The Gallows (2015)

The Gallows PosterDirector: Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing

Release Date: July 10th, 2015 (US); July 17th, 2015 (UK)

Genre: Horror; Thriller

Starring: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown, Ryan Shoos, Cassidy Gifford

Remember the days when movie titles made use of inanimate objects and animals to induce a sense of clinical creep? The Birds. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Alien. Those are probably bad examples given chain saw massacres are far from inanimate and aliens aren’t technically animals, but the point is The Gallows could have been one of those movies with a creepy title backed up by creepier content. It’s not, as it transpires, and that becomes fairly obvious fairly quickly.

We’re back in the found footage dimension — you know, the black abyss of modern horror — and in the company of cameraman Ryan (he’s really a high school footballer but for the purposes of this film he’s also a cameraman), his girlfriend Cassidy, pal Reese, and Reese’s crush Pfeifer. The foursome find themselves locked in school after dark and, unsurprisingly, are drawn into a sinister game of cat and mouse opposite the ghost of tragic history. Moral of the story? School finishes at 3:30 pm.

A common problem with the found footage design is it tends to hinder character development because it limits how we literally see those on-screen, often from the same angle and same perspective, while hiding the person behind the camera. As such, the characterisation here is pretty sub-standard: “Hey Reese, can I borrow your blouse?” are some of the first words Ryan says to his mate after a dodgy drama rehearsal (Reese has decided the most effective route to Pfeifer’s heart is playing opposite her in their school theatre production). It’s a bland, easy introduction to a bland, easy set of students and one not at all aided by the rest of the football team’s boyish insults that follow.

This is the stereotypical, grating, douchey high school behaviour Richard Linklater mercifully avoided in Everybody Wants Some!! and the sort of behaviour that serves only to undermine any care we have for those on-screen. Even the drama students are unbearably caricature: geek attributes maximised, ‘dorky’ glasses abound, lead actress buoyed by more positive energy than the Sun. The film has only been on for around 10 minutes by this point but even by the 70th minute the same broad strokes are stifling people. At least in this version of high school the drama geeks manage to dish out some prank revenge on the football douches.

The actors use their own first names because it’s all real and they are not really actors. (On a serious note, aren’t we past the point of trying to pretend this found footage stuff is in any way authentic?) Their performances are fine, though Ryan — the guy hauling the camera around — oscillates between high-pitched wailing and incomprehensible whispering a little too often. Another thing that’s odd: the play that the students are rehearsing is a rerun of the same one that killed a child many years prior, and given people still seem traumatised by that event, why even do a rerun? Sure, it’s the 20th anniversary of the tragedy. But wouldn’t a memorial service have sufficed? It’s especially grisly when you consider the child died via accidental hanging.

Regardless, it’s an inevitable part of the plot therefore you’re left hoping for something to differentiate the film from the usual genre pack. Writer-director duo Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing dabble in the superstitions (“Break a leg”) of stage performing without reinventing them, or at the very least provoking any new connotations — maybe by not having the characters angrily coax the dead or leave an injured mate behind. Everything goes belly-up: open doors become locked (apart from the large brick one with an eerie cross engraved on it); the group start blaming each other amid ensuing relationship drama; the gallows’ noose, previously removed from its perch by Ryan, saunters back up there unassisted.

Of course, the school does bear windows that the group could break open and escape out of at any moment. The dialogue and situational development are both so poor you wonder whether the filmmakers are actually embarking down a purposefully satirical route — for instance, at the start of the movie Ryan discovers a damaged door primed for after-dark entry. See, Reese needs to destroy the play’s set because it is the only way he can get out of a would-be terrible performance. The only way. A performance, incidentally, that he agreed to deliver because he fancies Pfeifer and it is the only way Reese can initiate a relationship between the pair. The only way. That’s high school for you.

There are a handful of quiet-quiet-bang moments that give us a fright, but these are frights without substance. You won’t remember any of them because none of them hold any weight: they aren’t emotionally or audibly or visually scary (that’s not true: there is one suitably unsettling visual during a red-tinted scene that revisits the hauntingly quiet manoeuvres of the Babadook). But otherwise the attempted scares encourage a human reaction as natural as visiting the toilet during a three-hour Tarantino film.

