Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Beach House (2019)

The Beach House (2019)
Dir- Jeff Brown

It is not uncommon for a horror movie to occur in a location that would otherwise be seen as a vacation destination. In director Jeff Brown's The Beach House, a seemingly perfect vacation home becomes the setting for terror as four people encounter a mysterious series of events that seem to be coming from the sea. 

Emily (Liana Liberato) and Randall (Noah Le Gros) are a young college couple hoping to reignite their relationship by staying at his estranged father's remote beach house. Their seemingly perfect weekend is interrupted by another couple who are already using the house. They decide to make the best of the situation and enjoy food, wine, and recreational drugs. Yet a strange illness begins to affect each of them as they encounter some bizarre events that test their trust in each other as well as reality.     

The Beach House arrives on Shudder during a global pandemic with its plot that is all too relatable to many viewers who have had to socially isolate. The film blends several horror genres mixing a little Cronenberg with some Lovecraftian imagery. Liana Liberato is well cast as a scientifically minded young woman who has her whole world shaken. She witnesses her boyfriend and house guests, each falling ill to an unknown but seemingly natural threat. The shift in horror styles is carried out quite well and allows the movie to set its own path, giving viewers a terrifying journey as they are left little time to figure out what is going on. 

The Beach House makes effective use of isolation and the threat of an unknown illness to make it a surprisingly scary movie that makes use of bizarre visuals and some gory imagery that helps it stand well against more significant big budget horror films. 

Three and a Half Stars out of Five 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Metamorphosis (2019)

Metamorphosis (2019)
Dir- Hong-seon Kim

After losing a young woman in a failed exorcism, a young priest Joong-soo (Bae Seong-woo), begins to lose faith and considers leaving the priesthood. His faith is then challenged when the vengeful demon seeks out his brother's family and terrorizes them in their new home.

In recent years Korean horror movies have made quite an impact with films such as A Tale of Two Sisters, I Saw The Devil & The Wailing winning praise from critics and fans worldwide. Director Hong-seon Kim's film Metamorphosis pits a family of five against a vengeful demon that can change its appearance to mimic family members. The family first thinks the pranks are from their new neighbor. Still, it is soon shown that each family member's strange behavior may be the result of a demon targeting them due to the recent fight it had with the father's younger brother, who is the priest from the beginning. 

In some ways, Metamorphosis uses many of the same elements used in other possession movies, such as The Exorcist and The Wailing. Director Hong-seon Kim deviates from the usual possession trope by having the demon mimic one of the family to disrupt their daily routine and sow distrust in them as they are not sure who among them is possessed. This is aided by the great performances of the cast that include Sung Dong-il as the father Kang-goo, Young-nam Jang as the wife and mother Myeong-joo. Not only do they play themselves, but they also portray their demonic doppelgangers who, at times, are difficult for even the audience to determine if they are real or demonic influence. 

The film makes excellent use of practical special effects, especially the makeup prosthetics used to make each of their evil double look genuinely terrifying. The movie is frightening enough to recommend for older audiences as young children may be easily terrified by the imagery. Despite its Asian setting, the film should not seem too foreign as most horror fans will be familiar with the usual tropes found in possession movies. Metamorphosis should be appreciated for the great cast, frightening imagery, and the special effects that make the film worth checking out.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Jaws 2 (1978)

Jaws 2 (1978)
Dir- Jeannot Szwarc

"Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water."

Things are going great for Amity Island as tourism is picking up, yet Officer Brody soon discovers that another shark is lurking the depths after a series of accidents occur. This time it's his two sons and their friends who are being stalked by ole Bruce the Shark, and with its nasty overbite, some of the teens are going to wish they stayed ashore. Sequels are often not as good as the source film, and with few exceptions, this film is pretty much the case. Jaws 2 is not the classic horror film that the first one is and has a slightly less dark feel to it. Still, the movie is entertaining, and when you compare it with the follow-up films, it is a decent movie 40 years after its release. Not as commercially or critically acclaimed as the 1975 classic, Jaws 2 still rates as an above-average sequel and is worth checking out if you avoid the other two movies.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Warning: Do Not Play (2019)

