July 2011

Let Me In

What Twilight should have been.

    

Vampires are scary, dammit. They're not glittery, vapid, pompadour-sporting love interests. Where Twilight attempted to make vampirism a cute, juvenile teen-trend fascination (and was largely successful), Let Me In is a horrfying look at what that relationship might actually look like, and does it with slow and careful attention. Let Me In, based on the Swedish novel Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, is a painfully honest story of a 12-year old boy that develops a relationship with a darkly mysterious girl next door.

Cult Classic Reboots in the Works

Lest we go without redoing every marginally popular film ever to grace the airwaves, Hollywood has been hard at work on assembling new versions of cult classics. Rest assured, everything you've ever loved will soon be done again, and badly.

We've already seen a Children of the Corn remake, in 3D no less. You might not remember it. It didn't do so hot. What the industry seems to overlook time and time again is the reasons people love classic horror. Hint: it's not the technical prowess of the special effects team. It's not the money poured in to glossing over every scene with shaky CGI. It's the old-school, low-budget, balls-out badassery that keeps people coming to midnight showings of Evil Dead 2. It's the ingenuity with which the alien in The Thing was animated, the fact that simple puppetry will always be creepier than the creepiest computerized creepy-crawly. I don't care how much you paid the Maya engineers. You can't make a monster that visceral on your MacBook. 

Shock Value by Jason Zinoman

Shock Value by Jason ZinomanNPR recently aired an interview with Jason Zinoman about his new book Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood and Invented Modern Horror. Zinoman enthusiastically praised the accomplishments of early horror trailblazers such as George Romero, who is almost single-handedly responsible for the cult of the zombie present in our culture today. Folks like John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and Roman Polanski also appeared in Zinoman's analysis of the horror scene. Fans of classic horror and the evolution of genre would do well to pick up Shock Value, which is available via Penguin Press. You can read an excerpt of the book over at NPR's website.