Tag Archives: Stephen King

The Shining – a plethora of confusions, reincarnations, theories and assumptions!

The Shining – a plethora of confusions, reincarnations, theories and assumptions!

written by Sebastian DK

In the year 1980, Stephen King‘s famous novel The Shining got adopted into a feature film (by the same name), directed by none The-Shiningother than Stanley Kubrick, casting Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers among others. A film that became a cinematic milestone and since then being celebrated around the globe as one of the top psychological horror movie ever made!

But then, how many of you have watched The Shining more than once just to comprehend the overall notion of the film – please raise your hands!

Well, to be honest I personally needed repeated viewings of this mystic feature in order to grasp the various complexities in the The-Shiningstoryline and also to dismantle the various theories that circles around this Kubrick classic.

And here are a few such theories that I hope will clear out some of the doubts which invariably people have after watching The Shining for the first time!

/ The 1921 Jack Torrance Photograph Confusion

I think this confusion could be cleared up to some extent (though not completely) with the help of certain points/facts placed under two theories: a) The Reincarnation Theory, and b) The Absorption Theory.

Before reading, keep in mind the fact that the hotel only reveals its dark magic when people are alone there. By isolating its inhabitants, the hotel illustrates how people behave differently when they know there’s no one else around.

a) The Reincarnation Theory:

There are many (tiny, easy to miss) hints throughout the film that suggest that Jack had been at the hotel before, and the present Jack The-ShiningTorrance is actually a reincarnation of the old Jack. These four hints stated below are the ones I found out to be the most significant:

* The bedroom conversation scene between Jack and his wife Wendy, in which Jack says, “I feel as if I had been here before”. One of the very first hints, and it actually points straight at ‘reincarnation’.

* In the washroom, Delbert Grady, during a conversation with Jack, says, “You’ve always been the caretaker. I’ve always been here”. Delbert implies that it was actually Jack, and not him, who was the The-Shiningactual caretaker of the hotel.

* During a conversation with the ghostly bartender Lloyd, Jack exclaims, “I like you, Lloyd. I always liked you”. Now that’s a strong suggestion that Jack sure had visited this place before, no?

* Jack is always at ease while being around or with ghosts. Though negligible, this fact is also a tiny suggestion that Jack was very much a part of The Overlook Hotel, in a different life, at a different time, and since he is used to it, he therefore blends in pretty well with the ghosts at the party/ball. Its all a normal occurrence to Jack, and that’s what Kubrick wants to show us.

b) The Absorption Theory:

Okay, if you wish to dismiss the idea of Jack’s reincarnation, go ahead, I say! Yeah we could do that since there isn’t anything solid The-Shiningthat confirms it, just mere dialogues that could very well be ignored. Now let’s look at it from a different angle.

It is possible to place a fact stating that “the photo might signify that Jack has been ‘absorbed’ from the present into the hotel’s past”. What if (a strong “if” here) Jack is a normal person who has been sucked into the hotel’s darkly violent spirit? My point is, its a horror movie adorned with a smooth touch of the supernatural, no? The message in that scenario might be that we can’t escape such powerful histories or forces of evil, and The Overlook Hotel was itself built on stolen native land and founded on cruelty.

Now we sure can give Jack the title of Mr. Protagonist, and the title The-Shiningof Mr. Antagonist to The Overlook Hotel. Funny, but actually makes (a little) sense!

In the reincarnation theory, Jack was always a part of the hotel. In the absorption one, Jack is merely sucked into it. Either way, Jack becomes a part of the hotel’s history and that’s all there is to it.

Many other things also come into play, like ‘environmental isolation leading to madness’, and (I’m repeating here) The Overlook Hotel itself being a supernatural evil spirit (“Delbert Grady opening the door to set Jack free” is a valid strong point as in this scene a supernatural force does a ‘real’ thing). But, to be honest, there is no specific clear explanation to anything at all, and I think the director intended to keep it that way.

