Cinema: The Predecessors: They Came from Beyond

Sure, Hollywood can occasionally throw a scare into an audience. The ravenous extraterrestrial in Alien. Jack Nicholson going bonkers in The Shining. The thought of a sequel to Big Daddy. But the scariest cinematic moments, for the most part, have come courtesy of low-budget independent films that, like The Blair Witch Project, arrive unheralded from outside the Hollywood mainstream to chill us with their grungy lack of artistry. These films disorient moviegoers by removing the usual Hollywood guideposts that subtly reassure us it's only a movie: recognizable stars, slick production values and a respect for ordinary dramatic conventions--like the triumph of...

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