Horror Movie Talk

By Horror Movie Talk: Horror Movie Review

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An opinionated and accidentally funny horror movie review show. Each week, this horror movie podcast covers a new release in theaters or an older flick on streaming/VOD. New episodes come out every Wednesday.

Episode Date
Halloween 3: Season of the Witch Review
Halloween III: Season of the Witch is available for rent at your local Blockbuster Video. What do you think of, when you think of the horror franchise Halloween? Ok, What do you think of when you think of witches? Well none of that is in this movie. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch is a mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in an enigma inside a dumpster fire. @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. (1:28) - Intro(6:07) - Trailer(10:58) - Synopsis(12:32) - Review(15:07) - Score(25:43) - Spoilers(1:14:54) - Horror Movie Talk Whoooores(1:34:28) - Outro Synopsis A murder/suicide at a hospital sets off the attending doctor to investigate the crime. Stuff happens that involves the Irish, Stonehenge, Halloween Masks, laser technology that turns heads into rotten bug/snake infested fruit, and robots. https://youtu.be/9MnaYzBhx0A Review of Halloween 3 I hear a lot of talk about how Halloween 3 is a underrated gem, and that the backlash of fans expecting Michael Myers skewed the opinion of this film. The reality is, the critics got it right the first time. This film is not underrated. It is rated. It’s bad. A series of poor decisions, and I assume plentiful cocaine led to this mess of a movie. The characters in this film are all the type of one dimensional fodder of slasher films. Instead of entertaining the audience with frequent kills and chases, Season of the Witch tries to weave a complex mystery to sustain interest. However, instead of an intriguing mystery, we get a wacky mad libs plot of completely incongruous and random concepts.  Score 2/10 Halloween III: Season of the WitchAdd the Blu-ray to your collection or stream it nowBuy Now
Oct 14, 2020
The Haunting Of Bly Manor Aftershow: Season Review
Man, what a great show! On this episode we talk about what worked and didn't work for us about Netflix's, The Haunting of Bly Manor. THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (L to R) AMELIE SMITH as FLORA and TAHIRAH SHARIF as REBECCA JESSEL in THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020 We are so happy that you made the journey with Horror Movie Talk and hope that you choose to subscribe to us and continue on our weekly journey into the scarier depths of the movie archives. We appreciate your time and will do our best to keep you entertained!
Oct 14, 2020
The Haunting of Bly Manor Aftershow Episode 9: Screaming Meemies
In this final episode we see the fate of the inhabitants at Bly Manor, and have a lengthy Epilogue for those that survive the Lady in the Lake. (1:02) - Intro(2:16) - Synopsis(3:18) - Spoilers(41:29) - Outro THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (L to R) AMELIE SMITH as FLORA in THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020
Oct 10, 2020
The Haunting of Bly Manor Aftershow Episode 8: The Romance of Certain Old Clothes
This is an episode where we get to learn a bit about Viola, AKA the lady of the lake. Almost the entire episode takes place in a time long lost to history, and frankly, this is my favorite episode in the series. It’s sad, mournful and has some wonderful storytelling. THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (L to R) AMELIE SMITH as FLORA and VICTORIA PEDRETTI as DANI in THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020
Oct 10, 2020
The Haunting of Bly Manor Aftershow Episode 7: Eulogy
Episode 7 starts to weave all the story lines together as Rebecca and Peter are revealed to Dani, and the story of Rebecca’s death is told. We learn of Peter’s motivations in the afterlife and how it may have dire consequences for the living. (1:02) - Intro(2:45) - Synopsis(4:20) - Spoilers(48:15) - Outro THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (L to R) AMELIE SMITH as FLORA in THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020
Oct 10, 2020
The Haunting of Bly Manor Aftershow Episode 6: The Jolly Corner
In episode six we learn quite a bit of backstory about the family as a whole, but mostly about Henry. There’s a decent bit to learn about Flora in this episode as well, and she is kind of the B storyline here, which I found very sad.  THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (L to R) HENRY THOMAS as HENRY WINGRAVE in THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020 While this is a long episode at over an hour, it’s also the most full of intrigue and depth of any of the series so far.
Oct 09, 2020
The Haunting of Bly Manor Aftershow Episode 5: The Alter of the Dead
This episode is the Hannah Episode. This episode keeps the audience off-balance by jumping back and forth through time and between memory and reality. As confusing as it can be, there are also a lot of revelations. We finally learn what that crack is all about, we see more about how Rebecca gets entangled with Peter, and we even see why the lady in the lake is so dangerous. (1:02) - Intro(3:30) - Synopsis(6:05) - Spoilers(40:36) - Outro THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (L to R) AMELIE BEA SMITH as FLORA , BENJAMIN EVAN AINSWORTH as MILES, and T'NIA MILLER as HANNAH in THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR. Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020
Oct 09, 2020
The Haunting of Bly Manor Aftershow Episode 4: The Way It Came
In this episode we get to learn a little more about Dani and her background with the man in the mirror.  THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (L to R) VICTORIA PEDRETTI as DANI in THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020 Overall, this episode had a sad vibe of regret and loss, which was hard for me to watch. There wasn’t a ton of scares in this one, but it did do a great job of telling us why Dani is the way she is.
Oct 09, 2020
The Haunting of Bly Manor Aftershow Episode 3: The Two Faces, Part One
In this episode we are given the backstory of the previous au pair Rebecca Jessel played by Tahirah Sharif, and Uncle Henry’s assistant Peter Quint played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen.  Peter and Miss Jessel have an affair, and soon the charming facade put on by Peter cracks and reveals a manipulative sociopath underneath. THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (L to R) OLIVER JACKSON-COHEN as PETER QUINT in THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020 (0:57) - Intro(2:10) - Synopsis(5:51) - Spoilers(41:15) - Outro
Oct 09, 2020
The Haunting of Bly Manor Aftershow Episode 2: The Pupil
We pick up the second episode of The Haunting of Bly Manor as if no time has passed between the last episode and now. Dani has just come out of the closet (wink, wink) and the kids are apologizing like they didn’t just very intentionally shut her in there to begin with.  THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (L to R) VICTORIA PEDRETTI as DANI and BENJAMIN EVAN AINSWORTH as MILES in THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR. Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020 This episode is one where Miles is much more fleshed out as a creepy character, and we get to learn a bit about why he is the way he is. This is a very Dani and the kids heavy episode, we are properly introduced to the gardener, Jamie, played by Amelia Eve. This also contains the spookiest scene in the first three episodes, with a rousing game of hide-and-seek before bed.
Oct 09, 2020
The Haunting of Bly Manor Aftershow Episode 1: The Great Good Place
In this opening episode we are introduced to Dani Clayton played by Victoria Pedretti an, American who is hired to be an au pair to two perfectly splendid young orphan children. They live in a spacious estate in the countryside called, you guessed it, The Hill House, oh wait, Bly Manor. The children’s only surviving relative is Uncle Henry played by Henry Thomas, hired Dani, but he shows no interest in being involved with them.  Flora played by Amelie Bea Smith is the precocious 8 year old girl, and her 10 year old brother Miles played by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, is… in need of structure and discipline. There are other staff at the Bly Manor, including the cook Owen played by Rahul Kohli, the housekeeper Hannah played by T'Nia Miller, and Jamie, the groundskeeper played by Amelia Eve. As Dani gets to know the children and Bly Manor, strange and unsettling things start to happen, and the children begin to act strangely. (0:57) - Intro(2:25) - Synopsis(6:04) - Spoilers(36:47) - Outro
Oct 09, 2020
The Blair Witch Project (1999) Review
The Blair Witch Project is one of the most iconic films of the 90's, and it's even credited with starting the found footage genre, but I wasn't looking forward to re-watching it. I saw this when it came out and figured it wouldn't age well. I WAS WRONG! So, David did this illustration, which should really tell you how much we need Dustin. @dgoebel00 on Instagram. Follow him and check out his website. (0:10) - Intro(10:10) - Trailer(11:17) - Synopsis(16:18) - Review(28:00) - Score(33:13) - Spoilers(1:15:30) - Final Recommendations(1:16:51) - Horror or Frankie MacDonald(1:27:30) - Outro https://youtu.be/a_Hw4bAUj8A Synopsis The Blair Witch Project has the stunningly simple premise of, “let’s shoot a documentary about a spooky place/thing in the woods” and as we all know, nothing good ever happens in the woods. Three young adults, Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael C. Williams play themselves as a film crew that is headed into the woods of Maryland to document the “myth” of the Blair Witch.  Before heading into the woods they stop at the closest town and interview the locals about the likelihood of such a myth, and received varying stories of belief and terror mixed with skeptics. Watch The Blair Witch ProjectWatch on AmazonClick here to Watch As they venture into the woods things start to grow alarming and they start to wonder if they are lost.  Things take a turn for the worst as they realize that they got more witch than they bargained for. Review The Blair Witch Project is widely held to be the movie that kicked off the found footage genre. There are plenty of examples of found footage before this film, such as: Cannibal HolocaustCannibal FeroxThe Faces of Death SeriesThe ConnectionThe Last Broadcast84 Charlie MoPicGuinea Pig 2: Flower of Flesh and Blood While these movies ranged in release date all the way back to the late 60’s the genre never gathered significant steam or public interest until the release of Blair Witch.  Many of these movies, including Blair Witch, capitalized on the mistaken assumption that the movie was actual footage of real-life events that just happened to be caught on tape. The hype train that surrounded the release of this movie was a sight to behold. This is one of, or maybe the first movie ever to rely primarily on an internet marketing campaign. Check out our review of Paranormal Activity 2 https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/08/07/paranormal-activity-2-review/ The movie itself is something of an anomaly, not quite a film, and not quite a home video. It is hard to place it squarely in a genre. With the added suggestion that the footage was real, it made this a real freak show.  The Blair Witch Project relies heavily on audience buy-in and it is able to accomplish it by being very believable by nature. This is how young twenty-somethings would act, and something they would do, and the scenario they find themselves in is pretty easily a universal nightmare to any viewer. I saw this in theaters upon release, and never again since. I was not looking forward to a rewatch because I thought I had this movie pegged from the first viewing. I did not. It still works! It’s still scary as shit, believable, and a crazy-fun ride from beginning to end. The poor footage quality, total amateur filming style and distant audio sound coupled with the setting of the New England woods, holds up well. While it lacks the polish and delivery that a true filmmaker’s film would deliver, it’s supposed to.  If you enjoy this movie you should also check out The Curse of the Blair Witch, a Sci-Fi Channel documentary that accompanied the theatrical release of the movie. Score 10/10
Oct 07, 2020
The Haunting of Bly Manor Aftershow Ep. 0
https://youtu.be/tykS7QfTWMQ In this series of ten plus Aftershows we will be talking about the events of each episode of The second season of The Haunting of Hill House titled, The Haunting of Bly Manor. Whodat WAP? This season is also written and directed by Mike Flanagan, the man who brought you The Haunting of Hill House, Doctor Sleep, Geralds Game, Hush and many more huge horror hits.  I have to say this show has really surpassed my expectations, especially in the realm of storytelling and character building. Netflix seems to have allowed Flanagan the creative license that he needed to get this twist on the classic novella The Turn of the Screw.  We had a great time watching this show and normally we only review horror movies, but im glad we were given the opportunity to review this show because it’s going to be a big one.  There’s a tremendous mystery at the core of this somber slash scary tale. It’s also a surprisingly touching show that focuses on personal relationships and loss.  Remember, The Haunting of Bly Manor premieres on Netflix on October 9th, so make sure you catch the shows and watch them in full before you dive into our Aftershows. You won’t be disappointed!
Oct 05, 2020
Antebellum Review
Antebellum is a fantastic concept with mediocre execution. It's not bad, it's just lackluster when compared to recent, more nuanced horror films about race from Jordan Peele. That being said, it is worth a watch if only to see historical African slavery through a new lens. @dgoebel00 on instagram (1:23) - Intro(9:00) - Trailer(18:15) - Synopsis(20:01) - Review(30:21) - Score(38:23) - Spoilers(1:27:32) - Taglines(1:30:39) - Horror Movie Talk Whoooores(2:08:46) - Outro https://youtu.be/rtEaNK2PtPM Synopsis It’s pretty hard to give a synopsis of Antebellum without giving spoilers, but I’ll give it a shot. Janelle Monae stars as Veronica Henley a famous author and speaker on inclusion living in modern society, who finds herself suddenly living as Eden, an African American slave on a southern plantation. Veronica is forced to deal with living as a powerless slave while having the mind of a strong independent 21st century black woman. Veronica is bides her time and submits to some of history’s greatest horrors to pick the right time to make her escape and find her way back to her life. Review of Antebellum This one is really tough for me. The premise is really solid. Set the everyday occurrences of Antebellum south in the US as a horror movie. I genuinely don’t think this has been done before, and is a fantastic way to address this historical atrocity. The trailer is pretty misleading though, and I feel really undercut the film by suggesting a much more interesting plot device than is actually used in the film. This is intentional, I think, because it is also suggested by the narrative structure of the first act. I could see how audiences would feel a bit of bait and switch and that there might be audible groans from some of the reveals. The writing doesn’t have any nuance, and many of the characters, especially the white characters are more caricatures than anything. The cast is very good, and does what it can for the film, but overall it squanders the opportunity to explore the horrific premise.  For these reasons, I think the film will be a huge disappointment for those expecting a film of the caliber of Get Out or US. Reviews have not been kind, it is in the low 30s on Rotten Tomatoes right now. What I can say is that it’s not that bad. While this is not the film that I expected, it’s still a very intriguing concept that is told in a passable way even if it’s not the route I would have chosen. It genuinely does portray the horrors of the antebellum south in a genre fashion, and that is really what is holding together the movie.  Score 5/5 Antebellumstream on AmazonStream Now
Sep 30, 2020
1BR Review
1BR is one of the most interesting movies that I've watched in 2020 as I feel like it fooled me at the start and made me love it at the end. I worry that the somewhat goofy beginning of this movie will make people jump ship in the first act, but I really hope they watch it to the end, because it's got some interesting tricks up it's sleeve. @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. (0:55) - Intro(7:20) - Trailer(9:30) - Synopsis(10:15) - Review(16:45) - Score(18:47) - Shudder(26:00) - Spoilers(1:08:55) - Final Recommendations(1:10:32) - Interview(2:12:00) - Outro https://youtu.be/IGzb01GrsxQ Synopsis 1BR is the story of Sarah, a young woman who moves to LA in order to start a new life away from her troubling family. She finds a great apartment complex that seems strangely kind and welcoming.  Sarah sneaks a cat into her new apartment and soon realizes that’s too much pussy for a one bedroom apartment.  Watch 1BRWatch on AmazonClick Here to Watch Review 1BR is written and directed by David Marmor and stars Nicole Brydon Bloom as Sarah. This is a somewhat unique movie as it’s a bit of a bait and switch and I fear that will hurt it on a streaming platform like Netflix where people can switch to watching The Office at a moment’s notice. Strange Start 1BR starts out as a kind of silly, jumpscare-laden spookfest - and a lot of the themes early in the movie left me laughing at what I thought to be a pitiable attempt at a story. The characters felt fake, the scenarios felt unbelievable, and I kept asking, “Yeah, but why would anyone care?” Solid End At ⅔’s through, 1BR threw me for a real loop as I realized the movie had played me the same way the characters had played Sarah. The start of this movie felt like a facade to me, and the end left me with a lot of respect for it. This is really, at its core, a social commentary, or a warning tale meant to alert people to complacently accepting social movements at face value and believing it’s the right thing not to fight back.  Parts of this movie are very similar to one of my favorite thrillers of all-time, The Invitation. Makes me feel...trapped That Gas Lighting Feel I’ve said this before, I’m a big fan of movies gaslighting me, and this one did exactly that, it played me like an instrument. I thought it was a silly little thriller and it ended up smacking me in the face with cold-hard truth.  This is a particularly timely movie to watch right now, and one that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a solid thriller.  My biggest fear with 1BR is that people will turn it off before it heats up, the start seems intentionally goofy to me, and at the end I think the viewer will appreciate it. Score 8/10 Final Recommendations If you enjoy thrillers, or the feeling of being gaslit, this is a wonderfully strong movie for that. 1BR will age very well with time. I just hope people will make it through the somewhat silly feeling start of this movie.
Sep 23, 2020
Saw Review
Saw may have dulled over time, but it is still a good horror movie and was definitely influential during the 2000s. The simple premise of catch-22 torture traps is an effective hook, but sometimes the twisty turny plot is a bit forced. (0:29) - Intro(8:41) - Synopsis(10:09) - Review(18:33) - Score(24:03) - Spoilers(1:16:12) - Horror Movie Talk Whoooores(1:31:39) - Outro @dgoebel00 on instagram Synopsis Saw is mainly about two strangers trapped in a High School boys bathroom with a mysterious dead body. They are both chained to pipes just out of reach of each other and the dead body in the middle of the room. They find that they are being toyed with by a villain named Jigsaw, who set up a trap to pit them against each other in a race against time. They are both left with the tool to escape, a saw blade too dull to saw through metal chains/pipes, but just the right sharpness to saw through an ankle. Wacky hijinks ensue.\ Saw Poster https://youtu.be/S-1QgOMQ-ls Review of Saw Saw has dulled over time, but it’s still a good horror movie. It was the first film of the now well established horror director/writers James Wan and Leigh Whannel. It feels like a short film stretched to fill a feature length film, and Wan and Whannel did make a short before this movie, but it was originally written as a feature length script and the short was an excerpt from it. It’s undeniable that this movie and it’s sequels have made a mark in the pantheon of horror movies based off of the simple concept of catch-22 torture traps. The problem that the franchise faces and has from the beginning is the need to stretch out the simple premise with overly complicated labyrinthian plots and character motives. The original Saw is well constructed and has an engaging plot that unravels nicely, but it’s still at its heart, a cheap exploitational premise. Score 7/10 SawAdd the Blu-ray to your collection or stream on AmazonBuy/Stream Now
Sep 16, 2020
Se7en Review
Se7en is one of the most enthralling and horrific crime thrillers ever made, right up there with Silence of the Lambs. With an all-star cast all delivering incredible performances and some of the most depraved imagery and ideas ever to make it into a big budget box office movie, Se7en is a work of art. @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. (0:55) - Intro(9:15) - Trailer(11:30) - Synopsis(15:30) - Review(23:00) - Score(31:50) - Spoilers(1:45:00) - Final Recommendations(1:46:15) - HMT WHOOORORS(2:12:00) - Outro https://youtu.be/SpKbZ_3zlb0 Se7en Trailer Synopsis Se7en is the darkest buddy cop story you will ever find. It is directed by David Fincher, and is one of his best movies, which is saying something.  It’s the story of detective Somerset (Morgan Freeman), a disillusioned PI at the end of his career, and Mills (Brad Pitt), a baby-faced newbie who has something to prove.  They arrive on the scene of a grizzly and totally strange murder of a man who was tied up and force fed until death. As they find more murder scenes they begin to realize that there is a pattern emerging - the seven deadly sins: Lust GluttonyGreedSlothWrathEnvyPride We are taken through the lives of these detectives and learn how they cope with the total depravity that they see on a daily basis. We are given a look into the incredibly perverted and seamy underbelly of a big city with huge crime problems. Mills and Somerset end up getting more serial murder than they bargained for. Review Se7en stars Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kevin Spacey and all of them give career topping performances. The storytelling in Se7en is beyond compare and the twist is one that will leave you gasping for air. The idea that a human could do these things to others in the name of God is simultaneously vile and extremely true to life. The story isn’t exactly a detective story, even though it involves detectives. It’s very formulaic, while holding the audience’s interest through the sheer depravity of the murders and backdrops. Se7en is, at its core, a character study of a young man who wants to be a real detective and his older counterpart who helps guide him through the most insane settings that any city could offer. I’m going to quote Roger Ebert who I think explained this movie best: “What's being used here is the same sort of approach William Friedkin employed in "The Exorcist" and Jonathan Demme in "The Silence of the Lambs." What could become a routine cop movie is elevated by the evocation of dread mythology and symbolism. "Seven" is not really a very deep or profound film, but it provides the convincing illusion of one. Almost all mainstream thrillers seek first to provide entertainment; this one intends to fascinate and appall.”https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-seven-1995 Spacey’s performance is one only he and very few other actors I can think of could pull off. He is the embodiment of evil, almost the devil in the flesh. The end of this movie could have gone a few different ways, and I think the way it went was, by far, the best version that could have possibly been told. It’s shocking, and cruel, and the perfect end to one of the most twisted mainstream movies you will ever see.  Se7en contains some of the darkest subject matter that I can think of and it has stuck with me since I saw it as a young teen. This is storytelling at it’s finest. Score 10/10 Final Recommendation Everyone who can handle some serious imagery should see this. It's a fabulous and dark story that will leave a mark on you for as long as you live.
Sep 09, 2020
Sinister Review
This week we review the 2012 horror hot, Sinister. A film with properly disturbing imagery, but improperly matched script. Later on we check our voicemail and answer questions from listeners. (0:21) - Intro(5:10) - Trailer(7:47) - Synopsis(9:42) - Review(14:53) - Score(26:04) - Spoilers(1:05:10) - Horror Movie Talk Whoooores(1:16:35) - Outro @dgoebel00 on instagram Synopsis Sinister is the story of author Ellison Oswalt moving to a new town to research for his next true crime novel. His wife, son, and daughter make up the most passive aggressively unsupportive family in the world. Unbeknownst to Ellison’s family, they have moved into the house of that family whose deaths his book will be based on. https://youtu.be/_kbQAJR9YWQ Review of Sinister Sinister is a serviceable, average horror movie. It heavily forecasts it’s twists from the very beginning in a “whatever you do, do not push that button” sort of way. I can see why people like this movie and keep bringing it up to us. It’s got a distinctive dark tone while still being very approachable for mainstream audiences. It’s like if The Crow had a baby with the Nun from The Conjuring. There were a couple effective jump scares and attempts to create believable relationships and stakes, but never has any moment that will keep this movie from melding with countless other horror movies in your head. That being said, Ethan Hawke offers up an excellent performance, and the ending was slightly better than expected. Score 6/10 SinisterAdd the Blu-ray to your collection or stream on AmazonBuy/Stream Now
Sep 02, 2020
Host (2020) Review
We watched Host on Shudder because everyone has been talking about it and found out that you can make a pretty effective movie that impresses everyone as long as theaters are closed and there is a global pandemic. Host doesn’t do anything new, but it doesn’t waste your time and it delivers fairly well compared to many found footage movies. (0:45) - Intro(5:57) - Trailer(7:45) - Synopsis(8:10) - Review(13:35) - Score(32:20) - Spoilers(1:14:30)  - Final Recommendations(1:15:45) - HMT WHOOORES(1:37:00) - Outro and Thanks @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. Synopsis Six friends decide to cure their Corona-19 blues by hiring a medium to hold a seance over a Zoom conference call. One of the friends doesn’t take the whole thing seriously and decides to make a joke at the expense of the seance - this angers the spirits who are also probably pretty bored of being on lockdown.  The friends get more evil spirits than they bargained for https://youtu.be/SNlKbqHqGcY Watch HostThis slink will bring you to Amazon where you can sign up for ShudderClick here to Watch Review Host brings literally nothing new to the table at all. Everything I saw during my watching of this movie is stolen whole cloth from another found footage movie of varying title.  The most obvious borrowing is the  movie’s format from titles like Unfriended, but I caught stuff from the Paranormal Activity series, Blair Witch, and about twenty other very common scares and tropes. That doesn’t make Host bad, it just makes it pretty common. The thing that I really appreciated from this movie was that it was less than an hour in length.  Nothing about this movie will stick with me for very long, mostly because I didn’t feel empathy for any of the characters. With these computer screen found footage formats the characters need to be really strong in order for them the break through to the audience and build empathy. Instead what you have with Host is a bunch of Friday the 13th camp counselors who you barely know and don’t care about.  The scares work to a middling extent and I wasn’t upset with this movie in any way. I will say that I had heard a lot of positive reviews and opinions of this movie before watching it and it just didn’t have enough substance for me to recommend Score 4/10 Final Recommendation Bryce seems to love this movie if you listen to the podcast attached to this episode but for me it falls pretty flat. I think those who love the found footage genre will appreciate this, but mostly it's a bunch of used up tropes and scares.
Aug 26, 2020
Event Horizon Review
Event Horizon is the best movie that Paul Anderson ever made and ever will make. It’s one of the most late 90’s movies you will ever see and has very Hellraiser aesthetic. Actually, now that I think of it, this movie is a mashup of Hellraiser and Alien mixed with a gimmicky action movie. It’s beloved by many, which makes it hard for me to do what I’m about to do. @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. (0:42) - Intro(7:36) - Trailer(11:12) - Synopsis(19:35) - Review(23:37) - Score(33:55) - Spoilers(1:13:10) - Final Recommendations(1:15:10) - WHOOOOORES Voicemail(1:25:30) - Outro https://youtu.be/OVlnER8SxfQ Synopsis Event Horizon starts with a very strong intro describing the far-flung future of 2015 and beyond! By 2015 we have already set up a colony on the moon. By present-day in the movie (2047), we have launched and lost a spaceship called Event Horizon that was meant to explore the boundaries of the solar system. The Event Horizon was lost around Neptune in order to avoid jokes about your butthole, and our ill-fated crew has been sent to determine what happened to the missing ship. Onboard the rescue vessel is Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne) and Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill), who was the creator of the Event Horizon ship. Apart from them, you have a crew of stereotypical, disposable clods. Everyone is soon told by Dr. Weir that the Event Horizon vessel that he created was not a vessel made to explore the outer regions of the solar system, but a faster-than-light vessel meant to catapult humans around the universe. Everyone ends up with more existential terror than they bargained for… Event Horizon Review This is the first time that I’ve sat down and watched this movie from beginning to end, and I must say, I am not impressed. Granted, this movie is talked about lovingly by only the people who love it, and is almost never talked about at all by anyone who doesn’t like it. It seems to fly under the radar of movie hatred that other, more controversial movies are stuck with. I’m not saying that Event Horizon is bad – it’s not. It’s just that I heard so much praise for it from so many people that it probably inflated my expectations a bit. Watch Event HorizonWatch on Amazon nowClick here to Watch The main thing that this movie does well is borrow from other films that are quite successful at what they do, like Alien and Hellraiser. The aesthetic and setting of this are like a Warhammer 40k gothic sci-fi meets real-world futuristic scenario. The visuals are graphic and disturbing. The story is of a man gone mad by the invention he created, almost like Frankenstein. Everything else is not for me. The action is very run-of-the-mill fast cut bologna. The disturbing imagery, while disturbing, does absolutely nothing to amp up the tension or frighten. The concept is cool enough, but without great execution, it just falls flat. I want to like Event Horizon; it just doesn’t do a damn thing for me except remind me of a bunch of actually good things that were probably going through Paul Anderson’s dull head while he was creating this. Score 4/10 Paul Anderson’s Horrible Career Even though he married Mila Jovovich, I think Paul should be a little embarrassed about the life he leads. It’s based on the shoddiest of work on the most braindead of all projects. Event Horizon is his best work. Here are his biggest ventures to date. Directing: Mortal KombatSoldierResident EvilAlien vs. PredatorDriftDeath RaceResident Evil: AfterlifeResident Evil: RetributionResident Evil: The Final Chapter Writing: Resident EvilAlien vs PredatorResident Evil: ApocalypseResident Evil: ExtinctionDeath RaceResident Evil: AfterlifeDeath Race 2Resident Evil: RetributionDeath Race: InfernoResident Evil: The Final ChapterDeath Race 4: Beyond Anarchy Kids – follow your dreams.
Aug 19, 2020
Ghost Ship (2002) Review
Patrons voted last month, and now we’re reviewing Ghost Ship, and it’s... from the early 2000’s. If you are in the mood for some modern schlock, then maybe it's worth the $3 to watch the whole movie. But really, this movie's opening scene sets expectations way too high for itself. (0:28) - Intro(4:13) - Trailer(6:24) - Synopsis(7:41) - Review(16:00) - Score(25:32) - Spoilers(1:00:06) - Taglines(1:03:21)  - It Came From Social Media(1:26:42) - Outro @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. https://youtu.be/a7xNXTpQA5Q Ghost Boaty McBoatface is available to rent on multiple streaming platforms.  Synopsis Ghost Ship is about a Ghost Ship filled with Ship Ghosts that’s discovered by a salvage crew that eventually become Ship Ghosts on the Ghost Ship. The salvage crew aboard the tugboat HMS Whogivesafuck, are given a lead on an abandoned ship in the Bering Strait. The information is brought to them by Jack Ferriman, a Canadian Air Force pilot who insists on coming along with them on their salvage operation because he looks too handsome to be in just one scene. The crew sails out to the ship and discovers it’s a missing 1960’s Italian ocean liner called the Antonia Graza, which suffered a tragic boating accident that bifurcated most of it’s passengers.  As they lazily wander around the corridors talking about working, they find out that this SHIP has more GHOST than they bargained for. Ghost Ship Poster Review of Ghost Ship (2002) Ghost Ship is described by Roger Ebert as “It's better than you expect but not as good as you hope.” Which is pretty accurate, but still pretty generous considering expectations going in are scraping the bottom of the barrel. The movie starts out with one of the best schlocky gorey sequences in all of horror. Really, If you watched the opening scene and just walked away, you wouldn’t be missing much. The rest of the film is a pretty standard slow burn haunted house story set on a boat. The problem with that set up is that it requires the supposed professional salvage workers to do exactly zero work for an hour and 4 minutes of the 91 minute runtime. There is a little bit of mystery unraveling going on during that first hour, but most of the action happens in the last 20 minutes. It’s not a good movie, but it has a good cast, and it is salvaged by the bookends of it’s ridiculous beginning and ending. Score 3/10 Ghost ShipAdd the Blu-ray to your collection or stream on AmazonBuy/Stream Now
Aug 12, 2020
The Exorcist Review
This week we follow up David's favorite "horror" movie of all time, with my favorite horror movie of all time: The Exorcist. Every time I revisit it, I'm reminded that it truly is a masterpiece. Dustin Goebel, the graphic artist demi-god outdid himself this time. Follow @dgoebel00 on intstagram. (0:38) - Intro(6:43) - Trailer(8:29) - Synopsis(10:13) - Review(15:20) - Score(0:24) - Spoilers(1:29:00) - Final Recommendations(1:29:44) - Guess That Death(1:43:17) - Outro https://youtu.be/YDGw1MTEe9k The Exorcist Trailer Synopsis The Exorcist, if you don’t know, is about an exorcism of a little girl.Regan, played by Linda Blair, is the 12 year old daughter of single mother Chris MacNiel played by Ellen Burstyn. Regan starts complaining about her bed shaking at night, and then as days pass, her personality slowly changes and she starts behaving erratically. Chris exhausts every medical and psychological avenue, and is still left hopeless as her daughter continues to get worse. Some doctors reluctantly mention Exorcism as an option. Father Karras, played by Jason Miller, is a reluctant skeptic, but is recruited to perform an exorcism. With the help of an older more experienced exorcist, Father Merrin, played by Max von Sydow, they struggle to expel the demon or demons that are tormenting Regan. The Exorcist Poster Review of The Exorcist The Exorcist is the center tentpole of the horror genre for me, and probably for a lot of people. It’s often at the top of best horror movies of all time lists, and for good reason. Some of the themes and scenes from this movie are still genuinely disturbing nearly 50 years after it’s release. It deals with a lot of conscience and subconscious fears about life, reality, and little girls. A lot of the notoriety about the film comes from it’s marketing and stories of people fainting or leaving the theater. However, it doesn’t owe it’s longevity to these gimmicks, it is still held as one of the best critical and commercial successes in horror. The special effects might not hold up to modern audiences, but everything else is timeless. The acting is great, the themes are handled maturely, and the director had an unhealthy conviction to get his vision of the story. All of these work together to create a film that has spun off a whole subgenre of exorcism and demonic children. Score 10/10 The ExorcistAdd the Blu-ray to your collection or stream on AmazonBuy/Stream Now Final Recommendation If you are a horror fan, and want to see the original "elevated" horror movie The Exorcist is a must see.
Aug 05, 2020
Alien (1979) Review
Alien is an incredible movie that did amazing things for horror, sci-fi, and cinema as a whole. It imagined an incredible amount of very real-seeming possibilities for space travel and contact with other life forms that impresses me to this day despite being 41 years old. (0:28) - Intro(5:55) - Synopsis(8:25) - Review(21:15) - Score(26:20) - HMT 2 Year Anniversary Awards(35:40) - Spoilers(1:25:40)  - Final Recommendations(1:25:50) - Rotten Tomatoes Game(1:38:00) - Outro and Thanks @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. Synopsis Alien is the story of a deep-space commercial towing vehicle, named Nostromo, and it’s crew who are bringing a tremendous amount of ore back to earth.  There are seven crewmembers and they seem to be mostly blue collar folk, with the exception of the Chief Science Officer, Ash. They are awoken from stasis following receiving a transmission from a nearby planet and are bound by their contract with “the company” to check it out.  They discover some eggs near a spaceship crash-site and end up with more alien than they bargained for! https://youtu.be/LjLamj-b0I8 Watch Alien NowWatch on AmazonClick here to Watch Review Alien is one of the most impressive pieces of cinema in history. It set the bar so high for horror and sci-fi that I think it’s still the apex of both.  Every single aspect of this movie is carefully thought-out and crafted to the highest of standards. The setting is bleak and cold, very much unlike how space is typically portrayed today, with Guardians galavanting around galaxies and such. It’s completely unforgiving and inhospitable in almost every single way.  With Dan O'Bannon writing the story and screenplay and Ridley Scott at the helm as the director, this is one of the most accurate and impressive imaginings of the far-flung future as I can find, with much of the tech they dreamed about being in use today.  The xenomorph is, without a doubt, the coolest and most insane diabolic biological lifeform ever dreamed up. While everyone is very familiar with the xenomorphs at this point, you don’t get to see it almost at all in this movie, even though it seems like you do. This may be my favorite movie of all time, and is definitely the best horror movie in my book.  I mean, someone MIGHT be able to hear you scream if they were really close... Score 10/10 Final Recommendation If you don’t have a massive boner during your viewing of Alien, I don’t want to know you. This is a classic that trumps most classics, and should be seen by everyone within the sound of my voice and beyond.
Jul 29, 2020
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (2020) Review and Filmmakers Interview
This is a different kind of episode. You can’t see this movie yet, well at least not with some difficulty. This is a feature that I saw at the Portland Horror Film Festival, and it was by far my favorite. This will be available for streaming probably at the end of the year. It’s making the festival run right now, so if you can catch it at one, definitely do. Here is the Trailer. (0:40) - Intro(7:08) - Trailer(9:19) - Synopsis(9:54) - Review(18:15) - Score(29:03) - Spoilers(1:03:13) - Final Recommendations(1:03:49) - Interview with Derek Carl and Hank Huffman(1:35:14)  - Taglines(1:40:17) - Outro https://youtu.be/w-KbcVlzn1s Synopsis The Brain That Wouldn’t Die tells the story of mad scientist/surgeon Bill Cortner as he tries to defy the laws of nature and resurrect the dead. In a tragic car accident, Bill’s wife Jan is decapitated and he rushes to save her head with science! While Jan’s disembodied head begs to die, Bill and his lab assistant Kurt search far and wide for the perfect replacement body for his wife. Preferably one with big ol titties. UP TOP! Review of The Brain That Wouldn't Die (2020) The Brain that Wouldn’t Die is a loving remake to the 1962 film of the same name. You might recognise it from Mystery Science Theater 3000, when they lambasted the original reanimated head-on-a-table film.  The Original on MST3K This film is surprisingly faithful to the original with a lot of the original dialogue, but with a distinctly more humorous tone. It’s in the realm of B-Movie homage comedy/horror films like Re-Animator and Young Frankenstein. That may sound like hyperbole, but this film is very similar to those two, and really funny. Most impressive is how well they pulled off this film with an estimated $80,000 budget. To give you a sense of how little that is, the original that was actually filmed in 1959 had a budget of an estimated $62,000, which would be over half of a million in 2020 dollars. The Brain That Wouldn't Die (2020) Poster The lead played by Patrick Green is pitch perfect, and the acting from the rest of the cast really sells the serious, but not serious tone of the movie. Score 8/10 MST3K The Brain That Wouldn't DieSince you can't watch this version, let the MST3k episode tide you over.Buy/Stream Now Final Recommendation Definitely go see it if you can. If you are a fan of Mel Brooks style humor, this is well worth your time to seek out. Look for it at film festivals near you, and on streaming services later this year. Spoilers Expand for Spoilers It's kind of silly to care about spoilers on a remake of a 60 year old movie, but here are some points of discussion that we had on the episode. The opening black and white credits are copied from the original film. This is underscored by the original music. This really sets the stage for a 50s-60s B-Movie experience The tone of the film is established right out of the gate. The acting is intentional overacting, and sight-gags start immediately. As Bill is performing a surgery in the opening scene, a comical amount of perfectly timed blood sprays directly into his eyes. The next sight gag, which is a favorite of the writer producer Hank Huffman, is the two doctors ripping off their scrubs to reveal full suits and ties underneath. A lot of the dialogue is taken directly from the original movie. Even seemingly comedic lines like "our baby isn't going to be a test tube baby" is in the original. Some of my favorite lines are: The response to "let me die" is "we should do as she asks""I am the only man in the world capable of reviving a human head.""She's been decapitated", "What!?", "it means beheaded""never mind her, she's recovering from a brain injury." Mentioned in The Episode https://youtu.be/FcVmC1NOWrA https://youtu.be/8-v2BHNBVCs
Jul 22, 2020
The Lodge (2019) Review
The Lodge is a movie that is heavy in tone and aesthetic, that went to great lengths to disguise the danger and keep the audience guessing as to what or who may be behind the nefarious details of the story. (0:21) - Intro(5:35) - Trailer(8:00) - Synopsis(10:30) - Review(14:45) - Score(24:15) - David's Metal Minute (Alex Jones Prison Planet)(26:47) - Spoilers(1:13:15)  - Final Recommendations(1:14:37) - Horror of Porno(1:29:30) - Outro and Thanks @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. Synopsis The Lodge is a story of two families, both with a tragic past that meet to determine who has it worse. We have the Hall family, who are a fractured family of four, father Richard (Richard Armitage), mother Laura (Alicia Silverstone), older son Aiden (Jaeden Martell), and younger daughter Mia (Lia McHugh). Laura and Richard have clearly been taking a long break from their marriage and this has treated Laura much worse than it has Richard. We also have Grace (Riley Keough), who is the only surviving member of a now dead, death cult which just so happened to be led by her father.  Needless to say, both of these families have their fair share of problems.  As the story unravels, the audience is left guessing as to what and where the danger may be coming from, but the tension is undeniable. https://youtu.be/ZN4E-NV2bpo Watch The LodgeWatch on AmazonClick here to Watch Review The Lodge is a very interesting movie for a lot of different reasons. The directors, Severin Fiala, and Veronika Franz made a lot of wonderful choices that put this squarely in my "favorite movies of 2019" box. The framing and location choices were bleak, cold, and clinical. This is an easy movie to compare to Hereditary based on many of the filming and set styles used. Lots of the shots are on the pretentious side of artistic and that’s just fine by me. The mood was mostly sad, and strangely dangerous, with the story constantly dangling danger at the periphery of the audiences vision but never quite letting it come fully into the light.  Just when you think you have a good handle on what is going on, the rug is pulled out from under you, which happens several times in The Lodge. There is lots of allusions to danger, and coincidences in this slow burn thriller to keep any hardcore thriller fan happy.  While I had quite a good time with the movie I must say, the content is deadly serious and fairly heavy, which left me with a gross taste in my mouth at the end, but that’s part of the allure. Here at Horror Movie Talk, we are family people, and have made it very clear that one of the horror elements that work best for us in movies is the breakdown of the family structure, and The Lodge has that in spades. Score 9/10 The Lodge Spoilers Click here to expand spoiler for The Lodge Re-imagining of "The Turn of the Screw" I didn't know this going in, but after the 2/3 point I started to realize that I was familiar with this story. The Lodge is a re-imagining of "The Turn of the Screw". It's much better than another "Turn of the Screw" based movie, The Turning, which was released at almost the same time as this movie. While the characters all have vastly different pretenses for their being in the situation, the story is still very much the same. This story gives a much more contemporary and compelling reason for the caretaker character, who is Grace, and an alarming background to her and the children she is in charge of. So let's take a brief look at how The Lodge unfolds and compare that to it's original counterpart. There is definitely some symbolism going on here with the turkeys The Kid's Backstory The movie starts with Laura Hall, the mom, dropping her kids off at their dads house. Richard asks Laura if they can finalize their divorce noting that it's gone on long enough and heis going to marry Grace in several mo...
