It seems I'm always late to these things. Humans of New York had long existed as a blog with tens of thousands of loyal followers by the time I discov...moreIt seems I'm always late to these things. Humans of New York had long existed as a blog with tens of thousands of loyal followers by the time I discovered this book. It was a thrilling discovery all the same, and better late than never as the saying goes.
When I found out about the book I checked out the blog immediately starting about 10:30 at night. At 2 am I was still riveted. I literally could not stop looking. It's since become one of my newer addictions/obsessions. It appeals to the people watcher in me, to the girl who truly believes the right picture can be worth a thousand words, and the small town Canadian who imagines New York City as the epicenter of all that is gritty, inspiring, crazy and authentically human.
I think HONY is an inspired project by a beautiful mind. History told through the photographic lens has always been one of our most powerful, evocative mediums since its invention. I also love that Stanton has tried to put these photographs into some sort of context by the very human questions he asks of his subjects (and the illuminating -- sometimes heart-wrenching -- answers he receives).
If I'm ever stranded on a desert island, I want my copy of HONY to keep me tethered in some fundamental way to my human life and what it means to be human. (less)
This is one creepy-ass unsolved mystery, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The true story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident and the inexpl...more This is one creepy-ass unsolved mystery, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The true story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident and the inexplicable deaths of nine experienced hikers is one of those strange but true tales that leaves a person shuddering from the heebie-jeebies.
Remote and inhospitable Ural Mountains, Russia. February 1959.
A group of nine university students -- 7 men, 2 women -- set up their tent for the evening.
The experienced hikers begin the ritual of settling in for the night ahead, removing packs and boots and outer layers of clothing.
The stove in the middle of the large canvas tent remains unlit. Whatever happens next, occurs before the evening meal.
For reasons unknown to this day, all nine hikers suddenly abandon their tent and go running out into the frigid night improperly clothed and in sock feet. So desperate were they to get away, some of the hikers cut their way out of the back of the tent rather than go out the front.
When the bodies are later recovered some have died from hypothermia, others are found in a deep ravine with violent injuries such as crushed ribs, fractured skull, and one of the hikers is missing her tongue.
What force or event could have possibly compelled nine seasoned hikers to all lose their shit at the same time and act in such an erratic and life-threatening manner? To leave the sanctuary of their tent and flee into the frozen night barely dressed to certain death?
It has been established that it was no avalanche. So what else does that leave?
Over the years, theories have abounded, from the plausible and sane to the completely nutty. Donnie Eichar goes on a quest halfway around the world to retrace the steps of the Dyatlov group searching for the truth of what happened that night. In his quest he meets some colorful Russian characters, including a tenth member of the Dyatlov group who turned back at the last minute, a decision that saved his life.
This book is really three narratives woven together -- 1) the Dyatlov Incident pieced together from photos and journals the doomed hikers painstakingly kept along the way 2) the search and rescue which followed and 3) Eichar's trips to Russia and his own trek to Dead Mountain.
As I followed in the hikers' footsteps, reading their journal entries, seeing their smiling faces in the photographs, I couldn't help become emotional for the horror I knew was waiting for them. It's a story that's as sad as it is unsettling.
After three years of research and exhaustive interviews, Eichar is able to put forth an interesting theory about what exactly happened that night, one that certainly has more substance than UFO's or the Abominable Snowman. Yet, it's still only a theory. The maddening, pull your hair out aspect of this story is that we will probably never know what happened that night. It is a secret that the young hikers took to their untimely and tragic graves.
Photo: Yuri Yudin hugging Lyudmila Dubinina as he prepares to leave the group because of illness, as Igor Dyatlov looks on smiling
Today marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination and in a flood of material that's been released to cash in reflect, honor and exam...more Today marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination and in a flood of material that's been released to cash in reflect, honor and examine a pivotal moment in history, LIFE magazine's retrospective coffee table book stands out. It is a beautiful piece of work, thoughtfully put together, a must have for the average history buff and JFK afficionados alike.
The best part for me is the inclusion of a full reprint of LIFE's November 29, 1963 issue (which sold on newsstands for 25 cents!) I poured over every page of this thing, including the ads (which made me think of Mad Men -- all those ads for cigarettes and cars, how could I not?) Reading it really is a form of time travel. Fantastic.