Warning: Do Not Play (2019)
Dir- Kim Jin-won

A young filmmaker struggling to make a horror movie is drawn to a legend of a student film that was banned after some people died when it premiered. The search for this movie and the obsession of the young director is the focus of the film Warning: Do Not Play. Directed by Kim Jin-won and starring Seo Ye-ji as Mi-Jung, Warning: Do Not Play is more mystery than horror but does borrow elements of popular Asian horror films such as Ringu and Lights Out. The movie appears to be told in a usual fashion. A series of flashbacks reveal that the story we see might be more than just a simple mystery as Mi-Jung discovers that her quest for the horror movie may be more hazardous mentally than physically. Director Jin-won's previous film The Butcher was a brutal found footage film, yet this film is less gory and a more traditional ghost story. The movie does have a great opening that sets up the events but loses steam until the end, which may confuse some viewers. With so many outstanding Korean horror films released in recent years, it is disappointing that Warning: Do Not Play does not have the impact of a movie such as Train to Busan or I Saw the Devil. It instead follows in the path of Japanese horror films with its ghost centered story. It certainly is a decent film in its own right, but it will not stand out too much compared to its contemporaries.         

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)- Joe Bob's Last Drive In

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

Ever wonder what would happen if you shoved a piece of wrought iron into your leg. Ever wonder what would occur if you suddenly developed a metal fetish. Using some techniques that seem more suited for a rock video, Tetsuo starts and finishes as if the director was on speed, and maybe something stronger. The film starts with a shocking scene of a man who cuts open his leg and inserts a metal shaft into the skin. The pain notwithstanding, he then runs into the street and gets hit by a passing motorist. The man in the car then suddenly develops a strange personal affliction, while he is shaving a piece of metal sticks out of him. He then finds himself being stalked by an unknown woman who is not entirely human. Even though the movie is about an hour-long, Tetsuo has the pacing of a much longer film. The rapid sequences and nightmare-like imagery create an atmosphere that rivals something by David Lynch.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019)

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019)

A retrospective into the life of actor Mark Patton and the single role that defined his short career. What should have been a stepping stone for more significant roles ended up destroying his promising career as his closeted lifestyle came out amid a national panic with the AIDs virus. Scream, Queen shows Mark's life from his childhood to working on Broadway at 23 and being cast in A Nightmare on Elm Street Sequel. The film shows interviews with several of Mark's castmates, including Robert Rusler, Kim Myers, Jack Sholder, and Robert Englund. Mark's post-Freddy world is also explored as his world is shaken by the AIDs crisis of the mid-'80s, learning his partner was dying and how he struggled with the same illness. Leaving Hollywood and retiring to Mexico, Mark would enjoy a life of anonymity until he was rediscovered for the Never Sleep Again documentary. The final act shows how Mark was able to step back into the world of horror through fan conventions, and special appearances were he was able to enjoy the support of fans and the gay community that appreciated his role as a male scream queen. The movie is cathartic and shows how Mark was able to address the problems he faced with the director and writer. We also see the impact that homophobia played in Mark's life and how he used it to empower himself and others as fan opinion on Freddys Revenge is now being reassessed. An excellent documentary for an actor who deserves more appreciation and shows that despite the challenges he faced, he can now embrace his role as the first male scream queen.    

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)- Joe Bob's Last Drive In

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Dir- Ruggero Deodato

Like the spaghetti westerns of the sixties, Italian cannibal films were the rage in the seventies. Like many of those westerns, these films had similar plots as well as the same tragic conclusions. A group of white explorers would enter the dense jungle of the Amazon rainforests and meet up with seemingly friendly cannibals who were only looking to have these guests as their next meal. With the many films made, one wonders why no one noticed the very similar techniques and stories. We see women gang-raped, and men getting castrated or having their skulls opened up for a dessert of fresh brain. Everyone seemed to be a potential meal for each other. Cannibal Holocaust is considered by many to be the most graphically intense and brutal film ever made even compared to its grotesque contemporaries.   

The film begins with an award-winning documentary expedition, who travel to the Amazon to film cannibal tribes. Months pass, and not a word is heard from them. A rescue/search party is put together and led by a Professor Harold Monroe, along with his guides he travels to the Amazon and hopes to discover the fate of the expedition and possibly get their lost film. The footage brought back by Prof Monroe is shown to an audience, and the outcome of the film crew is revealed for the remainder of the film. What sets this film apart from the other cannibal stock is the brutal nature of both the cannibals and the explorers. The addition of real animal deaths is quite unsettling and resulted in the film being banned in Italy. It may have been included to suspend our belief, but little can divert the fact that this is still a cannibal movie and a ruthless one. The filmmakers revel in showing us that the explorers are, at times, just as cruel and brutal as the savages they are documenting. Director Ruggero Deodato created the film as a commentary on sleaze journalism and how they often exploit death for ratings. Yet, he became a target of criticism due to the animal deaths that occurred. As a sign of the human condition, this film gets bloodier, darker, and unsettling with each scene in hypocritical contrast to the Directors supposed intent to criticize the very violence this movie seems to excel in. Cannibal Holocaust was the most notorious of the many cannibal films of its era; it is also the first found footage movie predating The Blair Witch Project by 20 years. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Shining- Forty Year Anniversary

