A Brief History of Evil Children in Horror Movies

Rich Juzwiak · 10/30/15 11:52AM

In celebration of Halloween, we took a shallow dive into the horror subgenre of evil-child horror movies. Weird-kid cinema stretches back at least to 1956’s The Bad Seed, and has experienced a resurgence recently via movies like The Babadook, Goodnight Mommy, and Cooties. You could look at this trend as a natural extension of the focus on domesticity seen in horror via the wave of haunted-house movies that 2009’s Paranormal Activity helped usher in. Or maybe we’re just wizening up as a culture and realizing that children are evil and that film is a great way to warn people of this truth.

Crimson Peak Is More Like a Nadir

Rich Juzwiak · 10/16/15 02:25PM

Before my screening of Crimson Peak, the new movie from visionary director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim), a sheet labeled “Foreword” was distributed to the attending writers. Here is what it said, in full:

"Who Are We To Say That Cannibalism Is Wrong?": Eli Roth Savages "Social Justice Warriors" in New Flick

Rich Juzwiak · 09/24/15 03:38PM

With The Green Inferno—the first of two new Eli Roth movies that will be released in the next two weeks—Eli Roth attempts the virtual impossible: making a modern cannibal movie. The Green Inferno is a throwback to the small but notorious cannibal subgenre of Italian horror movies that were made mostly during the late ’70s and early ’80s. The movies were characterized by extreme gore, on-screen mutilation of live animals, sexual violence, and depictions of jungle-dwelling natives as man-eating savages. They are intentionally revolting and, at best, effective assaults on the senses.

Holy Shit, M. Night Shyamalan Finally Made a Movie Worth Watching: The Visit

Rich Juzwiak · 09/11/15 10:05AM

All is forgiven, M. Night Shyamalan. If we had to endure the director’s last decade of cinematic abortions—which ranged from the hilariously bad (The Happening) to the utterly unwatchable (After Earth)—to get something as hilarious, weird, surprising, and nonstop entertaining as The Visit, it was well worth it. Not only is Shyamalan’s latest movie his best since The Sixth Sense, it’s an adrenalin shot to the creatively comatose subgenre of POV horror. Even more exciting is that it’s one of at least four solid horror movies opening this month (the others include Goodnight Mommy, Cooties, and Eli Roth’s ode to Italian cannibal movies, The Green Inferno). One moment, the horror genre seems deader than the bodies it piles up on screen, staler than the air in the haunted houses it’s been fixated on for the past few years; the next, we’re treated to an embarrassment of riches. (I would love to know if there ever in the history of modern horror have been four solid entries into the genre released in one month. I doubt it. That it’s happening in 2015 blows my mind.) We should probably stop laughing at Shyamalan when his name pops onscreen during the trailers for his upcoming movies. Instead, we should be thanking the man.

"It's Good To Be Confronted With Death": A Conversation With the Directors of the Horrifying Goodnight Mommy

Rich Juzwiak · 09/10/15 01:35PM

One of the biggest stories about horror cinema in 2015 is actually the story of a trailer: When the American preview for the Austrian film Goodnight Mommy dropped in late July, it immediately went viral inspiring a rash of reaction videos and copy deeming it the “scariest trailer of all time.” (At this point, the view count on the trailer is just under 6 million.)