Archive for the Ghosts Category


Posted in Festivals, Ghosts, Goth, Interviews, Movies, Sex with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2018 by darklordbunnykins


Everyone loves a good Gothic ghost story, especially one drenched in murder, dread, and the promise of deviant sex. The Lodgers delivers all these things, but director Brian O’Malley’s follow-up to the gory Let Us Prey is a far different if no less horrifying beast.

The setting is post-WWII rural Ireland. Charlotte Vega ([REC] 3: Genesis) stars as Rachel, a young woman living alone with her twin brother Edward (Bill Milner) in their decaying childhood home. The siblings, whose parents died years earlier, are cursed to stay in the house or suffer a terrible fate at the spectral hands of unseen beings. This terrifying childhood idyll is about to be shattered by the onset of adulthood, and Rachel’s diffident attraction to Sean (Eugene Simon, Game of Thrones), a newly-returned and wounded vet.

The DLB spoke with screenwriter David Turpin about The Lodgers during the film’s world premiere at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

On the origin of the script:

It was a game I played with myself as a child. We lived in a flat upstairs and there was another flat below us, and I used to imagine beings coming out of the lower part of the house while we were asleep. So that idea was always buzzing around in my mind from I guess when I was 5 or 6 years old.

rachel and bermingham

On the influence of Jean Cocteau’s 1929 novel Les Enfants Terrible (The Holy Terrors), also about isolated siblings whose bond is shattered by the pressures of adolescence:

And then I thought if you take that kind of weird sibling relationship and then you planted that within a Shirley Jackson world or a Turn of the Screw; you took that weird psychosexual thing, and you used the horror as a way of heightening it and sort of exploding it out.


On Shirley Jackson:

I love the eerieness she creates, the sense of evil, sometimes in the banal. I find her quite fascinating.

edward floor

The house as character as a trope in horror and Gothic literature:

When I was writing I was always visualizing the artist Edward Gorey. His designs for Dracula; those kinds of cavernous spaces, interiors that look like they’ve been burned down and people have continued living in them. I was thinking of those kinds of eerie, decrepit spaces.

I was also thinking of Shirley Jackson and Hill House and the house as a kind of organic beast. I was thinking of all the great dilapidated houses, like the one in Edward Scissorhands with the huge hole in the roof. All these wonderful places. The House of Usher.


On the haunted estate of Loftus Hall where much filming took place:

It seemed to pretty much perfectly capture what was on the page and also bring more to it. Because when you’re writing a script you don’t know how many sets you’re going to have, you don’t know basically what you’re going to be able to afford. How ambitious can your production design be?

There was a great production designer, Joe Fallover, who worked on it. But the house itself was such a gift because it came so close to what I imagined, even before Joe came in and added all his design to it.

rachel edward

On twins:

The idea of someone who is you but isn’t you, it’s such a fascinating idea. You have all these great doppelgangers in Gothic literature and in film. There’s just something so incredibly uncanny about seeing yourself in another person. I always find it uncanny when I meet the children or parents of a friend of mine; you can see the genetic resemblance moving through the generations, and twins are the most extreme example of that.

One of the things I think horror helps us to do is explore very troubling psychological states; especially sexual things are very hard for us to talk about. And twins are a great way of exploring conflict within one’s self. The feeling that we all have of being torn, of being ambivalent or suspended between two different things; wanting something but needing something else; loving but hating something at the same time. And twins, because it’s two people, you can really visualize that. What the film is really about is these two young people are coming of age at the same time, they’re both at the beginning of sexual adulthood. One of them is able to process it and move forward, one of them is not able to process it, and is destroyed by it. I think everyone encounters a moment in their lives when they could go either way. And the great thing about the twins is they allow us to show both ways simultaneously.

rachel in bed

On the film’s deviant sexuality:

The gothic is a way to enter the taboo. And they’re not taboo just because they’re wrong; they’re taboo and they’re wrong and we want to know what it feels like. The gothic allows us to step into the unacceptable and live the unacceptable.