The Shining (1980)
Dir- Stanley Kubrick

As a filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick is one of the best when you team him with an outstanding novel by horror writer Stephen King you have a film that will set a place in cinema history. Before I go any further, I would like to add that it is weird how this film seems to have such a strong response from the horror community that the film is either loved or truly loathed. Jack Nicholson is a school teacher turned writer who takes a job as a caretaker of a Colorado resort. He takes his wife (Shelley Duvall), a 5-year-old boy (Danny Lloyd), along looking forward to the resort's peace and solitude. They meet Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers), who works as a cook, explains the finer points of the hotel, and develops a bond with the son. The boy learns of his special gift, The Shine, the ability to communicate without words. This psychic sense gives the young boy fears that his father may hurt his mother and himself. As the days go by and the snow falls, we witness Jack spending hours typing away; at the same time, his son has some bizarre psychic revelations. Kubrick, who uses his familiar theme of dehumanization and alienation, handles the eventual breakdown most uniquely; Jack has many strange visions and begins to feel the hotel possessing him. Will he fall into total madness, or will he be able to take back control before he kills his family? There are many arguments over whether this film captures the true spirit of the novel or merely allows Kubrick to indulge in his own story. You can debate both sides, and all of this seems to distract from the outstanding film and one of the best horror movies of the 1980s. 

The Exorcist III (1990)- Joe Bob's Last Drive In

The Exorcist III (1990)
Dir- William Peter Blatty
George C Scott is a police detective named Bill Kinderman investigating a series of grisly murders committed by a serial killer. Unlike your run of the mill psycho, we have something that may very well tie into the supernatural and the very forces of good and evil. His investigation turns up a copycat killer who is following the wicked deeds of the Gemini Killer, who was executed the night of Regan McNeal's exorcism in the first installment. We learn even more may be happening in this well-made sequel that returns some of the glory and terrors that Exorcist 2 lacked. Scott is compelling, taking the role played by the late Lee J Cobb in the first, but who can forget Brad Dourif in one of his creepiest performances. Well worth a look.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Heathers (1988)- Joe Bob's Last Drive-In

Heathers (1988)
Dir- Michael Lehmann

We all remember those cliques in high school; you know the snobby kids who had it all and made those outside suffer, and of course, we always wanted in. It seems that Westerberg High is being run by a trio of mega bitches, each named Heather. Their latest addition is a young lady named Veronica, and she is used for nothing more than writing bogus love letters. Suddenly a new and mysterious boy moves in and takes a liking to Veronica. JD is a loner, and his sense of humor is quite deadly. Together they engineer a series of fake suicides to make the school a better place and end up making the very teens they hated into tragic victims of the teenage problems they are mocking. "Heathers" came upon the scene and opened up the doors of dark comedy to a whole new generation of MTV vidiots. The film is very morbid, and the subject matter is quite shocking, but the direction of Michael Lehmann is well played, and the portrayals of the students involved come across most effectively. This film does speak out to so many of us who went to school and felt left out. Most noted are Wynonna Rider and Christian Slater as the murderous duo, but kudos go to a pre 90210 Shannon Daugherty, who portrays the scheming brunette, Heather Duke.

