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Movie Review Columns

Updated on January 15, 2018
Kristina Stancil profile image

Freelance Writer, Novelist, & aspiring Criminologist....member of the Horror Writers Association, MH English, Tiffin U

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Movies have been around since 1895 and Thomas Edison produced a movie starring a teenage dancer named Annabelle. While in more modern times the idea of a beautiful teenage girl named Annabelle isn’t what comes to mind when horror fans think of the name, Annabelle. What springs to mind for modern movie goers is the porcelain doll that is possessed by a demon or for fans of the paranormal the Raggedy Anne doll that the Warrens have to keep locked in a blessed cabinet. The first Annabelle movie is a dramatized prequel to what may have happened before the doll came to be in possession of the nurses who asked the Warrens for help.

Movies have a long history and horror generally does not get the love that dramas, recreations of historic events, and romantic comedies get from the awards shows. The Stoker Awards seem to be the only ones who show any love and perhaps it is because it requires a horror writer or screenwriter to bring the macabre to life.

This article is an outline for the way this column is going to represent horror and true crime entertainment.

On Mondays is Maniac Monday. On Monday the movies to be reviewed have a definitive bad guy or girl. Such as the January 15 edition which will feature a review of the latest incarnation of the horror icon, Leatherface, who was brought to life in the late 1970s by Tobe Hooper in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Since there is an element of truth that inspired the creation of this particular icon, a whole week could be spent reviewing the various movies.

For instance, Tuesdays are for “True Tuesday.” These are movies that either have a basis in reality, such as James Wan’s films he adapted from the Warrens case files, (i.e. Annabelle or The Conjuring) or in the case of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a look at the serial killer who inspired some of Leatherface’s peculiarities. Many horror movie icons have been inspired by real life serial killer, Ed Gein whose life was adapted into many films, both real and fictional. True Tuesday is also a day in which reviews of documentaries on serial killers or documentaries such as Killer Legends that connect real life murder cases to horror movies.

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Periodically a review of a true crime or paranormal documentary will appear as a stand alone article on Tuesday Night if a movie series is not being adapted into each other theme nights. On the list of items to review is American Ghost Hunter, a documentary that is allegedly based on the life of Paranormal State founder, Ryan Buell. In the series, Buell talks about having dealings with a demon that has bothered him his whole life. Living in the North East, its hinted that The Warrens had to come in and save his life. Miss Lorraine often makes guest appearances on Paranormal State. The Warrens student, Keith Johnson and his wife Sandra, from Near PRS often comes in when a demonologist is needed. The familiarity that Buell has with the Warrens and the Johnson Twins brings to mind the Haunting in Connecticut movie. However, I have been assured by Keith Johnson that Ryan is not the child from the Haunting in Connecticut movie.

Buell's personal problems the past few years could be connected to the belief that the demon is still plaguing him to this day or is a symptom of an ongoing mental illness.

A poll has been added to this article to determine which True Crime you would like me to review on the column's first edition of True Tuesday.

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On Wednesday is Wacky Weird Wednesday and this is the day for movies that are either just plain weird or have a humorous element such as Adam Green’s Chillerama or Tales of Halloween or the classic comedic horror movies from the 50s that marked the end of the iconic career of Bela Lugosi. Lugosi has interactions with classic comedic duos Laurel and Hardy as well another comedy in which he is paired with fellow Universal Movie Classic monster, Lon Chaney Jr.

Throwback Thursday is the day when the column visits my second love, classic movies. As a movie nerd I love classic movies and as I get older I appreciate the absurd and obsessively graphic drive in movie slasher film almost as much as I appreciate the classic works of Bela Lugosi and the legendary Boris Karloff. Movies reviewed here will be for the most part, at least ten years old or more. Where possible the movies will be the classics like Nosferatu up to the campy slashers of the early eighties.

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Saturday Night is the big night. These are the movies that have been released in the past few years that feature a supernatural component; such as if the killer has an uncanny ability to come back from almost certain death. Supernatural Saturday Night is the night when the movies have an element of unrivaled power. The killers are not just serial killers they have some unseen force that drives them making them almost inhuman! Killers like Freddy and Jason. Killers that no matter what happens to them they keep coming back for more or simply disappear just when you think you have them beat. If Sam and Dean would have to go to John’s journal for answers on how to kill it, this is the night I would review it.

Which true crime movie would you like me to review first?

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© 2018 Kristina Stancil

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