How a Photography Trend Evolved Over the Last Century

How a Photography Trend Evolved Over the Last Century

Photography trends abound; some are fleeting, while others come and go over the decades, never completely disappearing. We don’t often stop to look at where they started or realize that we are participating in something even bigger than us.

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3C Remote Control App for BMPCC 4K v1.4

CDA-TEK has released v1.4 of their 3C Remote Control app for the BMPCC 4K. The main addition is integrated support for the Tilta Nucleus-Nano focus control wheel to enable wireless focus control of native and EF adapted lenses without the need for gear rings, focus motors and external power. This reduces the number of accessories … Continued

The post 3C Remote Control App for BMPCC 4K v1.4 appeared first on Newsshooter.

How to Double the Resolution of Your Images From the iPhone 11 Pro

How to Double the Resolution of Your Images From the iPhone 11 Pro

The latest iPhone now offers some incredible features for photography. Considering the fact that the iPhone is the most popular camera in the world, it’s great to see how Apple has continued to develop its cameras to offer even better features.

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Canon patent application details hybrid speedlight with active cooling via internal fan

The fan, labeled ‘155,’ is located on the bottom of the flash head.

A recent patent application from Canon details the schematics for a hybrid speedlight that has built-in cooling for keeping the speedlight cool with continuous use.

Japanese patent application 2019-185021 shows various ways in which a fan underneath the flash head of the speedlight would pull in air from the ambient environment, direct it over the front of the main flash tube and cycle it out to keep temperatures at a more manageable level. Interestingly, the patent also shows a pair of LED lights above and below the main flash tube, the reason we consider this a ‘hybrid’ speedlight.

Various illustrations in the patent show how the air would be channeled through the flash head depending on where the flash tube is located inside the speedlight. This particular example shows how the air would flow in front of the flash tube (and LED lights, labeled 102 and 104) and cycle out of the speedlight via the empty space behind the flash head and LED lights.

The patent doesn’t specify whether or not the cooling mechanism is more for the main flash tube or the LED lights. But, considering fans aren’t necessarily a requirement on traditional speedlights and the incredible amount of heat LEDs can put out — especially in a confined package without much passive cooling — we believe it would make the most sense that this fan would run at times when the LED lights would be on for extended periods of time, where heat could built up without the chance to dissipate in a reasonable timeframe.

As noted by Canon News, who first broke down the patent, the detailed drawings and tech specifications for this speedlight indicate that quite a bit of work has gone into it already. As with all patents, it might never see the light of day, but it’s an interesting concept nonetheless.

How to Add Color to Your Shadows in Photoshop

How to Add Color to Your Shadows in Photoshop

One of the most asked subjects people contact me about is how I color my images. Everyone expects a simple answer that solves everything, but unfortunately, it does not work like that.

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Disappointed by Tamron’s f/2.8 Primes for Sony? Don’t Worry: There’s f/2.0 Glass in the Pipeline

Disappointed by Tamron's f/2.8 Primes for Sony? Don't Worry: There's f/2.0 Glass in the Pipeline

The Sony world felt a little bit disappointed when Tamron’s recently announced primes turned out to be only f/2.8. Is Tamron about to cheer us all up with some glass that’s a little more up to speed?

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Adobe shows the new AI powered Object Selection Tool

Adobe shared this sneak peak on the new Sensei Object Selection Tool: It all goes into the same direction like the new AI powered new Luminar 4 (full details here) which will ship out soon. Here is  a new demo…

The post Adobe shows the new AI powered Object Selection Tool appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

Did Adobe Improve Their Creative Cloud App? I Think Not

Did Adobe Improve Their Creative Cloud App? I Think Not

In March, I did a post that was critical of Adobe applications of late: lots of bugs, sometimes unintelligible offshore customer support, and their Creative Cloud menu bar app (on Mac OS) that seemed more a marketing device than a useful way to know about Adobe updates (on Windows, the Creative cloud app is launched from the Task Bar).

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You Might Want to Check Your Lightroom Settings More Often

You Might Want to Check Your Lightroom Settings More Often

The Lens Corrections panels in the Lightroom Develop Module and Adobe Camera Raw provides the ability to correct lens problems such as distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting. These settings are often turned on and never given a second thought.

