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 Nate Yapp

Review: Malevolence (2004)

Malevolence poster

Malevolence commits what is, to my mind, the worst sin a film can commit - it's boring. Just competent enough that it's not bad, and just pedantic enough that it will never be any good, Malevolence is a stalk 'n' slash movie that exists in that demilitarized zone of the truly uninteresting.

The opening exhibits a certain minimalist style that is actually quite effective. A boy is forced to watch the murder of a woman by a methodical killer. Writer/director Stevan Mena understands the basic brutality of the scene, and doesn't go in for a lot of additional flash. The creepiness speaks for itself.(read more...)

Review: House of Frankenstein (1944)

House of Frankenstein 1944

By 1944, the Universal monsters had become too familiar to be truly frightening. The Frankenstein monster alone had already appeared in five films. Universal's solution was to treat their gaggle of ghouls as old friends. The Frankenstein series evolved into an elaborate excuse to paste as many recognizable faces into a single film as possible. The trend began in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, but really blossomed into a cornucopia of creatures with House of Frankenstein.(read more...)

Review: The Howling (1981)

The Howling poster

The Howling is one of the formative films of my own horror experience, important to me as The Wolf Man, Pit and the Pendulum, and The Evil Dead. True, it is a trifle of a film, a werewolf romp with not other desire but simple thrills. On the other hand, it's a werewolf romp that succeeds at providing simple thrills with flair.(read more...)

Review: The Raven (1963)

Raven 1963 poster

For the fifth entry in his cycle of Edgar Allan Poe films, Roger Corman decided to take a new tact. Instead of an atmospheric, haunting chiller set in a Gothic castle, he made a wacky, slapstick comedy set in two Gothic castles. The results are enjoyable, if not always successful.

Sorcerer Dr. Erasmus Craven (Vincent Price) mourns the loss of his beloved wife Lenore (Hazel Court). Fellow magician Dr. Bedlo (Peter Lorre), who gets transformed into a raven more than he'd like, breaks the fugue state by informing Craven that Lenore isn't dead - she's living it up in the company of the sinister Dr. Scarabus (Boris Karloff). Soon, it's off to Scarabus's domicile and into mayhem, mishaps, and magical duels.(read more...)

Review: M (1931)

M 1931 poster

Fritz Lang's M is not, strictly speaking, a horror film. A simplistic identification for it would be crime drama, but M is not simplistic. Behind its single-letter title lies a wealth of complexities. Yes, in one way, it is a crime drama, but it's also a commentary on German society, a suspense thriller, and, in one sense, it's an incredibly unsettling horror story.

Mostly responsible for that horror is Peter Lorre, who plays a child murderer haunting Dusseldorf, Germany. The performance -- which is at turns grandiose, stricken, lascivious, and pathetic -- is not always the focus of the camera, but it is always the focus of the film. Even when Lorre is not on screen, his mannerisms and his horrible compulsions haunt the proceedings. After the film is over, he is still there, whistling into our ear.(read more...)

Review: Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman poster

From the first bubble of the elixir that forms the credits in chemical smoke to the last crash of the final battle of titans, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is quite a treat for the Universal fan. Not only do you get two exciting monsters for the price of one, but they're placed in a vigorous storyline that, while slight, is too much fun to dislike.(read more...)

Review: Eyes Without a Face (1960)

Eyes Without a Face poster

Georges Franju's 1959 horror classic Eyes Without a Face (aka Les yeux sans visage and The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus) opens on a woman driving a car through the French countryside. She looks nervously at the pair of headlights that are gaining on her. Her backseat passenger is cloaked in a trenchcoat and a fedora that is pulled low, obscuring his or her features. We get the feeling that there is something wrong with this person, and the driver's increasing paranoia does nothing to assuage the fear. The headlights draw nearer and finally pass the woman's car, which has stopped. The driver is relieved, but we are not -- the person in the back has slumped awkwardly. This isn't a living person after all, but a corpse that the woman will soon struggle to dump in a nearby body of water.(read more...)

Review: Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

Ghost of Frankenstein poster

It's probably not a coincidence that the first Frankenstein film without Boris Karloff as the Monster marked the beginning of the series' downturn in quality. As much as James Whale (and after him Rowland V. Lee) defined and shaped the classic Frankenstein ambiance and emotional architecture, it was Karloff's gentleman heart that made the movies more than simple creature features. His films had a soul - Ghost of Frankenstein, however, does not.
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Review: Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Son of Frankenstein poster

Universal's first monster movie since Dracula's Daughter in 1936, Son of Frankenstein kicked off the studio's second horror cycle. Lavishly produced sets and a lead cast of horror luminaries marked it as an auspicious beginning. Although the wit of James Whale is sorely missed, Rowland V. Lee brings a quality of his own to the movie, making it as much a necessity to the genre as Bride of Frankenstein.(read more...)

Review: Dracula (1931)

Dracula 1931 poster

Universal's 1931 production of Dracula is a lot of things. It's badly paced, riddled with continuity errors, and ridiculously stagebound a good portion of the time. It's also atmospheric, chilling, and contains one of the most influential and oft-imitated performances in the history of cinema.
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