Jul 15, 2020
Hellraiser Review
Clive Barker's Hellraiser is a transgressive journey into a world where the lines between ecstasy, pain, heaven, and hell are blurred. It stands as a unique counterpoint to the one-note slashers of the 1980s. (0:36) - Intro(6:04) - Trailer(8:28) - Synopsis(9:47) - Review(14:53) - Score(24:59) - Spoilers(1:05:22) - Hellraiser Vs Hellraiser(1:13:31)  - It Came From Social Media(1:20:03) - Outro @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. Synopsis Hellraiser is about a psycho sexual sadist named Frank that seeks out a personal pandora’s box. He believes that by opening the mysterious puzzle box, he will get everything he ever wanted in life. Turns out he was mistaken and he didn’t end up liking eternal pain in Hell. Whodathunk? When Frank's brother Larry and his wife Julia arrive at the family house that Frank mysteriously disappeared from, flashbacks reveal that Frank made his brother a cuckold by sleeping with Julia. When Larry accidentally cuts his hand and bleed on the floor of the attic, he inadvertently helps Frank begin resurrecting himself. When a mostly goo Frank is discovered by Julia, he recruits her to bring sacrificial singles in their area so that he can become a real boy. The only thing standing in their way is Frank’s niece Kristy, and the hell-demon Cenobites that seek to recapture him. https://youtu.be/8mOn4h0lgKQ Hellraiser Poster Review of Hellraiser This film is Clive Barker’s best film, and it is a unique mix of family dysfunction, sex, sadism, and gore. At times it feels like a 50’s melodrama, other times like a nightmare, and sometimes like torture porn. The tone that it sets is hard to put a finger on, but it is definitely dark and icky. The surreal imagery and goopy special effects are really the best parts of the film. The acting isn't particularly great, but the imagery and themes of the film overwhelm any shortcomings it has. Score 9/10 HellraiserAdd Hellraiser to your collection or stream it now.Buy/Rent Hellraiser
Jul 08, 2020
Tremors Review
We watched tremors and I have to say that this may be the epitome of a made-for-TV-movie feeling movie. I’ve seen it 20 times and I’ll see it 20 more during my life, and that’s a good thing. (0:27) - Intro(8:30) - Trailer(10:15) - Synopsis(14:20) - Review(21:15) - Score(31:30) - Spoilers(1:20:30)  - Final Recommendations(1:23:40) - Baconator(1:33:53) - It Came From Social Media(1:47:15) - Outro and Thanks @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. Synopsis Tremors follows Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward) in their attempt to leave Paradise Valley, Nevada, while doing odd jobs and handyman work. As they make their way up and down the valley between odd jobs and quirky small-town characters they begin to notice a string of seemingly related ground-level killings.  Upon meeting up with a grad student, Rhonda (Finn Carter) who is doing some important if timely seismic research, they learn that there are a bunch of little earthquakes - or tremors - happening all over the valley.  Before they jump the gun on declaring that there is a 100 foot tall, 200 ton serial killer on the loose, they find evidence of a subterranean suspect. A worm of sorts.  The rest of the movie is spent running for their lives from an unlikely, if terrifying phenomena with a ton a quirky townsfolk. https://youtu.be/liJfZvXdiTE Watch Tremors Now Watch on AmazonClick here to Watch Review Tremors, by director Ron Underwood, is one heck of a solid movie. It’s basically a monster movie, but it feels a bit more like an action-thriller to me because of all the action and adventure that takes place, along with lots of changes of scenery and methods. Tremors is a nearly perfect movie in terms of it’s script, who we have S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock to thank for . Everything that is said or mentioned is followed-up on or ruled-out at some point in the movie. Almost nothing extraneous or unneeded is mentioned, and all the characters play a wonderful role in making Paradise Valley a believable place. Maybe the best part of Tremors is it’s intense focus on the characters instead of the monster. Sure, we see the monster but the focus of every scene is on the characters and getting the audience to empathize with them. This forces a pivot in the otherwise fucked-out monster movie paradigm. It’s why Jaws was great, and it’s probably no coincidence that this is essentially a Jaws remake - even down to the movie poster.  It’s terrifically ironic that a movie that focused so much on the characters instead of the monster spawned five completely monster-focused sequels that lack most of the charm of the first, with exception of the second movie, Tremors II : Aftershocks. Many horror skeptics will say that this movie is not a true horror movie noting the goofy fun and light ambiance, but I beg to differ. Not only is Tremors definitely a horror movie, it’s the most important kind of horror movie - entry level horror.  This is the stuff that I watched as a little kid and sent me scrambling for the rocks. It hooked my pint sized imagination and lit up every corner, making me wonder if it really was safe to play tag on the playground or if I should seek the high-ground. Tremors is interesting, has wonderful tension, and most importantly is fun as any movie you will ever watch.  Score 8/10 What Makes Tremors so Great? From an entertainment and rewatchability standpoint this is a bit of a sleeper, but upon review, it holds up quite well. a big part of this is the horror aspect mixed with good, old fashioned humor. Humor in Tremors The humor in this movie is goofy, and downright wholesome, but it's good enough to make you smile on every viewing. The wholesomeness of an early 90's feel good sitcom mixed with the horror elements of Jaws really works. It's directly responsible for the late success of the movie on television. In theaters,
Jul 01, 2020
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Review
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a fictionalized, and harrowing vérité portrayal of real life serial Henry Lee Lucas. This is a movie that will stick with you and make you feel dirty. We've been sitting on this review for a while, but are excited that it is finally seeing the light. We recorded it back in September of 2019 to be a backup episode when we needed to take a week off. Turn's out, we rarely take a week off. (0:00) - Intro(4:41) - Trailer(6:45) - Synopsis(10:32) - Review(15:36) - Score(20:40) - Spoilers(53:44)  - Lifetime or Horror Movie(1:06:47) - Outro https://youtu.be/IU3P6WXzvXU Synopsis Henry played by Michael Rooker,  is serial killer constantly on the move, but is momentarily staying with his former cell mate Otis (Tom Towles). Also living with them is Otis’ out of state sister Becky (Tracy Arnold). She flys in to escape her abusive boyfriend and to try to find work to bring her daughter down to live with her. The drama in the film is in the interaction between these three characters. The trio is a powder keg trauma, sociopathy, and victimhood. However, as the title of the film suggests suggests, the main purpose of the plot is to paint a stark and unflinching portrait of Henry as a serial killer. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Poster Review of Henry This is one of those films that feels a little too real. Even though it is definitely a narrative driven Hollywood film, it shows the realities of killing in such plain detail that it almost feels like a documentary. When I told David about this movie I described it as “Taxi Driver, but without the touchy feely parts”. You are thrust into a world of people that are deeply broken and are dangerous to each other and themselves.  It feels like a snuff film, mainly because within it, is a snuff film. Watch Henry NowWatch on AmazonClick here to Watch Henry reminds me of a couple of my favorite movies in terms of subject matter and tone. First is David Fincher’s Seven, and even more so, Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream. It’s a film that sticks with you and makes you feel dirty just watching it. This is because unlike most narrative driven Hollywood movies, this one has no glamour or spin. It is full of dread and terror even in scenes that on the surface are innocuous.  It is undeniably a great film, just from the fact that I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it and it deeply affected me.  Score 10/10 Spoilers Expand for Spoilers The film opens strong with flashes of hyper-realistic crime scenes with brutally murdered corpses. This communicates one thing: buckle up. It feels very real early on. There is no veneer on this film. Compare this to another serial killer movie made the same year: Manhunter. Manhunter is highly stylized and a romanticized, fetishized portrayal of serial killers, Henry feels like a documentary in comparison. This feels like it’s the first movie of it’s type, and probably the greatest because of it’s commitment.  The character of Henry is loosely based upon the real-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. As in the film, Lucas was acquainted with a fellow convict named Ottis Toole (although in the film, the character's name is only given as Otis). Additionally, Lucas became the lover of Toole's eleven-year-old niece, Frieda Powell, who lived with Lucas and Toole for a while, and often went under the pseudonym of "Becky" (although in the film, Becky is Otis' sister, rather than his niece, and is considerably older than Powell was). Also as in the film, Lucas ultimately killed Becky. Furthermore, like the fictional Henry, the real Henry's mother worked as a prostitute from her house, often forcing him to watch her while she had sex, and occasionally making him wear a dress. The real Henry's father had also lost both his legs in an accident, prior to which he had been a truck driver, just like the fictional character. However,
Jun 24, 2020
Scream Review
Scream is maybe the best slasher ever made. It's also the horror movie of the 90’s in every way that you can imagine. More than that, it’s a meta take on the genre of slashers. (0:57) - Intro(5:10) - Trailer(8:00) - Synopsis(11:10) - Review(16:00) - Score(26:00) - Spoilers(1:13:15)  - Final Recommendations(1:15:30) - Taglines(1:22:00) - Killcount @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. Synopsis for Scream Scream is the story of a bunch of 20 somethings that haven’t managed to graduate high-school yet and their quiet town of Woodsboro that has a serial killer problem and its fair share of quirky characters. Our main girl Sydney, whose mother was murdered a year ago loses a friend to a horrific double homicide and quickly becomes the focus of the deranged and seemingly horror movie obsessed killer.  As the killer cuts a swath of … killings… through the town the very old teens begin to realize that they are dealing with someone who strictly follows the rules of slasher flicks. And they end up with more death then they bargained for. https://youtu.be/AWm_mkbdpCA Watch Scream on AmazonClick here to Watch Review Directed by Wes Craven and sporting an impressively sexy and notable cast, Scream defined and poked fun at horror movies for the casual movie going audience. It was one of the most easily accessible horror movies of my generation, being mainstream enough that parents all around the world wanted to watch it, which meant kids got to watch it too. While it was accessible, it was also shocking and legitimately disturbing because it focused on uncontrollable teens as the killers - who doesn’t find that scary? Not to mention, Scream was released in 1996, a mere three years before the Columbine school shooting, edging out reality by mere inches. It is the most solid slasher I have ever seen - it's disturbing when it's supposed to be, fun when it's supposed to be, and has a fabulous premise. Score 8/10 Spoilers Scream is an impressive who-dun-it, that throws an interesting and disturbing twist in at the end. As it turns out, Billy and Stuart, the movie obsessed hot-heads, have been doing the killings in tandem for shits and giggles, but also because Sidney's mom slept with Billy's dad and caused his parents to break-up. The thing that really gets me about this movie is the dedication to self-harm between Billy and Stuart to avoid having the finger pointed at them as part of their master plan. When they start stabbing each other and willingly taking severe damage, it upsets me to my core. There is something about watching two people who are emphatically engaged in nearly killing each other but not in a fight, on purpose, that is so sick and twisted. Couple that with the excitement they have about re-enacting their favorite horror movie killers - it's just gross. Final Recommendations Scream is a solid movie and it's probably the best slasher I have ever seen. I have to say, if you haven't seen it, you must. It's a 90's nostalgia machine that will leave everyone with something to think about at night.
Jun 17, 2020
Portland Horror Film Festival™ Goes Virtual For 2020
The Brain That Wouldn't Die Portland Horror Film Festival, the Pacific Northwest’spremiere horror genre film festival, is going virtual! Horror Fans cansoak up over 60 short and feature films over the 6 night eventbeginning June 10th with the first shorts block and a preview of thefestival’s upcoming features. The terror continues June 17-21st withmore short and feature films from around the world. Central Dental In the midst of this pandemic, some businesses are finally starting tore-open, but there is no way to know when theaters in Portland willfinally open, and how many people will be allowed inside once they do.Many events have had to postpone again and again due to this uncertaintimeline. First Night Festival Directors Brian and Gwen Callahan believe the right thing todo is follow the lead of amazing festivals like Fantasia and CFF, andpresent Portland Horror Film Festival as a dynamic streaming event forhorror fans all over the US. While going virtual creates challengesfor the festival, independent filmmakers, and distributors, thedirectors believe it is important to continue to evangelizeindependent film and show the year’s best horror films to thecommunity. Rather than cancel or postpone the festival until thingsare “safe”, which only increases the stress and uncertainty of thesetimes, going forward with a streaming event offers important reliefand a sense of stability to horror fans who are stuck at home. Beyondhelping horror filmmakers and fans, ticket sales will also benefit thehistoric non-profit Hollywood Theatre, the seat of independent cinemain Portland, which is currently closed due to the pandemic. Karaoke Night All films will be integrated into carefully curated nightly shows andsecurely streamed during limited event hours for ticketed audiencemembers. Because a film festival is more than just watching movies,nightly programming will feature both pre-recorded and live content,including film introductions, interviews with horror icons, and livefilmmaker Q&As that the audience can take part in. “Our goal is tofoster the sense of community that makes our fest so magical, with afun and eventful stage and screen show... just on a virtual stage,”said Brian Callahan. Little Willy This year’s feature film lineup opens on Wednesday, June 17th withWild Boar, starring Augie Duke and Daniel Roebuck as geocachers whoquest for a legendary treasure, only to end up as fodder for mutantpig-men. Wild Boar was written and directed by Oscar winner BarneyBurman, known for his makeup effects on JJ Abrams’s Star Trek,Zombieland: Double Tap, and the TV series Grimm. Thursday’s doublefeature kicks off with Sunset on the River Styx, a surrealist andcontemplative story of two lovers who fall into a vampire death cult,from writer/director Aaron Pagniano, winner of the Funny Bone Awardfor last year’s horror comedy short “We Got a Monkey’s Paw.” Come forthe vampires, but stay for the zombies! Witness Infection is ahilarious tale of mobsters and zombies directed by Andy Palmer,written by Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911) and Jill-Michele Meleán (MadTV,Reno 911), who star alongside Robert Belushi, Vince DonVito, ErinnHayes (Children’s Hospital), and Tara Strong (Rick and Morty). Don’tmiss fan-favorite Justin Harding’s Making Monsters, The Curse ofValburga from Slovenia, with its hilarious splatterfest ofinternational tourist stereotypes and jaw dropping kill scenes, UnclePeckerhead with its punk-rock demon action, written and directed byMatthew John Lawrence, winner of the 2016 Funny Bone Award for hishorror comedy short “Larry Gone Demon,” and the World Premiere of TheBrain That Wouldn’t Die, a crowdfunded love letter to the 1962B-movie, filmed here in Portland. Making Monsters Short film offerings include a wide variety of seriously terrifying,thoughtful, funny, and Weird films from all over the world, includingthe Czech Republic, Russia, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Iran, TheNetherlands, France, Spain, Canada,
Jun 15, 2020
Candyman (1992) Review
Candyman 2020 was supposed to be coming out in theaters this week, but that obviously isn't happening. To tide over your sweet tooth for Candyman, we'll be reviewing the original this week. Also in this week's episode of Horror Movie Talk, we discuss our new logo, play a new game, and read comments from social media from listeners like you. (0:34) - Intro(4:55) - Trailer(7:42) - Synopsis(12:13) - Review(19:50) - Score(29:33) - Spoilers(1:12:08)  - New Logo chat(1:16:04) - Don't Blank on "The [blank]"(1:30:19) - It Came From Social Media @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him. Synopsis The film follows grad student Helen Lyle as she researches for her thesis on urban legends. When she stumbles across the legend of Candyman, whose story seems to be alive and thriving in the poverty stricken projects of Chicago. The legend involves an African American, Bloody Mary-eque apparition that appears when his name is called in front of a mirror. Instead of the three “Bloody Mary’s”, you must say Candyman five times, in some sort of supernatural 3/5ths compromise. When the skeptical Helen calls Candyman five times in her mirror, she seals her fate and is led through a terrifying journey to discover the reality of the film' boogey man. https://youtu.be/CeLZMhkFTuU Candyman 1992 Trailer Review of Candyman (1992) Candyman is impactful, and multifaceted. Tony Todd is an instant icon in horror with his unique silhouette and hypnotic disembodied baritone voice.  There is an uneasy balance between Candyman being a sympathetic and seductive figure, and that of being the realization of some deep seated racist fears. While watching this, my wife pointed out that some of the racist connotations of the plot, and my knee jerk reaction was to defend the film and say she was grasping at straws. But as time went on… there was actually a compelling argument to be made for it relying on long held racist stereotypes about the dangers of black men. Regardless, it’s a compelling gothic horror tale told well with the backdrop of nineties urban Chicago. Candyman is an iconic monster, and is one of the best horror movies on the topic of an urban legend. Score 8/10 Final Recommendations This is definitely a nineites horror movie that is worth seeing. While it's not perfect, it does create a great mythology and monster in Candyman. Mentioned in the Episode https://youtu.be/YmHEv7pmB-g B. Marks' horror themed movie room.
Jun 10, 2020
Evil Dead 2 Review
We watched Evil Dead 2 on Amazon and this movie has been a favorite of mine since I was a little kid. The combination of stop motion, practical effects, and Bruce Campbell’s amazing physical acting makes for one of the best comedy horrors ever made. Intro - (1:13)Trailer - (6:33)Synopsis - (09:40)Review - (10:45)Score - (15:55)Spoilers - (23:44)Final Recommendations - (1:03:52)It Came From Social Media - (1:04:50)Outro - (1:10:30) @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. https://youtu.be/6lM3NPeEG24 Evil Dead 2 Synopsis Evil Dead 2 is the story of Ash and his girlfriend Annie who drive deep into the woods to have a nice time breaking and entering into a cabin that isn’t theirs. Following their felony, Ash stumbles upon the Necronomicon Ex Mortis - the book of the dead. The book served as a passageway to the evil worlds beyond. Written long ago when the seas ran red with blood, and this blood was used to ink the book. in the year 1300 AD the book disappeared. Ash plays a tape recorder with a translation of the pages from the book, and that’s enough to unleash more evil than they bargained for. Watch Evil Dead 2Watch on AmazonClick Here to Watch Evil Dead 2 Review Evil Dead 2 (1987) is sort of a remake of the first movie that started it all The Evil Dead, by Sam Raimi. It’s not a step by step remake, and it differs in a lot of ways, but the premise is very similar - people go to a cabin in the woods, find the book of the dead, and are attacked by a long-dead evil. Where the first movie is deadly serious and quite disturbing, Evil Dead 2 takes a more comedy-based approach while maintaining an incredible array of shocking visuals. The effects in this are so over-the-top that it’s pushed into goofy, nervous laughter territory. Couple these super-cool effects with Bruce Campbell’s most incredible performance of all time. He carries this movie in a way that amazes me every time I watch it. For almost half of this film Campbell manages to act alone, with almost nothing to react to and his energy is unbelievable. Finally, I really enjoy how this movie manages tension with silence and stillness juxtaposed with loudness and chaos. It’s a classic that’s based on a classic, and Ash gets a sawed off chainsaw for a missing hand coupled with a sawed off shotgun - the most bad-ass pairing of weapons since peanut butter and chainsaws for hands. Score 10/10 Spoilers If you haven't seen this movie, you really must. Evil Dead 2 takes a very simple premise and creates a playground of special effects around it.  There isn’t a tremendous amount to spoil in this one, it’s mostly the story of how a long-dead evil is summoned at an old cabin in the woods, and what Ash does to put it back in its place. The end result is the most fun you may ever have in a horror movie, action is everywhere. The violence is so insane and prolific that you can’t help but laugh at the spectacle of it.  No one but Sam Raimi could have pulled this thing off, and to be honest, no one ever has. The 2013 remake, Evil Dead is technically a remake of the first movie. So, number two continues to stands alone. Final Recommendations Everyone you know should watch this movie.
Jun 03, 2020
As Above, So Below Review
This week we watched As Above, So Below on Netflix. This tight package of a found footage adventure horror holds up very well over the years. Maybe we're too easily impressed, but when a horror movie sets up a compelling premise, has interesting characters with motivations that makes sense, and a plot that maintains interest, it's hard to be displeased. On today's episode, we review As Above, So Below, play a new trivia game with Ben Warrington, and read the latest from Horror Movie Talk's social media accounts. (0:41) - Intro(4:31) - Trailer(7:02) - Synopsis(7:53) - Review(9:56) - Score(22:38) - Spoilers(1:19:10) - Ben's Battle of Horror Knowledge(1:42:20) - It Came From Social Media(1:48:34) - Outro @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. https://youtu.be/Fq358xHbzN4 Synopsis Loosely based on the classic literary work Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, this film follows a ragtag team of archeologists as they follow clues to find the legendary philosopher's stone. Their search takes them into the labyrinthian catacombs under Paris. Paris, France. As they wind themselves deeper into the claustrophobic caverns and through the nine circles of Hogwarts, they fight against their own demons and encounter far more than they bargained for . Review of As Above, So Below As Above, So Below is to found footage movies as your racist uncle’s one black friend is to all black people: It’s one of the good ones. The film is a combination of Indiana Jones, The Decent, and... let's say... a haunted house movie. It starts off very strong, and sets up a full fledged plot, which is surprisingly rare in a found footage film. The subgenre usually leans heavily on gimmicks and “unscripted” banter, and it's a welcome relief that this one doesn't. Also rare in found footage movies, the characters are actually fleshed out with relationships and backstories. It gives you enough of a reason to be hooked and interested early on, and has enough mystery and scares to keep you interested throughout. The idea of setting a horror movie in the Paris Catacombs is brilliant, and they take full advantage of all the elements that make them scary in real life. It’s huge and maze-like, it’s claustrophobic, caves be caves, and spooky bones. It’s not without it’s flaws, but they are few and far between. The phrase “we gotta keep moving” is uttered one too many times for my taste. Like, really? We can’t rest and reflect  for a minute after a lifelong friend just died? But honestly it’s hard to find things to complain about with this one. Score for As Above, So Below 9/10 Final Recommendations This is a must watch in my eyes. It is accessible enough for fans of Brendan Fraser's The Mummy, and scary enough for fans of The Conjuring. Watch it today on Netflix or, buy it on Amazon. Other found footage movies that we have reviewed that might be of interest are The Taking of Deborah Logan, and Quarantine.
May 27, 2020
It Follows Review & Cat Solen Interview
We watched It Follows on Amazon Prime, and to me, it remains one of the very best movies released this century. I have seen this movie mentioned in many “Best of” lists and quite a few “Worst of” lists, so it’s controversial, but it will give you something to talk about either way.  Intro - (0:26)Trailer - (5:15)Synopsis - (07:20)Review - (8:45)Score - (14:30)Spoilers - (24:35)Final Recommendations - (1:04:30)Cat Solen Interview - (1:05:50)Lifetime movie or Horror movie - (1:35:15)Outro - (1:44:36) @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkZYbOH0ujw Synopsis It Follows is a story that focuses on a group of kids and one girl, in particular, Jay (Maika Monroe).  At its outset, this is something of a romantic story that soon gives way to terror. As Jay’s new relationship with Hugh blossoms, she allows herself a glimpse of happiness before being forced into hell. Watch It FollowsWatch on AmazonClick here to Watch It’s hard to say much about It Follows without giving away spoilers, but suffice it to say there is a monster, and it follows specific, defined mechanics. Review for It Follows When I first saw It Follows, it was in theaters, and I knew nothing about it other than that it was a horror movie. When I walked out of that theater, I had a distinct impression that I had seen horror history. The care that went into making everything about this movie is immediately apparent. The musical score, the framing, and attention to detail, the use of extras - it’s flawlessly executed. Add to that a concept that is unique and taps into the core of our humanity, and I think you come away with a perfect movie. It’s more than just a chilling concept or a well-executed film - It Follows feels like a new thing in horror. It feels like a movement toward the conceptual idea of what drives horror. Strip down the overburdened tropes and monsters that make up what horror was for decades, and leave just the essentials. Like it or hate it, I can promise you that this movie will give you something to debate with your friends about for years to come. Score 10/10 Spoilers for It Follows It Follows is such a wonderfully done movie that is so simple that once you understand what’s going on, there isn’t a whole lot to spoil. Instead, let’s take a look at what works in this movie. Endless Ambiance The mood of this movie can be described as heavy melancholy, which is an exciting and unique choice in horror movies. The acting and the bleak settings tee up this feeling of sadness and innocence lost that works, especially with this perverse subject matter. The acting is especially impressive when you consider that there are almost no adults at all in It Follows – just a bunch of teens. They all feel real, and they all seem like they are being left alone by uncaring or unavailable parents. These teens bond and end up sleeping wherever they end up at night. The setting shifts between suburban Detroit and abandoned Detroit. The use of abandoned buildings and houses adds to the ambiance in such a fantastic way without being full of effort. Maybe I enjoy the setting so much because we never get to see movies that are set in these bleak and downtrodden areas. Perhaps it’s because I have a soft spot for Detroit. Incredibly Perverse Subject Matter Done Right It Follows is about a shapeshifting, slow-moving monster that is a sexually transmitted disease. If you have sex with someone who is infected, they pass the monster’s invisible leash to you, and suddenly you are granted the ability to see this monster. The catch? The monster can look like anyone, even people you know and love. It can use these people to get to you and kill you; once you are dead, it moves on to the person who passed it to you. It Follows could have been a raunchy sex-capade with a bunch of crass, boring,
May 20, 2020
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Review & Robert Englund Interview
The hits just keep on coming over here at Horror Movie Talk! During quarantine, we've been catching up on all the classic slashers. This week we rewatched the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, and reminded ourselves why this franchise has such staying power. Intro - (0:24)Synopsis - (04:41)Trailer - (5:57)Review - (7:31)Score - (13:00)Spoilers - (21:29)Final Recommendations - (52:04)Robert Englund Interview - (54:06)It Came From Social Media - (1:22:59)Outro - (1:40:05) @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. A Nightmare on Elm Street can be bought or rented on amazon or your favorite video thingy. https://youtu.be/dCVh4lBfW-c Synopsis A Nightmare on Elm Street wastes no time introducing you to one of horror’s greatest villains. Tina Gray, played by Amanda Wyss, is being chased in a dream by an unknown assailant with knives for fingers. Before the fedora wearing pizza-faced man can introduce himself with a M’lady, Tina wakes up in cold sweats. Later we learn that this vivid nightmare is shared by her group of friends, including Nancy Thompson, played by Heather Langenkamp, Glen, played by Johnny Depp, and her boyfriend Rod, played by Jsu Garcia.  Soon we learn that the scary man in everyone’s dream is a formerly alive child killer and pedophile (?) named Freddy Kreuger, played by the inimitable Robert Englund. Review of A Nightmare on Elm Street This slasher upped the ante of 80’s slashers by unabashedly adding fantasy elements into the genre. The Freddy franchise became one of the most lucrative horror franchises of all time. And for good reason! The premise of a killer that comes to you in your dreams and can kill you in real life is truly unescapable. No zombie fortress, or gun can save you from Freddy. Everyone sleeps. The film not only introduced one of horror’s most iconic figures, it also the bloodiest mainstream horror movie up to that point. It’s a tightly packaged and thoroughly conceived film. Most of the scenes and special effects hold up even today. Some effects, admittedly fall flat, and a few enter the realm of so bad their good. Regardless, it still deserves its place as one of the genre’s tentpole films and cemented the creator, Wes Craven, as one of horror’s greatest minds. Score 10/10 Robert Englund Interview Robert Englund himself called in to talk with Horror Movie Talk about his latest project, JJ Villard's Fairy Tales on Adult Swim. Skip to time code 54:06 in this episode to listen to Freddy himself chat about his life in horror. Like Classic Slashers? Check out our review of Friday the 13th!
May 13, 2020
Friday the 13th (1980) Review & JJ Villard Interview
We watched the original Friday the 13th on Shudder, and while it definitely represents the film version of pulp, it’s the original upon which so many slashers have been based. It delivers in a charming way and the twist is still impressive after all these years. It’s 40th birthday will be this Saturday, May 9th, 2020.  Intro - (0:10)Synopsis - (05:56)Trailer - (6:37)Review - (9:00)Score - (23:11)Spoilers - (134:52)Final Recommendations - (1:12:35)JJ Villard Interview - (1:15:55)It Came From Social Media - (1:33:00)Outro - (1:46:00) @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCO4v-pFBns Synopsis Friday the 13th is the story of a group of teen counselors who are setting up a summer camp at Camp Crystal Lake. It details the short story of the final days of these teen counselors. We also get a glimpse into small town americana, which is unbearably quaint. There isn’t a lot of story to this one, and that’s the point. Watch Friday the 13thWatch on AmazonClick here to Watch Review Friday the 13th was the first independent film of it’s time to secure distribution in the U.S. by a major studio (Paramount). Directed by Sean S. Cunningham (who went on to write and produce many sequels) and written by Victor Miller, Friday the 13th was the second of the big franchise slashers to hit the scene, following the success of 1978’s Halloween. This movie birthed so many tropes and trends that it’s almost comical. It is also a great place to see Kevin Bacon in one of his earliest and sexiest roles.  While it’s no crowning achievement in filmmaking, Friday the 13th does set the stage for 80’s horror very nicely with a parade of sexy but disposable characters, great practical effects by Tom Savini, and tense music by Harry Manfredini.  Friday the 13th is a classic that is only dwarfed, in my opinion, by the sequel, Friday the 13th Part 2. If you haven’t seen this movie, don’t expect to be blown away, instead expect to gain a better understanding of the foundation of the slasher genre. Score 7/10 Friday the 13th Spoilers I'm going to level with you, even though there is a hefty twist at the end of this movie that is made better with time, you've had 40 years. Get with it. First-person killing A huge portion of Friday the 13th is spent stalking the campers with the camera in first-person perspective. This places the audience square in the feet of the killer and while that's not a big deal today, it was in 1980. Sure, Halloween and Black Christmas had done this to a small extent, but it's like the calling card of this whole movie. To make the first-person perspective even more important, we are given clues throughout the film. We get to see the big work boots worn by the killer, and the rough leather gloves they are using. We automatically assume that these manly accouterments lead to a big burly man - you know, the myth of Jason! But that just makes you a big sexist pig! Who is the killer? The one who is stalking around the camp and killing young lovers and camp counselors is none other than - Mrs. Voorhees! That's right, she's been stalking the camp for the last 20 years, taking revenge on those who she blames for the death of her son, Jason. Critics were furious at this movie for a variety of reasons, mostly for being a n exploitation film that was sexist and distasteful. Apparently the irony of the killer being a woman was lost on them. Packaging horror in the neatest of boxes Friday the 13th accomplished such a beautifully simple packaging of the slasher genre into a neat little package that it's no wonder why it spawned so many copycats. It was so chalk full of sex, murder, and weird, cautionary morality lessons that it was bound to be duplicated. It threw caution to the wind and it's sails caught a big breeze that allowed it to crank out a new sequel every yea...
May 06, 2020
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) Review
The one, the only (well not really), the original! Yes the time has arrived to finally unleash our review of Texas Chainsaw massacre. This episode we recorded over a year ago, back when we were zygotes. Intro - (0:03)Synopsis - (04:11)Trailer - (4:50)Review - (6:42)Score - (10:43)Spoilers - (16:24)Final Recommendations - (1:10:46)Taglines - (1:12:20)Outro - (1:18:36) @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. Synopsis Texas Chainsaw Massacre stars Mike Myers as a San Francisco poet who fears commitment and suspects his girlfriend may have a knack for killing off her significant others. Oh wait, that’s So I married an Axe Murderer. No, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the story of a massacre that happened in Texas that involves a chainsaw. Maybe the intro crawl to the movie explains it best. https://youtu.be/KGj1ZbM_4eQ (narrated by John Larroquette) https://youtu.be/T3TILW0O_C0 Texas Chainsaw Massacre can be found on Shudder right now. Use our promo code to get a free 30 day free trial. Texas Chainsaw MAssacre Poster Review of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) Texas Chainsaw Massacre is obviously regarded as one of the greatest horror movies of all time and has been highly influential in the genre. If I had to describe this movie in one word, it would be “unhinged”. A lot of elements from this film and the low budget could have made this movie a hot mess, but somehow Tobe Hooper pulls off a coherent and terrifying masterpiece.  Score 10/10 Inspiration for TCM This movie is one of three horror classics inspired by Ed Gein. The other two being Psycho and Silence of the Lambs (Buffalo Bill). Ed Gein "only" killed two women, so he's not technically a serial killer, but he would dig up dead bodys and make stuff from their skin and bones. Soon after his mother's death, Gein began to create a "woman suit" so that, as he stated, "...could become his mother—to literally crawl into her skin". Gein denied having sex with the bodies he exhumed, explaining: "They smelled too bad."  Here is some of the items authorities found in his house: Whole human bones and fragmentsA wastebasket made of human skinHuman skin covering several chair seatsBowls made from human skullsA corset made from a female torso skinned from shoulders to waistLeggings made from human leg skinMasks made from the skin of female headsA heart "in a plastic bag in front of Gein's potbellied stove"Nine vulvae in a shoe boxA belt made from female human nipplesA pair of lips on a window shade drawstringA lampshade made from the skin of a human face Final Recommendations It’s a must see. If you are into horror movies, you just need to see it.
Apr 29, 2020
Quarantine Movie Review
We watched Quarantine for free on Crackle and it hasn’t lost it’s luster. This is still a staple of the found footage genre, and one that sticks out in my mind for a number of reasons. On this episode we go over the movie, play a rousing game of Attack of the Rotten Tomatoes, and talk about what happened to us over social media over the last week. We also discuss a bit of what it's been like in our own quarantine. Intro - (0:40)Synopsis - (06:20)Review - (12:10)Score - (15:15)Spoilers - (27:38)Final Recommendations - (1:04:00)Attack of the Rotten Tomatoes - (1:04:48)It Came From Social Media - (1:12:58)Outro - (1:24:30) @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. Synopsis Quarantine is a 2008 American recreation of the 2007 Spanish film REC. It’s very similar to REC in just about every way, but because it’s out of Hollywood, it seems to have dwarfed the original, despite not being as effective. Quarantine follows a reporter, Angela, who is doing a slice of life piece on some local firefighters in LA. As she goes on a routine call with the crew, they end up at a small tenant building that houses a variety of residents. Watch QuarantineStream it or buy it on AmazonClick here to watch It soon becomes apparent that there is some kind of infection going around the building as matronly and old tenants begin to brutally attack those trying to help them. The firefighters, camera crew and the tenants are all locked inside and soon they find themselves with more quarantine than they bargained for! Quarantine Trailer https://youtu.be/GQ4EyBGKDM4 Review of Quarantine Quarantine was directed by John Erick Dowdle who is also known for some staple cult favorites like As Above, So Below and The Poughkeepsie Tapes.  It stars Jennifer Carpenter who we love when she acts in the horror genre. We just reviewed The Taking of Emily Rose, which also starred her. I enjoy this movie because it has a great start, middle, and a decent ending, although it’s impossible to beat the ending of REC even though this tries. It has all the elements that make a great found footage movie.  Watch RECStream it or buy it on AmazonClick here to watch The story is compelling, the situation is extremely relatable...now, and there is plenty of shaky-cam footage to keep your eyes clawing at the edges of the frame for whatever that thing was that just ran by. I will say that Jennifer Carpenter’s acting gets in the way of the ending of this movie. She hams it up to such an incredible degree that I couldn’t stop thinking about every middle school girl nervous breakdown I ever witnessed or had myself - and there were more than a few. A freakishly pretty Jennifer Carpenter Even with the overacting, I think Quarantine stands out as one of the classic found footage examples. If I had to point people to a movie to watch, I would point them at REC before this. You can find REC right now on prime for a few bucks. Score 7/10 Spoilers for Quarantine After watching this movie, it's a lot more simple than it seems as it's unfolding - not that it seems terribly complicated. It has a learn-as-you-go structure and there is a mystery that slowly unravels: why are we being quarantined and what is this sickness? It starts with some engaging banter between our reporter and her firefighter subjects. I always enjoy horror movie beginnings that are light and breezy and fun. It's a refreshing palate cleanser to what is going to become a horrendous scenario. Queue the horrendous scenario. They get to the apartment building and they meet some creepy old grannies who are obviously afflicted with some malady. Ms. Espinoza, one of the old ladies in question, attacks a firefighter and rips out his jugular. Ms. Espinoza...this bitch... What is the infection in Quarantine? The only real spoiler in this movie is what the malady is that affe...
Apr 22, 2020
The Wicker Man (1973) Review
This week we watched The Wicker Man (1973) which can be found streaming on Netflix, and it lives up to the hype. On this episode, we are joined by Ben Warrington with his recommendations for movies to stream during quarantine, and we also read comments and questions from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Intro - (0:09)Synopsis - (05:25)Review - (8:19)Score - (11:15)Spoilers - (20:23)Final Recommendations - (57:22)Ben's Picks for Quarantine Horror Streaming - (59:14)It Came From Social Media - (1:31:00)Outro - (1:47:22) @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. Synopsis The Wicker Man is about a wicker man. No, it’s actually about a scottish constable, Sargeant Neil Howie, played by Edward Woodward who is called to investigate the disappearance of a little girl off of the secretive and secluded Island SummerIsle. The main thing that you need to know about Sargeant Howie is that he is tired of your shit. The main thing you need to know about SummerIsle is that this Island Fucks. The Wicker Man Poster As Sergeant Howie investigates the disappearance of Rowan Morrison, it becomes quickly apparent that the islanders are not to be trusted. They have shifty eyes from the outset, and even worse, they are Pagans! The devout Christian Sergeant Howie is ill equipped to face the strange rituals and attitudes found to be taught and practiced on the island. These blasphemous rituals include singing and dancing around the maypole and … premarital sex! Blasphemers! As the mystery of the missing girl gets unraveled, Howie learns about the agrarian origins of the island and its reliance on the old gods to provide a plentiful harvest. Sometimes the old gods demand sacrifice. Just sayin. https://youtu.be/a-tDnavDCwI Review The Wicker Man focuses on the true horror, feeling uncomfortable around weird people. This movie is a classic for a reason, it is very discombobulating, and you experience the confusion that Sargeant Howie does. Anyone with a conservative christian upbringing might not have as extreme reaction to the Paganism as Howie, but the feeling of discomfort about sex and blasphemy is probably familiar. The darkness at the root of this island is felt throughout, but isn’t overt. Mostly it’s a feeling of being toyed with and mocked. The island is like a bunch of Mean Girls. The enduring legacy of the film is it’s conclusion and I don’t want to spoil it for those that haven’t seen it. All I can say is it made me feel lots of emotions, almost like a religious experience Score 10/10 The Wicker Man (1973)Add the Blu ray to your collection or stream it right nowBuy/Rent on Amazon Spoilers Expand for Spoilers I pretty much knew the plot of the Wicker Man from the Radiohead music video for Burn The Witch, and also heard that the ending of Midsommar was very similar, but I was genuinely effected by the ending of The Wicker Man. https://youtu.be/yI2oS2hoL0k This music video is based on The Wicker Man. There are spoilers. The pacing of the film really lulls you into a false sense of security. You know pretty much from the get go that these islanders are acting suspicious, but the immediate conclusion is that they are covering for someone in the village that commited the murder. However, as we see the islanders, especially the landlords daughter Willow, continue to fuck with him, it seems like there might be a larger conspiracy. Along the way, there is enough clues revealed, that it feels like the secret is that Rowan is alive and going to be sacrificed. I'd let her fuck with me... The conclusion arrives, and it is revealed that Sargent Howie was the target all along. They had specifically researched him and identified him as the ideal sacrifice to the gods for a plentiful harvest. He was: An Adult MaleA VirginHe comes with the power of a king in that he is a police officerHe is a ChristianHe is a fool ...
Apr 15, 2020
The Platform Review
We watched The Platform on Netflix with a bunch of HMT fans over the Chrome Netflix Party extension and boy, I love this movie! While I am certain that lots of purists will debate whether this is horror or not, I assure you, it’s worth the watch and will definitely find some way to make your skin crawl. The timing of this release makes me wonder if Netflix has a bunch of totally apropos titles just waiting in the wings to be released whenever they are most relevant.  Intro - (0:36)Trailer - (7:17) Synopsis - (09:00) Review - (11:26) Score - (16:26) Spoilers - (25:35) Final Recommendations - (1:06:56) Taglines - (1:09:23) It Came From Social Media - (1:12:20)Outro - (1:25:57) @dgoebel00 on Instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. The Platform Synopsis The Platform is about a prison called the pit where there are three kinds of people; the ones above, the ones below, and the ones who fall. This is a twisted place where every cell contains two people and is stacked on top of a seemingly endless column of other cells.  https://youtu.be/6gVAIx7OeyI Every day there is a massive banquet comprised of everyone in the prison’s favorite dish. This banquet contains enough calories for everyone in the pit to survive. The catch is the banquet is placed on a platform that stops at every cell for a short time, and it starts at the top and works its way down. Some prisoners are there by choice, some are there because of a crime, but there seems to be a promise that is made to all of them upon entry into the pit - if you do your time and make it out, you will be granted increased social standing.  Our protagonist is a man called Goreng (Ivan Massagué), who spends time with several of the inmates of the pit. As he learns the ropes, he also seems to take issue with the inherent societal problems that it represents: greed and desperation. The Platform REVIEW The Platform is a Spanish film by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, and it’s one of the most unique ideas that I’ve seen put to the screen since Cube.  The minimal but rigid design of the pit echos in the sci-fi dystopian walls of the film itself. You know the sick and twisted world that lay in the basement of Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs? That terrifying and perverse reality that we like to forget exists in the real world? That feeling is magnified in The Platform and made the subject of the entire movie.  MMM, tastes like class oppression! To make it even more hard-hitting, The Platform is clearly a commentary on humans and society today. While it’s hard to draw many direct analogies with the real world, the standout one seems to be human nature and the greed inherent therein. The Platform is not without hope, but it is chock-full of extreme violence, imagery, and ideas that make this a real stomach turner.   This movie stays with me, and I wouldn’t mind watching it again. It doesn’t hold your hand, and there is clearly a lot of theorizing that one can do to try and determine the symbology and lessons within.  Score for The Platform 9/10 Spoilers The Platform does a lot of things right. It maintains mystery, drama, tension, and is clearly meant to stand for something. Anything that you might be interested in, this movie probably touches on it. On top of all of that, it doesn’t hold your hand, leaving you free to interpret it’s message or take it at face value. ECHO, ECho, echo In favor of spoiling the movie point by point, I will instead share with you a few basic premises of this movie that I find the most relevant and exciting. The Rules of The Pit The prison known as “the pit” is a mostly lawless place with a few given rules. They are as follows: Some prisoners have opted in, others are being punished, but upon serving your time in the pit, you will be granted elevated social status.Everyone is allowed to bring one item with them to the pit.
