Christian Bale in American Psycho (2000)
Link to image source:American Psycho – 20 years later by Shawn Conner, Vancouver Sun reporter, SFU instructor, editor/publisher of The Snipe News. Published On: February 6, 2011 - http://www.thesnipenews.com/books/american-psycho/
excerpt from the Library Jounral review of American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis (1991)
...In the first third of the book, Pat Bateman, a 26-year-old who works on Wall Street, describes his designer lifestyle in excruciating detail. This is a world in which the elegance of a business card evokes more emotional response than the murder of a child. Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, Bateman calmly and deliberately blinds and stabs a homeless man. From here, the body count builds, as he kills a male acquaintance and sadistically tortures and murders two prostitutes, an old girlfriend, and a child he passes in the zoo. The recital of the brutalization is made even more horrible by the first-person narrator's delivery: flat, matter-of-fact, as impersonal as a car parts catalog. The author has carefully constructed the work so that the reader has no way to understand this killer's motivations, making it even more frightening. If these acts cannot be explained, there is no hope of protection from such random, senseless crimes. This book is not pleasure reading, but neither is it pornography. It is a serious novel that comments on a society that has become inured to suffering. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/90 and 12/90.-- Nora Rawlinson, ``Library Journal''
Product description: Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is a Wall Street yuppie, obsessed with success, status and style, with a stunning fiancee (Reese Witherspoon). He is also a psychotic killer who rapes, murders and dismembers both strangers and acquaintances without provocation or purpose. Based on the controversial novel, the film offers a sharp satire to the dark side of yuppie culture in the '80s, while setting forth a vision that is both terrifying and chilling.
Excerpt from Roger Ebert's review of American Psycho (2000) / April 14, 2000
The film and the book are notorious because Bateman murders a lot of people in nasty ways. I have overheard debates about whether some of the murders are fantasies ("can a man really aim a chain saw that well?"). All of the murders are equally real or unreal, and that isn't the point: The function of the murders is to make visible the frenzy of the territorial male when his will is frustrated. The movie gives shape and form to road rage, golf course rage, family abuse and some of the scarier behavior patterns of sports fans.
Link to the full article: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20000414/REVIEWS/4140303
Ali Larter in Final Destination (2000)
Link to image source:Scream Queens, Film.com - < http://www.film.com/photos/scream-queens/attachment/ali-larter-final-destination-2000 >
Product description: After an eerie premonition leads a handful of passengers to disembark an ill-fated flight, Death with all its ingenious contraptions of doom at the ready stalks those survivors (Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith and more) one by one in the gory, gleeful shocker that launched the fright-filled film series. Final Destination: the start of it all!
Link to image source: Empire magazine, The Rise And Rise Of Spanish Horror by PHIL DE SEMLYEN and HELEN O'HARA - < http://www.empireonline.com/features/rise-and-rise-of-spanish-horror/p1 >
Product description: THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE is a stylish and unpredictable supernatural chiller from director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Blade 2) which deftly mixes horror, suspense and dark humor. Twelve-year-old Carlos is the latest arrival to Santa Lucia School, an imposing stone building that shelters the orphans of the Republican militia and politicians during the last days of the Spanish Civil War. Carlos gradually uncovers the dark ties that bind the inhabitants of the school: hidden riches, sexual intrigue and the restless ghost of a murdered student. Presented by Pedro and Agustin Almodovar (All About My Mother) and starring Marisa Paredes (The Flower of My Secret), Federico Luppi (Men with Guns) and Eduardo Noriega (Open Your Eyes), THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE is a richly atmospheric, genuinely thrilling ride in the tradition of The Others and The Sixth Sense.
Excerpt from BBC.com review ofThe Devil's Backbone (2001) by Neil Smith |27 November 2001
On the back of "Cronos" and "Mimic", Guillermo del Toro has emerged as one of the horror genre's most striking new talents. "The Devil's Backbone" (El Espinazo del Diablo) may be more conventional than its forebears, but it's still a superior ghost story/murder mystery which confirms del Toro as a name to watch (his next movie will be "Blade 2").
