Saturday, November 28, 2015

Candidate #3

(October 2014)

"Horror has come a long way since it first got its hooks into me. As a devout fan, I used to feel like an outsider, but these days, I meet fans everywhere I go.
“Horror is now more popular than it’s ever been.”
--Tal Zimerman

I could be wrong and memory is f*cking with me right now, but I think this is the very first actual doc that’s made its way to ¡Q horror! Candidacy (as opposed to the occasional faux doc that’s made the rundown).
Rob Lindsay and Nicolas Kleiman’s Why Horror? follows long-time horrorhead Tal Zimerman as he explores his life-long fascination with the genre, asking the titular question, “Why horror?” of art historians and literature experts and language professors and psychologists, as well as a host of familiar genre faces, from the old school vanguard (John Carpenter, Don Coscarelli, George Romero) to current established names (Alexandre Aja, Simon Barrett, Eli Roth, Ben Wheatley).

For any audience member who happens to be a kindred spirit to Tal, the game-changing benchmarks of a lifelong horrorhead of a certain generation--such as the socio-political horror of Romero’s original zombie trilogy, giallo, the home video boom, the self-referential metahorror of Scream, J-Horror, found footage, and the digital revolution sparking the current wave of global horror--are all touched on in the great animated section “A Way Too Brief History of Horror Cinema” (with VO from one of our all-time favorite hobbits, Elijah Wood).
There’s even the acknowledgement that, yes, Virginia, there are actually female horror fans (who make horror films too!), with appearances by the Soska sisters and Karen Lam.

For the more critically-minded horrorheads out there, or, for those who, at the very least, are curious to dig at the possible roots of their fascination with the genre, Why Horror? is an excellent and highly recommended watch that smartly encapsulates just how deeply horror is entrenched in our humanity, and how it’s really a universal language that we all know.
The question is, just how fluent are we willing to be in it?

“I like ‘smarts.’ I just like intelligent views of the world. And I am deeply committed to finding ‘smarts’ where other people don’t think to look for it. And I think horror is the perfect place.”
--Dr. Susanne Kord
European Languages, Culture and Society
University College, London, England

(Why Horror? OS courtesy of

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Candidate #2

(January 2015)

Hallow be their name,
And blessed be their claim.
If you who trespass put down roots,
Then Hallow be your name.

A couple, their baby, and faithful family dog Iggy find themselves in the desolate wilds of the Irish woods, where they inadvertently run afoul of the Hallow, described by Garda Davey (Michael Smiley) as “… The good people. Fairies, banshees, baby stealers,” “… a conquered people, forever in hiding, driven from their sacred lands by man with iron and fire.”

The love and respect director/co-writer Corin Hardy has for the creature effects wizardry of FX icons Ray Harryhausen, Dick Smith, and Stan Winston is apparent from the practical manner in which Hardy brings the Hallow to the screen; dis da old school!
And if that’s not enough of a recommendation, there are also appearances from familiar genre faces like Smiley and Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton, yo!), as a scowly, broody, vaguely threatening local.

Parting Shot: Before Hardy brought us his impressive feature debut in The Hallow, he also directed a number of short films and a whole slew of music videos, including one for The Horrors’ “She is the New Thing,” and another for Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know,” which features what could very well be cutesy, music-friendly versions of the Hallow.
Incidentally, Hardy is currently attached to The Crow reboot, so I’m all sorts of excited to see what he can bring to that.

(The Hallow OS courtesy of