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The Ghosts of This Movie Still Haunt Contemporary Horror

A new Junkfood Cinema episode with special guest Owen Egerton.
By  · Published on January 12th, 2017

Join us at the table, you know me (Brian Salisbury) and my Junkfood Cinema podcast cohost C. Robert Cargill (the screenwriter of Doctor Strange turned lieutenant in Megaforce). Oh, and tonight we’ll be joined by Austin author/filmmaker Owen Egerton (Follow, The Axe Murders of Villisca). And finally, Madame Repetitiva will be presiding over our seance tonight. The candles are lit, the spirits are present, and this whole exercise feels frighteningly…familiar.

This week we discuss the 1980 horror film The Changeling starring George C. Scott and a very angry ghost. While not the first haunted house flick ever made, The Changeling’s ghost still haunts the halls of many current film studios; the specter having a particular fondness for Blumhouse as it turns out. The tropes and scare manipulations established by The Changeling quietly redefined this subgenre.

Contained within the seance scene, for example, is the blueprint from which was designed the seances in Insidious and the Ouija movies. Think on that, the movies based on the consumer product necessary for hosting neighborhood seances owe more to this 1980 film than the game on which they were based.

At our own in-house seance, Owen conjured up a confession as to how The Changeling affected his latest film The Axe Murders of Villisca, which will be available January 20th from IFC. Download and listen to this week’s episode to hear more on the influences and the story of how Owen actually spent a night in a real haunted house to prep for his movie!

As a special treat, anyone who backs JFC on Patreon will have access to a weekly bonus episodes covering an additional cult movie, a new movie in theaters, or a mailbag episode devoted to your submitted questions! Have a couple bucks to throw in the hat, we’ll reward you!

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Longtime FSR columnist, current host of FSR’s Junkfood Cinema podcast. President of the Austin Film Critics Association.