ARTICLES

Includes long-form pieces and regular columns, more of which are to be added soon!
ARTICLE | EMBODIMENTS OF EVIL

In the inaugural entry of a new column singling out enduringly creepy film characterizations, an American sweetheart cast against type emerges as one of cinema’s most unexpectedly chilling villains.

BY STEVEN MEARS  |  February 7, 2024

Sometimes all it takes is one sentence to demolish everything you thought you knew about a person.

REVIEW

Arrebato (Rapture)

(Iván Zulueta, Spain, 1979)

Birthed during the cultural thaw that immediately followed the end of the Franco dictatorship, Basque writer-director and designer Iván Zulueta's 1979 feature Arrebato erupts like a massive discharge of so much repressed anxiety and despair.

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BY  LAURA KERN  |  Month 00, 2021

GUIDE | MODERN SLAYERS

Beast

(Michael Pearce, UK, 2017)

Beast is a lot of movies in one package - fractured fairy tale, belated-coming-of-age story, psychological drama, regional horror film - but above all it's a calling card for its leading lady, Jessie Buckley.

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BY  STEVEN MEARS  |  Month 00, 2021

REVIEW

Humongous

(Paul Lynch, USA, 1982)

In what could be the fastest-resulting rape revenge movie, a drunken lout brutally forces himself on Ida, the young woman who doesn't return his affections, during a party over Labor Day.

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BY  LAURA KERN  |  Month 00, 2021

GUIDE | MODERN SLAYERS

Beast

(Michael Pearce, UK, 2017)

Beast is a lot of movies in one package - fractured fairy tale, belated-coming-of-age story, psychological drama, regional horror film - but above all it's a calling card for its leading lady, Jessie Buckley.

READ MORE >

BY  STEVEN MEARS  |  Month 00, 2021

ARTICLE | ESSAY
A break from traditional Christmas fare with 1945’s Strange Confession, and the coming together of assorted heads

Were you to remark that the 1940s represented a peak in American pop-cultural horror, most people would automatically think you were talking about movies. 

BY COLIN FLEMING  |  December 22, 2023

ARTICLE | STREAMING PILE
The first edition of a reanimated column rounds up the best in this year’s horror, sci-fi, thrillers, and bloody action.

Years ago, on Film Comment’s website, I introduced a column called Streaming Pile—one that, as its tagline stated, was “dedicated...

BY LAURA KERN  |  December 22, 2023

ARTICLE | SOUNDS OF VIOLENCE
Hard rock and teenage hardship abound in ’80s horror relic Trick or Treat, an eternally addictive depiction of hero worship gone crazy.

The directorial debut of veteran character actor Charles Martin Smith, Trick or Treat (1986), tells a story grounded in rites, rituals, and rock. Its inaugural sequence, a bravura portrait of...

BY JOSÉ TEODORO  |  October 31, 2023

ARTICLE | ESSAY
The holiday-enlivened monster that is Halloween III: Season of the Witch.

The way horror film series typically work is that the first entry is notable, for whatever reason—it’s a great movie, it’s popular, it infiltrates the...

BY COLIN FLEMING  |  October 31, 2023

ARTICLE | ESSAY
David Gordon Green continues his assault on beloved horror franchises with a new Exorcist that only heightens the glory of Friedkin’s original.

Pauline Kael’s New Yorker review of The Exorcist was published the first week of January 1974, just after the film’s intentionally provocative Christmastime release. 

BY NICHOLAS RUSSELL  |  October 13, 2023

ARTICLE | FEAR FRANCHISES
A deep dive into the world of Insidious, one of the more complex, mystically minded horror franchises, which 13 years in closes on an unexpected high note.

Last night I watched myself sleep then I flew away, a young boy named Dalton writes in crayon shortly before his spirit leaves...

BY NICHOLAS RUSSELL  |  Updated July 11, 2023

ARTICLE | FEAR FRANCHISES
The ultimate evil-kid figure presides over the first two of hopefully many Orphan films.

A horde of diabolical children have preceded Esther of Orphan (2009), directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, but she has secured a place among horror cinema’s most memorable enfants terribles, even before its long-awaited...

BY KELLI WESTON  |  April 28, 2023

ARTICLE | ESSAY
Quentin Dupieux’s singular brand of outlandish humor reaches gory new heights with Smoking Causes Coughing.

For no apparent reason, at the start of Rubber (2010), perhaps Quentin Dupieux’s best-known film, a sheriff pops out...

BY LAURA KERN  |  March 31, 2023

ARTICLE | ESSAY
The Harbinger, the latest of Andy Mitton’s exquisitely heady—and horrifying—otherworldly explorations, is the only quarantine film we need.

