horror

May 21, 2015 | 1:20 p.m.

Throwback Thursday: Original ‘Poltergeist’ conjured controversy over ratings creative control

Heather O'Rourke is grabbed by an unseen force in 1982's "Poltergeist." (Handout)
It’s an image ingrained in the memory of horror film fans: A little girl in front of a static-filled television set, holding out her hands to touch the whispering screen. As director Gil Kenan’s remake of “Poltergeist” opens in theaters Friday, this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday revisits the seminal original, about a suburban family whose young daughter Carol Anne communicates with spirits who can throw objects, move furniture and manipulate weather. “Poltergeist,” co-produced and co-written by Steven Spielberg, stepped into the light on June 4, 1982. The film, which contained no graphic sex, no slasher gore and no deaths, was frightening enough to spark a ratings controversy. The MPAA initially gave it an R rating because “cumulative effect” was “too intense,” co-producer Frank Marshall told The Times before the film’s release. Spielberg was so upset about the R rating, […]
Feb. 24, 2015 | 11:48 a.m.

‘The Harvester’: Brandon Seifert unleashes supernatural Punisher

"The Harvester" #1 panel. (Legendary Comics)
An urban legend comes to life in “The Harvester,” Brandon Seifert’s new series for Legendary Comics. The title refers to a vengeful being who forces justice upon evildoers in violent fashion, then disappears. The myth is spoken of in countries around the world, with the creature having different names in different regions. No one knows who or what it is, or who or what is behind it, but a pair of curious investigators aim to find out. Seifert is no stranger to horror comics, having gained critical and sales success in 2011 with “Witch Doctor,” a horror title with a medical spin for Skybound Entertainment (under Image Comics). Hero Complex caught up with the writer to chat a bit about horror comics and the mysterious Harvester. Hero Complex: What was it that initially attracted you to horror comics? Brandon Seifert: […]
Feb. 13, 2015 | 11:07 a.m.

‘Crimson Peak’ trailer: Guillermo del Toro unveils gothic horror show

Mia Wasikowska in a scene from "Crimson Peak." (Legendary/Universal)
Guillermo del Toro has described his new big-screen Gothic romance “Crimson Peak” as a movie that comes very close to a living painting — and the new teaser trailer for the film showcases its colors and shadows in ominous fashion, not to mention playing up the movie’s portentous atmosphere. Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam and Tom Hiddleston star in the film, which the director co-wrote with Matthew Robbins and Lucinda Coxon. He has promised a “perverse” period ghost story for adults set in an elaborate haunted mansion, and the film’s official synopsis certainly suggests plenty of tension and intrigue: “In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house […]
Feb. 05, 2015 | 11:51 a.m.

‘Poltergeist’: Watch haunting new trailer for Gil Kenan’s horror redo

The clown is back. The first trailer for “Poltergeist” has arrived, offering a haunting glimpse of director Gil Kenan’s reboot of the 1982 horror favorite. Produced by Sam Raimi, the film appears to hew closely to the story line of the original movie. In the new movie, Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt portray Eric and Amy Bowen, parents to two young children. The family moves into a new home in what appears to be an ordinary neighborhood, only to discover that supernatural forces are at work — and have designs on their son and daughter. The cast also includes Jared Harris (“Mad Men”) and Jane Adams (“Hung,” “Little Children”). “Poltergeist” is the third film from Kenan, following his 2006 animated debut, “Monster House,” and the 2008 live-action adventure “City of Ember.” Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (“Rabbit Hole”) wrote the […]
Jan. 06, 2015 | 3:52 p.m.

‘[REC] 4: Apocalypse’: Charlie Adlard crafts poster for horror sequel

Charlie Adlard's alternate poster for "[REC] 4: Apocalypse." (Charlie Adlard)
“[REC] 4: Apocalypse,” the latest installment in the Spanish low-fi horror franchise, newly arrives on VOD and in select theaters this month. To commemorate the film’s U.S. premiere, comics artist Charlie Adlard (“The Walking Dead”) created an alternate poster in his signature style. Hero Complex readers can check out the new image at right. Directed by series regular Jaume Balaguero, “[REC] 4: Apocalypse” centers on television reporter Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco), who in 2007’s “[REC]” originally covered the viral outbreak inside a Barcelona apartment block that was transforming residents into something monstrous. Angela finds herself the only survivor of those events, but when she wakes up inside a high-security quarantine facility on board a ship, she is gripped by fears that she might carry the deadly virus. Watch the trailer for the film below. – Gina McIntyre |  @LATHeroComplex RECENT […]
Nov. 26, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.

