Category Archives: Movies & TV

Obscure slasher films of the 1980s

During the month of October in 2017, Limelight Magazine counted down our favorite 31 horror movies since 2000. This year we decided to go back to the 1980’s which was the peak of the slasher film genre. While almost everyone knows the Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Child’s Play franchises, there were a number of slasher films that were released between 1980 and 1989 that have become neglected or overlooked. So, we decided to go through our extensive DVD and Blu-ray collection and feature a slasher film from this time period that we don’t hear a lot about anymore. While not all of these are great films, they are worth checking out if you are a fan of this horror sub genre.

It should be noted that we are referencing one obscure slasher movie per day alphabetically during October. We are only featuring those films we actually own. There are three letters of the alphabet  (Q, Y & Z) where we don’t own a film title to match that letter. Please check back daily for the next featured film.

A – ALONE IN THE DARK (1982)

B – BLOODY BIRTHDAY (1981)

C – CHEERLEADER CAMP (1988)

D – DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE (1980)

E – EDGE OF THE AXE (1988)

F – FINAL EXAM (1981)

G – GRADUATION DAY (1981)

H  – HIDE AND GO SHRIEK (1988)

I – INTRUDER (1989)

J – JUST BEFORE DAWN (1981)

K – KILLER PARTY (1986)

L – THE LAST HORROR FILM (1982)

M – MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE (1983)

N – NIGHT SCHOOL (1981)

O – OFFERINGS (1989)

P –  THE PROWLER (1981)

R- RETURN TO HORROR HIGH (1987)

S – SILENT SCREAM (1980)

T – TERROR TRAIN (1980)

U – THE UNSEEN (1980)

V – VISITING HOURS (1982)

W – WELCOME TO SPRING BREAK (1988)

X  – X-RAY (1981)

Reflection on the closing of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe

With the closing of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe in Providence, R.I., after 42 years, we had planned to write an editorial about it. We have so many memories of going there. In fact, the past couple of years the owners really raised the bar with their programming. We also featured them in Limelight Magazine two years ago when the indie cinema celebrated their 40th anniversary. (Click HERE to read the story). However, we noticed a post on Sara Archambault’s Facebook page that expressed our thoughts exactly.  Instead of rewriting essentially what she posted, we asked for her permission to share this on our page with our readers and she graciously accepted. So long, Cable Car Cinema and Cafe. You were a gem in the Providence community and a cultural institution!

To Whom It May Concern:

As a filmmaker, an arts sector worker, and a life-long RI resident (with about 20 years in Providence), I want to add a line to the recent debates about the closing of the Cable Car Cinema.

I am fortunate to work at a regional arts funding organization called the LEF Foundation. LEF supports documentary filmmakers who reside in New England but make films around the world. Each year, we gather a jury of film professionals from all over the country to make the grant decisions and in the last few years, we have moved these deliberations from where the foundation is centered, in Harvard Square, to Providence.

I helped to orchestrate this move. I have what is possibly an absurd amount of Providence Pride. I revel in showing off this city’s historic and crafty features. I love the people here; our DIY spirit; the fierce call to create and forge our own paths with nothing but some good ideas and a little sweat. You can see this manifested all over the city in myriad ways.

In the mornings, I walk the jury from where they stay at the Dean Hotel over to Small Point Café for breakfast. At the end of the day, I bring them out to see art or shop some craft stores after a hard day’s work.

Significantly, I always send this jury to the Cable Car, one of this city’s most important cultural institutions. This is a place dedicated to showing the best of independent film, and intentionally building community around cinema. After a day of watching emerging films in progress, it’s satisfying to send the jury to the “cinema with couches” to see what one of these films might look like when it reaches the big screen.

But this year was different.

I knew I was sending this group of film industry leaders to the Cable Car for the last time, and I was heartbroken.

But it’s not only the Cable Car closing that pains my heart. Walking down Westminster, the jury encountered closed storefronts on each block. Every new construction boasted signs for hotels or luxury apartments. But what is it that will draw people to our city? Or make them stay? I’m heartened by the cool little shops and restaurants I see sprouting up downtown, but I worry the new construction signals a stripping away of this city’s beating heart.

Why am I so worried? Until recently, the LEF Foundation was located in Harvard Square, where it had been since 1992. I witnessed the Square morph from a funky, eclectic space to a corporate white wash of familiar franchises. The building LEF was in for more than 25 years was sold and the rent doubled. Down the block the Brattle Theatre, an independent cinema, is a remnant of what the Square once was. It’s all the more treasured for this reason but it too has a wealthy landlord–Harvard University–and ongoing challenges remain.