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10 Ways to Shoot Street Photos Without Being Noticed

10 Ways to Shoot Street Photos Without Being Noticed

All of us know that if your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough. Here are 10 great methods for shooting on the street without drawing attention to yourself.

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10 Great Movies That Are Written, Directed, and Starring The Same Person

Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Woody Allen, and Orson Welles are amongst some of the most well-known self-written and self-directed actors in cinema. Other names like Sylvester Stallone, George Clooney, and Tom Hanks have also proven themselves capable in making a film that they have written, directed, and acted in themselves.

The concept of an auteur states that although a film can be fictional, it is always a direct reflection of the person making it. When filmmakers take on more than one role in the making of a film, it begins to carry a greater reflection of their identity. This allows for the artist, as well as the viewer, to have an entirely different experience with the film that is opposed to instances where a director leads a film he didn’t write or become the lead character for.

This list explores ten celebrated filmmakers whose work as writer, director and actor in the same film is a must see. Some names on this list are more famous than others, but they have all successfully shared deeply personal experiences. Through their unique blend of words, cinematic choices, and physical presence on the screen, these directors have told stories through film that only they are able to tell.


1. Life is Beautiful – Roberto Benigni

Life is Beautiful

Benigni’s Life is Beautiful is touching, funny and hopelessly sad all at once. The film follows a man named Guido (played by Benigni) and his young son as they are captured and sent to a concentration camp during World War II. From the start, Guido creates rules to explain to his son that the trip to the camp is actually a holiday, and that they are part of a game with points that could win them a real life army tank.

Although many critics have claimed that the use of comedy was an insensitive approach in the context of the Holocaust, Benigni uses it as a coping mechanism to protect his child’s innocence in the face of inevitable doom. His comedic approach is authentic, and in many ways autobiographical since Benigni’s actual father was a prisoner in a concentration camp during World War II, and used humour when sharing work stories to his son.

When understanding his perspective as a father in this uncontrollable situation, it feels understandable and almost intuitive for a man to make his son laugh instead of cry. Throughout the film, Benigni forces viewers to have a rollercoaster experience of sadness through tears, and the tireless efforts to protect his son’s spirit through laughs.


2. Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling – Richard Pryor

In Richard Pryor’s directorial debut, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling, he creates a self-reflective, semiautobiographical film about a successful comedian who gets trapped in a world of alcohol, drugs and women as a way to cope with a past that haunts him, no matter how much success he gains through his career.

The film begins with a series of events that leads Jojo in the hospital. Not many details are given except that Jojo was on drugs during the incident, and that the severe burns on his bod have left him in critical condition. While in the hospital, what looks like Jojo’s spirit leaves his practically dead body. The film goes on to follow Jojo’s spirit as he revisits all the moments of his past that have led him to the near death experience at the beginning of the film.

JoJo visits the whorehouse he grew up in to speak to his mother who worked there a prostitute, he confronted his uncaring father, relived the love and infidelity of his past relationships, and finally ended up in his home, alone, searching for rocks on his carpet to get high with. It’s clear that Pryor and Dancer have shared the ways in which they coped with their past traumas, seeing as Pryor admitted to being addicted to alcohol and drugs over the course of his career. Pryor claimed that drugs offered him an instant sense of euphoria that his insecurities would never let him feel through love, money, or success.

The context and plot of the film makes Pryor’s first and only attempt at directing, writing, and starring in this film nothing but vulnerable. He laid his life out on the screen and was transparent with every aspect of it, displaying the trials and tribulations he dealt with in exactly the way in which he wanted you to see them.


3. The Nutty Professor – Jerry Lewis

Often referred to as the master of slapstick comedy, Jerry Lewis’ career, in all aspects of the film creating process, cannot go unnoticed. Although there are still mixed feelings on his approach and style of filmmaking, he took great responsibility and pride in having complete control over the direction of his films. He believed there was a transparency and heart to engaging in all the jobs of making a film (on and off camera) that could not be replicated when simply being an actor in another person’s story.

