Universal Monsters: Five Legacy-Defining Films

Universal Studios and the Universal monsters of the 1930’s and 1940’s are the template for our Halloween. Mad scientists and hunchback assistants. Angry villagers with pitchforks and torches. Shuffling monsters with electrodes their neck. Full moons and werewolves. An aristocratic vampire. Much of the iconography we associate with movie monsters was created by Universal. Recently, […]

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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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Would You Rather: The World’s Most Awkward Dinner Party

Before Blumhouse was adapting teen party games like Truth or Dare and Seven in Heaven, IFC Films released Would You Rather in 2012. At the time of its release, the low-budget indie horror film didn’t make much of an impact. It certainly wasn’t due to a lack of relevancy. The movie’s story about a millionaire […]

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It Follows: A Modern and Smart Update of the Teen Slasher

You can find good horror films from any era. But it would be hard to argue that the last several years have not witnessed the release of some remarkable genre films. Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, It Follows was a 2015 breakthrough indie hit that generated considerable buzz. Like several recent horror films, […]

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Seven in Heaven: Worse Than a Game of ‘Spin the Bottle’

Blumhouse Productions must have its own version of ‘Santa’s Workshop’ hidden away somewhere. I can almost see a secret army of filmmakers and writers toiling around the clock to produce an endless stream of cheap horror films. Case in point – new teen horror film, Seven in Heaven. Blumhouse unceremoniously dumped Seven in Heaven today […]

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Hold the Dark Is A Brooding and Meditative Thriller

Hold the Dark is the latest collaboration between director Jeremy Saulnier and actor-writer, Macon Blair. Previously, Saulnier and Blair have worked together on independent films Blue Ruin and Green Room. Horror fans have likely seen the lean survival thriller, Green Room. For the uninitiated, Blue Ruin is a beautiful and understated revenge film that you should be […]

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Malevolent Is Scary, But Never as Scary As Its Own Illogical Story

Netflix’s track record for horror and thrillers is pretty spotty in 2018. Ritual was an early hit for the streaming platform, but The Open House and The Cloverfield Paradox were forgettable duds. As Halloween creeps up on the calendar, Netflix is looking to make amends. Over the next few weeks, horror fans have The Haunting of Hill House […]

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Joy Ride is a High-Octane 18-Wheeler of Fun Thrills

Director John Dahl is best known for his neo-noir films from the 1990’s. His filmography includes critically-acclaimed thrillers Red Rock West, The Last Seduction, and Rounders. In spite of his track record, Dahl was an odd choice to helm the J.J.Abrams-penned thriller, Joy Ride. On the surface, Abrams’ highway thriller was essentially an MTV-update on […]

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The Houses October Built 2: A Sequel That Should Have Stayed Buried

The Houses October Built was a 2014 found-footage horror film that carved out a small following for itself. Despite mixed reviews, it was a decent chiller that delivered just enough unsettling mood without exhausting its found-footage approach. Like Hell House LLC and Hell Fest, writer and director Bobby Roe effectively exploited growing public interest in Halloween […]

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Scream for Help Hit Blu-Ray Shelves Last Month

This is the first edition of the Blu-Ray Bin, a new column I hope to post once each month. My goal here is to provide some quick bullet-reviews of horror films recently released on Blu-ray. The column will serve as a round-up of what’s been released each month. Since this is the first edition of […]

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