Those ideas of warped or wrong sexuality… I love the original Cat People, which is a film about bestiality. Paul Schrader’s remake of Cat People touches on both bestiality and incest. Much of horror is about frightening us and exciting us. It’s also about creating a safe space to talk about things that are deeply troubling and about giving us a set of metaphors so that we can talk about things that we may not know how to express otherwise. It’s sort of like dreams in that way.”

 rachel in house

On the rules Rachel and Edward follow:

I’m very interested in folklore, folktales, and oftentimes they’ll involve quite a schematic idea, or in the way in a folktale they’ll be a repeated rhyme, like in Hansel & Gretel. And I wrote the words of the little song quite early in the writing of the film. And it just seemed to me that if you lived in this weird closed world where you were sealed off from everything else you would have a series of codes that you lived by that are very strict. And it became a metaphor for the idea of sexual rebellion and the idea that we are all kept in check by various rules, and we all need to transgress past those rules to know who we are. But at the same time society says, ‘Transgress past these rules and you will be destroyed.’ So becoming an adult is finding a way to transgress the rules just enough to be able to live and know yourself and not be destroyed.


On fate:

I guess the closest we come to [Edward in gothic fiction] is Roderick Usher. And I always loved in The Fall of the House of Usher the way though there’s a curse on the family, there’s some kind of security in that, in that it gives him a way of understanding the world. Like so many of us I don’t know what the world is about! I feel very lost a lot of the time. I think most people do. But Roderick Usher, and Edward in our story, they understand; they know what the world is about. It’s about this curse, it’s about this fate. They aren’t fluffing around in the breeze not knowing what to do. I guess it’s the way some people’s identity can be shaped by their victimization.

There’s also in the idea of fate and the curse; the transgression is so extreme that it can go down from generation to generation. And I think we’re all fascinated by those ideas of curses, and horror gives us a way to look at that. It’s so much part of human history, the feeling that one might be cursed because of what one’s ancestors had done. I teach a little bit of American gothic literature. The idea that America as a country is haunted because there is a horrible blood crime at the root of what America is. It’s fascinating, the idea that your crimes will return, and they’re so extreme that they’ll return for generations after you. You may not pay for your crimes, but eventually somebody on your side will.

The Lodgers opens in limited release in the US and on iTunes Feb. 23.


Posted in Devils, Ghosts, Interviews, Movies, Sequels, Supernatural with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by darklordbunnykins

nell screaming

The DLB had the chance to speak to The Last Exorcist Part II director Ed Gass-Donnelly last week in his hometown of Toronto about working with series star Ashley Bell, shooting in New Orleans, his vision for the franchise, and working with a low budget

First of all, tell me about New Orleans. Tell me about, obviously the typical thing is it’s a character in the movie, certainly Louisiana was very much a character in the first one, in terms of depression of Ashley’s character, Nell; talk about working there and New Orleans as a character in your film.

Well, the big thing for me is that you’ve got this girl in the first movie that has lived in such a repressed environment. Her father won’t even let her go to school and won’t let her listen to music that’s not Christian music, so I loved the idea of what would it be like for that girl to suddenly be…the movie starts with her sort of lost and feral in the woods, almost no memory of what happened, and then she gets put into a transitional home in New Orleans, so you go from like a cabin in the woods where you have no sense of culture, to suddenly being in the middle of Mardi Gras, and certainly what I love about horror movies is it a chance to explore bigger themes and ideas but in a very sort of pop culture environment, so to me this movie is sort of a metaphor for ultimately girls discovering their own voice and sexuality.

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Posted in Devils, Ghosts, Halloween, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Rue Morgue, Sequels, Supernatural, Witches with tags , , , , , , , on October 19, 2012 by darklordbunnykins



Starring Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively and Katie Featherston

Directed by Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost

Written by Christopher Landon



Rue Morgue Magazine received a lot of incredulous feedback when they published my review of the first Paranormal Activity film. I had written that it was the scariest filmgoing experience I had ever had; that was misinterpreted as “Paranormal Activity is the scariest movie ever made.”