Look, this is cheap horror, and worse, cheap found footage horror, made for popcorn audiences searching for an easy cinemagoing escape. I don’t doubt the people involved in the process put in a lot of hard work and effort, and perhaps for some of them The Gallows conveyed genuine promise. But it should be held to the same standard as the best outings, films like The Blair Witch Project, and there simply is no comparison. It’s another case of dollar bills over quality. Lo and behold, The Gallows made $43 million — so who cares?

The Gallows - Cassidy Gifford

Images credit: IMP Awards, Collider

Images copyright (©): Warner Bros.

Man Crates: Horror Movie Survival Guide

Scream - Randy Meeks

There is a sequence in Wes Craven’s Scream where local horror buff Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) takes centre stage before a group of apparently in-the-know teenagers and explains to them the various rules of scary movie survival. “There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to successfully survive a horror movie,” he exclaims with hilarious passion. Be a virgin. Don’t announce your imminent return. And damn it, everyone is a suspect!

Taking inspiration from the lovely people over at Man Crates, I reckon it’s time we shifted our collective focus away from the reactive and towards the proactive. Let’s stop worrying about who the killer is and start worrying about how to conquer said killer. A zombie apocalypse? Forget wearily looking around for fresh water, we ought to start stocking up on the good stuff now. Below is a list of must-have possessions, things everybody should own in the event of a horrifying disaster. Let’s not kid ourselves, in a few years The Walking Dead will probably be eligible to win Best Documentary Series at the Emmys.

You check out Man Crates’ numerous crate combos here — my personal favourite is the Retro Gamer edition. The crates are primarily aimed at guys (we’re notoriously indecisive when it comes to gift wish lists) though I reckon many women out there would be interested too. Crowbars at the ready.

The Walking Dead - Michonne

1 — Water (lots)

Given I’ve already mentioned it, this one shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Apparently us humans can only go around three days without water — unless you’re Frodo Baggins who, along with his mate Sam, went something like a week without H2O replenishment. Hoarding water is just common sense. You might even be able to recycle it too, though I’m certainly no expert.

2 — Michonne’s sword (and Michonne)

A weapon is essential, and you wouldn’t want to be lugging around a chainsaw all day and night. A gun would be excellent for a while but you would be snookered when the ammo runs out. I always fancied myself as a bit of an archer — on Skyrim, anyway — but arrows numbers would eventually diminish too. I reckon you’d want something long in length to avoid any close combat, and a Katana blade perfectly fits that bill. Perhaps it’d be best just to hire Michonne as your personal bodyguard.

3 — Notepad and pen(s)

You’d need something that would help pass the time in between any monster-evading exploits, and since technology requires power (which, presumably, would be difficult to garner in a world ravaged by villainous creatures), I reckon the old notepad and pen combo would do the trick. Us film fanatics could write. Arty folk could draw. Gamers could play noughts and crosses. Endless fun.

4 — Netflix

I know I said earlier technology would be a moot possession in an apocalyptic landscape, but who am I kidding? It’s 2015. Us Millennial lot can hardly survive a day wrapped up in bed without the wonders of Netflix. Chances are the big baddie at large — be it the Xenomorph from Alien, Leatherface from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, or Ghostface him/herself — would end up addicted to Orange is the New Black anyway.

5 — Bear Grylls

He is basically humanity’s version of a pocketknife. Bear can hunt for food, he can seek out accessible shelter, create fire without equipment, built rafts to cross rivers etc. Even the world’s most powerful man, Barack Obama, trusts him (though according to the President, Bear’s culinary skills leave something to be desired). And besides, if you can’t survive a real life horror movie with a guy called “Bear” by your side, your survival chances were probably null upon arrival.

Bonus — Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility

This isn’t cheating, is it? You could sit peacefully, sword in tow, guzzling water, jotting down notes in between episodes of Twin Peaks, Bear Grylls camped by your side, and remain hidden from the atrocities of reality. I suppose if we are venturing down the magical route, Hermione’s Time-Turner would be a better option.

There you have it. Some words of advice, free of charge. What more can you ask? If you have anything to add, feel free to do so in the comments section below.