Maniac (1980)- Joe Bob's Last Drive-In

Maniac (1980)
Dir- William Lustig

Another movie that made my Disturbing Movies list. A low-budget gore flicks with no moral perspective that its makeup artist wanted to be removed from its credits. Tom Savini would later become famous for his award-winning FX as well as acting and directing many later horror films, yet his realistic FX is the only saving grace in this gutter movie. Like many horror films, we have a loner with no social grace or personality, in this case, a real mama's boy who enjoys murdering women and using their scalps to adorn his mannequins. The nature of this habit is nothing more than his perverse sexual pleasure. He is suffering from the torment of an abusive mother and longs for her love. Pity, because the audience is treated to little more than the graphic scenes of murder and the mutilation of the victims shown in gory red detail. Like many other slasher films, this one displays strong anti-woman feelings and the attitude that women are only good for killing and raping. Showing little if any value this film only seems to sink into the abyss of cheap slasher flicks, yet it's clear immoral tone and downright negative feelings towards the woman in general place it in the hall of the disturbed. Carolyn Munro appears very much against type as a woman who is drawn to this sicko, but will he do her in or can she escape his attention.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Blood Sucking Freaks (1977)- Joe Bob's Last Drive-In

Blood Sucking Freaks -(1977)
Dir- Joel M Reed

There are those films that are so outrageous that they are considered camp, yet this is not one of them. Also known as The Incredible Torture Show, this title seems more appropriate for this sick film. The setting for this movie is an off-off-Broadway Grand Guignol style show. The wicked magician Sardu shocks people with his realistic torture scenes that are not only genuine but also live in front of an audience. The theater is a cover for his group of sadists who enjoy kidnapping and torturing young naked women. Behind the scenes, his assistant Ralphus keeps some caged women cannibals for their evil deeds. Sardu also enjoys using these women as human dartboards and urinals. Whether it is meant as a joke is debatable as these scenes are shown with a sick tone and the events are taken for granted, talk about pure exploitation. The real trick is that the special effects are some of the worst on-screen; the blood looks like red paint, and a decapitation scene was laughably bad. The scenes of torture and dismemberment are so fake a nine-year-old could do better. Either way, Blood Sucking Freaks is a sad attempt to attain camp status, and since the movie was made with a small budget, it shows. Try sitting through this one more than once.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Bride of Frankenstein(1935)

Dir- James Whale
The monster having survived the fire in the mill that had supposedly killed him is taken in by a blind hermit.  He teaches him to speak and falls under the evil influence of another scientist who presses him to demand a mate from Dr. Frankenstein. A rare sequel that is better than its predecessor, the film marks the reappearance of Boris Karloff as the monster and Elsa Lanchester as both Mary Shelley and the classic bride we all remember. Bride of Frankenstein is considered by many critics and filmgoers to be the greatest of the Universal Monster movies and remains of the best films of that era.

Friday, April 10, 2020

House of Wax (1953)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

House of Wax (1953)
Dir- Andre De Toth

House of Wax was the first color 3-D movie, and it was the efforts of Director Andre De Toth that made it one of the best. He believed that if well employed, 3-D could be used as an extension of the film to make it an even more satisfying experience. Vincent Price plays a mad sculptor who produces superbly realistic wax figures for his museum. With the adoration of his patrons, no one is aware that the sculptures have a dark secret. The movie makes good use of the surroundings to create an atmosphere reminiscent of 19th Century Victorian London. Although the film was based on the 1930's film Mystery of the Wax Museum, House of Wax makes a radical change in the story by employing a finale more reminiscent of the Phantom of the Opera. A film that seems to bank entirely on the performance of its star and, in this case, was successful. Vincent Price was a great actor who starred in many classic films, yet he would always be typecasted into horror roles. A real pity, Vincent Price, was a great performer with plenty of range.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

New Episode of The Midnight Manor Podcast

In this episode of The Midnight Manor Podcast, The Losman and Lady Winters talk about their trip to Bastrop for the Cult Classic Convention, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Candyman, and the appeal of Urban Legends in horror.


Sunday, January 19, 2020

Tremors (1990)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Tremors (1990)
Dir- Ron Underwood

Remember those movies of the fifties.  The ones that relied on the big scary monster and our fear of the unknown pretending to be Communism. Tremors take us to those beautiful days and give us a good scare and a dose of fifties style horror. It seems that an unidentified creature is killing the folks of a sleepy desert town. Two junks dealers meet up with a researcher and discover the monster at hand. They return to town to the amazed looks of the locals and are suddenly held hostage by even more of the tunnel dwellers. Tremors did not rely on mere gore like many monster movies of this period; it uses the fear of the unknown and places its heroes at odds with an unstoppable menace that has trapped them. Great practical creature effects highlight the intense performances by Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon as the two junk dealers. The real kudos go to Reba McIntyre and Michael Gross, who play a pair of survivalists in roles that are very far from their usual selves. A welcome addition to the field that was sorely lacking in a great monster movie.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Cloverfield (2008)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Cloverfield (2008)
Dir- Matt Reeves

A monster attack on New York City is seen through the shaky video camera of a group of friends who flee the city and face threats from the creature as it tears through the city. Matt Reeves directs this found footage film that made excellent use of viral marketing to play up the fear as we see the events unfold before seeing the creature entirely.