After a geeky professor creates a formula that physically transforms him into a handsome, confident man, The Nutty Professor, also known as Mr. Kelp, faces the world through a different lens. The new and improved Mr. Kelp goes by the name of Buddy Love, and he effortlessly sweeps people off their feet with his beautiful singing voice and magnetic personality.

Although it maintains a conventional narrative, The Nutty Professor is a key film in Lewis’ filmography. By the time he made The Nutty Professor, his style in comedy was established in a way where he could challenge serious themes like the social importance of physical appearances, and the natural and uncontrollable curiosity that human beings have with improving their lives with science.


4. Buffalo ’66 – Vincent Gallo

Vincent Gallo’s Buffalo’ 66 is a reflection of a man’s inability to love others as a result of not being regarded or cared for as a child. The film’s dark and gloomy aesthetic perfectly conceptualizes the character’s psychological anxiety throughout the plot of the film.

The film begins with Billy Brown, played by Gallo, getting released from jail. On his stressful pursuit to find a place to pee, Billy kidnaps a young tap dancer and tells her she has to pretend to be his loving wife on a visit to his parents’ house. For some unexplainable reason, Stella, the young kidnapped girl plays along with Billy’s scheme, and does not find a way to escape. The plot then shifts to Billy seeking revenge for his unjust imprisonment, unexpectedly falling in love with Stella in the process.

Gallo has said that Buffalo ‘66 was a cathartic experience because it really reflected the struggles of his own life. Apart from Billy and Gallo’s similar characteristics, Gallo has stated that his parents in real life are exactly like the parents in the film, only that the one’s in the film somehow seem a bit more charming. In the scene where he visits his old home, Gallo presents an extremely toxic household that strikes nothing but pity for the Billy that had to grow up in it.

The neglect and disinterest his parents have with him is extremely saddening, and can easily go on to explain why he seems so strange. Billy is quite the intense character in this film, however, the way in which his unconventional interactions with Stella progress is what makes the film what it is: a twisted, unconventional, and captivating love story.


5. Sling Blade – Billy Bob Thornton

Sling Blade

Thornton’s directorial debut, Sling Blade follows a disabled man named Karl who is released from a mental institution after serving a 17-year sentence for murdering his mother and her lover.

After his release, Karl decides to go back to his hometown where he becomes friends with a little boy named Frank. Over the course of the film, Karl and Frank develop a bond that is undeniably pure and quite heartwarming to watch come about.

Thornton, had worked in a nursing home before becoming an actor, and said that Karl was an amalgam of different people that he met while working there. One of the main reasons why Sling Blade resonated with so many people is because of how authentic Karl feels in everything he says and does. The details that make up his personality are so unique that he becomes a real person, and not just a written role played by an actor. His mannerisms, his walk, his talk, the way he says “mhm” after every line, or the way he rubs his hands when he speaks, are all part of the realness Thornton brought to him on screen.

Themes of religion and prejudice radiate throughout Karl’s experiences, highlighting society’s cruel ways of normalizing the maltreatment of disabled people. Through a series of simple stories, we see that religion can fall into the wrong hands and be twisted to manipulate others, but it can also redeem a flawed man, and help him find a purpose.

The Fujifilm 200mm F2 shoots planes, cranes and hydroplanes

As autumn rolls in in the northern hemisphere I always find myself wishing that summer would stick around just a little bit longer. So, in the spirit of summer, I’m going to take you for a voyage in the wayback machine all the way to August, when the sun was bright and the temperatures warm.

One of the highlights of the warm(ish) season here in Seattle is Seafair, a summer-long festival that culminates with an airshow featuring the US Navy’s Blue Angels and hydroplane races on Lake Washington. Not familiar with hydroplanes? Imagine strapping a turbine engine from a helicopter onto the back of a boat and racing it around an oval loop at up to 320 kph (200 mph). Wild stuff.

Hydroplanes are lifted in and out of the pits by a crane between heats for maintenance.

