Poll 10/21/2008 - 3:56pm

By Simon Augustine

While Hollywood has been churning out toothless remakes of shocker classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween, or lukewarm PG-13 remakes of successful Asian thrillers like The Grudge and The Eye, a generation of filmmakers re-invigorating the horror genre has cropped up in a most unlikely place: France. In a country known more for its frank portrayals of sex and meditations on philosophical ennui, an aesthetic of violence has emerged that, ironically, accomplishes what American auteurs have failed to do - recapture the grit, power, and above all, the danger of American horror in its 1970's heyday. Essentially, what the French have done is up the ante in terms of bloodletting, bringing fresh kineticism and a sense of obscenity to the usual acts of brutality, while still maintaining at least a modicum of existential weight and emotion amidst the proceedings.


Blog entry 06/17/2008 - 3:00pm

(reposted from GreenCine Daily.)

Frontier(s) "There's enough blood in the unrated French horror film Frontier(s) to satiate even the most ravenous gore hounds," writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times. "The real surprise here is that this creepy, contemporary gross-out also has some ideas, visual and otherwise, wedged among its sanguineous drips, swaying meat hooks and whirring table saw."

"Xavier Gens may pledge allegiance to 70s grindhousers, but like the garbage hauled out at least once a year from Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes production house, or the two-headed, razor-studded dildo formed by Hostel and Hostel II, the style of the French director's career-making torture porn is very much a sign of our times: a capitulation to base pop appetites," writes Ed Gonzalez in Slant.

Blog entry 05/10/2008 - 10:29am
Blog entry 04/18/2008 - 9:33am
Poll 04/11/2008 - 4:03pm

Interview By John Esther

"Eschewing the reactionary tropes of the supernatural or working class threats to the paranoid ruling classes vis-àis mutant horror in most American movies, Bong Joon-ho's The Host (Gue-Mool) brings a social conscious to a story of a world run amok. The film commences with chemicals being dumped into a drain leading to the Han River..." John Esther spoke with director Bong Joon-ho about his newest feature The Host. An impressive buzz has built up around the film, including coverage in ArtForum.

The Host is now available on DVD.

Blog entry 07/24/2007 - 10:13am

By David D'Arcy

"They're not ironic," Guillermo Del Toro says of his films. "Not even a thing like Blade II, not even a thing like Hellboy. I believe in these things. I love these things. I'm not being postmodern about it." David D'Arcy's conversation with the director of Pan's Labyrinth touches on the Spanish Civil War, Mexican film today, the books Del Toro reads (and rereads), the art he collects and the filmmakers he admires.

Pan's Labyrinth is now available on DVD. Don't overlook the bonus disc packed with some fantastic special features, including a Charlie Rose interview with del Toro and his creative parnters in crime Alfonso Cuaróa> and Alejandro Gonzáz Iñitu.

Page 05/16/2007 - 12:55am

by Cheryl Eddy

Mainstream horror fans have it good, what with films like The Sixth Sense, 28 Days Later, and Freddy vs. Jason flooding multiplexes, video stores and prime-time cable airwaves. Fans of Italian horror, however, have been forced by circumstance to be a craftier bunch. For years, even the most widely seen films in the genre -- Dario Argento's Suspiria, for example -- were carefully sanitized before reaching any American audiences. Fortunately, the DVD era has brought with it a torrent of "uncut and uncensored" versions, replete with lavish gore effects, brilliant color schemes, and pounding, fully restored soundtracks. In short, there's never been a better time to get acquainted with Italian horror films.

Page 03/28/2007 - 4:25pm

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