By Josh Templin
A roundtable discussion of classic and important horror cinema.
Originally, this piece was scheduled to run in October of last year. It would have been timed perfectly with the Halloween season, but some setbacks pushed the publication back until now.
Still, the genre of horror is becoming less and less niche every year. The number one series on television, The Walking Dead, takes the existential horror of a zombie apocalypse and serializes it with mostly rich characters and new conflicts every week.
In fact, February’s most critically acclaimed film release might have been The Witch, an arty horror film by Robert Eggers. That film’s period setting is perhaps directly indebted to Gothic and Victorian horror, however with a distinctly American flavor.
So, and I’m sure that Professor Walentis and Dr. Weedman would agree, horror is a genre that needn’t be relegated to one month of the year. The genre continues to evolve, deepening and diversifying, despite years of critical teardowns. Horror holds up a bleak mirror to human fears and addresses our most innate evils. It is not merely a reflection of culture, but is also a driving force within culture, giving us new touchstones to understand our reality.
With that in mind, I hope you enjoy this discussion of horror cinema. Just in the months since it was recorded, there have been many films I wish we could have discussed in detail, including Goodnight, Mommy, Crimson Peak and The Witch. Hopefully if we do more pieces about horror in the upcoming year (and there is an unending wealth of material to explore), we will publish them more promptly for you to discuss and enjoy.