ISO 1000 |1/5000 sec. | F4.0 | 280mm

It’s a fun event to photograph, but a challenging one as well; your subjects are typically far away and moving very fast. I had been looking for an opportunity to use Fujifilm’s 200mm F2 telephoto and Seafair seemed like just the right event. I paired the lens with a X-T3 body and headed out for two days to shoot in the hot summer sun.

Fujifilm isn’t the first brand I think of when it comes to shooting fast action, but I was dying to try the lens and Fujifilm’s AF system has been getting really good on recent models, so I decided to give it a go. TL;DR – I wasn’t disappointed.

I spent my first day at Seattle’s Boeing Field where the Blue Angels are based during the airshow. I had planned to shoot planes in flight (hmmm… maybe not the best way to phrase that), but I was pleasantly surprised at all the shooting opportunities on the ground. The 200mm F2 came through for me big time here.

Photos of the Blue Angels in flight abound, but the 200mm F2 also allowed me to focus on the ground crews to show the people who make these airshows possible.

ISO 400 |1/640 sec. | F5.6 | 200mm

With a bit of creative positioning I was able to shoot above, around and, in a few cases, straight through the crowd to get some close photos of the planes, pilots and ground crews before takeoff and after landing. I love these types of photos because they add a human element to the story that’s often missing from Blue Angels photos.

Image quality was outstanding. In my opinion, this lens performs as well as any similarly specced optic I’ve tried (comparable to a 300mm F3.0 on full frame). Images were consistently sharp with excellent contrast and looked great straight out of the camera.

The following day I headed out to Lake Washington to shoot the hydros. I quickly discovered what experienced hydroplane photographers already know: the hydros are a lot farther from shore than you think and the lens didn’t provide enough reach to get a tight shot on the boats. Fortunately, I had the lens’s companion 1.4x teleconverter which quickly transformed it into a 280mm F2.8 (420mm equivalent) to get a bit closer to the action.

Hydroplanes skim across the water at speeds in excess of 300 kph. Even with the Fujifilm 1.4x teleconverter attached the boats were a bit far away for a tight frame.

ISO 200 |1/5000 sec. | F3.2 | 280mm

I was impressed with shots using the teleconverter as well, though you do give up a bit of absolute sharpness when it’s used. However, unless you’re pixel peeping or printing very large the difference won’t be apparent to most viewers. It’s also worth noting that I was shooting distant objects on a very hot day, so heat haze likely had some impact on absolute sharpness in these images. Overall, I really enjoyed shooting with the teleconverter attached and didn’t notice any compromises in performance other than a slight loss in sharpness.

And the X-T3? It exceeded my expectations. I mostly used zone focus and the AF was fast and precise. Did it miss some shots here or there? Definitely. But no more than I’d expect from any other camera this side of a Nikon D5 or Canon EOS-1D X Mark II.

The US Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team thunders overhead.

ISO 400 |1/4000 sec. | F3.6 | 200mm

I have to give props to Fujifilm for one other thing as well. I almost always make adjustments to Raw files, but I didn’t need to make adjustments to any of the photos I shot over the course of two days. The entire sample gallery was created by opening Raw images in Lightroom and immediately exporting them as Jpeg images using Fujifilm’s Astia film profile, which did the best job of rendering the blue color of the planes. Fujifilm just gets this part right, and it’s one of the reasons I keep getting drawn to Fujifilm cameras.

My verdict on the lens? Fantastic. I just need an excuse to go use it again.

Would You Swap out Your Strobes for Continuous Lights When Shooting Portraits?

Would You Swap out Your Strobes for Continuous Lights When Shooting Portraits?

Continuous LED lighting has come a long way in recent years, and while there are pros and cons to shooting with strobes or continuous lights, LED technology has definitely shifted the balance a little. How useful is continuous lighting for a studio portrait shoot? This video aims to find out.

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More about S-Cinetone and the so called Venice Color Science.

What is the “Venice Look”?

Sony had often been criticized for having a default look to their cameras that wasn’t “film like”. This was no accident as Sony have been a leading producer of TV cameras for decades and a key thing for a broadcaster is that both old and new cameras should match. So for a very long time all of Sony’s cameras were designed to look pretty much like any other TV camera.