The Walking Dead - Walkers

Images credit: Collider

Images copyright (©): Dimension Films, AMC

Scream (1996)


Scream PosterDirector: Wes Craven

Release Date: December 20th, 1996 (US); May 2nd, 1997 (UK)

Genre: Horror; Mystery

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette

Within minutes, it asks us to consider our “favourite scary movie”. Characters relentlessly quote or refer to other characters from other films, such Pyscho’s Norman Bates or Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees. Wes Craven’s Scream is both a love letter to horror cinema and a skilfully rammed knife in the genre’s back. It is vibrant and arrogant and brash. Kevin Williamson pens a screenplay that inverts commonality, and does so for two reasons: to offer fans something new, and to prove that you still can offer fans something new.

Take the bloody prologue as an example. One of the greatest bait and switch openings to ever grace the silver screen, it suddenly manoeuvres from harmless small talk between Drew Barrymore’s unsuspecting teen and an anonymous caller, to effervescent morbidity. “Turn on the patio lights,” orders the unidentified voice, and from then convention is flipped: our proverbial heroine dies in an instant, despite almost escaping, almost alerting her parents, almost relaying the correct answer. You need to know your horror history or else bad things will happen. If that’s not an advert for the genre, what is?

Scream’s role in revitalising the slasher genre ought to be celebrated. Diverting tonally from the superbly mean-spirited Texas Chain Saw Massacres and Exorcists of the 1970s, this embraced the madness and subsequently recaptured the imagination of viewers with self-reflective normalisation. Whereas earlier audiences sought out squeals and yelps (as seen in this recording of a 70s Halloween screening), cinemagoers in the 90s were clearly after something different. Craven obliged, combining wit with exhilarating chills to create an atmosphere that encouraged knowledgeable grins.

More recently, Final Destination and Saw have built entire franchises atop Scream’s perceptive hallmarks, and filmmakers such as Ti West and Adam Wingard likely fostered their own brand of creative horror having gazed upon Craven’s work. Edgar Wright published a touching tribute to the late director, noting the visceral influence Craven’s portfolio had on him in his younger years, an influence that once again reared during the production of Shaun of the Dead (you can read that tribute here).

The story is straightforward: a rampaging killer is loose in Woodsboro, a small Californian community seemingly dominated by obnoxious teens and roving reporters. Still living with the demons brought on by her mother’s murder, Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell, who wholly endears) unwittingly gets caught up in the knife-wielding drama. Knowing the killer’s identity before seeing the film doesn’t undo its value, which is sort of the point; though guessing is part of the fun, horror doesn’t have to be about who is under the hood. The preceding thrill is worth its weight in gold.

Speaking of said killer, the villain here is a maniacal conglomeration of humour and fear. The way Ghostface runs is both funny and scary, as is the way his/her mask droops. Ghostface appears anywhere and everywhere: reflected in the eye of a deceased victim; scampering through neighbourhood forests; hiding behind school closets. It could be anybody under the black cloak and as such a prevailing air of bubbling uncertainty exists (“There’s a formula to it, a very simple formula. Everybody’s a suspect!”). Characters act erratically around each other, but no more erratically than normal teenagers act, which helps to harnesses any disengaging silliness.

Famous for breaking the fourth wall and openly discussing the rules of horror, Scream’s meta ambience still holds up almost two decades on. Perhaps this is indicative of a lack of evolution in the genre, or perhaps it is simply because Wes Craven had a penchant for predicting and challenging the future Zeitgeist. Regarding scary movies, Sydney lays it out for us: “What’s the point? They’re all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can’t act, who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. It’s insulting.” And normally it is insulting, but not this time.

Patrick Lussier’s snappy editing feeds the edgy (and also comedic) aura, as do Marco Beltrami’s brassy convulsions. Mark Irwin’s camera often shows us what Sydney does not see — for example, the killer’s feet and costume descending into view beneath a bathroom stall door that our protagonist checked only moments prior. Scream is not, incidentally, an out-and-out comedy. We laugh when the film acknowledges absurdity, a trait familiar to the genre that is often ignored in favour of a more serious approach.

At one point the song lyrics “say a prayer for the youth of America” ring out before the view instantly cuts to a house party. The insinuation could be anything. That youngsters lack focus and are too materialistic. That the teens in this film are in grave danger. It could even be a nod towards the social plight of kids in the real world — 1996, after all, continued to play host to the consumerist, ratings-gorging MTV Generation.

