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Posts Tagged ‘horror films’

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Image: I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House poster. Image of a woman in 19th century dress in profile, her arms are attached backwards. Source: IMDB

In the course of doing this series, I always find a couple of duds–films that aren’t very interesting, not ones I can recommend as feminist horror films but also not ones that clearly illustrate problematic elements. (2016: The House on Sorority Row, The Moth Diaries)

Lily Saylor is a in-home hospice care-giver who is afraid of horror stories. She moves to Braintree, MA, to care for Iris Blum, a retired horror author who has dementia and keeps calling her “Polly.”

Major spoilers ahead.

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mother-posterI didn’t end up seeing Mother!, especially not after reading Dahlia Grossman-Heinze’s article “I Saw ‘Mother!’ So You Don’t Have To” because I’m so sick of men writing work in which the violence men enact on the bodies of women, nonbinary folks, and femmes is used as OMG AN ALLEGORY I BET Y’ALL DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING. (Looking at you, My Absolute Darling, glad exploiting the abuse of women put money in a man’s pocket.)

Article contains major spoilers; quote below does not.

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After reading yesterday’s article, I found Wes Craven’s A New Nightmare on Netflix. I had actually seen some of it on TV in college, but never ended up watching the whole thing. This meta horror, as the author of “Choosing Monsters Over Women” writes, pre-dates the meta horror in Scream, which takes place in the late 90s with a group of teens who have seen 70s and 80s slasher movies.

In New Nightmare, Heather Lagencamp, the actress who played Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street and Dream Warriors, plays herself, with Wes Craven, Robert Englund, and Rob Saxon also playing themselves. Nancy and Wes have both been having nightmares about Freddy Krueger. Wes has been writing a screenplay and explains that Freddy is actually some ancient evil that gets trapped in narratives, which have to be kept alive to trap the monster. (If that’s not some franchise meta, I don’t know what is.) Nancy, however, isn’t just dreaming about Freddy—he is terrorizing and trying to murder her family.

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Tales of Halloween poster

Poster for Tales of Halloween. Text reads “One Night. One Town. Ten Chilling Stories.” Image of a gnarled, leafless tree in from of a giant moon; the sun is setting orange on the horizon like flames.

Let’s take a break from The Haunting for a moment for this live-blog-style recap of a horror anthology, currently available on Netflix.

This credits sequences is 90s AF and I love it. It reminds me of Are You Afraid of the Dark?.

I’m going to do this as a recap to try to capture the short-and-frantic mood of the anthology. I’ve written each recap as a spoiler-free intro and then a recap of the whole short with spoilers; the text is in white so you can highlight it.

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The Haunting PosterI’ll cut to the chase: This film is a hot mess. It basically takes all the interesting bits of the 1963 version and book and strips them of anything atmospheric or subtle to make room for CGI GHOSTS.

I don’t hate CGI just for the sake of hating it. CGI can be used to enhance or create animation. It can be seamless with other special effects. But not in this film, where Director Jan de Bont hopes that you won’t notice the wooden acting or plot holes because you’ll be so distracted with the CGI curtain ghosts and loud noises.

Spoilers ahead!

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Body-Horror_web

Illustration by Kelsey Wroten for Bitch Media. The image is an illustration of a women with bobbed hair and a defiant expression holding up a hand as her arms and torso crumble away.

Body horror is my least favorite genre of horror films, but I love this article from Bitch Media (available online and in the “Blood and Guts” issue): “A New Wave of Body-Horror Films Focuses On Women” by Tammy Oler, who writes about eight films from the 2010s that use “the subgenre to explore harrowing relationships between women and their bodies, confronting us with the grim reality that our ideas of body image may be more fraught than ever.”

 

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I have seen so much of Michael Douglas’s ass in the last month. Why is this happening.

fatal-attraction-poster

Poster for Fatal Attraction: Michael Douglas as Dan Gallagher holds Glen Close as Alex Forrest; the image is torn as if a photograph ripped in two

Fatal Attraction (1987) is not as laughably bad as Basic Instinct, but it’s still bad: stereotypes about “crazy” ex-girlfriends, women having no chill in affairs or casual sex, and “women amirite.” However, my favorite part of the movie is Ellen, the small and adorable gender-nonconforming child. Faculty of Horror made fun of this child for being “gender confused,” but Ellen, along with Quincey the Dog and Whitey (yeeesh) the Rabbit, are obviously the best part of this movie, and don’t deserve the garbage their dad and Alex heap upon them.

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