Most Dangerous Couples

Rapturous admissions of love – with all their rose-colored dressings and happiest endings – are not strictly reserved for the purest hearts. Even those most wicked, villainous souls can experience companionship in any form required (human, demigod, demonic ruler, etc). Society doesn’t normally classify these “nightmare” stories as “romantic,” but cinema operates to argue otherwise. Love stories come in all moods, genres, and methods of display – or, at the very least, double as a facade for even more unspeakable damnation than previously believed.

With St. Valentine’s influence in the February air, I thought it might be fun to ruin the mood once again with something dark and twisted. An ode to anyone who’d steal Cupid’s bow as a way of extending their ongoing murder spree. To honor those we dub our partners in crime, I’ve compiled a list of *literal* partners in crime who’ve tallied relationship goals and body counts in tandem. The most dangerous cinematic couples that prove “those who slay together, stay together” – in a matter of words. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Universal has announced that all systems are “Go!” on an Invisible Man reboot to be written and directed by Leigh Whannell (Upgrade), with the horror maestros at Blumhouse steering the ship. Sorry, “Dark Universe.” Blumhouse’s involvement teases the capability to reboot Universal’s entire classic monster catalog should The Invisible Man rake in profits, which – by Blumhouse’s margin-friendly methods – shouldn’t be an outstanding ask. Pretty big news for horror fans.

In looking towards the (inevitable?) future, there exists no set-in-stone roster of filmmakers should other monster reboots be announced. Could we call ourselves online journalists here at /Film if someone didn’t rise to the challenge of drafting their fantasy lineup of possible fill-ins? Speculate, opinionate, debate! I’m here to drop my murderer’s row of creators who’d make us all forget Johnny Depp was EVER slated to play a Dark Universe icon – but, plot twist, I’m not alone.

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into the dark down review

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature the first Friday of every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

When outsiders generalize “horror,” most minds zip to Romero zombies or Craven icons. Slash ‘em ups or creature features. Base preconceptions hone on grotesqueries thanks to such a narrow-minded definition of the word “horror,” but February’s lovey-dovey Valentine’s Day gush sets a perfect stage for broadening how novices view genre content. As I’ve once argued here on /Film, love is the secret ingredient when it comes to horror. Into The Dark’s Down accepts the task of dipping Cupid’s arrow into venomous toxins, stripping away Hollywood meet-cute hallmarks for a sickening display of blind dating gone psychopathic.

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The 10 Most Disturbing Movie Scenes of 2018

Toni Collette Hereditary interview

We’re nearly a month into the new year, but before we let 2019 rejuvenate our motivations, why not take one last stroll down 2018’s memory lane? More appropriately, the thorn-lined backroad of memory lane where there is no light – only torment and pain. Fun!

Let’s face the darkness from 2018’s cinematic slate as a means of pushing forward. Movie moments that “went there” or invaded our nightmares. These won’t all be horror movie references, mind you. Oscar hopefuls and genre demons both produced their fair share of fuck-you-up depravity. Why not run down some of the year’s most disturbing moments in film, because it’s me, Mr. Kill Ya Good Vibes! Always on brand, never to disappoint.

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new year new you review

Blumhouse’s 2019 starts by taking one companywide step forward with their latest Into The Dark chapter. After critical reports identified a striking gender differential between The House Of Toby’s horror director hires, after Jason Blum’s interesting-at-best response, Sophia Takal becomes the brand’s first female filmmaker (*on a horror title*) with New Year, New You. In this entry: Instagram celebrity culture roasted on a spit and stuffed with false personality rage that mocks the charades some enact to seek mass marketed attention.

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pooka review

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature the first Friday of every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

As /Film’s resident Christmas Horror nutcase, is it any surprise that Into The Dark’s December chapter would be my most anticipated? Enter Nacho Vigalondo’s Pooka!, a consumerism purgatory where struggling actor Wilson Clowes (Nyasha Hatendi) finds himself inexplicably connected to his latest gig’s oversized costume. No psycho Santa, no Krampus lashings, no murder-obsessed snowmen. Gerald Olson’s script is one of scorched innocence and the idea that children’s toys can be impossibly terrifying when seasonal corporate greed is the only thing driving motivation. An obvious holiday theme, yet one that barely scratches the surface on Pooka!.

