Wrap Up of “Hereditary”

I’ve been delighted to hear how much you all seemed to enjoy “Hereditary” (2018), Ari Aster’s feature debut. He’s certainly emerged as a filmmaker to notice. I would also strongly encourage you watch his latest horror film, “Midsommar” (2019). This follow-up film is no sophomore slump. If anything, it builds on and expands the themesContinue reading “Wrap Up of “Hereditary””

Read This Before You Watch “Hereditary”

The debut film by writer-director Ari Aster, “Hereditary” (2018) was immediately hailed by critics as a cinematic masterpiece of disturbing horror. Even so, a lot of viewers just didn’t quite know what to think of this unsettling film. The end, in particular, confuses people and has prompted many online “explanations” to help people make senseContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “Hereditary””

“Hereditary” Discussion Questions

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts: As usual, let’s start with the title. Why is this movie called “Hereditary”?  What are we to understand as being hereditary in this film? More broadly, how are the ideas of inheritance and family significant to the narrative? What is the filmContinue reading ““Hereditary” Discussion Questions”

Wrap Up of “Tigers Are Not Afraid”

Thanks to all those who sent me answers to my discussion questions about “Tigers Are Not Afraid” (2017). You all did an excellent job of exploring of the role tigers play in this film, from the title to the final scene. Like me, one of the things you seemed to most enjoy about this filmContinue reading “Wrap Up of “Tigers Are Not Afraid””

Read This Before You Watch “Tigers Are Not Afraid”

We’ve all seen plenty of horror movies where a plucky band of kids has to face down some monster out of a nightmare, but “Tigers Are Not Afraid” (2017) takes that familiar set-up and plants it inside the gritty social dystopian reality of Mexican slums where thousands of kids are killed or simply “disappear” everyContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “Tigers Are Not Afraid””

Discussion Questions for “Tigers Are Not Afraid”

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts: As I often do, I’d like us to start with the title. Why is this movie called “Tigers Are Not Afraid”?  What is the larger significance of “tigers” in this film? What tigers do we see? This film is often referred toContinue reading “Discussion Questions for “Tigers Are Not Afraid””

Discussion Questions for “The Witch”

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts: Let’s start with the title. Who or what is “The Witch”?  How do we know? What does it mean to be a “witch” in the world of this film? Can one choose to be a witch or is being a witch justContinue reading “Discussion Questions for “The Witch””

Read This Before You Watch “The Witch”

We’re getting started this week with “The Witch” (2015), a debut feature film both written and directed by Robert Eggers, who previously worked primarily as a set and costume designer. His attention to historical design details serves him well in this period piece set in 1630. The dialogue is spot on for the era andContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “The Witch””

Media Studies: Current Trends in Horror Movies

The past decade has witnessed a renaissance of sorts in the genre of horror films. Gone are the days of schlocky gore-fests, slasher franchises, and torture-porn. Not only have “elevated horror” films served to infuse new life into the genre, but they have also signaled a newfound respectability with larger audiences, wider acknowledgement from filmContinue reading “Media Studies: Current Trends in Horror Movies”