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Articles tagged with: Horror Genre

Cinema and Television, October 2009 »

The Cove: So Long, and Thanks for All the Polemics!
[1 Oct 2009 | 3 Comments | 2,968 Views]
<i>The Cove</i>: So Long, and Thanks for All the Polemics!

The Cove’s obsession with its own heroics is its most fundamental flaw. A desperate plea to emotion and irrationality, this crowd-pleasing documentary is a facile, ill-conceived piece of agitprop that may end up doing more harm than good to the cause of conservation.

Cinema and Television, July 2009 »

[16 Jul 2009 | One Comment | 2,613 Views]
Open Your Mouth and Scream “Ahhh!”: <i>Drag Me to Hell</i>‘s Oral Fixation

Beyond the excess of his fright scenes (ghosts appearing at a seance, a catfight in a tool shed, a fake-wake from a bad dream), this is one of Raimi’s most tightly constructed films — predictable and thematically consistent, if repellent. Aesop didn’t need to resort to supernaturally fetishistic vignettes of domestic abuse and carjacking to make his points; Raimi’s aspirations to be a contemporary fabulist are undercut by both his moral rigidity and blinders toward his own neurotic obsessions. If he had a firmer grip on the nuance required of good moralists and ethicists, perhaps he would have succeeded.

Cinema and Television, March 2009 »

[4 Mar 2009 | No Comment | 2,750 Views]
Fearless Campfire Stalkers: or, Pardon Me, but Your Machete Is in My Neck

Rather than a boogeyman who despises randy teens, the new Jason almost resembles an evil woodsman — not unlike the robbers of olde, who would waylay travelers and slit their throats in the dense thickets of the forest. Some of the cinematography is beautiful, capturing the haunting elegance and decay of the woods. The way Jason’s lair is set up (he’s got a lair!), he is master of these woods. As his Domain, he won’t tolerate trespassers or poachers — or even dumb kids who would disturb the placid waters of his lake with a gas-guzzling motorboat, skiing while blasting ear-splitting rock music. In a way, the modern Jason functions more like the hillbillies of Deliverance or the vengeful ghosts of Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist: these people Just Don’t Belong Here, and their obliviousness doesn’t justify their punishments, but it affords a cosmically unfair (yet comprehensible) explanation for why they must die as they do.

Cinema and Television, Oct/Nov 2008 »

Halloween 2008: a Cinematic Pilgrimage
[19 Nov 2008 | No Comment | 881 Views]
Halloween 2008: a Cinematic Pilgrimage

The focus on fear, rather than suspense, or grand guignol over mordant spectacle, generally separates “horror” in my mind from other genres involving death and the threat of violence. By showing new ways in which we cannot escape the question of death, good horror films can be uplifting by opening up possibilities of engagement, as opposed to simply parading avatars of death across the screen and celebrating their excesses. Then again, maybe they are spectacles of nihilistic obsession after all, which offer nothing but a dehumanizing blow to the spirit.