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Tag: J-horror

Movie Review: THE VAMPIRE DOLL

In Joe Hill’s excellent Heart-Shaped Box, there is a small side story about a little girl that once went missing. A ghostly reenactment of what happened to her is witnessed by the main character, Judas Coyne. It isn’t terribly consequential to the story overall, but is nonetheless chilling and impactful. I’m a bit of a sucker for moments like this.

The Japanese film The Vampire Doll has such a moment, in which a doctor tells a ghost story that lasts a little over a minute. It’s about as brief of a detour as an already short movie ought to allow, but it’s surprisingly memorable and effective despite–or maybe because of–how short and matter of fact it is. The doctor uses the story–his experience, really–to explain why he, “a man of science,” is open to the existence of the supernatural. It also influences another character, Hiroshi, to reconsider his skepticism regarding fiancée’s claim that she (Keiko) actually saw someone who was supposed to be dead. Honestly, even if it served no purpose at all, I wouldn’t mind. In fact, I wish more stories could take a quick moment to tell us about other horrors and eerie mysteries within their universe beyond the one that is the focus of the plot. READ MORE

My Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2020

Antlers

The Wendigo myth has long intrigued me, and the lack of a really great Wendigo horror movie has long pained me. The closest we have to one is Ravenous, which is a good movie, but I’d say it’s more “Wendigo-inspired.” It does not embrace the mythology, while Antlers at least alludes to it in its unbelievably good, almost wordless first trailer.

Peninsula (Train to Busan 2)

The premiere date for Peninsula, the sequel to Train to Busan, is apparently set for August 12th of 2020. Whether that means it will reach a worldwide audience in 2020 isn’t yet known, but I presume we’ll all get our chance to see this movie sooner rather than later. Considering how little seems to be known about this sequel at present, that’s a fairly significant presumption on my part, but chalk that up to how excited I am to see this one. I can’t really account for that excitement. The first film used a fairly unique conceit (zombies on a train) to breathe life into a sub-genre that I don’t particularly care for. Take away the train, actors Gong Doo and Ma Dong-seok, and any hint of measured expectations and what’s left is a product I should feel more skepticism about. Yet here I am, eager to see this one come my way before the year is through, preferably on the big screen. READ MORE

Confessions of a Fearphile: Ringu / The Ring

I’d heard of Ringu shortly after it came out in Japan, well before it was made properly available in the United States, before the American remake had been publicly announced, and long before any kind of reliable internet film streaming option. I remember futilely hunting for it in stores ranging from Blockbuster to small indie video stores whose names I can no longer remember. For about a year or so I wasted time doing this before finally gathering the nerve to make an online purchase on this site I’d only used once before called ebay. This would be different from when I purchased a used copy of the novel Simon’s Soul through the site, however. I was going to be buying a bootleg copy of a film, presumably with unofficial English subtitling. Scandalous! READ MORE

Daily Horror History, July 31st: Happy Birthday Mario Bava and Junji Ito

Here’s the thing about running a “daily horror history” blog series: every single day on the calendar is pretty stacked with historical horror happenings of note. I leave a couple of items unacknowledged every single day, just because there’s so much to cover, and I’m only one guy who’s supposed to be working on a damn novel over here. I try to handle the stuff that I think is most important and most fun to write about, while also saving a few things for the future, presuming I’ll still be doing this years down the line. READ MORE

Daily Horror History, July 30th: The Blair Witch Arrives, Sharks Eat Sam Jackson

Forgive me for having a lazy day today, but in my defense I’ve already written about The Blair Witch Project in a “Confessions of a Fearphile” entry. The movie that popularized the still surviving and evolving found-footage horror boom had its theatrical wide-release nineteen years ago today, in the oh so wild year of 1999. I’ll have a lot more to say about Blair Witch as well as several other movies released that year when we get into the 20-year anniversaries in 2019, I assure you. READ MORE