But this TV look wasn’t helping Sony to sell their film style cameras. So when they developed the image processing for the Venice camera a lot of research was done into what makes a pretty picture. Then over a period of about 18 months a new LUT was created for the Venice camera to take advantage of that sensors improved image quality and to turn the output into a beautiful looking image.

This LUT or look was then called s709 (I think it simply stands for “Sony 709) and it’s a large part of the reason why, out of the box, the Venice camera looks the way it does. Of course a skilled colourist might only rarely use this LUT and may make the output from a Venice look very different, but a Venice with s709 is regarded as the default Venice look, and it’s a look that a lot of people really, really like. It’s what comes out of the SDI ports, is what’s seen in the viewfinder and can be recorded to the SxS cards unless you select the legacy 709(800) LUT. s709 is the LUT applied by default to X-OCN from Venice by default. 

What is Color Science

Colour Science is the new fancy term that Red have turned into a catch-all for anything to do with colour and it’s now much abused.  Every color video camera ever made uses color science to determine the way the image looks. it’s nothing new. All colour science is, is how all the different elements of a camera and it’s workflow work to produce the final colour image. But in the last couple of years it seems to have become to mean “color magic” or “special sauce”.

If we are to be totally accurate the only camera with Venice colour science is Venice. No other camera has exactly the same combination of optical filters, sensor, processing, codecs and workflow. No other camera will replicate exactly the way Venice responds to light and turns it into a color image. You migh be able to make the output of another camera appear similar to a Venice, but even then it won’t be the same colour science. What it would be is perhaps the “Venice look”.

The FS5 II and it’s new default look.

So when Sony released the FS5 II they were very careful to describe the default mode as providing a Venice “like” image, tuned to provide softer, alluring skin tones using insight and expertise gained during the development of Venice.  Because that’s what it is, it looks more like Venice than previous generations of Sony cameras because it has been tuned to output a image that looks similar. But it isn’t really Venice color science, it’s a Venice look-a-like (or at least as similar as you can get, even though it’s a very different sensor).

And the PXW-FX9 and s-Cinetone?

The FX9  has new colour filters, a new sensor, new processing. But it is not a Venice. In Custom mode it has what Sony are now calling “S-Cinetone” which is set to become their new default look for their film style cameras. This once again is based on the Venice look and shares many similarities to the Venice colour science, but it will never be the full Venice colour science because it can’t be, it’s different hardware. But it sure as hell looks pretty damn close to a Venice at it’s default settings with the default s709 LUT applied.

Is the Venice look always there?

Previous generations of Sony cameras used a common default 709 gamma often denoted as STD5. This is what most of us probably called the “Sony look”. The exact colour science in each camera with this look would have been quite different as there were many combinations of filters, sensors and processing, but those variations in processing were designed such that the final output of generations of Sony TV cameras all looked almost exactly the same. This too still exists in the FX9 and when set to STD5 the FX9 will produce an image very, very close to earlier generations of Sony camera. But from this new sensor with the latest filters etc. so even with the latest sensor and latest colour filters you can still have the old look. This just demonstrates how the broad brush use of the term colour science is so confusing as the FX9 is a new camera with new colour science, but it can still look just like the older cameras.

What about when I shoot S-Log3?

When shooting S-Log3 with the FX9, then you are shooting S-Log3. And S-Log3/S-Gamut3 )or S-gamut3.cine) is a set standard where certain numerical values represent certain real world colours and brightnesses. So the S-Log3 from an FX9 will look very similar to the S-Log3 from a Venice, which is similar to the S-Log3 from a F55 which is similar to the S-Log3 from an FS7.

But compared to an FS7 at least, the different, improved sensor in the FX9 will mean that it will be able to capture a bigger dynamic range, it will have less noise and the sensors response to colour will be different. BUT it will still be recorded in the same manner using the same gamma curve and colour space with the same numerical values representing the same brightness levels and colours. However the fact that the sensor is different will mean there will be subtle differences within the image. One obvious one being the extra dynamic range, but also things like better colour separation and more true to life color response at the sensor level.

