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Booth's Blog: Ghouls on Film!
By Emily Booth, Thursday 30th October 2014
The horror industry is witnessing an exciting albeit overdue shift, not just in the kinds of films and characters on screen, but the kinds of people behind the scenes too. I’m talking about the refreshing insurgence of female film makers. I’m not saying we’ve never seen good female directors before; Kathryrn Bigelow, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola etc but it was this year’s FrightFest that saw the highest number of female directed horror with 25% of the short films (including my own!) being directed by women. And the films themselves? Well let’s just say they’re making front page news.

The Babadook, the debut from Australian Jennifer Kent is such a film being heralded as one of the most exciting films of 2014 and is definitely my Halloween top pick. Controversially about a less than healthy mother/son relationship this is film that blends horror, drama and emotion and makes for one of the most powerful lead performances in a horror since The Shining, in fact the film has been compared to the Kubrick classic on many levels. So, we’ve got more female directed horror, stronger more three dimensional female characters, and as the Frightfest organizers confirmed a distinctive shift it the audience gender split. When the festival started it was an audience of 20% female, now its about 40% .

Horror Channel was quick to pick up on this change in the industry and have put together a short piece titled Women In Horror currently airing on the channel. Here we interview Total Film editor and fellow SCTH judge Rosie Fletcher, Jessica Cameron (Truth Or Dare) and of course those irresistible unstoppable Twisted Twins Jen and Sylvia Soska who produced and directed American Mary.

As writer and producer of Selkie I was honoured to be part of this piece too – not as a Scream Queen, but as a creative driving force behind a horror film. Collectively we are saying that for many reasons the horror industry is finally catching up. While the 70’s and 80’s Grindhouse/slasher era is often remembered fondly and nostalgically by most, there’s no doubt women were often shown only as 2 dimensional characters; either the innocent final girl, the slutty victim or a sexed up killer/avenging angel. Now don’t get me wrong – these films are still often fun to watch and have their place, we simply can’t keep doing the same lowest common denominator horror that many women just cannot relate to. We now want provocative intelligent stories and characters. Unlike some, I don’t think – in the UK at least the Horror industry itself has been particularly anti-woman, but rather women themselves are slowly growing to love the genre and want to be a part of it., especially as the genre itself has proven to have incredible potential for exciting subversive and intelligent discourse. In fact in my experience, as a woman in the industry I have been welcomed with open arms; being a woman gave me an edge.

Jessica Cameron says, “We’ve had to work really hard to get where we are to get our films made and be as successful so we bring that passion, drive and dedication to everything that we do.” While Rosie Fletcher rather ominously states, “There is a part of the female psyche - the female dark side that I think is very difficult for a man to tap into and to truly understand”

Food for thought indeed, I feel exciting times are ahead in the horror industry, and it’s the ‘Ghouls’ leading the way!

Catch Women In Horror throughout the month on Horror.


MORE FEATURES
Interview with Simeon Halligan, director of Habit
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Simeon Halligan is one of the busiest people working in the industry today. Writer, director, producer, director of celebrated film festival Grimmfest, in fact the list goes on.

His latest film is the neon tinged, blood-splattered masterpiece Habit which is showing on Horror February 14th so we thought we should get the story on how he brought this shocker to the big screen.

HC: When did you first become aware of the book by Stephen McGeagh to which Habit is based?

SH: I read the book a couple of years back and really liked it. A combination of gritty realism and dark fantasy; set within a very recognisable Manchester. There's a juxtaposition in the book; from a kind of soc...

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Horror Channel marks February weekends with eight action-packed premieres
Posted on Wednesday 15th January 2020

Killer parties, virtual dinosaurs, zombie flesh-eaters and Milla Jovovich in top form...Horror Channel makes February an action-packed month with eight premieres, including the UK TV premiere of Matty Beckerman's savage sorority slasher The Row and the channel premieres of Simeon Halligan's neon-drenched Mancunian horror thriller Habit, starring Elliot James Langridge, Roxanne Pallett and Jessica Barden. Plus there's the eerie psychological thriller Can't Come Out To Play, directed by John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), starring Samantha Morton, Michael Shannon and Peter Fonda.

There are also Channel premieres for the 2019 version of Cabin Fever, a remake of Eil Roth's 2002...

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Horror Channel beams in Captain Sulu for "George Takei selects Star Trek" on Saturday January 25
Posted on Monday 6th January 2020

George Takei, the legendary Star Trek actor, personally introduces some of his favourite Sulu episodes from the Original Series.

"George Takei selects Star Trek" will take over Horror Channel on Saturday 25 January, from 3pm, showing four specially selected episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek: The Original Series.

Here are George's chosen episodes with transmission order:

3pm: Star Trek: The Original Series - The Naked Time
A rescue party goes to save some scientists on a dying planet, but they are all dead when the team arrives. Can McCoy save the day?

4.05pm: Star Trek: The Original Series - Shore Leave
The crew enjoy some downtime on a peaceful p...

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10 of the best from 2019!
Posted on Sunday 22nd December 2019

The last 12 months has been a prime year for the horror genre fan with titles that stretched well-trodden ideas mixed with some truly original pieces.

We've had sequels, remakes, and more than our fair share of true oddities and for once the good outweighed the bad.

Here in no particular order are ten of the best the year had to offer either at festivals, in cinema or home entertainment.

The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot
Sam Elliott and Aidan Turner are The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot the critically acclaimed, genre-bending, breath-taking adventure that sees a legendary American war hero as a young man and in his twilight years, taking on two very different adversaries. Decades after serving in WWII and assassinating Adolf Hitler, Calvin Barr (Elliott/Turner) is enlisted as the only man for the job: to hunt down the fable...

