Month: October 2018

Top 10 Horror Directors

Happy Halloween everybody and welcome to the final countdown of Horror Month! There have been many filmmakers who have tried their hand at horror, but only a select few have made a career out of it and even fewer have earned the right to be considered iconic. For my final list of Horror Month here on Cinema Spotlight and just in time for Halloween I wanted to take a look at some of the best directors who have helped make horror a credible, marketable and beloved genre bringing us some of the most iconic horror features in history and etching their permanent place in pop culture. So to close out my month of horror let’s count down my picks for the Top 10 Horror Movie Directors.

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Review: “Mid90s”

Growing up in the 90s my generation is one obsessed with nostalgia. Whether it’s television shows, video games or movies the 90s were an awesome time for kids like me and apparently kids like Jonah Hill who was born in the 80s but did, in fact, do a lot of his own growing up in the mid-90s which is probably why this popular comedic actor chose that era as the focus of his directorial debut appropriately titled “Mid90s”. The previews made this a must see for me if for no other reason than the nostalgia and the promise of a great story from a proven talent. So does this film live up to my lofty expectations? Let’s take a look in my review of “Mid90s”.

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Box Office Breakdown: Oct. 26-28, 2018

This past weekend was a predictable one for the box office in a lot of ways as many films held pat from the previous week. However, this doesn’t mean that October is a slow month. In fact it’s reaching record numbers making 2018 one of the most successful years in modern memory for cinemas. So as the month winds down and the final numbers for the final weekend of the year come in lets see which films are shining and which ones are losing steam. Let’s break it down for the weekend of Oct. 26-28, 2018.

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Review: “The Hate You Give”

In 2017 a little novel made its debut called “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas focusing on a young woman becoming a voice after a black friend is shot by a white cop. The book skyrocketed to instant popularity with 20th Century Fox getting the jump on the film rights a year before the book was even released. Now in 2018 that cinematic adaptation is finally in theaters and it’s one of several films this year to tackle the issue of race discrimination by cop. After having seen the overlooked masterpiece that was “Blindspotting” earlier this year I decided to give “The Hate U Give” a shot and see how well it holds up. So is this popular social justice-themed film a pretentious mess or a legitimately insightful look at a race-related issue to wake up the masses? Heck, is it both? Let’s dive in. This is my review of “The Hate U Give”.

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“The Blair Witch Project” Versus “Paranormal Activity”

While the found-footage approach to filmmaking has faded into obscurity in recent years this sub-genre of horror remains one of the genres best and is one of my personal favorites to this day. While found-footage filmmaking has not been exclusively used for horror it’s that genre that helped popularize it giving fans some of the most immersive cinema experiences ever. Two films specifically are largely responsible for the success of this sub-genre. Those movies are, of course, 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project” and 2007’s “Paranormal Activity”. Some people love these films because of their use of simple filmmaking techniques to add to the realism while others see them as pretentious snooze fests. I personally happen to enjoy them both and seeing as these two films came around in different decades of cinema and helped establish my favorite horror sub-genre of horror as a marketable style I felt it was time to see which found-footage masterpiece is superior. This is “The Blair Witch Project” Versus “Paranormal Activity.

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Top 15 Iconic Horror Movie Villains

While the art of film has produced many great characters few, if any, genres have led to the creation of more iconic and memorable villains than the genre of horror. We know the faces, the masks, the weapons, even the voices or mannerisms of countless baddies who have graced the silver screen racking up scares, kill counts and memorable one-liners that still today stand the test of time. As Horror Month comes to a close here on Cinema Spotlight I’d be remiss if I didn’t pay homage to the greatest, most iconic and scariest characters in horror history. So it’s time to delve into the hall of fame of freights and celebrate the villains that have made the horror genre one of cinema’s most popular and successful. These are my picks for the Top 15 Iconic Horror Movie Villains.

