Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror works

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Selected horror works

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Selected works lists

Horror

Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/1 Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a 1982 American horror film and the third installment in the Halloween series. Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace and starring Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin and Dan O'Herlihy, the film is based on an original screenplay by Nigel Kneale and focuses on an evil scheme by the owner of a mask company to kill the children of America on Halloween night through a series of popular Halloween masks: a witch, a jack-o'-lantern, and a skull.

Season of the Witch is unrelated to the previous films featuring the character Michael Myers, and was intended to begin Halloween as an anthology series, releasing a new Halloween storyline every year. The only connection this movie has with the others in the series is a scene where the trailer for Carpenter's original 1978 Halloween is airing on a TV. Besides wholly abandoning the Michael Myers plotline, Halloween III departs from the slasher film genre which the original Halloween spawned. The focus on a psychopathic killer is replaced by a "mad scientist and witchcraft" theme.

Produced on a budget of $2.5 million, Halloween III grossed $14.4 million at the box office in the United States. In addition to relatively weak box office returns, most critics gave the film negative reviews. Where Halloween had broken new ground and was imitated by many genre films following in its wake, this third installment seemed hackneyed to many. One critic twenty years later suggests that if Halloween III was not part of the Halloween series, then it would simply be "a fairly nondescript eighties horror flick, no worse and no better than many others."

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/2 BioShock is a first-person shooter video game developed by 2K Boston/2K Australia—previously known as Irrational Games—designed by Ken Levine. It was released for the Windows operating system and Xbox 360 video game console on 21 August 2007 in North America, and three days later in Europe and Australia. A PlayStation 3 version of the game, which was developed by 2K Marin, was released internationally on 17 October 2008 and in North America on 21 October 2008 with some additional features. The game was also released for the Mac OS X operating system on October 7, 2009. A version of the game for mobile platforms is currently being developed by IG Fun. A sequel, BioShock 2, is scheduled for release on February 9, 2010.

Set in an alternate history 1960, the game places the player in the role of a plane crash survivor named Jack, who must explore the underwater city of Rapture, and survive attacks by the mutated beings and mechanical drones that populate it. The game incorporates elements found in role-playing and survival games, and is described by the developers and Levine as a "spiritual successor" to their previous titles in the System Shock series.

The game received overwhelmingly positive reviews, being particularly well-reviewed in the mainstream press, which praised its "morality-based" storyline, immersive environment and Ayn Rand-inspired dystopian back-story.

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/3 Bride of Frankenstein (advertised as The Bride of Frankenstein) is a 1935 American horror film, the first sequel to the influential Frankenstein (1931). Bride of Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and stars Boris Karloff as The Monster, Elsa Lanchester in the dual role of his mate and Mary Shelley, Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein, and Ernest Thesiger as Doctor Septimus Pretorius.

The film follows on immediately from the events of the first film, and is rooted in a subplot of the original novel, Frankenstein (1818). In the film, a chastened Henry Frankenstein abandons his plans to create life, only to be tempted and finally coerced by the Monster, encouraged by Henry's old mentor Dr Pretorius, into constructing a mate for him. The Bride rejects the Monster however, resulting in her death, that of Pretorius, and apparently the Monster's own death, when he destroys Henry's laboratory.

Preparation began shortly after the first film premiered, but script problems delayed the project. Principal photography started in January 1935, with creative personnel from the original returning in front of and behind the camera. Bride of Frankenstein was released to critical and popular acclaim, although it encountered difficulties with some state and national censorship boards. Since its release the film's reputation has grown, and it is hailed as Whale's masterpiece. Modern film scholars, noting Whale's homosexuality and that of others involved in the production, have found a gay sensibility in the film, although a number of Whale's associates have dismissed the idea.

