Watch James Franco go undercover as The Shining's Jack Torrance at a haunted house

It’s still easy to rag on James Franco for acting like a pretentious grad student a few years ago, but it’s time to acknowledge the dude deserves our respect. Even if you didn’t like his brilliant turn in Spring Breakers, his reverent, nuanced performances in fare like 11.22.63 and The Deuce are proof that he isn’t…

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The connections between It and The Shining could tell us what even Pennywise fears

With the release of It and The Dark Tower (and, hell, even Gerald’s Game), more and more casual Stephen King fans are hearing tell of the “dark universe” that connects so many of his books. Pennywise and the Losers’ Club, for example, not only appear in It, but are also either referenced or seen in King books like The…

What’s your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

Masters of horror and a stunning premiere check in at the Overlook Film Festival

It’s hard to overstate the natural beauty that surrounds the Timberline Lodge. Located above the snow line atop what everyone refers to as simply “the mountain,” every window—except for the ones completely blocked by snow—casually opens onto a stunning vista, as if to say, “Oh, that? That’s just the white-capped peak…

Let’s scrape together The Shining epilogue that Stanley Kubrick destroyed

Stephen King is brilliant, but he’s also sometimes wrong. For years, the prolific horror author has asserted that Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of The Shining is not just a bad adaptation but also a bad movie, “a Cadillac with no engine in it” that “you can’t do anything with… except admire it as sculpture.”…

Midnight, the stars, and Pence: Did The Shining predict Trump’s win?

Yesterday, Mike Pence got the House Republicans together to figure out how one of those darn “selfie sticks” work. The result was a selfie of unmitigated terror: a sea of old, pasty faces, like some sort of chorus of the damned, frozen and oblivious. It immediately drew connections with Paul Ryan’s similarly forced…

David S. Pumpkins is in every horror movie now—any questions?

Viewers of the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live—as well as anyone who’s been on the internet this week—are by now very familiar with David S. Pumpkins. The jack-o’-lantern-suit-wearing, perpetually grinning Pumpkins (played by Tom Hanks), appeared as part of the show’s “Haunted Elevator” sketch, popping up…

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What pop culture becomes more meaningful as you get older?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

Stranger Things’ encounters with the unknown get closer

Toward the end of “Chapter One: The Vanishing Of Will Byers,” Joyce tells Jonathan his missing brother is close: “I know it. I feel it in my heart.” Will is more than close. As he spells out on his mother’s makeshift spirit board, he’s right here. So is Barb. So is an entire world, like their own but eerily desolate.…