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Box Office Breakdown, Oct. 19-21, 2018

So, there really wasn’t much of a doubt this weekend. Everyone KNEW what was going to top the chart. Spoiler alert, it’s “Halloween”. What we didn’t know is how big or small that domination would be. Would this horror sequel turn in a modest take closer to its competition or would it wipe the floor with the other contenders? At one point it even looked like “Halloween” would top October’s other smash hit “Venom” for the biggest October opening of all time. So how well did “Halloween” really do?  Let’s examine that and the other new entries on the chart in this week’s Box Office Breakdown for the weekend of Oct. 19-21.

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Review: “Halloween” (2018)

The “Halloween” franchise is legendary. The original John Carpenter classic still holds up today despite feeling a bit dated and the murders of Michael Myers made him one of the horror genre’s most famous icons. Forty years later Myers has returned to the big screen in a big way. After ten films and nine sequels director David Gordon Green and writers Green, Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride of all people have brought a true “proper” sequel to the masses ignoring all previous sequels and exploring the official rematch between Laurie Strode and Myers in “Halloween” (2018). This film promises to be one of the biggest hits of 2018, so I HAD to see it for myself and experience the latest chapter in this franchise on the big screen. Does “Halloween” live up to the legacy of its legendary predecessor or is it an over-hyped slasher flick driven by nostalgia and familiarity? Let’s take a look. This is my review of 2018’s “Halloween”.

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Review: “Bad Times at the El Royale”

Drew Goddard is one of the brightest film writers of our time. In addition to contributions to awesome television shows like “Alias”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and my personal favorites “LOST” and “Daredevil” he’s also become well known for his contributions to film. He wrote “Cloverfield” and World War Z” and the screenplay for “The Martian”, a film that garnered him widespread acclaim in the industry. His one directorial effort was “The Cabin in the Woods”, a stylish genre subverting horror flick that, again, is one of my personal favorites. So when I heard he was returning to the director’s chair and also writing a new film called “Bad Times at the El Royale” I was instantly hooked, even though it took me longer than I would like to actually see the film. Now I have and I’m ready to have my take on it. To be honest right off the bat it’s a criminally underappreciated work. How underappreciated? Well let’s dive in. This is my review of “Bad Times at the El Royale”.

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Halloween (1978) VS. Halloween (2007)

One of my favorite features on any movie-focused blog or video channel is the compare-and-contrast gimmick where two properties that are similar but different are compared to each other to examine which is superior. As a new feature for Cinema Spotlight I decided to debut my own version of this fun concept with “Versus”, an editorial-style write-up that looks at two products, whether they are just similar, an original and remake or any other relationship, and decide which of the properties are superior based on five specific factors. Considering that the new “Halloween” movie comes out this weekend I thought this would be the perfect time to break out this new feature and see how it goes. I toyed with a couple of different options for this first edition of “Versus” but considering that this will be the third movie simply titled “Halloween” in this series I decided to focus on the previous films, the original “Halloween” and its 2007 remake. So let the battle begin. It’s time to find out which film is superior, John Carpenter’s original 1978 “Halloween” or Rob Zombie’s 2007 re-imagining of “Halloween”.

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Top 10 Slasher Movies

The slasher film. It’s a style of horror film that has become a genre all its own over the years making for some of the bloodiest, most terrifying and even sometimes the most stylish and self-aware films in all of horror. Almost every film in this genre follows the same premise, a usually masked or disguised villain hunts down a group of people or a single person with a sharp object leaving a trail of blood and death in their wake. While this may seem like a concept that would grow old fast a lot of movies have successfully utilized the idea which helped the slasher film become a genre all its own. With the new sequel to one of the most beloved slashers of all time, “Halloween”, in theaters this weekend I thought it was time to finally explore this subgenre-turned-genre of horror for myself. Where does “Halloween” fall on this list? Read on to find out. These are my picks for the Top 10 Slasher Movies.

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Box Office Breakdown, Oct. 12-14, 2018

I’m a little late posting my Box Office Breakdown this week, but if you’ve followed the numbers you’ll know there weren’t too many surprises. While last week I predicted that “First Man” or another film might be able to wrestle away the top spot (I’ve gotta get better at this) it was last week’s top two, “Venom” and “A Star is Born”, that ended up duking it out for the win. So which of these box office behemoths came out on top? Let’s break it down and find out. This is the Box Office breakdown for Oct. 12-14, 2018.

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