The First Rule of Fandom: tell no one about fandom
Well, authors Larsen and Zubernis just blew that rule right out of the water, using the CW Network...more
The First Rule of Fandom: tell no one about fandom
Well, authors Larsen and Zubernis just blew that rule right out of the water, using the CW Network show Supernatural to drag Fandom (with a capital 'F') out of the dark, secret corners of the internet into the blinding sun of mainstream Judy Judgmental awareness. I appreciate their heartfelt efforts here to get to the bottom (heh, bottom) of the 'whys' and 'wherefores' of Fandom -- why people do it, who is doing it, and what exactly are they doing when they do it?
This isn't something that started with Supernatural's legions of fangirls -- goodness no. The clannish tribalism and subversive subculture of fanning has been around for a looong time (just ask the Kirk/Spock shippers), but Supernatural does present the perfect opportunity for two brave women to grab the tail of the beast once and for all and showcase the glorious wonders of Fandom -- the good, bad and yes, even ugly, realities (because there is definitely more than one, reality that is).
If it weren't for Supernatural, I probably would have lived the rest of my life utterly clueless that such a thing as Fandom existed. Because really, it takes an extra special push and shove to bring you into its realm. Not just any ole thing is going to open the Fandom door. You grow up, you love bands, you cheer for a sports team, you get movie star crushes, you won't miss an episode of your favorite TV show. That's all great. We all beat our chest when we love something. And that's getting close. But that's not Fandom.
Fandom is a whole other thing unto itself -- an addiction, a compulsion, a consuming force whereby the more you see of it, the more you love it, and the more you love it, the more of it you seek out, willing to look in places that had never once occurred to you before. When you get there, you find out you're not alone, and that brings its own comfort and validation, yet another heady combo to keep you coming back for more. Because really, the very essence of Fandom is community. This isn't something you do by yourself. It's about plugging in, and all the technicolor surround-sound that comes with it - the fanart, the fanfiction, the fanvids - the humor, the drama, the angst, oh so many feels.
So why the big secret? Why the rule of keeping your mouth shut and not talking about it? As the authors very quickly find out, it's the stigma and the embarrassment and sometimes even the shame for starters. The stereotypes are ruthless and unforgiving of the socially retarded Trekkie living in his mom's basement, or the squeeing fangirl -- intellectually challenged, perhaps mentally unbalanced, and overall just sad. Doesn't he/she have anything better to do?
So there's that for starters. One of the things the authors hoped to do with their book is to blow up that stereotype once and for all. To demystify and decloak the average fangirl/fanboy as the person sitting next to you on the bus, the person you work with, maybe even your own sister-in-law. It turns out Supernatural fangirls are moms and lawyers, doctors and librarians, and in the case of the authors themselves, college professors. Regular women with careers and families and responsibilities like everyone else.
But you'll probably never know it. Anonymity is par for the course in Fandom. No one uses their real name and most of the Fandom's reach and activity exists under the radar of 'Real Life'. Rarely do the two intersect and acknowledge each other probably because a lot of what's going on in Fandom is women stretching and redefining their libidos and what they find sexy. Shocking, I know.
The unchecked, full-on female exploration of just about every kink you can think of (and some you can't) is in a very tangible way a sexual revolution. Even the acknowledgement that women can and do objectify men is an impulse that sill leaves many women feeling guilty, that we should somehow rise above such baser instincts and needs. Pfft. Get over it already. It's okay. The world is not going to spin off its axis if you check out some guy's ass (especially if it belongs to Jensen Ackles).
Go on, take a look, I'm not going to judge you for it.
A delightful surprise upon reading this was discovering how aware most of the Supernatural crew is concerning all the internet shenanigans going on around them and how much of a sense of humor they have about it, even how much some of them relate to and understand the compulsion. Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer) offered up a lot of insight in his interview responses that spoke volumes of his sensitivity, curiosity and respect. Even Jensen Ackles -- the super-straight, seemingly good ol' boy from Texas -- concedes that the controversial slash pairing of himself with his co-star Jared Padalecki (otherwise known as J2) is "a hot fantasy". Series creator Eric Kripke has certainly milked Fandom for inside jokes and meta-material, even including references on the show to Wincest.
Despite its best intentions the book does tend to blather and meander in places, and gets a bit repetitive at times, but this in no way detracted from my overall enjoyment and deep appreciation. Did I find myself in some of these pages? Absolutely. Was I living vicariously through the authors many bumbling, costly adventures as they exhausted their bank accounts in order to be front and center at the big conferences? You bet. Did I cheer when they finally breached the inner sanctum and scored one-on-one interviews with co-stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles? Hells yeah. Was I green with envy? Sick with it.
