Are women losing their minds or is it just Satan? So hard to tell. We kick off a month of women experiencing questionable reality with a brief discussion about Rosemary’s Baby.
This month we talk about the grand dame of the “Grand Dame Guignol” genre: Robert Aldrich’s 1962 film, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? We discuss the horror the movies make of women aging, the twisted relationships between competive women and the dark psychology behind the demands of showbiz. Plus: Bette Davis and Joan Crawford gossip drama.
Strangers, ghosts, illnesses, possessions, impotence, murders and legends meet and mix in 2016’s The Wailing, an exquisite piece of South Korean folk horror. We discuss the film’s twists and turns, its intersection of religion and folklore, and the way it reflects and heightens the confusion of the modern world..
We begin a month of South Korean film with Parasite, a movie that isn’t horror but isn’t not horror either. We discuss its unique yet universal perspectives, how expertly it uses metaphor and subtext and the darkness it reveals at every level.
Cinematic gothic horror gone wild, Crimson Peak is a lush, romantic descent into visual styling and spectacular terror. We discuss the tradition of gothic horror, how to interpret this film in the context of its influences and the power of what’s underneath its flourish.
We begin our descent into florid, sensational gothic horror cinema with 1960s The House of Usher. We discuss how Roger Corman and Vincent Price bring Edgar Allan Poe to technicolor life and how the classic story elements set a new standard for gothic horror in film.
As a classic adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting is one of the all-time great psychological horror films. We discuss how it employs character, atmosphere and subtext to create fear, how it depicts the societal contraints placed on midcentury women and how it gets Shirley Jackson right.
In which we introduce mini episodes: short episodes covering films connected in some way to upcoming full monthly episodes. This month we’re discussing adaptations of work by writer Shirley Jackson. Here we talk about 2018’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, directed by Stacie Passon, and consider domestic horror, handling unreliable narrators in film and the inherent difficulties in adapting Jackson’s stories.
An acclaimed Australian horror film, The Babadook presents the danger of repressed grief and calls into question whether we manifest our own monsters. We discuss this untraditional horror and how it beautifully represents the everyday stressors – from single parenthood, to external judgements – that can cause the most damage.
We wrap up our first season with a bookend of our first episode: director Robert Egger’s second film, The Lighthouse, which gives us the opportunity to discuss mythology, masculinity, isolation and reality. And Willem Dafoe’s beard.