‘The Babadook’: Director Jennifer Kent confronts a boogeyman

Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman in a scene from "The Babadook." (Matt Nettheim / IFC Films)
Jennifer Kent was a successful actress in her native Australia when she wrote a letter to art house provocateur Lars von Trier, whom she had long admired but never met. She was seeking career advice — Kent hoped to transition behind the camera — so she reached out to one of the world’s most singular directors. Not long after, she found herself shoveling snow and handling other odd jobs on the set of Von Trier’s divisive 2003 drama “Dogville.” But she also had the rare opportunity to shadow the Danish filmmaker and study his take-no-prisoners approach. “I didn’t need to learn about the technical process of filmmaking,” Kent said earlier this month, during a visit to L.A. “I needed to develop courage in my own voice.” Her unconventional course of study appears to have paid off. With her new horror […]
Nov. 10, 2014 | 1:00 p.m.

‘Evil Dead’ TV series: Bruce Campbell returns in Starz’s ‘Ash Vs. Evil Dead’

Talk about groovy — Bruce Campbell is set to reprise his iconic role as Ash in a new TV series for Starz, “Ash Vs. Evil Dead.” The new series, which arrives as a follow-up to Sam Raimi’s venerated horror franchise, reteams director Raimi with longtime producing partner Rob Tapert and star Campbell. Raimi will direct the first episode of the new series, which will unfold in 10 half-hour installments. It is set to premiere on Starz in 2015. “ ‘Evil Dead’ has always been a blast. Bruce, Rob and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to tell the next chapter in Ash’s lame, but heroic saga.  With his chain saw arm and his ‘boomstick,’ Ash is back to kick some monster butt. And brother, this time there’s a truckload of it,” Raimi said in a statement. “Ash Vs. Evil […]
Oct. 30, 2014 | 6:10 p.m.

Clive Barker on ‘Nightbreed’: ‘Where there are monsters, I feel home’

Clive Barker, famous for his horror stories and movies, spends much of his time now in his Beverly Hills gallery painting the demonic and fantastic. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
In 1990, horror novelist Clive Barker released “Nightbreed,” his second feature film as a writer-director. The follow-up to his provocative 1987 study in sadomasochism, “Hellraiser,” “Nightbreed” arrived as an adaptation of Barker’s novella “Cabal” and posited a world in which monsters had been driven to an underground sanctuary called Midian. The city begins to haunt the dreams of a Canadian man named Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer), who is under the psychiatric care of one Philip Decker (David Cronenberg), a therapist with questionable motives and dark secrets of his own. The movie, which featured artistic contributions from the likes of Ralph McQuarrie and Danny Elfman, opened to middling reviews. Writing for The Times, critic Michael Wilmington observed that there was a “thick, clunky quality” to the film with “remarkable moments scattered throughout — wild nightmare visions and a tingling sound track […]
Oct. 30, 2014 | 12:37 p.m.

‘Alien’: Neil Marshall praises Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic [guest essay]

In the spirit of Halloween, Hero Complex reached out to select filmmakers to solicit their fondest memories of classic horror. Below, Neil Marshall — who recently directed the pilot episode of NBC’s new series “Constantine,” and who produced the ghost story “Soulmate,” which arrived on DVD this week — discusses his respect and admiration for Ridley Scott’s “Alien.” He also addresses its influence on his features, including the acclaimed thriller “The Descent,” a superlative horror story that sees a strong heroine fighting monsters in a confined setting. Few horror movies have had such a profound effect on me as Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece, “Alien.” Few movies of any kind have had as much of an impact and influence on the movies I make. I was too young to catch it at the cinema when it was first released, but my […]
Oct. 29, 2014 | 6:31 p.m.

The high art of ‘The Shining’: A guest essay by ‘Horns’ director Alexandre Aja

"Horns" director Alexandre Aja and star Daniel Radcliffe; "The Shining." (Radius-TWC; Warner Bros.)
In the spirit of Halloween, Hero Complex reached out to select filmmakers to solicit their fondest memories of classic horror. Below, Alexandre Aja, whose new Joe Hill adaptation “Horns” starring Daniel Radcliffe opens Friday, fondly recalls the influence that Stanley Kubrick’s iconic take on Stephen King’s “The Shining” has exerted over his own work.   The first time I saw “The Shining” it changed my life. There was a video club right down the street from us, a two- or three-minute walk from our house. As soon as I was old enough, my mother gave me permission to go to the video club and rent films. Even then I loved movies. I knew there was that section at the end of the store where they had all the horror movies. I remember the poster for “Evil Dead II” was the […]
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