This is a sweet, funny story with a triumphant happy ending despite many trials and doubts. Who doesn't love one of those every now and then? For the curious and uninitiated, it's also a small peek into Fandom life. A small peek. If you really want to know, you're just going to have to go look where it lives. Be careful though, you just might like what you find.
A free copy was provided through Netgalley for an honest review
"It's not like my mother is a maniac or a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven't you?" ~Norman Bates, Psycho (1960)
***Note: the following review contains spoilers for the films Psycho, Carrie, and Friday the 13th.
I've had this slim volume by film critic David Thomson on my currently reading shelf for months and it was high time to finish it, or abandon it. I finished it...barely.
Psycho is one of my favorite movies for a thousand reasons, including all of the fascinating stories that surround the mythology of how it was shot, Hitchcock's battle with Hollywood censors, his genius marketing plan, and the film's subsequent shell-shocking and titillation of 1960 movie audiences. So when a book like this promises to show me the moment of Psycho and how its director taught America to love murder, I'm there. The only thing that rivals talking about the movie itself for me, is talking about the cultural Zeitgeist in which it was made and received.
Thomson's thesis in an ambitious and exciting one. His book, on the other hand, is a wishy-washy example of intellectual masturbation that goes nowhere and proves nothing. Dare I say he comes off as an idiot quite frankly, full of sound and fury, in a treatise absent of any real meaning or value. He has added zero new to the debate on Hitchcock's films, or Psycho in particular.
This slim volume is less than 200 pages long and reads more like a series of short essays for somebody's film blog rather than a serious book by a world-renowned film critic. The first fifty pages are literally almost a scene-by-scene recitation of the entire movie with no analysis or context. What is the point of this exercise??? It strikes me as so self-indulgent in a short work that has a big thesis to prove.
Thomson is also very obsessed with the first 40 minutes of the film - right up to the infamous shower scene. Post Marion's murder, for him the movie unravels and pales in comparison to the first half. For me, Psycho works as an organic whole, a symphony of screeching violins and Hitchcock's masterful sleight of hand. Hitchcock wants us positioned just so on the rug for maximum effect when he pulls it out from underneath us. This requires the effort of the entire movie, not merely the first 40 minutes, no matter how well set up.
In fact, one of my favorite moments in the film comes after the shower scene, when Norman performs his frantic, largely silent clean-up that features the slow sinking of Marion's car into the dark swamp. I love that moment when the car pauses and stops sinking. We're surprised to discover that we want Norman to succeed in the cover-up. We feel bad for him, with his lonely life and his crazy mother. Now with Marion out of the picture, he has become the character who we identify with the most. We are being manipulated for the big reveal. It's crucial the audience feels something for Norman, and while the first 40 minutes are critical, to assess the rest of the film as weak and untethered is unimaginable to me.
One of the most interesting aspects of Psycho is how it was marketed. Hitchcock's lengthy teaser trailer was unheard of at the time, as was his explicit directive that no audience member be allowed into the movie once it had begun. Studio exec Lew Wasserman argued for big simultaneous openings in LA and New York, quickly followed by the widest possible release, also unheard of at the time. It's interesting to note that it would be Wasserman, some 15 years later, who would finally succeed in his bid for nationwide release with Jaws, the first ever summer blockbuster that opened simultaneously in 400 theaters. None of this interests Thomson however, and his discussion of these matters takes up a measly, utterly disappointing five pages.
The chapter I was most keen to read is entitled, "Other Bodies in the Swamp" (great title!) Here, Thomson's thesis is to examine "the spreading influence [Psycho] exerted on other films, especially in the treatment of sex and violence." It's territory that's been trampled to death, for if you look hard enough you can see the long reach of Hitchcock just about everywhere in film. But here is a seasoned film critic who specifically wants to single out Psycho and measure its long shadow over contemporary movie-making. I can get on board with that.
This is the weakest and most pathetic chapter (second only to the weirdly included, Kerouacian chapter on driving America's highways and stopping at small motels along the way). Thomson's analyses of the films he selects are ridiculously superficial not to mention rife with spoilers, which should always come with a warning. He includes John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) when Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th (1980) is Psycho in reverse - it's not the son who is doing all the killing, it's the mom!!! He also tries to make a case for Kubrick's The Shining (1980) when anyone with a lick of sense knows it's DePalma's Carrie (1976) that has Psycho all over it, from the opening shower scene, the cheekily named Bates High School, the crazy, overbearing mother, and Psycho's four note violin theme making repeated appearances.
