GET OUT’S Elevated Debate, LEATHERFACE Remembered, and More!
In this Issue:
- Horror’s Story: Elevated Horror’s Ups and Downs
- Image of the Week: Scream Queen
- Tiny Bites – This Week’s Best Horror Headlines
- The A to Z of Subgenres: T is for Telekinesis
- Things We Love: Macabre Mansion
HORROR’S STORY: ELEVATED HORROR’S UPS AND DOWNS
“Elevated horror” is everywhere. Hereditary, A Quiet Place, Get Out, The VVItch, The Babadook, and It Comes at Night have all been lauded as “elevated” films. There have been countless articles about how movies like these are changing the face of horror, along with counterpoints claiming that the “elevated” label undercuts the genre.
But what does “elevated horror” actually mean? And why is it so controversial?
“Elevated horror” is broadly applied to films that have been embraced by mainstream audiences and critics in a way other horror films haven’t. The theory is that these movies have some level of sophistication or artistry, usually combined with underlying social commentary, that sets them above other horror films. So to proponents of the term, Get Out wasn’t just a horror film, it was a “social thriller” about racism. The Babadook was about grief, A Quiet Place tackled parental fears, and so on. Steve Rose from The Guardian posited, “What could be emerging here is a new sub-genre.”
But some horror fans consider the term either a backhanded compliment or outright insult. Filmmaker April Wolfe wrote in The Washington Post, “adding ‘elevated’ to a movie’s description seems an attempt to distance the film from its lineage.” Slashfilm critic Jacob Knight was harsher, calling elevated horror “terror sophistry.” After all, while Babadook is about grief, so is Pumpkinhead. So how come that’s not elevated?
Splitting the difference, Jane Hu at The Ringeracknowledges the problems inherent with the term but concludes it’s not a bad thing “if it means encouraging those who previously did not think themselves horror viewers to see films — and perhaps their own world — in a new way.” That works for us.
IMAGE OF THE WEEK
Halloween‘s Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, re-creates her mother’s famous scene from 1960’s Psycho.
STEPHEN KING PARODY TITLES, BEST B&W HORROR & MORE
If Nicolas Cage’s performance in the revenge thrillerMandy is more unhinged than usual, it’s because he was inspired by Jason Voorhees.
Some horror films should never have been remade, but here are a dozen that turned out great. (Seriously, we love every film on this list.)
Their Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End) may be over, but Simon Pegg and Nick Frost teaming up to make us laugh is not. Check out the trailer for their new horror comedy Slaughterhouse Rulez.
The original negative to the awesome gonzo horror film A Night to Dismember was thought lost in a fire — but a copy was recently found in a cinematographer’s collection, which means you can watch it now.
Bruce Campbell and other friends of the late Gunnar Hansen celebrate the star of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in the new documentary Dinner with Leatherface. Check out the trailer.
Sadly, it doesn’t look like that hoped-for Supernaturalspin-off seriesWayward Sisters is going to happen.
Here’s a list of 7 upcoming Stephen King adaptationsand suggested parody titles for each. (Our favorite: “In the Tall Grass” retitled as “Don’t Go Into The Grass, My God, Don’t Go Into The Grass.”)
You may think you don’t want to watch films that aren’t in color any more, but these 10 black-and-white horror films will prove you wrong.
Check out this meta list of 13 Top 10 Horror Movie Lists and see what films Guillermo del Toro, Clive Barker, and other horror masters consider the best of the best.
THE A TO Z OF SUBGENRES: T IS FOR TELEKINESIS
If only they knew she had the power. If only we actually could. Coined in 1890 by Russian researcher Alexander Aksakov, Telekinesis refers to the ability to influence physical matter with only your mind. In fiction, the skill rose to prominence thanks to a confluence of Stephen King, New Age mentality, and an interest paranormal research and parapsychology. I imagine the Jedi Mind Trick helped, as well. Our most iconic telekinetic, Carrie (they’re often title-based characters like Jennifer, Sarah and Patrick) set a strong template of psychic rage manifesting in response to personal trauma and the will to bring destruction. Of course, there’s also the “I’ve been the subject of malicious experiments or corporate interests” side, as well, perhaps most popular in David Cronenberg’s Scanners. Telekinetic Terror is really the perfect storm of a superpower that seems just out of reach; relatable emotional struggle; close-ups of very wild eyes; and hell yeah … head explosions.
Essentials: Carrie, The Fury, Scanners, Firestarter, Patrick
Favorites: Dark Touch, The Appointment (1981), The Mind’s Eye, The Witch: Part 1, The Subversion
THINGS WE LOVE: MACABRE MANSION
The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart, and other Edgar Allan Poe Easter Eggs are hidden inartist Holly Carden’s 768-piece jigsaw puzzle of a haunted house with rooms based on 20 of the author’s classic short stories. If you like the image but don’t like to do puzzles, you can also buy it as a print.