horror

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 […]
Oct. 28, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.

‘Wytches’ writer Scott Snyder’s 13 picks for Halloween horror

SnyderHalloweenFeatured
Scott Snyder prefers horror where the humans are worse than the monsters. That idea, rooted in the Eisner Award-winning, bestselling writer’s early exposure to George Romero’s classic “Night of the Living Dead,” is at play in his new Image Comics series with artist Jock, “Wytches,” which arrived to enthusiastic reviews earlier this month. In “Wytches,” the titular terrors look more fearsome than “cackling women around the caldron,” as Snyder put it in a phone conversation with Hero Complex about his favorite horror stories. But what he hopes is more frightening than their bestial, skeletal appearance is that “they don’t come and eat anybody unless someone gives that person to them.” ‘Wytches’ preview: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 The witches’ far-advanced knowledge of natural sciences means they can do […]
Oct. 22, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.

‘American Horror Story': Twisty the Clown actor John Carroll Lynch is scary good

'American Horror Story' - John Carroll Lynch - feature image (LAT / FX)
When “American Horror Story” creator Ryan Murphy first contacted actor John Carroll Lynch about a possible role on the fourth season of his gleefully deranged hit, he was upfront about his aims for a new character, a silent, grinning killer straight out of a child’s nightmare. “He described it in a way that I understood it to be somebody calling me up and going, ‘We’d like you to play my version of the Phantom of the Opera,’ ” Lynch recalled recently. “He said he wanted to create the most terrifying clown in the history of television.” By all accounts, he succeeded. Lynch’s Twisty the Clown has become the chief talking point of “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” quite an achievement considering Murphy stocked the latest season of his Emmy-winning anthology series with conjoined twins, a bearded Kathy Bates and a […]
Oct. 12, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

‘The Walking Dead': 55 images from Season 5 of AMC’s hit zombie drama

"The Walking Dead" actor Norman Reedus. (Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC)
“The Walking Dead” kicks off its fifth season Sunday with Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl (Norman Reedus) and the other survivors facing off against hungry cannibals. No one said life during the zombie apocalypse would be easy. Although the road the group has traveled has been unspeakably difficult, their hardships have helped catapult the hit AMC drama to the center of popular culture — “The Walking Dead” continues to rank as television’s most watched prime-time scripted drama, averaging more than 13 million viewers last year. (The season 4 finale was seen by 15.7 million people.) It’s little wonder that AMC has ordered a pilot for a “Walking Dead” spinoff, which is set to go into production this year, and already has confirmed that the series, overseen by show runner Scott M. Gimple, will return for a sixth season. Click through the […]
Oct. 02, 2014 | 5:36 p.m.

‘Annabelle’ director conjured prequel horror film from ‘Rosemary’s Baby’

A scene from New Line Cinema's supernatural thriller, "Annabelle," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Gregory Smith/Warner Bros.)
Watch the new film “Annabelle,” which arrives in theaters Friday as the first horror movie of October, and you might experience a slight sense of déjà vu. A prequel to last year’s breakout hit “The Conjuring,” “Annabelle” owes a creative debt to Roman Polanski’s classic “Rosemary’s Baby,” which sees expectant mother Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) increasingly come to believe that evil forces are pursuing her unborn child. “Annabelle” director John R. Leonetti said he took a great deal of inspiration both for the look of his movie, which is set entirely in Southern California in the 1960s, from the 1968 thriller, which earned supporting actress Ruth Gordon an Oscar for her performance as the Satanist-next-door Minnie Castevet. But thematically, the movies link up too. While “Annabelle” purports to explain the origins of the evil doll introduced in “The Conjuring,” both […]
Sept. 25, 2014 | 2:21 p.m.