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/4 Cannibal Holocaust (1980) is a controversial exploitation film directed by Ruggero Deodato from a screenplay by Gianfranco Clerici. Filmed in the Amazon Rainforest, the movie tells the story of four documentarians who journey deep into the jungle to film indigenous tribes. Two months later, after they fail to return, famous anthropologist Harold Monroe travels on a rescue mission to find the group. Eventually, he recovers and views their lost cans of film, which reveal the missing filmmakers' fate. The film stars Robert Kerman as Monroe, Carl Gabriel Yorke as director Alan Yates, Francesca Ciardi as Alan's girlfriend Faye, Perry Pirkanen as cameraman Jack Anders, and Luca Barbareschi as fellow cameraman Mark Tomaso.

Cannibal Holocaust is a well known exploitation film because of the controversy following its release. After premiering in Italy, the film was seized by a local magistrate, and Deodato was arrested on obscenity charges. He was later accused of making a snuff film due to rumors which claimed that certain actors were killed on camera. Although Deodato was later cleared of these charges, the film was banned in Italy, the UK, Australia, and several other countries due to its graphic depiction of gore, sexual violence, and the inclusion of six genuine animal deaths. Many nations have since revoked the ban, yet the film is still barred in several countries. This notoriety notwithstanding, some critics view Cannibal Holocaust as a social commentary about civilized society.

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/5

Theatrical release poster
Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 independent black-and-white zombie film directed by George A. Romero. Ben (Duane Jones) and Barbra (Judith O'Dea) are the protagonists of a story about the mysterious reanimation of the recently dead, and their efforts, along with five other people, to survive the night while trapped in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse.

George Romero completed the film on a USD$114,000 budget, and after a decade of cinematic re-releases, it grossed some $12 million domestically and $30 million internationally. On its release in 1968, Night of the Living Dead was strongly criticized for its explicit content. However, in 1999, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as a film deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".

Night of the Living Dead was cited by many as being a groundbreaking film; given its release during the Vietnam-era, due to perceived critiques of 1960s American society, historian Adam Rockoff described it as "subversive on many levels". Although it is not the first zombie film, Night of the Living Dead is the progenitor of the contemporary 'zombie apocalypse' sub-genre of horror film, and it influenced the modern pop-culture zombie archetype. Night of the Living Dead (1968), is the first of six Dead films directed by George Romero, and twice has been remade, as a film of the same name in 1990, directed by Tom Savini, and as Night of the Living Dead 3D in 2006.

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/6

Original 1927 quad poster
The Cat and the Canary (1927) is an American silent horror film adaptation of John Willard's 1922 black comedy play of the same name. Directed by German Expressionist filmmaker Paul Leni, the film stars Laura La Plante as Annabelle West, Forrest Stanley as Charles "Charlie" Wilder, and Creighton Hale as Paul Jones. The plot revolves around the death of Cyrus West, who is Annabelle, Charlie, and Paul's uncle, and the reading of his will 20 years later. Annabelle inherits her uncle's fortune, but when she and her family spend the night in his haunted mansion they are stalked by a mysterious figure. Meanwhile, a lunatic known as "the Cat" escapes from an asylum and hides in the mansion.

The Cat and the Canary is part of a genre of comedy horror films inspired by 1920s Broadway stage plays. Paul Leni's adaptation of Willard's play blended expressionism with humor, a style Leni was notable for and critics recognized as unique. Leni's style of directing made The Cat and the Canary influential in the "old dark house" genre of films popular from the 1930s through the 1950s. The film was one of Universal's early horror productions and is considered "the cornerstone of Universal's school of horror." It has been remade five times, with the most notable starring comedic actor Bob Hope.

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/7 The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes, also known as The Simpsons Halloween episodes, are a series of episodes in the animated series The Simpsons. They are Halloween specials, each consisting of three separate, self-contained segments. These segments usually involve the Simpson family in some horror, science fiction, or supernatural setting. They take place outside the show's normal continuity and completely abandon any pretense of being realistic. The first, entitled "Treehouse of Horror", aired on October 25, 1990, as part of the second season and was inspired by EC Comics horror tales. The episodes are known for being far more violent and much darker than an average Simpsons episode. As of 2009, there are 20 Treehouse of Horror episodes, with one airing every year, and the newest episode, "Treehouse of Horror XX", premiered on October 18, 2009.