The outing even manages to appraise the media in between its scary movie satire. It is tough on said industry, embodied by journalist Gale Weathers’ constant need to invade the teens’ privacy as well as her less than admirable moral motivations (“Do you know what that could do for my book sales?”). But there is a blunt nod towards the media’s role in serving justice too.

It all culminates in an intense, enjoyable and smartly executed wild goose chase with so many well-earned twists and turns. And, like in all great horror flicks, you really want the innocent lot to make it through the bloodbath unscathed. Well, maybe a little scathed. Those are the rules after all.

Scream - Ghostface

Images credit: IMP AwardsPopcorn Horror

Images copyright (©): Dimension Films

Texas Chainsaw (2013)

Texas Chainsaw PosterDirector: John Luessenhop

Release Date: January 4th, 2013 (UK and US)

Genre: Horror; Thriller

Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde, Trey Songz, Scott Eastwood

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Texas Chainsaw, the latest cynically-driven reboot/rehash/retread of Tobe Hooper’s masterful massacre, opens with a montage showing a series of short clips taken from its cinematic elder. We see 1974 Leatherface in all of his gritty glory, revving that infamous metal engine and thrusting it towards a rabble of victims without inducing so much as sliced finger. Ironically, John Luessenhop’s newest creation never exceeds the heights set by its introductory mosaic. The moment simply reminds us of the original’s greatness, a success that was never going to be on the cards for Texas Chainsaw. After all, this is nothing more than another cash ploy exploiting the historical coffers of the ailing franchise.

Upon hearing about the death of a grandmother she didn’t know existed, Heather (Alexandra Daddario) and her mates pack into a minivan and venture over to Texas to pick up her inheritance. The trip conjures up a fifth wheel but other than that nothing of note arises. That is, until they reach Heather’s newly acquired mansion, a place that houses more than just expensive cutlery and creepy family portraits.

Despite expunging a budget of around $20 million, Texas Chainsaw does its absolute best to parade as an amateur visual (mis)treat. Blood splatters imported from the 300 school of imagery are unrealistic and out of sync with the surrounding picture. It’s a struggle not to chuckle awkwardly at Leatherface’s body-chopping skills, or maybe the fault lies not with our masked murderer but with the overworked visuals department. Luessenhop should really have learned from the gory restraint championed by the original — at least that way any potential embarrassments on the CGI front would’ve been kept to a minimum. Besides, a substantial decrease in violence for the sake of violence might actually have equipped the film with a sense of mature purpose, and also saved those sweat-dripping studio bosses a wad of cash. Given the amount spent and available contemporary technology, there’s really no excuse for this 2013 horror film to lazily produce cheap gore.

Even worse than the visual continuity issues at hand are a whole heap of character continuity problems. There’s no avoiding the awfulness of those whose story we’re watching unfold. To phrase it justifiably bluntly, every single person on show is an idiot: the family lawyer who hands Heather her new house keys quite obviously knows there’s something iffy about the place, yet decides to bite his tongue; a police detective follows a trail of blood and wanders directly into mismatched danger, when halting five minutes for back-up would probably have been the more sensible action; whilst attempting to escape, the group decide waiting it out in a minivan that’s on its last wheels is a better idea than high-tailing it on foot. Watching the characters is painfully infuriating, even for a horror flick. Though it should be noted that “it’s a horror movie, what d’you expect?” isn’t a good enough excuse for poor characterisation. There is no excuse. People and plot, cinema’s most basic foundations, both crumbling here.

