In addition to Steven King and Jordan Peele, we talk with Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins about how he humanized Hannibal Lecter, the oh-so-sophisticated cannibal of The Silence of the Lambs. And Carrie star Sissy Spacek remembers sneaking into the theaters in New York City to watch audiences jump at the sight of her hand stretching up from the grave at the end of that film. Plus, we hear from actor Mercedes McCambridge, who voiced the devil in The Exorcist; George Romero, who directed Night of the Living Dead; and Kathy Bates, who starred in the 1990 film Misery.
Whether you go to see it now or wait until it begins streaming, A Quiet Place Part II is likely to make you a little jumpy. It doesn't have the same claustrophobic intensity as its predecessor, but it's just as taut, suspenseful and beautifully made.
The HBO series Lovecraft Country takes the real horrors of the Black experience in the 1950s and adds to it the supernatural terrors of the horror genre. Series creator Misha Green says she sees the show — and the novel by Matt Ruff upon which it is based — as a chance to reclaim "the genre space for people of color and for people who had usually been left out of it."
The new film, Get Out, defies easy classification. Though it has funny moments, it's primarily a horror film, with racial anxiety at its center. Writer-director Jordan Peele tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he thinks of Get Out as a "social thriller."
Pedro Almodovar's ensemble comedy I'm So Excited is set on an airplane with mechanical problems. Neil Jordan's Byzantium centers on a pair of itinerant English vampires. The two films couldn't be more different, but the two filmmakers are very much in command of their craft.
In an age of werewolves, hormonal vampires and endless sequels, horror movies have lost some edge. But Mama, starring Jessica Chastain, is an entertaining step in the right — which is to say backward — direction.
On its 50th anniversary, Robert Aldrich's classic horror film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? has just been released on Blu-ray. Though it's far from a musical, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says its musical elements are crucial to the film.
Rosemary's Baby, Night of the Living Dead and Targets all came out in 1968. Theater critic Jason Zinoman says the three films redefined Hollywood horror in the aftermath of the Vietnam War — and influenced the genre for the next several decades.
The less you know about the unnerving thrillers Source Code and Insidious the better, says critic David Edelstein. But only one of the two films "has so much emotional heft that it never loses that exhilarating jitter."
Vincenzo Natali's sci-fi thriller stars Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley as two scientists who splice genes together to create new animals. But when they add human DNA to the mix, they get a new creature that develops into a deadly chimera. Critic David Edelstein says the film combines a "high-tech Frankenstein" with "a freaky vein of low-tech Gothic psychodrama."
In Let the Right One In, Eli and Oskar are both lonely 12-year-olds — but one of them happens to be a vampire. Critic-at-large John Powers calls the Swedish film "the best vampire movie in the last 75 years."