It is true: the Paranormal Activity films are best experienced in a movie theatre, which is why Paramount uses night vision footage of screaming preview audiences to hype each new film.

So it will be interesting to see how audiences react to PA4. The guy to my left at last night’s screening was talking, checking his email and texting throughout, and said, “Thank God that’s over” at the end, while the four teen guys to my right were vocal about their enthusiasm for each set piece. (“Bitch got owned!” greeted the death of one character.)

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Posted in Books, Devils, Ghosts, Gore, Movies, Reviews, Supernatural, Thriller with tags , , , , , , on October 11, 2012 by darklordbunnykins


Starring Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, and Vincent D’Onofrio

Directed by Scott Derrickson

Written by Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill



How far would you go to secure your own legacy? That is the question at the heart of Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose writer-director Scott Derrickson’s return to horror after helming the underrated sci-fi remake The Day the Earth Stood Still.

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Posted in DVD, Fantasy, Ghosts, Interviews, Monsters, Movies, Supernatural, Thriller with tags , , , , , on July 17, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s follow-up film Intruders hits DVD/Blu-ray after receiving only a limited theatrical release this spring, and we recommend it to rent. The dark fantasy film stars Clive Owen (Closer) as a father whose daughter Mia is being terrorized at night by a figure in her room she calls Hollow Face. A parallel story shows a boy in Spain dealing with the same monster. There’s a connection we won’t give away, but figuring it out is half the fun.

I got the chance to talk to Fresnadillo about Intruders at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

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Posted in Devils, DVD, Ghosts, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Rue Morgue, Sex, Supernatural, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2012 by darklordbunnykins


Starring Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver and David Labiosa

Directed by Sidney J. Furie

Written by Frank De Felitta

Anchor Bay

Despite online chatter that an Entity remake is on the way (allegedly helmed by Ringu director Hideo Nakata), I find that hard to imagine. First, what studio is going to finance a movie about a malevolent spirit that repeatedly rapes the leading lady? Secondly, which actress would be brave enough to step into the shoes of the original’s star, Barbara Hershey? While not perfect by any means, the original Entity remains a disturbing film made in a bolder time, and a new version would likely be toothless by comparison.

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Posted in Eye Candy, Ghosts, Gore, Goth, Interviews, Movies, Supernatural, TV, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

The DLB spoke with actress Chloe Moretz recently in conjunction with the home video release of Hugo, her collaboration with Martin Scorsese. Of course we just had to ask about her role in Dark Shadows. Director Tim Burton’s much-anticipated movie version of the ’60s soap opera casts frequent Burton collaborator Johnny Depp as the cursed vampire Barnabas Collins, a role originated by recently deceased Canadian actor Jonathan Frid. Moretz plays Carolyn, the sullen teen daughter of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, played by Michelle Pfeiffer.


What was it like working with Tim Burton?

Working with Tim was such an experience. I don’t even know what to say because he’s probably been my dream, dream, dream director, along with Scorsese of course, to work with.

My mom and my brother didn’t actually tell me because they had called in and they had said that they wanted me for the movie, and of course my mom and my brother didn’t tell me in case it didn’t go through or something, and if it feel through I would be so devastated.

So they didn’t tell me, but after the deal went through my brother and I had landed in New York to do a photoshoot, I think, or something. And we had just landed, got off the plane, and [Moretz’s brother] Trevor received an email from my mom saying the deal’s gone through, oh my gosh, we’re so excited. It’s happening. Of course he turns to me as we’re docking the plane, and he goes, ‘So Chlo, what we were going to tell you is you’ve booked a Tim Burton film for Dark Shadows and it films in three months, and I was like ‘What!?’ I just started freaking out on the plane, and everyone was like ‘what is wrong with that girl?’ And I was like freaking out, like ‘oh my Gosh!’ And I freaked out so much that I actually left my iPad on the plane. It was a pretty special thing.

I’m in love with Tim and I’m in love with Johnny and Helena [Bonham Carter] and Michelle Pfeiffer and everyone. It’s a really special, special movie.