Part two of the Poseur’s Guide to Horror Films takes us from Val Lewton to the impact of the transformation from foreign and uncanny monsters to psychos who look like the guy in the mirror.
The Poseur looking to discuss horror films intelligent has a lot of ahead of him. Enough that the guide will have to expand past one part at the very least.
Almost everyone familiar with Hollywood already knows the secrets of “Psycho” going in, but that was not the case when it was first released. Psycho” prefigures the contemporary dominance of literary irony as the tone of choice for the overwhelming majority of films made today. This foreknowledge of what to expect allowed Van Sant to remake “Psycho” almost exactly as Hitchcock did but defy contemporary conventions by eliminating the irony and creating a film that is actually rather radical in its emotional sincerity.
Horror films are supposed to be dark. These three go beyond darkness.
A poor ending can ruin what had been a great horror movie while a fantastic ending can breathe new life into a flick that has only been halfway decent in the lead-up. Here are some choices for the best and worst horror movie endings ever.
Don’t believe the title. “World Without End” manages to present a 1950’s vision of the apocalypse that strings together time travel, nuclear war, enormous spiders, mutated human beings, reverse gender roles and class distinction.
Just when Hollywood was on the verge of potentially losing the battle to dominate world cinema due to its commitment to crushing homogeneity of product, Hitler unexpectedly saved the day by sending us the greatest directors and writers of the 1930’s.
Is the image of white guys playing the Indians in westerns offensive to you? Imagine how offensive it must be to Native Americans. Of course, an argument can be made that laughter is the most subversive form of insurrection.
Reports that footage of the accident was actually included in the film upon release may or may not be merely the stuff of Hollywood urban legend, but even if true the point is entirely moot at this time as “The Skywayman” is another one of early Hollywood’s lost films.
Zac Efron is being punished for the unjust criticism; the man delivered the single most chillingly accurate portrayal of Ted Bundy yet to be captured on film. Yeah, no one is more shocked than I am to see me praising the acting of Zac Efron to the skies, but damn it, give credit where freaking credit is due. He nails it. He is brilliant!