

Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria is every bit as twisted, stylish, and violent as its 1977 counterpart. In the same way that David Gordon Green’s Halloween is a faithful throwback of the John Carpenter classic, Guadagnino adheres greatly to the creepy uneasiness that made Dario Argento’s original film such a nightmarish trip. And while the film is sure to be deeply polarizing for going insane with its panic, terror, and gore, the boldness of its insanity makes it all the more...
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