Episodes contain several trademarks, including the alien characters Kang and Kodos, "scary names" in the credits, a special version of the opening sequence, and parodies of horror, science fiction and fantasy films. The show's staff regard the Treehouse of Horror as being particularly difficult to produce as the scripts often go through many rewrites, and the animators typically have to design new characters and backgrounds.

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/8 The Historian is the 2005 debut novel of American author Elizabeth Kostova. The plot blends the history and folklore of Vlad Ţepeş and his fictional equivalent Count Dracula. Kostova's father told her stories about Dracula when she was a child, and later in life she was inspired to turn the experience into a novel. She worked on the book for ten years and then sold it within a few months to Little, Brown, and Company, which bought it for a remarkable US$2 million.

The Historian has been described as a combination of genres, including Gothic novel, adventure novel, detective fiction, travelogue, postmodern historical novel, epistolary epic, and historical thriller. Kostova was intent on writing a serious work of literature and saw herself as an inheritor of the Victorian style. Although based on Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Historian is not a horror novel, but rather an eerie tale. It is concerned with history's role in society and representation in books, as well as the nature of good and evil. As Kostova explains, "Dracula is a metaphor for the evil that is so hard to undo in history." The evils brought about by religious conflict are a particular theme, and the novel explores the relationship between the Christian West and the Islamic East.

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/9 The Pit and the Pendulum is a 1961 horror film directed by Roger Corman, starring Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr, and Luana Anders. The screenplay by Richard Matheson was based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story of the same name. Set in 16th century Spain, the story is about a young Englishman who visits a forbidding castle to investigate his sister's mysterious death. After a series of horrific revelations, apparently ghostly appearances and violent deaths, the young man becomes strapped to the titular torture device by his lunatic brother-in-law during the film's climactic sequence.

The film was the second title in the popular series of Poe-based movies released by American International Pictures, the first having been Corman’s House of Usher released the previous year. Like House, the film features widescreen cinematography by Floyd Crosby, sets designed by art director Daniel Haller, and a film score composed by Les Baxter. A critical and box office hit, Pit's commercial success convinced AIP and Corman to continue adapting Poe stories for another six films, five of them starring Price. The series ended in 1965 with the release of The Tomb of Ligeia.

Film critic Tim Lucas and writer Ernesto Gastaldi have both noted the film’s strong influence on numerous subsequent Italian thrillers, from Mario Bava’s The Whip and the Body (1963) to Dario Argento’s Deep Red (1975). Stephen King has described one of Pit’s major shock sequences as being among the most important moments in the post-1960 horror film.

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/10 The Mummy is a 1999 American adventure film written and directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah and Kevin J. O'Connor, with Arnold Vosloo in the title role as the reanimated mummy. The film features substantial dialogue in ancient Egyptian language, spoken with the assistance of a professional Egyptologist. It is a loose remake of the 1932 film of the same name which starred Boris Karloff in the title role. Originally intended to be part of a low-budget horror series, the movie was eventually turned into a blockbuster adventure film.

Filming began in Marrakech, Morocco, on May 4, 1998, and lasted seventeen weeks; the crew had to endure dehydration, sandstorms, and snakes while filming in the Sahara. The visual effects were provided by Industrial Light & Magic, who blended film and computer-generated imagery to create the titular Mummy. Jerry Goldsmith provided the orchestral score.

The Mummy opened on May 7, 1999, and grossed $43 million in 3,210 theaters; the movie went on to gross $416 million worldwide. Reception to the film was mixed, with reviewers alternatively praising or complaining about the special effects, the slapstick nature of the story and characters, and the stereotyped villains. The box-office success led to a 2001 sequel, The Mummy Returns, as well as The Mummy: The Animated Series, and the prequel film The Scorpion King. Another sequel, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, opened on August 1, 2008. Universal Studios also opened a roller coaster, Revenge of the Mummy, in 2004. The movie and its sequel's novelizations were written by Max Allan Collins.

