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Showing posts from March, 2018

How To Identify Prestige Horror: An 8-Question Test

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The horror genre is back in a big way and with the recent attention and wins of The Shape of Water and Get Out , there's no doubt prestige horror will be making a huge comeback in the year(s) to come. But what is prestige horror? Basically, it's a serious, dramatic film with a high pedigree that dips into genre themes, such as the supernatural, unnatural monsters, or serial killers. These movies are usually not blockbusters (like The Conjuring or IT ) but tend to be indies or lower budget films that get quite a bit of love on the festival circuit and lots of praise from critics (although their marketing campaigns are usually very misleading). Below is my litmus test to determine whether a horror movie is a prestige horror film .

Keep It Green and Avoid Snakes

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Department 56 Adds to "Nightmare" Village

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Department 56's has added a few pieces to their Nightmare Before Christmas line (available June 25). So far this series has replicated what's been available through Disney and Bradford Exchange although with much better detail, larger size, and much better quality. This year we get Lock, Shock & Barrel's Treehouse, the Town Square Fountain, and Zero's doghouse. I hope they keep going and give us some more odd buildings like the round monster building, the witch hat buildings, the cat building, the octopus tower, or maybe even the spiral hill. Town Square Fountain, #6001202, $40 Lock, Shock & Barrel Treehouse, #6001201, $130 Zero And His Dog House, #6001203, $20 Elsewhere, Department 56's Halloween Village series adds another interesting witch building (Emeralda's Shoe Shop) and a few less inspired buildings that don't scream out to me. I'm not sure what happened since Enesco bought the company but it feels like Halloween has

Happy National (Pet A) Spider Day!

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March 14 is National Save a Spider day and it's a perfect day to start eradicating some of that arachnophobia. Spiders save us from being overrun by other bugs such as mosquitoes, flies, ants, and aphids. Spiders only bite humans in self-defense and while all have venom, few are dangerous. Scientists are studying the use of some spiders' venoms as a more natural pesticide, as well as treatments for Alzheimer's disease, strokes, and other diseases. So go out and pet a spider! Actually, on second thought, don't. They may interpret your love pat as an attack.

"Valdemar Legacy" Conjures Up Lovecraft

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Some films fly by without a blip, especially if they are foreign horror films. While browsing on Amazon Prime Video I came across La Herencia Valdemar ( The Valdemar Legacy) . This gothic yarn from Spain was released waaaaay back in 2010 and never really got a U.S. release, other than being unceremoniously dumped onto Amazon. It's remotely inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft and while not a great film, is definitely an interesting trip into Necronomicon territory. The movie starts as a modern day haunted house film and then abruptly shifts to the 19th century when the rise of spiritualism led to many charlatans. The elegant melodrama revolves around a childless couple who run an orphanage outside a remote village. The husband gains an interest in the occult and soon the couple is holding seances (for guests like Bram Stoker and Lizzie Borden!) as a means to finance their selfless work. But things take a dark turn. The plot circles back to modern day but ends on a cliffhan

The Shape of Oscar

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A creature feature, horror comedy and family film about skeletons won Oscars!!! Congratulations to Best Picture THE SHAPE OF WATER , with Guillermo del Toro , Best Director, Best Original Screenplay GET OUT , and Best Animated Film, COCO . It's so rare when genre films get serious recognition and today we celebrate! Poster artwork by James Jean