Scanners (1981)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Scanners (1981)
Dir- David Cronenberg

A homeless man named Vale with psychic abilities is recruited by a group to do battle with a powerful psychic known as Revok. Both men are known as Scanners and possess the ability to read minds and other skills that would make them powerful weapons. As Vale is trained to understand his abilities, he has to avoid assassins sent out by Revok and learn the secret of their abilities. Scanners is a 1981 sci-fi horror movie directed by Canadian David Cronenberg. The film was notable for the fantastic special effects created by makeup artist Dick Smith that included the famous head explosions. The film has become a cult classic and one of Cronenberg's most memorable movies along with The Fly remake.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Women Who Made An Impact in Horror in 2019

Allison Williams
The daughter of former NBC anchor Brian Williams, Ms. Williams made a name for herself with a popular Youtube video that got the attention of Judd Apatow, who cast her on the HBO series Girls. Her role as Peter Pan drew the attention of Jordan Peele, who cast her in his hit 2017 black comedy Get Out. She added to her horror movie resume with a part in the 2019 Netflix horror movie The Perfection as well as the black comedy series A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Logan Browning
With a career spanning 15 years, Ms. Browning appeared in the Bratz movie, Meet the Browns and Dear White People. Her role in the 2019 horror film The Perfection won her praise alongside her costar Allison Williams. The twist-filled thriller was released in May 2019 after premiering at Fantastic Fest in 2018.

Samara Weaving
An Australian television and screen actress who has made quite an impact in several roles, including The Babysitter, Mayhem, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbings Montana. Ms. Weaving starred in the 2019 black comedy Ready or Not and won praise from critics and audiences for her outstanding role as the newlywed bride caught in a deadly game of hide and seek.

Rebecca Ferguson
A Swedish actress who came to the attention of audiences worldwide for her portrayal of Elizabeth Woodville in The White Queen. Ms. Ferguson also starred in two Mission Impossible movies, the sci-fi horror movie Life Men in Black: International. Her role as the cult leader Rose the Hat in the 2019 Stephen King adaptation of Doctor Sleep terrified audiences with her scene-stealing presence and evil intent.

Lupita Nyong'o
An Oscar-winning actress who showed great success in roles that include 12 Years a Slave, the recent Star Wars franchise, and Marvels Black Panther. In 2019 Ms. Nyong'o starred in the zombie movie Little Monsters and won further acclaim for her role in Jordan Peele's Us as the wife and mother of a family who is confronted by doppelgangers. 

Florence Pugh
English actress Florence Pugh had a significant impact in 2019 with breakthrough roles in Fighting with My Family, Midsommar, and Little Women. Ari Aster's Midsommar was one of the most talked-about horror films of the summer of 2019 with Ms. Pugh delivering an incredible performance that shows her range as an emerging superstar.

Jen and Sylvia Soska
Jen and Sylvia Soska are Canadian sisters who write, produce and direct films such as Dead Hooker in a Trunk, See No Evil 2, and the cult favorite American Mary. They released a remake of the David Cronenberg film Rabid in 2019 with Laura Vandervoort in the starring role.

Brea Grant
An actress, writer, and director who specializes in horror, Ms. Grant appeared in the popular tv show Heroes, Dexter, and Friday Night Lights. Along with her numerous acting roles, Ms. Grant has written and directed two movies, including the 2012 dark comedy Best Friends Forever and the forthcoming horror film 12 Hour Shift set for a 2020 release.

Barbara Crampton
With a career going back to the 1980s, Ms. Crampton appeared in several popular horror films including Chopping Mall, Re-Animator, From Beyond and Castle Freak. After a hiatus, she returned to horror films in 2011 with the home invasion film. You're Next. Ms. Crampton has since appeared in over 15 movies in recent years, attends fan conventions, and, in 2019, added producer credits with a remake of the film Castle Freak. 

Issa Lopez
A Mexican Director whose film Tigers Are Not Afraid shows the aftermath of the violence of the drug cartels in Mexico on the children who are orphaned. The award-winning film drew praise from Stephen King and Guillermo Del Toro, with Del Toro offering to produce her next project.

