Halloween

thefog-commentary1

It’s Halloween, which means it’s the last day you can obsessively watch scary movies until tomorrow and the day after that. Obviously, one of the greatest Halloween films of all time is John Carpenter’s seminal slasher named after the holiday. As a follow-up, Carpenter eked together another small budget classic with co-writer and producer Debra Hill: 1980’s The Fog. While it was a horror film at its core, it was a decidedly different movie. Instead of being a simple stalker film, The Fog is a throwback feature to the older ghost story movies from the 40s and 50s that Carpenter watched as a kid. It may not hold up as well as Halloween, but The Fog is still a fun relic made during Carpenter’s heyday (which included 1981’s Escape from New York and 1982’s The Thing). Recorded shortly after Carpenter shot his 1995 stinker Village of the Damned, the commentary on the original DVD release features Carpenter and Hill reminiscing about the production that appears larger than it actually was.

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scarytruth-1

By now, you’ve likely seen the article atYahoo Movies about ten college-aged kids who were shown John Carpenter’s Halloween for the first time to see if the film was still scary 35 years after it was released. The results would make a true horror movie fan weep: this group found the film to be silly, ineffective, and cheesy. In short, not scary at all. There’s even a Vine of these students’ reaction to the whole experience, which may or may not cause fits of anger in true horror fans. More over, this group claimed films like the remake of The Omen (easily inferior to the unmentioned original) and The Cabin in the Woods (a brilliant movie, but never intended to be actually scary) to be more frightening than anything in Halloween. Let’s start by getting past a few completely unscientific elements of this piece. First, ten subjects is hardly a valid sample size for any study, so this is just an academic exercise. However, even more so, I question who the hell these people are that made it to their college years without seeing John Carpenter’s Halloween. I’m sure there are plenty of those folks knocking about, but honestly, would these people be qualified to evaluate horror movies? No self-respecting horror movie fan (or even someone who claims to passively enjoy scary movies) would make it into his or her twenties without at least seeing this film once, whether it’s on an old VHS tape or during one of AMC’s […]

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underrated seed

This far into the horror season you’ve hopefully dipped your severed toes into several horror films – perhaps you marathoned Jason Voorhees thanks to the new Blu-ray collection, or caught up with Freddy Kreuger on cable. Regardless, as long as the calendar says October, we believe it’s monster movie time, and stretching that into November is encouraged. With the ever lengthening calendar of horror appreciation, the viewing schedule can become repetitive. If you just go by what’s broadcast on television or popping up on Netflix, you’re likely faced with the same old choices. Classics, of course, but still – sometimes we want something a little bit different. Thus I come to you with 20 horror films that are, in my opinion, underrated, and generally lesser seen and shown. Now, I’m not trying to play a knowledge game and astound you with titles you’ve never heard of. These aren’t lost titles or hard to find films. This isn’t a list of 20 horror flicks you can only find on Japanese import Laser Discs. Many of those movies you will know, perhaps you’ve even seen them all, in which case – good on you. You have excellent tastes. If you haven’t seen some of these flicks, or have even actively avoided them, perhaps it’s time to take a chance and dive in. At the very least, I’m throwing my support behind these less respected horror flicks.

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slashertruth-2

Ever since the slasher genre took off in the 80s, masked killers hacking up young co-eds has been a horror movie staple. While psychotic killers existed in movies for years (like Peeping Tom and Psycho), it was John Carpenter 1978 thriller Halloween that really popularized the concept and started a chain reaction of copy-cat films. Since then, notable slasher anti-heroes like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees have become synonymous with horror movies in general. These franchises became extremely popular with the moviegoing audiences, but they were also the target by many various groups (including this classic Sneak Previews episode with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert bemoaning this “disturbing new trend”) for being too violent. Here at Film School Rejects, we love our horror movies, and we love our slasher films. However, we are also interested in reality, and that got us thinking: Just how realistic are kills in slasher movies?

