Where the Wild Killings Are
About David Hughes
Posts by David Hughes:
In the final part of our Penny Dreadful Season 3 preview, Billie Piper (aka ‘Lily’) talks about her changing role in the best gothic horror show on television.
As part of our Penny Dreadful Season 3 preview, we sat down with Sarah Greene (Hecate) and two new cast members, Shazad Latif and Samuel Barnett. (Very minor spoilers ahead.)
“Darkness will soon be upon us. I have seen it. Beasts will feed. Evil will overcome the Earth. And all our days will come to an end.”
The post-modern Prometheus Classic literary works like Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein will stand up to all kinds of interpretation. James Whale’s 1931 film classic went wildly off-book to define cinema’s long relationship with the text, and the past few years alone have seen adaptations both faithful (Danny Boyle’s stage version, with Benedict Cumberbatch(…)
He’s been called “the Welsh Roger Corman”, “the Welsh Charles Band” – and a lot worse. Over the past decade, Andrew Jones has written, produced and/or directed a dozen films, including Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection, The Amityville Asylum and Poltergeist Activity, and two more are due out before the end of August: Conjuring the Dead (formerly known as Valley of the(…)
You probably know that William F. ‘Bill’ Phillips wrote the screenplay for John Carpenter’s adaptation of Christine. You may even be aware that he adapted King’s Firestarter for Carpenter a few years earlier. But did you know he was offered Children of the Corn, The Dead Zone and The Mangler as well? Or wrote a remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon that Carpenter(…)
Rodney Ascher’s 2012 documentary Room 237, an examination of conspiracy theories surrounding Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, was such a brilliantly bizarre concoction, it was difficult to imagine what, if anything, he would come up with next.
“I’m going to tell you the most incredible story you’ve ever heard, and when I’m finished, you’ll either think me a liar, or insane, or both.”
There’s fertile ground in the horror subgenre in which the question is posed (and not always resolved) as to whether a haunting, possession (etc.) is the result of paranormal phenomena or psychological problems.
Say it ain’t so, Joe! A new film by Joe Dante, the director of such cult movies as Piranha, Gremlins, The Howling and The ‘Burbs, should always be cause for celebration, especially as his recent credits – with the notable exception of the superb The Hole – have been forgettable TV like CSI: NY and(…)
John McNaughton comes back out to play It’s been nearly 30 years since director John McNaughton announced himself to the world with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, which gifted us Michael Rooker, and far too long since he returned to the horror genre. So that’s reason enough to celebrate his latest film, The Harvest,(…)
After four years of blood, sweat and tears, first-time writer/director Christopher Butler achieved his vision of producing a sci-fi horror epic against impossible odds. From first draft to final completion it was the most ambitious low budget feature film ever attempted. Now, as it finally reaches British audiences as an iTunes digital exclusive, David Hughes(…)
Shouldn’t death be a once in a lifetime experience? Does anyone (here in the West, at least) seriously believe in reincarnation any more? To put it glibly, the once-popular concept of past lives is not what it used to be. The New Age therapeutic process of past life regression (PLR) is now filed away with healing(…)
The phenomenon of cults and their followers are richly fertile ground for drama, given their inherent conflicts, insidious methods, charismatic leaders and obeisant followers, and lately they seem to be all the rage: The Sacrament, The Sound of My Voice, Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Master, and TV’s The Leftovers and The Following have all(…)
Katharine Isabelle was so good in Ginger Snaps (2000), and again in the Soska sisters’ American Mary (2012), it’s always worth keeping an eye on what she’s up to, whether it’s on the small screen (Being Human, Hannibal) or the, uh, other small screen (the Soska sisters’ disappointing See No Evil 2). Now, Isabelle gets(…)
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” Franklin D. Roosevelt once said. Chronic phobics like Sara (Fiona Dourif) couldn’t agree more. But how do you go about effecting a cure for a crippling phobia?
Mental illness is no laughing matter, especially where schizophrenia, paranoid delusions and psychosis are concerned. But that hasn’t stopped screenwriter Michael R. Perry – a veteran of genre TV shows like Eerie, Indiana, American Gothic, Millennium, Stephen King’s Dead Zone and The River, and co-writer of Paranormal Activity 2 – from concocting a supremely weird(…)
Here’s a dark horse of a film – or rather, upon closer examination, a Trojan horse. It’s the second film from writer-director Christopher Denham, whom you may recognize from his acting roles in Shutter Island, Argo, TV’s Manhattan and The Sound of My Voice, but who also wrote and directed the underrated found footage horror(…)
Blumhouse Productions, the powerhouse horror factory behind the Paranormal Activity, Sinister, The Purge and Insidious franchises, has backed another winner with Jessabelle, which will hopefully become one of those films which every true horror fan has up their sleeve, ready to whip out when anyone asks, “What’s a really good horror film I haven’t seen?”