Apr 08, 2020
Bryce’s Review of The Bye Bye Man
Magnus, one of our longest listeners has consistently asked us to review The Bye Bye Man. So this is his fault. Because of social distancing measures and out of an abundance of caution, Me and David recorded our thoughts on The Bye Bye Man separately. Stay safe out there. I'll do my best. Intro - (0:00)Trailer - (3:50)Synopsis - (06:19)Review - (06:56)Score - (09:05)Spoilers - (14:05)Magnus Calls In - (19:24)Taglines - (44:27)It Came From Social Media - (46:53)Outro - (0:53) https://youtu.be/ZGdOnCiQRpQ The Bye Bye Man Synopsis The Bye Bye Man is about a Bye Bye Man. A reverse three’s company of two guys and a girl move into a house together and one of them discovers a dresser with disturbing scribbling on the inside that repeats the phrase “Don’t think it, don’t say it.” When he rips out the drawer liner, underneath is written the words “The Bye Bye Man”. Turns out he thinks it and says it. WACKY HIJINKS ENSUE. Bryce's Review This movie is bad. We knew it would be bad going in, but ugh, it was rough anyway. The major flaw in this movie is that the writers were so enamoured with the concept of “Don’t think it, Don’t say it” that they forgot to include an actual plot in the movie. The film is actually based on a really badass sounding urban legend. The original story had a much more complex mythology for the Bye Bye Man: He was an albino born in New Orleans in 1912 who ran away as a child and became a derelict who lived in a train yard. After going blind he began murdering people and cutting out their eyes and tongues, which he sewed together and brought to life using voodoo. The resultant creature became the Bye Bye Man's literal seeing-eye dog, helping him hunt his prey. Several elements from the story- notably the dog and the motif of trains-- were retained for the movie, though their purpose is left undefined. So much so, that if you only watch the Bye Bye Man, your only knowledge of him will be that: He exists, and He’s bad. Bryce's Score for The Bye Bye Man 2/10 Watch The Bye Bye Man The Bye Bye Man is streaming on Netflix, but is also available to rent or buy on Amazon. The Bye Bye ManAdd the Blu ray to your collection or stream it right nowBuy/Rent on Amazon
Apr 01, 2020
David’s Review of Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man. What can be said about this extremely average film? Maybe you shouldn't see it or think about it, but in all honesty, if you have some family that likes bad slashers, you should probably see this film on Netflix right now. https://youtu.be/ZGdOnCiQRpQ Intro - (0:22) Synopsis - (04:53) Review - (05:58) Score - (7:00) Spoilers - (12:16) Final Recommendations - (22:30) Taglines - (23:00) Outro - (25:30) The Bye Bye Man is an average slasher that features a bad guy who is an amalgam of The Candyman and Freddy Kruger. This isn't one of our normal reviews as Bryce and I have been forced to record two separate podcasts due to the quarantine. Check out Bryce's episode here. Score for The Bye Bye Man 5/10
Apr 01, 2020
The Taking of Deborah Logan Review
We watched The Taking of Deborah Logan on Shudder because right now, the coronavirus is threatening all of our old people. I have to say, while my initial first watch impressions of this movie were much better, this is still a solid horror movie about the compelling topic of old people gone crazy. Intro - (0:19)Trailer - (3:57) Synopsis - (05:49) Review - (08:55) Score - (14:10) Spoilers - (25:38) Final Recommendations - (1:02:07) Taglines - (1:03:44) It Came From Social Media - (1:06:46)Outro - (1:33:44) Sorry for the artwork. Dustin Goebel, our normal artist has had a lot of instability with this whole COVID-19 thing, so he had to take a break this week. This picture is courtesy of an art staffing agency, a man named Ben B. drew this....thanks Ben.. https://youtu.be/DnZNojsjlQM Help Your Local Theater Through the Shutdown! Cinema 21 in Portland, OR needs your help. They offer a bevvy of wonderful snacks and beers for you to enjoy while seeing reasonably priced entertainment. In the time of COVID-19, it's important that we help our community stay together, so please, consider buying a gift card from Cinema 21 in one of the links below. $10 Gift Card$25 Gift Card$50 Gift Card$100 Gift Card The Taking of Deborah Logan Synopsis This is a 2014 film by director Adam Robitel who brought us Insidious: The Last Key and Escape Room. A film crew shows up to Deborah Logan’s (Jill Larson) house where she and her daughter, Sarah Logan (Anne Ramsay) still live. The setting is very East Coast rural, and there is only Harris (Ryan Cutrona), the groundskeeper who hangs around to help Sarah and Deborah. Watch The Taking of Deborah LoganWatch on AmazonClick here to Watch The film crew is there to document Deborah’s descent into Alzheimers. The agreement is that the crew gets to make Deborah the focus of their documentary, and they will pay handsomely for that privilege. Sarah realizes that they need the money if Deborah is going to continue living and maintaining this home, but Deborah is private and would rather the crew not be there. As the days progress, disturbing signs of Deborah’s mental health quickly arise and give way to questions about whether this is the signs of a degenerative aging disease, or whether it’s something else. There are lots of signs of cult activity surrounding Deborah and her life of secrets as the town’s original telephone switchboard operator, but how much of it is nonsense, and how much is real. In the end, Sarah and the film crew end up with more Deborah than they bargained for. The Taking of Deborah Logan Review The Taking of Deborah Logan is a bit of an odd duckling on my second viewing. On my first viewing, I was so struck by the pacing and shocking nature of the visuals that I overlooked some of the film’s more problematic issues.  Don’t get me wrong, this film can almost stand on it’s disturbing scenes and tension built cleverly around a very real issue that many people have to face. But the wires begin to show a bit on a second viewing when you aren’t dazzled by the initial shocks in The Taking of Deborah Logan. I feel like a lot of the camera work for the documentary is extraneous, but not in a good way. Paranormal Activity 2 is a shining example of extraneous footage that works to build tension, but Deborah had a hodgepodge of silly angles and shaky cam footage that didn’t work in favor of the movie. That said, I really love this movie! The imagery, the cult aspect, the old person who can’t be controlled - It’s great. The execution of the whole thing is pretty darn good too. The pacing is really what makes this movie a must-see because it’s so fast that there is never a chance to get bored.  Did I mention the impressive and shocking imagery? Score 8/10 Spoilers This film is about Deborah’s descent into a weird kind of cult possession. It starts out looking like Deb just has some severe form of Alzheimer's,...
Mar 25, 2020
Wrong Turn (2003) Review
Wrong Turn is a blast from the past, but was it a blast to watch it? Eh. It is what it is. It's a guilty pleasure horror movie that features psychotic inbred mountain men. If that sounds like your bag, give it a watch. Regardless, listen to our review, because we probably had more fun reviewing it than watching it. Artwork by @dgoebel00 on instagram. Follow him and check out his website. Intro - (0:39)Trailer - (3:49) Synopsis - (06:19) Review - (07:01) Score - (07:57) Spoilers - (13:59) Final Recommendations - (57:16) Taglines - (57:52) Horror Movie News - (1:05:18)Outro - (1:33:44) Wrong Turn Poster Wrong Turn Synopsis The synopsis is simple. A group of random people in their early twenties are attacked by inbred homicidal mountain men. Some of them have paint by numbers backstories and archetypes, really their purpose and motivation is to be fodder for a slasher. Everyone that you think will die dies, and everyone that you think will survive survives. Review Wrong Turn came out in 2003 and I genuinely forgot how long ago that was. Nokia phones, bare midriffs on women, and pooka shells on men. It was a simpler time. And this is a simple movie to match it. This is a good old fashioned, dumb slasher. The only unique twist on the generic formula is that the antagonists are a family of inbred homicidal hicks. Oh wait, that’s not unique, that’s a rip off of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Whatever, who cares, the people that want to watch slashers just want to see people getting chased and cut up. In that respect, this movie excels, because that’s basically all that happens. People get chased and cut up. Rinse and repeat. Score for Wrong Turn 5/10 Wrong TurnAdd the Blu ray to your collection or stream it right nowBuy/Rent on Amazon Spoilers Expand for spoilers There really isn't much to spoil. This is a highly predictable slasher, and everyone that you expect to die, dies. What next? If you are in the mood for another slasher, you can't do better than Sleepaway Camp.
Mar 18, 2020
The Exorcism of Emily Rose Review
We rented The Exorcism of Emily Rose on Amazon, and while Bryce couldn’t seem to stay awake, I was reminded of one of my favorite possession movies ever made. This was a Patreon pick of the month, and they voted on it, so we reviewed it. Intro - (0:41)Trailer(s) - (4:41) Synopsis - (7:04) Review - (10:55) Score - (13:26) Spoilers - (19:28) Final Recommendations - (1:09:44) Attack of the Rotten Tomatoes - (1:11:33) It Came From Social Media - (1:24:48)Outro - (1:35:30) Synopsis of The Exorcism of Emily Rose The Exorcism of Emily Rose is directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister) and is the story of a court case where The People are prosecuting Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson) for the negligent homicide of Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter). Good news for Father Moore, Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) is on the case. https://youtu.be/cmLfRVVRbmg As we are walked through the trial, we get glimpses into the hellish end of days that made up Emily’s life. She was a deeply devout catholic girl in a deeply devout catholic family, and that never seems to be a good combination in possession movies.  Watch The Exorcism of Emily RoseWatch on AmazonClick to Watch The defender of The People is Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott), and he makes the claims that Emily was epileptic and psychotic, which could have been treated medically.  Erin has to come to terms with her own lack of faith to depict this priest in the light of his intentions and the reality that the possession was real, and the exorcism was vital to save Emily from the devil. Review of The Exorcism of Emily Rose The Exorcism of Emily Rose is an interesting and well-executed movie that really floored me the first time I watched it several years after it’s 2005 release. I’ve seen it a handful of times since then, and it continues to be compelling to watch. The visuals in this movie work best on the first go-around, so it didn’t have the same disturbing impact on me this time as it did my first viewing. I appreciate the new twist on an old classic - being told from the perspective of the homicide case made it much less of a movie about possession and much more of a movie about faith and religion. The Defense attorney had her own brushes with the demonic during her trial, which gave the movie stakes in the present. This movie respects the audience and shows a lot of restraint in favor of fewer terrifying moments. The result is that these very disturbing scenes have a heavier impact. I’m a sucker for a well-made possession movie, and this is exactly that. Score 8/10 Spoilers for The Exorcism of Emily Rose This starts with a great ambiance shot of a dreary farm-house in a mist-covered field. A medical examiner shows up to find Emily deceased, surrounded by her family, and in horrific condition. He can’t conclusively say that the cause of death is natural, which makes a great allusion, not only to murder but to the possibility of satanic possession. How's eating bug for ambiance? The Religion/Science Dichotomy The Exorcism of Emily Rose asks the interesting question of, “What is possession, real or explained away with mental health diagnoses?” I love the way this movie tackles that question. First, from the side of the Prosecution (science), then from the side of the Defense (religion). Many times we will see Emily acting possessed, and horrible things will happen to her that appear to be because of the supernatural. For example, she will be out in the field in the throws of possession, and stigmata will appear on her hands. When viewed from the side of the Defense telling the account, it will appear as it the mark on her hands show up without any outside influence. When viewed from the side of the Prosecution, it shows that Emily grabs tightly onto a barbwire fence, producing the wounds in the palm of each hand. Ouch! I enjoy the way this movie walks the line between religion
Mar 11, 2020
The Invisible Man (2020) Review
The Invisible Man is the first horror movie of the year worth... seeing. Writer/director Leigh Whannel reframes the H.G. Wells source material in a thrilling and fresh adaptation. After two months of truly mediocre horror releases, The Invisible Man is a gasp of fresh air. Artwork by @dgoebel00 on instagram. Follow him and check out his website. Intro - (0:38)Trailer(s) - (4:44) Synopsis - (11:17) Review - (12:15) Score - (17:02) Spoilers - (22:34) Final Recommendations - (59:39) Taglines - (1:00:36) It Came From Social Media - (1:07:19)Outro - (1:20:12) https://youtu.be/Pso0Aj_cTh0 The Invisible Man can be...SEEN in theaters now. Film Synopsis The Invisible Man follows Cecilia, played by Elizabeth Moss, as she fearfully escapes her manipulative and violently abusive boyfriend Adrian, played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen. Soon after she leaves him, he commits suicide and leaves her a considerable amount of money in his will. Her deceased ex was one of the world’s foremost experts on optics and was very wealthy. Cecilia is still mentally scarred by their abusive ex, that she finds it hard to believe that he is actually dead. This seemingly unreasonable paranoia gets confirmed to her as she is haunted and by an unseen tormentor. This Invisible Man ramps up the terror and violence to the point that everyone around Cecilia assumes that she is having a mental break. Even her closest friends and family don’t believe her, leaving her hopeless as she tries to defend herself. She struggles to prove that her ex is still alive and continuing his abuse while he actively tries to frame her for murder. Review of The Invisible Man I’ll tell you what. This movie is a breath of fresh air after a stagnant two months of new releases in the horror category. It’s is written and directed by Leigh Whannell who you might know as the writer/director of Upgrade, or as an actor in The Bye Bye Man. He shows himself to be very competent at writing and directing with this film. The skill of Whannel is shown in the opening of The Invisible Man, which follows the motto of “show don’t tell”. So much is communicated about Cecilia and Adrian’s relationship just from her actions and facial expressions in the first 5 minutes of the film. The film also shows a lot of well tuned restraint by not focusing on the sci-fi elements like most other Invisible Man movies do.  It’s themes explore the topic of abuse in a really interesting and thought- provoking way. Abusive partners are often “invisible” to the world since that side of the abusers personality isn’t often shown to others. The historical abuse of Cecilia in this film feels real and tangible, even though it’s never shown in flashbacks. It’s communicated through the aftereffects and trauma that Cecilia displays. This is a great example of a thriller that leans into the horror aspects of that label. There are genuinely surprising moments and many times that I jumped out of my seat. This is a very very good movie, and you should definitely see it. Score for The Invisible Man (2020) 9/10 Spoilers Expand for spoilers section Adrian The Adrian character is pretty "invisible" to the audience throughout the whole movie. This isn't just because he is physically invisible, but also because his motives are murky, and we are only given second-third hand information about him from the other characters. We briefly get a glimpse of him when he attacks Cecilia in the car as she leaves, but we don't get a good look at him until the very end of the movie. It's very effective. Once we do see him, the charmed veneer is completely undercut by what we have witnessed throughout the movie, allowing the audience to experience the distrust that Cecilia experiences first hand. Cecilia's disbelief Cecilia when she is informed of Adrian's death, it is is obvious that she is very suspicious. She is used to being ghostlit and manipulated.
Mar 04, 2020
Brahms: The Boy II Review
We saw Brahms: The Boy II in theaters and it was so bland and unfulfilling that I questioned whether or not I want to spend my free time reviewing movies of this caliber. As soon as I asked that question of myself, I realized that the answer is obviously -  yes. I need to watch these boring hunks of junk to make sure you don’t have to. Intro - (0:45)Trailer - (4:16) Synopsis - (06:40) Review - (10:19) Score - (10:44) Spoilers - (17:10) Final Recommendations - (48:50) Horror Movie News with Ben Warrington - (50:08) Outro - (1:03:07) @dgoebel00 on instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. https://youtu.be/ytxEldPKnyA Synopsis The Boy II is a stand-alone sequel to the somewhat more interesting movie, The Boyfrom 2016, which you can currently watch on Amazon for $3.99. It was directed by William Brent Bell, who has been directing horror movies like The Devil Inside, and the original The Boyfrom 2016. This is the story of a family of three, Liza (Katie Holmes), Sean (Owain Yeoman), and their son Jude (Christopher Convery) that escape to the countryside to heal after a burglary gone wrong at their house in London. Jude, the young son stops talking following the attack, and when the family shows up at the guest house on the Heelshire estate (where the original The Boy took place) he finds a doll buried in the woods.  The doll and Jude share a lot in common: not talking, staring blankly at whoever addresses them, generally being boring, and desiring to kill whole families. Through a notepad that Jude uses to communicate, we learn that the doll is named Brahms, and he has a bunch of rules for the family to follow.  You would be surprised how stringent these rules are, so they are broken often and the family is thrown into an uproar each time. Eventually, we find out that Brahms is more doll than this family bargained for. Review Brahms: The Boy II is a sincerely boring movie that does everything technically correct on paper. Casting, acting, pacing, direction - it’s all passable. The end result is boring as sin, though. At least movies like Fantasy Island are so zany that they are fun in an ironic way. Brahms: The Boy II bored me to tears and I don’t believe that you should ever watch it.  Score 3/10 Spoilers Click to Expand for Brahms: The Boy II Spoilers As I write this I am bored to tears at the prospect of having to relive the minutiae of The Boy II, but here it goes. Jude is Mute The burglary/attack on Liza and Jude really did a number on them, and Jude ends up going mute. Great, now we have to hear two nagging parents dote on their child throughout this already tedious script. Jude going mute is supposed to add to the spook factor of the whole thing by making us relate to the parent's further challenge of reaching their troubled child. Instead, Jude having to write out his every response adds padding to an already slim movie. Jude not talking also helps to draw a closer parallel with him and Brahms, the doll. By the end of the movie, Jude is dressing, doing his hair, and wearing a mask that makes him look just like the doll Look exciting? Right, it's not. The Brahms Doll MORE: Click Here for our blog about some of the most deadly horror movie dolls Brahms is truly one of the most uninspired and generic horror movie dolls that I’ve ever seen. He has no hook, nothing that makes him interesting at all. What are Brahms origins? There was once a boy on the Heelshire Estate that killed his family. His soul got into his doll. That’s it. The End Brahms: The Boy II ends in the least satisfying way it possibly could have – a history lesson. The groundskeeper tells the family about the backstory of the doll and gives us a bit of a montage of the destruction the boy doll caused. The dad smacks the doll’s head and a weird creepy face is revealed beneath his smooth veneer.
Feb 26, 2020
Fantasy Island Review
We went and saw Blumhouse's Fantasy Island, and it was exactly as good as you would expect it to be. It's a needless remake of the campy 70's TV show of the same name. It's entertaining, but nothing to write home about. One this episode of Horror Movie Talk we give our full review and breakdown of the film. Intro - (0:38)Trailer - (5:00) Synopsis - (08:20) Review - (09:07) Score - (15:08) Spoilers - (24:25) Final Recommendations - (1:08:10) It Came From Social Media - (1:10:40) Outro - (1:27:25) https://youtu.be/a6O30nJ02PU Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island can be found in theaters now Blumhouse's Fantasy Island Synopsis In this film adaptation of the campy 70’s TV show, five guests played by hot supple young actors and Jimmy O. Yang arrive at an exclusive and secretive island resort run by the mysterious Mr. Rourke, played by Michael Pena. Each guest gets to experience one and ONLY one fantasy until it plays out to “it’s natural conclusion.” And get this… [SPOILER WARNING] the natural conclusion...is spooky-scary. Review My assessment of this movie upon leaving the theater was “This is a 10/10 for a 5/10 movie,” and I stand by that. This is not a great movie, but it does meet the table stakes of being entertaining. The premise is interesting enough, the dialogue isn’t completely awful, and the acting is actually pretty good. The fantasies each have their own unique flavor, and end up intermingling in interesting ways. The “12 inch pianist” genie level twists are different levels of tacked-on. The most natural dark twist comes with the revenge fantasy from Lucy Hale’s hottie character Melanie. It makes sense that actually hurting other people that hurt you might not be as pleasurable as you would imagine. Other fantasy twists range from weird but interesting to completely eye-rolling-ly artificial in premise. The first 3/4s of the film go down a predictable and competent path to set up the premise, develop the characters, explain the fantasies, and show the dark side of each. The last fourth is a series of “surprises” and reveals that feel like the film version of a run-on sentence. Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island isn’t deep or earth shattering, but giving credit where credit is due, it is entertaining. Score for Fantasy Island 5/10 Spoilers for Fantasy Island Expand for spoilers The characters and their fantasies JD and Brax are the super bro brothers played by Ryan Hansen and Jimmy O. Yang. Their Fantasy is to “have it all,” which equates a huge party with thirsty hotties of both sexes. Former mean girl victim and current THOT, Melanie is played by Lucy Hale. Her fantasy is to get revenge on her high school tormentor.Gwen, played by MAggie Q, wants a second chance at life by reliving a marriage proposal.Patrick, played by Austin Stowell, wants to play soldier and be a hero. The "natural conclusions" of the fantasies JD and Brax's party gets crashed by the drug lord that wants his house, money, and coke back.Torturing people isn’t as fun as it sounds.Oops, she chose the wrong regret.The dead dad ends up not having a heroic reaction to his impending death, but ends up still being a hero. The actual ending As the film speeds towards it's conclusion, all the fantasies seem to be intermingling and closely related to each other. Patrick's soldier father is actually trying to rescue hostages that end up being JD and Brax. After Gwen realizes the implications of her fantasy and demands that she get to relive out her actual regret. She tries to save her upstairs neighbor who was killed by a fire started in her kitchen. It turns out that almost all of the Fantasy Island guests had some relation to the tragedy. JD and Brax were the fire victim's room mates. Patrick was a cop on the scene that was too cowardly to go in and attempt to save anyone. Melanie was supposed to go on a date that night with the guy that got killed.
Feb 19, 2020
Gretel & Hansel 2020 Movie Review
(Hansel and Gretel Movie) We saw Gretel & Hansel in theaters and I was pleasantly surprised with something that might not be the most groundbreaking film we’ve ever watched, but it succeeds admirably at breathing new life into this classic Grimm fairy tale. Intro - (0:41)Trailer - (7:40) Synopsis - (9:52) Review - (11:11) Score - (16:48) Spoilers - (22:56) Final Recommendations - (54:30) Taglines - (55:34) It Came From Social Media - (1:25:05) Outro - (1:38:10) @dgoebel00 on instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. Gretel & Hansel Trailer https://youtu.be/QZblQLhKcZQ Gretel & Hansel Synopsis Gretel & Hansel is a reimagining and retelling of; you guessed it, Hansel and Gretel - the classic tale that warns kids not to take candy from strangers. Well, the kids are back and they have a sweet tooth. Gretel & Hansel is the third film from director Oz Perkins, who also did a cult favorite, The Blackcoat's Daughter. This story retains all the crucial elements of the story. There are two kids (Sophia Lillis from IT as Gretel and Samuel Leakey as Hansel) who are unceremoniously kicked out of their house in the times of yore by their mother who can’t afford to feed them.  They kick around the woods for a while, starving and scared, jostled by a world that is cruel and spooky before stumbling upon a house out in the woods.  This house is owned by Barbara Crampton’s final form, Holda the witch (Alice Krige). The witch lures the kids in with delectable food, but she seems, kind of evil. Well, she is evil. Gretel & Hansel Review To me, it is surprising that Gretel and Hansel got as wide a release as it did because it has “current indy horror movie” written all over it. Also January, February, and March of 2020 is about as chalk full of horror as any year that I can recall. Gretel and Hansel takes a slightly different approach to the classic and makes it a coming of age story for our female protagonist. This movie drips with aesthetic and I swear to God the witches’ house is made by the same architect as the house from Ex Machina. Very sparse, norse sensibilities are present in the scenes, which, if you are a fan of our show, you know we love the Scandinavians and their sensibilities.  The brooding, doom-laden feel of this movie is a great way to take something as classic as Hansel and Gretel and make me care. Every corner of this film is foreboding and off-feeling.  The lighting is so dark that it reminded me of the Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln flick from 2012. Lots of candles used for lighting made me feel like I was right there with the kids in this strange and terrifying house. I love the acting and the style that Gretel & Hansel goes with and the atmosphere is dead-on. My only problem with this movie is that it droops throughout. As far as slow-burns go, this is as slow as they come, and while it works to an extent, I wish they would have stopped chewing the fat and cut some of the more indulgent walks in the woods and dream sequences in favor of keeping my attention.  At 87 minutes, it’s a pretty short movie, but I feel it could have easily been 70 minutes, and it would have felt very appropriate. Score 7/10 Spoilers Click to Expand Spoilers Backstory on the witch The movie starts describing the origin of the witch. There is a gifted child, and an illness befalls her. The father of the child is told to be brave against the darkness and takes the girl to be healed. The child is gifted with something called “second sight”. She is healed, but the gift of healing comes with an unseen curse.  This little girl, the witch, is evil. She kills her dad and others in the village before she is taken out into the woods and banished. Here we are given the tagline of the movie, “Beware gifts because those that offer them might mess you up hardcore.” The World is a Cruel, Scary Place
Feb 12, 2020
Color Out of Space Review & Tara Westwood Interview
We have a packed episode this week. We review the surprisingly good Color Out Of Space, interview the lovely Tara Westwood from The Grudge (2020), and play a new game called "fNICt or fCAGEtion". Hold on to your alpacas, and listen to the latest Horror Movie Talk! Intro - (0:46)Trailer - (7:27) Synopsis - (10:13) Review - (11:07) Score - (17:10) Spoilers - (25:47) Final Recommendations - (1:00:32) Interview with Tara Westwood from The Grudge (2020) - (1:01:43) fNICt or fCAGEtion - (1:28:53) Outro - (1:41:01) @dgoebel00 on instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. We went and saw a screening of Color Out of Space, and turns out the color out of space…  was purple Ya don't say! https://youtu.be/RfYAXMwCpk0 Color Out of Space Trailer Color Out of Space Synopsis Color Out of Space is a documentary of a normal Tuesday for Nicolas Cage. Sorry, that’s wrong, it’s actually based off of an H.P. Lovecraft short story of the same name. The film tells the story of the Gardner family living on a remote homestead inherited by the patriarch Nathan, played by the old god, Nicolas Cage. The rest of the Gardeners are the mother Theresa (Joely Richardson), daughter Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur), and two sons Benny (Brendan Meyer) and Jack (Julian Hilliard).  One night a meteor from SPACE came crashing down into their front yard, and infects the space time continuum with a color that has never been seen before, but is somehow nefarious. Color Out Of Space Poster Review of Color Out Of Space You might be asking yourself… how do you film a story that revolves around the concept of a color that hasn’t been seen before? That’s a good question. I don’t have an answer, but I can tell you that Richard Stanley has somehow pulled it off. This is probably one of the best depictions of cosmic horror that I have ever seen on film. Not that I have seen many, but this one is actually a really impressive adaptation of HP Lovecraft. It falls in that genre of “Weird Tale” that most recently represented in theaters by The Lighthouse. There are direct quotations from the source material, and the tone is very Lovecraftian, save for two aspects.  It’s set in modern timesIt’s not told via a third person recounting of a third person recounting of another third person account. The parts that are very Lovecraftian are the madness, corruption, ineffective magical rituals, and the scientist that exists only to state that something is beyond science. The corruption of the land and people happens very gradually, but builds up to a crescendo of sensory overload that is really impressive. It’s a very visually impressive movie and definitely one that you might want to go to high as balls. Score 9/10 Color Out Of SpaceAdd Color Out Of Space to your collectionBuy on Amazon Interview of Tara Westwood We had the special honor of interviewing the lovely and talented Tara Westwood. Horror movie fans will know her from her most recent role in The Grudge which is still in theaters around the world, as well as some other horror movies you might have stumbled across on Amazon Prime such as Hell Girl or A Haunting at Silver Falls. Follow Tara on Instagram, Twitter to stay apprised of her new projects. Photo by Noel Sutherland and Makeup by Bobby Spielman. Photo by Noel Sutherland and Makeup by Bobby Spielman. Photo by Noel Sutherland and Makeup by Bobby Spielman. David's dream scenario fNICt or fCAGEtion In our newest game, I read a series of Nic Cage "facts" to David, and he had to guess if they were fNICt (fact) or fCAGEtion (fiction). Here is the list of insane Nic Cage facts. See if you can spot the fake ones. Answer key to follow. He was born Nicolas Coppola and he decided to change his last name after actors resented him because his uncle is the renowned director Francis Ford Coppola.He chose “Cage,
Feb 05, 2020
The Turning (2020) Review
We saw The Turning in theaters and it’s got a ton of jumpscares and some great acting, but it is hamstrung by a script that never had a clue where it was going despite having a very clear and high-quality roadmap of the story that it was based upon - The Turn of the Screw. Intro - (1:01)Trailer - (4:53) Synopsis - (7:11) Review - (10:00) Score - (16:48) Spoilers - (22:56) Final Recommendations - (54:30) Horror Movie News - (55:34) It Came From Social Media - (1:25:05) Outro - (1:38:10) @dgoebel00 on instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. The Turning Trailer https://youtu.be/rl33gU2APIs The Turning Synopsis While I have never read the 1898 novella, The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, I have a feeling that it would not lend itself to the silver screen without a fair amount of changes to the original story to make it more appealing for audiences today. After having read some briefs and synopses of the novella, this movie mimics it almost point for point.  We have a young teacher, Kate (Mackenzie Davis), who is hired on a palatial estate to teach and govern a young child, Flora (Brooklynn Prince). There is one other inhabitant on the grounds, Mrs. Grose, who is the cook and maid. After a short time, Flora’s teenage brother, Miles (Finn Wolfhard) appears following being expelled from school. He is quickly set up to be the antagonist of the story, seemingly very crude, lude, and rapey. The story of Kate then unravels itself in shockingly slow, slow motion that is fraught with the most exhausting bevy of jumpscares and twisty-turny bologna that I can recall. The ghost of the previous teacher is hanging around, and the ghost of her killer, Miles friend, Quint, is too.  The Turning Review I would be lying if I told you I understood what exactly there was to be scared of in this movie. I believe The Turn of the Screw was originally a very well written spooky ghost story. This movie is not adapted well to the big screen, probably because it didn’t expand much on the original novella.  The acting was actually pretty good, especially from both child actors, and the setting was pretty effective as well. The script was the real issue here, as there is just nothing around for it to hang its hat on and make it memorable or interesting. A better version of roughly this same story, is found in 2018’s The Little Stranger. The Little Stranger understood ambiguity and how to use it. Is the main character losing his mind or is this place haunted? I think ambiguity is what the source material is about, and it’s replaced in The Turning by confusion. Score 4/10 Spoilers Click to Expand for Spoilers Kate is called to act as the new governess for the children, who are recently orphaned. More to the point, she is supposed to watch Flora and later Miles shows up because it is revealed that he is expelled from his school for shocking violence. Wait… You know it might just be easier if you read the actual plot of The Turn of the Screw novella from this Wikipedia article. Yes, this movie occurs in almost exactly the same timeline as that section of the wiki. Seem uninspired? Yeah, it kind of is. Kate and Mrs. Grose share a sweet embrace The Jumpscares There are lots of jumpscares in this movie, some good, some not so good. But there are tons! There are so many jumpscares that I started to become shellshocked, or at least exhausted by them. Every day in the story contains light frivolity and a pang of weirdness, and every night contains a healthy dose of jumpscares and dark hallways. The House This house is seriously huge and suffers from a major case of spooky house syndrome (SHS). It’s got lights that turn on and off for no reason, sewing machines the pop to life, and dozens of mannequins ready to terrify as Kate backs into them, one after another. While the house is plenty spooky, it’s not utilized in the
Jan 29, 2020
Crawl Review
Our patrons patrons voted for this week’s movie review, and they selected Crawl. This was a movie we let slip by us when it was in theaters. However, now we know, you don’t just slip by gators, they will look for you, they will find you, and they will kill you. Intro - (0:27)Trailer - (7:27) Synopsis - (10:55) Review - (12:01) Score - (16:00) Spoilers - (25:43) Final Recommendations - (53:39) Taglines - (54:54) It Came From Social Media - (1:00:08) Outro - (1:20:50) @goebel00 on instagram provided this amazing artwork. Follow him and check out his website. Crawl Trailer https://youtu.be/H6MLJG0RdDE Crawl can is available for rent or purchase on your favorite video platform. Synopsis The movie follows Floridian Haley (Kaya Scodelario), a competitive swimmer that goes to check on her father before a category 5 hurricane hits. She discovers that her father Dave (Barry Pepper) is in the CRAWL space below his house with a broken leg from an alligator attack. She finds out quickly that there are not one, but two hyper-aggressive gators that will stop at nothing to kill them both. What proceeds is a game of gator and mouse where they try to escape the gators in a labyrinthian and increasingly flooded crawlspace. Crawl Poster My Review This movie has a simple set up and delivers exactly what you would want out of it: ridiculous gator action. Before coming to Dave's crawlspace, these gators must have stopped by Tony Montana’s and consumed the mountain of coke on his desk. These gators are ridiculously aggressive. The two main characters are constantly in danger, but are protected by the most powerful substance known to man… plot armor. So for an hour and a half, as we watch them try to outsmart the gators to accomplish the impossible task of… you know crawl a couple feet to the stairs, we are introduced to a steady stream of possible saviors who are immediately attacked and torn apart by ravenous gators. Oil me up daddy, it's dinner time, and I'm a little soup-boy. Chompa. Chompa. I’ve said it before. I’m not a huge fan of monster movies. But I can appreciate the ones that are done well. This is one of those. The situation is creative, the pacing of the plot is great. Even the tension is high throughout the movie because of the rising water. It really is a great device to move the plot forward. There is also a decent amount of character development between Haley and her father.  If all that bores you and you are only coming for alligator attacks, you will not be disappointed. Everything from just plain gator bites to being completely drawn and quartered by a congregation of gators is covered. Getting Drawn and Quartered by Gators Overall it’s a really well written and executed creature feature that maintains tension, has the proper amount of ridiculous action, and doesn’t overstay its welcome. Score for Crawl 7/10 Crawl (2019)Add Crawl to your collectionBuy on Amazon Spoilers Expand for spoilers The Good CGI The CGI is really good in this movie. The alligators looked very real. The only thing that would tip you off that they are CGI alligators is that there are certain lunges and movements that a real gator couldn't pull off in real life. However, these moments are used to great effect, since there is a shocking and creepy factor that comes with them. Water Induced Tension The water rising as a tension building device is fantastic. It almost acts as a meter for their peril. As the movie goes on, the rate of the water rising increases. By the half point of the film, the crawlspace is about halfway filled with water. As the film speeds towards it's conclusion, the levee breaks, and all of a sudden, the water reaches the second floor in minutes. https://youtu.be/uwiTs60VoTM Character Development I don't expect much from Character development, but this movie checks enough boxes for me to say that it has a decent amoun...
Jan 22, 2020
Underwater (Movie) Review
Underwater is in theaters right now and I did not expect much, which left me pleasantly surprised when I didn’t have a bad time. As far as underwater spooks and adventure go, Underwater is unique enough to hold my attention, but it doesn’t pull off anything amazing.  Dgoebel00 on instagram provided this amazing pic. Follow him for more great horror art. Also, check out his website. Skip to Intro - 0:40Skip to Trailer - 4:17Skip to Synopsis - 6:36Skip to Review - 8:39Skip to Score - 10:05Skip to Spoilers - 21:15Skip to Lifetime Movie or Horror Movie - 50:00 Skip to It Came From Social Media - 59:11Skip to Outro - 1:15:26 Underwater Synopsis Underwater stars Kristen Stewart as Norah, T.J. Miller as the unnamed goofball, and Vincent Cassel as the captain who looks just like my friend Brent. https://youtu.be/Rszr56AH3Co This is an incredibly simple story that starts with Kristen Stewart describing life  - underwater - in this massive - underwater - facility that is made to support a drilling operation at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, which of course, is - underwater.  After a few minutes the facility begins to implode, and our leading lady is forced to begin her - underwater - quest to escape.  Along the way she runs into a few friends who have miraculously survived the facility being torn to shred at this crushing depth. Once she meets up with the captain, they hatch a plan to escape but soon find themselves in over their heads! Feel the intense teeth-brushing action! Underwater Review Underwater is a by-the-books movie that reminded me of Sphere (1998) mixed with Aliens and The Abyss.  T.J Miller does exactly what you think he is going to do, and so does Kristen Stewart. In fact, all of the characters do the things you think they are going to do. Does that make it bad? No, just predictable. Pretty cool poster, if I do say so. I liked the monster design in this, which is saying something because I rarely enjoy monster design. Score for Underwater 6/10 Spoilers for Underwater Expand for Spoilers There isn't a whole lot to spoil in this movie. If you read my synopsis, you kind of get it. The monster(s) are really the x-factor and the interesting part of this movie, along with the journey to the bottom of the sea. Kids Piloting Multi-Trillion Dollar Drilling Rigs Ok, this is going to make me sound like a wet, old fart, but goddamnit I'm going to say it anyway. Twenty somethings are not who I would expect to be the focus of this movie. There's a freaking intern for Christ-sake! For another totally implausible underwater scenario, check out our review of The Meg https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2018/08/24/the-meg/ Haggard men in their thirties and forties are the key demo here, both in real life and in movies of old based on similar situations. Call me sexist, but it's true! Here is a list of movies that show remote places and bad situations for what they are - stinky and men-ridden: The ThingBlood DiamondAlienAliensAlien³ "But David, three of those movies have a female lead!" That's the exception that proves the rule. Apart from Aliens, Sigourney Weaver is almost the only female in the whole damn movie, and she looks as stinky and gross as the men she hangs with. I'm not sure where I'm going with this because to be honest, Underwater wouldn't be nearly as attractive without Stewart at the helm. So maybe I'll just swallow my vaguely sexist criticism and enjoy the kids piloting the world's most expensive/dangerous drilling project. The Monster(s) We are introduced to the monsters early and often, but rarely do we get a solid look at them until the very end, which I appreciate. We get to see fleeting quick glimpses of strange blurry hands and octo-faces darting around. Mostly we get to see the remains of others that the monsters leave behind. Eventually, at the crescendo,
Jan 15, 2020
The Grudge (2020) Review
We went and saw The Grudge, and I feel like I’m taking crazy pills, because I liked it. That's because it's a dark and moody sequel/reboot of The Grudge. Nicolas Pesce wrote and directed the film, and brings a more serious and weighty tone to the proceedings. This is the first Grudge film to earn an R-rating, and it is warranted not only for the violence, but also for the mature subject matter. Intro - (0:11)Trailer - (5:44) Synopsis - (10:05) Review - (11:46) Score - (22:35) Spoilers - (30:33) Critics Corner - (1:08:07) Outro - (1:21:48) @Dgoebel00 on instagram provided this amazing image. Follow him for more greatness. https://youtu.be/O2NKzO-fxwQ See The Grudge can in theaters now The Grudge 2020 Synopsis This film is a soft reboot sequel of the American Grudge from 2004. It tells the story of a single mother Detective Muldoon (Andrea Riseborough) as she moves to a new police force and discovers a dead body in the woods. Muldoon's partner Detective Goodman (Demián Bichir) is disturbed when the body is connected with previous murder cases he investigated. As established in the previous Grudges and the opening credits, when someone is killed in a violent rage, a curse is formed around the place of death. Goodman mysteriously tries to dissuade Muldoon from investigating too deeply, and DEFINITELY NOT GO IN THE HOUSE. As you can guess, she goes in the house. As Detective Muldoon investigates the current and previous murders, the film flashes back to tell the story of three families in different stages of life all being haunted, and hunted by the same curse. Review of The Grudge (2020) I haven’t seen any of the previous Grudge’s or the original Ju-On, so I was going in blind. However, the information I needed was provided in the opening credits: Murder bad. Make curse. Curse Bad. This technique I actually liked, but I admit it does lessen the mystery a bit. But since this is a sequel, all that information has already been established. Dark Tone The director Nicolas Pesce sets a measured pace and a moody tone for this movie, which for me, helped to build up the dread. There isn’t much mystery, or any real surprises in terms of the plot, but it does still feel compelling because of the inevitability of what you know is going to happen. It’s like watching a slow-mo train wreck.  The first act takes it’s time to develop characters. Each family is introduced in turn with a unique situation that inspires empathy. Therefore it does feel like there are stakes. The most interesting of the bunch is probably the elderly Matheson family that is dealing with dementia and assisted suicide.  R-Rated Horror This is definitely a one trick pony though. Along the lines of The Conjuring movies, it’s more of a vehicle for jump scares. Some of the scares are effective, but they are generally pretty sparse until the end. With the R-rating, it is able to delve into some more graphic violence. This is a pretty “light R” since there are only a few moments that earn the rating, but they are effective and pack a punch. When we left the theater, both David and I thought it was a good movie. Despite it’s slow pace and general predictability, it’s a well crafted movie with a distinctive tone and gravitas. We covered Nicolas Pesce's last movie, Piercing a while ago and I think he has an really interesting style. Negative Reactions on Twitter Upon checking twitter, we are in the minority on this movie. People and critics apparently HATE this movie. It has worse scores on Rotten Tomatoes than CATS, which is ridiculous to me. I felt like I saw a completely different movie. I don’t know what people were expecting from it, but apparently they were VERY disappointed with the film. Most of the criticisms about it are that it is “boring” or that it didn’t feature the original girl ghost “Kayako” as much as they wanted.  Score for The Grudge (2020) 6/10
Jan 08, 2020
Best and Worst Horror Movies of 2019
We had such a great time with horror in 2019! Skip to Intro - 0:40Skip to 2019 Expectations - 5:17Skip to Worst of 2019 - 17:27Skip to Best of 2019 - 32:35Skip to Which Episodes did Best - 1:06:55Skip to Which Episodes did Worst - 1:12:40 Skip to Most Excited for in 2020 - 1:17:45Skip to Horror or Porno - 1:36:04 2019 treated us very well in terms of how our podcast is doing and in terms of great horror movies. I would even go so far as to say we were spoiled by 2019. So let's take a look at what we love and hated about the horror movies that we reviewed in 2019. Worst Horror Movies of 2019 The Prodigy This was such a boring movie that I resent it for technically being decent enough to be called mediocre. This is a movie that holds the title of "mediocrity" high above it's head and smiles. From Miles, the boring antagonist child, to his boring parents that boring birthed him, this movie is one that I will not watch again. Greta While not committing any mortal sins, Greta manages to be more forgettable than The Prodigy. This PG-13 thriller has a great trailer that leads one to believe that things will get real crazy, real fast. All that ends up happening is kidnapping and some Boo-box play. Yawn. The Curse of La Llorona Looking back on this, we only gave it a 4/10 but this movie was (in my mind) a 2/10. The real curse was having to sit through an hour and a half long movie that could have been 22 minutes of witless bullshit. This was a clear cash grab that the studio behind The Conjuring franchise, and hopefully not a sign of things to come. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark To be honest with you, SStTitD was not that bad. It was really my fault for getting my hopes up about a movie that is nodding at my childhood nostalgia and winking. This is a fine movie to introduce young teens to the genre, but if you are looking for interesting concepts or a fun time, look elsewhere. Best Horror Movies of 2019 The Dead Don't Die The Dead Don't Die is lowkey one of the best movies of the year in terms of entertainment value, star power, script, and acting. Taking a totally fucked-out premise like zombies and making it fun and funny again is always impressive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs5ZOcU6Bnw You can't do better than this cast: Bill Murray Adam Driver Tom WaitsChloë Sevigny Steve Buscemi Danny Glover RZATilda Swinton Iggy Pop Selena Gomez Sturgill Simpson Midsommar Think cults are spooky? What about being drugged? Bright colors? Yea, this movie mashes up some of the most unused tropes and ideas into a terrifically horrific masterpiece. https://youtu.be/1Vnghdsjmd0 As director Ari Aster's second hit horror movie, this is a ride and a half for the viewer. The whole movie resembles a drug trip in a very innocuous way, and the end crescendos into one of the most upsetting things I witnessed all year. You must see this. Ready or Not Ready or Not came straight out of left field and clocked me. Everything about this movie was charming and fun. This will go down as one of the great meta-horror/comedies of all time. https://youtu.be/ZtYTwUxhAoI Our podcast review of Ready or Not makes me believe that scream queens are back. Make sure to listen to our podcast review of Ready or Not to hear the Debut of our best game to date: Horror or Porno. Doctor Sleep I can't believe how much I enjoyed this adventure horror movie! I thought for sure that any movie trying to follow The Shining would fail miserably. How wrong I was! https://youtu.be/BOzFZxB-8cw Everything about this movie enthralled me. The story was fun, the characters were believable. The baddies in this movie were so bad, so evil, it made me want nothing more than to see them suffer! Here's to 2020! Thank you for listening to the podcast and supporting the show! We couldn't do it without you!
