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.
Grendel. The Green Knight. Count Dracula. The nameless homogenized members of zombie hordes. These are all members of a family tree capable of tracing their origin back to an unusually precise abstract element of human nature. These are monsters whose very existence challenge preconceived notion of what it means to be human by suggesting that what it means to be monstrous is to be nothing more or less than abomination of the one inviolate code capable of ensuring the propagation of the species.
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.
What is the return of the repressed? It is a foundation of Freudian psychology and it is elemental to the construction of horror stories.
“Terror in the Haunted House” was always openly acknowledged to be an experiment in the…
If plans for this big screen reboot of Stephen King’s story about the telekinetic schoolgirl are realized, it will actually be the second cinematic remake. The first was a made for TV movie that aired in 2002. While today the TV version of “Carrie” is looked upon as just another ill–conceived small screen revision of a story not really fit for broadcast network programming, the original genesis was for it to act as pilot for a spin–off series. NBC execs looked at the success of the TV series version of Stephen King’s “The Dead Zone” and hoped for lightning to strike again.
“Terror in a Haunted House” was released at the height of the B-horror gimmick craze exploited to greatest effect by director William Castle. Along with gimmicks like wiring random cinema seats for a joy buzzer effect and allowing audience members to take out an insurance policy against being scared to death was Psycho-rama. That’s just a marketing term for the insertion of subliminal images. Unlike with subliminal advertising, Psycho-rama utilized quick flashes of imagery to intensify on a subconcious level certain expected responses to what was happening on screen.