Sam Raimi

Why the Slasher Movie Was the Quintessential ’80s Horror Subgenre

Horror films channel the fears and fervor of modernity, acting as reflectors turned against their viewers. They’re the most epochal form of escapism of the last century. Take, for example, James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein, which uses monsters and madmen to depict the internal torment of repressed sexual orientation at a time when homophobia was the norm, or Psycho and Peeping Tom, which explore the identity suppression and psycho-sexual struggle of the McCarthy era (to which The Wicker Man would provide a gleefully perverse epilogue in 1973). John Carpenter’s Halloween presents suburban banality and parental tyranny — no pot, no premarital sex, be home by nine — personified as a living urban legend in Michael Meyers. David Cronenberg’s skin-tighteningly creepy Shivers, and later his remake of The Fly, capture the fear of disease and bodily disintegration. The fear of communism permeates Invasion of the Body Snatchers (both of them), while Carpenter, always happy to usurp the conservative norm, portrays the fear and paranoia of communism, rather than communism itself, sinisterly in The Thing. … Read More

  • 0

Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

  • 0

The 50 Best Directorial Debuts in Movie History

The Toronto Film Festival, which came to a close recently, wasn’t just the starter pistol for We’re-Not-Saying-It-Yet Season; the long-term value of the festival may well be its place as a launching pad for first-time filmmakers. Twenty-eight films screened in its “Discovery” section, and while we won’t know for some time how many soon-to-be-immortal filmmakers were among its ranks, it’s a good excuse to peruse the history of film and pluck out the debut feature efforts of great directors who knocked us out from their first… Read More

  • 0

Hollywood’s Cleverest Bait-and-Switch Casting Stunts

If you visit the IMDb page for Pedro Almodovar’s new movie I’m So Excited (out this Friday), you might think a reunion is in the works: the top-billed actors there are Almodovar favorites Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz. So it’s a bit of a surprise to see the film itself, wherein the perversely prankish filmmaker brings in two of the world’s biggest movie stars to appear only in the first scene, running maybe three minutes, before disappearing. Because he knows how we presume these two actors will dominate the film, Almodovar is effectively toying with our expectations; he’s not the first filmmaker to do so. … Read More

  • 0

10 Trailers That Were Better Than the Movie

Plenty of people grumble about trailers not delivering the movie they promise, but only one man — New Zealander J. Congdon — got Paramount Pictures to refund the cost of his Jack Reacher ticket, because the movie didn’t include the badass cliff explosion that got him to spend money on a Tom Cruise movie in the first place. In fairness to Paramount, this kind of thing happens all the time; trailers are often cut months before the picture itself is finalized, leading to all sorts of shots, jokes, and scenes that don’t show up in the finished product. It’s all part of the tricky world of film advertising, where the goal is to lure you into the theater, and not necessarily to reflect the tone, story, or (certainly) quality of the film in question. Trailer cutting is kind of an art form unto itself, which is why we so often see trailers that get us all in a tizzy, only to wander out of the movie they’re selling in a befuddled and disappointed stupor. After the jump, we look back at ten movies that were far better in two-minute form. … Read More

  • 0

Flavorwire’s Guide to Movies You Need to Stream This Week

Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, there’s a ton of new and catalog titles streaming on Netflix — great flicks from Harrison Ford, Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Ewan McGregor, Adam Scott, Stanley Tucci, Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Martin Scorsese, Danny Boyle, and Leos Carax, plus two of last year’s best documentaries. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More

  • 0

Awesome Storyboards from 15 of Your Favorite Films

With storyboards on our mind lately thanks to their use in both the opening sequence and the climax of Argo, we decided to put together a gallery of our favorites from iconic… Read More

  • 3

The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Channing Tatum has been named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. [via

  • 0

12 Horror Sequels That Don’t Suck

If you’re like us, you’ve probably spent a good (possibly unhealthy!) chunk of your October watching lots and lots of horror movies. But if you watch too many, you’ll start to notice a pattern. Horror movies seem to be the genre most prone to sequelizing and rebootinating — there are five Wrong Turns and six Leprechauns, for Chrissakes — and the results are seldom worth a damn. The logic is easy to understand; with horror, the genre itself (rather than big-name stars or mind-blowing special effects) is the marketable element, so once the connection has been made, it’s easy to go back for seconds. And horror movies are constructed accordingly, with doors left open for sequels and series. Most are just awful. But some aren’t; occasionally, the ingenuity and inventiveness of a good chiller will return in its follow-up. So, as you’re putting together your Halloween DVD stacks, allow us to help you separate the pop from the pap; our dozen horror sequels that (contrary to expectation) are not terrible are after the jump. … Read More

  • 1

The Scariest Moments from the Red Band ‘Evil Dead’ Trailer

Whether or not you agree with the idea of rebooting Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (the director himself is a producer on the project), the first official, non-leaked teaser trailer for the remake is here, and must be analyzed. Our take? While it bears only a passing resemblance to original, it looks a lot better than what we had been imagining. That said, a large part of what made this horror flick a cult classic was how fantastically low-budget (and as a result, inadvertently hilarious) it was. Well, that and Bruce Campbell. It got us thinking: Without the quick camera cuts and slick editing, would the red band trailer’s scariest stills pack the same punch? Probably, unless you’re a lot braver than we are. Warning: gory images ahead! … Read More

  • 0