Diana Prince
Ms. Diana Prince is an actress, producer, and cosplay personality who has made an impact on the horror scene as the Mail Girl Darcy on Shudders The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs. Her role on the show also includes handling the social media as well as making appearances with Joe Bob at fan conventions, movie screenings, and events related to The Last Drive-In. Ms. Prince is quite active on social media and reaches out to fans of horror, sharing her insight with the horror community.

Kreepazoid Kelly
Ms. Kelly has been active in the horror fan scene since the early 90s visiting Universal Halloween horror nights and reaching out to fans since 2003 on MySpace and Twitter since 2006. Her work also included horror modeling for conventions and product advertisements. Despite her illness Ms. Kelly is active on Twitter and Instagram, supporting the horror fan community, independent horror films, and encouraging horror content creators.

Jill Sixx
Jill Gevargizian, aka Jill Sixx, is an actress, director, and producer who has made several short movies, including the award-winning film The Stylist, which features a character based on her experience as a hairstylist. Ms. Sixx started a monthly showcase called Slaughter MOvie House in her home town of Kansas City that she runs to this day. Her current project is a full-length version of The Stylist starring Najarra Townsend and Brea Grant. 

Sophia Takal
Sophia Takal is known for her many roles in independent films as an actress, producer, and director. In 2019 she was tasked with directing a reimagined version of the classic horror film Black Christmas for Blumhouse. Despite the film's modest performance, it was welcomed by young female fans who embraced the strong feminist theme and cast of women who the audience found it easy to cheer for as final girls.

Natasha Pascetta
A writer and producer, Ms. Pascetta is the director of Digital Production at Cinestate and Fangoria. As the "Vanguard of the Vault," she is responsible for creating and producing podcasts for Fangoria Podcast Network and the horror community. Ms. Pascetta is also the director of the award-winning short film Road Trash and has a second movie Dark Ages coming soon.

Chelsea Stardust
After graduating from film school, Ms. Stardust moved to Los Angeles. She worked as Jason Blum's executive assistant for four years, allowing her to pursue her love for horror with several short movies as well as a musical theater production Slashed: The Musical. Her full-length film directorial debut came with 2019s Stanic Panic as well as an episode of Into the Dark. 

Maya Hawke
The daughter of actors Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, Maya Hawke, won praise for her role as Robin Buckley in the third season of the Netflix series Stranger Things. Ms. Hawke started her acting career in the tv miniseries Little Women and has appeared in Ladyworld, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Human Capital.

Laura Vandervoort
The Canadian actress is known for roles on Instant Star, Haven, Smallville, and V, as well as many television movies. In 2019 Ms. Vandervoort appeared in the sci-fi series V-Wars and was involved in the remake of the David Cronenberg movie Rabid directed by the Soska sisters. 

Veronika Franz
Austrian director who directed the films Goodnight Mommy and a segment in the anthology The Field Guide to Evil. Her latest movie is the isolation thriller The Lodge starring Riley Keough and Richard Armitage scheduled for release in early 2020.

Heather Wixson
A journalist and frequent blogger, Ms. Wixson, enjoys sharing her love for horror and indie cinema. A former writer for Dread Central and TerrorTube.com, Ms. Wixson is now the Managing Editor for DailyDead.com. Her first book, Monster Squad: Celebrating the Artists Behind Cinema's Most Memorable Creatures, was published in 2018, and she is currently working on a follow-up book on Special Effects Artists.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Son of Frankenstein (1939)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Son of Frankenstein (1939)
Dir- Rowland V. Lee

Boris Karloff's final appearance as the famed monster. In this sequel to the classic movie Bride of Frankenstein, we find Basil Rathbone playing the son of a famed doctor who happens to discover the still-living monster in the ruins of the laboratory. Lugosi is perfect as Ygor, who has cared for the monster in the time before his discovery. Great settings and an impressive score only help to make this movie a classic. This film was a huge success and helped to reinvigorate the market for monster movies after a brief hiatus due to issues with British censorship and the Hays Code.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

A Bucket of Blood (1959) - The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

