Penny Dread­ful

What’s hap­pen­ing in the world of hor­ror movies this month…

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The best ( and worst) of hor­ror dis­sected, plus a look at the high­lights of Ja­panese screen ter­ror.

2015 will be the big­gest year ever in movies. Here are two rea­sons it’ll rock for hor­ror: teen slasher It Fol­lows and Ira­nian vam­pire flick A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. Mean­while in 2014: why movies about the Rap­ture will never be scary, why movies about necrophilia will al­ways be gross, and a damn fine cup of cof­fee worth wait­ing for...

Exit pur­sued by a granny

In­tro­duc­ing: the next big thing. Creepy teen slasher It Fol­lows has been gen­er­at­ing mad fes­ti­val buzz all year and now, after its London Film Fes­ti­val premiere, it’s nab­bing “in­stant clas­sic” and even “master­piece” ac­co­lades from Brit crit­ics. Yeah, it’s not quite that, but I’m ab­so­lutely cer­tain this will be one of the best loved hor­rors of 2015. The Guest star Maika Mon­roe plays Jay, whose new boyfriend has given her a sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted curse – ev­ery­where she goes she’ll be fol­lowed by a slow mov­ing, shapeshift­ing killer. Some­times it’s a naked woman. Some­times it’s a scary granny. Some­times it’s a pale faced gi­ant. Some­times it’s an eerie lit­tle boy. And some­times it’s your dad. Based on the di­rec­tor’s re­cur­ring dream, there’s a lot go­ing on here: it’s packed with sub­text and sex­ual pol­i­tics, though at times it’s frus­trat­ingly el­lip­ti­cal and the rules of why and how It Fol­lows’s fol­lower fol­lows aren’t clear. Still: the char­ac­ters are rounded and like­able, the vi­su­als are lan­guid and dream­like, the sound­track is nos­tal­gic but not blud­geon­ing, and the scares are, for once, scary. It Fol­lows will be a hard act for the rest of 2015 to follow...

Girl Mostly Likely

If you see one black- and­white Ira­nian vam­pire western- love- story next year, make it A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. And the very strange­ness of this movie isn’t even the best thing

Soft porn, en­trails, mur­der and necrophilia. It’s what hor­ror is all about. Grim 1988 Ger­man odd­ity Nekro­man­tik, about a down­trod­den street cleaner who has a three- way with a corpse, gets a full un­cut spe­cial edi­tion Blu- ray and DVD dual for­mat re­lease on 24 Novem­ber, com­plete with ex­tras in­clud­ing audio com­men­tary, Mak­ing Of and anal­y­sis. Shock­ing, yes, with some close- your- eyes mo­ments of an­i­mal mean­ness, it’s nasty, fas­ci­nat­ing, al­le­gor­i­cal erot­ica with necrophiles. about it. The first fea­ture from Ana Lilly Amir­pur, it fol­lows a beau­ti­ful name­less teenage girl who stalks the streets of “Bad City”, her hi­jab bil­low­ing like Drac­ula’s cloak as she cruises on her skate­board qui­etly met­ing out vi­o­lent re­venge on drug deal­ers and pimps, un­til an awk­ward ex­change with sweet na­tured Arash opens up the pos­si­bil­ity of hope. Vaguely com­pa­ra­ble to Let The Right One In, Girl is full of hu­mour and pathos, pol­i­tics and per­son­al­ity. It also has a very nice lit­tle cat in it who Arash’s dad thinks might be the rein­car­na­tion of his dead mum. Don’t be put off by the quirky cre­den­tials: this is spe­cial.

Holy Crap

Swathes of peo­ple drop dead in­stantly, planes fall from the sky, gi­ant traf­fic pile ups clog the roads and corpses lit­ter the streets. And they’re the lucky ones... Christian hor­ror movie The Re­main­ing, out this month, is a bizarre apoc­a­lypser that starts with very cool scenes of the Rap­ture – the bib­li­cal no­tion of a judge­ment day where the souls of the vir­tu­ous faith­ful are scooped up into heaven by God while all the “sin­ners” are left to rot on hor­ri­ble old Earth – and grows preachy, con­fused and de­press­ing by the end. Hor­ror with a re­li­gious agenda isn’t new ( un­sur­pris­ingly there was a lot of it about in the ’ 70s) but the cur­rent resur­gence is in­ter­est­ing. Nic Cage, in his tire­less on­go­ing quest to ap­pear in the worst movies ever made, stars in another Rap­ture- based thriller – Left Be­hind – re­leased in the US

last month which is ap­par­ently so ma­nip­u­la­tive, un­like­able and naff even hard­core Chris­tians ( or per­haps es­pe­cially hard core Chris­tians) de­spised it (“We tried to give the film zero stars but our tech sys­tem won’t al­low it,” said

Chris­tian­ity To­day). Hor­ror films have al­ways had a re­la­tion­ship with moral­ity, so it shouldn’t in the­ory be par­tic­u­larly in­sid­i­ous for one re­li­gious group to push theirs. The prob­lem is more fun­da­men­tal: a hor­ror movie where the best pos­si­ble out­come is to be dead doesn’t work. Christian genre film mak­ers might want to be a lit­tle less lit­eral...

Go­ing for a Bur­ton

In a town where the liv­ing have to wear Hal­loween cos­tumes all year round to avoid the ghouls who haunt it, a boy falls in love with a the spirit of a girl called Angèlè. Hu­bert’s Ghost is a short from young Brit direc­tors Lloyd and Joe Staszkiewicz and the win­ner of the Short­cuts To Hell film com­pe­ti­tion ( a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tweem FrightFest, The Hor­ror Chan­nel, Movie Mogul and Wild­seed). What the boys won was the bud­get and support to turn their short into a fea­ture. In just un­der a year you should be able to watch the full length movie at FrightFest and there’s ev­ery chance it’ll be ex­cel­lent. It looks some­where be­tween Tim Bur­ton, Wes An­der­son and Monty Python, and it’s pitched at a young adult hor­ror au­di­ence in a way that’s not tapped into in the UK right now. The US has Franken­wee­nie and Paranor­man. We’ve got Hu­bert. Head to http:// bit. ly/ ShToHell to check out the short and watch this space for up­dates.

How’s An­nie?

“That gum you like is go­ing to come back in style! # damn­good­cof­fee” – the sin­gle great­est Twit­ter mo­ment ever, posted by David Lynch last month to tease the an­nounce­ment that

Twin Peaks is re­turn­ing. There’s not much info out there but we know it’ll be a nine- episode se­ries due to be broad­cast in 2016 and it looks like Kyle MacLach­lan’s pure- hearted Agent Cooper will re­turn. As a young­ster this scared me to the core. Now I’d choose the Black Lodge for a nice mini- break...

Dread­ful Old Movies

At least de­cent hair prod­ucts sur­vive the Rap­ture in The Re­main­ing.

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