A classic of psychological horror, 1961’s The Innocents is a delicious mix of all the things we love to talk about: ghosts, sexual deviancy, women losing their minds, etc. We also cover the roots of the story from Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw as well as how everyone loved to get all Freudian in the 50s.
This month we’re talking about movies that deal with the loss of a child, beginning with 1980s The Changeling. It’s a good start, but this one falls short of what we were hoping for. We discuss the psychological underpinnings we were expecting to see emerge more and how expectations for that sort of thing in horror films have evolved.
The story of Red Riding Hood gets meta and bloody as we kick off a month of fairy tale horror with 1984’s The Company of Wolves. We discuss the legacy of fairy tales, the influence of writer Angela Carter and why horror is such a perfect vehicle for female coming-of-age stories.
We begin a month’s discussion of folklore in psychological horror film with 2019’s La Llorona. Despite its honor as Guatemala’s submission for best international film, this one seems to have been overshadowed by lesser films with the same story device, but we think it deserves more recognition for its effective and affecting use of myth.
We continue our month of discussing the intersection between horror and noir with the 2021 adaptation of Nightmare Alley. We compare it to the original adaptation and delve into the differences in character motivations, plus we consider if director Guillermo del Toro’s influence tips this film into full “horror” territory.