CHRISTMAS HORROR MOVIES – Here are some old and new Christmas themed horror movies to consider watching this holiday season.

Tales From the Crypt: And All Through the House (1972)
The crypt keeper narrates an anthology film with 5 segments based on stories from EC Comics.

Black Christmas (1974)
Sorority sisters become murder victims when an unidentified caller makes creepy calls. 

Christmas Evil (1980)
When a toy factory worker discovers the truth about Santa, he embarks on a killing spree.
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
A sadistic Santa wields a hatchet and packs a pistol, intent on murdering kids that misbehave.

Santa Claws (1996)

A disturbed murderer, wearing a Santa suit, stalks a scream queen.

Rare Exports (2010)
An ‘archeological’ dig has just unearthed a malicious spirit, the secret behind Santa Claus.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
An anthology of 4 stories, including Santa Claus and Krampus.
Krampus (2015)
A cloven-footed demon hungers for holiday spirit.

Better Watch Out (2017)
A boy decides to tell his babysitter he loves her since it’s the holidays. 



EDGAR ALLAN POE – Eliza Arnold, an angelic 18 year old widow, married David Poe, Jr. in 1806. She’d been a traveling stage actress since 8 years old, dubbed The Nightingale for her sweet voice. When David saw her perform, he decided to join her traveling troupe. Their first child was born in 9 months and their second, Edgar, was born in 1809. Times were tough for the young family, who relocated to New York City that same summer. David wasn’t doing well, partly because he was an angry drunk with stage fright. But also, because Eliza’s performances were lauded while his own were harshly criticized. He couldn’t handle the criticism, abandoning both the stage and his young family, 6 weeks later. Pregnant Eliza had a third child after he left. When she died in 1811, the children were split up amongst relatives. Edgar Poe was taken in by John Allan but remained forever marked by his mother’s death. In fact the deaths of women–his mother, adopted mother and wives–are recurrent themes in his important stories. His first recognized short story came in 1833, when he won a $50 prize for MS. Found in a Bottle. This success led to editorial work in early periodicals, writing short stories and publishing reviews. He took his literature reviews very seriously, which were usually scathing, earning him more than one enemy. He worked all day and then wrote fiction late into the night, always unstable since he couldn’t keep a job for long. Poe wrote in a range of genres to reach the widest possible audience. His C. Auguste Dupin tales spawned the detective genre including The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget and The Purloined Letter. He sold The Raven to The American Review for $9 in February 1845 under the pseudonym Quarles. Poe was found delirious in 1849 and taken to the hospital, where he died soon thereafter under circumstances that are mysterious to this day. He was buried after a 3 minute funeral attended by 7 people in a cheap coffin without a nameplate, cloth lining, or head cushion. Poe’s rival Rufus Wilmot Griswold wrote an obituary describing him as a mad, drunken, womanizing opium addict who based his darkest tales on personal experience. Today Poe remains best known for his most popular tales of gothic horror, which are relatively few in his larger body of work. 

1. The Cask of Amontillado
2. The Black Cat
3. The Tell-tale Heart
4. The Masque of the Red Death
5. The Fall of the House of Usher
6. The Pit and the Pendulum
7. The Premature Burial
8. Ligeia
9. Bernice 
10. William Wilson 
11. The Oval Portrait
12. Hop Frog 


HALLOWEEN MOVIES – Here are some horror movies coming out in October just time in for Halloween.

Theatrical releases 
October 6 2017
Dementia 13 – A retelling of 1963 horror-thriller film of the same name. 
Better Watch Out – A babysitter defends a boy from intruders, only to discover it’s not a normal home invasion.
The Crucifixion – Did a priest murder a mentally ill person? Or did he battle a demon?
October 13
Happy Death Day – When a college student relives her murder over and over again, with its unexceptional details and terrifying end, she discovers her killer’s identity. 
October 20
The Snowman – A woman’s pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.
Nightworld – Investigate a sinister building to uncover a malevolent force desperate to be released into our world.
October 24
Creep 2 – A visual artist can’t resist the chance to take footage of a man claiming to be a serial killer.
October 27
Jigsaw – Evidence of gruesome murders is found, and it seems to be the work of Jigsaw, but how can this be? He’s been dead for over a decade.