Jan 01, 2020
Rare Exports Review
We streamed Rare Exports, and much like Finland, it was cold and dark. This horror film has more to do with Lovecraft than a run-of-the-mill slasher or monster movie. There is a lot of dread and high-concept build up. While the ending might not be satisfying, it stands out as the most entertaining part of the movie, and is worth the wait. Skip to Intro - 0:54Skip to Trailer - 4:39Skip to Synopsis - 7:52Skip to Review - 8:25Skip to Score - 12:33Skip to Spoilers - 20:45Skip to Taglines - 53:14 Skip to It Came From Social Media - 58:58Skip to Outro - 1:26:04 @Dgoebel00 on instagram provided this amazing pic. Follow him for more great horror art. Rare Exports can be found streaming free on Crackle, or on Amazon Prime or Hulu if you subscribe to either of those. https://youtu.be/PwT3wtUCv9Y Rare Exports Synopsis Rare Exports tells that tried and true christmas yarn of a young boy discovering that Santa Claus is real. This heartwarming tale set in Finland follows Pietarri and his widowed father as they try to make ends meet in the frosty North. But tragedy strikes when the winter livestock tragically dies, it’s up to Pietarri to discover the magic of Santa and save Christmas. Review of Rare Exports This movie is a lot of fun in retrospect, but to be honest you really have to be in the mood for this type of film. Like most scandinavian films it is very dry and has a real particular type of slow drip black humor. It has a very unique mix of lovecraftian horror and schlock that you really don’t see very often. Like most Lovecraftian stories, a lot of the exposition is third hand and can feel rather clinical. However, the ideas in this movie are genuinely fun if you can endure the desert-level dryness of the humor. The film is played SO straight that it is easy to miss how crazy and fun the concepts are within it. Erin walked in on the ending scene and upon explaining the plot to her, I realized how fun the movie must sound.  It's at the top of a lot of Christmas Horror Movie lists, but it’s not personally my favorite. That spot is still reserved for Silent Night, Deadly Night. Score for Rare Exports Score 7/10 Rare ExportsWatch the full movie now on Amazon PrimeWatch on Amazon Rare Exports Spoilers The film opens with the excavation of big hill. It feels straight out of Lovecraft, specifically At the Mountain of Madness. There are allusions to a discovery of ancient origins underneath a layer of insulation sawdust. Pietari and Jusso watch the men excavating, later Pietari discovers a bunch of ancient legends of Santa Claus being an evil entity with horns that punished naughty children. Mysterious footprints show up around Pietari’s house, and he assumes they are from Santa. On the yearly hunt, it’s discovered that all of the reindeer have been slaughtered close to the mountain with the drilling. The men want compensation from the drilling company for their lost livelihood. ...Rudolph? Pietari studies more about Santa legends and discovers ancient tales of Santa being captured in ice. Wolf trap is tripped and an old bearded man is discovered. Pietarri's father and his friends try to communicate with the man, but are unable. The old man seems to be drawn to Pietari. This convinces Pietari that the man is Santa. The group decides to sell santa to the drilling company. When the American running the excavation arrives he informs them that it isn’t Santa, it’s one of his “helpers”. All of a sudden they are swarmed by hundreds of naked old men “helpers”. When they escape to a hanger and discover that there is a giant block of ice with horns sticking out of it. All the towns heaters, hairdryers, and radiators are pointing at it. Also, all of the towns children are sacked up around the ice block. Disney's Santa On Ice They use all the bagged children as bait for the helpers and blow up iceblock santa.
Dec 25, 2019
Black Christmas (2019) Review
Bury Christmas everyone! ROFLOLOLOL!!!! No, but seriously folks, we like to joke... This week we review the new 2019 Model of Black Christmas. It’s a genuine attempt to reimagine Bob Clark's 1974 classic through the lens of today's modern woman. Listen to our full review on our latest episode or read the summary below. Also in this episode, we play Taglines and a new game called "Black Christmas or Black Christmas or Black Christmas". Enjoy. @Dgoebel00 on instagram provided this amazing pic. Follow him for more great horror art. Skip to Intro - 0:05Skip to Trailer - 5:01Skip to Synopsis - 7:37Skip to Review - 9:09Skip to Score - 12:55Skip to Spoilers - 20:22 Skip to Taglines - 1:21:09 Skip to Black Christmas or Black Christmas or Black Christmas - 1:25:20Skip to Outro - 1:31:31 Synopsis of Black Christmas 2019 Sabina, Elena, and Jane are working for the mysterious Charles Townsend, whose security and investigative agency has expanded internationally. With the world's smartest, bravest, and most highly trained women all over the globe, there are now teams of Angels guided by multiple Bosleys... Oh wait that’s charlies angels Black Christmas is the second in the increasingly loosely based remakes of Bob Clark’s 1974 Black Christmas. The story follows 4 close-knit Hawthorne College sorority sisters named Riley (Imogen Poots), Kris (Aleyse Shannon), Marty (Lily Donoghue), and Jesse (Brittany O'Grady) during the very beginning of winter break. While most of the campus is abandoned by students going home for the holidays, these bold gen-z women opt to stay on campus and party with the other christmas holiday “orphans”. Soon it is apparent that they are being stalked by a mysterious man or men who are attacking and killing sorority sisters one by one. As we follow Sophie and company, it is revealed that the stalker/stalkers are part of a larger more nefarious conspiracy: THE PATRIARCHY. Black Christmas (1974)Add the BLuray to your collection or stream it now.Buy on Amazon Written, directed, and led by young women, this film’s diva cup runneth over with female empowerment. It is so loosely based on the original that it barely maintains the scaffolding of women at college being stalked by a killer. What it does bring to the party is straight ahead, unsubtle social commentary for today’s generation of women.  Quick Review of Black Christmas 2019 I imagine that this film is going to get a lot of hate, and there are a lot of creative and studio decisions that hinder its success, but I must say that I admire the creative vision of this movie. This film seems like a genuine attempt to reimagine Black Christmas through the lens of today's generation, with today’s technology. Supplanting the themes of abortion rights and women's lib, are the modern themes of rape culture and well, still women’s lib... I guess we’re still working on that.  Like I said before, it is not subtle in its message of social commentary, but in this case, I prefer the straight ahead messaging vs lame tacked-on virtue of other “woke” horror films. In terms of plot, this film goes charging off the rails in the third act. The end is truly ridiculous, but it is good campy fun.  The biggest hindrance and distraction of the film was its pg-13 rating. It’s so distracting and jarring at some points that it resembles a television edit from the late 80’s. But since they wanted to market the film to the younger generation of women movie goers, they had to say “yippee ki yay, mr. falcon” to their R-rating. https://youtu.be/DuQP4d_r_Gs?t=233 Score for Black Christmas (2019) 6/10 Spoilers for Black Christmas Expand for spoilers The film doesn't go to great lengths to create a mystery over who the killer is. It is shown early on that the killer is obviously from the same fraternity that Riley's rapist is from. Riley stumbles into a secret ritual involving an old bust that is weeping black goo.
Dec 18, 2019
Backcountry (Movie) Review
We saw Backcountry on Netflix, and it is an effective enough one-trick pony. I laughed and cried, and sometimes it wasn’t ironic! Skip to Intro - 0:26Skip to Trailer - 9:07Skip to Synopsis - 11:08Skip to Review - 12:20Skip to Score - 13:50Skip to Spoilers - 20:00 Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:00:00 Skip to Taglines - 1:08:14 Skip to Outro - 1:12:32 Oh my God, @Dgoebel00 on INSTA provided this amazing pic. Check him out on his site as well. https://youtu.be/46uwmzTf5nA Backcountry Synopsis Backcountry is the 2014 story of a woodsy kind of guy named Alex (Jeff Roop) and his urban girlfriend, Jenn (Missy Peregrym), who are heading into the woods for a late-season camping trip. It’s directed and written by Adam MacDonald. Early in the movie, we meet a Park Ranger (Nicholas Campbell) who warns the couple that they should probably bring a map and look out for inclement weather, but Alex don’t need none of that shit! He’s a man’s man who knows these woods like the back of his country, and he don’t need no stinking map. As the couple heads into the woods they quickly end up with more camping trip than they bargained for. Backcountry Review Backcountry is a one-trick pony that relies on a surprisingly well-grounded theme - The woods are scary, and so are wild animals. Most of the movie left me scratching my head and rewinding to try to make sense of dialog or acting that didn’t seem to fit the situation. Why are they worried about a single snapped tree? Why didn’t the movie make a point of that tree before it was snapped to show the audience that this is certainly out of place? Lots of little details like this made the movie a little frustrating for me.  Overall, I do appreciate the simplicity of this movie and its premise and the stakes. It was fun to watch with a friend and plays on a very reliable fear, being alone in the woods at night. Score for Backcountry 6/10 Spoilers for Backcountry Backcountry is a barebones kind of movie. Lots of it is composed of vaguely wandering through the woods, with little to no dialog. There are only four characters in the movie, our two protagonists, the park ranger at the beginning, and Brad in the first third of the movie. Unless you count the bear, I mean. So beware, those are the stakes. Check Out The Big Knife on Brad! After they canoe across the lake and set up camp initially, we meet Brad, a dreamy outdoorsman who starts to chat up Jenn while Alex is off gathering wood. Alex is cagey upon meeting Brad, and this causes a rift in the new relationship. Stupid sexy Brad! Brad shares his fish with the two before doling out his machismo upon Alex. Brad reveals that he is an outdoor guide who is well-versed in the area. He also reveals a huge skinning knife and his disdain for the snap judgment that Alex made on him and his kindness. Brad leaves our couple after dinner, a wink, and a slug of whiskey, which left me extremely uneasy. Humans in the woods are, by far, the scariest thing to me. People represent a very creepy and unreliable X-factor, in a place that’s far away from law and order. Brad is a great addition to the story because he sets up the stakes, which feel alarmingly high for a hike in the woods. The Path Less Traveled As our couple gets on their way, there is a point where Alex chooses the path less traveled. He seems sure of himself, so Jenn follows, and they eventually set up camp. Every night we get to see them sleeping and hear the creepy sounds of the woods. This is effective in all the right ways. Who knows what’s out there? The couple wakes up each day to a campsite that is a little different than they left it. As Alex recognizes the signs that they are almost to the waterfall they set out to see, he quickens his pace. When they walk out into the open, they both realize that they are not in the right place at all – they are totally lost.
Dec 11, 2019
American Psycho Review
American Psycho is, without a doubt, one of my favorite movies of all time. This thriller is one of the most hilarious and disturbing tongue-in-cheek movies ever made.  Skip to Intro - 0:34Skip to Trailer - 4:37Skip to Synopsis - 6:38Skip to Review - 7:54Skip to Score - 9:42Skip to Spoilers - 14:04Skip to Outro - 1:44:16 Oh my God, @Dgoebel00 on INSTA provided this amazing pic. Check him out on his site as well. American Psycho can be found on Netflix right now for free, and just about everywhere else for a nominal rental fee.  American Psycho Synopsis This is the story of Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street investment banker who is wealthy, materialistic, and totally insane. As you get to know Bateman, you will realize that you are witnessing an interesting turning point in his life. The emptiness that he feels inside is forcing his addictive habits further into the open than is wise.  American Psycho StreamingWatch it on AmazonClick Here to Watch By day he frets about having the perfect business card, or the best suit, or reservations at the most trendy restaurant. By night he is a psychopathic serial killer.  But how much of this lunacy is real? With Patrick as our unreliable narrator, we get a behind the scenes look at the mind of a real nutjob – a true “happy camper”. American Psycho Review American Psycho is, in my opinion, a masterpiece that looks directly at the human condition as it is today. This movie is based on the 1991 Bret Easton Ellis novel by the same name and is set in the late ’80s, amid the extreme excess and consumerism that marked the time. And it holds to this day.  The restraint shown in this movie is perhaps the most impressive part of an already very impressive movie. The acting is perfect. To my mind, this is the movie that put Christian Bale on the map as one of the best actors we have ever seen, and definitely my favorite method actor.  https://youtu.be/RjKNbfA64EE What to do if your face is a little puffy Mary Harron, the director of the film, describes it as “feminist,” which may not be as accurate as saying it relishes all of the most despicable masculine traits. It’s an exercise in rage, lust, vanity, and boredom. I love the message, I love the presentation, and I love the story. The character of Patrick Bateman is as strangely relatable as he is totally alien. Score for American Psycho 10/10 Spoilers for American Psycho Before spoilers, do consider listening to the podcast instead of reading my review. We go very deep into this movie, and it would be a shame for you not to listen to our analysis of it, at least, that’s my opinion. Bateman is an Utterly Insane Narrator Patrick is lots of things, and top of that heap is nuts. He is also our narrator. This is important because the whole way through the movie, we get to see him doing and saying things that are absolutely horrific, and no one seems to bat an eye. Is it because they didn’t hear him, don’t care, or did he actually do that? I think the more important point that this movie makes is, it doesn’t really matter. GOTDAM! Lethal! So much of what we do and say and excuse is completely unacceptable, yet totally accepted in today’s culture. We all have a little Bateman in us. His morning routine is where we start, and boy is it a doozy. He is extremely superficial, vain, and egotistical, and it’s all apparent from the opening scene. Did You know Joker is basically American Psycho? It's true, While American Psycho maybe one of the most unique movies I've ever seen, Joker is essentially the same movie with an antihero who starts from the bottom instead of the top. Bateman is the Boss He tells his receptionist, Jean (Chloe Sevigny), what she should wear. He refuses to marry his fiancé, Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon), because he doesn’t want to take time off work. He threatens to kill his dry cleaner
Dec 04, 2019
Patreon Sneak Peak: American Pyscho Afterpod
We decided it would be a good idea for all you regular listeners to get a taste of the exclusive Patreon content, and let you know that there is a whole lot more where that came from! This Afterpod was recorded with our guest who we had on for the American Psycho review that will be released later this week - my buddy Marc! Every post needs a picture but we don't prepare very well. Listen to us wax about what makes a horror movie a horror movie, what "feminist movies" do wrong, and what we did for Thanksgiving. As always, click the green Patreon button at the top of the page to become a Patreon member for more exclusive content!
Dec 01, 2019
ThanksKilling Review
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Since it's so close to the holiday, we decided to review ThanksKilling this week. It's dumb and bad, but in the best way. In this episode, we give out review, play a round of Taglines, and share what Horror Movie Talk is thankful for. @Dgoebel00 on instagram provided this amazing pic. Follow him for more great horror art. Skip to Intro - 0:23Skip to Trailer - 4:49Skip to Synopsis - 7:53Skip to Review - 8:23Skip to Score - 11:19Skip to Spoilers - 16:38Skip to Taglines - 52:02 Skip to A Horror Movie Talk Thanksgiving - 57:47Skip to Outro - 1:03:38 The full movie of Thankskilling can be found streaming for free on Youtube and also on Amazon Prime. Here is the trailer: https://youtu.be/nPlg9U5YbY4 ThanksKilling Trailer ThanksKilling Synopsis Thankskilling is about a group of “teens” that are terrorized by an ancient killer turkey. The turkey, named Turkie was summoned after the very first Thanksgiving by a disgruntled Native American. Turkie has laid dormant for over 500 years until he is awakened when a dog pees on his grave. A group of friends on their way home for Thanksgiving are then terrorized by the fowl fowl. They then band together and work to destroy the homicidal turkey. Review of ThanksKilling This movie is not a great movie. It’s actually pretty terrible. But it does hit the sweet spot of being bad enough to enjoy, which is exactly what they were going for. The acting is bad, and the writing is awful, but there are some shining moments. Any scene that features the killer turkey is very entertaining, mostly because it’s so cheap and stupid. But, I’m a sucker for cheap and stupid, so the steady drip of Turkie moments kept the viewing experience from being completely miserable. It’s only 66 minutes long, but you will definitely feel every second of that 66 minutes. Considering this movie was filmed on a budget of $3500, it is actually a rousing success. Score for ThanksKilling 3/10 Spoilers for ThanksKilling Click to see spoilers The Opening This movie has what I call a strong opening. The very first image, even before the soundtrack plays is a big 'ol boob. Just one. Taking up the whole frame. Then it pans back to a frightened Pilgrim woman with chest exposed running away from an unseen terror. When she trips, the villain is revealed. A demonic turkey utters the first line of the movie: Nice Tits Bitch!-Turkie And then a feathered hand raises holding a bloody axe and comes down killing the chesty milkmaid. Cultural Appropriation The legend of Turkie is that he was summoned by a disgruntled Native American to murder the pilgrims. He is essentially eternal, but only kills every 505 years. In the current generation, Turkie is summoned by his grave being peed on by a dog. Please note that Turkie's grave marker is a tiny totem pole. This is, I assume, because it is a close approximation of a cross? The Crew You can't get more generic than the horror archetypes in this movie: Johnny Football - JohhnyNerd Guy - DarrenHick - BillySlut - AliNot Slut - Kristen I make fun, but it’s shocking how even terrible writing and filmmaking is improved with strong and even cliche character types. You may laugh at how dumb the characters are, but at least you know the characters. Best Scenes The best scenes are any that involve Turkie. However, the best of these are those with Turkie and Kristen's father, and then the resulting disguised Turkie that wears the fathers face. Give Daddy a kiss... Final Recommendations If you are looking for schlocky horror this Thanksgiving, look no further than ThanksKilling. It's bad enough to be enjoyable, and short enough to not thoroughly overstay it's welcome. Trust us, we've reviewed worse. Here's to independent horror!
Nov 27, 2019
Dawn of the Dead (1978) Review
We saw Dawn of the Dead for free on Youtube because it’s available for free on youtube. This is a Patreon request, so if you want to have a say in what we review, join our Patreon and you will get to weigh in on what we review once a month. This movie is the classic sequel to Night of the Living Dead by George A. Romero that really upped the ante on the zombie concept, and shock factor of the time.  Skip to Intro - 0:37Skip to Trailer - 7:35Skip to Synopsis - 8:31Skip to Review - 10:06Skip to Score - 15:46Skip to Spoilers - 23:23Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:01:44Skip to It Came From Social Media - 1:16:00 Skip to Horror Movie News - 1:09:11 Skip to Outro - 1:16:55 @Dgoebel00 on INSTA provided this amazing pic. Check him out on his site as well. One of our listeners called us "Moronic Man Children", and they are depicted here as a zombie writing in their own blood...Don't cross us! https://youtu.be/FlQ_DgOPrBg Dawn of the Dead Synopsis Dawn of the Dead starts in an emergency broadcast television station with lots of disarray and confusion before it settles on some National Guard troops who have set upon some public housing with an outbreak of zombies.  Pretty soon the movie settles in on the lives of four individuals - two National Guard members (Peter played by Ken Foree and Roger played by Scott H. Reiniger), a traffic reporter (Stephen played by David Emge), and his TV Exec girlfriend (Francine played by Gaylen Ross). This group sets their sights on a Mall in the rust belt and try their best to fortify the mall. Eventually, things calm down, and life returns to ), pace before outside forces beyond their control throw everything into disarray. One of the most iconic movie posters ever, Dawn of the Dead Dawn of the Dead Review The time has passed for Dawn of the Dead to be a shocking movie, while it was crucial to the horror genre in upping the stakes of gore and satire, it’s just not that impressive anymore. What Dawn is still good at is taking a hard look at the human condition and posing the question of what would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse.  There was a period where I watched every single zombie movie I could get my hands on with the intent of breaking down my own obsession with building a firm tactical plan for some such zombie occasion. Goofy? Yes, but man was it satisfying building “fool-proof” plans that my friends would tear apart with zombie-like fervor. Buy Dawn of the DeadBuy it on AmazonClick here to buy Dawn of the Dead is an important movie, and it’s has a historical place in the vaults of horror, but it’s slow for today, and it’s not that shocking when you compare it to any modern horror. Like I mentioned, it does do a great job of exploring the human condition and posing fun and interesting questions about all kinds of societal ailments.  For anyone who wants to check it out today who hasn’t seen it or hasn’t seen it for several decades, remember to parse it through the lense of “this came out in 1978”. https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/06/19/the-dead-dont-die-review/ Check out or review of this OTHER zombie movie! Score for Dawn of the Dead 8/10 Spoilers for Dawn of the Dead Click to Expand Spoilers Dawn of the Dead is a pretty barebones movie and as such, there isn’t much to spoil. People living in zombie hellscape, find mall, settle down, are overrun by biker gang. “But David, there is so much more to this movie than just that story structure!” I agree! Most of what Dawn of the Dead brings to the table is conversation fodder and philosophical debates. So let’s take a look at some of the more interesting talking points that are found in Dawn. We Are Already Zombies! This is a theme that we are presented with a few times. Why are these zombies here at the mall? Why are they picking up items and using them in a vain attempt to act human? Because this is what they know, this is what is familiar to them.
Nov 20, 2019
The Shining Review
This week, we are reviewing the prequel to Doctor Sleep, Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, and Stephen King's least favorite adaptation of his work: The Shining. Plue we have a big announcement in "It Came From Social Media" and play another round of "Horror or Porno". Skip to Intro - 0:55Skip to Trailer - 6:24Skip to Synopsis - 8:46Skip to Review - 11:01Skip to Score - 13:23Skip to Spoilers - 25:22Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:14:03Skip to It Came From Social Media - 1:16:00 Skip to Horror or Porno - 1:21:23Skip to Outro - 1:38:41 https://youtu.be/5Cb3ik6zP2I Synopsis of The Shining The Shining is the tale of an aspiring writer Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson) taking his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and son Danny (Some kid named Danny) to The Overlook Hotel. It lies secluded, deep within the heavily forested mountains of Colorado. He is hired to be the caretaker of The Overlook in the winter off-season. While there he intends to write the next great american novel whose protagonist is worn down by the pressures of capitalism and the lack of leisure time. Meanwhile Danny Torrence is tutored by a magical negro about Danny’s ability to see the future and read minds. Also, the hotel is haunted and Jack goes crazy. Do you really not know the plot to THE SHINING? https://youtu.be/WJfhB3Vj_G8 Review of The Shining OK, here we go. I appreciate this movie. It is one of Kubrick’s masterpieces. It’s visually stunning and meticulously crafted. It’s undeniably an great and important movie. I just don’t like it. It’s slow. The characters are empty shells of people that lack most semblance of humanity and motivation, other than to: be scared, or be menacing. To be frank, I couldn’t figure out what was going on and why most of the time. The book was better. COME AT ME HORROR FANS, I don’t like your precious SHINING. Score for The Shining Score 8/10 FIGHT ME. (It should be noted that this is the opinion of only one of the hosts of Horror Movie Talk, David gives it a 10/10) The ShiningAdd The Shining to your collection or rent the full movie on Amazon.Buy/Rent from Amazon Spoilers for The Shining Expand for Spoilers Differences Between the Book and the Film The start out, I wanted to talk about the differences between the book The Shining, and the movie The Shining. Dick HalloranIn the book, Dick Halloran lives and ends up being instrumental in saving Wendy and DannyIn the film, Dick gets pretty much instantly murdered, and only helps circumstantially by bringing up the snow cat.The OverlookThe hotel is a real entity in the book, it is very literally trying to consume the Torrence familyIn the film, the hotel seems to be haunted and there are hints that it is steering Jack, but the connection between Jack's psychosis and the hotel is unclear.TonyTony in the book is Danny's "imaginary friend" that talks to him and shows him things. But really, Tony is a spirit that is more of a guardian angel.In the film Tony is... What is tony? He seems to be Danny's subconscience or a spirit possessing him... or something.Hedge Animals (The one welcome change)In the book, there were a bunch of topiary animals that would move and eventually attack Wendy, Danny, and Dick.In the film, the hedge animals don't exist, but there is a hedge maze, which figures into the ending.The EndingIn the book, Jack is distracted by trying to kill his family and forgets to release pressure from the aging boiler in the basement. As a result, the boiler explodes, ripping a hole through the Overlook, and causing it to be burned down to the ground.In the film, Jack gets lost in the hedge maze and freezes to death. https://youtu.be/uGOd_cM_voY Needless to say, Stephen King wasn't a huge fan of the film. Differences in the Doctor Sleep Movie/Book The differences are very interesting given that a sequel to the book and a sequel to the movie were created.
Nov 13, 2019
Doctor Sleep Review
We saw an early screening of Doctor Sleep, and I was treated to what I believe to be the best horror blockbuster of the year. This is the movie that Brightburn told us it would be. A compelling superhero story with a horror twist. On top of all that high praise, I truly believe that this is a worthy spiritual successor to The Shining, which is one of my all-time favorite movies ever. Doctor Sleep is impressive, serious, and fun. Skip to Intro - 0:27Skip to Trailer - 4:51Skip to Synopsis - 7:29Skip to Review - 14:10Skip to Score - 16:13Skip to Spoilers - 25:16Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:07:05Skip to Taglines - 1:08:30 Skip to Outro and Special Thanks - 1:15:45 Doctor Sleep can be found in theaters tomorrow evening and this weekend, and I highly suggest you see it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2msJTFvhkU4 Doctor Sleep Synopsis Doctor Sleep isn’t so much a sequel to The Shining as it is a continuation of the story of Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor then Danny Lloyd), from The Shining. It loops in lots of other interesting characters who also shine and does a better job of defining what “the shining” is than Kubrick’s film did. Danny boy by Dustin Goebel whose Instagram you should follow @Dgoebel00 It follows Danny through some of his childhood immediately following the death of his deranged father, Jack, and it picks up the timeline in 2011 and again in 2019. This movie uses a parallel plot structure to introduce us to the important players in the story, which weaves together into one cohesive tale that had me fully bought in.  Danny grows up, beats his demons, and settles down into a job where he excels, and then his life gets flipped - turned upside down by a little girl who shines. He eventually takes her under his wing the same way Hallorann took Danny under his. Doctor Sleep Review There is a definite “bad guy” in this movie, which I won’t go into until the spoilers section. From what I can tell, the critical response to Doctor Sleep the book was favorable with exception to the bad guy. I can see how it might not translate well on paper but, the baddie in the movie was fabulous and iconic to me. The sound design was impressive as hell to me. It kept me in the moment and feeling tension the whole way through.  Want to Watch The Shining?Check it out on AmazonClick here to Watch The Shining The visuals were well thought out, slow and meticulous. This movie had some very cool panning shots, which I mentioned in our last episode which covered, The Lighthouse. Heeeere's Danny! The characters and storyline were top tier, and the casting was maybe the best I’ve ever seen. They re-enacted scenes from The Shining to a truly impressive degree. The set design was incredible. Of all the things I was impressed with about Doctor Sleep I think the most telling one is that I don’t feel any resentment at all about it being the sequel to one of the most iconic horror movies of all time. The artistry behind this movie was impressive, and Mike Flanagan clearly held Kubrick’s work in a sacred place.  I love Doctor Sleep because I love great stories. It’s a fabulous story, full of wonder and terror. I love the way Flanagan chose to adapt this story for the big screen. Doctor Sleep Score 10/10 Spoilers for Doctor Sleep Click Here to Expand Spoilers I don’t want to go too far into detail in the spoilers section for Doctor Sleep because I don’t want to do a disservice to the craft of film making that this movie features. Instead I’ll break it down into what I liked and didn’t like about the movie. Be forewarned, this is still spoilers! The Callbacks to The Shining There were so many visual callbacks to The Shining hidden in plain sight in Doctor Sleep that I couldn’t keep them all straight. The movie starts with a flying shot similar to the iconic opening shot of The Shining and it also recreates that same opening shot as they
Nov 06, 2019
The Lighthouse Review
This week we are reviewing Robert Eggers' The Lighthouse. It's a descent into madness that doesn't hold your hand. The performances of Willem Defoe and Robert Pattinson are worth the price of admission, but everything related to the production design, sound, and script are all of the highest caliber. Skip to Intro - 0:29Skip to Trailer - 6:17Skip to Synopsis - 8:20Skip to Review - 10:06Skip to Score - 14:41Skip to Spoilers - 20:51Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:12:44Skip to Taglines - 1:14:44 Skip to Announcing Pumpkin Carving Contest Winners - 1:18:05Skip to Outro and Special Thanks - 1:39:31 Big thanks to Dustin Goebel (@dgoebel00 on instagram) for the original artwork In his sophomore film, Robert Eggers follows up The Witch with a romcom set in Nova Scotia. Willem Defoe plays an experienced sailor, and Robert Pattinson plays his young and supple protege. In this will they won’t they romantic drama, they fight happiness every step of the way, until it finally wears them down.  Poster for The Lighthouse Here is the trailer. https://youtu.be/Hyag7lR8CPA The Lighthouse Trailer Synopsis for The Lighthouse (2019) Actually, The Lighthouse is about two lighthouse keepers, or wickies, that are stationed in a remote lighthouse in New England. Willem Defoe plays Thomas Wake, an elderly salty seaman, and Robert Pattinson plays Ephraim Winslow a young man trying out a new career. As Wake domineers over Winslow, forcing him to do all the hard labor up-keeping the tattered lighthouse, he spends the coveted watch basking naked in the glow of the lamp. Winslow wants some of that sweet naked basking action, and he slowly descend into madness. Review of The Lighthouse If you are going into this film expecting another The Witch, you are going to be disappointed. This is a much more surreal and confusing film.  However, what this movie does share with Eggers’ first film is a meticulously historically accurate film with a unique and striking visual style. While I might not have liked this film as much as I thought I would, I can’t help but have respect for Eggers’ ambitious artistic vision. Pattinson and Defoe are perfect casting for this film, and they both give amazing performances. There are some really great scenes and monologues in this film. General audiences will probably be turned off by a lot of the choices that were made in terms of narrative and visual style, but film students will be creaming over this movie for years to come. Is The Lighthouse a Horror Movie? Is this a horror movie? Kind of. It has enough horror elements to qualify it way more than a movie like Happy Death Day 2U. Most of the focus is on the tension between the two main characters, and the mental instability caused by seclusion and alcoholism. That being said, there are Lovecraftian and folkloric horror elements. Visual Style The most striking aspect of the visuals of the film is it's aspect. RATIO, that is. It is shot in 1.19:1 aspect ratio, which is basically square. It evokes a kind of claustrophobia and intimacy that is rare in a theatrical experience. This is not to say that we are unfamiliar with this framing in modern times. Instagram, is one of the most popular social media platforms for digesting imagery. It was shot on 35mm black and white Double-X 5222 film using a Panavision Millennium XL2 camera with vintage Baltar lenses from the early 20th century. The film stock required a much brighter light source to get exposure, so they had to use about 15 to 20 times more light on set to actually see anything on film. Because of this, the crew would often wear sunglasses. Sound Design The sound design on this film is great. Along with the anachronistic visual style, the sound on this film is mixed in mono. This doesn't hinder the film in any noticable manner. The music by Mark Korven stays out of the way, and mostly features wind instruments in an aleatoric style.
Oct 30, 2019
Zombieland: Double Tap Review
We went and saw Zombieland: Double Tap, and I was treated to a fabulous time! This franchise understands it’s audience and really ends up feeling like an excuse for famous actors to get together and have a blast making a movie - which, as it turns out, means a good time for everyone. Skip to Intro - 0:52Skip to Trailer - 5:35Skip to Synopsis - 8:00Skip to Review - 13:00Skip to Score - 18:00Skip to Spoilers - 29:35Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:33:27Skip to Taglines - 1:35:37 Big thanks to @dgoebel00 for the original artwork Zombieland: Double Tap is in theaters right now. https://youtu.be/ZlW9yhUKlkQ Zombieland: Double Tap Synopsis Zombieland: Double Tap isn’t a very deep movie that requires much in the way of explanation or critical analysis. It’s a fun time. Our lovable characters from the first movie are all back, living their lives in Zombieland and kicking ass. The controversy in this story starts with Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) proposing to Wichita (Emma Stone), which creates a rift in their relationship due to Wichita’s inability to be close. She and Little rock leave the family with only a note to explain their departure. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and Columbus are floored. While on the run with Wichita, Little Rock (Abigail Breslen), the youngest of this adoptive family, decides that post-pubescence is pointless without a cute boy to bang, so she leaves the safety of her family and ventures into Zombieland with a cute boy from Berkley, called...Berkley. The gang decides that they have to go after her, and this is the basis for most of the movie. There are some great cameos and new characters who add quite a bit in the way of entertainment, like the stunning and hilarious Madison (Zoey Deutch) and the strangely Woody Harrelson-esque Albuquerque (Luke Wilson). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-qfyzWBYH4 I love you Zoey. Zombieland: Double Tap Review Zombieland: Double Tap is easy to watch and is great at what it tries to be - fun, funny, over-the-top action, with a little bit of sex thrown in. It’s got great writing, the dialog in-particular is spot on, and the jokes are top tier. If you like guns, the use of guns, explosions, laughing, sex, and witty banter, you will have a blast, especially in the theater. The world that they build is also convincingly zombie-like, so there is that.  I had a fun time with all the theoretical stuff that you dream about if you constantly dream about a zombie hellscape. Want to live in the White House? Cool! Want to propose with the Hope Diamond? Alright! Want to shoot first and ask questions later? Neat! Double Tap may not be the most artistic or scary movie this year; in fact, it’s barely got any scares at all. But it is tons of fun. Weirdly, this is the second zombie movie in 2019 that Bill Murray has been in, the other being The Dead Don't Die. Score 8/10                                                                                                                                                       Zombieland Double Tap Spoilers Click to Expand Spoilers This movie does not try to be anything it’s not. It wouldn’t be fair to say that it’s not a smart movie, because the dialog and the banter all are at least clever, and at best they are quite funny. It doesn’t have much in the way of a noteworthy story, though, which didn’t really bother me. A heavy story would have been in the way of the things that make this movie work. Nasty T-800 zombie With that being said, there isn’t much to spoil about this movie, and to do a rundown of the plot would end up looking like me trying to explain the plot to a monster truck show, or a wrestling match. Instead, here is a list of fun things that work and don’t work within Zombieland: Double Tap. Fun Stuff That Works Zombieland Rules The rules that Columbus comes up with make sense and always come with an example so that you can apply it to your zombie exp...
Oct 23, 2019
The Witch Review
There is a reason why The Witch is considered to be the first movie in the "elevated horror" sub-genre. It raised the stakes for what a great horror movie could be. Think that's hyperbole? Well listen to our review of The VVITCH, and we'll state our case. Skip to Intro - 0:40Skip to Trailer - 4:09Skip to Synopsis - 6:30Skip to Review - 8:08Skip to Score - 15:50Skip to Spoilers - 28:50Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:33:27Skip to Taglines - 1:35:37Skip to Which is a Witch - 1:38:36 Skip to Special Thanks - 1:45:35 Skip to Outro - 1:46:35 Thanks @dgoebel00 (dustingoebel.com) for the awesome post art of Black Phillip The Witch can be found streaming on Netflix and available to rent https://youtu.be/iQXmlf3Sefg The VVitch Trailer Plot Synopsis for The VVitch This film is about a family that is trying to live off the land in seventeenth century New-England after being banished from a Puritan plantation due to ideological differences. The film never tells specifically what these religious differences are, but the father William (Ralph Ineson) is a devout man of god that, while prideful and stubborn, is trying to raise his family as zealous christians. William’s family is made up of his wife Katherine (Kate Dickie) and his five children Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) the eldest teenage girl, Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) the next oldest boy that is on the cusp of puberty, the young twins Mercy and Jonas, and finally the baby Sam. While the harsh realities of homesteading in 1630 present their own danger, the family is also beset by a witch that lives in the nearby woods.  Poster for The Witch Thoughts on The Witch This film’s original title was The VVitch: A New-England Folktale, and it really is that. Great lengths are taken to make this period piece authentic. From the costume design to the dialogue which is sometimes directly taken from sources from the time. I went in with a certain set of expectations with this film. I thought that the major dramatic tension in a super realistic period film would come from the mystery or doubt surrounding false witchcraft accusations ala The Crucible. Well this is not the Crucible, while realistic, this is still very much a FOLKTALE, and as such, the Witches are VERY real, and the power of the devil is frighteningly apparent. It should be noted that this film is important in the genre as the first of the modern wave of horror films dubbed “elevated horror” that have come out of A24 films. The seriousness and craft that the director Robert Eggars is undeniable, and showed how successful serious, cerebral horror movies could be.  I really can’t say enough good things about this film. It creates a believable world filled with relatable characters, which brings a really unprecedented gravity to some fantastical supernatural elements. There is no doubt in this movie for the audience. They go FULL WITCH, very early on, and the audience gets to witness in horror, the dramatic irony of this poor family being ripped apart by the powers of Satan. Score 10/10 Spoilers for The Witch Expand for Spoilers The film opens with the father of the family, William, standing before a panel of Puritan judges being defiant. We're never told exactly what William is on trial for, but my guess is it's for being kind of a dick. The family is banished from the Puritan plantation and sets out to create a homestead on the edge of the forest. The dissonant music tells us that this is not going to bode well for them. Hail Paimon! Within the first 10 minutes of the film, the families baby is stolen literally right from under Thomasin. Not to waste any time, Eggars establishes that, yes, the witches in this movie are real, and yes, they are scary af. We are shown the witch murder the baby and literally grind it down to bits with a mortar and pestel to rub the remnants over her wrinkled bent body. This movie does not fuck around.
Oct 16, 2019
Pumpkinhead Review
Pumpkinhead is one of the most straightforward and simple movies I think I have ever seen. You know that motif of, “made for TV movie” that movies like Tremors have? Pumpkinhead has that same feeling. While it does hold a place as a cult classic, that doesn't mean it's good. Skip to Intro - 0:23Skip to Trailer - 8:08Skip to Synopsis - 9:37Skip to Review - 12:00Skip to Score - 18:16 Skip to Spoilers - 36:00Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:00:30Skip to Taglines - 1:03:04Skip to Special Thanks - 1:07:15 Skip to Outro - 1:11:25 Thanks @dgoebel00 (dustingoebel.com) for the sweet Pumpkinhead moment! Pumpkinhead can be found on Amazon and free on Hulu if you have Hulu right now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqJ8Teiv6YY Pumpkinhead Synopsis Pumpkinhead is the story of a group of young twenty-somethings who are headed out to a cabin in the woods. As far as I can tell this is supposed to be set in the south, which is difficult for me because what isn’t shot on a soundstage is very obviously locations in the hills of LA. This poster is a lie, he never touches a pumpkin! As our group of kids stops at a small local store for some supplies, the rowdiest of the group inexplicably hops on dirtbikes and starts riding around doing sweet tricks. The son of the store owner is fatally injured by one of these sweet tricks, and all but one of the kids head into the hills to avoid having murder pinned on them. Pumpkinhead Full MovieStream Pumpkinhead on AmazonClick here to Watch The owner of the shop returns and finds his child mortally wounded, so he seeks revenge the only way he knows how - he goes to see a witch to put a death curse on the kids who killed his son. Long story short, Pumpkinhead is summoned by the witch - he is a big ugly creepy looking ...pumpkinhead. He cuts a swath of revenge through the kids and anyone who gets in the way of his revenge.  Pumpkinhead Review Pumpkinhead (directed by Stan Winston) is a better than terrible slasher that has a great monster and a cult following of adults who were scarred in their childhood by this gruesome beast. As far as movie structure goes, it’s pretty clear what is going on at all times and why.  Unfortunately, it’s never interesting enough for me to care about anyone or anything. The lighting is intentionally on the pitch-black side of dark (to hide the costume), and the writing is barebones and interchangeable with any other crappy 80’s slasher. Here at Horror Movie Talk, we try to see things as they are, putting down the nostalgia glasses and looking at horror movies to compare them honestly. We won’t pander to you, or your childhood, and only minimally to our own (we hope). Pumpkinhead is a bad movie. What it brings to the table is an easy to understand storyline and a pretty great monster, along with a memorable name.  While you may remember this movie fondly, I think only the most die-hard horror snobs will go down with this ship to be seen as a “true horror fan”. My Score for Pumpkinhead 3/10 Pumpkinhead Spoilers This movie is about as barebones as you can get. I won’t go into astonishing detail because it doesn’t exist. A good looking couple At the start of the movie we get to see a flashback of Ed Harley as a little kid. His family is enjoying a nice evening in, and their neighbor comes to their door screaming about something hunting him. They decline to let in this neighbor and avoid being killed. Dirtbiking Gone Wrong! Cut to present day, and Ed (Lance Henriksen) has a kid of his own. Ed runs a local shop. Some rowdy twenty-somethings show up at Ed’s shop for some supplies, and the rowdiest of the bunch just can’t contain themselves – they MUST dirtbike NOW! While these ruffians are performing sweet tricks, Ed’s son is fatally wounded by dirtbike antics. All except one of the kids escape, Steve stays behind to look after Ed’s kid.
Oct 09, 2019
Halloween II (1981) Review
Halloween 2018 would have you believe that Halloween 2 never happened. But it did happen! We watched it. And we’re going to talk about it god damn it!  Skip to Intro - 1:03Skip to Trailer - 5:45Skip to Synopsis - 12:00Skip to Review - 12:35Skip to Score - 17:48 Skip to Spoilers - 26:18Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:16:28Skip to Attack of the Rotten Tomatoes Game - 1:19:20Skip to Outro - 1:32:47 Halloween II Poster Halloween 2 can be found on HBO Now/Go right now, but is also available to rent on Amazon or anywhere else that you do that type of thing. Here is the trailer: https://youtu.be/RCiuZ9MvdJs Halloween 2 (1981) Synopsis Halloween 2 picks up right where Halloween left off. Michael Myers disappears from the lawn after being shot by Dr. Loomis 6 times. Why do I remember it was six times you ask? Because Dr. Loomis reminds us every time he is on screen. Michael Myers continues killing the youth of Haddonfield in a deadly game of peekaboo with the audience. Now you see him, now you don’t. Wee!  Review of Halloween II This film tries to recapture the moody and dread filled allure of the first Halloween, but doesn’t ever really deliver. Most of the interesting parts of the original were leading up to the killing spree at night when the shape is stalking Laurie and her friends. In this movie, it’s just the third act of the first film the whole time. Efforts are made to tack on a story and motivation to fill out the slasher. Dr. Loomis babbles about the philosophical and historical nature of Michael’s evil, and there’s also a shocking revelation akin to Empire Strikes Back! Other than that, character development and plot is pretty thin in this movie. The only character we really care about is Laurie in this film, and she does nothing for most of it. However, if you enjoy kills, this film delivers them at the slow and steady pace of Michael Myers. Score of Halloween 2 (1981) 5/10 While not a resounding endorsement, it's more of a confirmation that this is an archetypal slasher. Halloween II (1981)Watch the full movie of Halloween 2Buy/Rent on Amazon Halloween II (1981) Spoilers Expand for Spoilers Loomis As previously mentioned, Dr. Loomis is really here just to spout off about how many times he shot Michael Myers and wax philisophical about the nature of Michael's evil. Did I mention the time I shot Michael Myers six times? A lot of his dialogue expanding the lore of the Halloween franchise. When the word Samhain is scrawled on the blackboard in blood, Dr. Loomis explains the significance. https://youtu.be/0PUCi1hJLlc Later on in the car with his colleague, he explains the festival of Samhain as a druid ritual involving human sacrifice. Mentions of witches and ghouls might be there to set up the expanded halloween universe we would only get to see in Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. The opening titles One of the coolest parts in the movie is the opening credits, the jack-o-lantern opening up into a skull will probably haunt my nightmares. Boo! The first part of the movie subverts expectations quite a bit. The first opportunity that Michael Myers has to kill someone is an elderly couple, but he ends up walking away with their knife and murders a teenage girl instead. Also early on, there is a fake out death of "Michael Myers" that later is found out to be just some random kid. Of course we killed the killer in the first 20 mins... The Hospital The bulk of Halloween 2 (1981) takes place in a hospital. From the looks of it, an abandoned hospital. However, this doesn't keep the skeleton crew of seven of so doctors and nurses from being there. I mispoke. Doctor. There was one doctor in the entire hospital. A drunk doctor. How many reasons do you need to move away from Haddonfield? Deaths in Halloween II (1981) As with any slasher, there are several interesting deaths:
Oct 02, 2019
The Invitation Review
We streamed The Invitation on Netflix, where it has lived for quite some time. This is a movie that I enjoyed watching the second time around almost as much as I enjoyed watching it the first time. It's tense, and feels strangely real - making it quite effective. Skip to Intro - 0:44Skip to Trailer - 5:59Skip to Synopsis - 07:04Skip to Review - 10:35Skip to Score - 13:44 Skip to Spoilers - 23:47Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:02:04Skip to Lifetime Movie or Horror Movie - 1:08:00Skip to iTunes Reviews - 1:10:54 Skip to Outro - 1:28:34 The Invitation Poster Logan Marshall-Green looking the way I look at social functions The Invitation Synopsis The Invitation is a 2015 movie directed by Karen Kusama that follows protagonist, Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and his girlfriend Kira (Emayatz Corinealdi) who are on their way to a party that they have been invited to. The party is being hosted by Will’s Ex wife, Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and her new husband David (Michiel Huisman).   The Invitation Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9kJV7c9eKA A bevvy of Will’s old friends are also in attendance at the party, which, everyone agrees, seems weird. This air of weirdness follows the party through conversations and asides in bedrooms, kitchens, and lounge areas until we learn the reason for the party - to introduce everyone to this sweet new cult, known as The Invitation. Eden and David are joined by two personal friends, a flirty woman named Sadie (Lindsay Burdge) and a big, strong, man named Pruitt (John Carroll Lynch).  As the party progresses Will becomes increasingly skeptical and worried about the intentions of his hosts but no one else seems to share his feelings of paranoia and dread. Even when his hosts are caught locking the doors with a key from the inside, the party continues. How will this party end? Short Review of The Invitation The Invitation is an incredibly well crafted movie from beginning to end. It’s use of camera work, acting, casting, direction, soundtrack; it’s all intentional and skillful. This movie plays perfectly to me, the feelings of dread and seemingly unfounded, but strangely well-founded paranoia is right in my wheelhouse. Watch The InvitationThe Invitation Full MovieClick Here to Watch I think my favorite part of The Invitation is the discomfort that you feel in a party is so well intoned, and all of the acting matches so well with the characters and their desires/intentions. It feels real, and it feels upsetting, and I love it.   The only real criticism that I have of The Invitation is that the pacing slumps a teeny tiny bit in the middle, but I feel like it makes up for it with an incredible crescendo of an ending.  Score for The Invitation 10/10 What I Love About The Invitation This movie takes a hard look at the human psyche, and at how we experience suffering and loss. It puts a magnifying glass on what we are willing to do to avoid the feelings of pain and suffering that haunt us throughout our lives. It also does everything right. Check Out Our Review of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/08/14/scary-stories-to-tell-in-the-dark-review/ Soundtrack for The Invitation This movie is mostly quiet, which goes a long way to accentuate the feeling of doom and foreboding that they are going for. What soundtrack there is is mostly played on solitary stringed instruments, and boy does it work. The minimalist approach works perfectly here and this movie really can drive a knife through you with only a violin. Lighting for The Invitation See this warm lighting? Gorgeous. The color palate and lighting on this movie are intentionally dim and warm. It feels like a cozy dinner party in a mid-century modern house, and it also feels quite extravagant. I love the lighting in this movie because it simultaneously suggests that you should feel comfortable and is able to pull off the...
