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DID YOU READ

Horrific.

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"Actually, I'm committing suicide on the installment plan."
Every year at this time, film journalists thoughts turn to talk of the state of the horror film. We’ve run out of things to say on the subject. Last weekend, "Saw III" opened to $34.3 million at the box office — we know nothing about the film, but prefer to think of it as a series of sketches in which people jump into industrial-sized blenders, over and over again, for 80 minutes. We’re just weary of what Rebecca Winters Keegan proclaimed "The Splat Pack" in Time last week, though it’s also possible they’re getting tired of themselves. On the wires today, Leigh Whannell and James Wan, the 29-year-old filmmakers behind the "Saw" franchise, expressed reluctance to commit to the inevitable "Saw IV":

"I don’t know personally if I would want to do it or not," Leigh Whannell said of the potential fourth film.

"As a creator, I’m starting to feel like I’m painting with the same brush."

A brush…DIPPED IN GORE! Eh, whatever. Don’t get us wrong, we like horror, and we’re absolute suckers for all things supernatural, which inevitably seep into our subconscious and give us nightmares, no matter how obvious or cheesy or "intended to be funny" (we’ve got our eye on you, "Ghostbusters II"). It’s just that franchises like "Saw," "The Grudge" and "Final Destination" all seem to be composed of the lopped-off ends of film. Whither suspense and build-up?

Over at the Onion AV Club, Noel Murray and Scott Tobias have a nice discussion of the meaning of the current hits of horror. Murray:

I think you’re right that the most relevant-to-American-youth horror films today are torture-fests like Saw and Hostel, and I agree that the relevance is tied to 9/11, but I think it goes beyond the fear of unexpected tragedy. If you look closely at Hostel—and Wolf Creek, for that matter—what they’re really about is what happens after everything goes to hell. When that kid in Hostel is strapped to a chair with a chainsaw-wielding sicko heading toward him, we in the audience have to ask what we’re hoping to see. Do we just want him to escape and get the hell out of there? Or do we want to him to get hold of that chainsaw and exact revenge?

Over at the Film Experience Blog, Nathaniel R. has links and an entry in a blog-a-thon centered on that most metaphor-friendly of horror denizens, the vampire. We’re not seeing it anywhere after a cursory glance, but we wanted to make sure there’s some love shown for Larry Fessenden‘s "Habit," our favorite revisionist vampire film out there.

At MSNBC, self-proclaimed "gorehound" Dave White shares his list of the ten "coolest horror movie killings ever."

And we’ve seen nothing so frightening this year as Susan Wloszczyna piece in USA Today on John Travolta‘s turn as Edna Turnblad in the upcoming "Hairspray" semi-remake.

Travolta wanted to make Edna sexier and real, not a campy drag act. That required four hours of prep time before putting in eight hours of performing in padding and silicone prosthetics.

+ The Splat Pack (Time)

+ Saw IV’s a sore point
(Sydney Morning Herald)

+ Crosstalk: The state of horror cinema (Onion AV Club)
+ The Vampire Blog-a-Thon (Film Experience Blog)
+ The coolest horror movie killings ever (MSNBC)
+ Pssst! Pssst! John Travolta is Edna Turnblad (USA Today)

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IFC_Portlandia-S8_pick-a-lane_subaru-blog

Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Uncle-Buck

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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IFC_Portlandia-AORewind-blog

A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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