In 2022’s Scream — the fifth installment of the meta slasher franchise — the new killer, like all the predecessors, likes to play with his food before eating it. As a throwback to 1996's Scream, he primes his target victim by asking her about her favorite horror movies.

For any horror fan, it’s a bit of a dream. Sure, I’ll talk to anyone who will listen about Halloween or Friday the 13th for hours, but the lead actress isn’t the biggest fan of the horror classics that dominated the conversations in earlier films.

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Film Features

Anne Hathaway's "Witches" Apology, and the Problem with Body Horror

Is it even possible to separate what is frightening and disturbing from what is harmful and offensive?

The Witches - Official Trailer

On Thursday Anne Hathaway took to Instagram to apologize for her role in the HBO Max original movieThe Witches and its depiction of the titular villains as having so-called "limb differences."

The movie is based on Roald Dahl's 1983 novel—which was previously adapted into the classic 1990 version of The Witches. It tells the story of a young boy who stumbles upon a convention of horrifying witches with the power to turn children into mice. Hathaway portrays their leader, the Grand High Witch—a role previously played by Anjelica Houston with sinister glee.
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Film Features

How A24 is Saving Movies

How the Small Distribution Company is Giving a Much Needed Voice to First-Time Directors


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

My first proper date with my first ever girlfriend was to see Spring Breakers, the weirdest movie granted a wide theatrical release in 2013.

Directed by the mostly-underground Harmony Korrine, the film became notorious for James Franco's performance as Alien, an off-beat, very colorful gangster with a head covered in dreadlocks and an accent somewhere between a Tallahassee truck driver and Marcellus Wallace. I saw that movie in theatres. I didn't know it at the time, but the A24 Productions logo that kickstarted the experience would go on to become one of the most important symbols you could pin to a movie in the 2010's. It's since become a mark of excellence. Now, in 2020, you see a movie distributed by A24, and you know one thing: that movie will certainly be awesome, but might even be visionary, too. A24 is very quietly saving movies, and they're doing it by going against the most time-held and obvious of box office rules: They invest in uncertainties.

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5 of the Best Films You Never Want to See Again

These films aren't the best for a date night.

Toni Collette in Hereditary

Many great films have a high degree of rewatchability.

We all have those films that we can experience over and over without growing tired of them. A two-and-a-half hour violent crime drama such as The Departed can be just as critically acclaimed and rewatchable as an uplifting story about survival and hope like Slumdog Millionaire.

That being said, there are many great films that you're glad you saw, but you never want to see again. These films lack a rewatchability factor due to their difficult subject matter, gruesome images, or long run-times. Twitter user Rose Matafeo posed this question on her timeline: "What is the best film that you never want to see again? or at least for a very long time?"

Here are our picks.

Schindler's List

Schindler's List (1993) Official Trailer - Liam Neeson, Steven Spielberg Movie

Schindler's List is a film with a devastating premise, and is absolutely a piece of art that everyone should see at least once. Schindler's List tells the story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who saves over a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust. It's a graphic and disturbing look at the Holocaust and it's not for the faint of heart. The film includes brutal executions and severe mistreatment of innocent bystanders. That being said, Schindler's List is a masterpiece and is absolutely worth your time.


Room | Official Trailer HD |

Make sure a box of tissues are nearby when watching Room. The 2015 drama stars Brie Larson as "Ma," a woman who has been held captive in a tiny shed for seven years. She lives with and raises her 5-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who has never been outside the shed he calls "room." The first half of Room is so emotionally traumatizing and exhausting that it's hard to watch. Though the ending is uplifting, the emotional roller coaster you have to ride to get there won't leave you eager to see it again.


Hereditary | Official Trailer HD |

Hereditary is the type of movie that messes with your mind. It has so many WTF moments that its guaranteed to leave you speechless. The basic synopsis revolves around Annie Graham (Toni Collette) and her family as a mysterious presence begins to haunt them after a death in the family. Hereditary is a brilliant horror film that can mess with your overall well-being if consumed multiple times.

Requiem for a Dream

Requiem For A Dream -

If Requiem for a Dream is your favorite movie, then god bless your stomach tolerance for gruesome images. Requiem for a Dream exhibits how drug addiction negatively effects the lives of four characters. Their respective heroin addictions make them delusional and desperate until the point where they completely unravel. The strong imagery is memorable and powerful, but often difficult to endure. It's the definition of a "tough watch."

The Road

The Road (2009) Official Trailer #1 - Viggo Mortensen Movie

If The Road becomes an accurate portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world, then all hope may be lost for the future. The Road stars Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as a father and son trying to navigate across a desolate America after an extinction event. It's well acted and fully captures how catastrophic events can not only crush one's morale, but instill fear in generations to come. But its also slow at times, depressing, and bleak, meaning its not exactly something you want to put on for a casual movie night.