/ The Charles And Delbert Grady Confusion

What about the two Gradys? Ever noticed Charles Grady being mentioned only once, while Delbert Grady is seen several times in the movie? Think it was a mistake on Kubrick’s part?
Confusing, no? I agree!

Ok here’s what…..
* The hotel manager tells Jack that his predecessor did hire a
‘Charles Grady who was totally normal to begin with, but lost his
The-Shininghead because of cabin fever (environmental isolation) and murdered his wife and two daughters and subsequently took his own life with a shotgun’. Nobody mentions Charles post that scene. (correct me if I’m mistaken, I don’t remember hearing ‘Charles Grady’ more than once)

* As for bald Delbert Grady, well, he is seen quite a few times in the movie. That dude is like a bad disease that won’t go away!
In the washroom, Jack encounters Delbert’s ghost (their first
meeting) and addresses him as the caretaker, also adding that he
recognized Delbert from the newspapers. But Delbert only replies
The-Shiningback saying that the caretaker is in fact Jack himself and not him (already stated above). Remember Delbert saying that one of his daughters attempted to burn the hotel down, so he had to ‘correct’ (kill) them, and also his wife when she interfered.

* Striking Common Fact: Charles and Delbert both ‘had a wife and two daughters each, and both committed familicide’.

So, about the confusion surrounding the two Gradys, I guess its possible to place three contrasting facts:

* Well, if ‘reincarnation’ is the trend here, then its possible that one
is the reincarnation of the other, and that both are from the past (Jack’s past).

The-Shining* Filmmaker’s error with the names.
I’m not neck-deep into this as Stanley Kubrick is one of the finest guys in the business. But he is also human. What do y’all think?

* Fun fact: What was baldo’s full name again?
Could be “Delbert Charles Grady” or even “Charles Delbert Grady”.
I mean, it sure is yet another strong fact that sure as hell satisfies the condition!

Hope this post clears most of the confusions surrounding the movie The Shining. Undoubtedly one of the most confusing, multilayered film, but then I believe that’s exactly the reason why it is also one of the greatest, and of all time!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Best of 2017 you may have missed! (10+1list)

Best of 2017 you may have missed!

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best of 2017 you may have missed: 2017 has been a year of some real good movies and a bliss for Cinema lovers like us!

But there is always a possibility that you may have overlooked a few, missed out the underrated ones which mind you are definitely worth your time.

So here is a list that will ensure that you have covered all the best of 2017. Thank me later!

10. Good Time

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrR-SbCRgCU

A heist gone wrong but that’s not the only thing that doesn’t go according to the plan. In order to save his mentally challenged brother a thug has the misadventure of his lifetime in one night span!

Directed by Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie, a rollercoaster ride of intense drama and Robert Pattinson breaks away from his Twilight zone and gives a super cool performance.

9. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WBV7q_1DgQ

A woman burdened and bored by her life to the point of depression finds new purpose when she is robbed and vows to take revenge on the thugs. Her next-door neighbour becomes her partner in crime!

Written and directed by Macon Blair, with Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood giving their best – mostly a comedy and that too very well made, but I am sure the ending will surprise you!

8. Brawl in Cell Block 99

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfAExhHTMM

Vince Vaughn is back – not in some romcom but with a tough-guy-role in this cool and violent crime drama.

A drug dealer who goes to prison after a sore deal and realises that he has landed in the midst of a battleground!

Directed by S. Craig Zahler, this action drama has extreme violent scenes that can be disturbing for some people.

7. Lucky

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KLLkj84GAo

‘There’s a difference between lonely and being alone.’

A comedy drama centred around a ninety-year-old atheist who is forced to get out of his comfort zone and view life from a different perspective.

Directed by John Carroll Lynch and a performance of a lifetime by Harry Dean Stanton (his last role before he passed away). Also starring David Lynch!

6. Mudbound

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPRj3egUHb8

Adjusting to life after war is always tough and dealing with racism is even tougher. Two young men fresh from war zone had to deal with all this and much more!