A Bucket of Blood (1959)
Dir- Roger Corman

A standard Roger Corman quickie that does the job and manages to spoof the beatnik movement as well as the new craze of horror movies like House of Wax and Curse of the Demon. A bumbling busboy has a fascination with art and tries a new and unique style. After accidentally killing a neighbor's cat, he gets inspired to cover up the evidence with some molding clay. He then half-wittingly murders people and covers their body with earth and displays them at his coffee house to get attention from the customers. All in the hopes of impressing the artistic types with whom he wishes to befriend. With all idiots comes his eventual discovery, and the finale is somewhat novel in his wanting to go out in style. In the form of Corman's more famous Little Shop of Horrors, which he would make the next year. A real delight to those who want to see even more of Corman's early little-known work.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Motel Hell (1980)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Motel Hell (1980)
Dir- Kevin Connor

Farmer Vincent is known for his fantastic smoked meats that are second to none. He also runs a small motel with his younger sister, but they have a secret, and it's not preservatives. Vincent's younger brother is the local town Sheriff, and he is not aware of his brother's secret, but this may change when a lovely young accident survivor draws Famer Vincent's attention away from his work. Can Farmer Vincent share his secret with his new lady friend? Motel Hell is an excellent satire that offers laughs as well as chilling frights. The movie subject matter is disgusting, yet it is presented in a fun and campy way that makes this film stand out as a fantastic black comedy as well as a horror movie. Screen Cowboy legend Rory Calhoun portrays Famer Vincent with a folksy charm that makes him amiable and friendly to all. The film also offers some great cameos in the cast, but it's best to go in cold to enjoy this fun little film. Motel Hell has emerged as a Midnite Movie classic often sharing space with similar B-Horror movies, but don't let that deter you; this is a great and fun movie for those who enjoy dark humor. Scream Factory has released this cult classic on Blu Ray.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Carrie (1976)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Carrie (1976)
Dir- Brian De Palma

Starring a cast that would provide many well-known Hollywood players, Carrie is both a sad and frightening tale of ostracism and revenge. "Crazy Carrie," as she is called, is portrayed quite effectively by Sissy Spacek in a role that would stand out in horror movie lore. Carrie is a loner, teased by her classmates and taunted by her zealously religious mother, but she has a secret. It appears Carrie has powers that seem to be barely under her control. When it appears that her peers are finally accepting her, we discover that they wish to play a cruel joke on her during the senior prom. Tragically, the prank pulled on her goes wrong, the release of pig's blood on her and the subsequent laughter by both students and teachers unleashes a fury of anger as she burns the school and kills everyone in her path. Her final confrontation with her mom is not only frightening but also tragic. Carrie earned Sissy Spacek her first Oscar nomination and was a commercial success for the filmmakers and Stephen King. With its excellent cast, good direction, and a climactic finale, we have a classic shocker that still has an impact today.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Child's Play (1988)- The Los 366

Child's Play (1988)

Dir- Tom Holland

Dynamic character villain Brad Dourif plays a voodoo worshipping serial killer named Charles "Chucky" Lee Ray, who returns to life as a cute Good Guy Doll named Chucky. Catherine Hicks is a single mom who buys the Good Guy Doll from a street vendor and is delighted when her son, the sickeningly cute Alex Vincent, happily accepts. Well, Chucky comes to life and wreaks enough havoc that leaves mom, son, and the nice guy cop played by Chris Sarandon to deal with this murderous Teddy Ruxpin-like doll. A big hit with horror fans, this film used clever FX and an excellent cast to overcome its blatant swipes from Trilogy of Terror and a couple of classic Twilight Zone episodes. 

Poltergeist (1982)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Poltergeist (1982)
Dir- Tobe Hooper 

Steven Spielberg wrote and produced what had to be one of the best ghost stories of the 1980s. Making use of state of the art special effects and the acting talents of Craig T Nelson and JoBeth Williams, we are presented one of the scariest PG movies ever made. A family in an upscale middle-class neighborhood find themselves living with a playful spirit. At first, the ghost plays gags and simple tricks, yet the real terror begins when researchers arrive to study the phenomena. In one of the most iconic movie scenes, we see the late Heather O'Rourke kidnaped by the television as her frantic parents face an evil series of ghosts. The climax is both terrifying and intense, boasting top-notch visuals and plenty of ghostly terror. Surprisingly there is no blood or gore, an ironic note to Director Tobe Hooper, best known for directing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Although Spielberg wanted a tamer story, we get the right blend of both terror and suspense in this classic. Tragically a curse is believed to have affected this movie series, in this film, and it's subsequent sequels there were tragic deaths involving many of its stars. Whether there is a genuine curse or just a coincidence, we have a genuinely frightening and engaging story that will forever remain a classic of the Horror genre.