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discs prince of darkness carpenter

Welcome back to a slightly revamped version of This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Prince of Darkness Members of a college physics class take on an extra credit project after a local priest (Donald Pleasance) hips them to the presence of a strange, glowing container in the basement of an abandoned church. The students make some extraordinary discoveries including the fact that the goo inside may actually be a physical representation of Satan! Or something. John Carpenter‘s last great film was 1994’s In the Mouth of Madness, but seven years earlier he delivered this equally fun horror flick pitting several semi-familiar faces (including a Simon brother!) against a possessed mob of homeless people. One by one the grad students fall victim to the devil’s whims, and Carpenter embraces the silliness of it all while still managing to deliver some thrills including one of his best endings ever. Scream Factory’s new Blu-ray offers a beautiful new transfer, and while the extras are slim it’s still a must own for genre fans. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, interviews]

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Oscars

The morning’s fascinating articles from around the movie website-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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1-the-lords-of-salem-060712

“50% of you are going to love this movie, while the other 50% of you are going to hate it,” writer-director Rob Zombie said to the SXSW crowd at the midnight screening of his newest film, The Lords of Salem. That’s not something we often hear filmmakers while they intro their film, and the same goes for most of what we heard at his highly entertaining Q&A. Zombie, who wore splashy blue pants and what looked like over-sized crocs to the event, was correct when it came to the reaction. For the 50% of the people who hated it, he doesn’t care too much. Zombie knows his work isn’t for everyone, and the idea that he can get half of an audience onboard with his films or music sits well with him. According to Zombie (and David Bowie), getting a reaction is all that matters. We discussed that reaction, as well as how the film’s producers were only interested in lunch and more, with a candid and relaxed Mr. Zombie.

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It’s Halloween, so lets be honest with ourselves: movie news just isn’t quite the flavor of the evening. With that in mind, we’d like to present a very special edition of Movie News After Dark, celebrating awesome movie-themed pumpkin carvings. Sure, some of these have been around for a while, but some might be new. All are awesome. So check out these pumpkins as you eat the candy you “forgot” to pass out to the neighborhood kids.

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; the only thing tricky about our treats is getting to them before we do. This is the scariest movie column on the internet. It combines the horror of watching terrible movies with every child’s worst nightmare: heart disease. Every witch-filled week we are haunted by a terrifyingly bad film that we manage to exorcise from the house by mocking its many ghastly faults. Then, because we don’t speak ill of the dead…when they’re in the room, we profess our undying affection for said abomination. Lately, we’ve been going the more conceptual route, which is frightening in and of itself considering the unsettling dearth of smarts in our skeleton crew. However, knocking on the door of Junkfood Cinema will always yield a delicious, if sure-to-kill-you-slowly, snack themed to the movie. Happy Junkfoodween, bats and ghouls! This is our absolute favorite holiday of the year. While we know many of you may be conflicted and not wish to choose Halloween over that other big holiday at the end of the year, we have no compunction about telling Guy Fawkes Day to take a flying fawk. This is the time of year when adults are allowed to be children again…wild, boozed up, scantily clad children. Okay, well maybe not children, but at least more inclined to indulge their love of things like candy, scary movies, and dressing up in costumes. This tradition is not lost on the horror genre and even the schlockiest of titles often feature Halloween […]

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Tyler Bates

If you have ever grabbed your arm rest in fright while watching the recent Halloween remake or buried your face in your scarf (as I often do during the scary parts of movies) when a particular stanza in the Dawn of the Dead score made you jump, you are already familiar with composer Tyler Bates‘ work. With Halloween upon us, I thought it only appropriate to sit down with Bates to pick his brain about all things horror from his favorite scary movies to what he loves about composing for them to his favorite Halloween memories (and costumes.) Read on to hear about his experience working with directors Rob Zombie and Neil Marshall, how his early exposure to horror films may have set his current career in motion, and what may happen when you attend a wedding on Halloween.

