Barrett Hooper

The first movie I ever reviewed was The Fly for my high school newspaper. Reviews of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Raising Arizona, Robocop, The Princess Bride, Prince of Darkness, The Running Man, Bloodsport, Alien Nation, They Live, Child’s Play, Pet Sematary and Dirty Dancing soon followed. After a misguided foray into graduate school, I landed a job as a reporter for my hometown newspaper. Later, I moved to Toronto and became a film writer for the National Post. I’ve also contributed to the late great Eye Weekly, the equally late great Saturday Night Magazine, Rue Morgue, NOW Magazine and the Globe and Mail among others. My favourite interviews have always been with directors: Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, David Cronenberg, James Cameron, Brian DePalma, Ridley Scott, Sam Raimi, Terry Gilliam, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Peter Jackson, Don Coscarelli, Edgar Wright and Eli Roth. Sadly, I’ve never met John Carpenter. Oh, and my dog’s name is Clubber, in case you were wondering.

No Peckinpah in John Carpenter’s Vampires

I happened to catch John Carpenter’s Vampires the other night for probably the second or third time. While I love vampire movies—The Lost Boys, Fright Night and Bram Stoker’s Dracula are among my favourites—I’ve never much cared for Carpenter’s take on them. That, despite Carpenter being one of the all-time great genre...

Video: 101 cool zombie kills

One of the most insane scenes from any zombie movie—hell, from any movie, period—is the zombie versus shark in Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2, the unofficial sequel to George R. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (which was re-edited by Dario Argento and given a Goblin score for its release in Italy under the title Zombi). The

What would a Wes Anderson horror movie even look like?

Wes Anderson wants to make a horror movie. The director of the ever-so-twee Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums expressed the out-of-left-field interest during the Rome Film Festival, presumably after catching a rerun of a particular Saturday Night Live sketch on Sky Italia. Anderson explained: “Horror is an area where i...

Are Key & Peele creating a delirious new horror movie?

Something buried in last week’s LA Weekly profile of producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, Ouija) that I wrote about previously caught me attention: comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (aka Key & Peele) are making a horror movie for Blum called Get Out. “Like comedy, horror has an ability to provoke t...

Review: The Final Girls is comedy catnip for slasher fans

I finally caught up with The Final Girls on VOD last night and was very pleasantly surprised. I’d heard it described as “all very meta,” and that didn’t fill me with confidence. But after a shaky start that had me rolling my eyes at the on-the-noseness of it all, it quickly settled into an enjoyable

Is it bad that the Paranormal Activity producer hates horror...

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, which is a terrible title that sounds like a Mission: Impossible rip-off, made $26 million worldwide in theatres this past weekend. It’s the sixth film in the franchise and by all accounts the least successful, even though it only just opened and has a reported budget of only $...

TAD Review: Festival climaxes with Deathgasm

When I was a teenager, I had a best friend named Manny. He was the first metalhead I ever knew. A bit of an outsider, like so many of us feel like we are when we’re young, no matter what our taste in music, Manny was a sweet, gentle, crazy kid with long dyed-black hair,

TAD Review: Sion Sono’s double douse of delirium

Tag, which played Toronto After Dark on Thursday night as the first salvo of a Sion Sono double bill, opens with a bus full of giggling schoolgirls in Sailor Moon uniforms having a pillow fight. One girl, Mitsuko (Reina Triendl), is writing poetry when her pen is knocked out of her hand. While she bends

Pretty close to what actually being a teacher is like

I have a few teacher friends and this just looks like a typical day at school. The kid playing Danny Torrence is the best. He really nails the voice. They should’ve had one of the kids playing with a Chucky doll, though.

TAD review: The Demolisher delivers a lo-fi Death Wish

The Demolisher. It’s the kind of title that would make Don Pendleton or Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir proud. Like their Executioner and Destroyer novels, it evokes testosterone-fuelled pulp excess: whoever the Demolisher is you can be sure he’ll whip the blindfold off ol’ Lady Justice and inflict maximum damage in th...