What I saw happen in Harvard Square, I see happening here.

And so I ask: What do we value, Providence? What do we want this place to be?

Providence is well known around the world for its arts scene. The culture of this place is directly tied to its creative character. Anchors like AS220, Trinity Rep, and PPAC, helped spur this growth we see. Places like the Cable Car, Craftland, Thee Red Fez, the Columbus Theater, Haven Brothers, Armageddon Shop, the Dirt Palace, and Frog N Toad, to just mention a handful, are what give Providence its flavor. Our success as a place is, was and will always be tied to the fates of the determined artists, storytellers, and entrepreneurs who bring our city its cultural life.

RI artist Hilary Treadwell (now famous for her “Don’t Mess with RI Either” t-shirts) was quoted in local media when there was speculation that the Crook Point Bascule Bridge was to be taken down. She said, “The soul of a place is diminished when we dismantle its strange things.”

In our city’s pursuit of growth, I fear we may be dismantling our strange things. And it is, indeed, these same strange things that provide the bedrock to why people want to come here in the first place. What is the vision for nurturing and protecting the local while planning for this growth?

In the case of the Cable Car, it is important to note that one of the largest arts institutions in our city took a primary role in the elimination of one of the smallest. RISD receives tax benefits from our city. What is their commitment to being a community partner?

On the state level, instead of giant tax breaks for one or two large corporations, what about incentives for 40 small businesses? What can we do to help grow the Cable Cars – people committed to this city, with roots here – into mid-size or large businesses with more jobs? Where is that vision for advancement? Finally, how can the giant behemoths of the universities create meaningful partnerships with the business and cultural sector that service a more useful set of values than an asset on a spreadsheet?

What do we want to be, Providence?

I am inviting those of us who are so lucky to live in this wonderful little city to think creatively and challenge our leaders to think with us. Think of sitting on those comfy couches discovering a new movie or maybe going on a first date. What does Providence become without the Cable Cars?

I will mourn the loss of this theater for a long time. I wish the owners (my friends – full transparency) well and I hope they find it within them to recreate somewhere else in town.

Finally, I implore our city, state and institutional leaders, please don’t dismantle our strange things in the pursuit of profit and growth. They are the very pillars that hold us up. Including you.

Respectfully submitted, 
Sara Archambault

The logo of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe in Providence, R.I. 

Limelight Magazine’s Oscar Predictions in 12 Categories

Since we’ve seen all of the films released in 2017 that were nominated for “Best Picture” and “Best Director,” as well as all of the films in several of the other categories, Limelight Magazine has decided to offer our predictions in 12 of the 24 categories vying to win gold at this Sunday’s 90th annual Academy Awards. We don’t anticipate getting all of them right. (We may even get all of them wrong). But, we thought this would be fun and something different to do. Here are our predictions of who we think will win along with who could be a potential spoiler. Tune in Sunday at 8 PM on ABC to find out how we did.

(Please note that we only made predictions in those categories where we saw every film in contention).

BEST PICTURE

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

This is the most difficult category to predict because there isn’t a clear front runner. However, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri are our favorites to win. Get Out could surprise with an upset victory. I, Tonya was robbed of a nomination and should have been placed in contention.

Winner: Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri

Spoiler: Get Out

 BEST DIRECTOR

  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)
  • Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)
  • Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)
  • Jordan Peele (Get Out)
  • Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Winner: Guillermo del Toro

Spoiler: Greta Gerwig

LEADING ACCTRESS

  • Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)
  • Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
  • Margot Robbie (I, Tonya)
  • Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
  • Meryl Streep (The Post)

Winner: Frances McDomand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Spoiler: Margo Robbie (I, Tonya)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Mary J. Blige (Mudbound)
  • Allison Janney (I, Tonya)
  • Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread)
  • Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)
  • Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)

Winner: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Spoiler: Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)

LEADING ACTOR

  • Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)
  • Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)
  • Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
  • Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.)