Some Interviews with Some Vampires If you think spending a lifetime in Wellington, New Zealand might be boring, imagine what spending many lifetimes in such a remote place might be like. No wonder 379-year-old vampire Viago (Taika Waititi) is bored enough to invite a documentary crew (from the New Zealand Documentary Board, no less) into(…)
Film criticism can be a dispiriting experience. It’s no fun wading through hours of rubbish, even when it’s well-meaning (or even well made). But nothing makes this critic more dismayed than when bad movies happen to good people. Case in point: Open Windows, the new film from Nacho Vigalondo (well, new-ish – the prolific Spanish(…)
The best damned ‘demonic possession’ film since The Exorcist? ‘Found footage’ gets a bad rap these days, which is strange if you think about it: sure, there’s a lot of landfill made using the format, but we shouldn’t let a few bad apples – okay, a few hundred – give the format a bad name. After all,(…)
You don’t have to be mad to work there, but it helps Brad Anderson has made a lot of television since his breakthrough film, The Machinist, a decade ago: a dozen episodes of Fringe, two apiece of The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, Treme and the US remake of The Killing, and the pilot episodes of Almost Human and Forever. He’s also managed to(…)
Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer), bemulletted and dressed as though he just stepped out of a Tom of Finland photograph, has been having dreams, about a place called Midian, “where the monsters live.” His former psychiatrist, Dr. Decker, is most interested to hear about Boone’s nocturnal imaginings, not because of any professional interest, but because Decker(…)
Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder, the 162-page companion book to the BFI’s major science fiction retrospective, arguably has a great deal more Wonder than Fear, but there’s plenty for horror fans to get their teeth into, despite the absence of an essay on the sci-fi/horror subgenre that might best have encapsulated the theme of the(…)
************************ SPOILERS AHEAD ************************* If the new horror movie The Babadook really is the scariest film of the year, as many critics have claimed (a view with which we tend to agree), it isn’t because there’s something inherently terrifying about(…)
It’s midnight in the Podunk town of Echo Lake as a terrified woman bangs on the door of a gas station, begging to use the phone. When the clerk refuses to let her in, she calls 911 from an outside payphone, telling the operator “They took my boys.” Moments later, the phone booth is sucked(…)
The last time we saw serial killer Jacob Goodnight, in See No Evil (2006), he was as dead as his eight victims: he’d had a pipe stuck in his eye socket (a neat parallel to his own modus operandi, putting out the eyes of his victims), been pushed out of a window, fallen through a glass(…)
“You know you’re no longer at the cutting edge of horror when the Lifetime network starts adapting your stories” would be a facetious way to start a review of Big Driver, Lifetime’s TV movie adaptation of the novella from Stephen King’s 2010 collection “Full Dark, No Stars”. In fact, the TV network aimed at women would(…)
When Iggy Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) promised to love his girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple) for the rest of his life, she replied “Just love me for the rest of mine.” That life turned out to be cut tragically short when she was brutally murdered. Iggy himself is the chief suspect: hounded day and night by the(…)
The news that the next Stephen King adaptation, Big Driver, would be for the Lifetime network shows how times have changed: once upon a time, movie adaptations of King’s films were R-rated horrors too gory or disturbing for the mainstream; now one of his stories would debut on the US network which broadcasts Dance Moms,(…)
These days, it’s easier to sell a low-budget horror film than a thriller with no ‘stars’, so it’s not uncommon to see a thriller repackaged as a horror film in order to give it a chance in the marketplace. That’s almost the case with Reaper, which bears the hallmarks of a horror film but is(…)
A man (Sharlto Copley) wakes up in a hole in the ground filled with corpses, with no memory of who he is or how he got there – or how the dead people around him met their grisly fate. Helped out of the hole by a mysterious mute Asian woman, he makes his way to(…)
When everyone goes home for Thanksgiving, including her boyfriend Aaron (X-Men’s Lucas Till), flame-haired poetry major Justine (The Hole’s Haley Bennett) is left behind on a largely deserted campus, with only a security guard (Mathew St. Patrick) for company. Meanwhile, the search continues for missing teenager Heather Price, whose grisly fate at the hands(…)
Flightless Turd “Whatever happened to Flight 7500?” It isn’t quite a mystery on the scale of, say, the disappearance of MH370, but horror fans may nevertheless have been wondering what happened to 7500, the CBS Films-produced horror film scripted by Craig Rosenberg (Half Light, The Uninvited, The Quiet Ones) and directed by Takashi Shimizu, best known as the director of Ju-On:(…)
With Mindscape out in the UK on DVD, TheHorrorShow.TV’s David Hughes turned “mind detective” as he asked screenwriter Guy Holmes some probing questions about the film, which stars Mark Strong, Taissa Farmiga, Brian Cox and Noah Taylor.
There are numerous mysteries to be explored in Spanish director Jorge Dorado’s feature debut, released in the UK under its original title Mindscape. Mysteries such as: why was the film retitled with the more prosaic monicker Anna in the US? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that: after all, the film’s star, Mark Strong, was born Marco(…)
‘Found footage’ films are like soufflés: anyone can have a go at making one (the ingredients are widely available), but very few come out the way they’re supposed to. They’re generally considered to be an ‘entry level’ choice for filmmakers, so when you hear of one being made by an established filmmaker – such as(…)
There are few things more horrifying than a mother causing harm to her own child as a means of seeking attention, yet this particular pathological phenomenon, known as Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP), has only occasionally been explored in horror movies, most famously in M. Night Shyamalan’sThe Sixth Sense, in which the ghost of a(…)
Nicholas McCarthy’s The Pact is one of those horror films that tends to divide audiences: either you think it’s an over-stretched, needlessly complicated snooze-fest with a few decent jump scares and one or two committed performances (step forward Caity Lotz and Haley Hudson), or a quietly effective little horror whose reach, if we’re honest, exceeded its(…)
There’s nothing inherently wrong with filmmakers offering audiences a worm’s eye view of the apocalypse, but it’s too often employed as a means to show (or rather not show) the end of the world on a shoestring budget, rather than something required by the story.
A great many horror films divide critics, but it’s rare that one divides the same critic. Two years ago, writer-director Nicholas McCarthy’s The Pact did just that: expanded from his own short film, it was seen by many as a classic “curate’s egg” movie – some of it was rotten, but parts of it were excellent.(…)
Can an entire film be ruined by a bad accent? The answer, it seems, is absolutely – as surely as one can be ruined by a stupid wig (think any recent John Travolta film) or misjudged age makeup (step forward, Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom). Only recently was I decrying the Gahdarfal Amearican airccent sported(…)