Peeling back the layers

The Onion AV Club has posted two lengthy, boffo pieces on horror in time for Halloween. First is Noel Murray’s film-by-film overview of the Friday the 13th franchise, with special attention paid to the ways each film is a creature of its era. Lately I’ve been almost preoccupied with how gratuitous violence works in a movie, so this is like crack to me. Highly recommended.

Next is an imaginary 24-hour horror movie marathon curated by Eli Roth. Listening to Roth repeatedly place himself in the company of the likes of John Carpenter and Sam Raimi indicates just how much the guy believes his own press at this point. Actually, perhaps “believes the press he thinks he should have” is a more accurate way of putting things post-Hostel: Part II. But that aside, he’s made many interesting choices from a range of eras and styles, and has some intriguing things to say about them, from their influence on his own work (which only feels like he’s paying himself a compliment some of the time, and frequently yields insights like his characterization of the second half of Hostel as driven by a Vanishing-derived compulsion to know) to an almost elegiac appreciation for the kinds of horror films that could never get made today (the original Wicker Man, for example). Also highly recommended, and with the hope that he eats some humble pie and finds his way again.