Thursday, February 28, 2019

Scary Movie & TV Calendar Updated

I've updated The Scary Movies & TV Calendar and Calendar page with a simpler interface to make it easier to read on mobile. If you have any more suggestions, or movies/series to add please tweet me @senorscaryjerry or comment below.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Toni Collette's Hereditary Snub & Horror at the Oscars

The biggest Oscar snub this year was Toni Collette's visceral performance in 2018's Hereditary. Her portrayal of Annie, a cold, distant matriarch of a highly dysfunctional family beset by tragedy was the kind of performance actors might have once in a career. Haven't seen it? Take a look at this pivotal scene (SPOILER ALERT):

Collette without a doubt gave a performance of a lifetime, in a film embraced by critics and the horror community but shockingly snubbed by both the Oscars and even the Golden Globes. It has become A24's highest-grossing film worldwide, making over $79 million (on a $9 million budget).

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who hands out the Oscars has historically held a strong bias against genre films in its prestigious top categories (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director). Only a handful of horror films have ever been nominated for Best Picture, often relegating awards to the technical categories, so at least they have some merit. Take a look at the horror films in Oscar's history:

Best Picture Nominations
The Exorcist (1974)
Jaws (1976)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - WINNER!
The Sixth Sense (2000)
Black Swan (2011)
Get Out (2017)

Best Picture Biggest Snubs
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Psycho (1960)
The Birds (1963)
The Haunting (1963)
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The Omen (1976)
Alien (1979)
The Shining (1980)
Poltergeist (1982)
Misery (1990)
The Babadook (2014)
The Witch (2016)
Suspiria (2018)
Hereditary (2018)

Horror Oscar Winners
DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1932) - Actor in a Leading Role
REBECCA (1940) - Best Picture, Cinematography (considered Suspense/Thriller)*
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1943) - Cinematography, Art Direction
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (1945) - Cinematography
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (1962) - Costume Design
ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968) - Best Actress in a Supporting Role
ALIEN (1979) - Visual Effects
ALIENS (1986) - Visual Effects, Sound Editing
THE EXORCIST (1973) - Adapted Screenplay, Sound
JAWS (1975) - Sound, Film Editing, Music
THE OMEN (1976) - Music
BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (1992)- Costume Design, Sound Editing, Makeup
THE FLY (1986)- Makeup
MISERY (1990) - Actress in a Leading Role
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) - Best Picture, Director, Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Leading Role, Adapted Screenplay
DEATH BECOMES HER (1992) - Visual Effects
BEETLEJUICE (1998) - Makeup
SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999) - Art Direction
PAN'S LABYRINTH (2006) - Cinematography, Art Direction, Makeup
SWEENEY TODD (2007) - Art Direction
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)* - Best Picture, Actor in a Supporting Role, Directing, Adapted Screenplay
BLACK SWAN (2010) - Best Actress in a Leading Role
THE WOLFMAN (2010) - Makeup
THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017) - Best Picture, Directing, Music, Production Design (considered Adventure/Fantasy)*
GET OUT (2017) - Original Screenplay


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Quick Takes: Braid, Happy Death Day 2U, Horror Noire, The Isle

Braid is a defiant debut from director Mitzi Peirone. As a hyperreality adrenalin experience, structure is not the concern. Visuals, frantic color, and aberrant cinematography tell the uncompromising, female-led #horror of intertwined friendship, insanity, and make believe. Brava!

Happy Death Day 2U is exactly what you need in a sequel. The story is advanced, goes battybananas, stays fun, gets smart, brings back the stellar Jessica Rothe, and gives you more that you expected. Director Christopher Landon @creetureshow knocks it out of the– dimension!

Horror Noire is essential viewing. It’s engrossing, educational, and deeply affecting to see examples of Black representation throughout film history. The significance of horror films from Night of the Living Dead to Get Out has never been more clear – and inspiring!

The Isle looks impressive & drips with a damp, brooding atmosphere. But a listless pace & insistence on characters splitting up betrays a story rooted in eerie Scottish lore/mythology. The further in, the farther the writing strays into lifeless whispers instead of howls.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

10th Anniversary – And There's A Name Game!

It's my 10th Anniversary of writing this blog! It started in 2005 as an email newsletter called Wicked October, then transformed into a seasonal blog in 2007. A couple of years later with the launch of in 2009, I rebranded the blog as This became a year-round blog that tapped into my passion for horror.

Today, the blog continues to evolve as I dig deeper into film studies, focus even more on horror, and delve into my cultural and personal identity. With this new found voice, I've decided to embrace a new moniker: Señor Scary, and a refreshed blog is now available at This site is still dedicated to the scary things I love: horror, haunts, and Halloween. I hope you will continue to follow me and please connect with me on Twitter or Instagram.

