For as long as monsters have existed, us horror kids have seen ourselves in them. Throughout cinema, the monster has represented the outsider. Whether it’s King Kong afraid and alone in a city that hates him, or The Gill Man seeking companionship from Julie Adams, the story is always the same; society hates what it doesn’t understand, and society sure doesn’t understand being “different”.
Nicolas Cage is both a great actor and a walking meme-machine, and while the former should never be forgotten it’s safe to say that his latest film, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, exists because of the latter. Cage stars as Nicolas Cage, an actor unable to turn down a paid gig, who finds trouble when a superfan turns out to be a violent drug lord. With his family’s life on the line, Cage “becomes” various characters from his filmography in order to save the day.
Shudder has teamed with Oxfam to shed light on the real-life issues in Jayro Bustamante’s Golden Globe®-nominated La Llorona. Oxfam is a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty. The horror genre can work as a conduit for social activism. La Llorona, the latest film from the Guatemalan direct Jayro Bustamante, whispers truth …
The Bite #160
With this week’s VOD release of The Djinn drawing on long-standing myths from the Middle East for the titular antagonist driving the film’s scares, one realizes how little modern movie horror comes from that region of the world. This is made doubly surprising when one considers just how many foundational, archetypal tropes of good and evil –– stories that have resonated for centuries through all manner of interpretations –– first originated there. As such, it seems an appropriate time to look at what other creatures and concepts can be pulled from Middle Eastern folklore to gain new or renewed resonance on the screen.
The Bite #159
Though they’ve been mostly labelled as action, adventure, and fantasy, make no mistake, The Mummy films — 1999’s bi-panic-inducing sensation The Mummy and its followup, The Mummy Returns — are horror films. Taking cues from their Boris Karlof-starring predecessor while evading its more xenophobic roots, these films are part of the Universal Classic Monster family, even if they’re not part of a larger cinematic universe. But the films’ inherent excitement and undeniable action-adventure overtones seem to overshadow their role as horror films, largely because we tend to forget that there can be joy in the genre.
The Bite #158
This Friday marks the 40th anniversary of Friday the 13th Part 2. A commercial success, it would serve as the true introduction of Jason Voorhees, slasher extraordinaire. This is the first film in which adult Jason begins his cinematic hack-a-thon, one that has racked up over 160 kills across 10 films (parts 1 and 5 don’t count). And while the Jason we know today is a behemoth who can outwalk the Energizer Bunny, Part 2 showed us a character who was careful, thoughtful, and, hear me out, funny.