Catching up on Arrow

Long hair and creepy eyes, key features of J-Horror ghosts: Hideo Nakata's Ringu (1998)

My collecting obsession leads me to Arrow’s Ring Collection — Hideo Nakata’s hugely influential Ringu (1998), two divergent sequels, George Iida’s Spiral (1998) and Nakata’s own Ring 2 (1999), plus the prequel Ring 0: Birthday (2000). While the three follow-up movies can’t match the effectiveness of the original, Arrow present them all in excellent transfers, with a lot of supportive extras.

Ghosts of Television Past, part one

The English love ghost stories. There are the classics, of course – Hamlet and Macbeth, for instance – but after the advent of Gothic literature in the late 1700s, spirits, whether harmful or helpful, became less distant, increasingly incorporated into contemporary life. From penny dreadfuls to Dickens, ghosts impinged on the lives of characters not […]

Blu-ray Review: Mama (2013)

Guillermo del Toro, who made his start – after a couple of shorts and some TV work – with the strikingly original Cronos (1993), has subsequently split his time between small, personal Spanish-language horror fantasies and increasingly big budget Hollywood productions. Along the way, he has become a major force in contemporary genre cinema – […]

Blu-ray Review: The Awakening (2011)

In the past few years, something interesting has been happening in the horror genre. After several decades of increasingly graphic movies focused on the torture and destruction of the human body, something more subtle has been re-emerging. Like it or not, one of the key instigators of the trend was The Blair Witch Project (1999); […]

DVD Review: Laddaland (2011)

Laddaland (2011) is a recent Thai entry in the Asian ghost genre. Interestingly, it also seems to draw on a western strain of horror, what you might call “real-estate anxiety” as exemplified by Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror, even to some degree the Paranormal Activity series. Here the fear is rooted more in economic and status […]

Blasts from the past

Criterion Blu-ray review: Jean Renoir’s La Chienne (1931)

Disk of the Week: My Son John (1952)
– Bad craziness in Hollywood

Project Update: Trailer

Comedy, disasters, crime and horror: more new releases

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