The fourth installment of the “Insidious” series opened in US theaters today. For Loud Green Bird, it’s an opportunity to take a look back at the first three movies before seeing the fourth one.
In this second part of a two-part article, I focus on the film(s) that I introduced at the end of the first part: Michael Haneke’s FUNNY GAMES (1997 / 2007).
“Post-horror” is apparently a ‘thing’ now. The thing is, it’s really nothing new.
On one level, Peter Bogdanovich’s first feature film, TARGETS (1968, prod. Roger Corman) is about a shift in horror cinema. In the late 1950s, gothic/supernatural and extraterrestrial monsters started to give way to the monsters of everyday life. TARGETS is a metaphor for this change in the major source of cinematic horror.
It seems fated that horror legends Peter Cushing, Sir Christopher Lee, and Vincent Price share near the same birthdays: Cushing on May 26, and Lee and Price on May 27, even if not the same year. In the hearts and minds of most horror fans, they are three of the most important actors of the genre. All three had acting careers spanning from the 40’s to present, even after their deaths.
Although Wes Craven began his career with low-budget exploitation films later seen as ‘progressive,’ by the mid-80s he seems to be hedging his thematic bets. Case in point: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984).
To start off an intermittent series of Throwback Thursday posts on the Hellraiser movies, I’m going to focus today on the character of Pinhead as portrayed by… Read more “Sh*t Pinhead Says: The Pervert’s Guide to the HELLRAISER Movies (Part 1)”
The implication of its title is that the movie SCHERZO DIABOLICO is a diabolical prank. But who is its devil and what is the joke?
Rather than bore you with my personal choices, I’d rather take a look at what horror fans liked in the past year.
The metaphor of the Golden Buddha is a humorous bit of Hollywood lore. Lew Hunter passes it along in his classic Screenwriting 434 (Revised ed., 2004). In a nutshell, it teaches the lesson that every screenplay is, in essence, a pile of crap. It’s how the writer molds, crafts, and adorns that lump that matters. Artistry determines whether s/he can transform it into a thing of beauty like a golden statue of the Buddha.
Applied to The Neon Demon, Nicholas Winding Refn’s 2016 slow-burn horror-thriller, the Golden Buddha metaphor is apt. From the standpoint of form and style, it is a well-made film, beautiful to watch. In other words, Refn has applied the golden paint to his Buddha with skill. As a story, the movie is a rather thin and clichéd tale. In other words, the statue’s gilding does not hide the material from which its maker has created it.