–Dreadfully, Señor Scary (a.k.a. Scarrry Jerry)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Horror Queers Sets the Record Straight

The latest podcast from gives a voice to a disenfranchised segment of the horror community: Horror Queers. The Horror Queers podcast based on the column of the same name, looks at one horror movie at a time through a gay lens to suss out the actual, implied, subtly hinted, or unintentional queer moments, and review them in a modern context. Deeps dives into older films (so far from 90s onwards) are discussed for cultural relevancy, enduring appeal, and the people making the films. As a result previously panned movies like Jennifer’s Body or Hostel get fresh-eyed assessments.

Arguably, podcasts are most successful when hosts have engaging on-air personalities. I’ve been (re)watching the selected movies to see the world through the eyes of hosts Joe Lipsett and Trace Thurman. Thurman comes across as that lively and enthusiastic friend that you love to go to the movies with because he will appreciate that one great moment in a terrible film. Lipsett by contrast comes across as more reserved and obligingly snarky, like a certain Dowager Countess of Grantham. He is soft spoken, razor sharp, and reminds me of a friend who never seems quite pleased with anything. Together the dynamic is electric: a Siskel to an Ebert that often see eye-to-eye but love to disagree with cheeky aplomb.

The podcast itself is fun, informative, and lively. Sure a touch long but in fairness, I think most podcasts run too long. I could turn it off, but what if I miss a salient point about Jesse Bradford's himbo in Swimfan? The commentary often makes me question my initial opinions on films which is the mark of effective critique. For example, Hostel has one clearly queer scene but is the relationship of the two main characters really more than it appears? Film media, even horror, is a kind of art. One person's perception is just as valid as another who might see something entirely different. The Horror Queers do their homework and present thoughtful arguments to support their opinions. In the case of Hostel, I wonder if poor editing amplified lingering gazes/touches that could be considered queer. After all, performances are "made" in the editing room.

None of my friends truly love horror movies like I do. Beyond the gore and terror, it’s likely because the horror genre often veers towards misogyny and homophobia (among many other phobias). Horror Queers fills a specific void in the landscape that will hopefully bring together the LGBTQ+ community and allies who love horror, and have those awkward and frank discussions about our beloved genre. I'm very excited to see how this podcast develops, and grateful for a major site like Bloody Disgusting to support such an outing.

Listen to the Horror Queers podcast.

Read the Horror Queers articles.

Sign up to sponsor to the Horror Queers on Patreon.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Quick Takes: The Prodigy, The Golem, Velvet Buzzsaw, Tumbbad

The Prodigy has some clever ideas and soot-dark moments but the mounting dread is muted by a lethargic pace, repetitive narrative & bland characters. Jackson Robert Scott as the evil kid is chilling and anchors the movie but it's not scary or radical enough to stand apart. (In theaters on Feb. 8)

I'm a sucker for period pieces and The Golem smartly updates the figure of Jewish folklore with a well-crafted, sincere & culturally relevant film. There’s surprising emotional resonance even while bodies are being torn apart. That's quite a feat Dread Presents! (Available on VOD)

You may hate art after Velvet Buzzsaw. Jake is hilarious in this odd Final Destination meets Absolutely Fabulous-ish queer horror satire comedy that never tips too pointedly in any one direction. Check your expectations and it'll be a merry momentary diversion. (Stream from Netflix)

Folklore, fantasy and horror collide into a feast for the eyes in the creepy and atmospheric Tumbbad. It's thin on characters and bows a bit in the middle but the epic scale and wildly effective visual effects tell the story without the need for words. This is a very good film. (Stream from Amazon Prime Video)

Monday, February 4, 2019

Scary Movie Calendar 2019

Here’s a handy Scary Movie Calendar for 2019. I'll update it periodically, so if I missed something good, let me know: @scarrryjerry or comment below.

UPDATE: I've added a new page to the blog: SCARY MOVIE CALENDAR. It's my personal database (yes, I'm a geek) with release dates of upcoming horror, thriller, and genre-adjacent scary movies

UPDATE 2: I've had a few questions about my definition of "scary movie." I include horror, thrillers, sci-fi, and other genre-adjacent movies. Why? Many movies now defy specific genre categorization and may appeal to horror genre fans. Scary means things that cause fear, alarm, or unease whether it be from monsters, ghosts, aliens, serial killers, or just weird people doing awful things. Scholars, critics, and purists may rightfully disagree. (Here's a great primer on Film Genres Origins & Types.)