2013 was a productive year for British prog maestro Steven Wilson. He released his third solo record, the extremely proggy The Raven that Refused to Sing (and other stories) to wide acclaim, which was followed then by a world tour that culminated in a spectacular homecoming show at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Not content to rest on his laurels, Wilson has hopped back into the studio with the band he assembled for The Raven, and is gearing up for a February 2015 release of solo LP number four.
A. Sinclair, the Austin by way of Boston rock outfit helmed by Aaron Sinclair, has come up with a rather interesting number in “Pretty Girls in Pretty Tights”, the title-alluding track off of its latest EP, Pretty Girls. What appears to be a straightforward, driving rock tune on the surface has a rather interesting lyrical story behind it.
Few filmmakers can claim a successful cinematic franchise. Fewer still have one based on their own original idea. So what does it say about horror maestro James Wan that he has not one, not two, but three wholly unique and undeniably profitable scary movie series to be proud of. Most recently, the Australian auteur delivered The Conjuring, a $20 million dollar revisit to old school ‘70s fright that netted nearly $320 million at the box office. With such numbers have come a prequel, Annabelle, and the inevitable sequel.
Before that, Wan was also responsible for the ingenious and devious dark ride, Insidious. Part One arrived in 2010 with little fanfare and fewer expectations and wound up bringing in almost $100 million in turnstile receipts. Part Two made even more money ($161 million) before the filmmaker turned things over to his partner in creepshow crime, Leigh Whannell (Part Three arrives in 2014). But before there was the subtle scares and throwback mentality of these two properties, Wan and Whannell rode a wave of rave reviews for a little something called Saw.
It’s that time of year when everyone’s looking for a little recreational fear. Over the past month, I’ve made an effort to play some scary games and think about how effective they are at creeping me out. It’s convinced me that horror is probably one of the toughest genres to pull off in video games, partly because of traditional video game conventions, because of the medium’s fundamental traits, and partly because of nebulous definitions of concepts like “horror.”