Category Archives: Horror

Daniel Radcliffe Leaves Harry Potter Behind with New Horror Film

I thought Daniel Radcliffe did a fine job in the Harry Potter movies, and it seems as if he’s now expanding his career by taking a starring role in a horror movie. Radcliffe is 23 years old, and it remains to be seen how typecast he might or might not be because of his role as Harry Potter. He really has few actors to compare himself with, because how many actors have played this large a role in this large a franchise? Maybe you could draw comparisons with Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies, but I think Daniel Radcliffe is a better actor.

The Woman in Black is Radcliffe’s first movie since the Harry Potter series wrapped up, but it’s not his first role. Daniel Radcliffe also appeared in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying on Broadway. He’s also slated to star in Kill Your Darlings, in which he’ll portray Allen Ginsberg.

You can bet either way you like on Radcliffe’s career and whether or not he’ll be typecast, but I think I’m going to bet on him being hugely successful in a variety of genres and movies.

Radcliffe leaves Potter behind with horror film (via AFP)

For more than a decade, Daniel Radcliffe was known the world over as the owlish waif in the massively successful “Harry Potter” films — based on the equally popular book series by JK Rowling. Now, the young actor is turning a page. A child prodigy no more, the 22-year old Radcliffe now is stepping…

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The Best Japanese Horror Movies of All Time

Any list of the best Japanese horror movies of all time is going to be controversial. Genre fans tend to have their favorites and long lists of movies they look down on. My list of the best Japanese horror movies of all time will probably look nothing like your own, especially if you’re a big fan of the Japanese horror genre.

What’s cool about studying the films of a particular culture is that you end up learning a ton about that culture while sitting back, eating popcorn, and enjoying a movie. Movies, including horror movies, are a huge part of the culture of Japan and the Japanese people. What started for me as a way to watch a whole new set of horror movies (after growing bored with my collection of American horror movies) turned into an obsession with all things Japanese, and I even vacationed in Japan this past year thanks to my love for Japanese horror.

You can learn a lot about Japan and its traditions by watching Japanese films, even Japanese horror films. I believe my love for Japanese horror has expanded my horizons immensely; not only have I learned a little bit of Japanese, but I visited the country, and I now have a whole new set of cultural icons to learn about, thanks to the massive amount of horror movies made in Japan.

Here’s a short list of the three best Japanese horror movies of all time. I’m sure every fan of Japanese horror will disagree with me, but these are my favorites.

1. House (1977)

A cult-classic in Japan and a high water mark for Japanese horror movies in the 70s, House  is your typical summer vacation / creepy house story with just enough gore and eerie plot points to make this movie an instant addition to my horror film library.

2. Audition (1999)

One of the most popular and best-known Japanese horror movie titles in America, Audition tells the story of a lonely widower looking for a new female companion. Saying anything more would ruin the surprise and most of the horror of this movie; it’s enough to say that the horror in Audition comes not from a ghost or a spirit but from the evils of a human being, which makes it that much more creepy.

3. Infection (2004)

Far from your typical zombie movie, Infection is a Japanese take on an old horror paradigm: the creepiness of hospitals. Yes, zombie movie fans will find a comfortable setting here, but the surprise ending makes this Japanese horror movie a “must watch twice” instant classic.

The Best Horror Board Games of All Time

The Best Horror Board GamesBoard games are making a comeback. The steady release of boutique board games and the cult status of party games and European imports has brought us to a sort of renaissance in board gaming.

We could argue all day about what’s responsible for this new interest in board gaming: dwindling entertainment budgets forcing families to stay home, the Internet as a trendsetting medium allowing people to find games easier, etc. The point isn’t why we love board games again, but to celebrate our newfound love of games by trying out new titles and adding to our collection when we find a game we love.

Horror board games are a small subgenre of board gaming. There aren’t a ton of board games with a horror theme, classic or modern. Traditionally, board games are more about trivia, luck, and teamwork than a focus on genre like we see with horror board games. Still, we can think of three horror board games that deserve the title “best horror board games of all time.” Here’s a quick look at three classic horror board games.

1. Arkham Horror

This adventure board game is based on the writings and the fictional worlds of HP Lovecraft. Originally released in 1987 and re-released in revised editions in both 2005 and 2007, Arkham Horror puts players in the roles of various types of investigators in Lovecraft’s fictional town of Arkham. Arkham Horror, especially in the two more contemporary versions, is more like a tabletop roleplaying game than a board game, though because the game is played on a board with cards and other traditional game pieces, it is most definitely a board game. If you like the creepy monsters and gods of the Lovecraft universe, check out Arkham Horror.

