Progressive politics, ideas & culture



Gender Block: Jurassic World

Hillary Di Menna

I didn’t exactly expect Jurassic World  to be feminist savvy—it’s largely about capitalizing on nostalgia and making a bunch of dinosaurs run around. Dinosaurs, after all, are big bucks: as of July 26 the film has grossed $1,542,568,684 worldwide. They’re also very cool and I’ll admit I saw the movie twice. Even if the franchise […] More »
January-February 2015

Through A New Lens

Michelle Kay

Documentarian Nayani Thiyagarajah uses curiousity and compassion to confront shadeism in racialized communities ON A GREY NOVEMBER DAY IN TORONTO, with the sun nowhere in sight and an irritating mix of rain and snow outside, Tamil-Canadian filmmaker and artist Nayani Thiyagarajah is in good spirits—despite being bogged down by a head cold. In between sniffles […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Problematic horror

Hana Shafi

While most horror movies have problematic elements, the ones below are the worst. Unlike others, there’s simply no merit in them to overpower the awful parts of the film. 1. Hostel (2005): The Hostel franchise is problematic for a variety of reasons. First and foremost it’s part of the torture porn or “gorno” subgenre and […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Filming Physical Disabilities

Hana Shafi

Grotesque deformities and burlap sack masks: these are the faces of physical disabilities in horror. Horror does not do disability well. Most “good” characters are able-bodied, whereas many villains in horror wear masks to cover birth defects, which the audience is supposed to find frightening. We’re supposed to learn that these faces are ones we […] More »

Oh, The Horror: The Purge

Hana Shafi

The Purge franchise has been a big success—not so much in terms of its critical success, but in audience reaction. On social media there was a constant buzz about it (so much so that use of the word “purge” automatically drew people to think of the film). Building on that success filmmakers debuted a sequel […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Creepy kids

Hana Shafi

Rule number one of the horror film universe is to never, and I mean NEVER, let your child have an imaginary friend. Chances are they’re talking to Satan or the dead taxidermist serial killer that’s haunting the house. As soon as there’s a little kid in a scary movie, you know something paranormal is about […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Scary seniors

Hana Shafi

Within the darkness of the woods as the wind howls, an old woman emerges from the trees and offers you cookies. Creepy, right? Despite the fact that most of us find comfort in the warm, overly buttery cooking of our grandmothers, old women in horror are the creepiest. You know granny means trouble in a […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Holy horror

Hana Shafi

Thanks to horror movies, I could probably perform a perfect exorcism. I know exactly what demons to look out for, the ways in which they can deceive you during an exorcism, and how to request permission to do one. It’s probably not the most useful thing to know, but I have to admit that much […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Body image

Hana Shafi

The last place I expect to feel bad about my body is when I’m curled up on the couch watching a horror film. Guts being ripped out of peoples stomachs and demon vomit splashing across the screen should hardly make me question whether I’m pretty enough. But then there’s the rest of the horror film. […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Scaretastic Halloween Edition

Hana Shafi

In this very special Halloween edition of Oh, The Horror, I’ve put together a list of horror films that are both frightening and socially progressive. With diverse casts, strong women in the lead, insightful social commentary, and some very eerie twists, these films will keep you screaming in your seats without inducing any angry rants […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Scream queens

Hana Shafi

This is how women are portrayed in horror: dashing through the dark streets in their underwear; half-naked at sorority sleepovers being terrorized; running up the stairs instead of going for the front door; either naked or in their underwear at the worst possible moment; or fully-clothed and making dismal escape attempts. You would think after […] More »