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