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Creepy Christmas Horror Film Festival

Take a deep whiff of that crisp almost-December air. Are you as excited as I am? With good tidings and thoughts of Saint Nick comes my favorite cinematic obsession – CHRISTMAS HORROR MOVIES! All that “Joyeux Noël” spirit just with sharpened candy cane daggers, bomb-rigged presents, and even professional wrestler Bill Goldberg as a stark-raving-mad killer Santa. You can keep your white Christmases; I’ll take mine blood red.

This year, Glass Eye Pix and curator Beck Underwood have reanimated their “Creepy Christmas Film Festival” after a ten-year dormancy. The premise is simple. Underwood gathered a collective of ambitious genre filmmakers and asked them to create their own Christmas Horror themed short films. Every day until Christmas Day – we’re talking December 1st to 25th – a new Christmas horror short will premiere online as part of a digital advent calendar withholding cheery chaos (which you can find here). Bookmark it, check back during lunch or each morning or before bedtime, unwrap a new gift. Read More »

A Quiet Place Honest Trailer

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: don’t believe the hype – 2018 did not kill the horror genre. And why do we have to have this conversation every year?)

Blame a man’s foolhardy optimism, but part of me believed 2018 would close without an obscene end-of-year horror genre hot take shouted from left field. No such luck, friendo. What a difference mere days make. My eyes still ablaze after being scalded by the HOTTEST of takes: “2018 has not been a good year for horror.”

Winchester, The Nun, and Slender Man appear as damning examples. Suspiria isn’t “much of a horror film” (at least there’s no “It isn’t horror either” argument). A Quiet Place evokes “PG-13 thriller” vibes, no horror (I guess the author didn’t attend SXSW’s quiet-as-a-graveyard premiere). “There was Hereditary.” (Hereditary’s one-of-two glancing mentions in the not-to-be-named Vou – I mean, “rogue” hit piece). “We didn’t even get a decent shark movie this year.” Right. A tell-tale sign of horror erosion because every year’s catalog is defined by fierce finback filmmaking (Fine – Deep Blue Sea 2 stinks like rancid chum and The Meg is more fun than terrifying).

As horror’s 2018 obituary reads, “Here lies our beloved genre. Laid to rest because someone didn’t enjoy a few mainstream titles and they think The Haunting Of Hill House suffers from Netflix episode fatigue.”

*Smashes keyboard into a million little pieces* [Very Jules Winnfield voice.] Well, allow me to retort.

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flesh and blood review

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature the first Friday of every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

Sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas is a holiday that demands noteworthy horror treatment, but to this day, Thanksgiving boasts abysmal genre cred. Eli Roth’s “GIVE ME NOW” Grindhouse faux-trailer? Killer puppet schlocker ThanksKilling? Home Sweet Home (1981)? For this critic, Into The Dark’s most intriguing entry was always going to be Patrick Lussier’s Flesh & Blood based purely on Turkey Day implications. Does it deliver? The most significant “F” word here is “Family,” yet much like October’s The Body, browned-and-buttered holiday aesthetics simmer in a rather bland broth.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:


(This is a refreshed version of the original ranking, which ran last year. Since then, Shudder has more than doubled the number of exclusive movies in their library.)

Any “horror fan” who isn’t planted A-Clockwork-Orange-theater-style in front of AMC’s shriektastic Shudder streaming service needs to change that malfunction immediately. I say this as an addicted subscriber myself. You’ll finally have the opportunity to watch all those “classic” genre films your pretentious cinephile friends wax so poetically about.

I know you’re here for my ranking of every Shudder original (we’re only ranking the movies, not their TV shows), but hold your undead horses. We’ll get to the clicky-baiting in a second. First, let me start with a preface.

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