2. Zombies!!!

Zombies!!! is a strategy board game celebrating zombies in contemporary fiction and movies. With nearly a dozen expansions and other spin-offs, Zombies!!! is one of the most popular horror board games, though the horror is downplayed in favor of general zombie silliness. New maps, characters, and game rules are released all the time, providing a ton of support for fans of this addictive zombie horror board game.

3. Last Night on Earth

Listed as a “survival horror board game,” Last Night on Earth is a massive game that comes with an audio CD to help set the mood. The graphics of the board and cards are photo-realistic, giving this game a true horror feel, especially compared to the more funny / sarcastic horror found in Zombies!!!. Plenty of expansion and supplements exist to expand the scope of the game’s universe.

The Best Horror Short Stories of All Time

The Best Horror Short StoriesWhen it comes to horror stories, quality varies widely from one story to the next. There are thousands of writers in the horror genre, from amateur and self-published bloggers scribbling creepy tales online to HP Lovecraft stories and the writings of other acknowledged horror masters. Trying to figure out the best horror short stories of all time can be a frustrating experience; everyone’s taste is different, and there are so many horror stories in print that selecting just a handful of stories to represent the entire genre is a mind-boggling task.

It would be easy, for example, to include any number of Stephen King horror stories, but thanks to the prejudices of some horror genre fans, anything King touches isn’t really horror, is too popular for inclusion on the list, or is just too easy of a choice.

On the other hand, including one of the stories of Edgar Allen Poe may seem like a no-brainer, since he’s considered one of the first and greatest American horror story writers. But the horror genre has grown up since the days of Poe’s creepy tales, and Poe’s stories just don’t hold the appeal they once did, especially for young horror fans used to Hollywood special effects and instant gratification.

With all that in mind, here’s a quick look at three great horror short stories. Are these the best horror short stories of all time? That’s up to you. We’re sure you’ll find at least one truly great horror story on this short list.

1. Charlotte Perkins-Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Often overlooked as a great example of short horror fiction in favor of its place in the pantheon of feminist fiction, Perkins-Gilman’s tale of a woman’s descent into madness is a truly creepy goosebump-creating piece of short fiction. If you feel yourself drawn into the mad world of the story’s protagonist, you’re not alone.

2. HP Lovecraft, “Shadow Over Innsmouth”

All of the features of Lovecraft’s best writing can be found in this creepy little novella, just five chapters long but stuffed to the gills (pun intended) with pitch-perfect horror writing. The story tells of an investigation into strange happenings in a small New England town. The final chapter is one of the great pieces of American horror writing ever.

3. Peter Straub, “A Short Guide to the City”


Straub’s story is difficult to pin down: part experimental fiction (blending two different genres into one) and part horror story, “A Short Guide to the City” is one of the great modern horror stories. Published in 1990, Straub’s story hints at horror fiction’s Gothic past and it’s hypertextual Web-based future.

Horror DVDs and Blurays

As an avid horror movie collector, I consider myself an expert on horror DVDs and Blurays. The majority of my movie collection is horror movies, and these days, most of my movie collection is on either DVD or Bluray. Horror DVDs line the walls of my bookshelves, take up space under my bed, and arrive daily in the mail for addition to my home film library.

Horror Bluray discs are the most recent addition to my film collection; I was a late arrival to the Bluray scene, but I suggest that all horror fans add Bluray discs to their collection. I know, I know, it’s expensive to add another format: you have to buy a new player and all new discs. But there are some good reasons to include horror Bluray discs to your horror movie collection:

  • more features
  • HD video and audio
  • more viewer interaction

I find that horror movies on Bluray tend to have more special features, thanks to more storage space on the disc itself. That means more interviews with cast and crew, more outtakes, trailers, and other goodies you won’t find on the DVD version.

Don’t neglect the benefits to the way movies look and sound thanks to HD video and audio available in the Bluray format. Horror movies depend on good video quality and good audio quality to set the mood of the film. I find I enjoy horror movies on Bluray more than the same films in their DVD versions.

The latest thing in Bluray discs is increased interaction between the viewer and the movie. Some horror titles on Bluray have special interactive features, allowing you to pick a camera angle, select an ending, take part in a quiz about the movie, etc. These features are only available on Bluray, again thanks to the increased storage capacity of a Bluray disc.

A final reason you should expand your horror collection to include Blurays: it will help you proof your movie collection for the near future. Switching to Bluray now means you will have the latest versions of movies for at least the next 5-10 years, depending on when the next big video format appears. You know you’ll have to switch eventually; you may as well start now.

If you’re a horror movie nut, find out more about horror movies on DVD by talking to other horror fans about horror DVDs at DVDForum. While you’re at it, start a discussion about switching to Bluray and see what other horror movie fans have to say about the format.