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Raised in Fear: POLTERGEIST and the Culture of Forgetting

Poltergeist is a film about the repressed traumas and anxieties underlying the American dream.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • April 4, 2013 12:14 PM
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The Bleak Spaces and Blank Faces of FARGO

When Fargo was released, I felt that my home state of Minnesota had finally been given its "Oresteia," its "Njal's Saga," its "Double Indemnity." Over the ensuing years, however, the popular image created by the Coen Brothers' regional epic has been a questionable inheritance.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • March 28, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Grimm Possibilities of MAMA

Though "Mama" does not ultimately succeed as a film, it does offer a set of rich possibilities for the creation of a modern fairy tale, one that, like those told once upon a time, faces the horrors of everyday life head on, also recognizing the power of fantasy to make imaginative sense of those horrors.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • January 21, 2013 8:30 AM
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Raised in Fear: Horror Films as Schoolyard Lore

All I really need to know about fear I learned in elementary school.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • January 17, 2013 8:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Raised in Fear: The Shining as R-Rated Christmas Ghost Story

Stanley Kubrick’s "The Shining" is not generally considered a family picture, but it is certainly one of the most brutally honest films ever made about the nature of family relationships. I discovered this when seeing the film for the first time with my father when I was fourteen.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • December 20, 2012 8:31 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Raised in Fear: Obsolete Technology, Retro-Futurism, Ultra-Violence, and Stanley Kubrick

I have always been drawn to visions of the future, but little did I know what brutal images were held on the Beta videocassette of Stanley Kubrick’s "A Clockwork Orange" I rented at the tender age of ten.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • December 11, 2012 8:34 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Screaming Hides the Sound: John Carpenter’s Death Disco

The year after John Carpenter’s "Halloween" left its indelible mark on future developments in film and music, a stadium full of baseball fans would vent their misdirected hatred on a pile of disco records. If this was 1979’s version of 1969’s Altamont, clearly Marx was right when he said that history repeated itself as farce.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • November 9, 2012 8:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
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RAISED IN FEAR: Frankenstein, Dracula, and Other Supernannies

Most responsible parents will tell you that using the television as a surrogate nanny is bad for kids, but my own experience as a child would argue against this. My parents were wise enough to know that there were some places in the child mind that parents shouldn't go, and the only reliable guides were creatures of the night.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • October 31, 2012 8:02 AM
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  • 2 Comments

SCREAMING HIDES THE SOUND, PART 2: THE WICKER MAN, The Pagan-Horror-Folk-Rock Musical

Many seemingly healthy people are terrified of folk music, which makes it not surprising that one of the most innovative and hauntingly effective soundtracks in the history of horror films is essentially a collection of folk songs.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • October 17, 2012 8:50 AM
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SCREAMING HIDES THE SOUND, Part 1: The Resurrection of Fabio Frizzi

If you had your windows open on the sultry evening of August 7, you may have heard a series of distant screams.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • October 4, 2012 9:20 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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