Where we really see Hitchcock's influence on DePalma's film-making style at work is in the treatment of voyeurism. Hitchcock was all about voyeurism, not just for his characters, but for his audience. What are you doing when you go to a movie? You are engaging in the ultimate act of voyeurism. In Psycho, we spy on Norman spying on Marion through a hole in the wall. In Carrie, we spy on Chris and Billy as they hide under the stage and wait for the perfect moment to drop the bucket of pig's blood. We watch Sue Snell's expression as she traces the rope to its final destination. Her eyes become our eyes, just as our eyes became Norman's during his spying of Marion. It's a shifting of guilt and a kind of audience culpability that Hitchcock mastered.
This is such a lame excuse for a book that I'm embarrassed for it. I cannot speak for the author's other works. I'm sure his sizable reputation in the field contributed to this "grocery list" being published in the first place. It should not have been. It is a waste of paper and the reader's time. It doesn't even come close to proving that Alfred Hitchcock taught America to love murder, nor does it even try to. Save your time and your money. Watch the movie instead. You and your friends will come up with way more interesting things to say about it than this guy does here. (less)
How could I resist a behemoth, colorful coffee table book about cinematic monsters put together by the legendary John Landis? I couldn't of course, it...more How could I resist a behemoth, colorful coffee table book about cinematic monsters put together by the legendary John Landis? I couldn't of course, it would have been impossible, which is why I'm writing this review.
I have a bit of fangirl squee going on for Mr. Landis, who wrote and directed one of my favorite movies of all time -- An American Werewolf in London. He's also famous for Animal House and The Blues Brothers (and a plethora of cheesy stinkers that I won't mention here). Landis hasn't made a lot of monster movies, but what makes him the perfect person to put together a book like this is two-fold: 1) he's a screaming fanboy for the genre and 2) he's best friends with a lot of the directors -- and more significantly, special effects masters, who make the monsters come to life.
This entire book really does read like a love letter from a fanboy. Landis's characteristic exuberance pours across every page captured in about 1000 exclamation points. Seriously, this book has A LOT of exclamation points. So many I began to giggle and couldn't help but remember this scene from Seinfeld. No amount of exclamation points however, can truly capture Landis's passion and enthusiasm for the medium, his sparkling eyes, his fervent gesticulating, his habit of leaning forward as if he spends most of his life perched on the edge of his seat (which I firmly believe is the case). Watch this guy in person and you'll see what I mean.
So this is not an academic treatise on cinema culture. Landis makes this very clear in his introduction when he calls his book "a labor of love" and not "a ponderous examination of film theory." Budding special effects geeks out there should take note that the book is also missing detailed descriptions from the creators of how movie monsters actually get made. There are no secrets of the trade I'm afraid.
This book is mostly a magnificent, shiny compilation of movie stills and posters featuring just about every monster that has appeared on film in the last 100 years (the good, the bad, the ugly and the cheesy). It is by no means an all-inclusive encyclopedic list; still, there's so much to feast your eyes on, I don't think you'll be left feeling cheated. Some of the most fun I had was spent pouring over the movie posters and laughing at some of the ridiculous tag lines:
That's not how you write a tagline. This is how you write a tagline: (can you name them all without employing Google?)
1. In space, no one can hear you scream. 2. When there's no more room in Hell, the Dead will walk the Earth. 3. Who will survive, and what will be left of them? 4. A romantic comedy. With zombies. 5. Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas. 6. Man is the warmest place to hide. 7. To avoid fainting, keep on repeating...it's only a movie, it's only a movie. 8. If Nancy doesn't wake up screaming, she won't wake up at all 9. Herbert West has a good head on his shoulders, and another one on his desk
In addition to Landis's short introductory essays to every chapter, he has also included "conversations" with some of the biggest names in the business -- Christopher Lee, Joe Dante, David Cronenberg, Sam Raimi, Guillermo Del Toro, Ray Harryhausen, Rick Baker and John Carpenter.
I adore Guillermo Del Toro. To me he is a big giant teddy bear with a soft warm voice and a generous expansive laugh that erupts from the bottom of his belly. He is articulate, introspective, and acutely observant of the human condition. It is what makes him such an extraordinary storyteller and filmmaker. I would listen to him talk about any subject under the sun (and have in countless interviews), but when he speaks of horror and what scares us I am absolutely, positively riveted. The world could end around me and I wouldn't even notice. In the conversation recorded between he and Landis, Del Toro shares very specific ideas of what constitutes "monster" both philosophically and cinematically.
