Who is the Dario Argento of tomorrow?

Update! I covered Richard Raaphorst in the April 2020 edition. Since then the director of Frankenstein’s Army (2013) began a Kickstarter project for Worst Case Scenario: A Graphic Novelization. His “Worst Case Scenario Short Trailer” was a Proof of Concept trailer that seems to eventually have inspired the idea for Frankenstein’s Army and definitely gives us a hint at what the graphic novel would be like. Check out his personal Instagram account at Richard.Raaphorst, but to see work on this project check out his other Instagram account at Worst_Case_Scenario_Community. And for hard core keeping up he seems to post mostly on Twitter @RichRaaphorst.

In Beyond the Gates (2016) two brothers discover an evil video board game which may answer the questions surrounding their missing father. After the film came out, director Jackson Stewart pitched his next film idea around, The Day After Halloween, about what happens to the final girl after she survives the slasher. His Beyond cowriter, Stephen Scarlata, was to join him on this as well, but since they were promoting Beyond, there’s not been much out there on this project. They also hinted at a sequel to Beyond, and I think it deserves it even if they did an Evil Dead slash Evil Dead 2 type of sequel.

A boy discovers his brother is a serial killer in Found (2012) written and directed by Scott Schirmer, who since then has written and directed Harvest Lake (2016) about five friends fending off a strange presence that seems to be seducing them, Plank Face (2016) about a feral family who captures a man to make him one of them, and The Bad Man (2018) about a clown who kidnaps two people for sex slaves. Schirmer’s a workhorse. Also check out the Adam Culipher prequel to Found titled Headless (2015) — if you dare. 

The Final Girls (2015), directed by Todd Strauss-Shulson, remains one of my favorite finds, and the image of the slasher slow-mo jumping from the second story of the barn while in flames still sticks with me. Quite a few films, shows, podcasts, even a column on Psycho Drive-In have used the film theory concept of the Final Girl as a title. The concept was coined by Carol J. Clover in her book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. This particular spin on the final girl is about a girl who enters the very 1970s slasher film in which her dead mother stars. I hate using buzz words, but here I go. The Final Girls is meta, meaning simply self-referential or as Philip Brophy explains it much more perfectly when describing the horror film genre in general, “It is involved in a violent awareness of itself as a saturated genre”.

The Final Girls knows what it is, a slasher flick, and this concept is exploited very well. After looking Strauss-Shulson up I can tell why The Final Girls has a slick big budget look about it. He’s been working in film steadily since the late 1990s including A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011), a TV movie that looks intriguing Zombies and Cheerleaders (2012), but these barely hint at how much he has worked on. Of the few items after The Final Girls, Isn’t It Romantic (2019) is the only one worth mentioning genre-wise and only because it’s the same plot as the other–a woman finds herself trapped in a romantic comedy. It stars Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth. Strauss-Shulson works in many genres including horror, but I don’t see any horror in his future anywhere and unfortunately.

Night of the Wolf (2014) which I saw as Late Phases, was directed by Adrián Garcia Bogliano, who went on to write and direct Scherzo Diabolico (2015) about a loser accountant who attempts a kidnapping gone wrong, and Black Circle (2018), about a mystical vinyl record from the 1970s that hypnotizes two sisters. It’s also known by a cooler title, Svark Cirkel. Before Night of the Wolf though, he directed quite a bit, including some thrillers, Watch’em Die (2009) about a cameraman inadvertently filming a snuff film, Here Comes the Devil (2012), about lost children who return to their parents a bit different than they were, the “B is for Bigfoot” segment of The ABCs of Death (2012)–all of which he wrote as well–and quite a bit more interesting non-horror works. Bogliano keeps himself busy. His upcoming Quire Jugar (2020) which translates as Want to Play is in postproduction, but I was unable to find a summary.

He’s also producing at least two genre films Animals Humanos (2020) El Amarre (2020), the latter of which translates as The Mooring. All of these films appear online without summaries so far. Lex Ortega directed Animals and his Atroz (2015) looks good–also known as Atrocious, probably in the U.S. It’s about a police chief who digs deeper into a violent crime and exacts some revenge by proxy. El Amarre is directed by Tamae Garateguy whose She Wolf (2013) looks really interesting. It’s about a female serial killer who seduces her victims and seems to be somewhat of a character study. I might have to start doing a whole Director Roundup on Bogliano and company.

That’s it for now!

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