Organize Your Halloween Movies By Decades Of Nostalgia

Even if you really hate getting scared, you owe it to yourself to watch a scary movie on Halloween.

Now, whether the deepest cut you’ll indulge is The Nightmare Before Christmas or you consider Cannibal Holocaust child’s play, it’s your own prerogative to approach Halloween with varying levels of horror intensity. But even with that out of the way, there are still so many great horror movies to choose from that we’ve decided to make this year’s horror movie guide a bit more specific. In the age of Mad Men and Midnight in Paris, with false nostalgia serving as a comfort at every turn, we all have affinities for particular periods in popular culture. As such, here’s four decades worth of horror movie recommendations to curb your latest nostalgic impulses.

60′s Picks

Night of the Living Dead

In terms of both politics and genre, this is one of the most influential films ever made. It’s always great when a movie can be definitive in its advocacy of civil rights as well as its zombie lure and mythology. Read more…


The New York Film Festival Is Really Nice, Except For When It Isn’t

On paper, everything about the 51st New York Film Festival was ideal. The film selection itself was top notch, as the festival opened on a shot of pure, socially conscious adrenaline in the form of Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips and came in for a gentle landing with Spike Jonze’s emotionally devastating satire of modern romance, Her. Alice Tully Hall, which played the bulk of the festival’s selections, is a gorgeous venue, and one of the absolute nicest places to see a film in the city. Even the festival bar was well stocked with delicious vanilla bourbon cocktails and ornate, wonderful dessert treats. This should have been a phenomenal environment to experience the finest of contemporary and repertory world cinema, as it was, with one unfortunately irksome hiccup.

To be blunt, these crowds sucked.

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So, About That Breaking Bad Finale

There’s a fine art to obliquity. It just happens to be one that Breaking Bad has never been particularly interested in.

That’s not to say that the show is without nuance on any level, particularly a thematic one. However, for a series so interested in the moral ambiguity of right and wrong, black and white (and Gray), and the thousand tenuous justifications that lead from good to bad, it’s always operated on deeply visceral structural logic akin to the storytelling of a comic book. You watch Breaking Bad to see how consequences literalize on an operatic scale. It’s the only way to tell the story of one man going from Mr. Chips to Scarface. And it was the only way to end the series, with such satisfying, earned tidiness. To dip into hyperbole, as is the impulse in such moments, this was a finale that cemented the show’s legacy as perhaps the greatest ever.

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Prisoners Is Great, But Is It Held Captive By Oscar Season?

If you spent this weekend watching a terse, angry man in a beard and flannel fight for his soul in low lighting and confined spaces, you didn’t have to be at a Hipster Warehouse Party. Rather, that description also accounts for much of what takes place in the new film Prisoners, and if previous summation didn’t make it clear enough, this is a movie that confidently announces the arrival of Oscar season.

Yet despite its award season trappings, many of Prisoners’ pleasures are refreshingly pulpier in nature. As a thriller, it’s consistently and unrelentingly tense, and the film’s producers undoubtedly hope it’ll follow in the footsteps of previous, similar Academy favorites like Mystic River and Silence of the Lambs. All the same though, the film’s release is indicative of a more frustrating trend, where well-crafted adult dramas are quarantined between the months of September and December.

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All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, And Now You Finally Can Too

Following the commercial and critical successes of director Jonathan Levine’s last two films – 50/50 and Warm Bodies – his latest release, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, can’t help but feel like a step down in scale. The truth of the matter is though, Levine hasn’t stepped anything down at all for Mandy Lane, which is now available on iTunes and hits the Angelika on October 11th. The low budget horror comedy is actually Levine’s debut feature – finally hitting video-on-demand platforms and American multiplex screens some seven years after its Toronto debut, and nearly a decade in distribution limbo.

Though it’s a shame that it’s taken this long, that’s damn good news for both audiences and the careers of all involved. Because All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is easily the most intelligent, engrossing, and inventively wry slasher flick since Wes Craven threw a Ghostface mask on Skeet Ulrich in the original Scream.

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Celebrity Guest Directors And The TV Shows That We Want Them To Direct

There are way too many great TV shows on the air right now, and just when we were already drowning in content, we get news like the announcement that Jodie Foster is directing an episode of the upcoming season of House of Cards.

Now, this isn’t to say that we weren’t already on the Francis Underwood bandwagon (Team Peter Russo forever), but throwing Jodie Foster into the mix made us realize something important: No matter how much we already like TV, we can always get more excited about a show – even one that we don’t already watch – with the addition of a crazy celebrity guest director. Accordingly, we’ve decided to rack our brains for the most entertaining parings in such a vein. Until them, tell Jodie Foster to say “Happy Father’s Day” for us, Spacey style.

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NYU Local’s Fall Movie Preview, Organized by Accents

Nothing says “Oscar season” like attention grabbing performance tics. Of course, when you can’t dramatically alter your face with prosthetics or play a nobly assassinated historical figure, things tend to get trickier. However, there’s always a fail safe – whip out a wild card of an accent. As such, we’ve decided to focus this year’s fall movie preview around the excitingly crazy movie accents of the season. Granted, this means our scope is relatively limited this year, but as much as we’re dying to see Gravity and Her, digging into the sea of eccentric accents that will subsequently populate this fall’s market of movies is equally irresistible.

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It’s Definitely Gatsby, It’s Just That The “Great” Part Is Debatable

It isn’t all that surprising that Baz Luhrmann’s expectedly gaudy, confetti-laden 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby is most entertaining when it least resembles The Great Gatsby. Yet what is rather stunning – considering the prominence of Luhrmann’s maximalist, modern stylization at work (get out ya seat, Hov) – is just what a literal adaptation this is.

No, it’s not enough for Tobey Maguire (increasingly endearing as the film goes on, but nevertheless out of place) to read large swaths of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s prose as part of a clunky framing device; those words literally pop out in front of the green light, and dissolve over the audience in three glorious dimensions. For a movie so dedicated to translating Fitzgerald’s depictions of decadence word by literal word, it goes very far out of its way to miss the point.

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Books We Read In High School That Actually Made For Good Movie Adaptations

The Great Gatsby finally hits theaters today, presumably leaving behind a trail of 3D confetti explosions and Jay-Z-approved companion albums in its wake. However, while word so far is decidedly split on Baz Luhrmann’s ultra ostentatious adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, the relentless hype around the film’s release has served as a nice reminder that there are other books that we were forced to read in high school and really enjoyed, and a few of those have even had (at least partial) justice done on the big screen. Here’s a gathering of those titles that actually managed to capture what made their source material so special back in the awkward days of 9th Grade lit class.

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Iron Man 3 Is The Best Marvel Movie Yet Because It Doesn’t Feel Like A Marvel Movie

The first Iron Man was such a shot in the arm because it was a comic book movie that felt like it wasn’t beholden to the tropes of comic book movies. Anchored by a magnetic lead performance from a freshly sober Robert Downey Jr., this was a hedonistic superhero with more in common with James Bond than a spandex-clad do-gooder. Of course, this went on to be the cornerstone film for what would ultimately be the biggest superhero movie ever, and one dismal direct sequel later, it seemed as though Tony Stark might be headed towards well-worn superhero territory.

However, despite what the self-serious initial trailers might suggest, Iron Man 3 has a major secret weapon at its disposal – writer/director Shane Black, who previously created the Lethal Weapon series, gave Downey his comeback vehicle in the immensely enjoyable/underrated Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and is generally responsible for some of the best pithy action movie dialogue ever written. And in Black’s hands, Iron Man 3 feels like a lost 80s action movie that happens to prominently feature a guy in a tricked out armor suit.

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