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.

TAD review: Tales of Barry Bostwick’s Halloween

Why doesn’t Barry Bostwick have his own TV show? That’s the question I was left with after last night’s Toronto After Dark screening of the anthology Tales of Halloween. In the segment called “The Night Billy Raised Hell,” directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (Repo! The Genetic Opera), Bostwick plays a demonic old man who s...

Roddy Piper plunges into the Portal to Hell!!!

I can’t say I was ever a big fan of wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Nothing against him; I was just never more than a very casual viewer of the WWF (although I do seem to recall him squaring off against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in a tagteam match at some point). But I am

Carpenter’s Halloween theme still unnerves

I’ve always found John Carpenter’s synth score for Halloween to be the scariest, the most unnerving, the most chilling. Yes, even moreso than John Williams’ Jaws score (partly because I tend more often to think of Williams’ score during the shark-hunting-adventure part of the film than the someo...

Hitchcock meets Kubrick

The first Alfred Hitchcock movie I ever saw was Rear Window and I’ve had a particular fondness for it ever since. Vertigo, on the other hand, I’ve never quite warmed to. The first Stanley Kubrick movie I ever saw was The Shining, which I also quite like, although when push comes to shove I prefer

Toronto After Dark best bets

It’s hard to believe that the Toronto After Dark Film Festival has been killing it for a decade, now. Doesn’t seem that long ago that TAD founding dynamo Adam Lopez bounded into my old office at NOW Magazine to talk about this Frankensteinian genre festival he was stitching together. A true passion project for Lopez,...

Welcome to Switchblade Cinema

If you’re going to launch a website devoted to genre cinema then October is the perfect month to do it. Of course, while all cinema could be considered part of one genre or another—comedy is a genre, drama is a genre—“genre” is a term typically equated with horror (and to a lesser degree, science fiction,

End of the Snark Age

The late film critic Roger Ebert used to host special screenings during which he would lead the audience in dissecting a film scene-by-scene, shot-by-shot. Dubbed “democracy in the dark,” there was only one rule: anybody could call out “Stop!” and discuss what they were looking at, or whatever thought had j...

“I think this guy’s a couple cans short of a six-pack”

So what are we doing here? I mean, I know what you’re probably thinking: Another movie site? Frankly, I’m asking myself the same thing. I stepped away from film journalism the last couple of years, partly by choice and partly due to the shrinking—and undervalued—freelance market. I didn’t even attend last year’s Toront...