Directed by Dee Rees, this is one brilliant movie, highly underrated but awesome acting and storytelling at its best.

Garrett Hedlund‘s performance is definitely an award winning one.

5. Molly’s Game

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu4UPet8Nyc

A former professional skier who ran world’s most exclusive high-stake poker-games in Los Angeles and New York and soon came into the radar of FBI.

A biography made on the life of Molly Bloom, brilliantly played by Jessica Chastain.

Directed by Aaron Sorkin, the story of the ultimate hustler and her mysterious and thrilling life!

4. Lady Bird

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNi_HC839Wo

A coming of age drama of a senior high school girl, a young artistic mind who wants to go to the east coast and live her life to the fullest!

Written and directed by my favourite actor/director Greta Gerwig, the film is so realistic and well told that you instantly feel a connection to it.

Saoirse Ronan is superb in the central character – so natural and vulnerable and yet so perfect.

3. Buster’s Mal Heart

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL4WSUwqhho

Rami Malek (from Mr. Robot fame) has given a great performance as a mentally unstable man who keeps warning others about a certain mysterious upcoming ‘Inversion’!

Written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith, powerful visuals and a bizarre concept that unfortunately is a bit open-ended and often unexplained but surely this psychological thriller manages to hold your attention till the very end.

2. A Ghost Story

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxLHP2IpBXw

A ghost shrouded in a white-sheet with two eyes cut out  – this is the ghost of a recently expired man who returns to his home and tries to connect with his lonely wife.

Directed by David Lowery, this film is not to be taken as a typical horror/ghost movie. It is an arty type, slow, emotional, sad and yet beautifully poetic.

Brilliant performances by Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.

  1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jit3YhGx5pU

In order to challenge the local authorities to find her daughter’s murderers a mother puts up three billboards by the side of the road to provoke and taunt the police!

A black comedy directed by Martin McDonagh, this is a brilliant movie with superb storytelling and awesome performances by top-rated actors like Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Gerald’s Game

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twbGU2CqqQU

At a remote lake house a girl finds herself in a terrifying situation when her husband handcuffs her as part of their sex game but unfortunately have a heart attack and dies leaving her chained!

Superbly directed by Mike Flanagan and Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood gives their best. One of the very rare Stephen King novel adaptations that is probably even better than the book!

Similar Interest: Best of World Cinema 2017

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

Best Horror Anthology films ever made (10+1list)

Best Horror Anthology films ever made

written by Souranath Banerjee

Horror Anthology films are always a treat for the horror-genre fans!

For those who are new to the term ‘Anthology’ – an anthology film Horror-Anthology(also known as an omnibus film, package film, or portmanteau film) generally consists of several short films mostly linked by a common theme, premise or genre; can be made either by different directors for each segment or can entirely be the work of one single director.

And the most common Anthology film category is undoubtedly the ‘Horror’ genre. Numerous short horror films are produced from all over the world and they add up to such perfect anthology films!

And so, here is the collection of the Best Horror Anthology films ever made!

Feel free to be scared!

10. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTOHbEOLcCU

Horror-AnthologyThe backdrop being Halloween, five stories are seamlessly interwoven together into one devilishly scary movie!

Written and directed by Michael Dougherty, these tiny horror tales are all located around the same locality and occurs at the same night!

A cool and sleek horror flick that guarantees a superb Halloween experience for the entire family!

9. V/H/S (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmLh4NUu6E4

Horror-AnthologyA team of petty burglars come across a collection of weird VHS tapes that eventually scared the hell out of them!

Typically based on the popular found-footage film-format (similar to The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield), this movie debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Total 6 short films made by the directors – Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David BrucknerTyler GillettJustin MartinezGlenn McQuaidRadio Silence, Joe SwanbergChad VillellaTi West and Adam Wingard.

