The central mystery of SPELLBOUND revolves around two questions raised in the film’s first act. Two later sequences are key to understanding this mystery.
Like William Castle, Lewis recognized the value in finding different stories to serve as vessels for his gimmicks.
The function of the soundtrack in Mickey Keating’s RITUAL (2013) illustrates a “soft revolution” as it applies to horror filmmaking.
Written and directed by: Wong Kar Wai Starring: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Faye Wong Background If you want to know something about Hong Kong (HK) cinema,… Read more “Throwback Thursday: Wong Kar Wai’s Classic “Chungking Express” (1994)”
In my observance of successful (and unsuccessful) fundraisers, donors tend to aim more for the physical reward tiers, because there is a sense of sharing in the accomplishment once the energy (and capital) expended yields something you can hold in your hand.
And isn’t this what Rosemary’s Baby ultimately teaches us? That even in a city as sprawling as New York, evil is present behind the faces of those we thought we could trust?
There is a strange, perverse, serendipitous feeling watching Rosemary’s Baby. This first of Roman Polanski’s American films opens with a New York City urban landscape outstretched and panned across, as if what we see is some malevolent box metal toy, wound up and played on the tune of some woman humming an intently sweet and ambiguous lullaby. But instead of some creepy jack-in-the-box, we get something much different in the end. Much more sinister. And utterly human, regardless of its supernatural parentage.
The dark comedy and crime drama aspects of FAULTS (2014) get a lot of play in reviews. This focus is understandable because the film is excellent in these areas. Yet some reviewers overlook or miss its horror features. In fact, it is a horror movie in subtle disguise. Writer-director Riley Stearns uses psychological and supernatural horror tropes to good effect in the film. Both types of horror come from the beliefs and practices of Faults, a religious cult from which deprogrammer Ansel (Leland Orser) attempts to rescue Claire (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).
In the opening post of this series, Ti West’s The Sacrament served as an example of a movie that depicts a textbook “dangerous cult.” But such sinister sects don’t have to be as large as Father’s (or as diverse) to induce a reaction of horror in audiences. In other recent and effective horror films, the cultic groups have been as small as the nuclear family.
The topic of cults has been a perennial theme for horror filmmakers. Movies like The Wicker Man (1973), Suspiria (1977), and Children of the Corn (1984) all have used some form of cultic organization as the basis of their stories. This post is the first in a series that will take a look at the use of cults in horror movies.