The American Motel: The Crossroads of Film and Television History

The wondrous worlds of cinema and television have a historical tendency to cross paths. For the better part of their existence as forms of artistic expression, the elements one medium illuminates the other typically follows suit. It’s a cycle of complimentary visions. And throughout them all, there is a common centrepiece to some of the most pivotal moments in film and television that has gone under-recognised for decades: the … Continue reading The American Motel: The Crossroads of Film and Television History

Body Horror and the Jackass Films

Early on in Jackass: The Movie, cast members Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius, Dave England, and Ehren McGhehey sit around a table with a muscle stimulator (a device that sends an electric current through the muscles of whatever part of the body it is hooked up to). Knoxville starts with the stimulator pads on his cheeks. The switch is thrown and he screams in pain before … Continue reading Body Horror and the Jackass Films

‘A Matter of Life and Death’, in celebration of the birth of Emeric Pressburger

If we ever required proof positive that immigrants and refugees bring creative and cultural diversity to our shores, we need look no further than Emeric Pressburger. Escaping the Nazis in the 1930s, he moved to Paris before settling in London. Here, fellow Hungarian and movie mogul, Alexander Korda, puts him to work with director Michael Powell, script editing ‘The Spy in Black’ (1939). Powell and Pressburger … Continue reading ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, in celebration of the birth of Emeric Pressburger

The Iconic, and Troubling, Legacy of the ‘Ghost Stories’ English Dub

English dubs for anime series usually get a bad rep. Oftentimes, they are criticized for being overdramatic or untrue to the character. While some of these criticisms are warranted, the majority are not. It isn’t necessarily the voice actors’ fault, but rather the instructions that they are given for what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to portray the character they … Continue reading The Iconic, and Troubling, Legacy of the ‘Ghost Stories’ English Dub

Bright Light: The Evergreen Charm of ‘Gremlins’

Of the many hundreds of movies to fall into the “Christmas” genre, a good majority are tainted by empty cheer and goodwill to all mindless consumers. Rom-coms and Hallmark holiday romances are still trotted out year upon year; endless cash-cows with posters showing off quirky straight couples clad in red and green, surrounded by tat and tinsel and probably holding a puppy (with a bow … Continue reading Bright Light: The Evergreen Charm of ‘Gremlins’

Bruce Campbell is the Lord and Saviour of ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’

Ash Vs Evil Dead very much feels like the weakest entry in the much beloved franchise. Which is all well and good, but what really matters when assessing a series like Ash vs Evil Dead is whether or not it justifies its own existence. Bruce Campbell’s Ashley J. Williams character has lived on in fandom since his last feature film, Army Of Darkness (1992). There have been comic books galore, … Continue reading Bruce Campbell is the Lord and Saviour of ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’

How ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Remains a Timeless Classic

Jack Skellington and friends comfortably bridge Halloween and Christmas, thanks to loopy humour, honest flaws, and relatable emotion. The Nightmare Before Christmas introduced us to holidays as actual places, not just dates, and created an enduring mascot that bridges two of the biggest ones. Not bad for a skeleton with an existential crisis. “Immersed in the light, Jack was no longer haunted,” the poem says. “He had … Continue reading How ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Remains a Timeless Classic

‘Creep 2’: The Struggle To Make ‘Good’ Art

A Recap There are three key take-aways from Creep (2014).  Josef has killed before.  Josef will kill again.  Josef is a filmmaker, albeit an incredibly unethical one.  Grave Encounters Where Creep is a slow descent into the unknown, Creep 2 (2017) is the process of unpacking what we’ve witnessed in the last installment. This ‘unpacking’ is done by our new protagonist, Sara (Desiree Akhavan) who … Continue reading ‘Creep 2’: The Struggle To Make ‘Good’ Art

Bold Patterns & Bright Prints: An ‘Emily in Paris’ Style Critique

Oh, Paris… the fashion capital of the world. From berets to plaid sets to an abundant amount of floral prints, it was easy to see what Netflix’s Emily in Paris was trying to pull off. However, the outdated pieces and vibrant prints have led to many commentaries and confusion from viewers worldwide.   The show stars Lily Collins as Emily, a young woman working in the marketing field with a focus on social media engagement. She starts off in … Continue reading Bold Patterns & Bright Prints: An ‘Emily in Paris’ Style Critique

‘Halloweentown’: A Celebration of Individuality and Community

There is no better holiday to celebrate individuality and community than Halloween, a holiday that has its roots in the festival of Samhain and All Saints Day. Historically seen as a time in which the boundaries between our world and the ‘Otherworld’ are weakened, Halloween is when communities would come together to give offerings to the spirits and remember or reconnect with the dead. Today, … Continue reading ‘Halloweentown’: A Celebration of Individuality and Community

‘Locke & Key’: Irresponsibility and Consequences

[Editors note: this article contains minor spoilers for Locke & Key Season 1 and the comic book series] Coming-of-age stories have an almost universal appeal. It’s easy to connect with characters struggling through adolescence when you yourself have dealt with similar growing pains. So why is it that the first season of Netflix’s coming-of-age fantasy drama Locke & Key is such a frustrating watch?   The plot follows the Locke family who return … Continue reading ‘Locke & Key’: Irresponsibility and Consequences

Disenfranchised Youth and the Suburban Wasteland in ‘Ghost World’

Terry Zwigoff’s 2001 film Ghost World encapsulates the life of the disillusioned teen. Based on Dan Clowes graphic novel of the same name, the cult classic is a sardonic insight into late-adolescence ennui, as seen through the eyes of its ‘too cool for school’ protagonist Enid (Thora Birch) and featuring her best friend Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson). Though joined at the hip in their cynicism, the … Continue reading Disenfranchised Youth and the Suburban Wasteland in ‘Ghost World’