Read This Before You Watch “The Babadook”

Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent made quite a splash with her debut film “The Babadook” (2014). Not only did this film become an early poster child in the trend toward “elevated horror” – a term which may always have been more about non-horror fans finally starting to look at horror films seriously than about some hugeContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “The Babadook””

Read This Before You Watch “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”

It takes some conviction and more than a little courage to make a vampire film, especially as a debut writer-director and a woman of color. Even if you believe we’re beyond traditional distinctions between “high” and “low” art, a notion that the Oscars have only started to acknowledge in the past few years or so,Continue reading “Read This Before You Watch “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night””

“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” Discussion Questions

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts: As always, I like to start by examining the title in some detail. Why is this movie called “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”?  What does that phrase ordinarily suggest and how does this film play with our typical expectations aboutContinue reading ““A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” Discussion Questions”

Horror Film Series Resumes!

First, let me thank you all for your participation in my recent media studies series, especially the one about recent trends in horror movies. That series has been my most successful so far, and I appreciate all the enthusiasm and energy you brought to it. I couldn’t have done it without you. Second, thanks forContinue reading “Horror Film Series Resumes!”

Wrap Up of “Us”

From the very title of Jordan Peele’s unsettling film “Us” (2019), we as viewers should already expect to feel implicated in the horrors that follow. After all, don’t we casually think of ourselves as “us” all the time? Maybe we think of ourselves as “us” because we’re Americans. Or, maybe we group ourselves into “us”Continue reading “Wrap Up of “Us””

Read This Before You Watch “Us”

Jordan Peele’s second feature film, “Us” (2019) begins as a story about a family of four taking a vacation in Santa Cruz, but the son’s “Jaws” tee shirt and his penchant for wearing a werewolf mask tilted up on top of his head provide early hints that this trip might end up as more thanContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “Us””

Discussion Questions for “Us”

Please write a paragraph of two in response to each of the following prompts. What is the significance of this film being titled “Us”? How is the idea of “us” complicated by the emergence of uncanny doubles in this film? “Us” has a lot of complicated elements, but sometimes it can be helpful to brieflyContinue reading “Discussion Questions for “Us””

Wrap Up of “A Quiet Place”

The title of “A Quiet Place” (2018) refers to the themes of sound and hearing that are so central to this film. Set in a near-future dystopian world where humans seem to have been mostly eradicated by otherworldly monsters with super-hearing that attack any sound they hear with deadly speed, the narrative follows a singleContinue reading “Wrap Up of “A Quiet Place””

Read This Before You Watch “A Quiet Place”

For this week in our series on current trends in horror movies we take a look at “A Quiet Place” (2018), John Krasinski’s directorial debut. The film got a lot of attention on its release in theaters a couple years ago. Since then it has gained even more popularity with online viewers, and rightly so.Continue reading “Read This Before You Watch “A Quiet Place””

Discussion Questions for “A Quiet Place”

Please write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts. What is the significance of this film being called “A Quiet Place”? How are sounds important to the narrative? How are they important to the characters? How are sounds used to separate and/or to connect characters and plot elements? Compare andContinue reading “Discussion Questions for “A Quiet Place””