Winner: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Spoiler: Daniel Day Lewis (Phantom Thread)

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)
  • Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
  • Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water)
  • Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World)
  • Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Winner: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Spoiler: Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World)

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)
  • Bruno Delbonnel (Darkest Hour)
  • Hoyte van Hoytema (Dunkirk)
  • Dan Laustsen (The Shape of Water)
  • Rachel Morrison (Mudbound)

Winner: Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)

Spoiler: Dan Laustsen (The Shape of Water)

FILM EDITING

  • Baby Driver
  • Dunkirk
  • I, Tonya
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 Winner: Dunkirk

Spoiler: Baby Driver

 ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Dunkirk (Hans Zimmer)
  • Phantom Thread (Johnny Greenwood)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (John Williams)
  • The Shape of Water (Alexandre Desplat)
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Carter Burwell)

 Winner: The Shape of Water (Alexandre Desplat)

Spoiler: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Carter Burwell)

 LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

  • DeKalb Elementary
  • The Eleven O’Clock
  • My Nephew Emmett
  • The Silent Child
  • Watu Wote / All of Us 

Winner: DeKalb Elementary

Spoiler: Watu Wote / All of Us

 ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Call Me by Your Name (James Ivory)
  • The Disaster Artist (Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber)
  • Logan (Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green)
  • Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin)
  • Mudbound (Virgil Williams, Dee Rees)

 Winner: Call Me By Your Name (James Ivory)

Spoiler: Mudbound (Virgil Williams, Dee Rees)

 ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • The Big Sick (Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani)
  • Get Out (Jordan Peele)
  • Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)
  • The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor)
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)

Winner: Get Out (Jordan Peele)

Spoiler: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)

Limelight Magazine’s Top 20 Horror Films of 2017

2017 was the biggest year for horror movies in cinematic history. Every publication from The New York Times to Variety has written about the biggest box office year ever for this genre. While movies such as It, Get Out, Split, and Annabelle 2: Creation, dominated the headlines, they were just a handful of quality horror films released this year. In looking back on 2017, these were our top 20 favorite horror movies. (As we always note when creating a list like this, we haven’t seen every horror film this year but these are our favorites as of December 31, 2017).

  1. Raw

2. Mother!

3. The Blackcoat’s Daughter

4. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

5. Get Out

6. Split

7. Happy Death Day

8. Killing Ground

9. The Void

10. Tragedy Girls

11. Jigsaw

12. It Comes At Night

13. A Cure for Wellness

14. A Dark Song

15. It

16. Better Watch Out

17. Belko Experiment

18. Annabelle 2: Creation

19. Amityville: The Awakening

20. The Devil’s Candy

LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE’S TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2017

While Limelight Magazine previewed less films in 2017 than in previous years, almost everything we saw was top notch. In fact, out of the 48 films we saw theatrically this year, there were only two disappointments (Personal Shopper and 47 Meters Down). In reflecting back on the  cinematic highlights of 2017, these were our top 10 favorites. Rather than go into detail about each one, we’re only going to list them so you can discover these movies for yourself. (Disclaimer: This list is based on films I’ve seen as of Dec. 28, 2017. It could be adjusted in the future as I view other films from 2017 in early 2018).

  1. Raw [screened @ Kendall Square Cinema, Cambridge, MA]

2. Mother! [screened @ Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, MA]

3. The Blackcoast’s Daughter [screened @ East Providence 10, East Providence, RI]

4. The Killing Of A Sacred Deer [screened @ Providence Place Cinemas, Providence, RI]5. The Shape of Water [screened @ Avon Cinema, Providence, RI]

6. Wind River [screened @ Brenden Theatres, Modesto, CA]

7. Lady Bird  [screened @ Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, MA]

8. Star Wars: The Last Jedi [screened @ AMC, Dartmouth, MA]

9. A Ghost Story [screened @ The Cable Car, Providence, RI]

10 – TIEThree Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri [Regal Cinemas, Niagara Falls, NY] 

10 – TIEColossal [screened @ Kendall Square Cinema, Cambridge, MA]

‘Twin Peaks’ filming locations

With the release of Showtime’s Twin Peaks:  A Limited Event Series on DVD and Blu-ray earlier this week, we thought it would be a good time to post photos of some of the real-life Twin Peaks filming locations that Limelight Magazine visited in the state of Washington on September 2, 2017. If you’re a fan of the series, you should enjoy these photos. (All photos are courtesy and copyright of Limelight Magazine.)