DVD releases 
DVD October 10
Wish Upon – A girl finds a magic box that grants wishes … but each one comes with dark and gruesome consequences.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes – Would you be willing to watch hundreds of tapes depicting decades of a serial killer’s work?
DVD October 17
Escape Room – One by one a new victim’s life is claimed, chosen from young couples trapped in a locked room, they’re playing for their lives. 
DVD October 24 
Cult of Chucky – Chucky is back to settle some scores with old enemies with the help of his former wife.
DVD October 23
A Ghost Story – Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost returns home to reconnect with his bereft wife.


MOTHER! MOVIE REVIEW – This is a great movie that relies on hidden meaning, symbolism and allegory. On the face of it, a woman busies herself settling into her new house, about ready to enjoy breakfast. When a stranger shows up suddenly at her door, she’s surprised her husband invites him to stay. Soon after, when the man’s wife also shows up, she realizes things are not as they seem. That’s just the surface plot, because there is so much unapparent hidden meaning, when all the pieces tie together. A good percentage of viewers will likely react negatively to the violent imagery. But it’s not gratuitous in the sense of the greater mythos of the story.  Once this subtext is understood more and more audiences will get on board with this movie. Most certainly the script raises more questions than it answers. What is her husband writing? Who are all these people? Why don’t they tell them to get out sooner? What is the purpose behind all the strange behaviors of the houseguests? And many more, I’m sure. I believe this film will be a classic of the horror thriller variety for years to come. 


IT MOVIE REVIEW – When a younger brother disappears, a group of friends known as ‘The Loser’s Club’ begins to investigate a series of unusual events, in the fictional town of Derry. Each of them experiences a haunting vision capitalizing on their greatest fears. It’s only then they come to realize the embodiment of IT takes the shape of Pennywise, an old time clown from Derry’s past. This is one of the few Stephen King books I haven’t read. I watched the 2017 version on opening weekend and saw the 1990 mini-series previously. I always say there’s no reason to remake a classic horror movie if there isn’t an improvement on the original. While IT 2017 isn’t perfect, I appreciated many things about this film. The cast of ‘losers’ demonstrated such deep emotion that I’m sure all of them are destined for stardom. And I liked (for the most part) the dazzling tricks and jump scares coupled with the new Pennywise’s acting. If anything, the movie would be stronger with fewer CGI effects. 



DEAD SILENCE – This movie was written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, the creators of Saw. Dead Silence (2007) stars Ryan Kwanten, who began appearing in HBO’s True Blood the following year. The film relies heavily on jump scares and tropes common to doll themed horror movies. However the ending is original and unexpected. Overall the film is enjoyable. The following are my top six doll themed horror movies from most to least original.
2.       Child’s Play (1988) –
5.       Anabelle (2014) –


THE WALKING DEAD – Developed by Frank Darabont and based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead premiered in 2010. It’s 8th season will release this year. The TV series stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes and has received both critical and ratings acclaim. A companion series entitled Fear the Walking Dead premiered in 2015. FTWD’s 3rd season will premiere this month. 


ALIEN – A commercial space vessel receives a distress call, and encounters an alien life form, that is killing them one by one. The 1979 classic which spawned a franchise was written by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett; directed by Ridley Scott and starred Sigourney Weaver. 


The Passion of the Christ – This isn’t a horror film in the truest sense of the word. Yet, the crucifixion of Christ is a saga of the supernatural. To some it’s the gospel truth, while to others, it’s myth and superstition.  Angels, the devil, death, the son of God and his resurrection are elements of this gory tale. When the movie was originally released, critics said the violence detracted from the message. I don’t think a story about the aftermath of a crucifixion could be portrayed any other way. In order to be reborn, you have to die first.