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.
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.
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.
Horror films have been drawing audiences to the movie theaters for well over a hundred years. While there have been several classic stand-alone films that have garnered critical acclaim, we all know any moderately successful film is likely to be forcefully branched out into a full-fledged franchise in hopes of raking in money for the rest of eternity. With Halloween finally upon us and the month of October drawing to a close, let’s take a look at the top horror film franchises, according to you, our creepy little readers:
Many would agree that on a fundamental level, any film worth watching should be one of the following: a well-made film, or fun to watch – though preferably it should be both. Jigsaw (2017) is the sequel to Saw VII, aka Saw 3D, aka Saw: The Final Chapter (2010), and despite it being a continuation of a series even fans wanted to stay dead and buried, the film is both a significant improvement over the later entries of the series, and it’s such a laughably dumb movie that I honestly didn’t want the film to end.
For the second year in a row, the Miami FearFest will be celebrating short indie horror films from around the world! They will also be bringing in several industry leaders to discuss the art of the craft. Last year, Miami FearFest screened over 60 short film submissions from around the world, spanning genres like horror and science-fiction, and this year promises to deliver just the same! The festival will be held within our very own Graham Center and will run through November 10th and 11th.
Tickets to the event are available here and FIU students can get a 10% discount by entering the promo code FIUSTUDENTS at checkout. Don’t miss out!