Look at the bottom of this post and you'll see the images of two teenage lead actresses in recent horror films: one is the star of Insidious 3; the other, the star of It Follows. Both have reason to fear.
The horror franchise Insidious: Chapter 3 opens in theaters today. The film is a prequel to the 2010 and 2013 films and focuses on paranormal investigator Elise Reiner (Lyn Shaye) and her personal and professional history.
It Follows is a killer thriller that stays with you. Even as I write these words, more than six weeks after seeing the film, I can't listen to a single note of its soundtrack without shuddering and casting a nervous glance over each shoulder.
Instead of being just a flat rip-off of current trends, this first film from writer/producer Nelson Greaves is surprisingly inventive, eerie, and fresh -- even throwing in some Final Destination-style gore for folks who need that kind of roughage in their horror diets.
Beyond their muted hipster tendencies, having the teens watch those specific films is a sneaky way of establishing tone. Even before Jay's curse is induced, she and her friends are already engulfed by suburban sprawl.
If the point of watching a scary movie is to be scared, and one has no part of their worldview that accepts the possibility of the events being depicted happening in some way to themselves, how can a scary movie do its job, for them?
Hotels inspire the horrific and macabre, and with Halloween almost upon us it's time to celebrate haunted rooms, menacing presences, poltergeists, and even the occasional Log Lady lurking in the lobby.
I never understood peoples' attraction to horror movies but, as a writer-turned-filmmaker who just spent three days totally immersed in the genre (courtesy of Shriekfest Horror Film Festival in Los Angeles), I have a newly-developed appreciation for the films.
1) If someone offers to sell you a beautiful house in the country for an unbelievably low price, do not make the purchase. As nice as it sounds, the house is evil and you and your family will be dead within a month.