Midsommar (2019) – the representation of mental illness through horror, the psychological susceptibility to cult narratives, & the power of empathy

Midsommar (2019) is a dark-themed cinematic fairytale described by its director and writer Ari Aster as a “horror movie about codependency”. The film encompasses a portrayal of mental illness- bipolar disorder, anxiety, and mood disorders, the pattern and dynamics of a dysfunctional codependent relationship, the exploitation of trauma and vulnerability that is part of theContinue reading “Midsommar (2019) – the representation of mental illness through horror, the psychological susceptibility to cult narratives, & the power of empathy”

Short reviews: Lurid Cult Horror films – Fascination, The Beyond, and Videodrome

Fascination (1979) is an artful aesthetically-pleasing erotic Gothic horror film situated between arthouse and grindhouse, directed by Jean Rollin. Rollin tends to be associated with the sexploitation genre, yet he is recognised for the surreal dark fantasy style of his lyrical, tantalising, elegant, and atmospheric films, combining sensuality and visual poetry. Fascination’s opening scene takesContinue reading “Short reviews: Lurid Cult Horror films – Fascination, The Beyond, and Videodrome”

Costume design symbolism in Crimson Peak (2015): Lucille’s breathtaking blue velvet dress

Crimson Peak (2015), directed by Guillermo del Toro, is a visually stunning, gloomy cinematic horror spectacle, noted for its incredible and haunting aesthetic. A particularly remarkable and alluring feature of the intricate production design is Lucille’s breathtaking blue velvet dress. The bewitching symbolically-charged Victorian design of the dress includes a black garland resembling a vine withContinue reading “Costume design symbolism in Crimson Peak (2015): Lucille’s breathtaking blue velvet dress”

Reviews: Psychological horror films set in the fashion world: The Neon Demon (2016) and Helter Skelter (2012)

The Neon Demon (2016), directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, is a surreal hyper-stylised psychological horror film unveiling a dark satire of the fashion industry. Elle Fanning plays Jesse, who epitomises the trope of the pure, genuine, angelic character entering a wicked world filled with artificial, soulless, manufactured characters, and becoming tainted by her surroundings. Meanwhile,Continue reading “Reviews: Psychological horror films set in the fashion world: The Neon Demon (2016) and Helter Skelter (2012)”

Film review: Vampyr (1932), dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer

“I wanted to create a waking dream on screen and show that horror is not to be found in the things around us but in our own subconscious” — Carl Theodor Dreyer about his film, Vampyr (1932) Vampyr is a hypnotic and claustrophobic mix of eerie images featuring surreal elements shown through an interplay ofContinue reading “Film review: Vampyr (1932), dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer”