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.
It’s time to discuss the gold standard of folk horror on film, 1973’s The Wicker Man. We explore the various themes around nature, religion, and culture as well as the tension between expression and repression. And also how great Christopher Lee is.
Ghosts, fogs, mysterious illnesses, creepy servants and Nicole Kidman slowly coming unhinged: We revisit 2001’s gothic-tinged haunted house story, The Others, to discuss the themes of invaders, motherhood and coming to terms with what we can’t control.
Ari Aster’s debut feature takes on family demons, inside and out. We discuss what Hereditary says about parents and children and how we pass along what we can’t handle ourselves.
A cult classic movie that inspired the likes of Night of the Living Dead, this little movie out of Kansas highlights some of the real everyday horrors such as gender conformity, trauma, and lurking threats. Carnival of Souls is a great lesson in male gaze of the 60s and how even an unpolished film can be great.
If you liked Carnival of Souls, check out:
- Twilight Zone’s “The Hitch-hiker”
- Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man