Showing posts from August, 2021

In Conversation with Maria J Pérez Cuervo, editor and founder of Hellebore

The small press magazine Hellebore is a collection of writings and essays devoted to British folk horror and the themes that inspire it: folklore, myth, history, archaeology, psychogeography, witches, and the occult. The publication takes its name from a poisonous plant strongly associated with witches and the water element – it is also said to have the power to alter perception and open portals to the Underworld and the subconscious. Founder and editor Maria J Pérez Cuervo’s fascination with archaeology, mythology, anthropology and magic stems back to her childhood, and led her to study Latin and Ancient Greek at school before embarking upon a MA in Archaeology for Screen Media. Her writing regularly appears in publications such as Fortean Times, Spirits of Place, The Ghastling, Rituals and Declarations , and Folklore Thursday . According to Maria, she decided to create Hellebore because “The idea of creating something that included all the themes I love was very appealing. Becau

The Babadook (2014)

Written and directed by Jennifer Kent, and based upon her earlier short film Monster (2005), The Babadook is a creepy, powerful meditation on grief and the effects of trauma. It tells of Amelia (Essie Davis), a woman struggling to come to terms with the tragic death of her husband, and whose young son begins to behave erratically, claiming a monster is hiding in their house. Kent utilises a striking expressionistic style throughout to convey the inner turmoil and fear of the characters, and explore themes concerning loss, grief, and motherhood. Her direction is careful, unhurried, and her pacing deliberate, all of which allows the audience to be slowly, surely submerged in the gradually increasing horror. Tensions are already high when Samuel (Noah Wiseman) asks Amelia to read him a mysterious pop-up storybook she has never seen before. The book tells of a weird creature called Mister Babadook, who torments anyone who discovers his existence. The children’s book, and the dark power i

American Psycho (2000)

On the surface, handsome investment banker Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) appears to have it all. Behind the façade of his immaculately groomed and besuited physique, however, lurks a narcissistic psychopath with an increasingly uncontrollable bloodlust. Directed and co-written by Mary Harron and based upon the controversial 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho is a dark, satirical examination of the heartless, capitalist excess of 1980s America. Harron, who co-wrote the screenplay with Guinevere Turner, opts to tone down the intense violence of the novel and up the satire, as they focus attention on ridiculing the Wall Street executive lifestyle, social conformity, toxic masculinity and the mindless consumerism of the time. Harron’s cool, detached direction not only ensures the seemingly disparate elements of horror, comedy and satire effortlessly blend, but allows the excess of the period to speak for itself. Violence, when it occurs, is either offscreen or shocking en

Fear Street Part Three: 1666 (2021)

When Deena (Kiana Madeira) and Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) reunite the severed hand and skeletal remains of the witch Sarah Fier in an attempt save Deena’s ex-girlfriend Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), Deena experiences a vision which reveals the origins of the curse that has plagued her town for centuries.  After introducing audiences to the doomed residents of the cursed town of Shadyside ( Part 1 ) and exploring fragments of the town’s grisly curse in more detail ( Part 2 ), director Leigh Janiak and her co-writers Phil Graziadei and Kate Trefry, now take a deep dive into the origins of the curse, flashing back to 1666 and introducing us to the alleged instigator, the witch Sarah Fier. As with the previous films, viewers can expect twists and revelations – and, finally, some answers – regarding the dark history of Shadyside. Many of the actors from the previous two films return to portray characters from the town’s past, direct ancestors of the characters they previously played. Rather aki