Sep 25, 2019
Tusk Review
After multiple patrons and listeners requested, we sat down and watch Tusk on Netflix. We regretted our decision. This film is all blubber and no craft. Kevin Smith proves his limitations with this failure of a body horror film. In this Tusk Review episode we break down what went wrong and what went right with the execution. Skip to Intro - 0:42Skip to Trailer - 5:59Skip to Synopsis - 08:51Skip to Review - 10:23Skip to Score - 17:07 Skip to Spoilers - 21:36Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:02:04Skip to Taglines - 1:08:00Skip to Horror Movie News - 1:10:54 Skip to Outro - 1:28:34 Tusk Poster Also, the face I would make if I was forced to watch this movie again. Tusk Trailer https://youtu.be/BCQJnOn0ru0 Tusk Official HD Trailer Tusk Movie Synopsis This horror movie is brought to you by the same guy that brought you Yoga Hosers and Cop Out. He now brings you a body horror movie based on a joke craigslist personal ad. In Tusk, Justin Long, plays Walrus, I mean Wallace Bryton, who runs a podcast with friend Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osmond). Their podcast is mostly based off of making fun of internet cringe videos, and as such, Wallace flies to Canada to interview this movie universes equivalent of the Star Wars kid. When Wallace arrives, he finds out that unfortunately, his interviewee has killed himself. Desperate to find material for their upcoming episode, Wallace then discovers a bizarre personal ad in the bathroom stall of a bar. He goes to meet an enigmatic retired seaman named Howard Howe played by Michael Parks. Mr Howard tells tale of his adventures at sea and of a particular shipwreck where he was miraculously saved by a passing walrus. Before long, Wallace finds himself drugged and captive to Howard's twisted plot to recreate his walrus savior at Wallace’s expense.  Short Review of Tusk Sound interesting? It’s not. Tusk is what you get when you make a movie based on a joke. The premise is entertaining enough for a fake trailer, but not a feature length film, and definitely not with Smith at the helm. I expected a lot more, but the commitment and budget did not pull off the intense and twisted body horror tale necessary to hold my attention. It was shot in 15 days with $3 million and it somehow feels more rushed and cheaper than that. Instead of focusing on the dread of slowly being turned into a Walrus, Smith focused on creating a panoply of redundant characters delivering redundant dialogue at length. For a body horror film, there is very little care given to the design and shooting of the actual body horror. Smith blows his load halfway through the film and really has nowhere to go after that. Score for Tusk Movie 2/10 Origin of the Idea of Tusk The movie is based on a fake ad from Chris Parkinson from Brighton, England. He offered free rent to anyone willing to dress in a walrus suit and pretend to be the animal for two hours a day. The advert was a hoax, but after Smith discussed it on his Smodcast podcast with co-host Scott Mosier, he began to think about mull the idea of turning it into a feature film. “Something snapped in my brain, and it’s only happened one other time in my life.” That other time was 20 years ago, when “I wondered why people didn’t make movies about me and my friends talking about movies and pussy and ‘Star Wars.’ So I did, and it was ‘Clerks,’” Smith said. The Good Elements of Tusk Michael Parks is undeniably, a great actor, and he gets to display his talents well in this movie. Kevin Smith states that he wrote the film specifically for Parks, and wouldn't make it without him. My favorite moments in the film were him doing a little delighted dance watching his victim, and him yelling ferociously as a whining Justin Long. Spoilers for Tusk Expand for Tusk Spoilers The first thing you need to know about this film is that director Kevin Smith is a bullshitter, and he writes like a bullshitter.
Sep 18, 2019
It Chapter Two Review
We saw It Chapter Two, and I have to say, I can make plenty of criticisms about this movie, but on the whole, this is a well done ending to a high budget franchise that has delivered the scares. Skip to Intro - 0:28Skip to Trailer - 4:09Skip to Synopsis - 06:36Skip to Review - 13:07Skip to Score - 15:25 Skip to Spoilers - 24:09Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:14:10Skip to Horror or Porno - 1:15:00Skip to Outro - 1:31:17 It Chapter Two Trailer https://youtu.be/xhJ5P7Up3jA It Chapter Two full movie is available to pre-purchase and rental on Amazon, and probably other places It Chapter TwoWatch the full movie of It Chapter TwoRent/Buy on Amazon It Chapter Two Synopsis If you would like to be reminded of the first chapter of this series which is also directed by Andy Muschietti, check out our review from last week, where we go over the whole first chapter. It Chapter Two picks up 27 years later and details the lives of the kids turned adults from the first movie. As a quick recap, our character list is: Bev - The girl in the group played by Jessica ChastainBen - The fat boy/new kid turned CEO hunk played by Jay RyanBill - Stutterer turned author played by James McAvoyRich - Biting wit who wears glasses turned Comedian played by  Bill Hader Mike - Token black kid who stayed in Derry played by Isaiah MustafaEddie - Munchausen by proxy kid turned Munchausen by proxy adult played by James RansoneStan - Feeble Jewish kid turned feeble Jewish adult played by Andy Bean Mike, Rich, Bill, Bev, and Ben, but no Eddie... Mike, has begun to notice nefarious happenings in Derry and as you might guess, it’s been 27 years since the Loser’s Club made their pact to fight It if it ever came back. Mike sends the call out to all of his long-lost friends, and they respond with dread, but come home anyway.  Check out Our Review of It (2017) https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/09/04/it-2017-review/ The Loser’s Club has a cloud of forgetfulness that has descended upon them in the time since their Derry days, and Mike, being the only member to stay in Derry has to help them recall what happened and how they can beat it. As the Loser’s Club sets out on Derry, they are reminded of the reason they left, the clown, the fear, and the life they left behind. It Chapter Two Movie Review It Chapter Two is similar enough to the first movie that you can rely on many of the same things that worked. The intense subject matter, your mom jokes, and the camaraderie are all there. We even get the kids cast back for a bounty of flashbacks and memories. It also has a hefty bag of very effective scares, that are less frequent, but more potent. "How about a hand?!" No thanks PW... Where It Chapter Two differs is the length and interesting subject matter. At 2h 49min, It Chapter Two is more than a half-hour longer than the first entry. I’ve never been a fan of long movies because at the 2h 30min mark I just feel like any reasonable story can fit everything and the kitchen sink in there. My mind wandered multiple times through the emotion-driven dialog, and it was a bit boring. I wasn’t a big fan of the action-laden ending either. That being said, this is a solid horror movie that may be one of the most successful franchises ever, and it’s not without good reason. The cast, acting, direction, and story are great. There is fun to be had, and the scares are for real. I wish they kept it tighter. Score for It Chapter Two Movie 8/10 Spoilers for It Chapter Two Introduction to Our Adult Characters It Chapter Two opens with a few recollections from the first movie, including a shot of Bev in the trappings of the Dead Lights, but the most notable first scene is the savage beating on some gay men in Derry. These men are having a fun time at the local carnival and are then picked on by the local hate group. The group beat one of the gay men to the point that everyone in the audience w...
Sep 11, 2019
IT (2017) Review
In preparation for IT Chapter 2 coming out this week, we watched IT (2017) as well as the 1990 Miniseries starring Tim Curry. If you haven't seen IT and are a horror fan, you are probably in the minority, since it (IT?) is the highest grossing horror movie of all time. Skip to Intro - 0:33Skip to Trailer - 6:36Skip to Synopsis - 09:17 Skip to Review - 09:57Skip to Score - 13:55 Skip to Spoilers - 22:17Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:23:39Skip to Taglines - 1:24:20Skip to A Chat with David's Wife about Horror or Porno - 1:27:00Skip to Outro - 1:31:17 IT 2017 Poster We watched It. We already have seen it, but we watched it again. It was good. We liked it. IT THE MOVIE! https://youtu.be/hAUTdjf9rko IT is available to rent on Amazon Prime, Youtube and other places probably. IT (2017)Watch the full movie of IT (2017)Rent/Buy on Amazon IT 2017 Synopsis IT (2017) is a total rip off of Stranger Things. It features a group of boys in the 80s who discover a young girl with the special power to give them boners. Actually, IT (2017) is based on the Stephen King novel “IT”. The film follows “the losers club” which is a motley crew of six young boys and a girl who find themselves haunted by Pennywise the Dancing Clown played by Bill Skarsgård. Pennywise is very literally dread incarnate, and torments the group of kids with their worst fears. Upon research, the group finds out that Pennywise has been tormenting and killing children for millenia.  IT Movie Review The film tackles the source material admirably. It’s hard to capture on screen the concept of the monster being fear itself. You get a real feeling of dread throughout, and it remains one of the best group coming of age stories, second only to King’s other adaptation: Stand By Me.  I’m glad I got to watch this again, because my first viewing was so colored by my nostalgia for the 1990 TV miniseries starring Tim Curry. And while I still do like the direction of the Pennywise character a little better in the miniseries, I think that overall IT 2017 is a far superior film. We watched the miniseries to be able to compare it to this film and the upcoming Chapter 2, and I don’t know what to tell you, it does not hold up. https://youtu.be/cmOLwrvH-Ag?t=61 My favorite Pennywise scene in Stephen King's IT (1990) IT 2017 is one of the best mainstream, general audience horror movies to come out in the last decade. Director Andy Muschietti keeps most of the dread from the source material and includes some modern production and jump scares to appeal to fans of the Conjuring universe. Overall, I really liked it even more the second time. This film has probably the best child cast of all time. Comparisons are readily made to Stranger Things (especially since Finn Wolfhard is in both) but the acting from these kids in IT (2017) is far superior in my opinion. Score for IT (2017) Movie 8/10 Spoilers for IT Expand for Spoilers The opening scene with Georgie losing the paper boat that Bill made for him. This is the scene that really sells every version of this story, whether it's the novel, the miniseries, or the modern iteration. The main difference here is that Muschietti leans into the "hard-R" when Georgie's arm is graphically ripped off by Pennywise. Georgie, giving Pennywise a hand. Pennywise isn't the only danger in IT. Henry Bowers and his gang torment the group of friends on the regular throughout the film. And torment is putting it lightly. Henry doesn't just bully them, he tortures them. In another scene that shows the commitment of making the film a heavy into the paint of an R-rating, Henry deeply carves his initials into poor Ben's stomach. All of a sudden, the gimmicky side kicks obsessed with fire or belching seems strangely out of place. But, come on, who doesn't like a character named Belch? BRRRRAAAAAUUUUUUPP The Losers Club Fears Throughout IT,
Sep 04, 2019
Ready or Not Review
We saw Ready or Not in theaters, and while my expectations were extremely low, I can honestly say that this is one of the best new movies I’ve seen all year. It’s a dark comedy that has plenty of high stakes and tension which made for a fabulous experience. Skip to Intro - 0:18Skip to Trailer - 7:20Skip to Synopsis - 12:55Skip to Review - 16:11Skip to Score - 17:59Skip to Positivicast Drama - 23:42 Skip to Spoilers - 28:10Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:36:21Skip to Horror or Porno - 1:39:20Skip to Outro - 1:52:21 https://youtu.be/ZtYTwUxhAoI Ready or Not can be found in movie theaters now! The full movie! Watch Ready or NotFull Movie Available on AmazonReady or Not Ready or Not Synopsis Ready or Not is the story of a beautiful, young couple, Grace (Samara Weaving of The Babysitter) and Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien of Arrival) on their wedding day at Alex’s family estate. The Le Domas family are the heirs and proprietors of a Milton-Bradley esque board game company and are the kind of wealthy that begets butlers, maids, and like 20 dumbwaiter’s in their palatial mansion.  The Le Domas family are made up of Alex’s brother, Daniel Le Domas (Adam Brody of Jennifer’s Body), father Tony (Henry Czerny), mother Becky (Andie MacDowell of Groundhog Day), and the rest. The Le Domas family are as proud as they are superstitious and cruelly witty.  Right before they consummate their marriage, Alex tells his new wife that in order to be accepted into the family she has to play a game with them at midnight. She agrees, and through a ritualistic choosing method she learns that she will be playing Hide and Seek. She soon learns that Hide and Seek is the only game you don’t want to play with the Le Domas family, as they are now going to attempt to kill her to hold up their end of a bargain with the devil that their great, great grandfather made. Ready or Not Review Ready or Not is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who are most notable for the underground horror favorite V/H/S. Lots of the people who worked on this film have some horror chops already, which may have some role in how well it turned out. I think most of the credit for this coming together can’t be attributed to any single source. Everyone did a great job on this movie. Truly witty banter mixed with horrendous scenes of shocking brutality punctuates, the “just another day” feel of this black comedy. The Le Domas Family out for blood! I was so impressed with this movie from the 15 minute mark and on, that I have no choice other than to score it highly. I will be watching it again the same way I watch Cabin in the Woods and Tucker and Dale vs Evil - to have fun while laughing at incredible dark comedy.  Score for Ready or Not 9/10 Spoilers for Ready or Not The movie starts with Daniel (the brother) helping to kill a guy in the family house. To be precise, a guy is clearly trying to run away from other adults, and the child Daniel outs him to everyone. They then drag the man to his doom in the “family only” room. The Family The family is made up of a bunch of rich people stereotypes, all of whom have a biting dry wit, and plenty of personal foibles. There is the: Overweight brother-in-lawMenacing auntCoked up sisterUnbearable rich kidsMan-in-charge fatherWoman-in-charge-of-man-in-charge motherUnenthusiastic but well-meaning brotherCome-from-the-streets sister-in-law Alex explains to Grace that they play a game at midnight, and it could be chess or checkers, or any game, but you don’t have to win, you just have to play.  Recent Classic Horror Movies? Check out Our Review of Evil Dead (2013) https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/05/01/evil-dead-2013-review/ I would like to take a minute to point out that the family name that she is marrying into is Le Domas - which you may know is French for, “The Dumbass”.  Hide and Seek Begins They funnel the family into a private,
Aug 28, 2019
47 Meters Down: Uncaged Review
This week we are reviewing 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. This film took a great premise and solid jump scares, but still bored me for half of the film. It definitely delivers on crunchy shark action, but if you want more than on-the-nose expositional dialogue and tissue paper thin character, maybe just rewatch Jaws. Skip to Intro - 0:40Skip to Trailer - 6:20Skip to Synopsis - 7:27Skip to Review - 8:22Skip to Score - 10:01Skip to Positivicast Drama - 16:16 Skip to Spoilers - 28:10Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:07:38Skip to Taglines - 1:09:45Skip to Horror Movie News - 1:12:33Skip to Outro - 1:19:07 https://youtu.be/AvXjx8SZbv8 47 Meters Down: Uncaged Trailer 47 Meters Down: Uncaged can be found in theaters now. The full movie! 47 Meters Down: Uncaged Synopsis 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is the sequel to the 2017 film, 47 Meters Down. It is by the same director, Johannes Roberts, but an all new cast of disposable teens. The film is about four American teen girls in Mexico that go scuba diving into a secret submerged Mayan City inside underwater caves. The Mayan caves hold more than just the Mayan version of the terracotta warriors, it also contains deadly albino Great White Sharks! The sharks are blind, but that presents no problem for them, since their other senses are heightened, and these basic bitches keep screaming and clamoring about. With their air supply dwindling in the claustrophobic space, the girls and others get picked off one by one by the insatiable eating machines as they try to make their way out. Review of 47 Meters Down: Uncaged This movie has a lot going for it. It has a great premise, plenty of quality jump scares, and delivers on the promise of brutal shark attacks. For me though, all of this is undercut by a boring, paint-by-numbers, super on-the-nose script. Much like The Meg, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged has a script that is obviously simplified so that it is easier to translate for international audiences. What the script doesn’t contain is a character that I care about, or any interesting dialogue. The strength of the film is the design of the sharks and the shark attack sequences. The action sequences are visceral and come fast and sudden. Also, Quenton Tarantino would probably be a big fan of this movie since about 1/5 of it is devoted to close ups of women's feet kicking towards the camera. In the end, I was cheering for the sharks to kill everyone, because at least that ending would make it interesting. This isn’t a movie that I would recommend running to the theater for, but if you want to see a movie about sharks eating people, then you will definitely enjoy this. While I did enjoy some moments in this film, I was checking my watch any time that someone wasn’t getting eaten by a shark. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not very good. Score for 47 Meters Down: Uncaged 4/10 If you like horror movies based in Mexico, check out our review of The Ruins: https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/05/08/the-ruins-movie-review/ Spoilers for 47 Meters Down: Uncaged Expand for Spoilers One of the features of this film is the weird soundtrack. It's an amalgamation of 80's pop music juxtaposed with an atmospheric electronic score. Which would be fine, but when you see a young black man absolutely rocking to an INXS song, it tends to distract. The Opening The opening of the film features the main character, Mia, played by Sophie Nélisse, being pushed into a pool by some stereotypical mean girls. The setting is in Mexico on the Yucatan peninsula, but there is nary a Mexican to be seen, nor Spanish to be uttered. This is one of the many things in the movie that never get explained. We find out that Mia's Sister Sasha, played by Corrine Foxx, isn't a big fan of Mia, because reasons. Their dad is an underwater archaeologist(?) that just made a new discovery. He can’t spend time with Mia because he needs to set up the new site,
Aug 21, 2019
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Review
We went and saw Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and it was average with a smile. Skip to Intro - 1:01Skip to Trailer - 9:32Skip to Synopsis - 12:00Skip to Review - 14:00Skip to Score - 21:35 Skip to Spoilers - 26:57Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:01:20 Skip to It Came from Social Media - 1:03:34Skip to Taglines - 1:06:42Skip to Outro - 1:15:56 Those ingrown hairs make for the best pops! Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Trailer https://youtu.be/A11tX8iu0zQ Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Synopsis Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a movie about four stereotypical kids (Stella (Zoe Margaret Colletti), Ramon (Michael Garza), Auggie (Gabriel Rush), and Chuck (Austin Zajur))who enter a haunted house on Halloween and find a book that has more scary stories than they bargained for! As the teens fight bullies and work their way through early November, they begin to realize that the book they took from the house is haunted, and the spirit that haunts it has a penchant for writing scary stories about the teens and their acquaintances that always come true. As the teens wrestle with teen hood and their own demons, they are forced to come to terms with the reality that this book and the woman who wrote it are trying to kill them in scary story ways. There are lots of chases, jumpscares, racist cops, and nostalgic feels to be had in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. It even culminates in exactly the way you might think it would, which we will mention in the spoilers section. The Boo Book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a movie loosely based around the 1981 book of short stories of the same name, which spawned two other books. More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1984), and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones (1991).  All three books are available for purchase on Amazon for a pretty good steal, and they still hold up. Want To See Short Stories Done Right? Creepshow Review! https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/01/30/creepshow-1982-review/ Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Review The movie takes some of the stories and ideas from the books and throws them together into a mashup of jumpscares and dark sets. The screenplay was adapted from a screen story written by Guillermo del Toro and rewritten by Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman, who, I feel may have done it less service than del Toro might have. While Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark wasn’t terrible, it was only a little bit more interesting than average. The plot made sense, the acting was on point, the production was pretty good. It’s nothing to write home about, and the payoffs are completely underwhelming. The nostalgia was nice, but isn’t it always? Maybe that’s what makes these nostalgia grabs so offensive, it works every time, and it’s so low effort - but I guess you could say the same thing about jumpscares, and I love those. Score for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 6/10 Wanna See a Fun Summer Blockbuster? Check Out Our Review of The Meg! https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2018/08/24/the-meg/ Spoilers for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark The movie starts with a bully who says, “Let’s go scare some kiddies tonight, guys!” This is, perhaps, the goofiest line I can think of and teed off the movie well.  The main bully, Tommy (Austin Abrams), is the least assuming bully on the planet, small in stature, slight of build, fair of complexion, and is constantly drunk and rattling off goofy lines like this. It’s a joy to behold, and one of those touches that makes it goofy and real at the same time. Dean Norris is the only cast member you might recognize in this movie, and he is a great actor, who plays the main character’s (Stella) dad. The only problem with this is anytime I see Dean Norris I just think, “They’re not rocks, they’re minerals, Marie!” If you play the main detective in Breaking Bad, you ARE the main detective from Breaking Bad. Which makes me feel sorry for Dean,
Aug 14, 2019
Paranormal Activity 2 Review
We re-watched Paranormal Activity 2, and it still holds up. It takes everything that works from the first film and ever so slightly expands on it. It’s not perfect, but it is highly effective. It also happens to be one of the most profitable horror movies of all time. Listen to our review in this episode of Horror Movie Talk. Skip to Intro - 0:23Skip to Trailer - 5:58Skip to Synopsis - 7:16Skip to Review - 8:16Skip to Score - 10:00Skip to Spoilers - 15:05Skip to Final Recommendations - 46:22Skip to Kill Count - 49:30Skip to Outro - 1:03:16 Paranormal Activity 2 Poster https://youtu.be/07XbSk7Rjt4 Paranormal Activity 2 is directed by Tod Williams and can be found can be wherever you rent or buy your movies. Synopsis for Paranormal Activity 2 Paranormal Activity 2 takes place before and briefly after the occurrences of Paranormal Activity. However, this time, the movie focuses on Kristy Rey’s (Sprague Grayden) family of 4. Kristy is the sister of Katie from the first film. A year after Kristy gives birth to their son Hunter, strange occurrences, Activities even, start happening, and the Rey family eventually figures out that they are being tormented by a demon. Paranormal Activity 2 uses the same found footage techniques found in the first film, but expands the scope of the story beyond the recent hauntings and delves a little more into Kristy and Katies past. Katie and Kristi Review of Paranormal Activity 2 Paranormal Activity 2 expands the scope of the original film and uses aome very effective devices that take full advantage of the found footage genre. Whenever your marketing focuses almost exclusively on genuine audience reactions, you know you’re doing something right.The movie expands the “lore” of the Rey sisters in this movie, but never over extends like in the later films. The mystery, dread, and dramatic irony are all there in the movie, and it somehow is just as memorable as the first. You’ll walk away wondering how the filmmakers created more tension with a static shot of a pool vacuum than most of the tension contained in most horror movies. The subtle audio and visual cues are enough to carry you through to the end when they go full jumpscare and finally have some payoff. Hi honey, we're having spaghetti tonight. Score for Paranormal Activity Score 8/10 Paranormal Activity 2Add it to your collection or rent it todayBuy/Rent on Amazon Spoilers for Paranormal Activity 2 Click to Expand for Spoilers Chronology of Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2 If you've seen Paranormal Activity, you should know what to expect from the sequel. There aren't many surprises in the overarching plot. The family sets up a bunch of cameras and they are increasingly haunted by a demon presence. The differences are small between the two films, but this film does introduce some great gimmicks. To start out, we should establish the timeline of the two films. The events of the film start out a year before the events in Paranormal Activity 1. The opening sequence is a series of family videos right before and after their son Hunter is born. The film then jumps forward to two months before PA1, and it shows a video of them documenting damage to their house for an insurance claim. This gives them a great excuse to set up security cameras around the house. The security cameras document the family tormented by a demon for several days and in the end, Kristi through a ritual, transfers the demon over to her sister Katie (from the first film. The events of the first movie happen off screen and then Paranormal Activity 2 ends with Katie appearing in Kristi's house, now possessed by the demon, and kills everyone except Hunter. Elements that work in Paranormal Activity 2 "The sound" is one of the best things about the Paranormal Activity franchise. The low rumble that communicates the presence of a demon makes even plain shots of an empty room dreadful.
Aug 07, 2019
One Year Anniversary EXTRAVAGANZA!!!
Did I just do something I've never done before and use three exclamation marks to punctuate the title for a post?! I did. Why? Because this week is special, it's our one year anniversary! David, Bryce, Brennan We go over what we liked and hated in the movies we reviewed over the past year and take a deeper dive into our insecurities and triumphs that we have had throughout our first year podcasting. We would like to thank you, yeah, you. Thanks for listening to us once, thanks for listening to us a few times, or every episode. Thanks for talking to us, thanks for laughing with us, thanks for cringing at/with us. Without you guys, we are just talking to each other, which would be enough, but not nearly as fun!
Jul 31, 2019
Dead Night (2017) Review
Oof. Seriously though, while watching this movie, I was quoted as saying to Bryce and my poor wife, “I didn’t realize they still made this kind of movie.” Dead Night is a movie that gets lost on it’s way to the end - where that is, I’m still not sure. https://youtu.be/tyKyboTBsU4 I was decently excited to watch this. The poster and summary had a “cabin in the woods” quality to it, and I love horror set in the deep woods. I think my brain did some subliminal math with the title and the poster as well. I saw the two-word title starting with “dead” and the snowy woods in the poster and remembered Dead Snow (a Nazi zombie flick that’s great fun). Don’t let your brain make the mistake my brain made. Want To Watch It? Click the Picture to watch on Amazon Dead Night is for people who love bad horror. If you like to laugh at continuity errors, zany and confusing plots, large portions of unexplained but seemingly important elements – this is your swan song. I would liken the feel of this movie to something that would be shown in the middle of the day on the Sci-Fi network in the 90’s. It starts off with fun dialog, a decent setup, and mildly interesting characters, then at some point a switch is flipped, and everything goes so far off the rails that you are left confused as to how things ended up this way. My Rating 2/10 Spoilers The movie starts out showing a couple making out in a convertible in the woods in 1961. The young lady hears something, and of course, the young man goes to check it out. A horrifying figure makes swift work of them both. An alien looking monolith is in the shot for a moment, and we are left wondering. Cut to 2015. The Pollack family is on a trip for rest and relaxation, but more importantly because James Pollack (AJ Bowen) has something incurable and his wife, Casey Pollack (Brea Grant) has it on good authority that their vacation rental was built on restorative minerals. Their son Jason (Joshua Hoffman) and daughter Jessica (Sophie Dalah) are less than enthusiastic to be going on this vacation. Jessica has her friend Becky (Elise Luthman) along for the ride. Jason and Becky clearly have a little bit of a crush on each other.The family gets to the cabin and begins to get ready for their stay. At this point in the movie, the framing, dialog, and lighting are done well – so well in fact, that it tricked me into believing this was going to be great. It has plenty of artsy shots on the cabin and surrounding woods that last a little bit too long but are sometimes indicative of hints at later plot points. As the movie progresses, I began to realize that all those artsy shots were for naught. The husband heads out of the cabin to find some firewood and eventually stumbles upon Leslie Bison (Barbara Crampton) who is pretending to be passed out in the snow and ends up being the main antagonist. A switch flips. Enter mid 90’s made-for-tv Sci-Fi channel vibe. For brevity’s sake here is the quick and dirty rundown of the second and final act: It turns out that a coven of witches don’t like the way things are going in this part of Oregon, so they decided to give Leslie Bison, who is running for some office, some powers in hopes that she would take the election and sway the future in their favor. Powers Leslie has bestowed upon her are: Control over alien monolith that produces rocks that zombify people when applied to their bodyThe ability to teleportThe ability to induce hallucinationsOther things? Casey, the mother, doesn’t like that Leslie is zombifying her family, so she tries to fight back but ends up killing most of her zombie family with an ax at the behest of the witches. Oh, yea, she met with the witches, and they told her that the only way to make this stop was to kill her family. Some minor explanations are made using a crime investigations show that pops up throughout the movie. How Dead Night Stacks Up
Jul 29, 2019
Gremlins 2: The New Batch Review
The Gremlins are back, and this... new batch...is crazier than ever. Yeah, yeah, yeah it's barely horror, but it's horror adjacent and stupid fun. Can you just give us this? Skip to Intro - 1:10Skip to Trailer - 7:29Skip to Synopsis - 9:52Skip to Review - 10:16Skip to Score - 11:34Skip to Spoilers - 14:17Skip to Final Recommendations - 55:53Skip to Taglines - 1:01:23Skip to Guess the Yamaha Portasound Voice - 1:02:59Skip to Taglines - 1:06:42Skip to Gremlins 3 Rumours - 1:08:33 Skip to Outro - 1:12:37 Gremlins 2: The New Batch movie poster Gremlins 2 can be found streaming on Shudder as of the recording of this podcast, but I don’t know if it’s still on for you. You’re a big boy, you can Google it. https://youtu.be/AdCp0qLqnCY Gremlins 2: The New Batch Trailer Gremlins 2 Synopsis Years after the events of Gremlins, Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) and KAte Beringer (Phoebe Cates) have moved to New York and are working in a new high tech, highly automated, highly satirical skyscraper. Guess who else is in the skyscraper? That’s right, Gizmo the Mogwai. Rules get broken, hijinks ensue. Review of Gremlins 2: The New Batch If you liked the Gremlins part of Gremlins, then you will love this movie. We got all kinds of Gremlins. Bat Gremlins, googly eyed gremlins, Gremlins with 8 legs. We got brainy gremlins, dumb gremlins, electrical gremlins, hell, we even have a vegetable gremlin. More Gremlins than you can shake a stick at. Where the original films tone was inconsistent, Gremlins 2 comes out very early on and establishes itself as a goofy as fuck comedy/horror. While it’s tempting to say that this movie was a hot mess, I honestly can’t. It is ridiculous, yes. But it’s not supposed to be taken seriously. There are a lot of fun moments in this movie that break the fourth wall. The film acknowledges and pokes fun at the logical inconsistencies of the original, including Kate’s weird asides about personal tragedies on holidays. There is also some top quality satire of 80’s business tropes that ranks up there with Robocop. Score for Gremlins 2: Muppets Take Manhatten 6/10 Spoilers for Gremlins 2 Pretty much everything can be covered in this Key and Peele sketch: https://youtu.be/wHtH_SHhc6E Key and Peele Gremlins 2 Sequel Script Doctor Sketch Should You Watch Gremlins 2? This is a great example of a movie that you should watch if you flip by it on cable (do people still have that?). I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it, but if it is in front of you, you will enjoy it. It's goofy fun, and is entertaining in intentional and unintentional ways.
Jul 24, 2019
The Killing of a Sacred Deer Review
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is artsy, cold, clinical, and touched on a disturbing theme that many will find difficult to deal with. This is subject matter that we have discussed on a few other movies we have reviewed as being deeply disturbing. 0:30 - Intro5:39 - Trailer7:26 - Synopsis/Review14:45 - Score17:15 - Spoilers/Discussion51:54 - They're Clips1:03:20 - Special Thanks and Outro The Killing of a Sacred Deer Trailer https://youtu.be/CQFdGfwChtw I dare you to watch this trailer and not want to watch the movie after. If you want to watch The Killing of a Sacred Deer, please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. Currently, you can find this on Amazon Prime for free with a Prime subscription. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is, as far as I can tell, a modern-day retelling or rendition of the Greek tragedy of Agamemnon and Iphigenia, where Agamemnon accidentally kills a sacred deer and ends up offending the gods because of it. The goddess Artemis demands that he pay for the killing with blood from his own family as payment in what is called blood for blood. Check Out Our Review of Midsommar! https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/07/10/midsommar-review/ The interesting thing about this movie is that it takes a Greek tragedy, which I think we can all agree, seems distant and hard to relate to at best, and makes it relevant to today’s audience in a very real way. What’s even more interesting is that while they are making this hard to relate to Greek tragedy more relevant and easier to relate to, they simultaneously make the whole movie very cold and clinical. So it’s a bit of a mixture, making it more relatable and also harder to comprehend. Because it isn’t a literal retelling of the story of Agamemnon, it becomes a unique story of its own. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is, at its core, a psychological thriller. The acting is delivered in a way that makes you feel mildly alarmed because it’s so deadpan and void of real human expression. There is a bleakness that pervades the whole script, even the sets, camera angles, and framing are set up to invoke minimalism and clinical feelings. Alicia Silverstone is still sexy as hell There are plenty of topics that The Killing of a Sacred Deer touches on that are meant to make the viewer at the very least intrigued, and usually, a little bit disturbed. Lot’s of strange sexual undertones pervade this movie but never make it to the surface. The overall effect is an oily residue that coats your brain with the thought of, “that was awful and strange… I want to know more.” The actors did a great job of doing what they were told to do by the director – act detached. The Killing of a Sacred Deer centers around Dr. Steven Murphey (Colin Farrell) who is a surgeon, and his wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) who is a clinic owner, and their two children, Kim (Raffey Cassidy) and Bob (Sunny Suljic). A key role is that of Martin (Barry Keoghan), a teenage boy whose father died in the hands of Steven on the operating table. Young Martin has taken an interest in Dr. Murphey’s profession, and Dr. Murphey obliges Martin by allowing him to do a kind of job shadow thing when it’s convenient. Like These Cold and Clinical Movies? Check Out The House That Jack Built Review! https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2018/12/05/the-house-that-jack-built-review/ Interestingly, Martin’s mother is played by Alicia Silverstone, who has made a fabulous transition from being my teenage heartthrob to being my middle-aged heartthrob. Bravo, Alicia! Although it’s a small part, her character is effective and deeply sexual. This scene is like most of the aesthetic, cold and clinical The Killing of a Sacred Deer was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, who did The Lobster, which was also an A24 distribution, and starred Colin Farrell. Lanthimos and a Greek man named Efthymis Filippou wrote The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
Jul 17, 2019
Midsommar Review
Midsommar is the antidote for "spooky house syndrome". If there is a more idyllic horror movie, I don’t know of it. This slow burn pagan horror film will stick with you and give you plenty to talk about afterwards. It certainly gave us a lot to talk about. This episode of Horror Movie Talk comes in at just over two hours. Skip to Intro - 0:42Skip to Trailer - 5:46Skip to Synopsis - 8:17Skip to Review - 9:59Skip to Patreon Exclusive Content Sample - 20:03Skip to Score - 20:03 Skip to Spoilers - 26:46Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:37:16Skip to Taglines - 1:42:22Skip to Attack of the Rotten Tomatoes - 1:47:49Skip to It Came from Social Media - 1:56:33Skip to Outro - 2:01:42 https://youtu.be/1Vnghdsjmd0 Midsommar can be found in theaters now. Midsommar Synopsis Writer/Director Ari Aster has followed up his dark drama-filled cult-based horror movie with this bright drama-filler cult-based horror movie. Midsommar stars Florence Pugh  who plays Dani, an anxious young woman who experiences a horrible family tragedy, and then accompanies her boyfriend and anthropology doctoral student Christian (Jack Reynor) on a trip to Sweden to experience a traditional summer festival of a certain rural commune. Christian and his friends Josh and Mark were invited on the trip by their friend and classmate, Pelle who grew up in the small Swedish commune. Unbeknownst to Dani, Christian has been planning to break up with her for a while, and unbeknownst to everyone but Pelle, the once in a lifetime midsommar festival is actually a vicious pagan cult ritual. https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2018/11/28/the-ritual-review/ If you like pagan or ancient rituals in your horror, check out our episode on The Ritual. My Review of Midsommar Midsommar was everything I wanted it to be, and I had high expectations. It’s a breath of fresh air in the horror genre, and like Hereditary, takes a lot of concepts from older horror movies and melds them to create a new and compelling story for today. Ari Aster’s strength is his focus on character and relationship drama, and the characters and relationships in this movie are very familiar and believable. They serve to ground the horror elements so that they also seem very real. The bright and idyllic setting of the movie does a lot to mask and inoculate the viewer to the horrific rituals that occur in the festival. Also, the framing of the events as a rare and sacred cultural event, along with the generous drug usage creates a logical reason for why the American characters are slow to react to the more extreme elements of the festival. It’s a slow burn, and while there are horrific and surprising scenes, they are intentionally dampened with the over saturated visuals and muted sound design. The tension and anxiety that I felt ramped up very slowly throughout the movie, to where I didn’t realize how much I was being affected. Towards the end I was on the edge of my seat with a lot of nervous energy watching the inevitable and dreadful fate of the American party.  Score for Midsommar Score 9/10 Midsommar Spoilers Expand for Spoilers and Deeper Discussion... The opening act of Midsommar The film's opening act is really about setting up the relationship between Dani and Christian. Dani is very needy and has a lot of family drama so she leans on Christian very heavily. Christian isn't as self sacrificing and long-suffering as he portrays to Dani, and is actually working up the courage to finally break up. Ari Aster has described this movie as a "break up movie". So it's very important to frame this relationship early on. The latest scare for Dani is that her sister isn't returning her emails, and after she calls and and expresses her worry to Christian, he (after the call) commiserates with his buddies, and they encourage him to finally break it off. Well, Dani's fears become very real when it is revealed that her sister poisoned herself and her parents with carbon m...
