The 13th Floor

Films 

How JACOB’S LADDER Explores Buddhist Concepts Through Cinematic Horror

WARNING: This essay will discuss the ending of the 1990 film JACOB’S LADDER. If you haven’t seen the film, and wish for its conclusion to remain a surprise, do not read this essay. If you do know the ending — or are righteously flippant about endings — then read on, adventurer. “And he dreamed that […]

Films TV 

The Political Timeliness of SEOUL STATION — Animated Prequel to TRAIN TO BUSAN

SEOUL STATION. No, it’s not where the Soul Train departs from. It’s the animated prequel to the smash hit zombie film TRAIN TO BUSAN, from South Korean director Yeon Sang-ho. Released just a month after BUSAN, the director’s live action debut, SEOUL STATION depicts ground zero of the outbreak: a train station that serves as […]

Films 

Holy Blood: Revisiting Alejandro Jodorowsky’s SANTA SANGRE

Alejandro Jodorowsky, the brilliant Chilean-born film director, once said in an interview that he wants his audiences to experience his films the same way they would LSD — cinema, for Jodorowsky, is one of the better means to providing a transcendent mental and psychedelic experience. If you’ve seen any of his works, you know this to […]

Films 

ROSEMARY’S BABY and the War on Women’s Reproductive Rights

Roman Polanski — perhaps the most unlikely commentator on women’s rights — made ROSEMARY’s BABY at an idealistic time. In 1960, the first birth control pill Enovid was placed on the pharmaceutical market thanks in part to Margaret Sanger. While “the pill” was originally prescribed for menstrual disorders and irregularities most women were secretly using […]

Films 

Satan as a Feminist Instrument: Exploring THE LORDS OF SALEM

I don’t need to tell Blumhouse readers that Rob Zombie has had a textured and fascinating career. Rob first rose to fame as frontman for well-regarded metal band White Zombie in the 1980s and ’90s, and began mixing techno with metal as part of a well-regarded solo career that spans nearly 20 years and six […]

Films 

Blood is Blood: Queer Subtext in THE LOST BOYS

The first time I saw THE LOST BOYS, I was too young to acknowledge the reasons for its charm over me. It was a fun, subversive vampire movie with a rocking soundtrack. But as I got older, and started figuring things out about myself, the film took on new meanings for me. It was an allegory […]

Films 

Why Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN Is a Powerful Nod to Femininity

A few weeks ago, while perusing through Shudder, I accidentally put on Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN.  At the time, I was supposed to be watching a different movie and in my exhausted state of mind, mixed the two up.  Having heard praises for the film within the horror community, I figured, what the hell, let […]

Films 

Examining “Gay Panic” Themes in the Vampire Classic, FRIGHT NIGHT

In Harvard Professor Marjorie Garber’s invaluable 2000 work BISEXUALITY AND THE EROTICISM OF EVERYDAY LIFE (one of the only notable scholarly works on bisexuality, although Kenji Yoshino’s THE EPISTEMIC CONTRACT OF BISEXUAL ERASURE also comes recommended), she posits (to make a generality about her work) that bisexual women are typically eroticized in films to directly […]

Films 

Why the Politics of AMERICAN PSYCHO Are Shockingly Relevant Today

Since I choose to actively eschew the word “controversial,” I elect to describe famed 52-year-old novelist Bret Easton Ellis as “confrontational.” Ellis is a direct author who aims to shake readers from their societal complacency by peeling back all the wet, fleshy layers of good decorum to reveal the blackened, hedonistic, selfish heart of a […]

Films 

Exploring the True Horror of David Lynch’s INLAND EMPIRE

It’s arguable as to whether well-regarded artist and filmmaker David Lynch should be considered a horror filmmaker — he certainly deals with nightmares and nightmarish imagery, but horror fans don’t typically consider him a “Master of Horror” alongside names like Carpenter, Romero, Craven, Cronenberg and the like. While many of his films tend to hover […]

Films 

In Defense of M. Night Shyamalan’s THE HAPPENING

It’s good to see M. Night Shyamalan return. With the release of SPLIT, the once-famous-and-then-despised filmmaker has made two quite good films in a row (the other being THE VISIT), and audiences are beginning to acknowledge his talents as a filmmaker never left him. After a string of badly-reviewed and notorious genre films, Shyamalan is […]

Films 

The Kids Aren’t Alright: The Anarchist Cinema of Harmony Korine

If one was to reverse-follow a timeline of Harmony Korine’s filmography — to track back over some of the writer-director’s most significant films, screenplays, and side-projects — the movie that most of us would arrive at, the one we’ve seen and survived, is the Larry Clark-directed and Korine-scripted KIDS: a Dogma 95-style “day-in-the-life” drama about a […]

Films 

Why George Romero’s LAND OF THE DEAD Deserves a Second Look

For many of us who grew up during the 1970s and the ’80s, the original George A. Romero zombie trilogy — NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD, and DAY OF THE DEAD — was where it was at if you were a horror fan. Rumors of George doing a fourth movie in […]