6 Shots From 6 Horror Films: 2011 — 2012

4 Or More Shots From 4 Or More Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, I’m going to be doing something a little bit different with my contribution to 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films.  I’m going to be taking a little chronological tour of the history of horror cinema, moving from decade to decade.

Today, we take a look at 2011 and 2012!

6 Shots From 6 Horror Films: 2011 — 2012

Insidious (2011, directed by James Wan, DP: John R. Leonetti)

The Whisperer in Darkness (2011, directed by Sean Branney)

Dracula 3D (2012, dir by Dario Argento, DP: Luciano Tovoli)

Sinister (2012, directed by Scott Derrickson, DP: Christopher Norr)

Silent House (2012, dir by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, DP: Igor Matrinovic)

The Cabin In The Woods (2012, dir by Drew Goddard, DP: Peter Deming)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Dracula 3D, Maniac, Silent House, Sinister

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 2012 Horror Films

Dracula 3D (2012, dir by Dario Argento)

Maniac (2012, dir by Franck Kahlfoun)

Silent House (2012, dir by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau)

Sinister (2012, directed by Scott Derrickson)

6 Trailers For 6 Films That Still Scare Lisa

I love horror movies but, unfortunately, many of them tend to get a bit less scary upon repeat viewings.  Once you already know where the vampire is going to be hiding or who the werewolf is going to attack next, it becomes a bit more difficult to fall under in the film’s chilling spell.

So, on this Halloween, I’m going to do a very special edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers.  Here are six trailers for six films that still scare me, even after repeat viewings:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

To be honest, all of the Body Snatcher films scare me, even the really bad ones.  Invasion of the Body Snatchers deals not only with the horror of conformity but also the horror of knowing what’s going on but being helpless to stop it.

The Exorcist (1973)

Maybe it’s because of my Catholic background but, despite the fact that it’s been endlessly imitated, this film scares me every time that I see it.  I think a lot of it has to do with the documentary approach that William Friedkin takes to the material.

Shock (1977)

Mario Bava’s final film gets me every time.  Even though I now know how many of the big scares were actually pulled off, this movie still makes me jump.  In this film, Daria Nicolodi gives the best performance of her legendary career.

The Shining (1980)

Agck!  Those little girls!  That elevator full of blood!  The way Wendy kept interrupting Jack while he was trying to write!

Sinister (2012)

Sinister gave me nightmares the first time that I saw it and it still does.  That ending.  AGCK!

The Conjuring (2013)

This is definitely one of the best haunted house films to come out over the past ten years.  This film is scary because you actually care about the family in the house.  They’re not just disposable victims.  Also holding up well is The Conjuring 2.

Happy Halloween!

“Happy Halloween!”

Here’s The Second Trailer for The Purge: Election Year!

Here’s the 2nd trailer for The Purge: Election Year!

Will this movie be more like the first Purge film or the second Purge film?  It’s an important question because the first Purge had an intriguing premise but only so-so execution.  Whereas the second Purge film should have been nominated for all sorts of Oscars…

One good sign: Frank Grillo is back!  Then again, it’s not like they could have brought anyone back from the first Purge film because the first Purge film ended with almost everyone dead.  Between the first Purge and Sinister, Ethan Hawke briefly managed to corner the market on unstable father figures who end up dead by the end of the movie.

(Whoops, was that a spoiler or was that two spoilers?  Sorry, I hope you can still love me…)

Anyway, here’s the trailer for The Purge: Election Year!  Feel free to watch it and leave your own comments comparing the Purge to either the Donald Trump campaign or the Hillary Clinton campaign.

(By the way, since this is an election year, I’m planning on doing a twitter poll in October.  I’m going to ask who my 8,000 plus followers think I should vote for.  I will then vote the exact opposite because the world needs a red-headed contrarian.)

(On another note, someone on YouTube mentioned that “It must be a bitch to clean up all the graffiti every year,” and I think he’s right!  I would not want that job!)

(Also, if there was a real-life annual Purge, I would not murder anyone but I probably would do a little shoplifting.  But that’s just me.  You spend your purge the way that you want to…)

4 Shots From 4 Films: The Others, The Nun, Insidious, Sinister

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films.  As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

4 Shots From 4 Films

The Others (2001, directed by Alejandro Amenabar)

The Others (2001, directed by Alejandro Amenabar)

The Nun (2005, directed by Luis De La Madrid)

The Nun (2005, directed by Luis De La Madrid)

Insidious (2011, directed by James Wan)

Insidious (2011, directed by James Wan)

Sinister (2012, directed by Scott Derrickson)

Sinister (2012, directed by Scott Derrickson)

Lisa’s Picks For The Twelve Best Horror Films of The Past Six Years


It’s October, which means that it’s horror month here at the Shattered Lens!  Can you believe that we’ve been doing this for six years?  I figured what better way to celebrate the start of October than by listing my picks for the ten best horror and supernatural-themed films to have been released since the founding of Through the Shattered Lens!

(Whoops!  Derrick Ferguson of the Ferguson Theater just reminded me that House of the Devil came out in 2009.  Though I haven’t reviewed House of the Devil on this site — though I did take time to praise this dance scene — it is a film that definitely belongs on this list.  So, I’m adding it and another film as well.  So now, we have a list of the 12 best horror films of the past six years!)

Check them out below!

  1. The Cabin In The Woods (2012)
  2. Warm Bodies (2013)
  3. The Conjuring (2013)
  4. A Field in England (2014)
  5. Take Shelter (2011)
  6. Sinister (2012)
  7. The House of the Devil (2009)
  8. The Babadook (2014)
  9. Devil’s Due  (2014)
  10. Insidious (2011)
  11. Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)
  12. You’re Next (2013)

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

Warm Bodies


Lisa Marie Picks The Best 26 Films of 2012

Anna Karenina Movie

Without further ado, here are my picks for the 26 best films of 2012!