Because of the film’s popularity two other installments of the V/H/S franchise were produced V/H/S/2 (2013), V/H/S Viral (2014) and also a spin-off called SiREN (2016)

8. Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3FpZEkaIS4

Horror-AnthologyFive strangers following a guide get lost inside a catacomb, soon trapped in a crypt meet the mysterious Crypt Keeper.

And finally the keeper tells them five stories and the tales are of the visions of how each of them will meet their death!

Directed by Freddie Francis, macabre, blood and gore, a very well executed movie – scary yet strict with justice and morals!

7. Cat’s Eye (1985)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqzTazrYx5M

Horror-AnthologyVery rarely are the horror suspense genre so well complemented by superb dark humor!

Directed by Lewis Teague and screenplay by none other than Stephen King, three thrilling stories, both scary and fun, all cleverly linked by a stray cat.

James Woods, Alan King and a young Drew Barrymore – superb performances and very much entertaining!

Another Stephen King written anthology to check out – Stephen King’s Golden Tales (1985).

6. Black Sabbath (1963)

I tre volti della paura (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvqT1D7qvrc

Horror-Anthology

Stories adopted from the works of Anton ChekhovAleksei Tolstoy and Guy de Maupassant, and perfectly executed into a frightening short films.

Hosted by acclaimed Boris Karloff (of Frankenstein fame) who also acted in one segment as a vampire; and directed by the Italian master of horror Mario Bava, this trio of scary tales are certainly a must for all horror anthology fans!

5. Tales of Terror (1962)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCB6IexwwtA

Horror-AnthologyBased on the work of Edgar Allan Poe, Morella, The Black Cat and The Case of M. Valdemar – the three unique horror stories that turned into fine examples of cinema.

Directed by Roger Corman, the films are scary with a potent doze of comedy in them.

Atmospheric and eerie, and great performances by Vincent PriceBasil Rathbone and Peter Lorre.

4. Dead of Night (1945)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UCJz617E8s

Horror-AnthologyA man stuck in his recurring nightmare as the characters in his dream narrates their own individual horror experiences!

Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles CrichtonBasil Dearden and Robert Hamer.

This British movie is often regarded as the Best Horror Anthology film that has managed to stay scary enough through the test of time!

3. Kwaidan (1964)

Kaidan (original title)

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG5mvupo9Wc

Horror-Anthology

A classic collection of Japanese folk tales – slow and visually beautiful, this movie consists of four separate and unrelated stories all based on supernatural elements.

Directed by Masaki Kobayashi – this is certainly the most popular Japanese Horror classic that won the ‘Special jury prize’ at 1965 Cannes Film Festival and also an Academy Award nomination!

2. Creepshow (1982)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owdnnaNs2RI

Horror-AnthologyBased on the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s, this film narrates five gruesome tales of pure horror and terror!

Directed by none other than the acclaimed horror director George A. Romero, and screenplay by Stephen King – what a combo!

With lot of blood, violence and gory special effects, this movie is a pure ecstasy for every horror fan out there! 

The film’s popularity soon gave birth to Creepshow 2 (1987)

  1. Three… Extremes (2004)

Saam gaang yi (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqQHi1GYXpY

Horror-AnthologyDumplings“, “Cut” and “Box“, three individual South Korean horror films clubbed together into an anthology, directed by Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike and Chan-wook Park.

Not only they are horrifying and disturbing, they also have this amazing creep factor that makes them score ahead of any other films in this list. My personal favorite is Dumplings though it makes me sick every time I watch it!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Spirits of the Dead (1968)

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FJuSlLlmSk

Horror-AnthologyMetzengerstein, William Wilson and Toby Dammit, three Edgar Allan Poe stories narrated by acclaimed directors such as Roger VadimLouis Malle and Federico Fellini!

Starring an array of favorite actors Jane Fonda, Peter FondaBrigitte Bardot, Alain Delon and Terence Stamp – not entirely horror based but still pretty disturbing for sure. 

Obviously Fellini’s segment, the last one is the best!

