Posts Tagged ‘Wes Craven’

Ezra’s Spooktober 2015

Posted 28 Oct 2015 — by Ezra Stead
Category Essay, Film Reviews

By Ezra Stead 

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge is probably my second favorite one in the series, after Craven's original, of course. I’ve decided not to get quite so carried away this time around, but as I said last year, October is my favorite month. Since I tend to watch a lot of horror movies year-round, in October I feel like I have to do something special, so I try to watch almost exclusively horror movies. I watched (or, in many cases, re-watched) a total of 22 before starting this article, and I’m far from finished. In the interest of actually recommending some movies before Halloween, I’m putting this out now, and in the interest of brevity, I’m cutting it down to ten recommendations, grouped together as double features (even though their availability varies a bit). Not all are horror movies, exactly, but I think you’ll agree they’re all on-theme for the season. Enjoy!  Read More

Ezra’s Spooktober 2014

Posted 29 Oct 2014 — by Ezra Stead
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Candyman is one of the all-time great horror films, partly because of its unique atmosphere. If I had to pick a favorite month, it would most likely be October. The weather is perfect and I have all the excuse I need to watch practically nothing but horror movies for a month. This year I watched or revisited 25 films of varying quality, and I’m passing along the recommendations to you. I’ve broken them down into three basic categories, with a fourth “Other” category for those that don’t fit any of the big three. The Undead includes zombies, vampires, Frankensteins, and of course the immortal curse of the Candyman; Mutants & Monsters covers genetic freaks, giant animals and other Things That Should Not Be; Werewolves is pretty self-explanatory. All films are ranked from highest recommendation to lowest, ***** being the highest rating and * being the lowest. Happy viewing!  Read More

Friday The 13th (1980) – Everybody Looking Forward To The Weekend

Posted 03 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Friday the 13th, USA, 1980

Directed by Sean S. Cunningham

Friday the 13th - a film that delivers what it promises. Alfred Hitchcock created the genre: the “slasher” picture. It was 1960, and the film was Psycho. If we wanted to stretch that fact, we can claim that the original slasher film was a small, yet admittedly scary, film called Peeping Tom, directed by Michael Powell. It was released only a few months before Psycho, but didn’t have nearly the same impact on audiences, or critics. Psycho soared to the top, and Peeping Tom was left to be later rediscovered and revered. Hitchcock, without intention, birthed a new era of horror film that wouldn’t come into its prime until 1974 with the release of Bob Clark’s Black Christmas.

Black Christmas redefined what Hitchcock had started, and set the rules in stone: a mentally unhinged masked killer stalks attractive teens and picks them off, one by one, in creative ways. After Black Christmas, then came John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), which cemented the popularity of the genre. After Halloween was a critical and financial success, studios ran with the idea that they could make money selling “dead teenager movies” (a term coined by Roger Ebert) to live teenagers. They were right, and in 1980, the first studio-backed slasher film was released. It was May 9th, and it was Friday the 13th. Read More

Scream 4

Posted 21 May 2011 — by Nicole P
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott MartinScream 4 movie

Scream 4, USA, 2011

Directed by Wes Craven

There are few things worth an eleven year wait, and I was on the fence about Scream 4, at least until the trailer came out. Ever since, I hopped off the fence and onto the bandwagon. I’ll admit that, while I’m a huge fan of the series, only the first Scream (1996) was worth anything until now. Scream 2 (1997) and 3 (2000), while loads of silly fun, are redundant and small compared to the original, which was a game changer for the horror scene at the time. Kevin Williamson’s screenplay is mostly to thank for that, as it dissected pretty much everything audiences then knew about modern horror movies, and again this year, Williamson took the genre back under the knife, grabbiing the clichés we see every weekend and turning them upside down. Make no mistake, this movie is pure formula; we’ve seen it already, hundreds of times. What makes it fun is Wes Craven’s approach to it. He’s still a master of suspense, after all.

It’s been a long time since Craven was the best horror director around; every director has their misfires. He won’t always direct movies like The Last House on the Left (1972) or Red Eye (2005), but it’s good to know that he still has it in him to pump out a solid thriller. Even lately, or at least since ’96, he’s displayed a genuine flair for comedy and being an actor’s director; maybe not in the strictest sense, but his actors are always having fun. Even in his lesser fare, like Cursed (2005), you can tell that the people involved are having a blast. What makes the Scream series so vividly entertaining, however, has always been the screenplays. Even when Kevin Williamson didn’t write Scream 3, his touch was all over it; he’s a smart writer with a flair for quick dialogue. Read More

Black Swan – Sinks In Its Own Shallow Lake

Posted 31 Dec 2010 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Jason A. Hill

Black Swan, USA, 2010

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

black swan ballerina natalie portman movies i didnt getBlack Swan has to be one of the most talked-about films of 2010. You might enjoy this film, but it may be for different reasons than you expect. I give director Darren Aronofsky credit for creating such a provocative and alluring spectacle; it’s all his doing. I don’t think the ballet is any more popular than it was before; the subject matter doesn’t seem to be catching any sort of momentum in pop culture, so why does this film seem to find its way into the middle of so many film conversations?

Aronofsky is known for his psychologically damaged characters, from Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) in Pi (1998) to Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) in The Wrestler (2008), these characters equally recognize their faults and fight to regain their sense of importance as much as they fail and self-destruct. Aronofsky has become the leading director of character destructive descent, but with his latest doomed protagonist, he’s stepped away from the reasonable situations that lead people into their own destruction and settled for pure insanity. Read More