Jul 10, 2019
Annabelle Comes Home Review
Who would have guessed that after that train wreck of a sequel, Annabelle: Creation, we would get this awesome ray of horror themed sunshine? Not me! Annabelle Comes Home is a spooky, funny, and jump-scare-riffic addition to the conjuring universe that holds it's own on almost every front. Skip to Intro - 0:40Skip to Trailer - 4:28Skip to Synopsis - 6:53Skip to Review - 9:15Skip to Score - 10:12Skip to Spoilers - 21:44Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:09:47Skip to Taglines - 1:10:58Skip to Outro - 1:14:50 Annabell Comes Home Trailer https://youtu.be/bCxm7cTpBAs Synopsis of Annabelle Comes Home This entry into The Conjuring franchise takes place almost exclusively within Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren’s house. While the Warren’s leave to fight demons and ghosts, they hire the hottest babysitter in the universe, Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) to watch their daughter, Judy (Mckenna Grace), and watch their house for them.  While The Warrens are away the children do play and Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela Rios (Katie Sarife) invites herself over to hang out at the Warrens. Daniela breaks into the Warren’s 'no touchy' room storing all their super-haunted shit, and ends up letting Annabelle out of her cage. Pretty quickly these girls find themselves with more doll than they bargained for! Mary Ellen’s crush, Bob (Michael Cimino) also shows up to provide a great amount of comic relief. I included Bob in this synopsis because his role is critical to this being a good movie and Micahel Cimino did a great job in the role. Other Conjuring Related Movie Reviews? The Nun! https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2018/09/12/the-nun-review/ Review of Annabelle Comes Home While the Annabelle series had a strong start with the original Annabelle, the sequel (Annabelle Creation)was nothing short of bad. Annabelle Comes Home was enjoyable in almost every way. It had a strong script with believable and lovable characters who were acted well by a very capable cast of young adults and children, which is a tall order. While the pacing was a bit too fast for my taste, the movie didn’t suffer from it too much, and it did an admirable job of hearkening back to the long-drawn-out dread tension build’s of The Conjuring 1 & 2. These actresses were great. The premise was solid. The execution was skillful. The experience was very enjoyable. If you are looking to have a fun time with some jump scares and fake-outs, this is an even better option than Child’s Play 2019, although not as goofy. Watch The OriginalWatch it on AmazonAnnabelle Watch the SequelWatch it on AmazonAnnabelle Creation Score for Annabelle Comes Home 8/10 More Conjuring? Our Review Of The Curse of La Llorona! https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/04/24/the-curse-of-la-llorona-review/ Annabelle Comes Home Spoilers Annabelle Explained The movie starts out with the Warrens acquiring Annabelle from some dirty hippies, or at least that’s what I wanted them to be. They were probably more like young adults out of college?  The Warrens have a long drive to get home and Annabelle is sitting in the back seat, enjoying the ride with that nice smile on her face. The Warrens are diverted from the normal highway route by some late night construction, which seems questionable, but go with it! As they pass the creepiest graveyard in the creepiest part of the creepiest state (Connecticut), the car breaks down. Creepy car breakdown in front of creepy graveyard means its creepy As Ed happily hops out of the car to check the timing belts, Lorraine notices a bunch of creepy happenings transpiring, and before you know it, the whole graveyard student body is present! A zombie/ghost kicks unknowing Ed in front of a suddenly there semi-truck which manages to swerve just in time! Remember the Buzz About Bird Box? Check Out Our Review! https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/01/02/bird-box-review/
Jul 03, 2019
Child’s Play 2019 Review
Child's Play 2019 is probably the first movie that we've reviewed that I can whole heartedly say is so bad that it's good. This movie has almost nothing to do with the original movie, and makes a bunch of bizarre choices, but in the end it is very entertaining. Skip to Intro - 1:10Skip to Trailer - 3:46Skip to Synopsis - 6:05Skip to Review - 7:21Skip to Score - 10:36Skip to Spoilers - 14:34Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:05:18Skip to Taglines - 1:06:15Skip to Kill Count - 1:08:30Skip to It Came from Social MediaSkip to Outro - 1:17:46 Child's Play 2019 Poster https://youtu.be/ZFy8ZgLd574 Child’s Play can be found in theaters now, and you can also watch the original for a limited time for free on amazon prime. Synopsis of Child's Play (2019) Child’s Play 2019 is a hard reboot of the 1988 film of the same name. However, it bares little resemblance to the original. Basically the only elements that hold over are… kind of the design of the doll, and that there is a doll, and that it’s name is Chucky. Child’s Play 2019 tells the story of a child’s doll for teenagers that looks like an anime version of a little person, and has the voice of a middle aged man talking in a child’s voice. This doll isn’t like any ordinary doll, though, it connects to your home automation system! Because that makes sense. Also, the doll has an advanced AI that it uses to learn how fun it is to kill people.  Review of Child's Play 2019 This movie is kind of a hot mess, but it still kind of works. It’s the first movie that we are reviewing that I can give a heavy stamp of “So bad it’s good”. This movie goes beyond head scratching horror movie logic, and into the realm of the absurd. Watching the trailer and hearing about many of the elements of this film before hand, made me think several times “that’s a weird choice”. I assumed that upon watching the film that it would all come together and make sense as a whole. Nope. All those things still seem like weird choices still.  Why would you give a child’s doll home automation integration? Why would a teenager have/want a doll? Why Aubrey Plaza? Why that face? Why Mark Hammil as the voice?  These and other questions are answered with “because”. The movie suffers from the “and then this scene happens” syndrome, with very little happens in term or story arc after the initial set up of the plot. But who are we joking, it’s a movie about a murderous doll. This is not a thinking man’s movie, and really, in terms of entertainment value, this movie was enjoyable to watch. I laughed and winced several times throughout the movie, and I consider that a win in any horror movie. There are a lot of effective death scenes, and the schlock value is high enough to let me laugh off the bad jokes and ridiculous elements of the story. Score For Child's Play (2019) Score: 7/10 Child's Play (2019) Spoilers Expand for Spoilers First of all, lets talk about the company that makes Chucky: Kasdan. This company has the worst business model that I can think of in recent movie history. What is the target market for a child's toy that integrates with your home automation and Uber equivalent? I try not to be a snob about movie logic, but in this case it actually pulled me out of the movie. But like I stated previously, this is not the thinking man's movie, and really, neither was the original. Instead of having a doll literally possessed with the soul of a serial killer, in this version, Chucky is a poor innocent AI that has had his safety protocols removed by a disgruntled Chinese factory worker. Throughout the film, we are shown Chucky in earnest trying to learn how to best "play" with Andy. Since Andy and his group of friends are teenagers, they are kind of dicks. Through observation, Chucky learns that they enjoy swearing and more importantly, watching death. After Chucky is exposed to Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and sees the gleeful expressions of Andy and his friends,
Jun 26, 2019
Child’s Play (1988) Review
The original Child’s Play holds up well even by today's standards. I think people tend to forget what the original Child’s Play is, which is harsh and disturbing. It’s easy to see why it has become a cult classic that has spawned so many sequels, because it’s a niche horror movie that really doubles down on terror. Read below or listen to our review. Skip to Intro - 00:40Skip to Trailer - 6:07Skip to Synopsis - 8:07Skip to Review - 9:03Skip to Score - 12:14Skip to Spoilers - 19:28Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:07:26Skip to Taglines - 1:08:44Skip to Outro - 1:22:03 Child's Play 1988 movie poster Child's Play (1988) Trailer https://youtu.be/sjiyV8mtXiU Child's Play 1988 trailer #1 Child's Play (1988) Plot Synopsis Andy and Chucky in bed…yeesh! Child’s Play is a movie about a serial killer named Charles Lee Ray (Chucky) who, in his dying breath manages to transfer his consciousness into a Good Guy brand doll, which ends up in the home of Andy Barclay - A sweet young boy who just wants a friend. As the story progresses Chucky cuts a swathe of terror through the Chicago neighborhood where the Barclays live and Andy finds himself with more doll than he bargained for! Chucky Anthology on Blu-Ray?Hell yes, all 7 Chucky movies (besides 2019)Buy on Amazon Is Child's Play (1988) Worth Seeing? Yep. This is a classic that set the stage for one of the most memorable slasher series ever made. While the sequels can be hit or miss, the original is strange and interesting from start to finish. Charles Lee Ray before he transfers his consciousness into the Good Guy doll. The original Child’s Play is not for the faint of heart because it goes heavy in the paint when it comes to disturbing and suggestive themes. Mostly, I was shocked because of how sweet and innocent young Andy was, and how much he loved this doll who has a psychopathic serial killer living within him. While young Andy (Alex Vincent) is not the best actor, he is charming and believable to the point that I felt tons of empathy for him. The empathy that I felt for Andy and his mother , Karen (Catherine Hicks) really went a long way in making this a disturbing movie, because it felt like they were in true danger and didn’t even know it. While the original Child’s Play is not the most gruesome or splatter driven slasher from the late 80’s it is a superb exercise in audience manipulation. While the premise is a bit goofy, the execution is taken deadly serious by writer/director Tom Holland, and it ends up paying off. Catherine Hicks thinking about making things HOT HOT HOT! The one thing that Child’s Play lacks is levity of almost any kind. There are a few brief moments of minor lightheartedness, but mostly this is a deadly serious movie that could have a lot more fun than it does. Our Score for Child's Play (1988) 7/10 Child's Play (1988) Spoilers The film starts with the police chasing a wanted criminal through the mean streets of Chicago. Charles Lee Ray is the criminal and he is wanted for being the worst kind of criminal - a serial killer, namely a strangler. The chase ends up in a toy store and Charles takes a few bullets in the chest before he falls to the ground cursing the detective and promising vengeance. With his dying breaths, Charles grabs a Good Guy doll and begins whispering some incantations. Immediately the sky begins to roil and turn black with storm clouds. These were some serious clouds, even for the Windy City. Lightening hits the building and the whole toy store explodes in a complete fireball... which seems extreme, but we are talking about a movie where a killer sends his soul into a doll, so... Child's Play 1988 toy store explosion. Next We Meet The Unsuspecting Family From here we head on over to Andy, the lovable little boy who brings his mom a balanced breakfast in bed. JK, he brings her pure sugar mixed with milk that splashes everywhere.
Jun 24, 2019
The Dead Don’t Die Review
This movie is a lot of things. It's hard to label it with genres without going into a run on sentence. You could call it a meta socially conscious zombie dark comedy horror film. Read below or listen to our review. Skip to Intro - 00:04Skip to Trailer - 4:29Skip to Synopsis - 6:32Skip to Review - 8:05Skip to Score - 11:44Skip to Spoilers - 20:57Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:07:26Skip to Taglines - 1:08:41Skip to Horror Movie News - 1:10:35Skip to Outro - 1:22:03 Theatrical Poster for The Dead Don't Die Trailer https://youtu.be/bs5ZOcU6Bnw The Dead Don't Die Trailer #1 The Dead Don’t Die can be found in theaters now. Plot Synopsis for The Dead Don't Die The film is set in Centerville USA, “A Real Nice Place” and follows two police officers, Chief Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray) and Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver). Their sleepy routine of handling minor misdemeanors is disturbed when a grizzly double homicide at the towns one and only cafe. Since Centerville is such a nice place, the first assumption is that it was some animal...or several animals that did it, but Ronnie Peterson correctly guesses that it's "zombies, you know, the undead...ghouls". Apparently the “polar fracking” that they have been hearing on the news has inadvertently caused the earth to go off axis and...the dead to rise from their graves. Is The Dead Don't Die Worth Seeing? What follows is a great mix of fourth wall breaking, social commentary, and sardonic comedy horror. This movie has a definite indy feel, which isn’t too surprising, since writer/director Jim Jarmusch has made a whole career staying on the edges of mainstream. This is actually his first film that opened in more than 300 theaters. Regardless, you have likely seen or heard of some of his other films, such as Broken Flowers, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Dead Man, and Only Lovers Left Alive. This film actually features 8 actors that have worked in previous Jarmusch films, which has resulted in an embarrassment of riches, including Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Tom Waits, Chloë Sevigny, Rosie Perez, and RZA. The dialogue is as dry as a Mormon wedding, but the world and characters that Jim Jarmusch has created are as charming as the prototypical little american town that Centerville represents. It is a precisely written, directed, and acted. There is very little fat in this movie, but the story and dialogue is given plenty of room to breath. RZA! I’d hesitate to say that general audiences will enjoy this movie as much as Avengers Endgame, but I think there is truly something for everyone. There were many moments throughout that delighted me, and I found myself laughing out loud as well as feeling intense existential dread. While watching it, my score kept going up and up. I highly recommend it. Our Score for The Dead Don't Die 9/10 The Dead Don't Die Spoilers Expand for Spoilers The film opens on a graveyard with Officers Robertson and Peterson responding to a call that Hermit Bob stole one of Farmer Miller's chickens. Already I'm on board. Any movie with a character name Hermit Bob is a movie that I'm on board with. As they drive back and have small talk about how much of an asshole Farmer Miller is, they begin noticing that "something's weird". They notice that it's still daylight when it's well into the evening hours, and that their watches and some of the electronics have stopped working. Officer Peterson comments: "This isn't going to end well". It should be noted that this film starts off very meta, very early on. After the opening scene, the credits role to Sturgil Simpson's "The Dead Don't Die". https://youtu.be/xiukuoSjDj0 The Dead Don't Die Theme Song. After the credits play and the song finishes, we return to the cab of the police car. Officer Peterson turns on "civilian radio" and once again Simpson's song starts playing. Officer Robertson mentions how familiar the song is that is playing on the radio...
Jun 19, 2019
The Perfection Review
For this week's episode of Horror Movie Talk, we watched The Perfection on Netflix, and it is what I would consider goodbad. It had some nice visual flares, and definitely some unexpected twists. However, it's major failing is not committing to the underlying schlock of the plot. Skip to Intro - 00:30Skip to Trailer - 7:00Skip to Synopsis - 8:33Skip to Review - 9:33Skip to Score - 10:30Skip to Spoilers - 20:00Skip to Final Recommendations - 1:13:30Skip to Taglines - 1:18:29Skip to Kill Count- 1:21:50Skip to Outro - 1:30:00 Synopsis for The Perfection Netflix wants their own Get Out, so they hired Allison Williams from Get Out to star in The Perfection. Williams plays a former cello prodigy named Charlotte that was sidelined because she had to take care of her dying mother. When her mother dies, Charlotte calls up her former Dean at the prestigious Bachoff Academy of Music to try to re-enter the world of world class cellists. https://youtu.be/q57D6kF5B1k The Trailer for The Perfection, available for streaming on Netflix now. Lizzie (left) and Charlotte (right) playing together. She meets the latest prodigy, Lizzie played by Logan Browning and the become close very quickly...suspiciously quickly. When Charlotte and Lizzie take a trip to China, Lizzie becomes extremely sick, and Charlotte might have something to do with it! The rest of the movie swings back and forth in time and perspective to eventually reveal Charlotte’s true motives and the audience may or may not experience whiplash. The Perfection is Not Quite My Tempo The perfection is not a great movie, but to me it is on the precipice of greatness. I wish they had committed more to some of the more ridiculous and/or tasteless elements. Parts of this even reminded of my wistful favorite, The Human Centipede. Mainly the ridiculous reveals and the mustache twirling level villain. Stephen Weber does a great job of playing the pretentious dean of the Bachoff School of Music. In an age where no one is surprised by Shyamalan-esque twists, instead of upping the ante on the world building or character development, writer/director Richard Shepard ups the ante on the number of twists! Score for The Perfection I’m giving it a 6/10 The Perfection is not without it’s charm, and it gets a B+ for effort, but overall it’s a pretty average flick. The Perfection Movie Spoilers Expand for Spoilers First of all, lets talk about the elephant in the room. The Trailer gives way too much information about the plot away. It basically undercuts the first half of the film, since you know Charlotte has nefarious motives for Lizzie from the beginning. Not to worry though, there are plenty of twists throughout! Twist #1: Charlotte Poisoned Lizzie This is the least surprising since they pretty much give it away in the trailer. The whole bugs in vomit, and bugs under the skin was a red herring. Charlotte used some of her dead mothers' medication to make Lizzie suggestible, purposely drove her to temporary insanity, and getting her to cut off her own hand. Charlotte accomplishes her purpose, because once Lizzie returns to Bachoff, she is unceremoniously kicked out of the school. Because... who has need of a one handed cellist? I guess since, the wound was self inflicted, Lizzie couldn't prosecute Charlotte, but that doesn't keep her from kicking her ass! Lizzie brings Charlotte to Anton, and soon after, the next twist is revealed. Twist #2: Bachoff is a Sex Dungeon Conservatory The namesake of the film is a certain room where Anton (Weber) touts as being accoustically perfect. As such, he demands that only perfection of anyone that plays in that room. If you make a mistake, the punishment is rape. This is the moment that the movie really goes off the rails and makes you wonder what type of movie that they were really trying to make. I posit that the reveal of the rape aspect of the school,
Jun 12, 2019
Ma Movie Review
We went and saw Meh, er, I mean Ma, in theaters and it it was nothing new or exciting. If you take the stalker subgenre of horror or thrillers, add an academy award winner and a cast of pretty teens, you have Ma. It’s very by-the-books. Ma is an interesting enough movie that features darn good acting and solid direction. My problem with Ma is that it’s not notable enough to spend your money on it. It feels like many of the straight to streaming entries that Netflix provides us with, solid but forgettable. Intro - 00:32 Trailer - 11:00 Synopsis - 13:26 Score & Review - 16:50 Spoilers - 22:07 Final Recommendations - 1:11:44 Taglines - 1:13:36 Horror Movie News - 1:19:00 Outro - 1:24:50 She cares for you deeply... Ma Synopsis Ma follows Maggie (Diana Silvers), who is new in town, just having moved from the West coast to this town in the midwest where her mother, Erica (Juliette Lewis) is from. Maggie quickly befriends a group of gorgeous teens, and they begin their quest to party. The most important part of any party quest is finding an adult to buy you booze, and Ma (Octavia Spencer) fills that niche nicely. As the group continues in their quest, they realize that they need a safe place to party, another niche that Ma is happy to fill. Finally, their quest to party leads them back to Ma’s house over and over, but now it’s the teens who must fill a niche - Ma’s need for acceptance and control. As the group becomes less enthusiastic about Ma’s parties, Ma becomes more and more overbearing until she has a full break with reality and becomes unhinged. Ma Movie Trailer https://youtu.be/eIvbEC8N3cA Ma Movie Review I don’t know what I thought movie reviewing was going to be about when I started doing it. However, it’s not a terribly glamorous thing because of movies like Ma. This movie didn’t commit any mortal sins, and frankly, it was pretty well done. It’s just forgettable and uninteresting, which adds to the tedium of much of life. Ma hates beer...JK She just parties super hard Score for Ma 6/10 Ma Spoilers Here’s the lowdown on Ma, you’ve seen it. Remember Greta? Yea, same movie essentially. Have you seen The Gift? If not, you should watch that instead of Ma, because it’s actually scary and keeps the audience on their toes. Here is a list of movies that do a much better job of accomplishing essentially the same story as Ma, but did give you a more interesting product: Cape FearOne Hour PhotoRed EyeFearMiseryFatal AttractionScreamHush The Gift is Really Good The GiftBuy or Rent The Gift today.Buy/Rent on Amazon The Good That being said, I think Ma is a well put together movie that has a lot of good things going for it. Here is the good about Ma. The direction is solid. At no point in Ma did I feel like I was watching a poorly put together movie. All of the actors were on point; all the camera work made sense and accomplished what it set out to do. There wasn’t much artistry to the direction in Ma, except for staying out of the way of the story, which helped to make this watchable. Wanna Watch a Similar Stalker Horror Movie? Check Out Greta! https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/03/06/greta-review/ The acting was very good. All of the characters were acted well, of course, it helps to have probably one of the most notable Academy Award winners in recent memory, Octavia Spencer, as your star role. Octavia stole the show in terms of believability, and in this kind of stalker genre movie, that’s probably the most important part - having a believable stalker with a solid motivation. All of the other actors and actresses did a great job as well. Ma also has a fabulously solid soundtrack of disco and club hits from the ’70s and early ’80s. The party vibes feel simultaneously fun and foreboding, which is a plus. Check Out Our Review of Brightburn! https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/05/29/brightburn-review/ The Bad
Jun 05, 2019
Brightburn Review
We went and saw Brightburn, and it was as advertised, but even more gory than I expected. It's not a perfect film, there isn't a lot of character development past the perfunctory set up, and there are some plot threads are fully dropped without explanation, but overall it delivers a very good horror film riffing on the superhero genre. Intro - 00:19 Trailer - 7:29 Synopsis - 10:17 Review - 11:45 Score - 17:21 Spoilers - 21:31 Final Recommendations - 1:07:15 Taglines - 1:09:43 Superhero or Super Villain Game - 1:15:36 It Came from Social Media - 1:23:47 Outro - 1:30:25 Brightburn Plot Synopsis The synopsis for Brightburn is very simple. It’s the superman origin story, but instead of him being good, he’s bad. The Breyers are a young couple in Sma... Brightburn, Kansas, that desperately want a baby, but can’t have one of their own. One night, a meteor crashes into the woods near their house. Inside is a little baby that they name Brandon and raise as their own. https://youtu.be/oD1vbhicJUY You can find Brightburn in theaters now. When Brandon reaches puberty he is awoken and summoned by voices in his head that lead him to the spacecraft he arrived in hidden in the Breyers’ barn. Brandon soon discovers he is completely impervious to harm, has super strength, and can, get this… fly. Brandon does what every good middle american farm boy would do with these new found super powers… He kills and maims anyone that gets in his way towards world domination, including those closest to him. He's just a good ol' mid-western boy Brightburn Critique David is going to complain that this story has been done dozens of times with Superman in the comics. But if you like me aren’t a FUCKING NERD, then this is probably the first depiction of a truly evil superman origin story, at least on film. I think this film accomplished exactly what it set out to do, and was very enjoyable to me. While it is exactly what I expected in terms of plot, it exceeded my expectations with how dark, and especially how gory they went with it. Brightburn is directed by a relative newcomer David Yarovesky, but produced by James Gunn, who is the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies as well as Super, another anti-superhero movie. It is well cast with Elizabeth Banks as Tori, the mother in denial, and David Denman as Kyle, the father that immediately is suspicious. Brandon Breyers, the anti-superman, is played by Jackson A. Dunn which does a great job of maintaining a steely enigmatic gaze. The script doesn’t delve too deeply into character development, but the characters are three dimensional, and react to the events of the film in natural ways. They keep the intentions and internal motivations of Brandon intentionally mysterious up until the time that he starts wreaking havok. Although it didn’t explore as many facets of the anti-superman story as they could have, it delivered on the promise of a really dark story in an effective and efficient manner. I really enjoyed it. Score for Brightburn 7/10 Brightburn Spoilers Expand for spoilers The most important thing to get out of the way is that Roy from The Office is in this movie. David reminded me about 50 times throughout. The first shot we see in the movie is the camera panning over a bookshelf full of books about infertility. In the background, the Bryers are having sexy time and talking about their inability to have a baby. We get it. The find Brandon ala Kall-El in the woods. and then there is a montage of baby Brandon looking neutral. The thesis of the movie is basically stated when Brandon in class describes wasps that have lost their ability to create nests, so they use their strength to get other wasp species to raise their young. That pretty much sets up how Brandon's purpose on earth is going to be for the remainder of the film. Brandon is summoned to the Barn in the middle of the night by glowing red light and voices in his...
May 29, 2019
Tetsuo, The Iron Man (鉄男) Review
We watched Tetsuo, The Iron Man (鉄男 TETSUO) on Shudder and jesus christ; I don’t have any words. Tetsuo is a David Lynchian / Cronenberg-esque film that aims to disturb with intensity and extreme imagery. Everything about this movie is turned up to the max. It’s full of intense mutilation, body horror, and sexually provocative fetishization and imagery. I wouldn’t go so far as to call Tetsuo, The Iron Man a good movie, as I would call it an important movie. Intro - 00:42 Synopsis - 7:20 Trailer - 13:57 More Synopsis - 16:30 Score & Review - 17:50 Spoilers - 25:20 Final Recommendations - 1:00:00 Taglines - 1:02:50 Outro - 1:07:00 With that being said, I found this unpleasant to watch in just about every way. There isn’t much dialog, the story is paper thin, and the intent is unclear. It is clear that there is a decent amount of symbolism here, or at least that people will reason that this movie is symbolistic. For me, it’s hard to tell whether writer/director Shin'ya Tsukamoto intended for the obvious symbolism, or whether he was banking on you wanting to read too far into it. It seems equally plausible to me that Mr. Tsukamoto has some crazy kinks, and needed to work them out on screen. Tetsuo, The Iron Man Trailer https://youtu.be/uROMTzJsfOI If you watch the trailer, you kinda watched the whole movie but you'll miss all the dicks. Tetsuo, The Iron Man Synopsis Tetsuo is not an easily understood or interpreted movie, and it’s not supposed to be. The synopsis of Tetsuo seems to be that a man known as the “metal fetishist” (Shin'ya Tsukamoto) is obsessed with pushing pieces of metal into his body, which gives him some sort of high. At the start of the movie, he is getting off while pushing scrap metal into his legs and ends up running into the road in some metal obsessed stupor. At this point, a man credited as “salaryman” (Tomorô Taguchi) hits the fetishist while driving in his car with his wife or girlfriend (Kei Fujiwara). The story transitions to following the salaryman, who begins to notice metal objects quickly taking over his body, which is alarming to him – shocking, I know. From here it spins out of control, and the salaryman begins his rage and sex-fueled journey into metal oblivion. Tetsuo, The Iron Man Score 4/10 I feel that it is important to say that this is an important film. For More Boundary Pushing, Check Out Our Review of The House That Jack Built! https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2018/12/05/the-house-that-jack-built-review/ Tetsuo, The Iron Man Spoilers Inspiration for Tetsuo Tetsuo felt heavily inspired by Eraserhead and also, meth. That is to say, I vividly remember the feeling I got when I saw David Lynch’s Eraserhead, and Tetsuo gave me many of the same feelings. It was also frantic from beginning to end, feeling almost like an hour long music video, constantly moving and changing frame - always moving to the next strange medium. This was shot in black and white on 16mm film with tremendous amount of intense lighting and with lots of stop motion animation and special effects. Troubles Shooting Interestingly, this film was just as hard to shoot as it was to watch - most of it was shot in Kei Fukiwara’s (cast as “woman”) apartment. By the end of the production most of the crew had quit or been replaced because the conditions were so atrocious. Taguchi, who played salaryman, was one of the only crew members who didn’t live on set and he was quoted as saying: “It was very tough so I quickly sensed that if you would stay with them all the time, you would inevitably get the urge to escape. So I figured that if I could keep some distance, I would be able to last much longer and keep a good relationship with them. It's true that almost every day I went there another crew member would have left. One day I arrived at the house and the lighting crew had gone, so I had to do the lighting for Tsukamoto's scenes myself.
May 22, 2019
Kuso Review
Since there aren’t any new releases out this week, this week we are covering another listener suggestion. This one comes from Anthony F. in San Antonio, TX. “I have listened to almost every episode. I dig what you guys are doing. keep up the good work.I would love to hear your take on Kuso, it's available on shudder. It is one of the most fucked up films I have ever seen.” Anthony K. We watched Kuso, and as advertised, it is the most fucked up movie I have ever seen. And I’ve seen The Peanut Butter Solution! Intro - 00:37 Trailer - 5:38 Synopsis - 6:59 Review - 12:42 Score - 14:16 Spoilers - 20:18 Final Recommendations - 1:00:54 Taglines - 1:02:59 Live Free or Die Hard Game - 1:05:19 Outro - 1:18:37 Kuso Poster https://youtu.be/PDRYASntddo Kuso Trailer It is a Shudder exclusive. So if you are interested in seeing it after hearing our review, feel free to subscribe to shudder using the code HMT at checkout to get a 30 day free trial. I found it surprisingly hard to give a summary of this film. Even on IMDB, it only has the following plot summary: Events unfold after a devastating earthquake in Los Angeles.IMDB Kuso is a film directed by Flying Lotus, which is the stage name for Steven Ellison. It consists of 4 of what I hesitate to call, “Storylines” that are written by Steven, Zack Fox, and creator of salad fingers, David Firth. The plots of these vignettes are secondary to the surreal and disturbing imagery and production design of the whole affair. There is only one piece of trivia listed in IMDB for this movie: Received a large number of walkouts at Sundance and was deemed in an article written for Verge as "The grossest movie ever made.IMDB The Four Story Lines in Kuso Royal: a young couple with some interesting KinksMr. Quiggle: an Up-and-coming female rapper “B” goes to an alternative medicine doctorSmear: a young man has digestive issuesSock: a woman in search of her lost child But really replace all those story lines with poop and that’s probably a better description. I provide a more in-depth description of these story lines in the spoiler section further below. Review of Kuso This is a type of movie that is almost impossible to review. If you say it’s terrible, you aren’t hip enough, if you say it’s great, you’re a pretentious douche bag. It's the type of film that you would find playing on a loop in a modern art museum. alternatively, it’s like a David Lynch student film project, but weaponized. I’ll just say that I didn’t enjoy it, but I think that is kind of the point. This film is truly one of the most consistently, visceral disgusting films I have ever seen. Most of the film just wallows in its own filth, but there are some moments that stand out. First being the Mr. Quiggle story line featuring Zack Fox playing Manuel who is treated by Doctor Clinton, played by George Clinton. The second being the finale, which somehow ups the ante of grossness after an hour and a half of pure grossness. Score for Kuso 2/10 Watch Kuso on ShudderUse the code "HMT" at checkout to get a 30-day free trialStream Kuso Kuso Spoilers Expand for Spoilers The opening scene is frenetic and features a spoken word jazz, and throws you off kilter immediately. https://youtu.be/yodbDPX0DO0 Buckle up, because this is nothing compared to what is to come (literally, sometimes). I'll break down the four main story lines below. Royal Royal starts out with Kenneth listening through his paper thin walls to his neighbors having sex. His girlfriend Missy comes in and she chokes him with a rope as he masturbates. She says her hands are growing and soon "She won't need a rope". The most striking thing about this is the disgusting makeup and production design. All of the production design looks like it was done by the show Hoarders. The pillow that Ken is laying on looks like it was a replacement for the notorious cumbox of reddit fame. https://www.reddit.
May 15, 2019
The Ruins Movie Review
The Ruins is the penultimate 2000’s horror movie - way more budget than it’s worth, and interesting enough premise, and tons of schlock. It also stars the most notable nobody of any film ever, Jena Malone, whom you have definitely seen in something but probably can’t remember what. This is the most notable movie by director Carter Smith. I went into The Ruins remembering people calling it ‘distasteful,’ and I came out of it rather delighted. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis - Score - Spoilers - Hot Piss Talk - Final Recommendations - ABCD Game - Outro The Ruins Synopsis The Ruins focuses on a group of five spring breakers in Mexico who wander off the beaten path and find more than they bargained for. The group gets wind of a hidden and archeological site where some Mayan ruins have recently been uncovered. They hitch a ride to a remote section of the forest and do everything in their power to find what was supposed to be kept hidden. A group of locals has gone to considerable effort to keep the path to the ruins hidden, but our bumbling crew of 20 somethings managed to stumble their way onto a giant Mayan ruin, WAY out in the open, which is covered intermittently with vines. Upon finding the ruins, the group is confronted by a band of locals with guns who chase the group onto the pyramid after one of them touches some of the plants that are growing on it. The group tries to find the previous party whom they came to unite with, and are met with a mystery along with a few human remains. As time goes on, they start to realize that their GROWING desire to LEAF may not be as FRUITFUL as the new ROOTS that they have laid down on their pyramid DIGS. If that series of puns seemed stupid to you, good, that should prepare you for this hokey thrillfest. The Ruins Movie Trailer https://youtu.be/vzdto154_to The Ruins Score 5/10 The RuinsWatch it now or add it to your collectionRent/Buy on Amazon The Ruins Spoilers and Discussion The premise behind The Ruins is as 2000’s era as you can get. Good looking party kids meet up with a foreigner from Munich, Mathias, (Joe Anderson) and decide to head way off the resort they are partying at to see if they can find Mathias’ brother. His brother is doing archaeology work and has found previously undiscovered Mayan ruins in the jungle. Another Movie that Features Plants - Creepshow! https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/01/30/creepshow-1982-review/ How Did The Ruins Stay Hidden? I don’t understand how this site has remained undiscovered because it’s not covered up by the jungle at all. Given the fact that Google had maps in full swing by 2008, and government agencies had satellites capable of seeing such ruins from space for many years before this movie, it’s unlikely that this site would remain hidden from anyone. I guess that’s beside the point. The locals understand and respect the site and how dangerous it is, because they guard it at all times, trying to keep the dangers of the site from infecting the rest of the world. Duh, what's this pyramid? Let's touch it! When our party of kids, lead by the most prolific actress you’ve never heard of Jena Malone (who plays Amy) runs into the ruins, they also have a run-in with the locals. The locals are extremely agitated and armed with bows, and guns, which they use to imprison the group of kids on the temple. They shoot the throwaway sixth member of the party Dimitri (Dimitri Baveas) after he touches the plants that surround the temple. A key feature of the temple is at the top there is what amounts to a hole to the center of the structure. On this hole, there is a makeshift pulley system to drop people and gear down into the structure. Presumably, this pulley system was set up and left by Mathias’ brother. The Hole at the top of the ruins. From within the temple the party, now trapped atop the structure can hear a cell phone of the previous party ringing.
May 08, 2019
Evil Dead (2013) Review
In our Evil Dead (2013) Review we talk about how it is a great example of a horror remake done right. The bones of the original are still there, but Fede Alvarez creates something unique with this new film. While the original The Evil Dead is essentially a student film with a subversive streak, the 2013 Evil Dead is a high budget mainstream Hollywood horror movie with the gore turned up to 11. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis - Review - Score - Spoilers - Final Recommendations - Taglines - Outro Evil Dead 2013 Synopsis The film is about a group of five friends that unwittingly summon ancient demons to a remote cabin in the woods that possess them one by one. Mia, a heroin addict played by Jane Levy, is the reason for the five of them being at her parents’ cabin in the woods. With the help of her brother David ( Shiloh Fernandez), his hotty girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), the brainy Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), and Nurse Olivia (Jessica Lucas), Mia is attempting to quit drugs cold turkey. This comes after a series of failed attempts and a particularly bad overdose where she actually died and had to be revived. What none of them realized is that while the cabin was abandoned by David and Mia’s parents, it was broken into and used for a demonic exorcism. Left behind was an ancient Book of the Dead that has been wrapped in a garbage bag and barbed wire. Despite the safeguards and very obvious warnings written in blood, Eric, opens the book and proceeds to read an incantation that releases a powerful force of evil. This evil first attacks and possesses Mia in the woods, and then one by one infects the other cabin dwellers, until only one remains... https://youtu.be/lWG_w5w8ZLs Evil Dead Remake Review Evil Dead is a remake of Sam Raimi’s 1981 The Evil Dead. It keeps some of the building blocks from the original, like the Necronomicon, the cabin in the woods, and the five friends,  but this is definitely its own movie. The tone is dramatically different. While The Evil Dead is essentially a student film with a subversive streak, the 2013 Evil Dead is a high budget mainstream Hollywood horror movie with torture porn influences. This movie, to me is an example of a remake done right. This isn’t just an attempt to rehash a script with a higher budget. This remake really does create something different from the same ingredients of the original. The story and visual elements that are taken from the original are respectfully handled and well integrated into the new version. I found the storyline of Mia attempting to quit heroin to add another dimension to the plot. It helps to define the characters through their relationship to Mia, and give the whole party a motive for being there. https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/01/23/mandy-review/ The violence and blood is turned up to 11 in this movie and veers more towards the torture porn of the early 2000s. While there were some moments that were very disturbing, I thought it was artfully done and didn’t ever cross the line into tasteless or exploitative. Overall, I really liked this movie, and I think it stands alone as a great horror movie Evil Dead (2013) Score 8/10 Evil Dead (2013) Spoilers and Discussion Expand for Spoilers The film opens strong with what we assume is a "final girl" being chased through the woods by hillbillies. They capture her and take her to a basement full of hanging dead cats. Countless felines take their own lives each year... We find out that among her captors is her father that reveals that she has killed her own mother. An old woman reads out of a ancient tome that the only way to save the young girls' soul is to burn her alive right there. So they do. It's dark early in this film. We are then introduced to the main characters, which are as follows: David (Dudebro)Eric (Nerd)Natalie (Hottie)Olivia (Nurse)Mia (Junkie/David's sister) The reason that they all go to the cabin is to hel...
May 01, 2019
The Curse of La Llorona Review
This week we saw The Curse of La Llorona and wow, what a disappointment. This is the only ghost who is 100% kept out by shutting the door or window. This movie could have been so much more than it ended up being, which is just another low effort, jumpscare factory. Even the jumpscares were boring and predictable. The Curse of La Llorona just wants to take your money and give you next to nothing for entertainment value. I don’t know a lot about Mexican folklore, but I don’t think that this does the actual story any justice at all. – Intro – Trailer – Synopsis – Review – Score – Spoilers – Part of the Conjuring Universe – Taglines – It Came From Social Media – Outro The Curse of La Llorona Synopsis The Curse of La Llorona is directed by Michael Chaves and follows a family of three who recently lost their father, who was a cop. Anna (Linda Cardellini) is the mom of Chris (Roman Christou) and Samantha (Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen). Anna is also a social worker who works for CPS in LA, and at some point, early in the movie, she receives a tip that one of her cases is being handed over to her co-worker because she is too overburdened by single-motherhood. She fights her boss for the right to check on Patricia Alvarez (Patricia Velasquez) and ends up with more than she bargained for. The Curse of La Llorona Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojuqj8_wWo8 Through a series of boring events, Anna releases Patricia’s kids from a closet that was protecting them and the kids are gobbled up by a deadish bride called La Llorona. Patricia seeks vengeance on her caseworker, Anna, and prays to La Llorona that she take Anna’s kids and return her own. What follows is a predictable and slow jumpscare movie that failed to make me care about anyone at all. I would have been just as happy had La Llorona eaten the whole family. The Curse of La Llorona Score 4/10 The Curse of La Llorona Legend Facts After doing some reading and checking out the Wikipedia article, I have compiled the basics of the La Llorona Legend. The Curse of La Llorona starts in 1673. The folklore for the real story begins with a beautiful but poor woman named Maria. Maria catches the eye of a wealthy man who decides to marry her, much to her chagrin, and they build a life together, complete with two kids. As the man works in many faraway lands, he frequently leaves for work, and each time that he does, he becomes less interested in Maria. Image taken from this blog. Finally, one day he returns with a new wife and Maria is so distraught that she takes her kids down to the river and drowns them to spite her husband. She realizes what she did, and drowns herself. Upon trying to get into heaven, she is told that she can’t get in until she finds her children and brings them with her. Check Out Our Review of a Legit Movie, Terrified https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/03/20/terrified-aterrados-movie-review/ This movie is scare as sin! La Llorona is the ghost or spirit of this sad, crying woman, who hangs out near rivers looking for her kids. She frequently mistakes other kids for her own and drowns them upon realizing that they aren’t the right ones, which seems extreme. This is a pretty compelling folk tale that has been passed down through many generations of Mexicans, to the point that I have found lots of interesting comments about how people’s grandmothers would warn them about going near the water for fear of being caught by La Llorona. The Second Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGUiHfX1qpk This is a great way to get your kids to respect the power of rivers and bodies of water, by scaring the shit out of them. Among her wails, she is noted as crying "¡Ay, mi hijos!" which translates to "Oh, my children!" or "Oh, my sons!" If you hear her crying, you are probably marked for death. The Curse of La Llorona Spoilers The movie starts in earnest in the 1970s in LA.
Apr 24, 2019
The Wind Review
The Wind is a Western Horror movie that is a spiritual successor to The Witch. The harsh landscape and interpersonal paranoia are in the forefront of this tense thriller. We review the film and attempt to unravel the non-linear narrative to make sense of what actually happened to the four main characters. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis - Review - Score - Spoilers - Final Recommendations - Taglines - It Came From Social Media - Outro The Wind Synopsis The Wind is the first feature film for both the writer Teresa Sutherland, and the director Emma Tammi. It is a Western Horror film that tells the story of two young families living on harsh untamed Western frontier of the US in the 1800’s. Caitlin Gerard plays Lizzy Macklin, who with her husband Isaac (Ashley Zukerman) own a homestead on the windy, dusty plains. They are soon joined by a newlywed couple, Emma and Gideon Harper played by Julia Goldani Telles and Dylan McTee. The Harpers are out of their depth trying to survive in the unforgiving environment. Emma soon starts to show cracks in her psyche, and is driven mad by the pressure. When Lizzy starts to also experience some of the visions and unexplained phenomena described by Emma, she starts to question whether she is also going mad, or is it an actual evil presence seeking to destroy them? https://youtu.be/WVZBNT0Ap-A The Wind - Official Trailer Review of The Wind Comparisons to the Witch are inevitable and apt with this movie. The harsh environment and the pressures of surviving off the land are basically a main character in both films. The trailer also makes comparisons to The Babadook. Being two of my favorite horror movies of the last decade, those comparisons made me set my expectations fairly high. The good news is that this film, for the most part, met my expectations. It is a simple story injected with convincing human drama and told artfully through a non-linear narrative that keeps you engaged and on the edge. Coming from a first time feature film screenwriter and director, it’s actually really impressive how all the moving parts worked so well. You’re fed bits of information piece by piece, which lets you assemble the puzzle of the story’s timeline. Just enough information is withheld throughout to make you question whether the cause of all the trouble is simply paranoia and madness, or if it is an actual demon. The tone is set early with the first scene featuring a dead baby, and the menace is maintained throughout the whole movie. The score and sound design are excellent, and scared me as much as the visuals did. The film relies on inter-relationship drama, and psychological horror more than jump scares, but those are represented as well. It never quite reaches the greatness of The Witch, but the same thematic elements are represented very similarly here. Score for The Wind Movie Score 8/10 The Wind Horror Movie Spoilers Click to Expand for Spoilers Chronology of The Wind Unraveling the timeline of the film is one of the engaging aspects of the film. Below I have to the best of my abilities tried to lay out the chronology of events in The Wind. The first scene chronologically would actually be Lizzy being "haunted" alone in her own cabin. The wind knocks at door, blows out the candles, and generally terrifies Lizzy. All the while she is pregnant. Next, Lizzy is comforted by Isaac and she gives the creepy eye to the camera. Lizzy gives the creepy eye. Isaac sees that Lizzy has been reading the demons of the prairie book and burns it. Demons of the Prairie Pamphlet Isaac gives a shotgun to Lizzy to shoot demons Macklins lose baby Samuel and bury him with the Bible. The Harpers move in and the four of them all have dinner together. It is readily apparent that Emma and Gideon Harper do not get along well as newlyweds. Isaac makes good on his offer to lend Gideon some help and a plow. Emma has the hots for Isaac and seductively serves h...
Apr 17, 2019
Pet Sematary (2019) Review
With Pet Sematary 2019 I was bracing for a bad movie because I enjoy the original so much, although much of that is nostalgia. Even though I was guarded, Pet Sematary proved itself to be a stellar remake that I would venture to say was better than the original. This remake used the first movie as a foundation to build a familiar but different enough movie that had lots of call backs, and was, in many ways, a response to the original. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis - Review - Score - Spoilers  - The Rotten Tomatoes Game - Outro Pet Sematary (2019) Synopsis Pet Sematary tells the story of the young Creed family. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) is a doctor moving to the small town of Ludlow, Maine with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and his two children Ellie and Gage. After following a procession of spooky children through the forest, Ellie meets the kindly old man Jud Crandall (John Lithgow) who is their neighbor. Jud warns Ellie and her mother against the Pet Sematary The crux of the plot, however, relies on what lay beyond yonder Pet Sematary. A Mic Mac Indian burial ground holds the secret to resurrection. https://youtu.be/zK0LNzU2TQI The 2nd Pet Sematary 2019 Trailer After the loss of a family cat “Church” Jud takes Louis to the Indian burial ground which has the unique feature where whatever is buried there will come back to life while the feline resurrection saves Elle the grief of losing her favorite cat. The knowledge of a power to restore life is a Pandora’s box that only results in misery for the Creed family. Pet Sematary (2019) Review This movie surprised me in a lot of welcome ways. It was similar enough to the original that it felt like you knew what was coming, which would be boring. The great part of this remake, it twisted and moved around your expectations to surprise and titillate. There were moments where you were sure you knew what was going to happen, the setup was there, and then nothing - a deep breath. Other places where You expected A and got Q - who expects Q?  Pet Sematary (2019) Score 8/10 Pet Sematary (2019) Spoilers If you want the bare bones of how Pet Sematary spoilers play out, I would suggest listening to the episode of HMT right before this one, where we talk about the original Pet Sematary from 1989. The spoilers section on the remake is mostly going to be talking about how the remake differs from the original, things that it did well, and where it could have been better. https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/04/03/pet-sematary-1989-review/ Our review of the original They Fundamentally Changed Jud Pet Sematary begins with Ellie finding the pet sematary because she saw a procession of children walking on her property down the path. In the original movie, Jud brings the family to the cemetery, which kicks off the whole downward spiral. This is relevant because it shifts a bit of the blame from kind, old Jud, to no one in particular. This is kind of like, “Han shot first” in Star Wars. In the original cut, Han shoots Greedo in Mos Eisley, implying that he is a bad man, a murderer. In the late 90’s re-release, they changed it, so Greedo shot and missed Han, implying Han was a good guy all along. This is a fundamental character shift, and while it’s not as weighty in the Pet Sematary remake, I think it’s at least relevant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKxOEUhRMt0 A great side-by-side comparison of the Han shot first debacle. Jud takes to Ellie and begins to form a relationship with her, the kind, old man has a soft heart for the little girl next door - it’s sweet. John Lithgow does the role of Jud proud, which means that I have to eat my words from our review of the original Pet Sematary. We Learn Much More About Zelda The Zelda sub-plot in this is much better in every way. Zelda was the older sister of Rachel, and she had some kind of horrible degenerative disease, and Rachel has lots
Apr 10, 2019
Pet Sematary (1989) Review
With the Pet Sematary remake right around the corner, we decided it best to give the original 1989 Pet Sematary the full Horror Movie Talk treatment. Pet Sematary is not really about a pet cemetery, but is really about what lies beyond…the pet cemetery. The only horror trope more predictable than a Stephen King story set in Maine, that’s right, an Indian burial ground. And as with every movie with an Indian burial ground, the moral to the story is: don't mess with an Indian burial ground. The movie, directed by Mary Lambert and written by Stephen King is based on his novel of the same title. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis - Review - Score - Spoilers - Final Recommendations - The Rotten Tomatoes Game - Outro Pet Sematary Synopsis Pet Sematary tells the story of the young Creed family. Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) is a doctor moving to the small town of Ludlow, Maine with his wife Rachel (Denise Crosby) and his two children Elle and Gage. Immediately they meet the kindly old man Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne) who introduces them to the features of the property. Mainly a busy road filled exclusively with speeding 18 wheelers, and a spooky forest where people bury their dead pets that were killed by those same 18 wheelers. https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/04/10/pet-sematary-2019-review/ The crux of the plot however relies on what lay beyond yonder Pet Sematary. A Mic Mac Indian burial ground holds the secret to resurrection. After the loss of a family cat “Church”, Jud takes Louis to the Indian burial ground which has the unique feature where whatever is buried there will come back to life. While the feline resurrection saves Elle the grief of losing her favorite cat. The knowledge of a power to restore life is a Pandora's box that only results in misery for the Creed family. Original Pet Sematary Trailer https://youtu.be/JMao8sg4DPA Pet Sematary (1989) Trailer #1 Review of Pet Sematary (1989) Pet Sematary deals really well with the concepts of loss and the folly of trying to cheat death. It’s surprising how much is packed into this movie and how well it still delivers. It deals with the loss of a pet and teaching about the afterlife to your children. It deals with protecting your children from physical and psychological trauma. It deals with resentment of caring for people on their deathbed. It deals with the grief of losing a loved one, and the desire to get them back at any cost. And it does these all really well. Check Out Our Review of Pet Sematary (2019) https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/04/10/pet-sematary-2019-review/ The acting is not particularly good, but the writing makes up for it. The dialogue can have weird asides like those found in Stephen King’s novels, but they are done tastefully and they add to the tone of the film. The script does a really good job of laying out the plot very logically and creating moments of escalation in ways that aren’t always predictable. The film has equal parts dread, jump scares, and gore. All of which are very effective. The special effects are good, save for the fight with the Gage doll at the end of the film. Score for Pet Sematary (1989) 7/10 Spoilers Expand for Spoilers You can pretty much surmise from the trailer that at least the cat will get resurrected, But the real turning point for the movie is when Gage Creed is run over by a truck. Lewis in his distress is fate driven to use the powers of the Mic Mac burial ground to bring his son back to life. He does this regardless of the warnings of Jud. Gage, like Church the cat, does not come back the same. In the place of this innocent adorable toddler, Gage comes back as an evil killing machine. His first target is Jud, whom he carves up like butter with his father's scalpel. Zombie Gage then kills his own mother before being tracked down by Lewis and put down like a rabid dog. The imagery and emotional pull of seeing Lewis reunited with Gag...