A few other anthologies apart from the list: Twice-Told Tales (1963), Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965), Torture Garden (1967), The House That Dripped Blood (1971), Asylum (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973), From Beyond the Grave (1974), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), From a Whisper to a Scream (1987), Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), Two Evil Eyes (1990), Body Bags (1993), Darna Mana Hai (2003), 4bia (2008), Phobia 2 (2009), The Theatre Bizarre (2011), Horror Stories (2012), The ABCs of Death (2012), Southbound (2015), Holidays (2016), XX (2017), Galaxy of Horrors (2017).

Animated Horror Anthologies: Extraordinary Tales (2015), Fear(s) of the Dark (2007).

Similar Interest: Best Japanese Horror Films

Similar Interest: Best Horror Comedies

Similar Interest: Best Horror Films of recent times

Similar Interest: Best Asian Horror Films

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

BEST HORROR FILMS OF RECENT TIMES (20+1LIST)

Best Horror Films of recent times

written by Souranath Banerjee

The list of the Best Horror films of recent times is a collection of some of the most creepiest and horrific films that are released in the past few years.

horror-filmsThere is a theory that a bit of evil exits in every one of us, even in our shadows and specially in the absence of it. And thus, be afraid of the dark, be afraid of the dazzling light; be afraid of the spirits and demons, and the devil who takes the human plight!

And may be, these Horror films will make you believe in the ‘evil’ and finally accept its existence; and even surrender to it.

At least for now, surrender to these brilliant Horror films – embrace the terror and enjoy the list!

20. It Follows (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymoh5SIqgtw

horror-filmsThe after effects of a sexual encounter can sometimes go very wrong, but this particular film takes the after-sex complications to a different level altogether!

A young girl tries to escape from the clutches of some supernatural power since she is being constantly followed by it. Directed by David Robert Mitchell, the film has numerous panic moments and a perfect sense of overall suspense and tension.

19. Grave Encounters (2011)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8FBRATbJoA

horror-filmsA ghost-hunting reality television show goes to shoot an episode inside the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital and voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night. And it was a mistake!

Directed by Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz as the The Vicious Brothers, the film has a pretty decent plot and it does manage to scare at regular intervals.

18. Before I Wake (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho2Z0LtXsbY

horror-filmsIf dreams could become reality the world would have been such a beautiful place. But then, what happens when you have the nightmares?

(Click for review)

Directed by Mike Flanagan, it is based on a young orphan boy whose nightmares often tend to come alive. And his new foster parents need to stop these deadly dreams from being real!

Another recent film by the same director is Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) that is also worth your consideration.

17. The Enfield Haunting (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jKtZD34Fo4

horror-filmsIt’s a brilliant Mini-Series starring Timothy Spall and directed by Kristoffer Nyholm, based on the true events that happened in 1970s Britain – the The Enfield Poltergeist incident. 

A noisy mischievous ghost takes hold of the body of a young girl, the youngest daughter of the family being haunted and starts communicating through her. Terrifying and very much believable – a must watch! 

16. The Babadook (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5WQZzDRVtw

horror-filmsA child obsessed with some monster and is prepared to tackle it. His mother of course doesn’t believe him but soon the kid is proved to be right!

(Click for Review)

Directed by Jennifer Kent, a rare horror flick that doesn’t have to depend on cheap jump-scares or gore. It has a great story to tell and it tells it in real style.

15. The Woman in Black (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4D-87X3vVc

horror-filmsA young solicitor travels to a remote village for work and finds himself in the midst of a situation where a revengeful female-ghost dressed in black is terrifying the locals and killing their children. Now his life is also in danger but can he do anything about it?

Daniel Radcliffe stars in this moody atmospheric horror flick directed by James Watkins, a creepy film that maintains the tension throughout.

14. Sinister (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kbQAJR9YWQ

horror-filmsA crime-writer for his research moves himself and his family into a house where a horrific crime took place many years ago. He soon finds some snuff films on the heinous crimes but then things go wrong in ways he had never expected! 

