THE LAST KNOCK presents: Director of the Damned: Alexandre Aja

The Last Knock

Born in Paris, Alexandre Aja blew open that door to the horror realm with with the gritty High Tension, the feature he wrote and directed in 2003. After the splinters from that door finished rocketing throughout the genre, and woke up studio executives in Hollywood, Aja took on the Hills Have Eyes remake, followed by the Piranha relaunch with more projects to follow.

We look at Aja’s career and directing style, his choice of projects, and the films he has produced, such as the Maniac remake and The Other Side of the Door.

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@zSurvivorLog @TormentOfLaurie @nicolemalonso @OklahomaWard @SamesCarolyn @machinemeannow @RealJillyG @BleedingCritic @AnnThraxx @AFiendOnFilm @LianeMoonRaven @isaacrthorne @MelanieMcCurdie @RonGizmo @TheresaSnyder19 @Talk2Cleo @KeyzKeyzworth @d_m_elms @RSBrzoska @Garvey66 @aicforever @LoudGreenBird @dixiefairy @FriscoKidTX

14 Replies to “THE LAST KNOCK presents: Director of the Damned: Alexandre Aja”

  1. Marvelous show, guys.
    HORNS sounds and looks cool. We haven’t seen it. Its trailer was excellent.
    Speaking of misojyny and HIGH TENSION, Amber explained it this w twistay with a little editing help. The protagonist/antagonist all in one when presented with the bloody brush and death pallette paints a male villian who obviously totally hates women and possibly women who love other women to the point that he will not be denied the carnage he must inflict on females in particular. The men who face this killer’s rage are simply in his way. It’s the ladies who he/she really must torture and obliterate. This was a very interesting twist to me. If you or I were faced with creating our own mental projection of a killer, would we stick with the same gender as us. I would. In HIGH TENSION, the “not-so-apparent” killer in a way became the catalyst by whom our damsel in extreme psychological distress cleansed her psyche of all those who had abused her for any number of reasons, including her sexual preference. Amber said Italian giallo comes to mind here.
    We wholeheartedly agree with y’all on the the HILLS HAVE EYES remake as well as all of the yuck stuff about PIRANHA 3-D disaster. It failed miserably at being campy like possibly, ZOMBEAVERS or RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD.
    HORNS has matriculated to the top of my horror queue. Daniel Radcliff was very good in the disaster of a film VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN. You’d think with their obvious budget they would have gotten this steampunk horror right or at least watchable. Daniel Radcliff was excellent in it. He’s also always a pleasure when a guest on shows like, Graham Norton. The man possesses a real boyish charm combined with an apparent innocense even if he is filthy rich from his many HARRY POTTER gigs.
    Neat show.

    1. Interesting insights from Amber on HIGH TENSION – I’ve read several articles and reviews, and conversed with others about the misogyny, and no two opinions are alike. The giallo connection is something I never considered, but can see (not just in the psychosexual elements, but in the convoluted nature of the storytelling).

      ZOMBEAVERS and RotLD are great! And Joe Dante’s original PIRANHA did the camp thing just right (not TOO campy, but also not too serious), which puts into question – as with many remakes – why they even bothered. What little story there was was sewn out of spare parts (less FRANKENSTEIN and more Juan Piquer Simon’s PIECES).

      Yes, VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN was disappointing (but a full-blown disaster? I will defer to Hugh Jackman and VAN HELSING for that), but I agree that Radcliffe was the film’s anchor, and the only character who seemed possessed with any humanity. It started off tongue-in-cheek before becoming ridiculously dour in the third act. HORNS shows Radcliffe in a different light, but it’s an underrated little film with a strong emotional core – Joe Hill knows how to write affecting prose, and Aja translates it capably to the screen. Will be interested to read your thoughts.

      1. VAN HELSING did totally skunk-up the joint. HIGH TENSION got on my last nerve really quickly and badly and almost as ridiculously silly as the ominous truck driving, murdering, body part-thieving fiend in JEEPERS CREEPERS. That Scarecrow impersonator from hell who only eats every twenty-something years crap stuff got on my nerves, too. If I never see another field of corn in a horror movie, I will consider myself triply blessed, FIELD OF DREAMS cornfield pleasantly excluded from this maisey distatse in horror. I know, y’all think quite lowly of FOD. To this I say, bah, hummingbirdbug! Yo skullduggery knows no bounds.
        DR in VF rocked his character… quite an amazing transformation from hunchback circus clown to handsome, yet shy, young VF assistant. The dude playing VF should have turned the oven on low broil rather than scorched perfromance. Poor directing on that one, I think. He was less “mad” and over-the-top annoying.
        Speaking of SPIDERMAN and corn fed.

  2. Great show, gentlemen. Going to give it a few shout-outs myself. Thanks for the lovely tilt of the hat in my direction. You’re the Best and I will tell anyone who asks me the same. *hugs*

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