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!

Posts by Julia Merriam

Review: Monster House (2006)

Monster House poster

Everyone has something they were terrified of as a child. Sometimes it was the shadows lurking in the closet, sometimes it was the malevolent clown doll perched on the highest shelf, and sometimes it was that creepy house across the street. But what happens when those imagined dangers, often considered the folly of childhood, become a very dangerous reality? The answer, of course, is Monster House, the directorial debut of Gil Kenan (City of Amber). An innocent and yet surprisingly mature film, Monster House explores both the mystery of the neighborhood's haunted house and the complexity of adolescence with minimal belittlement. Offering a fresh take on an old idea, Monster House approaches its youthful themes with maturity, dignity and a healthy dose of good ol' supernatural fright, making it nothing less than a top-notch children's horror film.(read more...)

Review: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation poster

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Month. In 1974, Tobe Hooper created what would prove to be one of the most memorable and enduring horror films of the late 20th century: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Like so many memorable and enduring horror films, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre spawned a franchise of sequels, most of them worse than the one preceding it. The worst of the bunch, however, has got to be Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. A sad, anemic parody of the original film, TCM:TNG is an awe-inspiring confluence of bad dialog, absurd storytelling and epileptic pacing that is almost painful to watch. But, like any good train wreck, it's hard to look away.

(read more...)

Review: The House on Haunted Hill (1959)

House on Haunted Hill 1959 poster

The first time I watched The House on Haunted Hill I was impressed. It was creepy and captivating, Vincent Price was brilliant and the atmosphere and story-line were completely immersive.  I was in love. However, when I re-watched the film for this review, I made a startling discovery: my memory is a dirty, filthy liar. On second pass, Haunted Hill was far less opulent, the casting less appropriate, and the overall experience somewhat dull and stunted. While it's certainly not a bad film, this review, sadly, is tinged with bitter disappointment.
(read more...)

Review: Dark Waters (1993)

Dark Waters DVD

That was weird. Those were the first words that spilled out of my mouth as the end credits rolled on Dark Waters, a British/Italian/Russian co-production filmed in post-Soviet Ukraine. Directed and co-written by Mariano Baino, Dark Waters is a singular experience. Steeped in Lovecraftian influence, the film can be dizzying, even maddening, to watch. However, with the captivating direction and surprisingly engaging story, Dark Waters may actually be worth your time. It is not, however, a film for the feeble-minded.(read more...)

Review: Whispering Corridors (1998)

Whispering Corridors poster

If I had to pick a word to describe Whispering Corridors, I think I’d have to go with quixotic. In many ways, Corridors is typical of 1990s Asian horror: one dead girl, creepy chilling atmosphere, and a fairly predictable plot. Unlike American films, which are almost always plot driven, Whispering Corridors is driven by mood, so much that, at times, the story only seems to exist to get the film from one tension filmed scene to the next. Unfortunately, the screenwriting isn’t necessarily up to the task.(read more...)

Review: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 1920 poster

Everything has to start somewhere. And, in Post-World War I Germany, a cinematic breakthrough was brewing: Carl Mayer, an Austrian scenarist and Hans Janowitz, a Czech poet, conceived the tale of a psychotic madman who could control another human being and drive him to murder. While that may seem rather common place these days, the concept, which influenced later films of the genre (such as Murders in the Rue Morgue, 1932), was positively novel in 1920. With the help of director Robert Wiene, a meddling producer, and a team of brilliant production designers, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is now a landmark in film history, both within and without the horror genre.(read more...)

Review: Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein (1972)

Dracula Prisoner of Frankenstein poster

There are some movies that are avant-garde in their disuse of dialog. There are some movies that are brilliantly post-modern in leaving out most of the soundtrack. There are movies that are insightful because of their dubious logic and shifting plot. Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein isn’t any of those films. It’s possible that I might have missed something on the first viewing, some nugget of inspiration that I’d pick up on if I watched the film again. Unfortunately, you couldn’t pay me to watch Prisoner of Frankenstein a second time. I probably should have skipped it the first time around.(read more...)

Review: The Mummy (1959)

The Mummy 1959 poster

When you get right down to it, most mummy movies are more or less the same. Guy becomes mummy, mummy is awakened, mummy discovers reincarnated princess that he loved back in good ol' Egypt and mummy deals with unrequited love and undead emo. So, when it comes to mummy movies, it generally not the story that makes it a good one. Instead, they have to rely on actors, themes, sets and cinematography. Luckily, The Mummy (1959) has all of this in spades, making Hammer's renowned contribution to the genre not only a good mummy movie, but a damned good film overall.(read more...)

Review: I Am Legend (2007)

I Am Legend 2007 poster

Generally, I’m the first to say that movie adaptations of literary works need to be considered as separate entities from the progenerating material. Expecting unwavering faithfulness to the original work is not only an unreasonable request, it often results in poorly shot, painfully boring films (take the first Harry Potter film, for instance). However, while I will tolerate a lot of concessions in the name of good filmmaking, I expect a movie adaptation to stay true to the spirit of the original, enough so that I can at least recognize the vestiges of the original plot amidst the new additions and modifications. Francis Lawrence's I Am Legend, however, hasn’t been adapted from Richard Mathesons’s novella, so much as it’s sent the novella to its room and thrown an unsupervised party in its absence.(read more...)

Review: Videodrome (1983)

Videodrome poster

In 1983, David Cronenberg did something few directors ever really accomplish: he released a masterpiece. Videodrome, which is both written and directed by Cronenberg, is one of his best horror films, a fusion of many, if not all, the themes Cronenberg had explored previously, and would continue to explore in his later films. In this respect, Videodrome is more than an author's masterpiece, a sublime example of “auteur theory” in film. It is a social commentary about the direction of humanity's future, a dazzling and terrifying journey to a frighteningly familiar dystopic society and a freakish glimpse of what it means to be betrayed by our own bodies and consciousness. Videodrome is, put simply, David Cronenberg's vision of the not-to-distant future on film.(read more...)

Search