Read This Before You Watch “The People Under the Stairs”

Like his fellow white horror George Romero did with “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) writer-director Wes Craven places a Black hero at the center of his 1991 horror film “The People Under the Stairs”; however, unlike Romero, Craven clearly wrote and cast the lead role for a young Black actor, Brandon Quintin Adams asContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “The People Under the Stairs””

Read This Before You Watch “Ganja & Hess”

First off, let go of your expectations. “Ganja & Hess” (1973) is not your typical American horror film. It’s actually much more like a European avant-garde film from the 1960s or 70s. Think “Hiroshima, Mon Amour” or “El Topo.” Or for some American comparisons, think “THX1138” or “Eraserhead.” Coming in at over two hours andContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “Ganja & Hess””

Discussion Questions for “Ganja & Hess”

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts. As implied by the title, we have two main protagonists in “Ganja & Hess.” Describe each of their individual characters. How do they dress and present themselves? What do they desire separately and together? Discuss their relationship. How do all of theseContinue reading “Discussion Questions for “Ganja & Hess””

Read This Before You Watch “Lovecraft Country” Episode 8

By contrast to “I Am,” our second episode this week, “Jig-A-Bobo” concerns itself more with the seemingly endless grief of ongoing American racism and racist violence, rooted in past evils but still doggedly pursuing, mocking, and menacing us, just like the two creepy girls who follow Diana (Jada Harris) after she is spit cursed byContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “Lovecraft Country” Episode 8″

Discussion Questions for “Lovecraft Country” Episodes 3 & 4

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts. What is the significance of the titles of these episodes, “Holy Ghost” and “A History of Violence”? “Holy Ghost” (episode 3) employs many of the typical devices and tropes of a haunted house story, but it also adds a few innovations inContinue reading “Discussion Questions for “Lovecraft Country” Episodes 3 & 4″

Read This Before You Watch “Lovecraft Country” Episodes 1 & 2

We begin this five-week horror media studies series by watching the first two episodes of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.” Based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name, this series first aired during the fall of 2020. Produced by Jordan Peele and helmed by Misha Green, this premium television adaptation and extension of the provocativeContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “Lovecraft Country” Episodes 1 & 2″

Discussion Questions for “Lovecraft Country” Episodes 1 & 2

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts. What is the significance of the series title “Lovecraft Country”? In exploring this question, you’ll want to include put push beyond the initial acknowledgement that the first part of the title refers to the writer or weird cosmic horror, Howard Phillips LovecraftContinue reading “Discussion Questions for “Lovecraft Country” Episodes 1 & 2″

Horror Film Studies is Back!

We took a short break during the holiday season, but now we’re ready forge ahead with our horror film series, starting with a five-week in depth examination of the ten-episode HBO series “Lovecraft Country,” created by Misha Green and starring Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Courtney B. Vance. Starting the second weekend of February 2021,Continue reading “Horror Film Studies is Back!”

Read This Before You Watch “Under the Skin”

This week, as we transition away from our two-month spotlight on films written and directed by women, we’re taking a look at a fairly quiet, independent piece of science fiction horror. Starring Scarlett Johannson, “Under the Skin” (2013) was directed by Jonathan Glazer (better known for 2000’s “Sexy Beast”) who co-wrote the screenplay with WilliamContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “Under the Skin””

“Under the Skin” Discussion Questions

Write a paragraph or two responding to each of the following prompts: What is the significance of the title “Under the Skin”? As you explore you answers this question, be sure to consider the various literal and subjective implications of the phrase. One of the goals of both science fiction and horror is to allowContinue reading ““Under the Skin” Discussion Questions”