Friday, January 27, 2012

Top 10 Most Depressing Horror Movie Endings


The title of this top ten can be a bit misleading. Most horror movies, by nature, typically never end well. They almost always having some twist or "gotcha" moment at the end of the film to try to get one more scare in or lasting impression of dread.

Even some of the movies in this list by categorical standards may be stretching what a horror movie is, but I tend to believe that horror is something that would be a "horrible" situation to be in, after all that is where the namesake comes from that we classify it as.

That said, I tend to think movie makers are too scared to test audiences into a true sense of dread or understanding. For example, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson is one of my favorite books of all time, with a delicious, surprising and depressing twist ending. When the Will Smith movie of I Am Legend was released in 2007, I immediately knew it wasn't going to be anything like the amazing book. A tale of the last man on earth trying to survive a newly inhabited world of vampires. Of course, I was right. The ending was absurdly stupid.

Well... not, "Welcome to urfff" stupid.

To my surprise however, the 2007 version of the movie was supposed to be more like the original ending of the book. As always however, the producers of the film thought that this ending was too "depressing" or audiences wouldn't get it. You can see the ending on the "extras" of the DVD. I was going to post it here, but Youtube pulled the video down. :(

I think Hollywood underestimates us trying to scale endings back so that movie goers are "happier" when they leave a theater. This list best exhibits directors and movie-makers who weren't afraid to go further and truly test its audience with some truly depressing and soul-crushing endings and show that those movies are great because of it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

High Expectations for "The Woman in Black"

It is rare that I have such high anticipation for a film, especially in the horror genre. While it is my favorite genre of film, horror seems to be in a bit of a slump lately with only one good horror film, if any, per year. Let me give you the reasons this film should be good. Please, please, please, Woman in Black, be the first good horror film of 2012.

First of all, this film is part of the return of Hammer horror. Hammer was a producer of British horror films in the way back when and itself created it's own subgenre of horror films.

Secondly, the actors and filmmakers are actually talking about the film. There is something hopeful when the filmmaker and actors are taking pride in their work. Radcliffe elaborated by saying that he chose the role because:
"It was certainly not a part that people can really compare to Harry… But [the] main attraction, to be honest, was simply the story, and how compelling it was, and being a part of a really, really good horror film." 

Thirdly, the film is based on a book and the author is writing the screenplay. This could also be a reason for failure, but I have hopes because the book has already been turned into a successful play and made-for-tv-movie. It would seem that this story actually has substance and isn't just a horror film that is trying to make easy money. Again, I parry to Radcliffe, who describes it as:
"A character-driven, well-written horror film that had the capability of being just as scary as any 'Paranormal Activity,' or any of those films that have recently come out,  while also having a depth of character that you don't often find there."
See the feature below for more Radcliffe and more glimpses of The Woman in Black.

The Woman in Black will be released in theaters February 3rd.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The start of a podcast

Chrissie and George Romero at Texas Frightmare Weekend
 Everyone put on your big Romero glasses and hearing aids! The writers here at Texas Lipstick Massacre have decided to create our own podcast so we can branch out into more areas. We recorded a test episode last night where we listened to some humorous horror sound effects. The episode should be available soon in all it's scrappy glory.

Keep a lookout on itunes and don't forget to subscribe.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Who will go in the Bram Stoker vampire vault?

Dead Sexy.
The nominees for the "Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century" have been assembled and there are some very big and unglittery names on the list. The novels were chosen by a jury of scholars and writers who are well versed in the field. The jury is headed by Leslie S. Klinger, a leading authority on Dracula. Other members include James Dorr, Linda Addison, Ron Breznay, and Jo Fletcher.

They narrowed their choices down to a slim, but impressive, six. The winner will be announced March 31, 2012 at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City and we will also repost the results here on Texas Lipstick Massacre. 
[mediabistroStokers 2012

Previous winners of various Bram Stoker awards include: J.K. Rowling, Clive Barker, Harlan Ellison, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury, and Neil Gaiman.

Who do you think should win? Or is there anyone they left off?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

American Horror Story wins Golden Globe

I am pleased to announce that horror television goes 1 for 2 at the Golden Globes as the fantastic Jessica Lange took home the best supporting actress award for American Horror Story. She was the only actor or actress to be nominated in a horror related show and took home the much deserved win.

In her acceptance speech, she commented on the lack of good writing in Hollywood and how she jumped at the chance to act in a show that actually gave her something to do. In the wake of the first season of American Horror Story, there is much discussion of what the layout of the second season will look like as almost all of the cast will be new as well as the location.

