I recently took part in a Podcast, during which the topic of conversation turned to Festive horror films and I recommended this movie, Rare Exports.
It’s a wonderful Christmas horror film and it struck me that it might even be considered a hidden gem, so I want to spread the word about this film by talking with you about it today.
The story opens with American and British research teams taking samples from the top of Korvatunturi in Lapland, watched by two local boys. This place is believed to be the home of the folkloric creature Joulupukki, who is said to have inspired the modern version of Santa.
Today once again in the spirit of the spooky season, I’d like to talk about a film that’s perfect for a cold Halloween night.
Last Night in Soho, a 2021 British horror film. It was released in October 2021. Last Night in Soho was directed by Edgar Wright, who also worked on the screenplay with Krysty Wilson-Cairns.
The story is about Ellie, who is dreaming of becoming a designer and is fond of the music and fashion of the sixties. She moves from Cornwall to London to study fashion. Ellie’s mother died when Ellie was a child and Ellie sees her ghost in mirrors.
Ellie has trouble fitting in and her snob roommate doesn’t help. So Ellie moves into a studio flat, in a building owned by Alexandra. On the first night in her new flat, Ellie has a vivid dream of the sixties and sees a girl, Sandie who is looking to become a singer and she inspires Ellie to design a dress. Ellie has another dream in which Sandie gets a singing job and lives in the same flat Ellie lives in.
Today I want to talk to you about one of the most epic tools in a horror film and/or game makers tool kit.
I am of course talking about sound design.
Sound is essential to building tension, suspense and anxiety as well as signalling to you that you can breathe for a moment and when you should be wary. While all sound design is essential to managing this control of tension, I want to focus on Music today (though there will be a bonus video at the end of this blog re other kinds of sound).
As I said, music is intrinsic to horror films, music invokes emotions, something movies and games use to their advantage. Music is an amazing communication tool, telling you want to think and feel without saying a word. A great way to ‘tell’ without ‘telling’.
Composures are magicians.
Think back to jaws as a good example, you hear that tiny clip of music, and you know to get the hell out of the water. Or the sharp violin screech in Psycho. All of these sounds resonate with us in a way that words sometimes struggle to.
Today I want to share with you my top five favourite horror soundtracks.
Today I want to talk with you about a movie I enjoyed, about a lady who has visions only to find they are coming true.
Malignant is a supernatural horror film, it was released in 2021 and directed by James Wan. It was written by James Wan and Ingrid Bisu and Akela Cooper.
Modern-ish day America.
Our main characters are:
Madison – our main character
Sydney – Madison’s sister
Gabriel – I’m saying nothing.
Detectives Kekoa Shaw and Regina Moss
Dr. Florence Weaver & Victor Fields & John Gregory – doctors at Simion Hospital
The film starts in 1993, in Simion Hospital, with Dr. Weaver, Victor Fields and John Gregory treating a psychiatric patient, Gabriel. Gabriel has apparently got magic powers, as he is able to eat electricity and broadcasts his thoughts via speakers. Unfortunately for everyone Gabriel turns violent and kills a bunch of people in the hospital. Dr Weaver claims she can’t fix him and they have to cut the cancer out.
Today is the 1st of April! Which as you probably already know, means it’s April Fools Day.
April Fool’s Day is a day celebrated each year with practical jokes and hoaxes, it has permeated all aspects of work and life, and the horror genre has not escaped. With that in mind today I want to talk about the 1986 classic horror film, April Fools.
While this is a horror film it is a black comedy. It was directed by Fred Walton and centres around a group of college students whose vacation is disrupted by a killer.
Today I am writing to tell to you about Antlers, which is a film with a lot of symbolism.
It was released in 2021 and directed by Scot Cooper. It was adapted from the short story, The Quiet Boy, written by Nick Antosca.
The story takes place in a small town in Oregon, where a drug dealer, Frank, runs his meth lab out of an old mine. Frank is visiting his lab and he; his son Aiden and Franks meth pal are all attacked by a creature in the mine. Frank and Aiden escape but meth buddy does not. However, Frank and Aiden are not well after the attack and return home to be locked in the basement by Franks other boy, Lucas.
Today I want to write to you about the film, Midsommer.
Midsommer is a folk horror story that was released in 2019. It was written and directed by Ari Aster, who you may remember from Hereditary. Midsommer and Hereditary are both very similar in their ability to build and hold tension as well as the sheer depth of the atmosphere.
In these blogs I usually go heavily into spoiler territory but I’m going to avoid that with this film, just because the best experience you can have with this film is when you go in blind. While the strength of this film comes from its atmosphere and its ability to build tension and keep you up there for as long as it damn well pleases, that does diminish when you know exactly what’s coming. Though that being said this isn’t a film that relies on a twist its got wonderfully crafted characters, and well thought out settings, the story is a very strong one and when you rewatch it you’ll notice all the little foreshadowing hints that you might have missed on first viewing.
Today I am writing to talk to you about a film I only watched recently, The Platform. This was a very intense film and an interesting exploration of human nature, and the class system, it affected me more than I expected it to. The film came out on Netflix in 2019 and is Spanish, directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia.
It is described as a social science thriller.
Our main character, Goreng, who we experience the prison through, wakes in a concrete cell marked with the number 48. He has no memory of how he came there or any understanding of where he is. The situation is explained to him by his cell mate they are in a “Vertical Self-Management Centre”. It is later explained that Goreng volunteered to enter the prison, though others are incarcerated.
The ‘gimmick’ of this prison is that food, a veritable feast arrives on a platform that starts on the top floor and slowly moves down through the building. This means that the people at the top have access to all the food and the people below have less and less and less, those on lower floors will starve.