Celluloid Diaries

Monday, November 13, 2017

16 best Christmas horror movies

christmas horror movies

The time has arrived to start watching Christmas films. Are you bored of the usual fare of romance and comedy? Do you like your Christmas movies with a hint of blood, gore, and terror?

Then you might want to check out the nearly 200 (!) Christmas horror movies featured in the new book Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television which is now available for pre-order. This comprehensive compendium unwraps the true meaning of films featuring everyone from the Krampus and Scrooge to killer snowmen and evil elves. It contains essays and reviews by acclaimed authors such as Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women), Amanda Reyes (Are You in The House Alone?), Stephen Thrower (Nightmare USA), Mike Gingold (Fangoria), Owen Williams (Empire), and more.

To celebrate the occasion, seven writers from Yuletide Terror - Mike Gingold, Kier-La Janisse, Paul Corupe, Leslie Hatton, Owen Williams, Alexandra West, and Diane Rogers - share their favorites and why they should be on everyone's list of Christmas horror movies to watch.

The films are in no particular order, but we saved everyone's favorite for last. Can you guess which one it is?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The art of DC - The dawn of superheroes

superman exhibition

The exhibitions at the Musée Art Ludique in Paris are a must for everyone who enjoys movies and comic books. Its vocation is to pay homage to the artists who entertain us by imagining and drawing some of the most memorable images of our century, thus becoming a part of art history.

For the end of the year, the museum has teamed up with DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products to debut The Art of DC – Dawn of the Super Heroes, a one-of-a-kind exhibition that celebrates DC’s history, mythology, art, and characters. It features nearly 250 original drawings, more than 300 preparatory sketches, and a selection of authentic costumes and props used in the blockbuster DC films.

Here are some pictures of the exhibition, as well as an overview of the movies and superheroes it presents.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Women in Horror and the TV Movie Genre that Embraced Them

women in horror

This is a guest post by Amanda Reyes, author of the book Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium 1964-1999 

Rising from the ashes of the slasher heyday of the early 1980s, academics and fans alike have embraced the notion of the female-centric horror film. The term “Final Girl” has become part of the genre’s everyday lexicon, and the character has evolved in many different and fascinating ways. Charting the direction of the Final Girl from Laurie Strode in Halloween (1978) to Neve Campbell in Scream (1996) communicates the ways in which horror filmmakers have addressed female spectatorship. And if you were to dig even deeper (and may have already if you read Richard Nowell’s excellent Blood Money), then you can see how second-wave feminism played a part in cultivating the types of images and themes that might attract a female viewer. This goes all the way back to the mid-seventies when Bob Clark’s Black Christmas (1974) gave Olivia Hussey a chance to demand independence, foster female friendships, and direct herself in ways that spoke to the self-aware women in the audience. But even before that seminal proto-slasher set the tone, television was already doing the same work, in an attempt to reach that female demographic, most notably in the made for TV movie, where women were considered the most desirable viewer.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Snapshots from the Sitges Film Festival

sitges film festival

I just got back from Sitges after spending a week there for the film festival. There were a bunch of daily screenings to attend, but there was still plenty of time to hang out with friends and enjoy the sun. Sitges is such a fun town to visit during the film festival because so much is going on. It's one of those events where you can go back each year and never be bored.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Ten must-see films at the Razor Reel Film Festival

movies in bruges

This week marks the beginning of the Razor Reel Flanders Film Festival in Bruges, Belgium.

I've made a selection of the must-see movies of this fun event for you. Titles with a * are films I've already seen and loved.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Five movies like Chosen that will scare you senseless


Next week sees the official release of R.S. Broadhead's new novel, Chosen. Black eyes. No emotion. No sympathy. Only emptiness. Piper McAdams’s life was normal. Career? Check. Boyfriend? Check. Friends? Check. One unsettling run-in with a homeless man turns everything from normal to terrifying. She begins seeing…things. Things she can’t seem to explain or make any sense. As if things aren’t already getting out of hand, Piper receives news that the only family member she has is dead. She thinks maybe a trip across the country to her hometown will get her away from all the strange events happening. After a late night accident, Piper isn’t in her hometown burying her loved one. She’s in a town called Hell. All she wants to do is leave, but the people seem to be holding her there for some reason. A reason she feels threatens her life. Around every corner, things become darker and scarier. Can she escape what is coming for her?

