Tag Archive | Michael Dougherty

Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005)

Directed by Mary Lambert
Written by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris
Starring Kate Mara, Robert Vito, Tina Lifford, Ed Marinaro, Michael Coe, and Rooney Mara

Urban legends were all the rage in the late 1990s and early 2000s, in no small part due to the exhaustive series of books about them by Jan Harold Brunvand. These took the stories out of the realm of academic journals and presented them for enjoyment to a larger audience. It was inevitable that we’d get a slasher film using these modern folk tales as a gimmick. It was also probable that the sequels would wind up being released direct to video, as was the case with the third installment Urban Legends: Bloody Mary.

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Krampus (2015)

Directed by Michael Dougherty
Written by Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty, and Zachary Shields
Starring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Krista Stadler, and Emjay Anthony

Nothing like a festive mob scene.

Nothing like a festive mob scene.

THIS REVIEW GIVES AWAY THE ENDING OF THE FILM

Families can be a pain, especially when everyone gets together solely from a sense of obligation. What should be a time of joyful reunion becomes an endurance test, as everybody picks at each other’s emotional scabs. Good times. The consolation is that every now and then it can be the basis for a really good satire like the Christmas horror film Krampus. You’ve seen the heartwarming dysfunctional-family Christmas comedies. Everyone hates each other and yells, but at the end the “True Spirit of Christmas” prevails and harmony is restored. Even the most bitter or transgressive holiday film follows this pattern. Krampus does as well, but in a way that undermines the genre’s theme of hope and reconciliation.

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