Revisiting . . . Jaws (1975)

Some films have such an influence on you it can feel like there was never a time in your life that you hadn’t seen it; you’d been born knowing its nuances and meanings, almost like a parent in the way it helped to form your beliefs.

I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom Jaws was their first experience in true terror. After its release, a whole generation of kids were suddenly petrified of going into the sea and an entire species was vilified, but as well as bringing horror into the family home, Jaws gave birth to the modern blockbuster […]

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The Best of Horror Movie Box Art 3

You’re a child of the 80s and your parents take you for a trip to the veritable cave of wonders that is your local VHS Store. They’re probably in a hurry to get somewhere, and as a result set about influencing your decision, suggesting family-friendly titles such as The Karate Kid, E.T. or The Goonies.

Those movies are all well and good, in fact they’re all brilliant […]

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Revisiting . . . The Shining (1980)

There is a sense of inevitability about The Shining that grabs you by the throat and never lets go.

The movie is a grandiose exercise in terror which favours stark imagery and subliminal horror over traditional storytelling. It is an experience that possesses you from the very beginning, and from the seemingly innocuous overhead shots of Glacier National Park, Montana, you are saturated with a sense of inescapable doom […]

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Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988)

You can’t keep the dead down for good.

In 1985, writer Dan O’Bannon put an interesting spin on the zombie genre with The Return of the Living Dead. Mixing humour with horror and adding a dash of punk to the film’s style and soundtrack, Return satirized the films of George A. Romero by insinuating that Night of the Living Dead was based on true events. It also proved to be a capable zombie picture in its own right […]

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Shocker (1989)

By 1989, the horror genre had become rather tepid.

Thanks to the chastening whip of the MPAA and BBFC during the mid-1980s, the genre would descend into cartoonery as a way to reach a broader audience. Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn would lead the way in that respect, and some movies were able to pass explicit gore based on absurdity, while others, such as Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, added depth as a way to counterbalance the meaningless nihilism that would outrage a generation […]

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Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

Happy Birthday to Me is a unique entry in an infamously uninventive sub-genre.

Then Canada’s highest grossing movie to date, many of its positives are purposeful, others not so much, but even its patchy moments are unique in their own right, making this one of the superior efforts in the slasher cannon. Made before the genre slipped into the kind of post-certificate self-parody that has no use for genuine acting, the movie stars Little House in the Prairie’s Melissa Sue Anderson, her angelic image proving quite the juxtapose, while legendary […]

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The Best of Horror Movie Box Art 2

You’re a child of the 80s and your parents take you for a trip to the veritable cave of wonders that is your local VHS Store. They’re probably in a hurry to get somewhere, and as a result set about influencing your decision, suggesting family-friendly titles such as The Karate Kid, E.T. or The Goonies.

Those movies are all well and good, in fact they’re all brilliant […]

Read Article →

Christmas Evil (1980)

Someone had to do it.

After the unmitigated seasonal success of John Carpenter’s Halloween, it was inevitable that Kris Kringle would get the the psycho treatment. After all, what better gimmick to guarantees success? Transgressive cult director John Waters went on record as saying that Lewis Jackson’s Christmas Evil is ‘the greatest Christmas movie ever made’. So how highly does this pre-certificate slasher rank in relative terms? […]

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Revisiting . . . Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Some movies are a victim of their time.

Whatever one may think of Charles E. Sellier’s exploitative festive slasher Silent Night Deadly Night, one thing is for certain: it has found a rather prominent place in horror movie history.

Back in the winter of 1984, the movie was pulled from theatres a week after its release due to widespread protests regarding an advertising campaign which depicted jolly old Saint Nick as a bloodthirsty killer. Incredulously, those ads ran on prime time television, which led to an almost medieval outrage from PTA members who had left their children watching Little House on the Prairie, only to […]

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