The Blair Witch Project and the Challenge of Franchise Building

When it was released in 1999, The Blair Witch Project was as much a cultural phenomenon as it was a box office sensation. David Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez’s found-footage format film was a cross-over hit. This was popular culture that inspired water-cooler talk. Its viral marketing campaign, which included mock news and documentary footage, was the […]

Read More

Technology in Horror: A Brave New World of Terror

Horror films resonate with audiences in part because they allow us to explore ours fears in the safety of theatres. The Jetsons may have promised a future where technology and humanity lived in harmony, but our reality is entirely different. The interconnected digital world has given us instant content-on-demand where almost no aspects of our lives […]

Read More

The ‘Rural Other’ in Backwoods Horror

John Boorman’s 1972 film Deliverance is considered a landmark achievement in cinema. Its story of four ‘big city’ friends stalked and assaulted by backwoods locals on a wilderness canoe trip earned multiple Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. While not a horror film, Deliverance played a significant role in popularizing one of horror’s most popular subgenres […]

Read More

Shout at the Devil: Satan, Heavy Metal, and Horror

Get out your devil horns. If you grew up in the 1980s, there’s. a good chance you may have listened to Motley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, or Iron Maiden. I went to a Catholic high school and distinctly recall getting a detention or having an Iron Maiden poster in my locker – it was considered morally […]

Read More

The Pro-Faith Horror Film: Scaring Them Back Into the Pews

In one of Stephen King’s earliest novels, Salem’s Lot, the master vampire, Barlow, confronts the small-town priest, Father Callahan, challenging him to a duel of “faith against faith”. Salem’s Lot was adapted as a 1970s television movie by Texas Chainsaw Massacre director, Tobe Hooper, and while some aspects of the confrontation are altered, both versions […]

Read More

The Babadook (2014)

Horror films have the potential to be both transgressive and subversive. Perhaps not surprisingly, the family has frequently been a source of horror in the genre. Films like Poltergeist and Halloween wherein suburban homes and family are under siege from unspeakable entities exploit fears and insecurities around our expectations of safety afforded by the family […]

Read More