Apr 03, 2019
Us Movie Review
We went and saw Us, and while it was an incredibly solid horror movie, it did not live up to the hype. Yes, it had good social commentary and implications. Yes, it is by one of the most respected (if only because of his single debut horror movie, Get Out) writers, directors out there, Jordan Peele. Yes, it starred an all-black cast. It’s hard to follow something like Get Out with something even more impressive, and that’s the only sin that Us committed. – Intro – Trailer – Synopsis – Score – Spoilers/Discussion – Final Recommendations – Rotten Tomatoes Game - It Came From Social Media – Special Thanks and Outro Us Overview At its core, Us is a home invasion horror movie. Us is also a smart critique on America today, both politically, and socioeconomically. Even more, it’s a fun, and at times, funny movie that everyone can probably appreciate. https://youtu.be/1tzFRIQfwXg One of the many things that Us has going for it? It’s a conversation starter. My Score 7/10 While it’s all the things I described above, it’s not particularly impressive in any stand-out way. It’s a solid movie that people will talk about, but it’s just not THAT thrilling. I was fairly bored during about ⅓ of this movie, and a lot of that was while the cat and mouse game between these two mirror families was playing out. It is an intricate, well-crafted film, with an eye on symbolism and obvious deep meaning. It just didn’t entertain me like I hoped it would. Us Movie Spoilers Us begins in 1986 on the Santa Cruz boardwalk, with young Adelaide having a fun time with her parents. At some point, she wanders off and discovers a House of Mysteries below the boardwalk, which is where she first comes into contact with her tethered-self. https://youtu.be/Adlemia_V7o The international trailer This intro is nearly perfect in the way it builds tension and sets the atmosphere. I was enthralled immediately. The beach at night is a very scary place, and I think he captured that feeling quite well. Adelaide is deeply traumatized and stops talking following this event for some time. Check Out Out Review of Pet Sematary (2019) https://www.horrormovietalk.com/2019/04/10/pet-sematary-2019-review/ Fast forward to the present day, and Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) is driving with her family to their vacation house near Santa Cruz. Adelaide is nervous about returning to the scene of the crime that caused her so much agony as a child. The family has a few strange run-ins at the beach and a small scare. From here they meet up with their friends, the Tylers (Tim Heidecker and Elizabeth Moss). I can’t take Tim Heidecker seriously, for me, this is a miss-cast role, but to be fair, for most it’s probably a high point in the movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jyn6g6JFkIY Say No, no to the purple scare no no's. One of the many reasons I can't take Tim Heidecker seriously. Yes, these are real commercials for real mattresses. Her husband (Winston Duke) believes that she is overreacting when she starts having panics about the safety of her family, and the area in general. When they are getting ready to go to bed that night, the action ramps up when they see a family standing in their driveway. There is a lot of chasing and being chased in Us, which is the least fun part for me. There weren’t very many genuinely disturbing moments, there were few scares, and overall the middle of the movie felt very soft compared to what it could have been. Thinking back on Get Out, it wasn’t a movie that went over-the-top with scares, it did what Us did, created ambiance, and mood quite well. Us is well cast and acted, every single character was compelling and made the movie better except Tim Heidecker, whom, as I said, I just can’t take seriously. https://youtu.be/fa7f-Q-Bq9Q Jordan Peele's Rotten Tomatoes interview on Us So, when we meet the tethered people or the doppelgängers,
Mar 27, 2019
Terrified (Aterrados) Movie Review
A genuinely scary horror movie from Argentina, this was a fabulously unexpected horror!
Mar 20, 2019
Movie Review Grab Bag & 2018 Academy Awards Talk
Muuuuuuhhhhh the Frensh Champangg This week we chose to give a quick summary of every movie that we haven't reviewed, but have watched over the past few months. Within, you will find a quick summary of each movie, and our opinion on whether or not it's worth your time. - Intro - Explanation of Episode - Cold Skin - Glass - Creepshow 2 - Sorry To Bother You - Eighth Grade - Leave No Trace - Hush - The Changeling - Creep / Creep 2 - Start of 2018 Oscar movie talk - Can You Ever Forgive Me? - The Favorite - Blackkklansman - Green Book - Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse - Hellraiser - Isn't It Romantic? - Boy Erased - Special Thanks and Outro Not a lot to say on this episode, guys and gals. Next week we will be back up with our normal format. Thanks for the support, remember to share the pod with a friend! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs5YwFONswQ Make sure to check out our favorite drop...Orson Welles killing it in this commercial shoot.
Mar 13, 2019
Greta Review
Greta is an anagram for great, which this film is not. In this episode of Horror Movie Talk, we discuss this new thriller out in theaters starring Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Grace Moretz. Later on we do a round of Taglines and cover the most recent horror movie news. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis - Review - Score - Spoilers/Discussion - Final Recommendations - Taglines - Horror Movie News - Outro Greta Movie Synopsis Greta is one of those films that gives you pretty much everything in the trailer. You can pretty much figure out everything that happens in the movie by rearranging the sequence of the shots in the trailer to the most logical sequence of events. https://youtu.be/WAEoJkL_8zU Greta is directed by Neil Jordan and tell the story of Frances McCullen (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young woman that comes across a lost purse on the subway and being a good Samaritan, she returns it to its owner Greta Hildeg (Isabelle Huppert). The two strike a quick surrogate mother/daughter friendship and start spending time with one another. Frances soon discovers that the purse was really a ploy that Greta has used many times before to lure in young women into her orbit. She gets progressively creeped out  and discovers Greta’s evil secrets too late to save herself. Review of Greta (2019) Greta is an ok film with good acting, but heavily contrived danger. If you can get scared by middle aged, slight, 5’3” women, this movie will terrify you. If you, like me, realize pretty much anyone short of a child could immediately overpower her, it loses some of it’s edge. The real power of this movie is when it focuses on the creep factor of having a stalker that progressively gets more threatening as she is pushed away. This isn’t a horror movie, but it does have some ok gore and some genuine darkness in the third act. It was entertaining enough, but never really grabbed me. Score for Greta 4/10 Spoilers Expand for spoilers As stated before, there aren't a lot of spoilers to be had with this movie. The only mystery left is "what does Greta do with the girls?" and "why does Greta do this?" Both questions have unsatisfying answers. She imprisons them in a hidden room (or a box for punishment) until a replacement comes along and she kills themBecause she's crazy The official tagline for this movie is "Who is Greta?" So I guess that is supposed to be an interesting spoiler as well. The answer is she is a Hungarian woman posing as a sophisticated French woman. Because reasons. Of note, this is the second Hungarian villain in the last month of episodes. The Prodigy also featured a Hungarian serial killer. The main draw back of this movie is that the character of Frances is smart enough to immediately recognize danger when she discover's Greta's multiple purses, but to dumb to know when to break a window to escape. Final Recommendations for Greta This would be a decent date movie, but you might want to wait till it's on Netflix. Videos and Trailers Mentioned in Episode 33 of Horror Movie Talk https://youtu.be/VFevH5vP32s Muhuuuh the Frensh! https://youtu.be/TCx-M8dcDhk Boo Box scene in Hook featuring Glen Close https://youtu.be/cfaDM0Os_Qc Pet Sematary Trailer Mentioned in Horror Movie News Segment https://youtu.be/ZsBO4b3tyZg New Hellboy Red Band Trailer mentioned in Horror Movie News Segment https://youtu.be/gukMGtZoaKk IT: Chapter Two Spoilers from Jessica Chastain https://youtu.be/27RtJp-rhHk Hail Satan? documentary trailer mentioned in Horror Movie Talk segment https://youtu.be/I0UWIya-O0s Midsommar Trailer mentioned in Horror Movie Talk segment
Mar 06, 2019
Summer of 84 Review
We watched Summer of 84 on Shudder, and it was nostalgia-rific. Teenager Davey Armstrong is mired in conspiracy theories and the Weekly World News stories. Davey begins to suspect that a neighboring police officer is a serial killer who targets kids in the Cape May Oregon area (which is made up) called, “The Cape May Slayer. With some help from his friends, Davey begins investigating the perp, which eventually turns into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis - Score - Spoilers/Discussion - Final Recommendations - Strange Soaking Talk - Hot Poop Talk - Vape Wizardry - Lifetime Movie or Horror Movie - Horror Movie News - Special Thanks and Outro Summer of 84 Overview Summer of 84 was a pretty fun nostalgia trip. This isn’t as crazy or pandering as movies like Turbo Kid, or Ready Player One,  which seeks to pile on all the nostalgia they can. Instead, Summer of 84 takes a close look at a boring old summer turned exciting, aka dangerous. It’s very similar in feel to Stranger Things. It’s basically a Stranger Things remake of Rear Window. https://youtu.be/vkalLfx229o While Summer of 84 slumps a bit in the middle, it holds up well and is able to pull off a high-quality production. In fact all of the Shudder exclusives I’ve watched so far have been worth my time. My Score 7/10 Summer of 84 Spoilers To me, it’s always impressive when a movie seeks to create a new town that doesn’t exist in real life, and Ipswich, Oregon is no different. I’m a Washingtonian, but I live right next to Oregon and have most of my life, and I was tricked by Summer of 84 into believing that not only Ipswich existed, but it’s geographical location of Cape May existed when it does not. This speaks to the authentic feeling that this movie portrays. It’s authentic in its location, and in the believable characters. The sets were done well, which is always impressive to me in these period piece movies, even if the period is only the 80’s. The soundtrack is pretty much what you would expect it to be with lots of edgy, synth wave and Kavinsky-esque tracks in the original score. Let’s take a look at the main character, Davey (played by Graham Verchere of The Good Doctor). Davey is the quintessential 80’s movie star character - think Elliot in E.T. The Extraterrestrial. He’s slight of build, he’s relatable to the every-man, dorks but not jocks, and basically the human equivalent of vanilla ice cream. Davey’s three friends fill the appropriate roles: you have the nerd, Curtis (played by Cory Gruter-Andrew), the bad boy Tommy (played by Judah Lewis of The Babysitter), and fatty, fatty two by four Dale (played by Caleb Emery). These friends provide all the humor in the movie via boys-will-be-boys styles masturbation and your mom jokes. The humor in Summer of 84 is juvenile, but it feels like it’s in the right place. The next door neighbor/heart-throb is Nikki (played by the beautiful Tiera Skovbye). Mackey (played admirably by Rich Sommer who has done a bunch of shows you’ve seen) is the ultimate foil. He is a cop. They guess it’s him early on in the movie, leading you to believe that it’s probably not him - but it is - but is it? Ultimately the boys do their best to prove that it’s Mackey until Mackey takes matters into his own hands as a police officer. He decides to find a patsy to pin the murders on and is celebrated as the man who found the Cape May Slayer. The capture of the fake Cape May Slayer kicks the boys into high gear, and they decide to break into Mackey’s house where they find a room full of a few of his victims, both alive and dead. At this point, the movie flips a switch. Mackey goes on the lamb and eventually grabs Davey and Caleb, the large lad, and plays a big game of manhunt with them. This is where the movie turns into a hard horror. Mackey leaves Davey with a truly disturbing monologue that would leave any kid shaking in their boots. The two
Feb 27, 2019
Happy Death Day 2U Review
Happy Death Day 2U is the direct sequel to Groundhog Day plot stealing slasher Happy Death Day. Even though the slasher elements take a backseat in this entry, the fun and fresh tone of the original is maintained. This film has more of a sci-fi comedy than a horror movie and tries to extend the scope of the first film while maintaining the premise of living the same day over and over again. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis - Score - Spoilers/Discussion - Final Recommendations - Horror Movie News - Kill Count Game - Special Thanks and Outro Happy Death Day 2U Synopsis The film starts out following Ryan Phan (played by Phi Vu) on the morning after the events of the first film. Ryan was only a bit part in the original Happy Death Day, but plays a much more important role in the plot this time around. In a welcome bait and switch, after rerunning Ryan’s day a couple times, the plot switches focus back to the original protagonist of Happy Death Day, Tree Gelbman (played by Jessica Rothe). If you’re not familiar with the premise of the original, it is simply a horror version of Groundhog Day. Tree is forced to relive day of her murder over and over again until she solves the mystery of who her killer is. This sequel throws in a wrinkle this time because despite being the same day, Tree is in a different dimension, so not everything is the same. https://youtu.be/THq6KlWgiqw HDD2U Lowdown Happy Death Day 2U maintains the fun and playful atmosphere of the original but basically switches genres. It’s much less of a horror movie, and more of a sci-fi comedy, ala Back to the Future. In trying to keep the premise fresh, they end up over-extending and there are multiple loose ends and skimmed over plot points that make this movie much less cohesive and tight as the first movie. Happy Death Day 2U is more enjoyable than the average movie nonetheless, and that is thanks to the performance of Jessica Rothe. Our Score 6/10 Final Recommendations for Happy Death Day 2U If you liked the first one, you will still like this one. Very light horror, so if you are going for a slasher, you might be disappointed. Bonus Trailer: Ma https://youtu.be/dvpKRSHIkzM
Feb 20, 2019
The Prodigy Review
Today we review The Prodigy, which, if you recall from horror movie news a few weeks ago was pulled back into the edit bay because they claimed it was TOO SCARY. Well, mission accomplished, The Prodigy is no longer too scary. In fact, it isn’t too much of anything; it’s more of a forgettable horror movie that had decent promise and delivered on very little. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis/Review - Score - Spoilers/Discussion - Final Recommendations - Horror Movie News - Rotten Tomatoes Game - Special Thanks and Outro The Prodigy starts with two stories happening simultaneously: One is a mother giving birth. Another is a woman escaping from the clutches of a deranged serial killer’s house minus a hand. The escaping woman notifies the authorities, and a swat team begins closing in on the serial killer’s house. As the baby is born the serial killer is gunned down, the insinuation being that the soul of the serial killer is reincarnated into this newborn baby. And, just like that, I was bored into oblivion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC4cyYRxjFk The Prodigy was a highly hyped movie that ends up falling flat. It was made up of a lot of hand-holding and exposition that was WAY too convenient for the story. It felt like lazy writing with a decent concept. The most notable stars of The Prodigy are Taylor Schilling from Orange is the New Black, and Jackson Robert Scott, who was the little Georgie in the It remake from 2017. The men to blame for The Prodigy is the writer, Jeff Buhler (Midnight Meat Train), and director Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact). The Prodigy’s writing is so predictable that it sometimes feels like a paint by numbers for horror movies. The direction is just boring, leaving you wishing the movie ended an hour before it does. There are a few decent jump-scares but good god man, it’s just not worth it. That being said, it’s not a “bad” movie, it’s just bland as bland can be. Score For The Prodigy 4/10 It’s not fun, and it’s barely entertaining. Does that make it bad? I don’t think so, just pretty sub-par. The Prodigy Movie Spoilers The bones of The Prodigy are pretty good. The idea that a killer could be reincarnated is not a new one (Child’s Play, The Omen, and plenty of others), but it is compelling and could be made very scary. I think the way I would like to see a story like this play out is with a Rob Zombie flair. Miles is the formulaic evil child who has been placed in the formulaic evil child script to act out formulaic evil child things. Here is a brief rundown on the structure of The Prodigy: Mom has evil childEvil child is gifted but evilDoctors note gift, also note “some evil”Mom takes child to a brain quack who diagnoses evil within child with far greater accuracy than many doctors can diagnose the common coldChild confirmed: evilEvil deeds by evil childEvil child splits up familyEvil wins, probably So, with the boring script stripped away, this becomes a movie that you have probably seen before, which would normally be fine. There are no original stories left to tell. The sin that The Prodigy commits is that it doesn’t add anything new or interesting to the story to make you care. Keep in mind, the bones of this story are the bones for many of the best horror movies ever made: HereditaryRosemary's BabyThe ExorcistThe Omen It wasn't terrible, it just wasn’t fun or original or interesting. It made sense, and it wasn’t like the acting was poor. It was just boring and long. So, what’s so boring about The Prodigy? Well, let’s talk about a game that was played two, maybe three times in this movie – staring match. Can you think of a more bland activity for a movie than a staring match? I can’t, and I’ve seen some real piles of shit. Sarah and Miles play a game called, “staring” with each other, and it’s every bit as pointless as it sounds. The idea behind the direction is, “Let’s show off his different colored eyes that are the big tip-o...
Feb 13, 2019
Piercing Review
Piercing is the story of man named Reed (played by Christopher Abbott) who is encouraged by his newborn baby to drug, kill, and dismember a prostitute in a hotel room. Murder isn’t as easy as it sounds, and after a Sitcom-esque introduction of Jackie the prostitute (played by Mia Wasikowska), his plans are inadvertently foiled. What follows is a weird sitcom trope of “will they, won’t they”, only referring to murder and not fucking. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis/Review - Score - Spoilers/Discussion - Final Recommendations - State of the Podcast Address - Horror Movie News - Special Thanks and Outro Piercing is a stylistic short film plot that was convincingly stretched to a feature length film. The director Nicolas Pesce borrows skillfully from many of my favorite directors. There is a bit of Tarantino, some Wes Anderson, and a healthy dose of David Lynch are included throughout. There aren’t many scares, but lots of tension and surprising moments. The performances of both lead actors were captivating to watch and provided foundation for the unhinged plot. https://youtu.be/7pj5u4r_eSE The plot of Reed trying to kill a hooker only really serves as a framework to explore a murky dreamscape of Reed’s psyche and the mysterious intentions of Jackie. If you want a movie with a beginning, middle, and an end, you might have to settle for 2 out of 3. However, I can definitely say that Piercing was an enjoyable movie, and I can definitely recommend seeing it if you like art-house horror. Score for Piercing 7/10 Piercing balances psychological horror and dark comedy adeptly while maintaining a fresh yet familiar style. Piercing Movie Spoilers Stylistically, this film reminded me of several other directors' work: Quentin Tarantino - The 70's cool, yet time period ambiguous settingWes Anderson - The use of miniatures and the matter-of-fact absurd comedyDavid Lynch - The surrealistic drug trips and dream logicPaul Thomas Anderson - Specifically Punch Drunk Love with the slightly twisted yet still somehow wholesome interaction between the leads. Reed is an unreliable narrator and several times throughout the film, he is encouraged to go through with killing a prostitute. Those encouraging him in order are: His newborn babyThe hotel clerkHis wife It is obvious that something is not right with Reed, and that he is at the very least a paranoid schizophrenic, and could also just as likely be dreaming. Dream logic abounds with strange actions and conversational non-sequiturs. Towards the end of the film when Reed is tying up Jackie, he does so in a impotent and lazy wrap of the rope only around her wrists. Piercing starts out with small doses of hallucinations and slowly descends to full a full on bad trip with a little girl stabbing bunny. It's a wild ride, but enjoyable if you like stylistic psychological horror. Final Recommendations This is a great movie for people that like foreign films but don’t want to read subtitles. That sounds sarcastic, but if you watch it (which I suggest you do) it will make sense. Check Out Our Guest Spot on We Shouldn't Be Here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exvW7TbHEF8
Feb 06, 2019
Creepshow (1982) Review
I had a lot of fun watching Creepshow (1982). It’s presented in an entertaining way, has a ton of big names, and if you aren’t into the story, you can wait 20 minutes and see a new one because it’s a compilation of five horror stories. This was the only Romero film to open at number one in the weekend box-office. It was a sleeper hit in theaters, and its charm is mostly to blame. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis/Review - Score - Spoilers/Discussion - Final Recommendations and Outro - Lifetime Movie Or Horror Movie - Killcount - Outro Creepshow Trailer Creepshow is a cult classic that has remained low on horror fan’s collective radar since it was released. It was directed by the great and powerful George Romero and written by Stephen King, so it already has a huge amount going for it. Add to it a cast that includes Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, Ed Harris, Adrienne Barbeau, and Stephen King himself, and you have a horror gem. Creepshow is comprised of five short horror stories that are each compelling and envelope-pushing and memorable. The acting is hammy, the actors are having fun, the stories are spooky but not hard to handle for the easily spooked horror fan. This movie is like a trip down to nostalgia town. Creepshow is a fun, funny, and scary movie that I had not seen before this, and will now revisit year after year. My Rating 8/10 While Creepshow is an excellent example of a cult classic, it’s too light and breezy to be much higher than an 8/10. Spoilers Creepshow is presented in a comic book format. They do some interesting paneling shots where the video is shown in the same way that a comic book panel would be presented. The motif is made to look eerily similar to the classic comic titles, Eerie and Creepy did, almost down to the T. It’s clear that these comics made a big difference in Stephen King’s childhood, and probably Romero’s as well. This was Stephen King’s screenwriting debut, and it’s pulled off without all the confusing bullshit that is known to accompany much of his writing. Father’s Day The first of the stories that Creepshow has to offer is titled, “Father’s Day” and is the story of a well-to-do family who is reprehensible human beings whom each get their comeuppance. The dead father was killed by his daughter, Bedelia, on Father’s day while being a real jerk to her. The rest of the family is rich and living off of daddy’s fortune. On this Father’s day, dad comes back from the grave to exact revenge on his ungrateful and equally terrible kids. Father’s Day presents a bit of a lesson to the audience, which I took to be, you get what you give. Alternatively, don’t be a dick, especially when family is involved. The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill The second story is titled, “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill”, which is based on the short story “Weeds.” This is a one-man-play starring the King himself as a goofy hillbilly who finds a meteorite that crashes to earth on his property. He touches it, which is enough to spell his doom. King, bumbles and stumbles around as his luck grows worse and worse until he finally is overcome by the plants that the meteorite brought to earth. The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill was reminiscent of pulp mags and stories from the ’50s and ’60s. I enjoyed the special effects on this story quite a bit - tons of plants! Something to Tide You Over “Something to Tide You Over” is the third story in Creepshow, and it’s one of my favorites. This one stars Ted Danson as Harry, who is the victim to Leslie Nielsen’s wealthy psychopathic killer. Leslie's wife has been cheating on him with Ted, and he exacts his revenge in an extremely creative, ocean-themed way. What he doesn’t bargain on is his revenge coming back to bite him. The Crate “The Crate” is probably the longest and most notable story in Creepshow, and features a college janitor who drops a quarter underneath an old, forgotten stairwell. Upon closer inspection, he finds an old,
Jan 30, 2019
Mandy Review
Have you ever lit your worst enemy on fire, decapitate them, and use their still burning severed head to light your cigarette? Better yet, have you seen Nicolas Cage do it? Mandy is an exercise in world bending drug trips, fantasy novels, 70’s & 80’s horror movie tropes, and insane revenge. It starts in the woods in 1983 and ends up in some crazy fantasy land that I don’t understand, but I love it nonetheless. - Trailer - Synopsis/Review - Score - Spoilers/Discussion - Final Recommendations - Guess That Clip - Outro There is this trend in shows and movies right now that seeks to capitalize on the nostalgia of the 80’s. Some things do it quite well; others just make me feel like I’m being taken advantage of – Mandy is the former. Mandy is like a strange amalgamation of Turbo Kid, The Amityville Horror, Raising Arizona, and Stranger Things. The whole production is slow, methodical, and feels quite unhinged. Watch the trailer: Synopsis of Mandy The story starts with Nicolas Cage and Andrea Riseborough (Mandy) living their best life in a nice little cabin in the forest. There is something slightly supernatural about Mandy, and she infatuates Cage. A van full of “Jesus Freaks” see Mandy walking down the road one day and the cult leader decides he can’t live without her. After that, this movie descends into some of the strangest territory that I can recall. Written and directed by Panos Cosmatos with additional writing credits Aaron Stewart-Ahn, Mandy makes sure to pay homage to its roots. There are tons of callbacks and references to old-school horror, fantasy novels, music, and tropes. It’s mostly a mood piece, and the mood is drug-fueled. The music drones loudly and angrily, the setting morphs into a dark fantasy land, Cage turns into a bad ass narco messiah, it’s nuts. My Rating 8/10 Mandy is insane. It features Cage in quite possibly the best way you can feature Cage, the same way Raising Arizona features him, as a normal, everyday lunatic. Spoilers: The Rundown Once the aforementioned Jesus freaks catch sight of Mandy and decide they need her in their cult, they make use of an artifact whistle that summons the four quad-men of the apocalypse. They are a motorcycle gang who has been turned into something eternal and perverse by some sort of trucker crank. This drug has altered the biker gang into super mutants who can be controlled by anyone who gives them more insane drugs. The Jesus freaks give the quad-men some drugs and demand that they help kidnap Mandy, which they do while Cage and his girlfriend are asleep in their bed. The Jesus freaks give Mandy some heinous psychedelics from a giant wasp, and the cult leader, Jeremiah (Linus Roache), tries to convince Mandy to sleep with him in front of his followers. Mandy openly laughs at an mocks Jeremiah, so he decides to sacrifice her in front of a bound and gagged Cage by lighting her on fire. As it turns out, that was a mistake on Jeremiah’s part. Enter the rage Cage. Cage becomes a man with a purpose - to kill anyone who was involved with the kidnapping and murder of Mandy. The movie morphs into a dark fantasy-horror landscape that was inspired by 70’s and 80’s fantasy novel covers. Is Mandy Worth Watching? To answer the question of, “Is Mandy worth watching?” please refer to the following list. Do you enjoy: Revenge Cults Destroying cults The 70's The 80's Fantasy novels Psychedelic vibes Bad ass weapons Insane drug trips Revenge Apocalyptic themes and tropes Burning religious imagery Dark and sinister characters Lude sexual acts Horror movies Tigers Nicolas Cage in his element Revenge If you answered yes to some of these things, it’s probably worth a watch. Mandy is clearly on it’s way to becoming a cult classic of sorts, so watch it now on Amazon or in a limited release theater so that you can say you saw it on release.
Jan 23, 2019
Sleepaway Camp Review
This episode we review the cult classic Sleepaway Camp. This campy slasher combines the most horrifying elements of the eighties: over-the-top teen bullies, and casual pedophilia. Listen to Horror Movie Talk's take on this fun thriller. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis/Review - Score - Discussion - Spoilers and More Discussion - Taglines - Kill Count - Outro Sleepaway Camp is a 1983 teenage slasher that has become a bit of a cult classic. The film follows Angela Baker (played by Felissa Rose), a painfully shy girl recovering from the psychological trauma of a tragic boating accident as she attends a Summer Camp filled with 80’s teen movie villains. She is accompanied to camp with her cousin Ricky (played by Jonathan Tiersten) who at times is very protective towards her. Pretty soon after camp starts, there are a series of murders. The camp owner Mel (played by Mike Kellin) does his best to keep the murders under wraps and becomes increasingly suspicious of Ricky as the victims seem to be people that have bullied Angela. Watch the trailer here: This movie is a lot of fun and maintains a great balance of passable quality, campiness, and tastelessness that is essential for being granted cult status. The film gets most of its cred from its surprising conclusion, but it isn’t defined by it. This is a great time capsule of eighties teen movies that have that “Should I be watching this” vibe. Too mature for young viewers, and too much teenage sexuality for adults to feel comfortable watching. It’s that elusive 80’s vibe that Stranger Things, IT, and other shows that attempt to exploit. The special effects sequences range from 50’s workplace safety videos to straight up graphic, gooey 80’s horror. The real charm of the movie comes from it’s non sequitur writing and acting. I found myself saying “What?!” or laughing out loud at unintentionally ridiculous moments. My Rating 7/10 What works well about this movie This is a very campy movie, and as such, is tonally all over the place in a good way. Angela's mother seems picked straight out of a 1930's talkie. The teen villains are the kind only found in 80's teen movies. Finally, Artie, the openly casual pedophile could only exist on film in the 80's. I particularly enjoyed the score of the film. It was repetative, but featured a full orchestral sound, with real orchestra stings to emphasize the horror. I wish more modern horror movies wouldn't rely so much on ambient spooky soundscapes, and go back to full orchestras. What really steals the show is the abundance of cock outlines. If you can remember that one scene in Juno where she is ogling the cross country team in their runner shorts, imagine that stretching for about 80 minutes. It's distracting, and dare I say... Immodest. Most of all, what makes this movie great is it's charm. What doesn't work This mustache: Spoilers for Sleepaway Camp This is the rare occurrence where naming the killer is the least relevant spoiler in the movie. If you don't know the "twist" at the end, I won't spoil it here. But just look at Angela's face. You know she's hiding something. That being said, Angela was definitely the killer even though they heavily alluded to her brother being guilty. The filmmakers went as far as to have the actor playing her brother appear as a silhouette wearing a wig during one killing. Final Recommendation I highly recommend Sleepaway Camp. It proves that in many very important ways, you can't recreate 80's horror. This movie might not be for everyone, but if you are a fan of campy horror, or even just cult classics in general, you should enjoy this one as much as I did. Sleepaway Camp as of the publish date of this episode is available on Shudder. Use "HMT" at checkout to get a 30 day free trial.
Jan 16, 2019
Escape Room Review
Escape Room is a movie best described as tense, fun, and bad in a good way. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis/Review - Score - Spoilers/Discussion - Final Recommendations and Outro - Rotten Tomatoes Game - Horror Movie News - It Came From Social Media - Outro Escape Room is a thriller about a group of strangers who are brought together by an unknown presence that sends out a puzzle to each of them. When they complete the puzzle, it gives them an invitation to compete in a new, premier escape room in their area. The invitation claims that if they beat the escape room they can win $10,000! What they don’t know is that they are playing for their lives! It’s is fun, funny, and terribly written. The dialog is laughable and made up of constant exposition about what is happening at any given moment is what makes this movie laughable. The bones of this movie are decent, and it’s pretty much exactly what I expected. Mostly I had such a fun time watching it with Bryce and being exasperated at the silly dialog that Escape Room ended being more fun than I expected it would be. Watch the trailer here: My Rating 5/10 Spoilers for Escape Room Escape Room starts out by introducing us to the six narrators of the movie. I say narrators because every single action taken by every character in Escape Room is narrated with gusto by at least one of these six main characters. Of the actors in Escape Room the two that you will probably notice the most from other projects are Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll) who you might remember as the redhead from True Blood, and Mike (Tyler Labine) who is Dale from Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. Tyler is also a producer on Dale and Tucker. One of the main character’s is Zoey (Taylor Russell) who I recognized from the recent Netflix show Lost in Space. Everyone else is an up-and-comer. So, everyone gets the invitation and shows up to what they believe to be the lobby of the escape room. Turns out the lobby is the first room they have to escape, and quickly turns into an oven. They make their way through six successive escape rooms as their numbers are thinned. The one constant throughout all of the movie is that they are being watched by cameras that are set up throughout every escape room. The creators of the escape room use these cameras to monitor the subjects and broadcast the feed of human misery to nameless viewers on the web. The different escape rooms include (in order): Oven (hot) Ice cabin (cold) Upside down bar Medical treatment facility Trippy drug room Squish you flat study Several final levels/false endings The Good and The Bad The biggest problem I have with Escape Room is actually a bit of a strength for the movie - the laughably bad dialog and exposition. Everything in this movie is narrated by the characters; every action, every thought, every single part of this movie is narrated. It was bothersome at first, but then became so ridiculous and so dependable, it became a companion of sorts for me throughout the movie. I was able to look over at Bryce and see him roll his eyes and laugh every 10-15 seconds, and that was terrible and great at the same time. This movie is not disjointed and hard to follow like Slenderman, it’s the opposite. It’s so easy to follow and so heavily narrated that it becomes a joke in and of itself. Actual problems that stood out to me in this movie were some of the puzzles that the participants had to solve to beat the rooms. These puzzles were (sometimes) so specific to a single character’s personal trauma that only that character could solve the puzzle. So, it was movie kismet that happened to allow the participant who won the escape room to actually get through the whole thing. The plot premise on Escape Room reminded me quite a bit of the plot premise of Unfriended: Dark Web. A shady dark web group is paying to see fucked up things happen to unwilling participants on the internet.
Jan 09, 2019
Bird Box Review
This episode we review Bird Box, which is available to stream only on Netflix. It's probably one of the best horror movies of 2018. Even though it was released the Friday before Christmas, it has already been watched over 45 million times according to Netflix. - Intro - Trailer - Synopsis/Review - Score - Spoilers/Discussion - Final Recommendations and Outro - Taglines - 2018 Horror Movies Year in Review - Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2019 - Outro Bird Box tells the story of Mallorie (played by Sandra Bullock) as she experiences the fallout of a worldwide invasion of monsters that cause people to commit suicide if you look at them. The survivors of the invasion figure out that they must block their view with blindfolds or window coverings to resist the influence of the unseen creatures.The non-linear narrative jumps between the onset of the global disaster where Mallorie finds herself holed up with a motley crew of survivors, and five years after the fact when Mallorie is floating down a river with two small children trying to get to safety. Will they make it? Is it a happy ending? ...You’ll just have to ...SEE it. Watch the trailer here: There is a star studded cast that give great performances. Notably Sarah Paulson in her small role as Mallorie's Sister, and Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), the love interest. John Malkovich is also in it. It’s directed by Susanne Bier which has mostly just directed dramas and romances, but she has shown her skill with this movie. This is a really high quality movie that I’m kind of shocked wasn’t released in theaters. It would have done great, as evidenced by it's record breaking first week on Netflix. It’s very tonally similar to A Quiet Place, and that's only helps it. There is a lot of creative problem solving on display in this movie, but most notably, this movie is a great example of how to not show the monster. Another great compliment I can pay to this movie is that all of the characters' actions made sense. Any time that I was yelling at the screen, it was from dramatic irony, not because of a stupid character decision. The writing was very good at building the world and communicating the situation in a very short period of time. Lots or really tense moments and great payoffs throughout. My Rating 9/10 Spoilers for Bird Box First, let me say, that this movie has some of the best scared faces of the year. If there was an Oscar for best scared face, I think Sarah Paulson and Lil Rey Howery would get nominated. Second, every time I see John Malcovich, I think of this interview of Matt Damon talking about working with him the first time on Rounders: Alright, lets get to the rest of the movie. There are some great moments of tension in this movie that don't rely on characters making stupid decisions. This is difficult for some horror movies for some reason. Two moments in particular are very effective and had me clutching the air. First, the scene where it is revealed that Gary, played by Tom Hollander, is an acolyte for the monster. Some people may think it's cheap that this reveal happens as the births were happening, but to me, it just made it more effective. It served as a prime moment of distraction for Gary to make his move. The next part that I was clawing at the armrests was towards the end of the movie when Mallorie is separated from the children, and the monster is trying to trick the children to take off their masks in the voice of Mallorie. It was the penultimate scene of the movie and was so effective because at this point, you understand that the detachment that Bullock's character is displaying towards the children throughout the movie is just a facade. She cares deeply and has masked her attachment to protect the children in case something happens to her. During the scene where they are separated, it is nerve-wracking because all of her effort could be for naught. Well,
Jan 02, 2019
Gremlins Review
If you don’t know what Gremlins is about, what the fuck are you doing? This is a movie about a Mogwai, and the sleepy little town of Kingston Falls, that wakes up to a very unusual Christmas day! If you want to watch Gremlins use this link to rent it on Amazon and you will do your part to help support this podcast. It’s single-handedly responsible for a HUGE section of horror, now basically known as Gremlins knock-offs. The list of Gremlin knock-offs is long and includes: Troll Critters Leprechaun Cat’s Eye The Gate Munchies Hobgoblins Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowlarama Beasties Elves My Rating 8/10 Gremlins Spoilers Gremlins is an iconic movie in many ways. It’s got Steven Spielberg’s stink all over it despite being directed by Joe Dante. An interesting thing about Bryce, he loves Steven Spielberg, and because he was the Executive producer on this, I bet Bryce has a worthwhile take on Gremlins. Listen to the podcast to find out more on Bryce’s takes on Steven Spielberg. Gremlins starts in my favorite way, in a bustling set of Chinatown, where a young boy leads Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) down into his grandfather’s shop of Asian artifacts. Randall Peltzer has an interesting through line in this movie, in that he is a shitty inventor unless you count creating inventions that kill Gremlins well. Anyway, the old Chinese grandfather/curator of the shop, Mr. Wing (Keye Luke), warns Mr. Peltzer that the cute Mogwai isn’t for sale but the grandkid can’t turn down the money, and Mr. Peltzer walks away with Gizmo. But not before being given very specific rules for dealing with the Mogwai. The rules for keeping Mogwai are simple: Keep them out of the light. No water. Don’t feed after midnight. So Gizmo goes home and eventually all the rules are broken, and we are given Gremlins. Gremlins are sadistic and mean, and they mean nothing but trouble for the town of Kingston Falls. Gremlins Die in Amazing Ways! Gremlins is a movie that holds nothing sacred, except maybe movie tropes. Watch Gremlins to see all the interesting ways that you can kill the Gremlins in your life. We get to see Gremlins killed with: A knife Food processor Microwave Sword Sword/fireplace combo Light Car And more! Tropes in Gremlins Gremlins is a movie about tropes. Here are some of the most impressive tropes that Gremlins sticks to: Black man is first to die. Rules are made to be broken. School as a place of horror. Alien blood, I.E. blood that is colored differently to make it appear strange. Damsel in distress. Mythical creatures. Action mom. Asshole victim. Bad people abuse animals Bungling inventor. Crazy cat lady. Police are useless. The Dad in The Chimney Subplot The dad in the chimney subplot is one of my very favorite parts of this movie for a few different reasons. Kate Beringer (Pheobe Cates) is finally convinced to share the story of why Christmas is her least favorite holiday. She tells the tale of Christmas Eve, the night her father went missing. Days went by, and there was no sign of her father. Finally, it became cold in the house, so she went to light the fire, where she noticed a foul smell. Turns out, Her dad tripped and fell while trying to surprise her for Christmas and wedged himself in the chimney, where he died. So many things are wrong with this: What are you doing on the roof when trying to surprise your child? Why go down the chimney, have you seen a chimney? Why did it take so long to find him? Didn’t he yell and scream? How long does the house go cold for before you light a fire? How much do you hate your father for being a blithering idiot? I love this story. I love this movie. If you haven’t seen it, or haven’t seen it in a while, it’s a fabulous time.
Dec 26, 2018
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Review
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is available to stream on Amazon and is probably the weakest movie in the Paranormal Activity franchise. This is a Christmas horror movie as the whole thing involves a house with a Christmas tree in it. Let’s face it, that’s as close to Christmas horror as you should want to get. It does do that satisfying thing that all the Paranormal Activities do which is tie back into the others nicely. - Intro - Synopsis - Score - Trailer - Spoilers/Discussion - Taglines - More Spoilers/Discussion - Lifetime Movie or Horror Movie - Final Recommendations and Outro If you want to watch Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. Remember Toby? The demon from the Paranormals is back in this movie, where he focuses on an entirely new family who bought a house that was built on the same site as the house from the third movie. The house from the third movie burned down, and this is what’s there now. This family has a child who becomes the focus of the demon Toby. Ghost Dimension was released in 2015, and it was the scariest thing of all...a 3D movie. They took a good premise and fucked it out, pretty hard. My Rating 5/10 Quick Summary of Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension Ghost Dimension stars a family of three: the dad Ryan (Chris J. Murray), mom Emily (Brit Shaw), five-year-old daughter Leila (Ivy George). It starts light and ends heavy, like most Paranormal Activities. The family who lives in this palatial house is being visited by a super sexy family friend, Skylar, who parades her jubblies around like everyone’s business. Skylar is played by the stunning Olivia Taylor Dudley. Mike, Ryan’s brother who is fresh out of a long-term relationship, is also visiting the family during Christmas. Dan Gill plays Mike. Ryan and his brother, Mike find a box outside while putting up Christmas lights. The box contains a bunch of VHS tapes and a souped-up video recorder that would make Doc from Back to the Future jealous. The camera allows the user to view the Ghost Dimension. These tapes reveal a good portion of footage from the ’80s where the original sisters Katie and Kristi were used by the cult present in the third and fourth movie to foretell the future and communicate with Toby. The Problems With Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension One of the many problems with this movie is that it focuses too much on boring 3D visual effects. There is a soupy 3D fog that the viewing audience is constantly forced into by whoever is piloting the ultra-camcorder. It’s supposed to be spooky but ends up being boring. There are quite a few visual effects in this movie that are cool to look at, but not as effective as a real person standing over their significant other for three hours or more while they sleep at night. There is some goop that shoots from floor to ceiling, and some demon figures that zoom around so fast you can’t make out more than a blur of movement. Overall these effects don’t do a lot for Ghost Dimension. Another issue that Ghost Dimension suffers from is showing the spook. The reason the Paranormal Activity series work is partially because you don’t get to see the spook, you just get the aching feeling that it’s there. The Ghost Dimension replaces the effective nothing, with a shitty something, and ruins the whole thing that made the series work in the first place. As far as found footage goes, this is a pretty weak entry to the genre. They don’t use the stationary cams that made Paranormal Activity stand out as a series. Instead, they decided to go with, not a shaky cam, but a handheld camcorder. The dreadful feeling of being forced to look at a still frame for 15 seconds at a time is done away with and replaced with a format that tells you where to look instead of forcing your eye to find the action. What Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Does Right...
