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Elizabeth Erwin

A young girl, pale and sickly, stares menacingly at the camera
Posted on November 10, 2023

The Devil Inside: Talking The Exorcist (1973)

Elizabeth Erwin/ Podcast

In today’s episode, we are finally tackling the film Roger Ebert called “a raw and painful experience” that “transcends the genre of terror, horror, and the supernatural.” We are, of course, talking about William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973). Based on William Peter Blatty’s novel of the same name, the film is an acknowledged classic trafficking in body horror and demonic possession, scenes of which have morphed into head turning, pea-soup laced pop culture shorthand. But is there more to this story than meets the eye? We’re breaking it all down today with spoilers so stay tuned.

References/Mentioned in this Episode

Clover, Carol J. Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film-Up. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Collative Learning. The even darker underbelly of THE EXORCIST – film analysis. YouTube, 24 January 2017.

Ebert, Roger. “The Exorcist.”, 23 December 1973.

Happy Haunts Library, YouTube, 2023.

Heffernan, Ryan. “The 9 Most Hilarious ‘The Exorcist’ Parodies in Movies and TV Shows.” Collider, 9 October 2023.

Schuetz, Janice. ““The exorcist”: Images of good and evil.” Western Journal of Communication (includes Communication Reports) 39.2 (1975): 92-101.

Williams, Marlena. Night Mother: A Personal and Cultural History of The Exorcist. Mad Creek Books, 2023.

Winter, Douglas E. Faces of Fear: Encounters with the Creators of Modern Horror. Berkley Trade, 1985, pp. 36-49.

A teenager in a yellow robe holds a petrified hand.
Posted on October 26, 2023

A Hand to Hold: Talking Talk to Me (2023)

Elizabeth Erwin/ Podcast

In today’s episode, Australian horror takes center stage courtesy of Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou’s Talk to Me (2023). In the film, Mia, who is grappling with the imminent second anniversary of her mother’s death, attends a party with Jade, her best friend, and Riley, Jade’s brother. There, they are given the opportunity to commune with the spirit world via an embalmed hand. Predictably, things do not go according to plan. With unrelenting hype and a domestic box office gross outpacing other A24 releases, the film is a potent hybrid of gore and dread but is it the best horror film of the year so far? We’re breaking it all down today with spoilers so stay tuned!

A group of kids dressed in Halloween costumes talk to a girl dressed as a witch who is standing on her porch and is surrounded by many lit pumpkins.
Posted on September 22, 2023

Always Check Your Candy: Talking Trick ‘r Treat

Elizabeth Erwin/ Podcast

In today’s episode, we’re kicking off the spooky season with Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat (2007). Told in an anthology format with non-linear storytelling, the film is a virtual shoutout to Halloween lore making it a cult classic among horror fans. But does it deserve its reputation? We’re breaking it all down today with spoilers so stay tuned!

Mentioned in this episode:

Keetley, Dawn. “Trick or Treating in Halloween Movies.” Horror Homeroom, 7 October 2016. 

McIntosh, Matthew A. “Samhain: The Celtic Inspiration for Modern Halloween.” Brewminate: A Bold Blend of News and Ideas, 30 October 2020.

Vorel, Jim. “In Praise of Trick ‘r Treat, the Ultimate ‘Halloween Night’ Movie,” Paste, 29 October 2017.

a trapped group of five people look out of a door fearfully.
Posted on September 8, 2023

Flesh and Blood: Talking Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Elizabeth Erwin/ Podcast

In today’s episode, it’s part two of our deep dive into shark horror with Renny Harlin’s Deep Blue Sea (1999). Blending science fiction with horror, the film follows a crew of researchers as they try to replicate in sharks the brain cells of people with Alzheimer’s Disease. Predictably, the experiment does not end well. Known for its divisive heroine, campy reinterpretation of animal attack tropes, and some truly epic CGI sharks, Deep Blue Sea is the rare shark horror film that resists demonizing the sharks. But is that a good thing? We’re breaking it all down today with spoilers, so stay tuned! 


Mentioned in this episode:

Posted on September 8, 2022

Special Issue #6: Classic Horror

Dawn Keetley/ Elizabeth Erwin/ Special Issue #6

2022 is the 90th anniversary of the many amazing classic horror films that were released in 1932, among them Freaks, Island of Lost Souls, The Most Dangerous Game, The Old Dark House, The Mummy, and White Zombie. To mark this anniversary, Horror Homeroom’s sixth special issue takes up classic horror, which we’re defining as any film released prior to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film, Psycho – the film that saw the birth of ‘modern’ horror. 

We have an array of fabulous essays that explore witchcraft and rise of documentary horror in Benjamin Christensen’s Swedish silent film Häxan (1922); the difference of James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) – as well as the later Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939) – from Mary Shelley’s novel; Frankenstein as a film about autism; imperialism and the continuing struggle over artifacts in The Mummy (1932); the resonances of Tod Browning’s Freaks (1932) in American Horror Story: Freak Show; representations of mental illness in Bedlam (1946); the 3-D film craze that took off in the 1950s; nuclear holocaust and vaccination fallout in The Werewolf (1956); and representations of colonialism in Hammer’s Dracula (1958).

Our authors are: Erin Harrington, Alissa Burger, Margaret Yankovich, Jessica Parant (of Spinsters of Horror), Aíne Norris, Josh Grant-Young, Katherine Cottle, Zack Kruse, Justin Wigard, and Joseph Hsin-shun Chang. Our cover illustration is by Andrew Foley.

We want to thank them for their brilliant and thoughtful work.

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