• predator

    Predator: Earth is “Hunting for Dummies”

    I love Predator movies, but the more I see them, the more I become convinced of my fan theory that Earth is their planet for “remedial hunters”. It’s where they take the Predators that are “a little slow”. The ones who need more training. Of course, the stupidest Predator is still more than a match for any human, but that’s also why they keep getting killed by us. Sure, it makes for good cinema, but it doesn’t make sense in-universe. 1. Humans are easy to kill. We have no defensive mechanisms–no armor, no plates on our backs, no spiked tails, no blood shooting from our eyes, no acid blasting out…

  • fast forward symbol

    My Kindertrauma: Fast Forwards

    I missed a few things during my Kindertrauma run that I didn’t think of at the time and/or didn’t think worthy of an article. But time passes and hey, it’s Halloween anyway. The Neverending Story – Gmork Gmork is an interesting character. He’s really not in the film much and wolves can be as cute as scary. They’re just older uncles of dogs. They’ve been in the war, they’ve seen some shit, but they keep it to themselves. But Gmork is a personification of dread. The first time you see him is when he’s chasing Atreyu in the swamps of sadness. In that shot, he’s just a blur. You know…

  • carrie prom stephen king

    Was Carrie Justified?

    I was talking with my wife last night about scary movies. Carrie came up. I said didn’t understand what scared her about it because I saw Carrie as a revenge/comeuppance story, not a horror movie. Then she stared at me, horrified. And I asked what I could say next that wouldn’t end with me sleeping on the couch. Because Carrie is a powerful moment in story-telling. Maybe not the strongest, but definitely a pulse. It jumpstarts Stephen King’s influence in horror and he’s no stranger to the “revenge” plot. He also wrote Rage (which literally is about a disenfranchised student taking over a classroom with a gun) and Roadwork (a…

  • super mario minus world

    Sub-Worlds in Horror

    Since I’m noticing trends these days (and why not, I’ve got nothing to do but stare at the ceiling while contemplating civilization and life and the meaninglessness of time), here’s another one. Is it just me or is there a thing about horror movies and thrillers hinging on some kind of subworld? Especially since the year 2000. Stranger Things has the “Upside Down”. Insidious has the “Further”. Coraline has the world of the “Other Mother”. Get Out has the “Sunken Place”. Even Us had a subworld with its secret lab maze under the carnival. I didn’t see Don’t Blink, but I guess that has some kind of Bermuda Triangle thing…

  • kindertrauma

    My Kindertrauma: Tidbits

    For my second-to-last entry regarding Kindertrauma, I thought I’d go over some of the moments that didn’t warrant an entire article, but were still evoke shivers when I think of them. “Recorded Live”(one of HBO’s Short Takes; also known as “Flesh Eating Film Reels”) I have no idea where or when I saw this, but I know I must have. Because when I was perusing old short horror films available on YouTube, this little gem came back, and I immediately had a Vagrant Story reaction (that’s an inside joke I don’t expect you to get). My dad must have recorded this off of HBO (he recorded everything, we had over…

  • night of the creeps poster

    My Kindertrauma: Night of the Creeps

    On a very boring Saturday, our cable was out. I don’t remember why. Maybe we had canceled it early in anticipation of moving. Anyway, this was one of those odd days where there wasn’t anything to do, and the timing was right (I remember it started at noon exactly), so I sat down in front of the floor model, wood-paneled, 198-something Magnavox and watched the best thing that was on. The best thing on was “Night of the Creeps”. Usually, I channel flip, but this time I didn’t (what would be the point with only five stations?). And Fox was still a young network at that point and in those…

  • nicholas cage face off

    My Kindertrauma: Faces of Death (Beetlejuice/Poltergeist/Indiana Jones)

    No, not actually “Faces of Death”. I wouldn’t learn about that franchise until I was in high school. And then it was more fun figuring out which vignettes were fake and which were real (this was before YouTube). No these are the terrifying moments about kindertrauma to someone’s face, usually in the form of it coming off. The first was in Beetlejuice. I can’t believe my mom took me to see this in the theater. I was seven years old. Did I express some kind of interest in seeing this? I must have. It was the same director as Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Maybe she just wanted to get me…

  • My Kindertrauma: Creepshow

    Pretty much something from each element in this movie showed up in one childhood nightmare or another. Like all the other Kindertrauma in my life, I blame my mother. But not for the reasons you think. She was attending college and took a class in horror movies. That meant trips to the video store and not caring if we were in the same room as her or not. There’ll be more on this later, but thanks to her ambitions, I got exposed to several episodes of Tales from the Crypt, Tales from the Darkside, Halloween, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and others. Bad enough I’d already been warped from VHS boxes and…

  • ghoulies video box cover

    My Kindertrauma: Ghoulies

    When I was little, there was a video store not too far from our house. I can’t remember what it was called. Mr. Movies? Video Update? I know it wasn’t a Blockbuster because the color scheme was red and white. Anyway, as those who grew up among VHS knows the place was like an art museum. It wasn’t bad enough to have enough selection to give a nine-year-old option paralysis or sucker him into picking “My Pet Monster“. But they had to make every rectangle a beautiful magical portal to another world, each more enticing than the next. And no section had more intrigue than the Horror section. I mean,…

  • of unknown origin peter weller

    On the Origin of Supernatural Characters

    So this is something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time, but my passion for finding an answer hasn’t reached the level of putting down words until now. So let’s imagine you’ve got a horror movie. And your movie needs a scary killer. Something palpable and not en masse (not zombies or plague). Something like a big spider or a hillbilly cannibal or a pale kid ghost. Here’s the question: do you give that bad guy an origin? Here’s why I ask. Is it scarier when you don’t know where the bad guy came from? What his/her/its motivations are? What its nature is? Or is that just lazy writing?…