John Carpenter is the "old guy" now, cynical, almost curmudgeonly, wise with the long view. I love his take on the value of getting "to see" the monster. Implied horror which is only hinted at is basically bullshit and a cop out to Carpenter. Movies like The Haunting and The Innocents represent "the bad and beautiful way of making horror movies." He argues: "I paid my money, I want to see what the fuck it is." That made me laugh so hard. It's true that there is power in what we can imagine, but turning on the spotlights, pulling back the curtain, and letting us really see everything -- leaving nothing to the imagination -- can be a satisfying, cathartic experience in its own right. Ballsy filmmaking too, cause it can blow up in your face if the audience sees any strings or zippers.
This is one of the things that made American Werewolf in London so ground-breaking. Landis wanted to show David's violent metamorphosis from man to werewolf in broad daylight with no cutaways and thanks to the amazing work by Rick Baker he pulled it off. To this day it remains an extraordinary transformation, putting to shame many modern day monsters and their over-reliance on CGI effects.
The chapter entitled "The Devil's Work" includes Carrie White, and I do not think this is the best fit for her, since her abilities and acts of violence do not originate with or are influenced by Satan (Carrie's mother certainly believes this to be true, but we know better). I was also disappointed that Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of Lucifer in The Prophecy did not make the cut. Viggo has very little screen time, but what he has he uses to astonishing effect. It's a chilling, convincing performance (certainly heaps better than Gabriel Bryne's in End of Days alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger).
Missing from the "Ghosts" chapter is Stir of Echoes with Kevin Bacon, which always gets overlooked in favor of its more famous cousin The Sixth Sense. For the record I think Stir is the better movie. If you haven't seen it, pick it up because it is awesome.
If you have a coffee table in your home, this is the perfect book for it (or your bathroom if that's how you roll). Wherever you keep this book in your house, you'll likely never run out of horror movies to watch. There's plenty I haven't seen, and plenty more I can't wait to see again. It's a luscious, visual feast for the eyes and incredibly fun to flip through. It would make the perfect gift for the film buff or horror junkie in your life.
I love lists, I love movies, so when a little book like this comes along compiling lists of movies using unconventional themes then I'm there, popcorn...more I love lists, I love movies, so when a little book like this comes along compiling lists of movies using unconventional themes then I'm there, popcorn in hand. This is a cute book, but it isn't revelatory, and it isn't going to turn you into a slavering film buff if you aren't already one. There's a bit of trivia embedded in the concise film annotations, but nothing you're not going to stumble across on IMDb.
The real value of this book is to pass it around amongst friends and get inspired to make your own lists. The one thing it does well is to showcase that there are other ways to group movies together than the traditional "Best" lists critics and organizations like the AFI are famous for.
Flops That Aren't Actually Half Bad Great Movies Based on Plays Better Than the Book Psycho, and Other Surprising Christmastime Movies Nine Westerns That Aren't Westerns
Finally finished listening to this as an audio. Meh. I have my problems with it. I may or may not review it, we'll see.
Alright, I've given it some...moreFinally finished listening to this as an audio. Meh. I have my problems with it. I may or may not review it, we'll see.
Alright, I've given it some thought and feel that I should try to capture some of what this book made me feel (and didn't feel as it were). This memoir is essentially two stories that sometimes intersect with each other but more often than not run parallel. One story is Cheryl's 90+ day 1100 mile solo hike of the Pacific Crest Trail when she was 26 years old. The other story is of the tragic death of Cheryl's mother from lung cancer four years previously. That story is one of all-consuming grief, anger, and a downward spiral into dangerous and self-destructive behaviors.
Even though it was the death of her mother which precipitated Cheryl's decision to solo hike the PCT, I felt like the two stories are so very different from each other that it just doesn't work to have both accounts in the same book. I found it jarring each time Cheryl flashbacks to a moment in her pre-PCT life.
Don't get me wrong, both stories interested me. I was eager to read about a crazy girl taking on this extreme physical challenge. I adore man vs. nature tales. And although I found it difficult and somewhat emotionally draining, I also wanted to read about the particulars of Cheryl's grief and the details surrounding her mother's death. I lost my own mother to cancer in July 2010 and I find myself inexplicably hungering for the accounts of other people's experience of such profound tragedy.
