History Happily Repeats

A terrific series has returned! October 10th is the official launch date for the long-awaited second season of Eli Roth’s History of Horror, but the season premiere (“Houses of Hell”) is already available for streaming via AMC+. As in the first season (see my coverage of Episodes 1-3, 4-5, 6-7), the new episode combines a slew of film clips with commentary/analysis by a wide array of genre luminaries. To whet your appetite for the upcoming season, and to mark some of the fine insight the show offers, here are some quotable quotes from the episode.


Chris Hardwick: Well, houses effectively are great locations for horror because a house is anything you want it to be. It can be a home, or it can be a prison. You never can tell what’s going on on the inside, and that’s sort of the macabre curiosity that we all have.


Stephen King: One of the things that made [Misery] work and made Rob Reiner the person to do it, is because humor and horror are really two sides of the same coin. You know, I always say, “It stops being funny when it starts being you.”


Scott Derrickson: [Sinister]’s a horror film about a guy watching horror films. Watching horror can be a dangerous business. Anybody who watches real true crime, and anybody who watches horror cinema, knows of those moments in their life when they overreached. And they were really punished for watching that particular film. We’ve all had that experience.


Rob Zombie: House of a 1000 Corpses to me seems exactly like if you took Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Rocky Horror Picture Show and threw it in a blender and spit out another movie. I was trying to make this sort of gritty, back roads redneck movie, which I always loved, and just the so over-the-top “Rocky Horror” vibe.


Eli Roth: In horror films, houses are twisted reflections of their owners. Every fear, anxiety, and character flaw is brought to the surface in the pressure cooker of the family home. And those problems get a hundred times worse when you make the mistake of moving into a haunted house.


Andrew Douglas: Most haunted house stories, when you boil them down, are really glorified family dramas. You know, they’re about some kind of–they’re about alcohol abuse at some level or parental abuse at some level, or in the case of the original Amityville, they’re about [a] kind of economic distress.


Eliza Skinner [on The Cabin in the Woods]: And then seeing all the behind-the-scenes of, okay, so this is like a big government run situation where you have all these different monsters and that going haywire and them all getting loose from their own pods. That’s the depiction of how I think most people feel about government and corporations. Now, we’re like, “Oh, they think they have everything together,” and what they’re actually doing is delicately holding together chaos, something that could destroy our entire society.


Sean Cunningham: Wes [Craven]’s thought was that we could shape [The Last House on the Left] as a sort of personalized violence that the audience could react to. That it would become a much more visceral experience, not unlike The Virgin Spring.


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