Tag Archives: Horror

Dare You Not to Watch Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare

I hope you’re scared by bad CGI, because this is about as good as scares get with Truth or Dare

When I first saw the trailer for Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare (2018), I was excited at the prospect of a horror film with a premise so laughably dumb that some sick enjoyment could be taken from it. Unfortunately, Truth or Dare is yet another embarrassing, pandering, and tone-deaf horror flick, suffering from mediocre characters, inconsistent logic, and a general lack of originality.

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A Quiet Place Will Leave You Speechless

A Quiet Place is the type of movie you see in silence through the silhouette of your fingers as you cower in your seat. From the very first emotionally charged opening scene of director John Krasinski’s first foray into the horror genre, audiences will feel invested in the story of the Abbott family. In this post-apocalyptic world, Lee Abbott – played by Krasinksi – his wife, Evelyn Abbott – played by Emily Blunt – and their three children attempt to survive by living as quietly and unobtrusively as they can. Unnamed and deathly monsters lie in wait for the next loud sound to draw them out of hiding.

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Unsane Drove Me Insane

Sawyer Valentini, completely shocked that a hospital would hold a suicidal person for observation

Films released in the first quarter of the year are known for ranging from passable to dreadful. With these low expectations in mind, Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane (2018) still manages to disappoint with its predictable story, messy structure, and generally unimpressive cinematic style.

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The Haunting Visage of Eyes Without a Face

The unsettling visage of Christiane

On a rare occasion, the passage of time helps a film age like a fine wine. Such a rare example of this phenomenon is best observed in the case of Georges Franju’s French horror film, Eyes Without a Face (1960). Released the same year that Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) was criticized for its “vulgar” shot of a flushing toilet, Eyes Without a Face is a movie that phenomenally blends emotional turmoil with the grotesque into a simple story whose unnerving aura transcends time and language. With four screenings of the film scheduled for this week thanks to the Secret Celluloid Society, now is an opportune time to sit back and re-examine a classic that deserves more mainstream attention than it currently has.

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Winchester Fires Nothing but Blanks

Sarah Winchester deserves better than this dreadful film

To believers of the supernatural, the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California is the remnant of an unfortunately haunted widow, while skeptics see the mansion as a monument to the power of inherited guilt. After consulting with a medium who foretold that the spirits killed by Winchester branded rifles would haunt her until her death, Sarah Winchester’s mansion became legendary for having been under construction every day of her life. The end result was a beautifully ornate mansion that once stood seven stories tall, and was filled with over a hundred and fifty rooms, stairwells and doors that lead to nowhere, and had the chaotic floor-plan of a labyrinth. Knowing this, when I heard there were plans to make a film about Sarah Winchester and her interactions with a psychiatrist, I was genuinely excited by the prospect of a horror film that blurred the line between a genuine haunting and tragic psychological turmoil.

How foolish of me to anticipate a horror film released in February.

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Suspiria: The Creeping Fever Dream

Our hero Suzy, infiltrating the inner sanctum that houses the evils of Suspiria

One of the greatest tragedies that can fall on a film is being forgotten in the shadow of a remake or a reinterpretation with a greater relevance in popular culture. Such a phenomenon happens equally with both great films and terrible films, such as John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) or Rupert Wainwright’s The Fog (2005) – both of which are remakes which have overshadowed their predecessors in mainstream consciousness. Such a fate may soon fall on Dario Argento’s unnerving and influential horror film, Suspiria (1977). With a remake slated for release this year, and a screening of the recently discovered uncut version of the film coming to the Coral Gables Art Cinema, now’s a better time than ever to examine why this film from the creator of 1978’s Dawn of the Dead has developed its persistent cult following.

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Panel Discussion: Guillermo Del Toro and the Nuances of Genre in The Shape of Water

Elisa, the film’s mute protagonist, observing the Amphibian Man

January 10th marked the Monsters in the Shape of Water: An Exploration of Genre discussion panel, hosted in collaboration between the Coral Gables Art Cinema and Books & Books. Moderated by Javier Chavez, the Associate Director of the Coral Gables Art Cinema, Miami Herald writer Rene Rodriguez as well as directors Andres and Diego Meza-Valdes assembled at Books & Books to discuss Guillermo Del Toro’s film, The Shape of Water (2017), as well as the nuances of genre with the attending audience. Despite additional seating being brought out twice, the packed panel discussion saw additional members of the audience standing to the sides of the room to listen and engage in the conversation.

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