Then you apply the s709 LUT, the very same LUT as used for Venice. So those very same numerical values are turned into the same expected colours and brightness levels. But because it’s a different sensor some values may have been better captured, some worse, so while overall the image will look very similar there will be subtle differences, it’s the subtle differences that make one look more natural or more pleasing than the other.  For example the FX9 image will have less noise and greater DR than the image from and FS7. In addition the FX9 images will have more pleasing looking skin tones because from what I have seen the sensor responds better to the tones that make up a face etc.

why not use the same name for s709 and S-cinetone?

S-Cinetone is different to s709. One is a gamma curve and colour matrix designed to be recorded as is. You can’t change middle grey or white, you can’t alter the highlight or shadow ranges.

s709 is a LUT applied to S-Log3 material which gives you the ability to alter your highlight and shadow ranges, to move the mid point. Both will look very, very similar, but they are two different things that require two very different workflows, to call them the same thing would be confusing. You get a call from the producer “I want you to shoot S-Cinetone”…. Which one? The log one or the S-Cinetone one?

Because the FX9’s optical low pass filter, ND filter, sensor colour filters, pixels, sensor output circuits and initial processing of the image are all the same whether in S-Cinetone or S-Log3, then those aspects of the colour science are common for both. But when shooting s-Log3 you have a huge range of options in post, not just s709.

The FX9 has (amongst others) a colour science that makes it look very similar to the default Venice look. In custom this is called S-Cinetone. Select a different gamma or different matrix and the pictures will look different, so this will be a different colour science, even though the same sensor is being used.

So in reality the FX9 has several different color sciences. One that mimics a default Venice camera without needing to shoot log and grade. One that mimics earlier generations of sony TV cameras. Another that mimics a Sony Venice when shooting S-Log3 and using the s709 LUT.

More about S-Cinetone and the so called Venice Color Science. was first posted on October 27, 2019 at 2:36 pm.
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10 Great 2019 Horror Movies With The Best Reviews

In general, the horror genre is one that garners an audience while also being viewed as flawed from the critic’s perspective. 2019 has seen quite a few horror films prosper from the critical stance, however. They have both come in the form of arthouse, independent films and those that appeal to a wider audience. In essence, 2019 has been a successful year for the genre and this list will highlight exactly how.


1. Midsommar

The second full-length offering of Ari Aster provides a stark contrast to his initial entry. He has designed an unnerving folk horror picture that will be etched into the collective mind of each audience that views it. Midsommar is a revamped Wicker Man akin to Hereditary’s rethinking of Rosemary’s Baby.

The film is centered around Dani (Florence Pugh), an American psychology grad student, and Christian (Jack Reynor), her aloof boyfriend who reluctantly invites her on a trip to Sweden with his group of friends. The unsettling panorama of an illuminated Swedish landscape elevates the sinister underpinnings of Hagra. This meticulously paced, ornately floral film slowly builds anxiety until it froths into brutally blatant self-realization for the principal characters and the audience alike. The largest element that allows such underlying anxiety to meld with this lush setting is the mesmerizing score and the stirring camerawork.

As with most films that strive to be more than the standard horror film, Midsommar was massively divisive. Critically it was not as adored as Hereditary was, however, it was highly thought of as is seen in its Rotten Tomatoes score of 83%. As ever, this A24 picture is not for everyone and the standard viewer might be thoroughly perplexed by it.

Yet, one who is invested in the folk horror sub-genre and does not mind a filmmaker taking liberties will certainly find some value in this film. Midsommar is not as entertaining or as complete of a film as Hereditary, it has clear pacing issues, and as a whole seems a bit derivative. Despite all of this, it is simply one of the most daring, compelling, and well-reviewed horror films of the year.


2. Depraved

This film delivers an updated take on Mary Shelley’s classic tale of Frankenstein’s monster. It is uniquely modernized for a present-day viewing audience, retaining the tale’s evergreen moral themes as well as introducing fresh themes ripely accessible for the modern viewer. Depraved truly personified its name by observing unnatural and unthinkable acts as a means to explore the moral code of the modern person.

