Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!

Nathan Sturm

Nathan Sturm's picture
Columnist

a/s/l: 26/M/Michigan.

I discovered Halloween decorations and Bela Lugosi movies as a little kid and haven't looked back since. With horror films (and art/culture/entertainment in general), I tend to believe that it takes awhile before we can really be sure if something is good. It might seem good now, but if you come back 15 years later after the hype has dissipated and it's still good, then you know it's really good. Similarly, some things might seem underwhelming now, but grow in stature over time.

My personal Top 10:

1. The Shining (1980)

2. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

3. Psycho (1960)

4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

5. The Exorcist (1973)

6. Nosferatu (1922)

7. Alien (1979)

8. Suspiria (1977)

9. The Evil Dead & Evil Dead II (1987)

10. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Posts by Nathan Sturm

The Disused Fane: Go Into the Light

Horror Rises from the Tomb seance

One of the best parts (there are many) from the Spanish flick Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973) is an early scene in which the protagonists, all of whom are bored rich people, attend a séance. They want to get in touch with their ancestors; it's not like they have anything better to do with their time. They succeed. Unfortunately for them, the film already opened with a prologue set in the Middle Ages in which a certain nobleman and his mistress are executed for practicing witchcraft. Naturally, it is these two individuals who manifest themselves at the séance, and naturally, this inspires the one guy to take everyone up to the old ancestral castle to start digging for things in the crypts. It doesn't turn out well.(read more...)

The Disused Fane: I Am Become Death

Dawn of the Dead: Roger the zombie

It has become almost mandatory in any movie involving zombies or zombie-like creatures... the scene in which one of the protagonists confronts a friend or family member who isn't quite the same anymore. Can he perform his duty to civilization by pulling the trigger, or will he end up like them? Is it right to kill a loved one who has become one of the undead (or an alien pod-person, or a plague-infected mutant, or whatever)? (read more...)

The Disused Fane: Never Meant for the World of the Living

Old Hag in Room 237 in The Shining

For my money, The Shining (1980) is the scariest movie ever made, and the book is frightening as well. There are numerous reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that damn woman in Room 237 (217 in the book). When Danny foolishly enters the room, the film cuts away, and later it is left ambiguous who put those marks on his neck. The film does this to heighten the psychological tension that results from Wendy's suspicion of Jack. The book, however, is pretty unambiguous. Danny sees a dead, decaying woman rising from the bathtub and stumbles away in terror; huddled against a wall, he closes his eyes and reminds himself that she will go away in a little while, like a dream, when he opens his eyes; and that ghosts, the residues left by the dead, can't actually hurt living people. And then fingers begin to close around his throat... (read more...)

Review: Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974)

Silent Night Bloody Night poster

Silent Night, Bloody Night is an eerie and disturbing little proto-slasher. Filmed in 1972 and arriving in 1974, it predates even Black Christmas, yet features several elements that have become familiar today: the holiday setting, the menacing phone calls, the nebulous identity of the killer, the "final girl". At the same time, its Gothic-style focus on the tragic history of a big, creepy house places it at the intersection of classic and modern approaches to the horror genre. At worst, it's a curiosity; at best, it's a forgotten minor classic. (read more...)

The Disused Fane: Night and Day of the Dead

Pumpkins in Trick 'r' Treat (2008)

One Halloween night when I was a teenager a friend and I decided to walk to the cemetery a quarter mile from my mom's apartment and wander around. It was pretty spooky. The cemetery in question was huge, with a dead gnarled tree near the entrance, and odd little stone steps - we imagined that they were perhaps gateways to Hell - leading from the pathways to the fields where hundreds of gravestones sprawled. One almost expected to see Colin Clive and Dwight Frye skulking about with shovel and lantern. Another friend of ours had declined to come. He was quite religious, and what we were doing he found both offensive and frightening, regarding it disrespectful of the dead and vaguely "evil" as well. As the two of us got increasingly creeped out I suggested that we should have forced the third guy to come with us - if we were attacked by angry specters, I said, we could have ritualistically sacrificed him to placate them.(read more...)

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