On Having Taken Things Seriously

After a long hiatus, two months ago I posted about taking blogging seriously, and how I was hoping to move past some writer’s block (or is it blogger’s block?) and get back to what made me want to reserve such a ridiculously named WordPress domain in the first place – arguing about what makes movies work.  I thought that maybe focusing on something specific would … Continue reading On Having Taken Things Seriously

What We Do in the Shadows makes a case for mockumentary as a horror sub-genre

For my last film for Shocktober, I picked (or more accurately, gave in to a friend who’d been bugging me for weeks to watch) something still within the horror genre but with a decidedly crooked point of view.  I’m not sure how many Christopher Guest-style vampire mockumentaries there are – or even if this counts as a sub-genre – but What We Do in the … Continue reading What We Do in the Shadows makes a case for mockumentary as a horror sub-genre

Why Steven King is wrong about The Shining‘s representation of alcoholism

Among his many reasons for disliking Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Stephen King said that one of its major failings was to represent Jack’s – and, by extension, King’s – battle with alcoholism the way he intended.  While it’s true that Kubrick’s Jack is very different from King’s, that doesn’t mean Kubrick’s The Shining is less about alcoholism.  Although I’ve see the movie several times, I’d … Continue reading Why Steven King is wrong about The Shining‘s representation of alcoholism

The Thing may not be the scariest movie ever, but it is probably the goriest

Since I started looking into horror films last year, every top ten list had The Thing on it.  I wanted to watch it in 2016, but a combination of limited time and trouble convincing my wife to watch a movie so notoriously gory forced me to postpone it until 2017.  And for such a perennial favorite, I chose to end Shocktober on it.  Sadly, I … Continue reading The Thing may not be the scariest movie ever, but it is probably the goriest

The Shining is still the gold standard for horror

Famously, Steven King hated Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining.  There are a lot of reasons for that, some of which I’ll discuss later, but one comment of his stands out is “Kubrick set out to make a horror picture with no apparent understanding of the genre.”  Maybe that’s true, as The Shining doesn’t look much like the horror films of the 50s that King … Continue reading The Shining is still the gold standard for horror

Alien is as slow as it is scary – in a good way

As I approach the end of Shocktober, I’m returning to another old favorite.  It’s been almost 20 years since I last saw Alien (it was part of a tradition at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor to show scary movies at midnight every Saturday in October – that was all well and good, until it involved me walking home alone at 2am after seeing Alien).  … Continue reading Alien is as slow as it is scary – in a good way