Sunday, 21 September 2014

Poltergeist

Directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist (1982) is a slick, big budgeted, special effects laden extravaganza. It is also a well-written film – now considered a classic - with a sly commentary on the corrupting influence of television, the tribulations of suburban life, colonialism, the ill-treatment of Native Americans, the break-down of the nuclear family unit, and the damaging excesses of capitalism and consumerism.

The influence of Spielberg is overwhelmingly evident in the film’s representation of the all American family, and their pursuit of the American dream. With Hooper in the director’s chair however, these moments appear almost satirical, and cracks soon begin to appear. To the central family’s horror, they realise their white, middle-class American dream is built upon the graves of indigenous people, and their suburban ideal crumbles when vengeful spirits abduct their young daughter, Carol-Anne...

Head over to Eye for Film to read my full review of Poltergeist and the special features available on the Blu-ray it has just been released on.

If you’re interested in reading more about the representation (and subversion) of the family unit in the films of Tobe Hooper (including, of course, Poltergeist), head here and pick up a copy of Diabolique Magazine, issue 20, to read my essay Family Man.

The Shining: A Poster Gallery

With its astounding plethora of now iconic images, shots, recurring motifs and enduring production design details, it’s easy to see how The Shining inspires artists as much as it does. Here are but a few examples of promotional artwork for Kubrick’s chilling masterpiece of modern horror…



























The Shining

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) needs little introduction. Adapted from Stephen King’s chilling bestseller, it is an undisputed masterpiece of horror cinema, featuring a bleak atmosphere, striking visuals, frenzied performances, and an utterly unshakable, creeping sense of dread.

It has long been an absolute favourite of mine, but I have always been somewhat hesitant to write a review of it; after all, what is there to say about it that hasn’t already been said? As there is indeed already so much to say, where on earth do you begin when just writing a straight-up review? An intimidating prospect to be sure, but it’s good to challenge yourself, isn’t it? With a little advice and much encouragement from the editor of Eye for Film (thank you Amber), I closed my eyes, opened my mind and took the plunge.

Head over to Eye for Film to read my humble (and probably too gushing) take on The Shining, and the special features available on the Blu-ray it has just been released on, courtesy of Warner Bros.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The A Nightmare on Elm Street film series has just been released on blu-ray in a box-set containing the first seven films and a plethora of exclusive special features. While I’ve delved into the Elm Street series before, it’s always good to revisit old favourites; especially when they’ve been released in shiny HD and in a box-set crammed with all sorts of geeky goodies. Over the next few weeks I’ll be revisiting all seven films and taking a look at the extra features accompanying them in this new box-set.

For the uninitiated, A Nightmare on Elm Street tells of a group of teenaged friends who are stalked and murdered in their dreams by the demonic child killer their vigilante parents murdered years prior. As far as horror films go, it’s considered a classic. And rightly so. Produced during the early to mid-Eighties slasher flick craze, it stood out from the crowd with its feverish suspense, surreal dream sequences, genuinely nasty killer, and fantasy horror set-pieces which blurred the line between dream and reality. Director Wes Craven addresses themes such as familial strife, generational conflict and teenage angst, as well as subtextually referencing Grimm fairy tales and tapping into some very primal and universal fears indeed; not least the fear of parental abandonment and the notion that sooner or later, everyone must succumb to sleep…

Head over to Eye for Film to read my full review of the film and its special features.