While, the creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are taking a huge risk in changing out the cast almost entirely for the second season, I'm thinking that with the Golden Globe win and the critical recognition the show has received, the second season will attract a high level of talent that will continue to support the incredible screenwriting.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bobby's most anticipated for 2012

Well, it's always hard to choose your "most anticipated" movies because you pray they won't suck. It's always terrible to look back in hindsight and be like "man, I was so hyped for that movie and it turned out to be garbage."

That said, I'm picking a few safe picks and a few risky ones for my most anticipated horror/thriller movies for 2012. None of these are in any particular order of excitement, except for the first one, which I'm most excited for, so let's get going.

1. Prometheus

Where to start with this film? Firstly, it's directed by Ridley Scott, you know, the director of Alien, and this was supposedly to a prequel of sorts but Fox decided they would only fund the movie it was an "original" story as the Alien name has been tainted with bad quality due to the last few films (Resurrection anyone?) and the Vs. Predator series.

The trailer is terrifying. I'm sure this will turn out amazing, I'm just hoping it stays suspenseful and doesn't turn into a full-blown action movie. The release of June2012 makes me a little worried it might be heavy on the action side of things.

The story revolves around a group of scientist who think they have found the origins of mankind. “Prometheus” is the name of the Greek titan who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to humankind – only to be punished for his actions by being strapped to a rock and having an eagle eat his regenerating liver out every day, for the rest of eternity. Scott has that his new sci-fi project is very much an allegory for that tale, saying it too involves a “higher being [who is punished] in perpetuity in a horrible fashion” for stealing technology from more powerful beings and handing it over to humans.

I couldn't be more excited and though it's not longer a prequel to Alien, apparently sets the stage for them, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

2. The Lady in Black

This has me excited because it's Daniel Radcliffe's first starring movie without Harry Potter attached, and why he said he decided to do the movie. I remember watching a video on Yahoo that stated he has done the big blockbusters of Harry Potter and said he will never make another movie bigger than those. Which I found insightful that he realizes that.

Therefore, he said he wanted to focus his career on movies with a good story. That leads me to believe that this will at least have that, with a small budget of $17 million (considered to the $150 million Deathly Hallows: Part 2 had) and a creepy trailer, I'm hoping this is more thoughtful and introspective horror than jump scares. I'm also hopeful because James Watkins, director of horror/thriller Eden Lake is helming this project, so it's a known quantity he can do horror well.

The Woman in Black is a 1983 thriller fiction novel by Susan Hill about a menacing spectre that haunts a small English town. According to local tales, seeing the Woman in Black meant that the death of a child would follow. Hopefully the movie follows that closely and stays as creepy.

3. Dark Shadows

There isn't a trailer for the movie yet, but the lady with the annoying voice in the video below can explain it all.

It's a Tim Burton movie, so it'll be dark and yes it has Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter but she isn't the leading lady this time, other Burton alumni, Michelle Pfieffer is. It's going to be interesting to see Burton bring back this corky show for a movie that's a mix of soap-opera with the Adam's Family. Not truly "horror," but it still has monsters and ghouls in it.

4. The Cabin in the Woods

There are two things that really excite me about this movie: Chris Hemsworth, aka Thor, and Joss Whedon writing it. Now, the R-rating also makes me happy as well. Reason being is that this isn't a cash in on Hemsworths' good looks and success from Thor to make a PG-13 horror movie to get teen girls in. Joss Whedon I'll trust with anything, and this is coming out a month earlier than his Avengers, so he has his money maker; this looks like a love project that he wanted to make.

It has a bit of stoner-slasher movie look to it, with some of the snarkiness from Buffy, but I'm a little skeptical director Drew Goddard as this is his directorial debut. Now as a producer and writer he has some big stuff under his name--Cloverfield, Lost, Alias and Six Feet Under--but he's an unknown quantity in this equation.

What sells me though is on the surface it looks like another story of 20-somethings wanting to escape to the woods to get away from it all and bad things happening, and it's hard not to compare it to the awful Cabin Fever, but the trailer leads me to believe it looks a little more like test-subjects trying to survive against an experiment of sorts with this mechanical cabin and crazy mind games type horror movie. Plus, it has some pretty good satirical writing in it.

5. The Grey

Not all scary movies have to have the supernatural or serial killers in them. Sometimes surviving the harshest elements and creatures that nature throws at you can be terrifying. I think The Grey will do a good job of that.

