10 PERFORMANCES THAT PROVE WOMEN RULED HORROR IN 2018!
Horror was one of the first genres to provide strong roles for women. From Gloria Holden as Dracula’s Daughter to Jamie Lee Curtis as quintessential final girl Laurie Strode, women have always played a very important part. 2018 was no different, as there were a number of strong performances from the ladies in a variety of leading roles. Thusly, here are ten equally awesome performances by women in horror that proved that the ladies ruled the genre in 2018!…
(Just click on the highlighted titles to go to our reviews of these films for a more detailed description of the performances listed!)
#3 NICOLE MUÑOZ as Leah in Pyewacket
#4 LAURIE HOLDEN as Mrs. Reyes in Pyewacket
#5 SCOUT TAYLOR-COMPTON as Alice in Feral
#6 TONI COLLETTE as Annie in Hereditary
#7 JAMIE LEE CURTIS as Laurie Strode in Halloween 2018
#8 TILDA SWINTON as Madame Blanc, Helena Markos and Dr. Josef Klemperer in SUSPIRIA 2018
#9 KATE SIEGEL as Theo Crain in The Haunting of Hill House
#10 DANA CHRISTINA as Allison in Extremity
MADELINE BREWER as Lola/Alice in Cam
Hit the link HERE for a similar listing from 2014. Another banner year for female performances! While you’re there, find out which of these amazing ladies here also made that list in 2014!
GERALD’S GAME (2017)
Gerald’s Game is a Netflix original film adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name that many felt was almost impossible to adapt. Along comes Hush and Oculus director Mike Flanagan to prove those naysayers wrong. Story finds Jessie (Carla Gugino) and husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) going up to a secluded lake house to put some spark back in their marriage. Gerald’s idea of turning up the heat is to handcuff Jessie to the bed. When his sex game gets a little too rough for Jessie, she protests and struggles and the ensuing argument…plus the effects of the Viagra Gerald took…gives the man a fatal heart attack. Now trapped by the bonds of the intended sex game, Jessie is unable to get free, left alone with only the manifestations of a panicking mind, haunting memories from her past and a hungry stray dog to keep her company.
Flanagan once again delivers one of the best horror films of the year, as well as, one of the best Stephen King adaptations. His script with Jeff Howard brilliantly comes up with a way to portray Jessie’s inner monologue by using a trick he used briefly in Hush, by having Gugino and Greenwood basically play different trains of thought going on in her head. It works tremendously in letting us know what is going on in Jessie’s frightened mind as her imprisonment drags on for days and she engages in conversation with herself and her dead husband, revealing her fears and the painful memories her current situation drags up. If the inner terror isn’t enough…and some of these dialogue bits are intense and disturbing…there is the hungry mutt who is snacking on Gerald and a ghoulish phantom figure Jessie keeps seeing at night, at least one of which being a very real threat. The result is a very terrifying and nail-biting story of a woman basically left by happenstance to die and what goes on in her head during the ordeal. If the film falters a little…and it’s only a little…is that the last ten minutes deviates a bit into the subject of Jessie’s possible creeper and it feels like it’s part of a different movie, despite being basically from the book. It still brings us to a satisfying conclusion, but just felt a little out of place when compared to the preceding 90 minutes, which was dark and gripping on an intimate scale, taking place up to that point in the Burlingame bedroom.
Flanagan may have indeed masterfully directed this tale of terror, but his success would not be without two Oscar caliber performances from leads Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood. Both actors play themselves and manifestations of Jessie’s fears and mental breakdown and as such these actors are superb. Gugino has always been a good actress and here she delivers one of the best performances of her career. As Jessie, she vividly portrays a woman harboring some dark memories and secrets which come bubbling to the surface as she left alone and helpless to a horrible fate. The actress is simply amazing as both Jessie and the manifestation of Jessie’s subconscious. The same could be said of Greenwood, who plays not only her husband, who has a bit of a dark side himself, but also the manifestations of Jessie’s fears and weaknesses. The two actors’ performances are unbelievably in-sync especially when playing off each other as conflicting patterns of thought in the terrified woman’s head. Fantastic work. There are some supporting actors as well, such as Henry Thomas and Hush‘s Kate Siegel as Jessie’s mom and dad in flashbacks and Carel Struycken as the phantom figure Jessie interprets as death coming to take her.
