Saturday, July 28, 2018

Review: The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle by Alexandra West

Look, I realize that given the content featured on this site for pretty much all of 2018, I should consider renaming it "All Things Alexandra West."  But after covering West's book about the New French Extremity I needed to read something a bit more upbeat and it just so happens that West's new book is just that.  In The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle:  Final Girls and a New Hollywood Formula, West explores an era of film that many in the horror community (including myself) have dismissed as being too polished and catering to more mainstream moviegoers at the expense of substance.  As someone who has a soft spot for enthusiastic defenses of overlooked pop culture, I was intrigued to see if West could win me over on '90s horror.

Monday, July 16, 2018

CONCLUSION: Chapter x Chapter Review of FILMS OF THE NEW FRENCH EXTREMITY


Welcome back to another installment of the Chapter x Chapter series, a column where I take a deep dive into horror reading with a new review for each chapter of the book.  The first book of this series is Films of the New French Extremity:  Visceral Horror and National Identity by Alexandra West.  If you're looking to start from the beginning, I recommend you check out my introduction.

Over the course of the past thirteen chapters of Films of the New French Extremity, Alexandra West has taken us through some pretty dark shit.  She notes that New French Extremity "burned brightly and quickly," starting in the late nineties and ending around Martyrs release in 2008.  This really seems the only way this wave of films could have panned out given how potent and harsh they are.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Chapter x Chapter Review of FILMS OF THE NEW FRENCH EXTREMITY Chapter 13: Living Womb


Welcome back to another installment of the Chapter x Chapter series, a column where I take a deep dive into horror reading with a new review for each chapter of the book.  The first book of this series is Films of the New French Extremity:  Visceral Horror and National Identity by Alexandra West.  If you're looking to start from the beginning, I recommend you check out my introduction.

We're nearing the end of our journey through the Films of New French Extremity.  After this we have just one more chapter that features filmmakers of the NFE's ventures into U.S. remakes.  I think it's fitting, then, that we cap off our last of the original NFE films with the very first one I'd ever seen, Alexadre Bustillo and Julien Maury's 2007 film A l'interieur (Inside).  I remember at the time hearing buzz about some hardcore horror films coming out of France and thinking "I'm totally hardcore.  I'll probably love them."

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Chapter x Chapter Review of FILMS OF THE NEW FRENCH EXTREMITY Chapter 12: It's So Easy to Create a Victim



Welcome back to another installment of the Chapter x Chapter series, a column where I take a deep dive into horror reading with a new review for each chapter of the book.  The first book of this series is Films of the New French Extremity:  Visceral Horror and National Identity by Alexandra West.  If you're looking to start from the beginning, I recommend you check out my introduction. 

Alright, I'm taking a deep breath for this one.  I know that I'm not alone in being traumatized by Pascal Laugier's 2008 film, Martyrs.  In fact, Alexandra West kicks off her chapter on this movie by acknowledging it and Irreversible are the two most infamous films to come out of the New French Extremity.  I knew before watching it that Martyrs would be one that I'd need to brace myself for given it's reputation.  But I wasn't ready, readers.  I just wasn't ready.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Chapter x Chapter Review of FILMS OF THE NEW FRENCH EXTREMITY Chapter 11: Enfant Terrible


Welcome back to another installment of the Chapter x Chapter series, a column where I take a deep dive into horror reading with a new review for each chapter of the book.  The first book of this series is Films of the New French Extremity:  Visceral Horror and National Identity by Alexandra West.  If you're looking to start from the beginning, I recommend you check out my introduction. 

After another unexpectedly long hiatus (paying bills really is for suckers) we're back with a new chapter of Films of the New French Extremity.  This week, we're going to take a peek at how New French Extremity frames children and parenting.  Wait, come back!  I promise this won't be as bad as you think.  In fact, given NFE's penchant for inverting expectation, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that in these films the children are not the tormented, but rather the tormentors.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Chapter x Chapter Review of FILMS OF THE NEW FRENCH EXTREMITY Chapter 10: Bon Voyage


Welcome back to another installment of the Chapter x Chapter series, a column where I take a deep dive into horror reading with a new review for each chapter of the book.  The first book of this series is Films of the New French Extremity:  Visceral Horror and National Identity by Alexandra West.  If you're looking to start from the beginning, I recommend you check out my introduction. 

France, it seems, is not unlike the United States in that it has pockets of the country that people avoid unless it's a layover on their way to their real destination.  Americans sometimes use the phrase "flyover states" for the places like this, but Alexandra West explores similar locations in France as a metaphor for the "journey between expectation and reality." 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Chapter x Chapter Review of FILMS OF THE NEW FRENCH EXTREMITY Chapter 9: I Won't Let Anyone Come Between Us


Welcome back to another installment of the Chapter x Chapter series, a column where I take a deep dive into horror reading with a new review for each chapter of the book.  The first book of this series is Films of the New French Extremity:  Visceral Horror and National Identity by Alexandra West.  If you're looking to start from the beginning, I recommend you check out my introduction. 

Well, dear reader, we've made it.  After journeying over halfway through the book, in Chapter 9 we've landed on a movie that 1. I've seen and 2. I enjoy (sorry not sorry, Vincent Gallo).  Of course, because I'm pretty lame it's also one of the movies from the New French Extremity that pretty much everyone has seen:  Alexander Aja's 2003 Haute Tension (High Tension).