Texas Chainsaw bursts at the seams with so many genre clichés that we begin to wonder if the screenplay has been written by an actual human being with a subjective mind, or a horror slot machine that lands on cherry every spin. In fact the commonalities can be as local as they come on occasion; on their minivan travels the friends pick up a wanderer. Sound familiar? The symbolism doesn’t necessarily lie in the ‘what’ of this moment, but rather the ‘who’. From an eerily disconcerting hitchhiker 40 years ago, to an insane runaway three decades later, we’ve now been landed with a Calvin Klein model. A sign of the times, perhaps. Ultimately the narrative leans towards a phoning — or cashing — it in attitude and, given the film’s title was rounded off with ‘3D’ during its cinematic run, cashing it in feels like quite an apt description. To give the filmmakers’ some credit, there is an attempt to sever conventional ties in regard to the franchise, but this come across as desperate rather than inspired. Truthfully, the angle only succeeds in tarnishing the authentically terrifying mantra laid out in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Rounding off the dismal outing is a handful of performances each lacking the same inspiration that those behind the camera are devoid of. The material might not be any good, but nobody manages to ascend the steps of unsullied. Alexandra Daddario is Heather and probably comes out less burnt than the others, but her talent far exceeds her display. Watch Daddario in True Detective to see a potential superstar. Heck she even gives a better account of herself in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Tania Raymonde likely wishes she’d stayed Lost. The only noteworthy point to make about her appearance is the inclusions of an incredibly gratuitous low-from-behind shot that’s only possible because her character ‘chooses’ to walk alongside a moving vehicle. (As opposed to travelling in it, like most normal folk do when they’re headed somewhere.) Trey Songz also shows up but doesn’t do any singing.

Texas Chainsaw is a project driven by financial gain and very little else. It shows, and in just about every aspect too. The film’s execution is sloppy, the narrative is terminally uninspired and most of the characters are borderline abhorrent. We don’t care at the beginning, and we care even less by the end. The only reason we don’t celebrate anyone’s demise is because that’d make us just as bad as them.

Texas Chainsaw - Leatherface

Images credit: IMP Awards, Collider

Images copyright (©): Lionsgate

Myths at the Movies

Myths don’t necessarily have to be true. In fact, more often than not they are false. The attraction of a myth, at least for me, is not that it is true, but rather the mystery surrounding its authenticity. The sort of ‘imagine if that actually happened?’ feeling. Some are scary, others funny, and many just plain stupid.

Recently, I have found myself traversing across the internet in search of popular movie myths (I have a lot of spare time on my hands). The myths in question range from the unnervingly accurate, to the outright preposterous. For something a bit different, I am going to write about a few of these wacky myths. You may have already heard of some of them, but hopefully there’ll be a few new ones for you to absorb.

The Wizard of Flaws

One of the most popular film myths, and one that has been around for years, is the Munchkin suicide myth from The Wizard of Oz (1939).

Apparently, if you look closely enough, at the point during the film where Dorothy and her companions are skipping along the road you can see a Munchkin’s silhouette hanging from a tree. I know what you are thinking: why start off by writing about something so horrible? Fear not. The suicidal Munchkin actually turned out to be a rather large bird stretching its rather large wings. As a matter of fact, the Munchkin actors had yet to arrive on set for filming by that point. This myth garnered so much momentum that BBC News picked up the story back in 2006. Here’s the scene on YouTube, along with a user’s attempt to debunk the myth completely.

It is all a little confusing, but I think it’s safe to say that this myth is nothing more than just that — a myth.

Exorcising The Exorcist

Up next we have a whole host of myths associated with just the one film (and a scary one at that), The Exorcist (1973). Some of these are not really myths at all — the vast majority of them are true.

“It looks colder in there than out here.”

Stories from the set claim that director William Friedkin went to abnormal lengths to create an organic scare-factor: he kept the room that Regan (the daughter at the centre of the film, played by Linda Blair) slept in — and where a large percentage of the film was shot — at freezing cold temperatures, inviting icicles to form around the girl’s face. Friedkin also fired live ammunition behind priest Damien Karras (Jason Miller) in order to get a sufficient fright out of him. The director even slapped Father William O’Malley (a real life priest who also played one) in the face right before an emotional scene. I’ve heard of method acting, but method directing? Sheesh.

That ain’t all from the set of The Exorcist as far as myths go. Remember the freezing room? Friedkin ought to have invoked even lower temperatures; after filming finished, a studio fire caused the whole house to burn down — only, Regan’s bedroom remained unscathed. There are even those — evangelist Billy Graham — who believe the celluloid rolls of film still harbour evil. The final, and most unfortunate, myth aligned with The Exorcist suggests that any person involved in production will be cursed for life. Jack MacGowran and Vasiliki Maliaros, who played a film director and a mother respectively, sadly passed away before The Exorcist was released in cinemas. Eerily, both actors’ characters die in the film too.

Weird, right? Perhaps a mixture of truth and exaggeration, but The Exorcist remains one of the most mythical films in existence.

In The Jungle

On to something a bit more cheery then, as we take a trip to Africa where some unsuitable hidden messages can be found loitering in The Lion King (1994), or so it may seem.

