Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanks Be To Horror, Part 2

Happy Thanksgiving!! As we Americans celebrate turkey day, I hope everyone has at least one thing they are thankful for in their lives. I've got tons, including my humble list of horror thank you's!  If you missed part one, click HERE.
And here's the second of three parts...

11) Ghost Stories. This could go two ways.  I'm a huge fan of both the written word and the silver screen when it comes to ghosts.  It doesn't even have to be dark out, if I'm watching or reading a ghost story I am completely immersed. I can look up and see shadows in corners and just simply freak out. This sub-genre branches out in so many ways.  While I'm not as big a fan of the ghost hunting shows as Marie, I appreciate the spookiness of it.  It's the found footage that I can live without.  But if there is anything that will get me to a theater fast, it's a ghost story.  I'm always looking for the next best one...

12) Mainstream stars doing horror. I'm talking people like Paul Giamatti (John Dies at the End), Julianne Moore (Carrie), and most certainly Angela Bassett and Jessica Lange in television's American Horror Story, among many others.  At last, it doesn't seem like such a career-ending move as it used to be.  I could sit and watch Lange chew scenery for hours on end. Horror isn't quite the red-headed stepchild anymore. Things are on the upswing. Respect is at hand! Now all we need is someone to call Meryl Streep and offer her the next Chucky movie and we'll be all set!

13) The return of Hammer.  As someone who thrived on watching old Hammer films on Saturday afternoons as a kid, all I can do is thank the powers that be for raising that studio from the dead. With films like Let Me In  (2010), Wake Wood (2011) and the remake of The Woman in Black (2012), I think they are well on their way to being a force to be reckoned with in the future of horror.  And it's so nice to see their name on the opening credits again.  I know Marie agrees with me on this one, we're both psyched to be here for the ride.

14) Vampires are still alive and well.  Yes, True Blood is ending next year. I do realize that. But I don't think there's ever a time when vampires aren't popular in horror crowds. The unfortunate business that was Twilight didn't do the fanged ones any favors, but TV shows like Dracula, The Originals, True Blood and the upcoming series based on Guillermo del Toro's trilogy The Strain, as well as movies like Byzantium and Midnight Son are making it safe to like vampires again.  As if there was any doubt!

15) The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh ~ I saw this film for the fist time a month or so ago and if I'm being honest, I loved it.  It is written and directed by Rodrigo Gudiño (of Rue Morgue fame) and tells the tale of a man who was estranged from his mother but goes back to clean out her home and settle her affairs but finds more than he bargains for.  It's a slow burn, and many people might become bored with it before the wings of this butterfly unfurl.  The home in which it was filmed is packed full of unusual and even creepy artifacts and mementos (which is part of the story itself) and this makes it one of my favorite houses in horror.  And speaking of mainstream stars...Vanessa Redgrave plays the title character, and though we really only hear her voice - what a voice it is.  Give this one a chance.

16) The horror classics.  I don't think I've ever praised the stories that started it all. Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, The Phantom of the Opera, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Turn of the Screw, The Tell Tale Heart, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward..these are some of my favorites, but I also love Jane Eyre and The Woman in White....Anything by Lovecraft, M.R. James, Edgar Allan Poe. The more recent The Haunting of Hill House, The Woman in Black, I Am Legend..... There are so many wonderful authors out there and their stories are timeless. Probably why I've read all of them several times.

17) Italian horror ~ Anyone who's read this blog for any length of time would have to know of my love of Italian genre films. In particular the films of Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, and Mario Bava. I love not only the giallo films, but stand alone films as well as Fulci's popular zombie films.  The gorgeous, artistic talent of Argento, the so-called godfather of giallo Mario Bava, and the gory beauty of Fulci's zombie flicks have long been favorites of mine. While many other foreign countries have films I love (France and Japan among them), the Italians strike a nerve of mine...and I've never looked back.

18) JAWS - It's not a secret that Jaws is my favorite film. The perfection of the script, the brilliant direction, frighteningly good cinematography and of course, the impeccable casting all comes together for an experience of sheer terror unsurpassed in most of film. It's not the first scary movie I saw, certainly not the last...but definitely the film that left the biggest impression on my psyche. Even though I vacation there every spring, I am still terrified of the ocean. Only one guess why.

19) My personal DVD collection ~ I have a ridiculously large collection of horror DVD's. I'm not trying to win a medal or get special recognition, I'm just stating a fact.  I own a ton of films. And this, to me, is comfort. When I'm feeling down or having a bad day at work, I want to know that I can go home and pull Martyrs off my shelf and feel ten times better about my own situation (because of the profound horror the main characters go through), or I can grab up Psycho - one of my "comfort horror" films - throw it in the DVD player, and relax with a movie I know line for line and never tire of watching. It might sound weird, but it works for me. My only problem is that I'm running out of room to store them....

20) GODZILLA (2014) - As a huge fan of the original monster, I'm fairly psyched to see this new version, which is saying a lot because I'm not a big fan of remakes. I don't think I need to say more, as this trailer pretty much speaks for itself. Go here:
(If the link doesn't work I'm sorry, it seems this film is top secret and all the links to the teaser trailer are constantly being taken down all the time.)

*Stay tuned for the final third of my thank you's!!

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