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Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season
Posted on Tuesday 10th December 2019
Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season - a retro-flavoured selection of 1980s influenced modern horror, which includes the UK TV premieres of Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski's hard-core hospital horror The Void and Jackson Stewart's throwback paranormal fantasy Beyond the Gates, starring horror legend Barbara Crampton. Broadcast every Saturday night throughout the month, the season also includes Todd Strauss-Schulson's entertainingly subversive slasher fantasy The Final Girls and Lowell Dean's stylish, rage-fuelled WolfCop.

There is also a UK TV premiere for Mathieu Turi's terrifying and moving horror thriller Hostile and channel premieres for Barry Levinson's brutal and ...

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Seasonal shocks aplenty on Horror in December including UK premiere of Tyler MacIntyre's Patchwork.
Posted on Thursday 21st November 2019

Wayward werewolves, genetic mutants, a female Frankenstein, man-eating spiders and the return of The Creeper... Horror Channel provides plenty of seasonal shocks in December, including the UK TV premiere for Tyler MacIntyre's incandescent comic horror Patchwork, a modern spin on Mary Shelley mythology, mixed with fun gore and a cheeky tone. It received rapturous applause when first screened in the UK at FrightFest Glasgow 2016 and will delight fans of classic 1980's scream fests.

There is also a UK TV premiere for spider-infested supernatural thriller Guardians of the Tombs, starring Kelsey Grammer and Channel premieres for martial-arts futurist thriller Ultraviolet, starring Milla Jovovich, werewolf chiller...

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Renowned Author and critic Kim Newman takes us on a nostalgic trip through Horror Channel's Classic Monster Marathon Day on Sunday 24 November.
Posted on Tuesday 19th November 2019

When Universal Pictures secured the rights to Bram Stoker's Dracula, the property had just been made popular by a Broadway theatre adaptation. Stage star Bela Lugosi got his career-making (and-defining) gig as the Count ('I... am... Dracula') because Lon Chaney, star of Universal's silent Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame, had died and left a gap few thought anyone would ever fill. At the time, the industry classed Dracula as 'a mystery play', lumping it in with the old dark house spookiness of The Cat and the Canary. After the first talkie vampire became a big hit, folks started talking about 'horror films' and 'monster movies' - and the genre as we know it nearly ninety years later was founded. With Dr...

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All you need to know about Horror Channel's Classic Monsters Marathon!
Posted on Monday 11th November 2019

On Sunday 24th of November, Horror Channel is celebrating the beginnings of cinema horror with Classic Monsters Marathon.

Kicking off at 1pm, it features some of the most iconic monster movies of all-time, including: Ted Browning and Karl Freund's Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi as the infamously seductive Count, James Whale's genre-defining Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, Karl Freund's mesmerising The Mummy, with Boris Karloff further establishing himself as one of the great horror stars in film history, The Wolf Man, with Lon Chaney, Jr. as the original werewolf and the pulp horror classic Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Dracula is first on the list starti...

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10 things you might not know about Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Posted on Saturday 26th October 2019

It's the one where no one came home. It's the one without Michael Myers. It's the one that stalled at the box-office but gained a huge cult following over the last 37 years or so!

Yes, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the movie which split the Halloween fanbase right down the middle but was supposed to be the relaunch of the brand name.

Here's 10 fear-filled facts you might not know about this classic horror and catch the movie on Horror October 31st at 10.55pm.

10) The film was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace who also provides the voice on those classic Silver Shamrock commercials.

9) Speaking of which, the infamous Silver Shamrock jingle is actually the old nursery rhyme...
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Sinister, Terrifier and Tower Block amongst Horror Channel premieres in November
Posted on Tuesday 22nd October 2019

Psycho clowns, demented dolls and deadly snipers... Horror Channel is big on scares in November with eleven Channel premieres including murderous supernatural chiller Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke, Damien Leone's screamingly shocking Terrifier and the riveting urban thriller Tower Block, starring Sheridan Smith and Jack O'Connell.

There are also Channel premieres for two popular installments of the Chucky franchise, Child's Play 2 and Child's Play 3. John Carpenter's dazzling fantasy Starman, starring Jeff Bridges, two spooky black comedy classics - Peter Jackson's The Frighteners and Joe Dante's The Burbs, and the even more eerie John Carpenter remake of Village of the Damn...

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13 nights of scares as Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season
Posted on Tuesday 8th October 2019

For thirteen nights, from Saturday 19th October to Thursday 31st October at 9pm, Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season, a supernaturally spooky selection of the scariest movies, including the UK premiere of the ghostly chiller The Unspoken and the channel premiere of the terrifying thriller Pay The Ghost, starring Nicholas Cage.

Other highlights include Damiano Damiani's diabolical prequel to The Amityville Horror - Amityville II: The Possession. James Watkins' spine-chilling remake The Woman In Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Ti West's The Shining slacker-style indie sensation, The Innkeepers. the 2008 US remake of The Eye, starring Jessica Alba and box-offi...

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"We are all aliens until we get to know one another". Space 1999 lands on Horror
Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2019

Imagine it is the 1970s, the space race has been won and news of trips to the moon are fading from public interest. But you want to see more than just people playing golf and taking rock samples there. You want to see the human race make a base there, to use it as a launch pad to help reach further into space and maybe one day we could populate it.

Step forward Gerry and Sylvia Anderson who in 1975 gave the world one of the finest and most adventurous Sci-Fi TV series ever made, Space 1999.

The premise is straight forward and smart: It is the (then) future and a base has been built and manned on the moon. Tragedy strikes on September 13th 1999 when an nuclear explosion causes th...

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