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Gavin Schmitt

  1. Film Review: "House on Willow Street" (2016)

    After a young woman is kidnapped, her captors soon come to realize that in fact they may be the ones in danger and this young woman has a dark secret inside her.

    Horror is the genre of subgenres. We already had the "home invasion" subgenre, but it seems like it might be time to create a new one: the subgenre of "reverse break-ins". In the last few years, there have been a handful of films involving houses getting broken into, only to have the tables turned on the ...
  2. Film Review: "Johnny Frank Garrett's Last Word" (2016)

    According to the prosecution, on the morning of October 31, 1981, Johnny Frank Garrett raped, strangled, and killed 76-year-old Sister Tadea Benz in the St. Francis Convent of Amarillo, Texas. This film asks: what if he was innocent, and what is he was able to affect his accusers from beyond the grave?

    The concept behind this film is an interesting one. The case is real, and was the subject of a documentary from director Jesse Quackenbush. What the writers did here was take the documentary ...
  3. Giallo Cinema’s Folktale Roots: A Book Review

    In “Giallo Cinema and Its Folktale Roots”, Michael Sevastakis takes ten films from 1962 through 1987 and compares their plots with Vladimir Propp’s study of the narrative structure of folk tales. In each one, he picks ten sample plot points to illustrate the connection. Interestingly, to provide balance to the book, Sevastakis begins with a Mario Bava film and ends with one from Lamberto Bava, Mario’s son. This was no doubt intentional.

    There are some odd things about the finished ...