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As any of us who’ve dressed up as movie characters for Halloween know, it’s the distinctly designed roles that make for the most interesting costumes. Nobody is dressing up as Alex Cross or Aaron Cross this year — not because their movies weren’t popular, but because the characters don’t have a very recognizable look. Peruse the popular suits for sale and clever homemade ideas this year and you’ll find mostly characters who wouldn’t be what they are without the craftwork of costume designers and makeup artists. That’s why I consider theirs the Halloween categories at the Oscars. And yet, the best and most common outfits and frightening faces aren’t necessarily those that tend to be recognized by the Academy. This year’s list of popular movie-related costumes predominantly consists of superheroes, which has been the norm for a while, but there are even more timely examples represented now thanks to the The Avengers featuring so many masked and caped crusaders. Also, we had another movie starring the Caped Crusader. And while once again Linda Hemming will be nominated for a Costume Designers Guild Award for a Batman movie (she was nominated for Batman Begins and won for The Dark Knight), it’s very unlikely that The Dark Knight Rises will earn her a second Oscar nomination let alone win (she won her first time nominated, for Topsy-Turvy).

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Three more days ’til Halloween (silver shamrock), but the dressing up and trick-or-treating has already begun for those who prefer to get the major celebrating done on the weekend. If your Wednesday evening will now lack door-to-door activity or involve fewer kids coming to your house for goodies, perhaps you would like to watch others partake in costumed candy hunting via this crop of trick-or-treating scenes from films. Or, maybe you just want another excuse to watch the scene from E.T. I will admit, this is my primary reason for compiling this week’s installment of Scenes We Love. But I promise the other videos are worth a look, too.

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge, so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis In the live action short film that inspired the full-length stop-motion film in 2012, young Victor Frankenstein turns to the powers of science and electricity to bring his dog Sparky back to life. After his experiment is a success, the young boy must try to hide the cute, misunderstood monstrosity from an easily frightened neighborhood.

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

As we get closer and closer to Halloween, the industry is doing its part to help with great holiday-themed content. We got a trailer for Iron Man 3 to either remind the kids of that superhero as a costume idea or to provide fresh suggestions. Who wants to be so antiquated as to go as something based on this year’s movies when you can leap frog into 2013 ideas? Are Mandarin and Iron Patriot hot last-minute costumes now? And then we got the news about Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to the Conan franchise, which should give many elderly folks encouragement to dress up as a character they’re way too old for. Come on, grandmas, “sexy ___” outfits are for you too. Oh, and Cloud Atlas is out this weekend, which may well inspire some last-minute blackface, whiteface, yellowface and zombie Willy Wonka face costumes. Speaking of the film, before we round up this week’s best features, I need to remind you of the latest reviews of new releases (Cloud Atlas, Pusher, Gut, The Thieves). Also this week, we saw new trailers for Holy Motors, the next Die Hard, the remake of Evil Dead and a seemed remake of Kingdom of the Fairies that would make Melies crap himself called Empires of the Deep. And we continued our new weekly recap reviews of TVs The Walking Dead while also reviewing American Horror Story: Asylum and 666 Park Avenue. Now, check out our biggest and best stories and original content from the past week after the […]

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Although different in style and tone, celebrating Halloween and Suspiria together is an obviously great idea after speaking with Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, two horror writers who have created wicked traps for the Saw franchise, played lifeguard for Piranha 3DD and continue the terror of their own masked killer with the forthcoming The Collection. From grisly realism to stylized violence, we discuss how they both prove horror films can be beautiful and revel in Melton’s still-fierce fear of the plants outside his window. Plus, we check in with Bloody Good Horror co-host Casey Criswell to get his take on the new Evil Dead (2013) trailer. Download Episode #154

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

We are more than halfway through the month of October, which means we’re in the home stretch to Halloween and in the thick of great content pertaining to scary movies and horror films. So, welcome to another filling recap of a week’s worth of original writings and coverage. First, though, let’s remind you of the regular goodies here at FSR, such as our reviews of new releases (Paranormal Activity 4, Alex Cross, Bestiaire, The Sessions) and interviews with Alex Cross director Rob Cohen and star Matthew Fox and The Black List creator Franklin Leonard. We also caught some new trailers for Carrie and Jack Reacher and, in addition to our regular TV column, we have begun a weekly recap for the TV series The Walking Dead. Also this week, we saw the New York Film Festival end (stay tuned for a look at our critics’ highlights and favorites) and the Austin Film Festival begin. So rummage through our coverage of the former (including a review of Flight) and bookmark the tag for the latter — also check out some AFF recommendations below. Check out our ten best features from the past week, plus some other recommended reading, after the break.