Starring Liam Neeson, the plot revolves around an oil drilling team's struggle to survive after a plane crash strands them in the harsh cold wild of Alaska. Again, we have another movie that has almost the exact same plot, another British actor,  The Edge, though there wasn't the biting cold or a pack of wolves in the The Edge, rather just the woods and a grizzly bear. No, the cold and wolves share another similarity to the 2010 movie Frozen, but that movie sucked. The way the wolves eyes look in the trailer, the part where Neeson forms a broken bottle glove/weapon, and the fact that it has a bigger budget, has to make it better than Frozen. Plus, with his recent movies Taken and Unknown, he's on a bit of a proverbially action streak that's pretty awesome.

Honorable mentions:

- World War Z: With no trailer out yet, it's hard to judge what this movie is going to be. It had Brad Pitt in it, which I'm a fan. World War Z the book however, has a bunch of disjointed stories woven together after the war has happened. I'm not 100 percent sure how they are planning to do this movie, but I'm intrigued and eagerly await a trailer.

- Total Recall: Okay, it's more sci-fi than horror, and it's a remake of the 1990 version that had Arnold Schwarzenegger in it, now replaced by Colin Farrel. The original was held in high regard and remembered fondly, and I've read that they have changed the screenplay pretty drastically from the original story We Can Remember it for you Wholesale by Philip K. Dick, which is never a good sign. It also has a $200 million dollar budget, so the company is banking on it doing well, but only time will tell.

The robots and cars in the movie look pretty sweet though.

- Underworld Awakening: Kate Beckinsale is back and it has more action and violence in it. Consider it a guilty pleasure.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What to look forward to in 2012

Welcome back! In anticipation of the new year of horror, I give you my top five anticipated films of 2012. Some of these films were released in 2011, but will get a wider release in America in 2012 which is why I am including them on this list. I'm hoping at least one of them is good, that is how low my expectations are for this year in horror. Also, I would like to point out that it's good luck I didn't write this last week or else I could have included The Devil Inside on this list and booooy would that have been a mistake, amirite?

1. Livide (Livid). Directed by the French duo who masterfully delivered (bad joke) Inside in 2007, Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury return with their second film Livid. Unlike their super hyper realistic first film, this film (as gathered from the preview) has a more dreamlike quality and there also appear to be supernatural elements at work. I'm excited because from what I can see, it reminds me a lot of the Korean film, A Tale of Two Sisters. The trailer is entirely in French, but you can gather that it is going to be totally creeeeepy.  

2. Prometheus. This movie has everythingggg. It has the popular powerhouse Michael Fassbender, the Swedish Girl with The Dragon Tattoo (Noomi Rapace), the guy from my favorite horror movie of the past few years, Insidious (Patrick Wilson), and Ridley Scott in the director's chair. I'm guessing there are aliens too, but it's hard to tell, because it also has this crazy jump cut trailer that can't possibly be giving anything away even if it tried, because I can't tell what is going on one way or another besides the world must be ending in epically dark awesome hack job trailer proportions. IT'S GOING TO BE AWESOME.

3. The Woman in Black. Yes, yes. Harry Potter is all grown up and wants to be a real actor. We know this, because he has chosen to star in a horror movie. A period horror movie and PG-13 horror movie, can't alienate his fan base completely, but still a horror movie. I have high hopes for this movie, because of it's ultra gothic setting and super creepy trailers. I'm thinking this will be a decent mystery that viewers will completely forget about by the end of the year.

4. John Dies at the End. Now this looks like the most original horror movie of the year. It's got this weird sci-fi thing going on with weird makeup that reminds me of Cronenberg's Existenz. I'm such a sucker for monster suits and non-CGI effects of which, this film seems to have. I can't really gather a whole lot of info about it besides that it's based on a novel and they got Paul Giamatti to play himself in it, but from what i CAN gather, there is this stuff that they call Soy Sauce which is a drug that you take that lets you travel into different dimensions, where there are awesome monster suits and crisp hip dialogue between people with sunglasses. Also, I'm pretty sure John dies at the end. . .

5. Childish Games. I have a bit of a soft spot for Spanish horror. I can't speak to all of it of course, but most of their films tend to weigh heavy on the psychological side, which brings me to Childish Games. A mysterious mystery and a creepy girl child in a bathtub, yup this film has it all. A family begins to have troubles and these troubles seem to be antagonized by the arrival of the daughter of their friend who has just committed suicide. Even if this film sucks, I'm guessing it will be a slow burn to suckage and it will at least keep you guessing through most of the movie until the dud plop of an ending. Just my personal guess.