The problem I have with the book overall I guess, is that the two stories do not complement each other very well. Some sections in which Cheryl describes the horror of helping her mother die and the depth of the grief which followed are beautifully and honestly written. The scene involving her mother's horse is seared upon my memory.
These sections are at odds however, with Cheryl's account of her selfish, self-destructive behavior after her mother's death. We all grieve differently, and there is no right way. Cheryl's chronic infidelities, drug abuse, and finally her decision to hike the PCT totally inexperienced and extremely ill-equipped I did not find interesting. In fact, it pushed me away rather than drew me in. I felt turned off. It's one thing to do something wholeheartedly rash and stupid and dangerous when you are 26 years old, but to try and wax poetic about it in hindsight in your 40s is not cool. I felt like Cheryl romanticized her hike waaaaaay too much, a reminiscence with rose-colored glasses. Sure she talks about the blisters and the patches of dry skin, the weight loss, the hunger, the thirst, the heat. But she downplays the imminent very real dangers for a happy story that all worked out in the end.
Her PCT hike could have -- should have -- ended quite disastrously. She went about it very naively, with little or no real knowledge or hiking experience. Her mistakes were massive and at times ridiculous. You can choose to laugh about them in retrospect, but the message really should be: kids, don't try this at home. I felt like grown-up Cheryl should have been apologizing for her reckless stunt rather than almost ... bragging about it. Yes, there is a definite tone of bragging and conceit (that can't all be attributed to the audiobook's reader). Maybe that's what turned me off the most, and that is certainly a very subjective, personal response I know.
If you like reading about dysfunctional people as their lives spiral out of control this book may appeal to you. If you like to read about people doing crazy ass stunts then by all means, take on the story of this young woman as she haphazardly and with zealous abandon hikes into the woods with a mammoth pack on her back and boots that are one size too small.
Cheryl's story may inspire you. It did not have that effect on me. (less)
I love lists, I love horror movies, so when this little baby crossed my path I snatched it up without even thinking about it. As a handy reference gui...moreI love lists, I love horror movies, so when this little baby crossed my path I snatched it up without even thinking about it. As a handy reference guide for the uninitiated, it's almost perfection. For the more discriminating horror veteran, it's laced with lots of glossy extras. Even though the accompanying essays are short, most are meaty, with tidbits and trivia and a little film canon context, enough to help you win your next bar bet anyways. However, spoiler phobes beware -- a few of the essays do reveal some major plot twists (which is a real shame), so watch the movies first before you read the blurbs is all I'm saying.
This 400 page pint-sized gem contains full color reproductions of the original movie posters for all 101 selected films. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed pouring over the details in those. In addition to the posters, there is one movie still per film. Fun! As for organization, this IS NOT a countdown list from 101 to number 1. Rather, each chapter is organized by decade beginning with the 1910's and ending with the 2000's. While it's fun to countdown, I liked this presentation better. Lists can be so subjective and arbitrary at the best of times -- to come at these movies in the context of the decade in which they were made makes way more sense.
On to the list itself:
This is a very respectable selection of films, and as a horror movie buff who has been avidly watching since she was eight years old, I give the editors my stamp of approval, with a few caveats and addendums. First of all, the selections are a nice mixed bag of old and new, foreign and Hollywood. If you're not interested in classic cinema, a lot of these movies probably won't appeal to you. The first six chapters include films to the end of the 1960's. Five movies from 1932 alone. Even for my tastes, which run the gamut, I would have liked to see more emphasis on post-1960 horror cinema (it's come a long way, baby).
I also felt that the selections leaned a little too heavily on the "critical darlings" like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and Ingmar Bergman as well as other weird and dated movies that have been sanctified as "must see classics" amongst the snobbish film aficionados. Still, despite some of this pandering, there is a lot of celluloid on this list that if you haven't seen yet, you really must make the time to do so.
I was tremendously relieved to see that Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2 made the list; even so, it should not have come at the exclusion of the 1981 original Evil Dead. Both are brilliant, but the original is such an exquisite piece of guerrilla filmmaking on a shoe-string budget and balls-to-the-wall wunderkind genius that to leave it out of the 1980's chapter is more than just remiss, but an actual crime. At least the original gets mentioned in passing as a landmark for the genre. Other "must see" films I was chagrined to see overlooked: Alien (1979), The Changeling (1980), and John Carpenter's The Thing (1982). Not to mention neitherversion of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Egregious oversights.
So here it is, the complete list of 101 horror movies you must see before you die. I have hyperlinked to the trailer all those near and dear to my heart.