Welcome to Twin Peaks Sign Road (Southeast Reinig Road)

“The Great Northern Hotel” (a.k.a. Salish Lodge) and Snoqualmie Falls 

Inside “Salish Lodge”
Inside the gift shop at Salish Lodge

“The Palmer House”

“The Giant Log” (a.k.a. Snoqualmie Centennial Log) 

“Ronette’s Bridge” (a.k.a. Reinig Bridge) 

“The Double R Diner” (a.k.a. Twedes Cafe) 

Inside Twedes Cafe

The Packard Sawmill (a.k.a. Weyerhaeuser Mill)

The Roadhouse (a.k.a. Fall City Roadhouse & Inn)

Twin Peaks High School (a.k.a. Mt. Si High School)

Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department (a.k.a. DirtFish Rally School)

“The Hilltop” (a.k.a. Snoqualmie Point Park)

Mural on the side of Twedes Cafe

 

Limelight Magazine’s 31 favorite horror films since 2000

BY LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE 

Many people say that the best horror films came out in the 1970s and 1980s, but that simply is not the case. While there are definitely a number of classic flicks there were released during these two decades, the past 17 years have yielded a number of quality horror films that are just as good or even superior to their predecessors.

Since it’s October, we thought it would be festive to list our favorite 31 horror movies since 2000. We haven’t given any details about each film because you should be checking them out for yourselves and making your own judgments. For the fun of it, we included the “Tomatometer” from Rotten Tomatoes to see how the films rate from critics nationwide. Interestingly, only three of the films (i.e. High Tension, Saw and Tusk) fell below 50%.

It should also be noted that we have not seen every horror film of the past 17 years, but have done our best to see as many as possible. This list will be revised if we find more flicks that are worthy of adding. We realize a list like this will trigger differing opinions so we welcome all of your comments.

  1. It Follows (2015)   [Tomatometer = 96% fresh]

it-follows-movie-poster

2. The Babadook (2014)   [Tomatometer = 98% fresh]

The Babadook

3. Tusk (2014)   [Tomatometer = 41% fresh]

Tusk

4. Let Me In (2010)   [Tomatometer = 88% fresh]

let_me_in_ver6_xlg

5. Orphan (2009) [Tomatometer = 55% fresh]

6. Raw (2017)  [Tomatometer = 90% fresh]

7. [Rec] 2 (2009)   [Tomatometer = 70% fresh]

rec2

8. The Orphanage (2007)   [Tomatometer = 87% fresh]

The Orphanage

9. Martyrs (2008) [Tomatometer = 53% fresh]

10. The Invitation (2015)   [Tomatometer = 88% fresh]

invitation

11.House of the Devil (2009)   [Tomatometer = 86% fresh]

house_of_the_devil

12. Inside (2007)   [Tomatometer = 83% fresh]

13. The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015) [Tomatometer = 73% fresh]

14. Behind the Mask (2006)   [Tomatometer = 74% fresh]

behind_the_mask_ver2

15. High Tension (2003)  [Tomatometer = 41% fresh]

2003-poster-high-tension

16. Saw (2004)   [Tomatometer = 48% fresh]

17. The Conjuring (2013)   [Tomatometer = 86% fresh]

the-conjuring-exclusive-poster-131169-a-1364403315-470-75

18. Rec (2007)   [Tomatometer = 88% fresh]

rec

19. Starry Eyes (2014)   [Tomatometer = 75% fresh]

Starry Eyes

20. The Neon Demon (2016)  [Tomatometer = 57% fresh]

21. The Children (2008)   [Tomatometer = 73% fresh]

TheChildren

22. Cold Prey (2006)   [Tomatometer = No Score]

Cold Prey

23. Session 9 (2001)   [Tomatometer = 63% fresh]

session_nine

24. Sleep Tight (2012)   [Tomatometer = 93% fresh]

sleep-tight-movie-poster-2010-1020735230

25. The Witch  [Tomatometer = 91% fresh]

26. Afflicted (2014)   [Tomatometer = 81% fresh]

Afflicted

27. The Mind’s Eye (2015)   [Tomatometer = 59% fresh]

the mind's eye

28. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2017) [Tomatometer = 87% fresh]

29. Them (2006)   [Tomatometer = 61% fresh]

them_ver2

30. Ginger Snaps (2000)   [Tomatometer = 89% fresh]

giger snaps

31. Midnight Meat Train (2008) [Tomatometer = 72% fresh]

Honorable Mentions: Curse of ChuckyDon’t Breathe, The Final Destination, Frontier(s), Goodnight Mommy, The Hills Have Eyes, Hostel, Lost After Dark, May, Maniac, The Sacrament, Saw IV, Saw VI, Trick ‘r Treat, The Void, We Are Still Here and Wolf Creek.