Next Episode of Eli Roth's History of Horror is
Featuring A-list storytellers like Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino, Jordan Peele, Jason Blum, Robert Englund, Linda Blair, Tippi Hedren, Rob Zombie, Haley Joel Osment, Jack Black, John Landis, Jamie Lee Curtis and more, Eli Roth's History of Horror brings together the masters of horror - icons and stars who define the genre - to explore its biggest themes and reveal the inspirations and struggles behind its past and present. Each one-hour episode will take viewers on a chilling exploration of how horror has evolved through the eras and impacted society, as well as why loyal fans remain addicted to fear.
What's the downside of having psychic powers? The idea of being able to read minds or manipulate objects without moving a muscle is an attractive fantasy. But what if those powers showed you things you wished you hadn't seen? What if people wanted to exploit your gift for their own sinister ends? Worse than that: what if someone with psychic abilities turned their powers against you?
Movies about psychics play on the ego of our species - humans rose to the top thanks to their large, multilayered brains - but they also exploit our insecurities. We understand little about cognition and the nature of free will, and we know we're just a brain tumor away from radical personality shifts and psychotic behavior. The fear of psychic powers gone wrong is the fear of our own turbulent minds.
This episode features a wide range of psychic films made by superstar creators, including David Cronenberg's Scanners and The Dead Zone, Mike Flanagan's thrilling adaptation of Stephen King's Doctor Sleep, Brian DePalma's The Fury, Sam Raimi's The Gift, Peter Jackson's The Frighteners and Tim Burton's horror/comedy masterpiece Beetlejuice.
The bigger they come, the harder they fall. And when it comes to human civilizations, the modern world is as big and populous as it has ever been, so when the fall comes, it will be spectacular. The collapse of the Roman Empire was followed by roughly a thousand years of hard times for the human race. The collapse of the modern world will likely be even more traumatic.
But as history tells us and horror movies confirm, humans can survive just about anything, including world wars, global plagues, mass famines, and, maybe, a zombie apocalypse. The ones who make it through may be the horror fans who have absorbed the lessons taught by end-of-the-world spectaculars like World War Z, Train to Busan, Zombieland, War of the Worlds, I Am Legend, The Omega Man, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The World's End and The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
It started with Black Christmas. Bob Clark's groundbreaking slasher film took the then-shocking notion of setting a sorority bloodbath at Christmastime, offering a dark contrast to the joy of the holiday season. Halloween came a few years later, and its success spawned a slew of holiday-themed horror movies. The idea still catches fire every decade or so, retooled for new generations of viewers.
Why are these films so popular? It's partly because horror is the bad boy of cinema, always looking for ways to upset the status quo and topple sacred cows. To horror creators, the purity of a holiday is just waiting to be splashed with stage blood. But the deeper reason is that holidays are times when we gather with our families, and that can be joyful and painful. For some, the explicit violence of holiday-themed slasher films brings the angry undercurrents churning around the dinner table out into the open. For others, the shocking juxtaposition of a day of celebration with death and dismemberment is just another part of the play-acting thrill ride of moderated fear.
This episode features a deluxe sampler of holiday mayhem, including Black Christmas, Krampus, Silent Night Deadly Night, Terror Train, My Bloody Valentine, April Fool's Day, Happy Death Day and the blockbuster 2018 sequel to Halloween, featuring returning guest Jamie Lee Curtis.
The pursuit of knowledge can lead us down dark paths. Our quest to understand the workings of the universe has taken us from caves to cities, from the desert to the Moon. But it has also sickened our bodies and the planet, given us weapons of mass destruction and the surveillance state, and, most recently, created the poison candy of the Internet, which has completely disrupted how we live and how we think.
The justifiable fear that men and women of science will unleash even more powerful forces they can't or don't want to control is a favorite topic of horror films. That fear is embodied in the figure of the Mad Scientist, who tends to be either an amoral and egomaniacal villain or a noble explorer driven over the edge by the thirst for knowledge. But, like many cinematic monsters, mad scientists also appeal to our rebellious natures. For every unhinged Dr. Frankenstein there's a lusty Dr. Frank-N-Furter, happily challenging the boundaries of polite society.
Featuring: the many incarnations of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as Ex Machina, Eyes Without a Face, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Altered States and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
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