Director, Larry Fessenden rethought this classic cinematic monster by incorporating him into a world that is implicitly familiar to its audience. In short, a disenchanted army field surgeon- who encounters a fair amount of death and gore daily- creates a human being from an assortment of body parts. Through his experience the man has suffered quite a great deal, watching his close friends suffer and die all the while being powerless to save them. Thus PTSD resultantly develops and it provides a great deal of the motivation that drives his actions throughout the film.

Critics have raved about this film’s ability to revitalize the classic tale, while also implementing the exact essence that made the original film so chilling. It is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with an 87%, yet has been divisive from an audience perspective due to the introspective nature of it as a whole. IFC films are not always adored by standard audiences, therefore anyone who attempts to watch Depraved must not enter the film expecting great scares. Rather he or she should expect a thoughtful take on a classic story with enough chills to establish its atmosphere.


3. Luz

German filmmaker, Tilman Singer wrote and directed Luz, a distinct film that centers around a young woman who is haunted by a demonic apparition. It has earned a deal of critical acclaim due to its avoidance of the common horror tropes that this type of film is usually riddled with.

It is surely an atmospheric picture above all else and will haunt its audience with simplistic scares- avoiding overuse of jump scares or an abundance of CGI. This approach is much more rewarding to its audience because it does not rely on cheap scares, but rather builds a terrifying atmosphere born from the environment that is slowly and methodically established.

This German film is mostly criticized for its oversaturation and lacking substance in parts, however, its ending has been proclaimed to pack a punch. Luz too is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes at 85% and is a good source of a few scares. It is unlikely to be in anyone’s most riveting horror films of the year, yet its creativity and lack of complacency rank it among the most well-reviewed in this genre for 2019.


4. The Wind

A feature of many of the films on this list is an initial release in 2018 before its actual appearance on screens in 2019, such is the case for The Wind. This film tells the tale of Lizzy (Caitlin Gerard), who has settled upon the remote western frontier in 19th century America. She and her husband are therefore forced to encounter a supernatural presence, seemingly originating from their very own land. Their isolation as well as the constant, almost ceaseless, whipping of the wind, forces the young woman to dread a sinister presence, while her husband is not so willing to accept this explanation. The main force that propels the film forward is the arrival of a young couple on the adjacent homestead, allowing a winding sequence of events to unfold.

A movie such as this evokes fear in the audience since isolation can truly manipulate one’s mind. Separation from people can be a godsend for some or pure and utter torture for others. It allows tricks to be played on one’s mind and therefore he or she might very well be willing to believe just about anything. Therefore the supernatural always seems plausible in films such as this. There are always able to sustain their grounded veneer without going too far for scares because the human mind is a powerful thing. The Wind is another simple, yet well-thought-out ghost story that is sure to satisfy audiences as it has critics.


5. Us

Lupita Nyong o – Us

Jordan Peele’s horror hit, Get Out, saw a soaring rise upon its release, which carried the film to four Oscar nominations, including a victory in original screenplay for Peele. Get Out was widely deemed as culturally relevant due to its scathing social commentary. Similarly, his second feature film, Us, features a number of the precedents set by Get Out, including critical favor.

While Get Out focuses on race, Us has clear commentary on American social issues while also incorporating racial themes, as in the U.S. social and racial issues are thoroughly intertwined. Without spoiling anything, Peele’s most recent film is strictly organized in a way that the characters interact with the larger themes of the film. Peele is attempting to grapple with sizeable ideas in a sometimes abstract way, therefore the characters are inherently caught up in the whirlwind of these ideas as well.

A striking score, as seen in the trailer, permeates the entire film and whether or not each viewer looks upon it favorably, it will assuredly ellicit some form of a response. Whether it received positive or negative reviews, nearly every critic seems to agree that Lupita Nyong’o proves to be a formidable lead. The comedy might not live up to Get Out’s standard, as the main source of comedy- Tim Heidecker- occupies a very minimal role that spans about two scenes. Yet, one must realize that this is a strictly different film, therefore no one should enter this film expecting another Get Out.

While the plot may become bogged down and convoluted at parts, Us is an audacious attempt of a filmmaker to convey a personal message through his art. Peele could have easily been complacent and not taken up a new challenge, yet he was not and that is admirable.