To celebrate the release of this creepy new novel, author R.S. Broadhead shares five movies in the same vein as Chosen.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

20 films you don't want to miss at the Sitges Film Festival

sitges film festival

Sitges in Spain is a place worth traveling to if you love genre movies. Each year in October, one of the most exciting genre festivals in the world takes place in this small seaside town: the Sitges Film Festival. Who can resist ten days filled with good movies, sun, sea, and tapas?

We've already made a selection of the most promising films of the Sitges Film Festival for you. The movies with a * are the ones that we've already seen and loved.

Monday, October 2, 2017

10 movies like Blade Runner that will blow your mind

blade runner 2017

Remaking a classic like Blade Runner (1982) seemed like a bad idea, but ever since it was announced that Denis Villeneuve would be directing, we could rest assured that Blade Runner 2049 would be top notch. His career has only really taken off in 2013, but in those few years time, he has directed some of the best thrillers and sci-fi movies of the decade: Enemy in particular, but also Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival. Blade Runner 2049 is his ultimate masterpiece.

The following are messages I sent to friends after the screening this afternoon:

“Just watched the new Blade Runner. Wow! Wow! Wow!”
“You'll adore it.”
“I've just become an even bigger fan of Denis Villeneuve.”

And seven hours later: “I can't stop thinking about that film.”

Yes, it's that good.

The movie takes place 30 years after the original. LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling) starts working as the new “blade runner.” He discovers a long-hidden secret that is about to unleash chaos. His discovery leads him to former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who went missing 30 years ago.

Fans of the 1982 version will love that Villeneuve stays faithful to the original when it comes to set design, atmosphere, and the look of the characters. Yet he puts his mark on the story and does something original, touching and incredibly stunning with it.

By all means, do not wait for Blade Runner 2049 to be on Netflix. The breathtaking set design and visual artistry are meant to be watched on the big screen, preferably on IMAX.

Chances are you'll want to see more dystopias about identity issues, implanted memories, and battles against mega-corporations. Check out ten more flicks like Blade Runner 2049 that should be on your watch list.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Five movies and documentaries like Rise of the Nephilim

elle fanning somewhere

This is a guest post by Marcus James, author of the book Rise of the Nephilim

As a writer, anything can inspire me. A news article, a song, a television show, movie; even a commercial. The visions come to me fast and bring the characters through and they show me glimmers of their lives and what is going to unfold. For me, it’s mostly about research. I love the research process. I acquire books for research that can make a two-foot tall pile on my table and I love nothing more than my notepad and highlighters to go through page after page.

With Rise of the Nephilim, the standalone prequel to my Gothic horror witch series, The Blackmoore Legacy, which follows the sexy stone fox and future matriarch to the Blackmoore dynasty of witches, Kathryn Blackmoore as a 26 year old in 1987 Los Angeles, my research took me to watching a lot of documentaries that focused on the famed Sunset Strip and horror films the truly captured the look and feel of the late 70’s and 80’s.

Below is a list of the films and docs I watched to immerse myself in that rebellious time of life.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book tip - Are You in the House Alone? by Amanda Reyes

are you in the house alone?

Do you feel nostalgic when it comes to old-school TV movies? Do you want to know more about the subject? In that case, I have the perfect book for you: Are You In The House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium 1964-1999 by Amanda Reyes.

If her name sounds familiar, it's probably because you read her website Made for TV Mayhem or her essay on Locusts in When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals. If there's one thing we should say about Amanda Reyes, it's that she's extremely passionate and knowledgeable about the subject.

The first half of Are You In The House Alone? consists of essays focusing on several aspects of genre TV movies, including famous TV heroes and heroines, eco-horror, rape-revenge and rape-response films, Cold War films, Stephen King on TV, small screen exploitation, forgotten gems, the USA World Premiere Movie, and much more.

The second part is compiled of mini-reviews. After a little overview of TV mini-series (such as The Dark Secret of Harvest Home, Helter Skelter, V, etc.), we are treated to mini-reviews of made-for-television movies divided by era: 1964-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999, until cable and the 2000s. Each review starts with a small description of the plot, so you immediately know whether the film is right up your alley or not.

Would you like to know more about Are You in the House Alone? We had a chat with Amanda Reyes about her new book.