NEW on Shudder: THE INVITATION's Karyn Kusama picks her top films
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Director Karyn Kusama made a celebrated debut in 2000 with gritty drama GIRLFIGHT, but has since turned to a particular hold on horror. From the gorgeous, sly take on toxic teen friendship in 2009 horror/comedy JENNIFER'S BODY to her latest–the affecting and incredibly tense THE INVITATION–Kusama hones in on the authentic, raw emotion of her characters while maintaining tight, stylish control of their fears... and our anxieties.
In celebration of THE INVITATION, Shudder curator Sam Zimmerman sat down with the perceptive and film-loving Kusama to discuss her favorite films on Shudder. Watch our interview with Karyn Kusama at the link below, and scroll down further to see her selections.
"This early '70's film about black identity, class politics, and vampirism plays across my memory like a beautiful hallucination. Bill Gunn made a stylish, kaleidoscopically ambitious film about lovers with a thirst for blood. It's hard to find -- so watch it pronto!"
"I remember seeing this film when it first came out in the mid-'90's, and being struck by its twin narrative threads: the story of a man possibly entangled in a romance with a vampire, and, more profoundly, the story of a man spiraling into catastrophic alcoholism. The film is an incredible thematic companion piece to Abel Ferrara's "The Addiction", and is a grimy, vivid portrayal of a life getting very out of control."
"One of the world's rare perfect films, centering on a brilliantly realized main character, whose pre-teen loneliness and alienation help fuel a lifelong romance that's doomed from the start. Utterly sublime filmmaking."
"Four words: Herzog. Kinski. Adjani. Ganz. I don't really think I need to say any more, but if you like vampire films (and judging from this list, I obviously do), this beautiful film is a must. In more traditional treatments of this story, The Count is a dashing seducer. I love that Herzog and Kinski allowed this Count to be monstrous from the start -- there's no Frank Langella suaveness in sight. AND THOSE RATS!"
"I love the simplicity and purity of this movie. Ti West's film stuck with me in an unexpected way, probably because I spent so much time hanging out with the main character waiting for something momentous to happen. Once it does, you can't really "erase the icky" from your mind."
In honor of Larry Cohen's essential New York creature feature, Q - THE WINGED SERPENT, Shudder.TV Premium takes in the terrifying sights of the Big Apple.
42nd Street kings Cohen, William Lustig and Frank Henenlotter subject us to maniacs, monster hookers and basket cases, while HABIT and SUMMER OF BLOOD reveal the effects of urban vampirism in the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. For ultimate distress, take the ferry to Staten Island for urban legend doc CROPSEY and unsettling vet horror COMBAT SHOCK. If you can make it (out alive) here...