High-concept, no-frills horror is writer-director-editor-composer Andy Mitton’s modus operandi. While his four features (the first two co-directed with Jesse Holland)...

BY LAURA KERN  |  December 5, 2022

ARTICLE | ESSAY
The cannibalistic Bones and All fortifies, and darkens, Luca Guadagnino’s habitual seductive scenarios, in which heightened stylistics often cloud sexuality.

Bones and All—Luca Guadagnino’s latest monument to ill-fated love, based on the 2016 young-adult novel by Camille DeAngelis...

BY KELLI WESTON  |  November 23, 2022

ARTICLE | FIRST BLOOD
From a pool of strong contenders, Poltergeist emerged as the defining film of an ’80s childhood.

In 1983, JoBeth Williams appeared in the ensemble of Lawrence Kasdan’s The Big Chill, thus immortalizing herself as an avatar for white baby boomery. As emotionally dissatisfied, professionally stunted Karen...

BY MICHAEL KORESKY  |  September 30, 2022

ARTICLE | FEAR FRANCHISES
After four canonical films and two offshoots, the indomitable series returns to glory with Prey

Of the many recurring horror villains, Freddy Krueger is famously distinguished by his crispy face and razor claws, Jason Voorhees by his hockey mask and machete, and Leatherface by his human-flesh mask and chainsaw. They all...

BY LAURA KERN  |  August 17, 2022

ARTICLE | SOUNDS OF VIOLENCE
The director’s latest film, Flux Gourmet, further amplifies his wonderfully obsessive attention to the aural experience.

One need only watch a few moments of Peter Strickland’s films to realize that the British-born, Hungary-based director is a stickler for detail. 

BY MARGARET BARTON-FUMO  |  June 24, 2022

ARTICLE | ESSAY
Cronenberg hallmarks may ripple through Crimes of the Future, but the director’s transcendent return offers fresh flavors of food for thought.

The opening image of David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future is arresting, enigmatic, exquisite, revealing an enormous capsized ship...

BY JOSÉ TEODORO  |  June 7, 2022

ARTICLE | ESSAY
Looking back on the experience of Darren Aronofsky’s divisive masterwork and questions of misogyny in horror from a world unimaginably more surreal than the one we inhabited five years ago.

Over 20 years ago I made an agreement with Darren Aronofsky to never write about his work. It was the very end of the last century, in a...

BY LAURA KERN  |  June 7, 2022

ARTICLE | FIRST BLOOD
A young horror-seeker found his dark pleasures in classic monsters, Salem’s Lot, and the art house—and the search goes on.

Horror stories know something that other stories don’t. William S. Burroughs named his book Naked Lunch after that “frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork.” That’s how I remember my first horror movies...

BY TOM PHELAN  |  March 17, 2022

ARTICLE | FIRST BLOOD
Like a full moon, An American Werewolf in London transformed a young horror director-to-be.

Despite all the Universal, Toho, and Hammer monster movies I’d been introduced to on Channel 48’s Creature Double Feature, nothing had prepared me for the moment when a friend’s older brother popped in a VHS copy of An American Werewolf in London at a sleepover. 

BY HENRY MILLER  |  February 1, 2022

ARTICLE | ESSAY
Julia Ducournau’s feral serial-killer genre hybrid Titane seeks salvation in notions of domesticity.​

Consider Titane a reverse-slasher: not merely because in place of the usual murderous man-child in gender distress, fueled by psychosexual rage to terrorize mainly (or most enthusiastically) his female victims, we have a gender-bending woman serial killer...

BY KELLI WESTON  |  October 31, 2021

ARTICLE | ESSAY
Acclaimed stars’ forays into horror roles are always revealing, and sometimes revelatory.​

“You can lose everything else, but you can’t lose your talent,” proclaims “Baby” Jane Hudson (Bette Davis), a former child star plotting a doomed comeback. Robert Aldrich’s 1962 “Grande Dame Guignol” masterpiece...

BY STEVEN MEARS  |  October 31, 2021

ARTICLE | FIRST BLOOD
BBC2’s Horror Double Bills paved the way for cherished father-son bonding and a lifelong love of the creepy unknown.

One of the earliest memories I have is of my father pointing to an abandoned rowboat in Dublin’s River Tolka and quite matter-of-factly stating that “a monster lives in there.”

BY GLENN McQUAID  |  October 31, 2021

ARTICLE | SOUNDS OF VIOLENCE
Tangerine Dream’s synth score dynamically guides Michael Mann’s only foray into horror-fantasy, The Keep.

Within Michael Mann’s oeuvre of slick urban crime dramas and thrillers, his lone horror-fantasy film The Keep is an overlooked outlier, virtually ignored since its initial release in 1983.

BY MARGARET BARTON-FUMO  |  October 31, 2021