Set in a school-cum-orphanage at the end of the Spanish Civil War, the movie begins as a childhood rite-of-passage for ten-year-old Carlos (Tielve) before spiralling into a "Shining"-style spook fest.
Link to full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2001/11/26/the_devils_backbone_2001_review.shtml
Link to image source: tvtropes.com Literature: The Ring - http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/TheRing?from=Main.TheRing
Originally published in Japan in 1991.
This is the American adaptation of the book and there was a 1998 Japanese adaptation titled Ringu by Hideo Nakata
Product description: Naomi Watts, Brian Cox. A journalist investigates a mysterious video that caused her niece and many others to die of fright, only to find its deadly grip closing around herself as well. 2002/color/115 min/PG-13.
Excerpt from the review of the Ring (2002) by Rebecca Murray of About.com
Just in time for Halloween comes one of the creepiest films in years, "The Ring." Filled with spooky special effects, "The Ring" will have you cringing in your seat and watching parts of the movie through the slits between your fingers placed firmly over your eyes.
Featuring a superb cast that's firing on all cylinders, the movie has quite a few moments of genuine spine-tingling thrills. Not since "The Sixth Sense" has a film built up the horror and suspense so effectively.
Link to the full article: http://movies.about.com/library/weekly/aatheringreview.htm
Link to the image source:Sydney Moring Herald, Star seeks damages over cut from Saw - http://www.smh.com.au/news/film/star-seeks-damages-over-cut-from-saw/2005/08/20/1124435169586.html
Danny Glover, Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell. The horrifying tale of a serial killer so deranged that his MO is to get his victims to play sadistic games in order to survive-that is, to kill each other or die trying so he can teach them the value of life. 2004/color/100 min/R.
The first movie in a series of seven.
Excerpt from "The Amityville Horror" Movie Review for About.com by Rebecca Murray, About.com Guide
“Houses don’t kill people. People kill people.” That’s as deep as this 2005 version of “The Amityville Horror” gets. But then again, I don’t know a single person who goes to an American horror movie and expects deep, philosophical entertainment. Studios understand that and anything that’s even slightly intellectual is yanked out of the horror genre and labeled a thriller. And this isn’t a thriller by any stretch of the imagination. This new, reworked, revamped “Amityville Horror” is a full-on horror flick with character development taking a back seat to ghosts and other things that go bump in the night (at 3:15am to be exact).
I remember the book and I recently caught another airing of the first “Amityville Horror” on cable, and I believe those two factors heavily influenced my view of this remake. It’s impossible to try and forget the first film, or the book it’s based on, while watching this 2005 edition. For pure scares, this one may be the better of the two movies. For sticking to the story as told by the Lutz family to writer Jay Anson, this one appears to have forsaken the source material in lieu of more in-your-face frights.
Link to the full article: http://movies.about.com/od/theamityvillehorror/a/amityvill041405.htm
link to image source: 15 Worst Taglines in Horror Film History : The worst of the worst Horror Movie taglines. By Tim Janson October 27, 2010 < http://www.mania.com/15-worst-taglines-horror-film-history_article_126011.html >
Kirkus: Unearthly doings in tree-lined Amityville, Long Island? Yes, and it's not Caspar the Friendly Ghost who assails the Lutz family. Could it be the disembodied forms of the DeFeos, the previous tenants of 112 Ocean Avenue, massacred in their beds? Anson gets good mileage out of that one. The Lutzes, George, Kathy, and their three children, endured 28 days and nights in their new home before fleeing in terror. The symptoms of some fearful disorder will be recognizable to devotees of the paranormal: intense cold with the thermostat at 80", oozing greenish slime, hooded apparitions, a crucifix turned upside down, the odor of cheap perfume and excrement, flies, moving furniture, and stalling cars. All the trappings of demonic infestation. With their nerves as shattered as their window panes, the poor family decides to evacuate but the house won't let them! Eventually they do escape, and, safely relocated in California, Kathy and George have dredged up these horrors and Anson has duly recorded them. By the end, priests, exorcists, clairvoyants, and demonologists have been enlisted. To avoid the general contamination, don't even cross the threshold. (Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1977)
Link to image source: Spinoffonline:Paranormal Activity Franchise
to Add Fourth Entry This Year - http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2012/01/03/paranormal-activity-franchise-to-add-fourth-entry-this-year/
Product description: This intense edge-of-your seat horror film follows a young suburban couple who record the sinister disturbances in their home while they sleep – even as the domestic haunting becomes more frequent, more threatening and all too personal. Hypnotic and harrowing, Paranormal Activity uniquely delivers frightful suspense punctuated by moments of sudden and unexpected terror, all the way to the shocking ending.