  1. Anna Karenina
  2. The Cabin In The Woods
  3. Life of Pi
  4. Bernie
  5. Django Unchained
  6. The Master
  7. Silver Linings Playbook
  8. Skyfall
  9. The Avengers
  10. Les Miserables
  11. Take This Waltz
  12. Rust and Bone
  13. Cosmopolis
  14. Ruby Sparks
  15. Brave
  16. Damsels in Distress
  17. The Hobbit
  18. Lincoln
  19. Argo
  20. Looper
  21. Moonrise Kingdom
  22. The Hunger Games
  23. Sinister
  24. Silent House
  25. Mother’s Day
  26. The House AT The End of the Street


12 Random Things That I Am Thankful For In 2012

So many things to be thankful for!

Today is the day that I (and perhaps a few others) look over the past year and ask myself, “What am I thankful for?”  I am happy to say that I have a lot to be thankful for right now.  I’m thankful for my family, for my friends, for my readers, and for my love.

Believe it or not, I’m even thankful that I’m now 27 years old!  When my family gathered together earlier today, I actually got to hang out with the grown ups!  Seriously, being an adult was a lot more fun than I was expecting.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is also the day when I do a post entitled “10 Things That I Am Thankful For.”  So, here we go.  As I stated previously, I’m thankful for a lot of things in 2012.  Here, in no specific order, is twelve of them:

1) I’m thankful that The Cabin In The Woods and Sinister reminded me of why I love horror films in the first place.

2) I’m thankful for the Snarkalecs on twitter, the best group of people that a girl could hope to watch a SyFy movie with.

3) I’m thankful that this current season of Survivor is one of the best yet.

4) I’m thankful that someday, when I do have a daughter, I’ll be able to watch films like Brave and The Hunger Games with her.

5) I’m thankful that Richard Linklater directed Bernie and let the true citizens of Texas speak for themselves.

6) I’m thankful that Sarah Polley wrote and directed Take This Waltz.

7) I’m thankful for the TCMParty on twitter, the best group of people that a girl could hope to watch a classic film on TCM with.

8) I’m thankful that the final season of The Office is turning out to be a good one.

9) I’m thankful that Skyfall reminded us of why we all love James Bond in the first place.

10) I’m thankful that Branded eventually ended.  Seriously, I was worried that film was never going to come to a close.

11) I’m thankful that The Avengers turned out to be a lot more fun than even I was expecting.

12) I’m thankful that even a generally disappointing film year can still see the release of films like Life of Pi and The Master.

What do you think, Trailer Kitties?

Don’t worry, kitties!  Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers will return next week!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Horror Film Review: Sinister (dir. by Scott Derrickson)

Sinister is the scariest film of 2012.

That’s not the way that I wanted to start this review because calling any film the best or the worst or the scariest reeks of hyperbole.  But, in the two weeks that since I first saw Sinister, I have not been able to get the film out of my head.  Sinister is not only a horror film.  It’s also a deeply disturbing experience that inspires you to keep an eye out for mysterious shadows while you’re leaving the theater.  As opposed to the similar Paranormal Activity films, Sinister remains scary even after the film itself has ended.  Sinister is like Insidious without that terrible ending.

In short, Sinister is the scariest film of 2012.

Sinister opens with a genuinely disturbing sequence, in which we see a family of four, standing next to a tree.  All of them are wearing bags over their heads, all of them are bound by tape, and all of them have a noose around their neck.  One of the tree’s limbs is sawed off by an unseen person, causing all four of our victims to be lifted up in the air and slowly strangled to death.  The grainy footage has the look of an old home movie and the whole scene has a sickeningly authentic feel to it.

Months later, Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) and his family move into the house where the murders previously occurred.  Ellison is a formerly succesful true crime writer who is desperately trying to come up with the bestseller that can revive his career.  He plans to write about the murders that occurred in the backyard of his new home but he neglects to tell his new family that they’re living in a murder house.

While exploring his new home, Ellison discovers a mysterious box in the attic.  The box contains a film projector and several reels of film.  Late at night, Ellison locks himself in his office and watches the films.  He discovers that each reel of film contains two scenes.  In the first scene, we see a happy family spending time together.  In the 2nd scene, we see that same family being brutally murdered in a way that provides a macabre comment on what they were previously seen doing.  For instance, a film entitled “Pool Party ’66,” starts with a family happily playing in a pool and ends with them being drowned.  “BBQ ’79” opens with a family barbecue and ends with that same family being burned alive in their car.

As Ellison investigates, he finds himself becoming more and more obsessed with the macabre home movies and it starts to become obvious that Ellison is a bit unstable himself.  Meanwhile, his son is having night terrors, his daughter is painting pictures of people hanging from a tree, and the local sheriff (played by Fred Thompson, the former presidential candidate) is encouraging Ellison to abandon his book and just leave town.

Oh, and little pasty-faced children are showing up in the house, standing in darkened corners and scowling at Ellison and his family…

There’s only so much that I can say about Sinister without giving away too much of the film’s plot.  Sinister may start out feeling like the 100th rip-off of Paranormal Activity but, much like last year’s Insidious, it eventually takes off in a direction of its own.  Hawke gives a memorably unhinged performance and, unlike so many other horror films, Sinister actually follows through on all of its dark potential.  Sinister ends with a twist that’s so disturbing and unnerving that I have yet to get out of my head.

If you’re looking for the scariest movie playing in theaters this Halloween, Sinister is it.