Mike Flanagan has yet to disappoint and here he delivers one of his strongest films yet. He and co-writer Jeff Howard have a script that borders on brilliant at times in it’s adapting of a story that many felt was impossible to adapt. The film is terrifying and disturbing and doesn’t pull punches or turn away from some of the more intense subject matter…and there is a bit of effective gore, too. The last few scenes may feel a bit out of place from the previous nail-biting sequences, but they remain faithful to King’s story and certainly don’t tarnish one of the best horror films of the year. The teaming of Flanagan and Netflix has produced two really top notch horror flicks and it makes one eagerly anticipate The Haunting of Hill House series Flanagan has upcoming on the network.
A solid 3 and 1/2 handcuffs.
Haley Bennett alone against a vicious cult in Kristy
MONSTERZERO NJ’S 12 RECENT HORRORS/THRILLERS WITH ASS-KICKING HEROINES!
Who doesn’t love a good final girl!? Most horror fans do! So, here are twelve recent horrors/thrillers where our heroines made an especially strong impact kicking the ass of evil!
Click on the titles here to go to the review page for the corresponding movie!
3.Bound To Vengeance
8.All I Need
Tina Ivlev turns the tables on female traffickers in Bound To Vengeance
MONSTERZERO NJ’S HALLOWEEN HOTTIE OF 2016…DANA DeLORENZO!
This newest installment of Halloween Hotties features our Halloween Hottie Of 2016, the beautiful and very talented Dana DeLorenzo (her hilarious and dead-on celebrity impressions can be seen here in her Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbuMPeuUZlM ), who easily earns this title by appearing in the hit horror/comedy series Ash vs. Evil Dead. Lorenzo plays Ash sidekick and kick-ass Deadite fighter Kelly Maxwell, whose smoldering intensity and sexy sarcasm makes it easy to see she was chosen this year. Kelly gets drawn into the Deadite drama when she comes to work with Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his bud Pablo (Ray Santiago) at the Value Stop, just as Ash foolishly releases the Deadite’s again. When the Evil Dead menace hits too close to home, Kelly vows to smash the ancient evil alongside her neighbor Pablo and our chainsaw-handed hero. The show premiered on October 31st, 2015, just after we announced last year’s winner Maika Monroe, and her work in the first season and the now in-progress season 2, by far earns the versatile Ohio-born actress the title Halloween Hottie Of 2016!
(Click on the highlighted links or on the show poster to read a review of the hit horror series that have earned Dana Halloween Hottie of 2016!)
with Dana DeLorenzo as sexy Deadite fighting sidekick, Kelly Maxwell!
Gotta love a Deadite fighting babe with attitude!
HALLOWEEN HOTTIE OF 2016 RUNNER UP, KATE SIEGAL!
This year, like last, I also have a runner-up who made a memorable impression. Kate Siegal portrayed quite a resourceful and strong-willed heroine as Maddie Young, a deaf writer whose secluded home in the woods comes under siege by a homicidal psychopath in Mike Flanagan’s intense suspense thriller Hush. The actress (who is also co-writer and Mrs. Flanagan) got our attention as her sexy girl-next-door Maddie tries to outwit her stronger and more well-armed opponent, even using her disability against him. Kate created an intelligent and resourceful character to root for and we definitely want to see more of this writer/actress in future fright flicks!…and she just appeared in a small role in her husband’s Ouija: Origin Of Evil!
