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!

Review: Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Night of the Living Dead 1990 poster

It's perfectly natural to want to cringe at the mere thought of a Night of the Living Dead remake — one shot in full color no less — but hear me out: Tom Savini's 1990 version of Night of the Living Dead does a respectable job of reworking George Romero's 1968 classic to a fit more modern archetype. Well-known for his make-up effects (on films such as Friday the 13th and Romero's own Dawn of the Dead), Savini understandably leans toward a more visceral revision to the already ghastly classic.(read more...)

The Haunted Mansion: Keeping the Faith

Hitchhiking Ghosts

The following is for the League of Tana Tea Drinkers' roundtable discussion of "What Do Cute Versions of Monsters Tell Us About Horror?" I realize that I didn't address the question directly, but I think my piece fits into the larger discussion.

I've never been a spiritual person. The most pressing conflict of faith I had growing up was whether I would become an agnostic like my father or an atheist like my mother (I still bounce back and forth to this day). I suppose we all need something to believe in, however, especially as children. I believed in horror. It was, in many ways, my faith - adored without question, every movie I could get my hands on committed to memory and recited ad nauseam. Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolf Man, and an exquisitely tortured Vincent Price were all major deities. It was a simple pleasure in a complex time - my parents were getting divorced and I was being moved (as opposed to moving, which suggests I had some choice in the matter) to another state. In hindsight, horror was something I very much needed to survive - the heightened acting, the fantastic settings both foreboding and unreal, the monsters who brought thrills and chills to supplant the uncertainty that was actually much, much scarier. (read more...)

Review: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark poster

During the early 1970s, the three major television networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) provided their viewing audiences with an abundance of well-made, low-budget fright flicks as a response to the then burgeoning drive-in market. One of the most well-remembered shows to air during this time was the ABC Movie of the Week. The series ran for a respectable six years (1969-1975), producing several key genre entries. John Newland's Don't Be Afraid of The Dark stood at the forefront of this small screen movement. Newland's film left an indelible mark on the terrified viewing audience that caught it on October 10, 1973. Now, almost forty years later, it still stands up as the kind of film that will make you want to sleep with your light on. (read more...)

Review: Mahakaal (1993)

Mahakaal poster

If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, Wes Craven is presumably meant to take the chutzpah of Mahakaal as a compliment. A jaw-droppingly blatant rip-off of one of Craven's most famous films, A Nightmare on Elm Street, it is also a frustrating piece of work. Despite being, at times, genuinely creepy, and adding a few inventive touches of it's own, it ultimately fails, because the story changes leave it thematically weaker, and the directors are unwilling or unable to transcend the limitations and demands of the "Bollywood" commercial film-making formula(read more...)

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...)

Review: Dead of Night (1945)

Dead of Night (1945)

Ealing Studios' 1945 production of Dead of Night is a landmark film on two different levels. Its overall high quality, mind-bending wraparound story, and one legendary sequence solidify Dead of Night's reputation as one of the greatest examples of the horror anthology. Of equal significance, the film provides links to the future by introducing elements that foreshadow genre movies made many years later.(read more...)

Review: House (1977)

House 1977 poster

One of the great things about horror films is the constant evolution of the genre; just when you think you've seen every possible take on a premise, somebody will come along with a new twist on an old favorite. The bare bones of the plot of House (a group of teenage girls, trapped in a creepy old mansion, being murdered one by one) may sound very familiar. However, in the hands of a first-time director with a background in both art and advertising, it becomes a chaotic and experimental piece of work that, aside from being baffling, bloody, and disturbing, is a great example of the theory of Pure Cinema. (read more...)

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...)

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...)

Review: The Uninvited (1944)

The Uninvited (1944) poster

At some point in its history, Hollywood decided that more eye-popping effects, blood, violence, and nudity were needed to bring more viewers to theaters and put more money into industry coffers. Unfortunately, this often led to a lazy, less-nuanced approach to filmmaking. Fans of the haunted house chiller, in particular, saw first-hand how the new, in-your-face angle negatively impacted their favorite horror sub-genre. Where you now see the ghosts and supernatural forces through optical and computer trickery, the ghost stories of filmdom's golden age relied on simple sound, lighting, and wind machine effects to get the viewer's already active imagination to scare the pants off them. One of these subtle gems of yesteryear is 1944's The Uninvited, a sumptuous-looking, superbly directed and acted hair-raiser of the highest caliber.(read more...)

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