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The Scariest Movie Ever

After laughing about the completely unplanned, totally-done-by-your-votes match-up between The Ring and The Thing in the Axe-Wielding Eight Round, I’d like to talk about two types of movies that didn’t make the cut. There are. of course, the 24 movies so far that have been chopped off the block by you clicking a Facebook button, but there are also a bunch of movies that didn’t get placed on the original bracket to begin with. There are two reasons that your favorite scary movie didn’t make it. One, it’s a finite list (and a small one at that). Two, we aren’t mind readers. For the most part, our bracket was conventional in honoring the classics, but we also tried to spice things up by including newer films and even a few that maybe weren’t seen by wide audiences (Session 9, you will be missed…). Today’s post will seek to celebrate some of those movies you suggested we were morons for leaving out. We’ll also run down the numbers, laugh some more about the rhyming Ring/Thing battle, and get serious about the predictions. We’re down to 8 insanely strong horror flicks, so it’s even more important to get out the vote because the margins are going to be razor blade thin. Or you can vote first and then read all this

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John Carpenter

A true master of horror, it’s no surprise that John Carpenter‘s work has shown up in our series where horror filmmakers discuss their favorite scary movies (and, spoiler alert, he’ll show up again next week). His figure looms large inside and beyond the genre, gifting classics like Halloween, Escape From New York , The Thing, Assault on Precinct 13 and Big Trouble in Little China to the world. He’s a quiet-spoken man, which is perhaps not too rare in the world of horror. Although it’s fairly strange to think that this unassuming man made people terrified of being inside their own homes (and, you know, taking trips to Antarctica). So here’s a bit of free filmmaking (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a man who makes our nightmares.

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

Movies introducing slang prefixes are all the rage right now, with Pitch Perfect prompting us to put “a-ca-” ahead of numerous words and now Argo giving us a funny reason to put “ar-” before “go” whenever we use the latter (especially when we use it with profanity, as in the movie). So, let me now employ the pun to invite you to “argo” back through the week with us to revisit the best stories and features from the past seven days. Before the main roundup, let’s highlight the regular content that you can find links for around the main page. This week we posted and re-published a bunch of reviews of new releases (Argo; Seven Psychopaths; Sinister; Smashed; Middle of Nowhere) as well as interviews with Argo star/director Ben Affleck and actor-turned-director Matthew Lillard. There weren’t a whole lot of trailers showcased this week, but you should argo watch the new spots for Hitchcock, Room 237, Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained and join the discussions of each. And finally, regarding our love of shorts here at FSR, in addition to the regular, daily highlights, we watched Pixar‘s new clubbin’ continuation of Toy Story, Partysaurus Rex, and took a look at the shortlist of eight documentary shorts vying for an Oscar nomination. Daniel has also reviewed shorts programs at the New York Film Festival, as well, but there’s a link to all that event’s coverage below. Check out our ten best features from the past week plus some other recommended […]

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The American Scream Trailer

For tons of film geeks, Halloween is the best time of the year. We get to layer our movie weight under comfy sweaters, the squares suddenly show interest in makeup and demons and all sort of other strange stuff, and we can gorge on all of the cheesy horror movies we want without anyone thinking it’s weird. The new documentary from Best Worst Movie director Michael Stephenson follows subjects who feel much the same way about our calendar’s most Karo syrup-obsessed holiday. The American Scream is about three ordinary families who all share the same obsession: they take decorating their houses for Halloween way too seriously. If you’ve seen Best Worst Movie, you probably know what to expect here. The American Scream makes a group of weirdos its focus, and manages to milk their weirdness for some laughs, but it also clearly has a deep affection for them, so things never feel mean or exploitative, and you might even get some insight into the human condition. When he took it in at Fantastic Fest recently, our own Luke Mullen called the movie, “another captivating window into a world of passionate fans.”

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