Despite our youth-obsessed society, growing old is a privilege afforded mostly to first-world countries. Even then, aging well — staying physically and mentally fit — remains out of reach for many. The loss of control over one’s own body and mind can be frightening, and for those watching it happen to loved ones, it can be a horror show. This fear then leads to one of the last stands of prejudice in many western societies: agism. Nothing causes fear quite like a loss of control, and nothing causes loss of control quite like the process of aging. Relic (2020, Prime…
Welcome to the first in what will be a series of reviews focusing on women and women-identified actors and characters in classic horror films. To kick things off we have a movie starring not one, not two, but three legendary scream queens: The Fog (1980, Prime Video).
Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter are well-known for pairing up in the genre-changing 1978 film Halloween, but The Fog has an impressive pedigree. In addition to Curtis, the movie stars Carpenter’s longtime muse and wife Adrienne Barbeau and Curtis’s mother, Psycho legend Janet Leigh.
Take a second and let that all that…
While there is no doubt about the importance of teaching children — especially White children — about racism and tolerance, it can sometimes be a tricky road to navigate. On the one hand, you’ve got the direct approach, mostly aimed at younger children. On the other hand, there’s…doing nothing at all, which is absolutely unacceptable. Somewhere in the middle, we find pop culture: the media our children consume, and are influenced by, as they grow older and move through the world.
Remember when our biggest national problem was four teens who covered up an accidental murder? Those were the days!
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997, Shudder) was written by Kevin Williamson before his even bigger movie, Scream, was released, but didn’t see the light of day until after studios decided to jump on the new era of teen slasher flicks. After Scream, but before the dozens of other cheap knockoffs like Urban Legend, The Faculty, and Final Destination, came a movie about the worst summer ever until 2020.
Anyone over the age of 18 who hasn’t seen Jaws (1975, HBO, Prime Video) yet, go watch it right now. Steven Spielberg’s summer classic has been around for nearly half a century, making it impossible to write about without spoilers. As a cultural touchstone, Jaws has launched a thousand parodies, tributes, and memorable quotes. It’s also been a PR nightmare for sharks.
There’s an old saying that goes: Don’t meet your heroes. Too bad no one told that to Rose Nemser, the fictional protagonist of Shirley (2020, Hulu and Prime Video) before she boarded a train to Vermont. Then again, from the way we’re introduced to Rose at the film’s opening — breathlessly turned on after reading the short story, “The Lottery,” — she probably wouldn’t have listened.
Not every horror movie needs to be a thoughtful social commentary, and not every gay movie needs to be a coming out story. When you need a fun slasher movie that just happens to be about a group of gay friends, Hellbent (2004, Prime Video) is here for you. Shot so low budget it makes your kids’ Tik Tok videos look professional, this is a movie for horror fans who like the victims dumb, the acting wooden, and the blood spurty.
Slow-moving character studies are not widely known for being exciting and fun to watch. However, A Fantastic Woman (originally: Una Mujer Fantástica, 2017, Prime Video) rewards viewers’ patience with a gut-wrenching, multi-faceted hero’s struggle that pulls zero punches and makes you cringe. Which is good; if our heroine has to go through the crap piled on her, then we can give her the dignity of watching with compassion.
Movies began as the art form of the masses. For the poor, the immigrants, and the poor immigrants of our nation, the earliest days of film — back when they were shown in nickelodeons — provided art and entertainment that was cheap and didn’t require knowledge of English.
Since then, film has come a long way. During that evolution, film became a barometer for the conditions of the society in which it was made. Along with science fiction, no other genre has been as much of a mirror of ourselves as horror. …
If John Waters were to make a sweet, lighthearted romp poking fun at conversion therapy, it would be But I’m a Cheerleader (2000, Prime Video). The topic is quite serious and dangerous, but the film is firmly tongue-in-cheek. When a movie has RuPaul in a t-shirt proclaiming “Straight is Great” and teaching young boys how to be macho men, you know it’s a good movie.
Writer. Geek. Baker. Knitter. Mom. Feminist. BLM. Anti-TERF. 👻🐉🍷😷 Editor @talestoterrify Member @HorrorWriters /Letterboxd: MLM76 /IG: meredithlmorgenstern