Martin (1976)

Horror movies which encourage audiences to sympathise with the monster are nothing new, but that paradox has rarely been more intelligently explored than in Romero’s gritty anti-horror masterpiece. Amplas plays the title character, a lonely, wayward Pennsylvania teenager whose elderly, religious-maniac cousin is convinced that the boy is, in fact, Nosferatu. Much of the film’s power stems from its unfashionable ideas about teenage wish fulfilment and how young people respond to images of horror – Martin desperately wants to believe that he’s more than just another messed-up kid, his inner life depicted in a series of grandiose, hauntingly beautiful monochrome tableaux. As he did in his Living Dead movies, Romero keeps the horror grounded in nasty, messy reality: this is also a film about American poverty, and its unexpected consequences. TH
Dir George A Romero (John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel)

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