‘Based on a True Story’: A Look at the Use of this Horror Movie Tagline

‘Based on a True Story’ is eye-catching, head-turning and ticket-worthy for many movie fans. For horror, this tagline alone and its message is especially enticing and ups the ante on all other movies playing that week in theaters. Quite simply: it sells. But what does ‘based on a true story’ really mean? As movie-goers, how much can we hold such a movie accountable as being truthful towards the real persons and events it portrays? Advertising that a movie is based in a true story goes back to 1899 with the short film Major Wilson’s Last Stand. However, the first major horror genre….

Let’s Play! The Ouija Board

  Whether or not you consider yourself a fan of horror, chances are you’ve heard of the famed Ouija Board. A simple concept for a board game, it contains only two objects: a flat board and a planchette. On the board are written in black bold font the numbers zero through nine, the letters of the alphabet, the words ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and sometimes the word ‘goodbye’ for manner’s sake. Players (one or more) are to place their hands on the planchette, ask the spirit world or specific spirits a question and wait for a reply. The planchette is supposed….

An Infograph: Top Grossing PARANORMAL Films Worldwide

  By compiling a list of the top grossing films, we are more able to visualize the shear monetary strength of not just horror films, but PARANORMAL films globally. Note: Previous to the 1980s, it was difficult to track international sales of film, therefore via boxofficemojo.com, we present the following information below focusing on paranormal films from the 1990s (exception: The Exorcist (1973)) and onward.   Enjoy this infograph? Let me know in the comments below what topics you’d like to see covered in future infographs.        

What are the ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Paranormal’?

  We often hear the two words “Supernatural” and “Paranormal” used interchangeably. A simple online search shows overlapping horror television and films categorized under both terms, leading to even more confusion. Forget grabbing the dictionary, Webster remains vague. So how do we differentiate the two? Let’s start with ‘Supernatural’:   History tells us that the term ‘Supernatural’ was first used between 1520 and 1530 AD and is rooted in religion and spiritualism. The things or occurrences which believers believe to be true based on their faith or willingness to believe is the foundation of the term. As early humans evolved….

Listening for Romance in Horror: A Playlist

  Not many storytellers tackle romance when confronting horror, the two just don’t seem to mix. Who has time to fall in love when there are zombies knocking at the door, or an angry spirit haunting your house and making a mess of things? Well, that just may be the perfect time to light that flame between two starry-eyed characters.   Music lifts the soul. It carries us to places far beyond the reaches of our sight, harnessing the ability to touch on any emotion. So it is no wonder that film scores play such a vital role in the….

Taming Monsters with Guillermo del Toro

  As far back as the days of the sirens in Homer’s The Odyssey, horror fans have come to love and hate monsters. We gawk in awe at their brutish ways, but love when their stories fill our imaginations. With seemingly wicked nature, grotesque physical features, and violent demeanor harboring death and destruction to those who cross them, Thehouseofmonsters.com states that “The word monster is derived from the Latin word “monstrum”, which in [literal] terms means omen.” While most of us would be fighting with flight or fright, legendary director and creative mind Guillermo del Toro runs towards them — beckoning….

Boo! Madea Gives Fans Another Reason to Love Comedy Horror

Many were surprised to find that Boo! A Madea Halloween beat out some of the biggest star-studded titles released in October. Starring the no-nonsense Madea, a former stripper and jailbird who puts anyone out of order back in their place while maintaining a nurturing heart, Boo! A Madea Halloween easily won over audiences as the film to see in theaters. The comedy earned $54 million by October 31, beating out Ron Howard’s Inferno (starring Tom Hanks) by $38 million in gross earnings. Tyler Perry, the creator and star of the Madea series, has seen varied success with his films. But with….