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/11 Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, known in Japan as Castlevania: Akatsuki no Menuett (キャッスルヴァニア ~暁月の円舞曲~ Kyassuruvania Akatsuki no Menuetto?, lit. "Castlevania: Minuet of Dawn"), is an action-adventure game developed and published by Konami for the Game Boy Advance. It is part of Konami's Castlevania video game series, and the third installment of the series on the Game Boy Advance. The game was released in North America on May 6, 2003 and released in Japan on May 8, 2003. Although Aria of Sorrow sold poorly in Japan, selling only 27,000 units nearly one month after its release, it was commercially successful in the United States, with more than 158,000 units sold three months following its release.

Aria of Sorrow is set in the year 2035, where Dracula has long been sealed away from a battle in 1999. His powers are to be passed on to his reincarnation. The plot follows the adventures of Soma Cruz, a high school student who is granted powers as a result of Dracula's death, and his battle against those who wish to acquire Dracula's powers.

Aria of Sorrow takes many elements from other Castlevania games, including Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, which was in production at the same time as Aria of Sorrow. The game incorporates the combination of elements from platform and role-playing video games that were initially utilized in the best-selling Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Aria of Sorrow introduces several new features to the series, such as the "Tactical Soul" system and a futuristic storyline, a contrast to the medieval setting of many other Castlevania games. Aria of Sorrow received praise from several video game publications, with many considering it one of the best games in the Castlevania series since Symphony of the Night.

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/12 Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, known in Japan as Akumajō Dracula: Sougetsu no Jūjika (悪魔城ドラキュラ 蒼月の十字架?, lit. "Devil's Castle Dracula: Cross of the Blue Moon"), is an action-adventure game developed and published by Konami. It is part of Konami's Castlevania video game series and the first Castlevania game to be released on the Nintendo DS. The game is the sequel to Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and incorporates many elements from its predecessor. Dawn of Sorrow was commercially successful, selling more than 15,000 units in its first week in Japan and 164,000 units in the United States three months after its initial release.

Dawn of Sorrow continues the story of Aria of Sorrow, in which Dracula has been completely defeated, and his powers assumed by his reincarnation, Soma Cruz. With the help of his allies, Soma avoids becoming the new dark lord. A cult forms to bring forth a new dark lord by killing Soma. Soma and his allies move to ensure that a new dark lord is not created.

Dawn of Sorrow incorporates many features from previous Castlevania games: the combination of elements from platform and role-playing video games, the "Tactical Soul" system featured in Aria of Sorrow, and a dark, gothic atmosphere. Dawn of Sorrow also introduces new gameplay elements, such as the "Magic Seal" system, which requires the use of the DS stylus to draw a pattern in order to defeat powerful enemies, a distinctive anime character design, and a multiplayer mode, where two players compete for fastest times on a prerendered level. The game received high scores from many video game publications, and was considered one of the best games on the Nintendo DS for 2005. The game was re-released in Japan on June 29, 2006 and later in North America during 2007 as part of the "Konami the Best" line.

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Portal:Speculative fiction/Selected horror work/13 Silent Hill 4: The Room is the fourth installment in the Konami Silent Hill survival horror series. The game was released in Japan in June 2004 and in North America and Europe in September of that same year. Silent Hill 4 was released for the Sony PlayStation 2 and the Microsoft Xbox consoles as well as the PC. A soundtrack release was also made at the same time.

Unlike the previous installments, which were set primarily in the disturbed town of Silent Hill, this game is set in the fictional town of South Ashfield, and is focused on the character of Henry Townshend attempting to escape from his locked-down apartment. He explores a series of supernatural worlds and finds himself in conflict with an undead serial killer.

Silent Hill 4 features an altered gameplay style with third-person navigation and plot elements taken from previous installments. Upon its release the game received a mixed critical reaction due to deviations from the original Silent Hill style.

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