Three Things We (Horror Folk) Can Learn from The Mooring

1. Horror can still be very disturbing and very complete without gore and nudity

Is there even any profanity in The Mooring? I can’t think of it, if there is. Which isn’t to say over-the-top gore isn’t a complete riot, just all kinds of fun. I like it when I have to hide my eyes. Last time that happened, I guess, would have been Excision. First time? Probably The Exorcist. Well, okay, The Eyes of Laura Mars, but that wasn’t from gore, but absolute, undiluted terror; I was eight, I thin…

The Last Final Girl

Life in a slasher film is easy. You just have to know when to die.

Aerial ViewA suburban town in Texas. Everyone’s got an automatic garage door opener. All the kids jump off a perilous cliff into a shallow river as a rite of passage. The sheriff is a local celebrity. You know this town. You’re from this town.

Zoom InHomecoming princess, Lindsay. She’s just barely escaped death at the hands of a brutal, sadistic murderer in a Michael Jackson mask. Up on the cliff, she was rescued …

Teacher Needs to See Me After School: Detention

I’ve usually got my tongue di-rectly on the pulse of anything slasher, but somehow — two months of book tour? — Detention slipped past. In April, yes, when Growing Up Dead in Texas was just advance copies. And just a couple of days ago I was having a big talk with a good friend about slashers that are probing the edges of the genre, feeling out the limits, poking the necessary fun: Cabin Fever, Leslie Vernon, Tucker & Dale, Scream, Severance. The Killage. T…

Dead Man’s Curve

Man, I know: last week I hit Prometheus, and just did a status update somewhere saying it was decent, it was cool, and now here I am with a non-review of a movie fourteen years old already. Still. This one I want to talk about it for a short bit: 1998. Dan Rosen’s Dead Man’s Curve (on Netflix Instant as The Curve). This is two years after Scream changed the horror scene once and forever. One year after Scream 2 made the sequel legit again. One year after I Know What You Did L

Happy Halloweening

or, ‘Five Horror (Movie) Anthologies,’ but that doesn’t look so cool as a title. nor does ‘Five Horror-Antho Movies.’ really, I couldn’t find anything properly cool. and I’m far from the first dude to make a list like this — though I might be the first to limit it to just five? — and mine’s not nearly so wonderful and exhaustive as some, but still and anyway, here’s five I happen to especially dig:


Parental Guide (RUBBER)

Sex & Nudity

A woman is seen naked, from behind, but it’s through two doors, and in the point-of-view of a killer tire, so it’s not really anything you can do much with.


Not excessive, and what’s there’s mostly from the ‘spectators’—the embedded horror-movie audience meant to offer the same objections we would, or already are, thereby anticipating and perhaps deflating those objections (think the pirate contingent in the theater watching Spongebob, or the W

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

tucker & daleSome movies just make you happy. Feast was this was for me. And Severance. And Leslie Vernon. And, though it’s more over-the-top, Club Dread. Horror comedy’s where it’s at, I think, though there’s a line, yeah; while I’ll sign up any day of the week for a Decampitated viewing, I don’t do so well at the Scary Movie series. I get all the references and jokes, sure, but it’s always a very painful kind of humor, as what they’re lampooning up there, it’s what I love, it’s the horror I hold s…

Demon Theory

DTDescription from the old defunct gone-forever MacAdam/Cage website:

On Halloween night, following an unnerving phone call from his diabetic mother, Hale and six of his med school classmates return to the house where his sister disappeared years ago. While there is no sign of his mother, something is waiting for them there, and has been waiting a long time. Written as a literary film treatment littered with footnotes and experimental nuances, Demon Theory is even parts ca…

The Ruins: Poison Ivy (postdate:2008)

In Five Words or Less:

Boring title, good movie.

In More than Five Words, with / without spoilers:

In 1998, Sam Raimi adapted Scott Smith’s debut sensation A Simple Plan (1993) for us, and, though a lot of the narrator’s nuances were lost in the compression, still, Smith had written a strong enough dramatic spine that his story survived the transition, and made Paramount some money. Ten years later, now, Ron Howard has adapted Smith’s sophomore novel The Ruins to the scr…