The Ethan Hawke starrer horror flick, directed by Scott Derrickson is a cool horror thriller with great sound designing well complemented with some very unexpected suspense moments.

Another installment of the same franchise is Sinister 2 (2015).

13. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsIilFNNmkY

horror-filmsFive teenagers on a weekend holiday trip goes into the forest to stay in an isolated cabin and then something terrible happens! The film initially gives an impression  of a stereotypical horror/slasher formula flick but then again the movie has its own twists and turns that makes it special.

Directed by Drew Goddard, an intelligent film that keeps you hooked very much till the end.

12. A Cure for Wellness (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF1rLFCdewU

horror-filmsAt a remote location in the Swiss Alps there is a mysterious “wellness centre” which seems to hide many terrifying secrets. And one man is desperate to know all about this mystical spa.

Directed by Gore Verbinski, this is a cool horror thriller shot beautifully, the story though a bit stretched and predictable but then also it has its own visual charm. Trippy and hypnotic and definitely worth a watch.

11. It (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7no56Zw1e20

horror-filmsIn the neighbourhood too many kids are getting disappeared leaving only some bloody trails behind!

It’s time for the young guys to gang up and fight the scary evil clown who seems to be hunting down the children!

Directed by Andy Muschietti, this movie is based on the classic novel by none other than the master writer Stephen King!

Another recent film by the same director is  Mama (2013) that is again very much worth your time.

10. Lights Out (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LiKKFZyhRU

horror-filmsSomething supernatural that exists in the darkness, haunts and hunts only when the light is out!

Directed by David F. Sandberg, this is the story of a kid terrified by some presence that soon needs to be investigated.

A creepy movie with lots of jump scare moments and cool editing along with the flickering of light and darkness. A decent one time watch.

Another recent film by the same director is Annabelle: Creation (2017) that is very much worth your time.

9. The Conjuring (2013)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k10ETZ41q5o

horror-filmsA family shifts to a farm house at Rhode Island and they soon gets haunted by terrifying evil forces. And they have to seek help from the professionals!

Based on the true story from the accounts of Paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren.  Directed by acclaimed horror-director James Wan, tensed and creepy, some real scary moments, brilliant editing and a great haunting musical score.

The Conjuring 2 (2016) also by the same director is a decent watch too.

8. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYKANIDQlwU

horror-filmsA father-son coroner duo, trying their best to diagnose the unidentified body of a young woman and while doing so they accidentally unveil the mystery surrounding her death. But at what cost?

Directed by André Øvredal, this film has the rare ability to scare you not only by it’s intense visuals but also through the intelligently used sound play. A superb first half but the ending demands a little more. 

7. A Dark Song (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OccAJCbZ-7I

horror-filmsAn occultist visits a woman as they team up to perform a highly dangerous and strictly guided ritual that will eventually grant their inner wishes. But then somebody is not telling the truth and finally both their lives are in danger.

Directed by Liam Gavin, with just two characters confined in a single space, this film works pretty good and manages to fuel the drama and engage us till the end.

6. Annabelle (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paFgQNPGlsg

horror-filmsAnnabelle being the ugliest collector’s item is gifted by a caring husband to his loving pregnant wife but soon enough Annabelle gets cursed by some blood thirsty Satan lovers and all hell breaks loose!

(Click for Review)

Directed by John R. Leonetti, this film is again a prequel of the popular Conjuring series –The Conjuring and the latest The Conjuring 2.

5. Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HxEXnVSr1w

horror-filmsThis it where it all begins, the very root of the Lambert family’s trouble, the reason why they were repeatedly being haunted and tormented by all these evil spirits through Insidious film-parts!

(Check for Review)

Directed by Leigh Whannell, the film focuses on the gifted Elise Rainier who tries her best to relieve a young girl from the clutches of the demons. 

