Maniac: From Grindhouse to Art-House Horror

William Lustig’s splatter exploitation film, Maniac, remains one of the more controversial horror movies from the 1980’s. It never quite reached the levels of infamy of Silent Night, Deadly Night. Nevertheless, Maniac found its way onto the United Kingdom’s Video Nasties List. Critics have alternately accused the movie as tasteless, misogynistic, or both. Among the […]

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The Wolf Man: Hair of the Dog That Bit You

By the early 1940’s, the Universal Monsters and their respective franchises were losing steam. Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Invisble Man were all into multiple sequel territory. Thus, in December 1941, Universal Studios opted to step outside classic literature, delivering a new monster movie classic – The Wolf Man. The move proved to be a success, extending […]

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Black Christmas: A Remake That Drops a Lump of Coal in Your Stocking

The American Thanksgiving long weekend is over. As of today, we’re just a month away from Christmas. For horror fans, this could mean only one thing – Christmas-themed horror movies. And what better place to start than re-visiting one of the best Christmas horror movies, Black Christmas. Not surprisingly, like just about every horror movie, […]

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Silent Night: Re-Gifting an ‘80’s Cult Classic

To this day, Silent Night, Deadly Night remains one of the most controversial horror films produced. Of course, the controversy that swirled around the 1984 exploitation slasher was misguided at best. Nonetheless, the ‘Santa Claus Killer’ movie reached a similar level of infamy as the ‘Video Nasty List’ in the United Kingdom. And like many […]

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The House on Haunted Hill: Dare To Spend An Evening With This Remake?

Legendary director and producer William Castle was the master of gimmicks. Most of his work was cheesy, low budget B-films. But Castle filmed and marketed his productions with a childlike enthusiasm. As a result, Castle’s movies have retained much of their charms in spite of the passing years. One of Castle’s best movies was The […]

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House on Sorority Row: Pledge the Original, Not the Remake

We are now a couple of weeks into a new school year. In Canada, students have finished their frosh week fun and are likely (or should be) getting into their coursework. Fraternities and sororities at U.S. colleges may still be ‘rushing’ potential pledges. In this edition of Re-Animated, in honour of college life, I’ll be dusting […]

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Flatliners: A Good Day to Die …Then and Now

Human beings have an innate fascination with death. Sigmund Freud once argued that we are born with a death drive. This drive, thanatos,  was characterized by a reckless pursuit of self-destruction. While horror films often revolve around death, another common theme is humanity’s interference with nature. From Frankenstein to Re-Animator, horror has often explored the […]

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The Amityville Horror: Still A Definitive Haunted House Film

It is one of the most famous haunted houses in the world. Amityville, Long Island, where Ronald DeFeo murdered six members of his family in 1974. One year later the Lutz family movie into the same home. Shortly thereafter, they claimed that they had experienced the paranormal. The same house was the subject of an […]

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Prom Night: Make a Date With The Original, Ghost the Remake

Following the slasher-lite renaissance that capitalized on the success of Wes Craven’s Scream, major studios soon opted to re-visit the ‘Golden Era’ of the slasher. The 2000’s witnessed major and minor titles alike get the remake treatment. Unfortunately, studio executives forgot about the ‘slashing’ part in their zeal to corner the youth market. This was exactly […]

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The Thing: Thawing Critical Reception After Over 30 Years

In 1982, upon its initial release on June 25, John Carpenter’s The Thing underwhelmed at the box office. It was met with with either indifference or derision from film critics. Today, The Thing is considered a classic in the horror genre and among the best works of Carpenter. What a difference a few decades make. With the […]

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