And don’t forget to check out our previous Halloween Hotties including Addison Timlin, Melanie Papalia, Briana Evigan, Katrina Bowden, Alexandra Daddario, Katie Featherston, Katharine Isabelle, Amber Heard and Danielle Harris! (just click on their names to go to their pages or simply go to our Halloween Hotties main page!)
OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL (2016)
(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)
Flick is a prequel to the 2014 Ouija, a much criticized, but extremely successful teen centric horror. New chapter takes us back to 1967 and tells the story of Doris Zander (Lulu Wilson) who was the malevolent entity in the first installment. The story opens with pretty widow Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) who is trying to support her two daughters, nine year-old Doris and teen Lina (Annalise Basso), as a fraudulent fortune teller. Upon hearing Lina used a Ouija board at a party, Alice decides to add one to her act. This brings a presence into the house that fixates on Doris and claims to be her father. As they use the board more and more and Doris’ behavior starts to change, it appears something malevolent has entered their home…and Doris.
Origin of Evil is directed by Mike (Absentia, Hush, Oculus) Flanagan from a script he co-wrote with Oculus co-writer Jeff Howard. While it is an improvement over the silly but amusing original, it is Flanagan’s most routine and familiar movie yet. Perhaps having to follow-up an established property without alienating it’s core audience put restrictions on just how much the usually inventive writer/director could do with it, but aside from a few interesting touches, we get a story that is extremely familiar with an evil entity entering a home and targeting a child. The use of Mrs. Zander as a phony medium does work well and there was some nice depth to the characters, which is one of Flanagan’s strengths. It’s just that the core story has been done before and the film rarely gets scary because it’s all so familiar. Flanagan does deliver some spooky moments, but far fewer than in his previous films, which is surprising as spooky is something he does well. It’s the character drama that is more involving than the supernatural elements, which at least keeps our attention, if not slightly disappoints those looking for something with a far steadier scare factor for the Halloween season which it was released. His visual style is strong as always, but here he relies a bit too much on tired CGI creations that resemble every other PG-13 horror film manifestation thrown at teenagers today. It’s not a bad movie, just far too ‘been there, done that’ for a director who got our attention with some very original takes on his supernatural tales.
As with previous Flanagan flicks he gets strong work out of his cast. He is a director that works well with actors. Little Lulu Wilson is really good as Doris. She can be really creepy at times and very sweet and precocious at others. She is asked to handle a lot of strong material for a kid and does so very well. Elizabeth Reaser is solid as a loving mother just trying to provide for her daughters. She’s not trying to scam people, but sees her services as a way to help those suffering from loss. When Doris’ ouija use seems to be genuine, she jumps at the chance to do some real good. Annalise Basso is also very good as Doris’ caring teenage sister. She plays the character that was played by the incomparable Lin Shaye in the original and we see the journey that got her to that point and essayed very well by the young actress. There is also E.T.’s Henry Thomas all grown up and playing a widowed priest who is the principal at the girls’ Catholic school and has an interest in Alice. He obviously gets involved when it appears there is something sinister going on. The cast also features a small appearance in the opening sequence played by Hush star and co-writer Kate Siegal, who is also Mrs. Flanagan. A good cast that helps keep the flick interesting and our attention.
This wasn’t a bad flick just a surprisingly familiar one coming from Flanagan who has been very innovative with his use of traditional story elements, like in Hush. This movie could have used some of that thriller’s intensity as the scare level was fairly low and despite a more mature story than the first installment, we got a lot of elements that we have seen often and recently. Maybe picking up someone else’s franchise didn’t fit Flanagan all that well, or possibly having to follow up a previous film he wasn’t involved in, handcuffed him a bit. It passed the time, had a few spooky moments and was an improvement over it’s 2014 predecessor, but coming from one of the brightest new director’s to hit the genre in some time, it was a little bit of a disappointment.
Rated 3 (out of 4) planchettes as the solid cast earns some extra points.