A nighttime scene shows a sad Simba slumping down onto the mossy ground below. That slump sends various bits and pieces from the turf up into the air, only for the fragments to spell out the letters “S-E-X”. Well, well, well. Those Lion King animators sure do have dirty minds. Or perhaps they innocently intended to spell out “S-F-X” in order to pay homage to the sound department. Certainly, the mother whose child alerted her to the ambiguous wordage didn’t see the term as a friendly inter-crew acknowledgement.

This one could go either way. It is difficult to make out each letter from the video above. Hey, maybe somebody who has seen The Lion King in 3D can let us know?

The Rescuers need Rescued

Sticking with the world of animation for the time being, let’s take a look at another potentially egregious myth. If you think spelling out “sex” was bad, just wait until you see what someone managed to sneak into The Rescuers (1977).

“Don’t look, there’s something over there that hasn’t been drawn by a pencil!”

That’s correct, the innocent film about two little mice who just want to help other little mice. It just so happens that, on their way to rescuing those other mice, our two heroes unwittingly pass something not quite as animated as the rest of the film (well, it’s not animated in the literal sense at least). Hanging from a window in the background behind our furry friends is an image of a topless woman. How did it get there? I guess we’ll never know. It could be that someone in post-production slipped the image into the film. Or maybe it was simply a complete accident (yeah… right).

One thing that we can be absolutely certain about is that this myth is completely true — all you need is a pair of working eyes to see it. Though it appears even well-functioning eyes were absent back in 1977 because it took Disney until 1999 to correct their X-rated mishap. A bit late to the party if you ask me.

Ill-diana Jones

Harrison Ford is arguably most well-known for his exploits as Indiana Jones, from where our next myth emanates. This is definitely a favourite of mine.

During the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), the unfortunate Ford had developed a nasty case of dysentery, making him more popular with the bathroom than the film set. Ford, required to execute an almost four-page-long fight scene with a scimitar warrior, asked director Steven Spielberg if he could film the scene a little differently. And that he did just that — take a look.

Simple. Effective. Hilarious. Spielberg enjoyed the new version so much that he ensured it made the final cut. Good old dysentery.

Slash and Burn

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). The myth here is that the events depicted in the film actually happened. Eugh.

“Wait. You’re telling me some us these myths are true?”

That’s correct — a chainsaw-wielding family of cannibals who slaughtered and ate their victims, actually existed (hopefully past tense is applicable). This is also backed up by the film’s home video release synopsis which reads, “This film is an account of a tragedy which befell a group of five youths…” and, “This video cassette is based on a true incident…” The low-quality, seedy and grainy aesthetic of the movie actually backs up this myth.

The question is: was this just a ploy used by the filmmakers to darken the reputation of the film and get it noticed? Maybe. But it turns out some of the events on-screen do have connotations with a real life serial killer named Ed Gein, from Wisconsin. He was something of a mama’s boy and he did murder people, which is as far as the similarities go. The characters are fictional, the setting is fictional, and the chainsaw undertakings are probably somewhat fictional too. I hope.

Three Men, a Baby and a Ghost Boy

After all of that chainsaw stuff, I think it is best to end on a slightly more positive note. Or rather, a slightly more stupid note.

He’s behind you.

For this myth we must branch off over to the set of Three Men and a Baby (1987), and the myth of the child ghost. Spooky. Indeed, the tale goes that a young boy was killed on the set of the film and that, just for a laugh, he decided that he wanted to be a part of the final cut — positioning himself behind a curtain during this scene to the right.

See? That’s him alright. The young boy who met his untimely demise on the set of one of the biggest films of 1987, and whose death was obviously swept under the rug to avoid any backlash. Not quite. It’s actually just a cardboard cutout of actor and star of the film Ted Danson, a prop meant to be used elsewhere in the film that was accidentally left on set. Those damn tricky cardboard cut-outs; you can never predict what they might get up to in their spare time, but pretending to be a ghost boy is a new low.

I love myths in general, so when they’re combined with cinema it grants them an additional layer of intrigue. Hopefully you enjoyed reading about some film myths and — like me — spent some time laughing at the sheer idiocy of some of them. If you know of any more then please feel free to share them in the comments section below. Thanks!