Excerpt from the Guardian Film review of Paranormal Activity (2007) by Peter Bradshaw, guardian.co.uk,
This ingenious and often genuinely frightening film is a digital mocu-real nightmare, based on the idea of "found" video footage, comparable to The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, lower in budget and humbler in scale than both – but arguably scarier than either.
Moreover, it elegantly solves a problem that always threatened to sink both of those films, particularly Cloverfield: how is it that the camera-person so often manages to keep the scary thing more or less in shot? Wouldn't they just drop the camera and run?
Link to the full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/nov/25/paranormal-activity-review
Link to image source:Men on Film: Zombies & Camcorders- http://menonfilm.net/2011/01/24/zombies-camcorders/
Product description: From Executive Producers who brought you Quarantine, comes the movie that inspired the terror. A beautiful TV reporter (Manuela Velasco, Law of Desire) and her cameraman are doing a routine interview at a local fire station when an emergency call comes in. Accompanying the firefighters to a nearby apartment, the news team begins recording the bloodcurdling screams coming from inside an elderly woman's unit. After authorities seal off the building to contain the threat, the news crew, firefighters and residents are trapped to face a lethal terror inside. With the camera running, nothing may survive but the film itself.
Link to image source:Kubrickians.com: Let the Right One In (2008) – Deeply moving and oddly beautiful - http://www.kubrickians.com/2012/10/25/let-the-right-one-in-2008/
Product description: Oscar, a 12-year-old fragile and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl he befriends, who moves into his building. When Oscar discovers that Eli is a vampire it does not deter his increasing feelings and confused emotions of a young adolescent. When Eli loses the man who protects and provides for her, and as suspicions are mounting from her neighbors and police, she must move on to stay alive. However, when Oscar faces his darkest hour, Eli returns to defend him the only way she can.
"Childhood's End: 'Let the Right One In' and Other Deaths of Innocence" gives an excellent overview of the role of children in horror (Free Library card login required to view).
Excerpt from a review of Let the Right One In (2008) by Xan Brooks, The Guardian,
The snow whirls, the nights draw in and a gloomy Swedish housing estate becomes a pocket murderess's hunting ground. Let the Right One In is based on a book by John Ajvide Lindqvist and directed by Tomas Alfredson, a former comedian. Here is a vampire story born out of the shadows; a film of whispered secrets. But don't lean too close: it may well pull out your throat.
Link to the full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/oct/22/let-right-one-alfredson-horror
Alison Lohman in Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Link to image source:Entertainment Weekly: Drag Me to Hell Review by Chris Nashawaty - http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20310790,00.html
Product description: Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is on her way to having it all: a devoted boyfriend (Justin Long), a hard-earned job promotion, and a bright future. But when she’s forced to make a tough decision that evicts an elderly woman from her house, Christine becomes the victim of an evil curse. Now she has only three days to dissuade a dark spirit from stealing her soul before she is dragged to hell for an eternity of unthinkable torment. Director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man and The Evil Dead Trilogy) returns to the horror genre with a vengeance in the film that critics rave is “the most crazy, fun and terrifying horror movie in years!” (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)