Why "Crawl" Is a Better Summer Horror Movie than "Midsommar"

How is a horror movie about alligators better than Ari Aster's latest hit?

Paramount Pictures

Summer 2019's movie line-up has been seriously lacking, to put it nicely.

While endless sequels and prequels and reboots may be fine for getting butts in seats, it feels like we've been watching the same few movies again and again and again. This can be said for almost every genre currently hitting the big screen—except for horror. Yes, there's a lot of horror franchise shlock, too (Annabelle Gets a Boyfriend, or whatever it's called, stands in testament to that). But horror is also the only genre that's currently propping up fresh voices with visions of filmmaking that go beyond "and then we do a sequel."

This summer, two horror features in particular have stood out. The first is Midsommar, director Ari Aster's new movie, which came out hot on the heels of his terrifying 2018 debut, Hereditary. Midsommar is a folklore-steeped horror story centering on the interplay between personal trauma and cult rituals. The second is Alexandre Aja's Crawl, which is about a girl trying to escape a basement inhabited by two alligators. That's basically the whole plot.


It might seem strange to compare Midsommar to Crawl. At face-value, the two movies don't seem to have much in common besides their genres. One is a cerebral, imagery-laden, thematically dense, arthouse-oriented horror film. The other is just a movie about trying to get away from a gator. But both Aster and Aji direct their movies to a T, using everything in their wheelhouses to fulfill their visions and evoke the most tension possible in their audiences. And through this fundamental element of tension, by which horror movies live or die, Aji succeeds where Aster fails.

Midsommar is almost definitely the better film from a technical standpoint. The plot follows a group of American friends (mostly anthropology grad students) as they participate in a midsummer festival held by a cult-like Swedish commune. While he never outright explains their beliefs, Aster fills his sets with art and folklore and visual flourishes, all of which bring the commune to life. It feels like a real place where real Swedish cult-members live and operate according to established rules which, while unclear to us, are very clear to them.

At the same time, the world building in Midsommar overshadows a lot of the tension. For viewers, hints of the cult's more depraved rituals stand out amongst their artworks, so we understand early on that the cult is going to perform gruesome acts. Watching these acts, while certainly visually disturbing, loses a good deal of impact without the element of surprise. The situations on display are definitely tense for the characters involved, but the tension for the audience never feels strong enough.

This lack of tension, coupled with the protagonist's lackluster arc, results in a visually fascinating, incredibly well-acted movie that ultimate fails to resonate beyond its imagery.

crawl movieCrawlParamount Pictures

Like Midsommar, Crawl lays almost all of its cards on the table upfront. There's a huge hurricane in Florida. A college girl on swim team scholarship (her swimming ability is important) is trapped in a basement with her injured father. Two decent-sized gators block their way out, and the basement is slowly flooding. The premise is simple. The pieces are obvious. And yet, unlike Midsommar, we never really know what's going to happen.

It's hard to call Crawl a "good movie." The acting is serviceable, but the script's emotional beats are almost laughable. We don't even necessarily care about the characters. Still, Crawl feels relentless. Aji uses close-up shots of his characters to limit the scope of visibility. It may not sound like much, but knowing an alligator is in the room and capable of striking at any time creates a genuine, pervasive sense of dread. The gators don't need to be giant and smart or supernatural. They just need to be there.

As Crawl goes on, the tension only heightens. One bad situation leads to another, and as the water levels rise, it becomes clear that escaping the basement isn't enough. It's an incredible example of a simple horror premise that never deviates further than is necessary, but is executed with the exact level of precision necessary to make it tick.

Even though some of Crawl's thematic elements fall flat, it doesn't need them to succeed in the same way Midsommar does. Crawl's simplicity is scary enough on its own. Midsommar is certainly more ambitious, but that doesn't make it scarier and, arguably, it doesn't succeed at what it sets out to do nearly as well as Crawl. So unless a horror movie can skate by on horrific imagery alone, Crawl reigns supreme as the best horror movie of summer 2019.


BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN | Women are taking over the heist game

JUNE 8TH-10TH | What's Coming to Theaters this Weekend?

A documentary, a horror picture, and some girl power are available for your enjoyment this weekend.

In Popdust's column, Box Office Breakdown, we aim to inform you of the top flicks to check out every weekend depending on what you're in the mood to enjoy. Looking to laugh? What about having your pants scared off? Maybe you just need a little love? Whatever the case may be, we have you covered. Take a peek at our top picks for this week…

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