The status of an icon is cemented by an idiosyncratic appearance and that also applies to horror movie icons. Sometimes the defining visual identity is already established in the first movie (Pinhead), sometimes it needs a few sequels to develop the final look (Jason Vorhees).
Once in awhile though, frozen structures and tired tropes have to be stirred up and a change in looks is a good first step to breathe some fresh air into a franchise and shake off some of the less timeless visual traits that stem from the time of its inception.
Yet, a change is not always needed -“don’t fix what’s not broken”- and in the worst case it can turn out to be a little botched- like the following 9 examples.
written and directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
When we hear “Japanese horror movie”, we usually instantly think of pale-faced, long-haired girls with the annoying tendency to appear out of thin air in the most impossible places at the most inconvenient times, watching you through the shower curtain or crawling out of your TV. That is unfortunate, because the history of Nippon horror has so much more to offer.
Like Sweet Home, a stylish and fun horror romp from 1989. As the title already suggests, Sweet Home is a haunted house movie, but one that stands out a little among the other efforts of this classic subgenre.
This article has been originally been published on another website on Halloween.
Werewolves belong to the core group of classic monsters, yet they are notoriously hard to tackle in movies. If you ask horror fans for the classics of the genre, usually the same five movies are quoted every time. Too many rotten apples, to use a vague Halloween-ish image, have spoiled the audience’s appetite for cinematic lycanthropy.
An American Werewolf in Paris and the countless Howling– sequels (Part 2 to “don’t even bother to google”) might be the most notable culprits for this state of affairs.
NSFW due to pictures featuring nudity and disturbing content.
The US are said to have a particularly strong fascination for serial killers, which has also been reflected in the country’s movie history.
Especially after Psycho came out in 1960, “serial killer movie” slowly became its own subgenre, that probably peaked in the 1990s with Silence of the Lambs, Se7en and all their ripoffs.
But like the subjects they portray, these movies are not exclusively a Western phenomenon. That’s why I want to shine a light on six very different genre entries from Asian countries, which rank from disturbing to existentialist to plain silly, but are all strongly recommended to those who cannot get enough of these disturbing individuals -on screen, that is.
The Bedevilled (1975)
aka Xin Mo
written and directed by Wei Lo
For me, the output of the Hong Kong-based production company “Golden Harvest” during its golden era is a cinematic treasure trove that rarely disappoints. For a certain magical period of time, it seemed like they could do no wrong.
Remember when movies had theme songs? Apart from the Bond movies, it feels like this tradition has waned a little.
It is not completely extinct yet, but its is definitely not a prominent trend anymore. No Power Rock ballad sang the praises of the little man succeeding in the big world during the end credits of Ant-Man, nor did LL Cool JJ enrich the experience of Guardians of the Galaxy with a tie-in single called “I Am Groot”.
What was the last noteworthy example of its kind? Men in Black maybe? Read More