‘The Strain': Kevin Durand channels his inner Viking warrior for Fet

Kevin Durand stars in "The Strain." (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
There are few things that will bond a cast of actors more closely than two consecutive weeks of filming at night in close confines during a polar vortex event in Toronto, according to actor Kevin Durand, who plays the towering exterminator Vasiliy Fet in “The Strain,” FX’s hit series adapted from the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. But the experience of shooting the eighth episode, “Creatures of the Night” — which sees the show’s ensemble of heroes fending off hordes of attacking vampires from inside a Brooklyn convenience store — didn’t just help him forge lasting connections among the actors, Durand said. It also allowed him to channel his inner action hero. “I love getting physical with characters,” Duran said in an interview earlier this year on the Toronto set of the show. “With this guy, there’s […]
Aug. 28, 2014 | 6:49 p.m.

‘As Above, So Below’ makers find horror, Hell lurking beneath Paris

Perdita Weeks in a scene from the film "As Above, So Below." (Universal Pictures)
Set in the catacombs beneath Paris, Legendary’s new horror film “As Above, So Below” sees a group of adventures, led by enterprising scholar Scarlett Marlowe (Perdita Weeks), set out to reclaim the mythic philosopher’s stone, a powerful alchemical artifact said to possess the ability to turn base metals into gold. But the expedition takes a surprising, and sinister, turn when Marlowe and her companions seemingly encounter horrors from their pasts, and possibly enter the gates of Hell. The film is the latest project from the producing-directing team of Drew and John Dowdle, who most recently fashioned  2010’s “Devil,” a supernatural thriller about five strangers trapped in an elevator and the evil lurking among them. But the pair has a history with horror — John, a New York University film school graduate, and Drew, a former mergers and acquisitions specialist on […]
Aug. 25, 2014 | 11:55 a.m.

‘Omen’ series ‘Damien’ next for ‘Walking Dead’ veteran Glen Mazzara

Glen Mazzara is resurrecting the Antichrist for Lifetime. The former showrunner of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is masterminding a new series, “Damien,” which will draw inspiration from director Richard Donner’s 1976 horror classic “The Omen.” The new six-episode series will chronicle the adult life of Damien Thorn, a character introduced to moviegoers in Donner’s film as a young boy adopted by a politically powerful couple — played by Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. After Damien’s presence appears to set off a series of unexplainable events, the couple slowly begin to suspect that there is something deeply sinister about their child. In Mazzara’s show, Damien has been raised without knowledge about his true identity, and he must grapple with his destiny as a catalyst for the apocalypse. Mazzara will write and executive produce “Damien,” which is set to debut on Lifetime […]
Aug. 19, 2014 | 12:42 p.m.

‘The Strain': Guillermo del Toro vampire series renewed for Season 2

The apocalyptic horror series “The Strain” will return for a second season, FX announced Tuesday. Based on a trilogy of novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the show is the latest high-concept thriller to explore the end of modern civilization — here, the threat arrives on board a flight into JFK when an old-world monster steals away on the plane and infects the passengers with a virus that transforms them into blood-thirsty monsters. Corey Stoll’s CDC epidemiologist Eph Goodweather finds himself drawn into the unfolding chaos, and before long, he is forced to partner with an eccentric pawn shop owner, Abraham Setrakian (played by David Bradley), to face down the creatures. PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot on the set of ‘The Strain’ “The thing I wanted to do in ‘The Strain,’ you can actually see this world collapse in a […]
Aug. 17, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘The Strain': Vampire hunter David Bradley revels in action hero role

English actor David Bradley in Beverly Hills.  (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
It’s in the vein of old-style vampire hunters that David Bradley operates on “The Strain,” FX’s hit series that sees the world on the precipice of apocalypse thanks to the bloodthirsty undead. But the English actor, well known to genre audiences from his work in the “Harry Potter” movie franchise and on the wildly popular “Game of Thrones,” says he doesn’t directly draw inspiration from any famous forerunners in the unusual science. “I didn’t try to look for references or comparisons with other characters, otherwise there’s always a danger of playing that rather than what Guillermo and Chuck have got written down,” Bradley said in an interview on the Toronto set of the show, when asked about any similarities between his determined Abraham Setrakian and Bram Stoker’s Abraham Van Helsing, the man who famously tracked Dracula and brought the powerful […]
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