A prequel to the first two installments of the Insidious franchise are Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) and Insidious (2010) and they are both worth your time and scare!

4. Crimson Peak (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLWsNDZqXpo

horror-filmsDirected by Guillermo del Toro, a film that is a perfect blend of fear and deception, hatred and revenge, and of course horror.

(Check for Review)

An ancient house that has memories to share. And when the newly married bride comes onboard, she becomes the chosen one who opens the gates of the dark past – those gloomy tales that reveal many unpleasant secrets!

Two other horror films by the same director are The Devil’s Backbone (2001) and Cronos (1993) that are very much worth your time! 

3. Under the Shadow (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHVFP80Upxw

horror-filmsSet in the backdrop of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, a mother and her young daughter living in Tehran struggles their best to cope with the catastrophes of war; but then, some mysterious evil presence seems to be haunted them by in their apartment!

Directed by Babak Anvari, this Persian film is a potent mix of metaphors and real spooky moments, undoubtedly the most intense horror film of recent time!

2. The Witch (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjBN0ByAqDk

horror-filmsperiod horror drama from 1630s, a family in New England becomes the victim of witchcraft, dark forces, black magic and evil possessions.

(Click for review)

A chilling string of events including a missing newborn and the crops- failure eventually leads to fear, paranoia and brutal injustice. Director Robert Eggers‘s version on infamous “Salem Witch Trials” of Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 1. The Wailing (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43uAputjI4k

horror-filmsIn a remote village a series of horrific unnatural deaths perplex both the villagers and the police. And then it soon becomes evident that this mystery demands a paranormal investigation!

(Click for review)

Directed by Hong-jin Na, this South Korean horror movie is a gritty and dark tale, violent and savage, and very entertaining!  

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. Personal Shopper (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSqMpkGOW9g

horror-filmsA girl, personal shopper by profession, seems to have been able to make contact with her twin brother who died years back.

Kristen Stewart gives a memorable performance in this moody, eerie horror thriller; though not a very satisfying ending for me but still surely worth checking out.

Directed by Olivier Assayas, who won the Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for this film!

Similar Interest: Horror Anthology films

Similar Interest: Best Asian Horror Movies

Similar Interest: Best Horror Comedies

Similar Interest: Best Japanese Horror Movies

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comen.wikipedia.orgwww.imdb.com.

The Witch (2015)

The Witch review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

The evil takes many forms and some of them you only wish you never knew of.    

My ratings: 3.8/5

A puritan family banished from their community takes refuge by the edge of the forest, but soon their newborn baby disappears, the crops fail too, and then the witch-hunt begins!

witch-poster2The Witch is a long anticipated film for the fans of the horror genre; heard too many good things about it and the praises seem legit enough.

1630, New England, Black magic and a poor but devout Christian family getting possessed – well, this almost entirely sums up the basic story line but thankfully the USP of this film is not its predictable narrative.

The Witch is more of an experience of terror that mostly isn’t directly visible on-screen. The horror can be felt through the helplessness of the family and their desperate attempts to seek out the witch in them.

The real panic moments for the audience comes from the dark and eerie forest scenes shot by Jarin Blaschke, perfectly synced with the witch-poster3brilliantly haunting music by Mark Korven.

Director/writer Robert Eggers has done a great job recreating the seventeenth century, a period that was suffocated with superstitions, sorceries and which-crafts.

And the splendid performances by Anya Taylor-JoyRalph InesonKate Dickie and Harvey Scrimshaw gives the film the believability it needed.

I wish the story could have been a bit more than just a folklore and the ending a more definitive one, but then again the creep factor in the film simply trumps over all other aspects! 

It is said that Stephen King was terrified watching The Witch but the real question is – what about you?

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com

Best fictional films about writers

Best fictional films about writers.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Don’t you think the ‘writers’ are a strange breed of people?

They are supposed to be imaginative, curious and passionate about their work. Well, thats the romantic side. But often their constant struggle to be original, their possessive nature, their creative vulnerability lead them to unpredictable alleys.

