Category: 2020 Horror Essays

Poltergeist Movie Film

The Erosion of Family in the ‘Poltergeist’ Films

“The ‘Poltergeist’ films will remain eternally relevant as long as America and other countries keep making the same tragic mistakes over and over again, building their own haunted houses for spirits to eventually consume from within.”

The Phantom of the Opera - 2004

Romantic Horror in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ Movie Adaptations

“The six major theatrical adaptations of Phantom’s story cover a wide realm of romantic horror, fully exploiting the themes and concepts within the character.”

Santa Sangre Movie Film

‘Santa Sangre’: A Graveyard for Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Memories

“Santa Sangre’s themes of empathy and hope are uniquely personal for Jodorowsky, and they help bring the film’s horrors and bloodshed into perspective…”

Madman Movie Film

Shudder Slashics: Joe Giannone’s ‘Madman’ Squanders Its Potential

“‘Madman’ frequently flirts with boundary-pushing concepts but ultimately settles for clichés or, worse, just weasels out completely and falls flat on its face.”

The Mutilator Movie Film

Shudder Slashics: Buddy Cooper’s ‘The Mutilator’ Still Boasts a Killer Hook

“Having the killer unmasked and identified is a fresh take on a well-worn trope, while the accidental matricide angle offers a unique, strong premise to kick-start the eventual mini-massacre.”

Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Movie - Deerskin Movie Film

The Cinematic Lineage of Quentin Dupieux’s ‘Deerskin’

“Deerskin’s methodology might be new, but the central tenets of its 77 minutes are part of the same cinematic heritage that created Jim McBride’s indie darling ‘David Holzman’s Diary’ (1967) and Krzysztof Kieslowski’s ‘Camera Buff’ (1979).”

Nobuhiko Ōbayashi

Understanding Nobuhiko Ōbayashi: From ‘House’ to ‘Hanagatami’

“No director has been able to replicate Nobuhiko Ōbayashi’s iridescent, hallucinatory and  infectious passion for film.”

The Black Cat Movie Film

Mythic Conduits for Intimate Pain in Edgar G. Ulmer’s ‘The Black Cat’

“While ‘The Black Cat’ does not share many explicit connections with Poe’s 1843 story, both texts use archetypal symbolism to explore painfully intimate experiences (in Poe’s case, addiction and mental disarray, and in Ulmer’s case, psychological trauma).”

Disaster Film - The Swarm Movie

The Disaster Area: From ‘Airport’ to ‘Airplane!’ – Part Three

Part Three of a Four-Part Disaster Movie Series by Bill Bria

Final Girl Essay - The Black Cat Movie Film

‘The Psychic,’ ‘The Black Cat’ and the Concept of the ‘Final Girl’

“Even though ‘The Psychic’ and ‘The Black Cat’ don’t exist as prominently in the cultural consciousness as ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘Halloween,’ there is a sense that the Final Girls do exist in the wider world of horror…”

Teorema and Visitor Q

Alike in Their Way: (Un)happy Families in ‘Teorema’ and ‘Visitor Q’

“While ‘Teorema’ and ‘Visitor Q’ share a common DNA, what’s most striking is the way each film uses The Stranger. Both figures bring with them a kind of new order, as if they were missing puzzle pieces for the families that they integrate themselves into.”

Horror Endings - The Witch Movie Film

Why Criticism: The Race to Problematize Bittersweet Horror Endings

“In order to fully engage with horror films, it’s important to look at the monster and the world that’s being upended by that monster.”

Joe Dante Movies - Gremlins 2: The New Batch Film Essay

Tone in the Films of Joe Dante: Attack of the Multi-Layers!

“Not quite comedies, not entirely horror movies and not normal family films, Dante’s work continues to impress with the layers each work reveals over time, a key factor in their lasting power.”

1920s World Cinema - The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Spirit of Revolution: How World Cinema Defined the 1920s

“There is a danger and dynamism to 20s cinema which was gradually eradicated by the standardisation of production processes.”