I have managed to put up a list of my all time favorite films where the protagonist writes for a living – films where sometimes the writer is in danger and other times he IS the danger.

And the list begins.

10. Secret Window (2004)

Secret Window

A perfect blend of Stephen KingDavid Koepp + Johnny Depp and the result is a tangy physiological thriller.

The story of a lone writer who is unexpectedly threatened and accused of plagiarism by a complete stranger.

If you are a Johnny Depp fan and you like mystery it’s surely your cup of tea.

9. The Ghost aka The Ghost Writer (2010)

The Ghost Writer

Tension, suspense, thrill, excitement – these words are made to define this film.

When a ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) takes up a new job for a former politician (Pierce Brosnan), he unknowingly puts his life in danger. An edgy script – one of my personal favorite.

For Roman Polanski fans this is a special treat.

8. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Stranger Than Fiction

What if you realize one fine morning that you are not in control of your life – that you exist only in somebody’s imagination, in someone’s writings?

Directed by Marc Forster, Will Ferrell in his own comic way experience this scary concept. Superb performance.

One of the most innovative story told in style.

7. Wonder Boys (2000)

Wonder Boys

An interesting star cast – Michael Douglas at his best, Tobey Maguire young n talented and Robert Downey Jr. joins in.

Directed by Curtis Hanson, this is a film about writers and their careers; the tormented souls desperate to create something unique.

A perfect drama with a comic touch – very entertaining and well performed.

6. Barton Fink (1991)

Barton Fink

This time the Coen brothers (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen) create a dark world where a writer in a hotel room struggles in his quest to write about ‘the common man’.

The crisp dialogues, the eerie look and feel of the film, the brilliant acting – it’s a complete package.

Though often considered too glum and black for some people’s taste but for me this film is a superb satire.

5. Midnight in Paris (2011)

Midnight in Paris

At midnight Paris becomes a magical place for a writer who travels back in time and meet the great artists of all times (all his inspirations).

A refreshing comedy by Woody Allen and a crackling performance by Owen Wilson – the result is a mystically charming film.

The film radiates the director’s love for Paris.

4. The Squid and the Whale (2005)

The squid and the whale

Dealing with parents divorce is always tough, specially when both of them are writers and pretty self centered in nature.

This is a perfect family drama – often funny in a cruel way; the story of two young boys who try to cope up with the tension in between their parents.

Directed by Noah Baumbachthe film is actually much more interesting than it’s name suggests.

3. Deathtrap (1982)

Deathtrap

This is a film that will startle you; the more you will try to predict what is next, the more you will be surprised.

A writer with his deadly plans and a sinister collection of weapons –Michael Caine at his best.

Sidney Lumet (one of my all time favorite director) maliciously reveals a trap that surely leads to death. It’s a dangerous game but you never know who is the winner till the end of the film.

2. Adaptation. (2002)

Adaptation

One of Nicolas Cage‘s best performance (that too a double role) and also one of Spike Jonze‘s best film till date.

The famous scriptwriter Charlie Kaufman shows his brilliance once again.

Though most people (including me) has a problem with the ending of this film but still it will remain one of my all time favorite.

1. Ruby Sparks (2012)

Ruby sparks

Directed by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, the brilliance of this film is that it cannot be explained unless you watch it.

The concept of finding the girl of your dreams is turned upside down into a whole new dimension.

What if you want to play God and you are given the control to manipulate people whom you love? Think twice before you wish.

and

(The ‘+1’ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most offbeat and crazy one. A must watch).

+1. Misery (1990)

MiseryWriters always like to communicate with their fans. And specially if one claims to be his ‘no 1 fan’ and especially if that person saves the writer’s life. Right?

Wrong in this particular case.

Adopted from Stephen King‘s novel and directed by Rob Reiner this film is one twisted tale of a writer (James Caanand his fan (Kathy Bates, who won the Oscar as the Best actress in the leading role that year).