Dec 24, 2018
Silent Night, Deadly Night Review
This week, we rented Silent Night, Deadly Night and to be honest, it might be one of my new favorite horror movies. - Intro - Trailer - Where to Watch - Synopsis - Review - Score - Discussion/Spoilers - Taglines - Kill Count - Outro Silent Night, Deadly Night can be found for rent on Google Play, iTunes, YouTube, and VUDU. If you want to own the recently release Blu-ray edition, click through to Amazon. Silent Night, Deadly Night is about a young man named Billy who witnessed the murder of his parents at the hands of a criminal in a santa suit. Since then, Billy grew up in a catholic orphanage where his traumatic childhood has been stringently repressed by the Mother Superior and has been imbued with a strict and black and white morality. Billy is still terrified by Santa even as an adult, but one fateful Christmas Eve, he is asked to be Santa Claus for the store he works at. That experience along with a series of events brings Billy to the point of a psychotic break, and he begins a killing spree dressed as Santa. It’s awesome. Silent Night, Deadly Night is the best version of this movie that I can imagine. The script is way tighter than it needs to be in terms of setting up and executing the major moving pieces of the plot. This is a exploitative slasher, that doesn’t have any delusions of grandeur, but is more enjoyable than most slasher movies I have ever seen. Billy’s character is terrifying as well as pitiable. Some of the killings have real weight to them, though most are as cheap as any slasher death. There is a lot of creativity is the methods of killing, and since you actually kind of care about the main character, there is a constant tension on how it will play out for him in the end. I highly recommend you watch it this Christmas Season. My Rating 9/10 What works in Silent Night, Deadly Night A lot of things work about this movie. As I stated before, the writing in this was way better than it needed to be. I expected a movie about a killer Santa to much lower effort and production value than this movie delivered. The motivations of Billy as he turns into a killer are logical and presented in a compelling way. After getting scared by his grandpa about Santa and then having his fears confirmed by witnessing his parents' death at the hands of Kris Kringle, he undertandable has some baggage about Santa. Not satisfied with that set up alone, the screenwriters augment Billy's mental issues with Santa with a strict Catholic upbringing, including sexual shame. So needless to say, Billy is a ticking time bomb by the time he is an adult. Another indication that the writing in this movie is of higher quality is that I actually cared about the characters. I cared about Billy and his fate because he was a three dimensional character. I also cared about some of his victims, especially Pamela, whose death seemed tragic in the moment. The other thing I love about this movie is the original music. This is another example of demonstrated artistic care given to a movie that no one on the surface would take seriously. The original Christmas carols in particular are fantastic, and really add to the slightly off feeling throughout the movie. These Christmas carols sound deceptively cheery, but have weirdly ominous lyrics. Here is one that I've had stuck in my head ever since watching the movie: I'm not a big fan of slashers, but I must say that I enjoyed the creativity of some of the deaths. I don't think that Billy killed anyone the same way twice. We had: Christmas light strangulation Box cutter disemboweling Claw hammer to the head Arrow to the spine Stabbed with antlers Defenestration Axe beheading Axe to the Chest Sometimes these deaths came from out of the blue, and were super effective: What Didn't Work To be honest, there wasn't really anything I didn't like about this movie.
Dec 19, 2018
Black Christmas Review
If you loved the story of Ralphie and his red ryder b-b gun in A Christmas Story, then you’ll love this other Christmas classic by Bob Clark. In Black Christmas, the Pi Kappa Sigma Sorority receives a strange and obscene phone calls during their Christmas party right before Christmas break. The reactions to the phone call range from disgust and offence to amusement. Barb played by Margo Kidder fires back her own obscenities in return, to which the phone call ends with a sobering “I’m going to kill you”. The faceless killer, which can be described most accurately as a maniac, then stalks and kills several inhabitants of Pi Kappa Sigma. The sorority tries to get the police to take them seriously when they can’t find a missing sister, but the police don’t take any action until a dead body shows up in the park. There’s also a relationship storyline that you won’t care about. Black Christmas was an interesting movie, but not the most entertaining. There were a lot of firsts in this movie, and much better horror movies have stolen from it to greater effect: I believe it’s the first movie with the “The call's coming from inside the house”, but is outdone by When A Stranger Calls It's not technically the first first-person perspective for the killer, but definitely influenced the much better Halloween It was definitely the first “holiday” horror movie though. With all these interesting first’s you would think that this would be great movie, but the sum is lesser than it’s parts and it ends up being rather dull. It’s not gory enough to satisfy the slasher connoisseur, and it’s not dreadful enough to be a great psychological horror; it’s just...ok at both. It’s dark and has a cinema verite feel to it, but it undercuts itself with clumsy attempts at humor. There are some things that work, mainly the phone calls and the cinematic treatment of the killer, but the main plot and the characters are just meh. Black Christmas can be found streaming on Shudder right now. If you don’t have a shudder account, use promo code HMT at checkout to get a 30 day free trial. You can also find it on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon. Be sure to click through the link on our website to support the show. My Rating 4/10 Spoilers You would expect a spoiler to be who the killer was, but in this movie, that is never revealed. The killer is presented as pretty much a crazy person that wandered into their attic off the street. In fact the killer's face is never shown. It is easy to see how Halloween was originally written as a sequel to Black Christmas. I guess one spoiler is that the killer is calling from inside the house, but given that you are shown that the killer is lying in wait in the attic the whole time, this doesn't come as much of a surprise. Overall this was a pretty straightforward film. A killer kills off sorority girls, and more! Is Black Christmas Worth Seeing? Your mileage may vary, full disclosure, I was pretty tired when watching this one, so the 70's pacing probably wore on me more than normal. The best part of the movie is the killer's phone calls, but those may be best experienced in clip form so you don't have to sit through the melodrama of the story line. However, if you are a horror academic and want to see an influential movie, this is a good choice for the holiday season. Podcast Segment Time Codes - Intro and shit-talking nicknames - Episode Outline - Trailer - Synopsis - Review - Score - Spoilers/Discussion - Taglines - Kill Count Game - Outro
Dec 12, 2018
The House That Jack Built Review
The House that Jack Built isn’t getting a wide release until December 14th, but we went to a one night only showing of the director’s cut a month early at the Cinema 21 in Portland. So this is a rare instance where we can provide a review well in advance of a wide release. The film tells the story of an unassuming, yet prolific serial killer named Jack. It's told through a series of 5 short vignettes of some of his notable kills. It’s told over the course of 12 years from the mid-late 70’s to the mid-late 80s and takes place in the rural Pacific NorthWest of the United States. Jack’s nom de guerre is Mr. Sophistication, which he writes on the grisly photos he takes of his victims. Throughout the film Jack's descriptions of his personal condition, problems and thoughts are told through a recurring conversation with the unknown "Verge". Jack views himself as a sophisticated man and the story is told through his own mixture of arrogant and narcissistic sophistry. If that sounds like a pretty pretentious serial killer movie, well, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. The film is directed by Lars Von Trier, who also directed all of those art house movies you meant to see but never got around to. Jack is played by Matt Dillon, which is probably the best part of the movie. I thought he did a fantastic job portraying a psychopath pantomiming normal human facial expressions and when required had great comedic timing. Jack acts as the films unreliable narrator, and tells the story of his failings and mental illness from his elevated perspective of himself and his “art”. Jack’s victims include the likes of Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan (that lady from MIB), and Riley Keough among others. The death scenes where genuinely disturbing, and acted as punctuation for Jack’s ruminations. I appreciated that they didn’t dwell on the fetishization of the killings themselves, they were handled more or less matter-of-factly which to me, makes them more impactful. It definitely delves into the distasteful and absurd with his storage and… use of the bodies. I could see how this film could be viewed as too pretentious for it’s own good, but somehow it worked for me. We saw the director’s cut, so there was definitely some fat that could be cut to improve pacing and make it slightly less art-housey, but I found myself laughing and cringing at the right moments. My Rating 7/10 Spoilers This is a serial killer movie that definitely pushes the envelope. Many of the killing scenes seem a little too real, and feel a little like watching a sudden snuff film. Uma Thurman's character all but dares Jack to murder her and he obliges. It's almost expected. The other murders are expected, but what is surprising is their brutality and grotesqueness. The point at which the film really changes tone is when Jack murders a small family on a supposed hunting picnic. Little does the woman and her children know that they are the ones hunted. The set up sounds like a generic 90's thriller, but in this movie, it is a cold and brutal sequence where you get to experience the murder of children in the first person. Then to double down on the tastelessness, Jack taxidermy's one of the young boys to greet him for when he enters his body storage fridge. If you're like me and can compartmentalize this type of violence and can appreciate the absurdity and gallows humor of the likes of The Human Centipede, then this movie might be of interest to you. The eponymous house of this film is proof enough that Lars Von Trier isn't as interested in high art as Jack "Mr. Sophistication" is. The real spoiler to share is that the voice that we hear throughout the movie that accompanies Jack's voiceover is none other than Virgil, the author of the Aeneid who reprises his role from Dante's Inferno by leading Jack through the depths of hell. This is portrayed very literally in the epilogue, and is one of the most striking sequences in the film.
Dec 05, 2018
The Ritual Review
ALL HAIL NETFLIX! Now that we have that out of the way let’s talk about The Ritual, a Netflix original movie that was released on the streaming platform in February of 2018. I can’t believe that movies of this caliber, that is to say, theatrical release worthy movies, are created in the quiet depths of a streaming platform. I didn’t hear much about the production of this movie. Instead, it just showed up on my Netflix suggestion bar, and I watched it. There must be a better way to hype these things, right? Anyway, The Ritual is a well-done horror movie that capitalizes on the natural spookiness of camping and the woods. I don’t know if you are a camper, but I am. For years I worked a job that had me camping for a good portion of the year as I maintained trails in a National Forest. I got quite used to camping in the backcountry, but the thought never left some primordial part of my brain, “What if something was out there?” The Ritual is very good at capitalizing on this fear of the dark, quiet, forest primeval. It’s the best thing that this movie has going for it – it’s also what makes me a little angry at The Ritual. I enjoy camping – I don’t want potential campers to be too scared to miss the greatness of the outdoors. Before I launch into the review, I want to use The Ritual as an example of a trend I’ve come to expect in horror movies – predictable titling. Horror movie titles have devolved a bit from something interesting like Friday The 13th, or A Nightmare on Elm Street to something extremely cookie-cutter-ish: The Ritual The Strangers The Conjuring The Wailing The Ring The Grudge Do you see a through-line here? Just something that has been niggling at me. Bring back the interesting titles. The one-word titles and the “The” titles are effective but played out. Back to The Ritual review! Quick Summary of The Ritual The Ritual starts off with some old college friends who are having a night out on the town in England (their home). As they leave the bar, two of the five head into a liquor store to grab something to make night-caps with and find themselves in the midst of a robbery. Our protagonist, Luke (Rafe Spall) hides while his friend is beaten brutally and killed for not producing his wedding ring. Fast forward a year. The four remaining friends, Luke, Phil (Arsher Ali), Hutch (Robert James-Collier), and Dom (Sam Troughton) decide to go on the hike that their dead pal would have wanted to go on with them – the Kings Trail in Sweden. As they head down the trail, Dom sprains his leg in a frighteningly realistic portrayal of the kind of dumb movement it takes to sprain your leg. The group argues and squabbles until they decide that going off-trail and cutting through the forest would be faster than, you know, being smart and staying on the trail. Once they enter the forest, things break down. It’s a scary forest. It’s got plenty of shots over overly-dense trees with something moving ever so slightly in the distance. It’s got abandoned cabins and all sorts of effective tropes. Throughout The Ritual, Luke is plagued by vivid waking dreams where he is forced to relive the fearful night where his friend was killed, and he stood by doing nothing. My Rating for The Ritual 7/10 This is on the low side of the seven spectra. It is a serviceable horror movie and has a lot going for it regarding production and acting. The script and character development are a bit clunky at times. The four friends argue so much that it prevents any real introspection or interesting character developments from taking place. However, I give The Ritual some leeway in this script and character development department because the panic that would be present in the circumstances that it places these four guys in could easily produce these, somewhat bothersome yelling matches. Spoilers for The Ritual This movie will totally cut it for a fun night of terror.
Nov 28, 2018
Hereditary Review
If you want to watch Hereditary, please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. If you haven’t seen Hereditary, and you are reading this, STOP! Watch the movie. It's available to stream on Amazon. I don’t want to argue about this, go now, watch it. Here is the trailer: You should go into this movie knowing nothing about it. I say this with certainty because I went in to see Hereditary without knowing a darn thing about it, and it was a transcendent experience. I didn’t know it was a horror movie; I didn’t know it was about interpersonal relationships, I didn’t know anything. That’s a slight lie; I knew that the movie had a very disturbing scene that polarized viewers and made many walk out of movie theaters. Ari Aster, the director, has made a masterpiece. I go into most movies knowing almost nothing about them. I don’t seek out trailers. I don’t look for release dates, which has had to change a little bit given the launch of this site and the podcast. I went into this movie knowing nothing, and it made for the wildest ride I could have possibly imagined. The build in tension, the crumbling family relationships, the fact that you can see and understand every major character’s point of view even though they are wildly conflicting – this movie is a high water mark in horror and for cinema in general. My Rating 10/10 Hereditary will be so uncomfortable for some that they will generally find it distasteful. This is not a jump scare horror movie. This is an Exorcist, a Rosemary’s Baby, a Psycho. Spoilers There is so much to this movie that one watching isn’t enough. Everything about Hereditary is intentional and of the highest quality. The writing, the characters, the acting, the sets, the tension – it’s all great. The more I watch it, the more I realize how rich the world that they have crafted is and how it turns Hereditary into an experience instead of just another movie. I’m not going to go in-depth with the spoilers here because it just wouldn’t do the movie justice. There is a version of this story that I think would make a powerful novel, but so much of the integral parts of this movie are based on visual keys and clues that I think that film is where this story was meant to be. If you want spoilers on this movie, listen to our podcast, we will be diving deep on this one. The story is centered around Annie (Toni Collette), her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), son Peter (Alex Wolff), and daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro). It starts following the death of Annie’s mother, who as it turns out was controlling and terrible to her family. Toni Collette is a tour de force in this movie. Her acting is so impressive, her emotions so raw that you really can’t help but empathize with her even when she is clearly circling the drain and moving toward a mental break. There are two reasons Hereditary is so effective the first of which is it primarily focuses on a normal family unit, who thanks to circumstances beyond there control, is thrown into extreme strife. Everyone has faced familial issues, but the ones in this movie are your worst nightmare – the things you hope never to have to experience. The second reason Hereditary is so effective is that despite that fact that each family member is essentially pitted against the others, you can see all of their points of view very clearly. As a viewer, you understand and empathize with every family member in this movie. You have experienced every niggling bit of anger, guilt, love, and miscommunication that Hereditary throws at you. You’ve been the guilty son or daughter, you’ve worried about your kids or family members, you’ve hated them at times and felt the guilt that hatred brings. As a horror movie, Hereditary starts out as a single note of dread in an echo chamber – slowly, the note builds in volume and is joined by more notes until you are overwhelmed. If the title weren’t “Hereditary,
Nov 21, 2018
Overlord Review
If you want to watch Overlord, please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon linkto help us support the podcast. Overlord was fun, very loud, and not to be taken too seriously. Overlord is a fun action-horror movie with intense emphasis on disturbing body horror and super stereotypical Nazi bad guys. It’s got everything you need for an action movie - incredible sound, crazy intense physical fights, gun battles, chase scenes, you name it. It also has plenty of disturbing imagery that works well and makes you say, “Boy, those Germans sure were mean dudes!” All the elements to make this a “fun horror movie,” are present. Overlord provided me with all my favorite things - WWII, Nazi killing, fun horror, drugs, and a decently tight script. Overlord is a movie about a few American paratroopers in WWII dropped behind enemy lines in France. Their mission is to destroy a radio tower in a church that has been occupied by the Germans and converted into a radio tower, and much more. The main character is named Boyce, played by Jovan Adepo, who is English. His superior is named Ford; I’m sorry I don’t remember the rank. Ford is played by the dreamy Wyatt Russell. They are joined by the most stereotypical set of WWII companions that you can imagine, including Tibbet - the most NY Italian American I’ve ever seen. Tibbet is played by John Magaro. Eventually, they bump into the sexiest French girl I’ve ever seen, Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) who helps them in their journeys to kill Nazi’s and do drugs. Overlord is Produced by J.J. Abrams, and it feels like it. It was directed by Julius Avery, who is relatively unknown. Rating 7/10 Spoilers This movie starts with one of the most intense action sequences I’ve ever seen. The plane trip to the drop zone the night before D-Day, which quickly turns into a fight for life. I can honestly say that I haven’t seen such an intense action sequence in movie theaters since Saving Private Ryan. Overlord is a great movie to see in theaters because of how incredibly loud and violent it is. Everything about this film screams, “great theater experience.” Head to a theater with a confirmed great sound system to get the full experience. The good portion of the movie is spent inside Chloe’s house where her suspiciously sick aunt and cute little brother live. In this house, we learn of Chloe’s rape relationship with a Nazi SS leader, Wafner (Pilou Asbaek). We also learn about how deep the evil of Nazis run when the little boy rolls his baseball to a Nazi soldier. The soldier picks up the ball, sneers, and hocks a big loogy on it before throwing it back to the kid. What an inhuman monster! This brings up an interesting observation – we all hate Nazis. They are bad. Overlord gives us a look, although maybe a slightly exaggerated one, at the thing we should hate. Intolerance and hatred incarnate. Maybe Overlord gives us something to unite under, a vision of what we should strive not to be. Plus, Overlord slaughter’s Nazis and zombie Nazis in massive quantities, so there’s that. As our American protagonists fight their way to the church, they learn about fiendish experiments that the Nazis have been conducting on the dead, bringing them back to life with some sort of drug they have been extracting from underneath the hallowed ground of the church. Eventually, they get their hands on the drug, run some experiments of their own, and find out that it brings the dead back to life and makes a living into superhumans. Is Overlord Worth Seeing? If you enjoyed Wolfenstein in any capacity, you would like this movie. If you love action, this is a great movie. If you are looking for lots of body horror, this is your thing. If you are looking for a deep, think piece, this isn’t your deal. If you want historical accuracy, this probably should be avoided. If you have a killer sound setup at home, you must test it out with Overlord.
Nov 14, 2018
Suspiria (2018) Review
Intro - Trailer - Synopsis - Review - Score - Discussion - Spoilers - Final Recommendations - Taglines - Horror Movie News - Outro - If you want to watch Suspiria (2018), please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. We went and saw Suspiria, and there is a lot to unpack with this one... Suspiria takes place in the politically tumultuous 1977’s Berlin and follows a young woman, Susie Bannion, played by Dakota Johnson, seeking out her dream to dance in the famed Tanz Dance Academy under her idol Madame Blanc, played by Tilda Swinton. Not everything is right in the dance academy. The movie opens with a frantic and distressed dancer Patricia, played by Chloe Grace Moretz, visiting her psychiatrist, Dr. Josef Klemperer, played by...Lutz Ebersdorf (We’ll get to him later). Patricia’s frantic and panicked statements about the academy come off as schizophrenic and delusional to Dr. Klemperer, but are an omen of things to come. We find out that the dance studio is undergoing a crisis of leadership as the company is split between having the unseen founder, Helena Markos, continue as the president (?) or Madame Blanc, the artistic director. As Susie gets integrated into the dance studio and quickly ascends to the principal dancer, Dr. Klemperer and another dancer named Sara, played by Mia Goth investigate what is going on at Tanz Dance Academy. This is undeniably a good movie, but depending on your tastes and comfort level, it might not be worth seeing. David was HIGHLY disturbed by this movie. The film deals with many different concepts at once, and features many concurrent protagonists, so there is a lot going on at the same time. At 2 hours and 32 minutes, there is plenty of time to explore the characters and themes, but I still came away with questions about what exactly I just witnessed. While trying to navigate the labyrinthian plot, the viewer is exposed to some of the most disturbing body horror in recent memory. The film is very dark, paranoid, and nihilistic. The acting is superb, and fills in the gaps of the script, that really doesn’t do you a lot of favors in spelling out what is going on. It is a very effective film and should stick with you and give you plenty to talk about with your friends. The production design and music are very strong in this movie, even though they may disappoint fans of the original 1977 Suspiria. The production design reminded me of the "Cheer up Charlie" part of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The music is sparse but matches wonderfully with the movie. The score is the first by Thom Yorke of Radiohead, who now joins bandmates Johnny Greenwood and Phil Selway as film composers. I may be biased because Radiohead is my favorite band, but I think the music is a great match for the visuals. Rating 8/10 Spoilers One of the first things to call out, and this isn't really a spoiler about the movie, but more a spoiler about the production: Tilda Swinton Plays 3 roles in this movie. Dr. Klemperer is credited as being played by Lutz Ebersdorf. Ebersdorf roughly translates into "swine town" which is a play on Swinton. Swinton in interviews has stated that she did not play Dr Klemperer, but when questioned about whether she played Lutz Ebersdorf, she confirmed that she in fact did. The allusion to witchcraft in the first scene of the movie doesn't take very long to be confirmed in the movie. We see that there are supernatural forces at play in the Tanz Dance Academy, and from appearances, Susie Bannion is all on board. Like I said before, the body horror in this film is intense. Early on in the film, as Susie is volunteering to dance the lead in the company, the dancer that she is replacing is meanwhile trapped in a mirrored dance room and tossed about by an unseen force. Tossed about is putting it lightly. I've seen McDonalds wrappers treated with more respect than this poor girl.
Nov 07, 2018
The Horrific Beginnings of Horror Movie Talk
You wanted to know a bit more about your Horror Movie Talk hosts, David Day and Bryce Hanson, so here it is. First of all, we love horror movies – but why we love them is important. In this episode, we delve into what drove us to our horror movie addictions, share some of our horror tastes, and our top five favorite horror movies. Happy Halloween 2018, be safe and have fun! What Got David Into Horror Movies? As a kid, I lead a fairly sheltered life, especially when it came to what I got to watch. I remember begging my mother to let me see Jurassic Park in the 2nd grade because I always loved dinosaurs. I saw it in theaters, on opening night with a friend and it blew my mind. I was instantly hooked. The terror in that movie for a sheltered 2nd grader was high, and I loved it. I remember waking up early quite a bit when I was very young and catching some messed up movies at 4 am on some subscription channel. One of those movies was Frankenhooker, which did a number on me. Frankenhooker had sex, violence, nudity, profanity, drug use, lewd and lascivious acts, you name it. I still carry the scars that Frankenhooker gave me. Watching it now, it’s mostly a shocking comedy, but the damage has been done. I found myself bored quite often and things like horror movies, sci-fi, and fantasy made life a little less common. Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, along with The Muppets were always in high demand in my house as a kid, and gave me a strong love for practical effects, as well as puppetry. David’s Horror Movie Taste I love tension and suspense. I like movies that build tension and dread steadily throughout the movie. The more dread, the better. Psychological horror and supernatural horror work well for me. I don’t usually love slashers. Something about knowing the cadence of the movie before I start makes it markedly less enjoyable for me. David’s Top 5 Horror Movies In no particular order, my top five favorite horror movies are: The Witch: A family in 1630’s America is cast out of their community and left to fend for themselves on the outskirts of the forest primeval with only their belief in God to protect them. As it happens, God does not have the power to save them, and it’s dreadfully horrifying. This is a perfect horror movie in every way. The suspense, the acting, casting, concept, execution – flawless. Hereditary: It just doesn’t get much more intense than this. I’ve never been nailed to my seat like I was during this movie. Prepare to care deeply about a family that is put to the ultimate test. Don’t learn anything about this movie, just watch it. This has replaced There Will Be Blood as my favorite movie of all time. Greif, terror, disbelief, tension, perversion – it’s all here. *click* Alien: This movie could have been made yesterday, that’s how well it works and how good it looks. Alien is a quintessential horror classic that deserves every bit of praise that it gets. It’s isolating, quiet, loud, completely alien in every way. This movie never gets old and will always be effective. If you ever find yourself in an argument where someone suggests that CGI is better than practical effects, show them, Alien. John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) plays on human psychology in a way that few movies do. Pair that with the most impressive practical effects ever, and you have a long-standing classic movie. Kurt Russell, playing a man’s man in Antarctica pouring whiskey on a chess computer? Hell yeah! Paranormal Activity (the whole franchise): This works so well for me that I had to include it. I dare you to watch that trailer and not get chills! This franchise is great because it does so much with so little. There is nothing scarier than having a demon attach itself to you and follow you wherever you go. Don’t believe me? Watch Paranormal Activity! What Got Bryce Into Horror Movies? I also grew up in a relatively sheltered situation. I grew up Mormon,
Nov 01, 2018
Halloween (1978) Review
If you want to watch Halloween (1978), please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. John Carpenter’s original Halloween released in 1978 is a pillar of the horror movie genre. Halloween helped to pave the way for slashers and created tropes and techniques that are still used to this day to great effect. When it comes to fun, seasonal horror movies, you can’t do much better than this. Today Halloween still stands up on its own but benefits greatly from a form of nostalgia that I have a great deal of respect for. Halloween focuses on three main characters – Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) who is the virgin teen in distress, Loomis (Donald Pleasence) who is The Shape’s head doctor, and of course, Mike Meyers AKA The Shape (played by seven different actors). By today’s standards this movie is quite slow-paced, but if you feel like you can trade in the pacing for nostalgia and sleepy Midwest towns with old-fashioned values, you probably won’t regret it. I had not seen this movie in ages, so when I learned that The Kiggins Theater in Vancouver, WA was having a showing of it the Friday before halloween, I knew we had to go. Seeing this on the big screen with a bunch of horror movie fans was the best part of this movie for me so that I may be a little drunk on the ambiance, but I will try not to let it taint my review. My Rating 8/10 If you haven’t seen Halloween (1978), you really should. It’s just good, old-fashioned, stabbing the way your mom use to serve it up. This is the movie that created the stamp that we commonly refer to today as slashers. If you have seen a slasher, it was influenced by this, and the spoilers section probably won’t be too much of a spoiler after all. I like to think about the audience in 1978 who paid to see this at the theater and consider what kind of experience they probably had. Were there movies like this previously? Yes, kind of – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and The Hills Have Eyes (1977) were similar in style but not nearly so successful as Halloween. The musical score is iconic and created a style unique to horror movies where the audio track truly became part of the scares. Spoilers The movie starts with the camera in the perspective of a young (six years old?) Mike Meyers stalking around the outside of his own house, peeping on his sister and her boyfriend as they make out on the couch. As things get hot an heavy, the couple decides to take things upstairs, and Mike heads into the house, grabbing a gigantic kitchen knife on his way. A laughably short amount of time passes before the boyfriend, now done with his romantic endeavors, decides to head home, walking by a hiding Michael on his way out the front door. Michael heads upstairs, dons a mask, and proceeds to stab his sister to death brutally. The intro ends with Michael in the front yard holding the knife as his parents come home to find him with a cold look of bewilderment. The Movie skips forward in time 15 years to October 30th, 1978 when Dr. Loomis is driving to the mental hospital to visit his pet project, Michael. It’s a dark and stormy night, and upon arriving at the hospital gates, Loomis and his passenger realize that the mental patients have flown the coop. Mental patients are wandering through the stormy night, and as Loomis gets out of the car to check the gate, Michael attacks his female companion, steals the car and drives off into the night. At this point, we join Laurie in her hometown or Haddonfield, which just-so-happens to be the town where Michael grew up. Laurie is a high school aged girl who doesn’t do very well with the boys but babysit quite a bit. She does all the things teenagers tend to do with her girlfriends, smoke pot, drink and carve pumpkins on Halloween. Michael enters sleepy little Haddonfield with Loomis hot on his trail and proceeds with his killing spree. Most of the victims are nude, near nude,
Oct 31, 2018
Halloween (2018) Review
Intro - Trailer - Synopsis - Review - Score - Discussion - Spoilers - Final Recommendations - Taglines - Horror Movie News - Outro - If you want to watch Halloween (2018) please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. This weekend we went and saw Halloween, and maintains its place as the archetypal slasher movie. It is in theaters now. Here is the trailer: Halloween is the direct sequel to the original Halloween released in 1978 that ignores the story lines and continuity of the 9 other sequels and/or reboots. There have been so many Halloweens, that this is the third one called, just, Halloween. This round is helmed by David Gordon Green who wrote it with Danny McBride. Yes, that Danny McBride. This film does the franchise proud and plays to all the strengths of the original. If you haven’t seen any of the Halloween movies, like me, you don’t have to worry about catching up. This is the simplest form of the slasher: A dude in a mask that just wants to kill people. The dude is Michael Myers who is treated with the utmost morbid reverence by two journalists (podcasters ala Serial) in the opening sequence seeking out answers to the killing spree that Myers went on 40 years ago. Several times i throughout the movie it is underlined that we have no clue as to what Michael Myers motivation for killing is, and that is what makes him truly terrifying. Jamie Lee Curtis of course reprises her role as Laurie Strode, this time 40 years older and ready to brandish a stockpile of guns to kill Michael before he kills her. Along for the ride are her daughter Karen played by Judy Greer and her Granddaughter Allyson played by the newcomer Andy Matichak. This was a high quality slasher that lives up to the spirit of the original. There is no gimmickry, nothing is too over the top. It’s just the slow pursuit of a psychopath with a knife. You truly feel that no one is safe. As with most other slashers, it is pretty easy to predict killings before they happen if you are inoculated to slashers. However, there are some great sequences that toy with your expectations, and some genuinely great gore. It’s not all surface level, there is tasteful and believable character development of Laurie Strode in regards to the fallout from her trauma and PTSD. In short, the writers and director, understand what works about the Halloween franchise, and use it to the maximum effect. Rating 9/10 This is a great movie. Probably one of the best slashers that I have seen. I highly recommend seeing it this Halloween season. Spoilers David and I agree that it was a relief that this film didn't go "full torture porn". There was death and gore, but it didn't go for the cheep shock value. There was a scene early on after Myers has escaped jail, that there is a baby crying in the house. The movie plays with your dread as Michael goes towards the sound, but ultimately ignores and passes the crib, leaving the house. This is not to say that there is no gore in the movie. There is a head stomping scene, which is tantamount to a head explosion. Also, Michael creates, what I can only describe as Cop-O-Lanterns. For the most part it's just straight up stabbing/impalement/and beating deaths throughout the movie. One of the tensest moments is when Laurie's granddaughter is stuck in the backseat of a police truck with a knocked out Michael Myers. It is a very effective moment, since we all know that Michael Myers isn't going to be asleep for long. The film ends with Michael trapped in a burning house with no escape. But looking at the box office numbers, makes me think that Michael Myers might have survived... If you want to watch this movie please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. Plugs If you are in the Portland/Vancouver metro area, come to the local screening of the original Hallow...
Oct 24, 2018
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich Review
If you want to watch Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. Synopsis of Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a reboot of one of the most popular cult classic horror franchises in the past 30 years, and it’s fun for all the right reasons. It is irreverent, funny, fun, completely gratuitous and extremely violent. If you are new to the series, it doesn’t do a fabulous job of introducing you to the puppets, but it does a great job of explaining the premise of the puppet master, Andre Toulon, played by Udo Kier. Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich has enough familiar faces to make you feel at home, and the cast you (probably) don’t recognize do a wonderful job of giving admirable performances. Thomas Lennon (Lt. Dangle from Reno 911) plays Edgar, the main antagonist who is a recent divorcee and comic book creator who has fallen on tough times and is living with his parents until he can sort his life out. Nelson Franklin plays Markowitz, Edgar's buddy and employer at a local comic shop, provides most of the comedic relief throughout the movie. Jenny Pellicer plays Ashley, Edgar’s new girlfriend. Edgar finds a puppet in his parent’s house and quickly realizes that it was created by the infamous Andre Toulon, a Nazi who also happened to be a skilled puppet maker. He finds out that there is going to be an auction of Andre’s puppets and decides he could use the money, so he takes a trip to the hotel where the auction is taking place. Coincidentally this hotel is near to the puppet master’s residence, and the gathering of puppet collectors in this hotel is the perfect place for the second Holocaust. Horror movie veteran Barbara Crampton is a retired cop who introduces us to the history behind the puppet master, you will also probably recognize Charlyne Yi, who plays Nerissa, a hotel restaurant employee who has a decent role. My Rating 7/10 Spoilers I saw seven boobs in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich. That sentence tells you more than you need to know to evaluate whether or not this movie is for you. It is completely inappropriate, and that’s what makes it fun. Nazi puppets who are bent on killing Jews, blacks and homosexuals are the antagonists who provide extremely creative and gory deaths to anyone who gets in their way. Here is a list of completely insane deaths that took place in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich: A Jewish couple was burned to death while mocking their puppet, calling it a Nazi souvenir that was meant to remind them of Hitler’s failed Reich. A pregnant woman suffered, what I will call, an abortion with extreme prejudice. A dude was decapitated while taking a leak and ended up urinating on his head in the toilet bowl. One young man was completely disemboweled while chatting with his mom on the phone. One guy had his back torn open, a tiny “Junior Fuhrer” climbed into him and controlled him as one would control a puppet. This puppet looks like a baby Adolf Hitler. This movie reminded me of something Mel Brooks said during an interview. "I said: Listen, get on a soapbox with Hitler, you're gonna lose — he was a great orator. However, if you can make fun of him, if you can have people laugh at him, you win." Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich takes everything sacred and rips it to shreds. If you are offended by anything, this will do a damn good job of finding what it is and trying to bother you, if not make you quite upset. If you can sit back and stop taking everything so seriously, suddenly all those things have no power over you anymore. I don’t want to get too far into a life lesson while writing a review about the 13th Puppet Master installment, but it’s as good a time as any to say, chill out and have fun. To be fair, this movie knew me way too well and might have scored a few extra points by having comic books feature...
Oct 17, 2018
Spiral Review and Interview with Robin Block from In Search of Darkness
If you want to watch Spiral, please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. Spiral is an independent horror film that we got an advance screener for. The filmmaker for Spiral reached out to us on Facebook and invited us to review the movie. This made us feel like hotshots, so of course we’re going to do it. It was… interesting Here’s the Trailer. Spiral is being released through iTunes and Amazon on October 16th. They are also holding a premiere at Arclight Hollywood on that same day. Synopsis of Spiral A group of college friends reunite in small town Iowa for a wild bachelor party that goes off the rails and results in a missing Groom. This film is made completely outside of the studio system by writer/director Joe Clarke. The film stars a bunch of young unknown actors, some of which are much much prettier than I would expect in an independent movie. I’m talking about the men mostly. Ellis, played by Anthony Stratton arrives at a bachelor party, still reeling from the loss of a girlfriend. His comedian friend Corey, played by Tyler Thirnbeck, is getting married and all the old college buddies are invited. This includes Will, played by Hays McEachern, who was the bro that stole Ellis’ girl. They have a rager of a bachelor party, and Ellis quickly realizes that these friends are nothing like they were in college. As always one morning at the strip club turns into chasing a legless man through a cornfield in Iowa...and before you know it night has fallen along with that impending sense of existential dread...THEN you know what happens next...right....you see Abraham Lincoln lit by an oil lamp in the woods...and you know its just downhill from there. Spiral is a very ambitious movie, that while beautifully shot, is a hot hot mess. First half of the movie is great and sets up the characters and the situation very well. The last half drags on and made me ask “can we get to the point?” It’s an avant garde film that really doesn’t give you enough to go off of to understand what the point/statement actually is. It ends up being too ambitious for the writer and, unfortunately, it isn’t very enjoyable. It’s like The Hangover 3 mixed with Donnie Darko 2, and not in a good way. My Rating of Spiral 2/10 Spoilers: The Rundown Spiral begins with some trippy scene with some people talking backwards in gas masks, and then quickly turns into a conventional Bachelor party movie, before finally turning back into a trippy multi-dimensional time-warp that just devolves into anarchy. It's hard to give any spoilers for this movie, because, honestly, I'm not sure what really happened in the movie after the night of the party. What I could tell was that the villain (one of the villains?) turns out to be an older version of Will, and that there was some kind of multi-dimensional time-warp in a corn field. Is Spiral Worth Watching? I would suggest you be heavily intoxicated on any viewing of this film. Outside a some very curious film students or film professors, I can't imagine enjoying this sober. If you want to watch this movie please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. Interview with Robin Block, Executive Producer of In Search of Darkness Robin Block has been working in media and content creation for his entire career. Before founding CreatorVC, He ran an award-winning production company and a thriving thought-leadership business. He’s also produced long-form documentaries for major broadcasters including BBC, Channel 4 and Discovery, as well as having his own DVD label. Robin started CreatorVC because he saw an opportunity to serve special interest audiences and bring together the right people to make great ideas happen.” We chatted with Robin over Skype about his latest project: In Search of Darkness.
Oct 10, 2018
Hellfest Review
Hell Fest is a traveling horror night that rolls into town and a group of friends get VIP passes to go and enjoy the spooks. Think of it as a haunted house that covers an entire theme park. Little do they know that hidden among the park employees is a masked killer that picks off visitors that aren’t scared. Hell Fest is Directed by Gregory Plotkin, and I feel he took a huge Plotkin on the slasher genre. Plotkin has spent most of his career as an editor, most notably Second assistant editor on Weekend at Bernies 2, as well as Get Out, and Paranormal Activities 2-5. His only other feature length film directing credit is Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. It stars Amy Forsyth as Natalie, the protagonist returning home from school to visit her grade school BFF Brooke played by the distractingly beautiful Reign Edwards. Along for the ride and generally being an annoying presence is Taylor played by Bex Taylor-Klaus. Each one has an arbitrary boyfriend to accompany them to the park that might as well be nameless for all the character development that they get. Hell Fest can be found in theaters now. The film suffers from terrible dialogue and annoyingly vapid characters. The cast overacts like they are in a Disney channel show, to the point where I actually welcomed their deaths. The setups for the murders are unbelievable even for horror standards, and waste opportunities to take advantage of the unique premise. There are a few good death scenes, but on the whole it falls flat. My Rating 4/10 I originally gave it a 3, but because it had a head explosion, it gets an extra point. Spoilers: The Rundown My main gripe with Hell Fest is that there is an inherent flaw in some of the death scenes. The park is stuffed to the gills with visitors and employees. The characters even need a VIP pass to skip the massive lines. Even with the VIP pass, there are lines. EXCEPT when the killer is chasing them! At one point they are running away from the killer, but get distracted by the spoopy scares from the maze. They take a leisurely 10 seconds to pause and look at the room. There is no animatronic that can compete with the actual possibility of murder. Even when they get to a room with a bunch of reaching out hands, they freak out instead of, you know...asking for help from the people attached to those reaching hands. There could have been several ways that the writers or director could have addressed these chase scenes creatively. Just a few off of the top of my head: The park is in cahoots, and is an accomplice to the murderer The park employees hear the screams, but decide among themselves that it is just a normal patron being scaredThe killer could have killed any employee trying to help themOne of the park employees reaches out to help the girls, but it ends up being the killer without the mask. The capper to the movie is a lame and predictable epilogue that for some reason tries for one last scare the second after it undercuts the premise. The killer goes home to a generic suburban home and hangs up his mask before going inside and hugging his daughter. For some reason the director was trying to make it seem like the girl was in danger, but… we are already shown that he lives there. Is Hell Fest Worth Watching? I can't recommend seeing Hell Fest in theaters, but it might be worth watching at home when it gets to Netflix. Even then, you will probably enjoy making fun of it with friends more than actually watching it for scares. Tell us what you think about Hell Fest Did you see Hell Fest? What did you think? Have you ever seen a movie that had a distractingly implausible premise for getting trapped by a killer? Leave your comments below. Also, don't forget to subscribe and review us on Apple Podcasts. Horror Movie Talk Episode 9: Hell Fest Review Outline Intro/Trailer Synopsis 6:06 Score 9:06 Thoughts on the film 11:32 First "Bryce Called It" 15:30 Spoilers 26:26
Oct 03, 2018
The Evil Within Review
Intro/Trailer Synopsis Score Spoilers/The Breakdown Bryce Called It Taglines Outro If you want to watch The Evil Within, please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. The Evil Within is the first and only film from writer, director Andrew Getty. The film follows a mentally handicapped thirty year-old man named Dennis (Frederick Koehler), and tangentially, his older brother John (Sean Patrick Flanery). Dennis is haunted by his dreams, where a nefarious presence played by Michael Berryman, seeks to torture and ultimately possess him. The nightmares quickly become reality as the evil presence communicates to Dennis in his waking hours through his reflection in a creepy antique mirror that his brother John has thrust upon him. His manipulative reflection quickly instructs the befuddled protagonist to commit heinous acts to escape from his nightmares and show the world he is smarter than they think. David found this movie by browsing the horror section of Amazon Prime Video. Watching the trailer convinced me that this movie was going to be an entertaining train wreck; my favorite kind of train wreck. I wasn't that far off. The film suffers quite a bit from the terrible and, at times, pretentious script. However, there are some really great and disturbing moments, and commendable acting throughout. The highlights of the film are the many scenes with an impressive mixture of practical and visual effects. For example, the opening nightmare sequence features the evil presence unzipping Dennis' back and climbing into his body. This is done with a mixture of stop-motion and makeup that is truly disturbing in a way that CGI and jump scares just can't touch. Also, lots of camera movements and optical effects are pulled off in a way that shows the first-time filmmaker had flashes of genius. Frederick Koehler did really well with his portrayal of the mentally handicapped protagonist. He adhered to Tropic Thunder's admonition to "never go full retard". The Gollumic switch between Dennis' voice and that of Legion in the mirror is creepy and well acted. Michael Berryman, the perennial horror favorite due to his unique appearance is used sparingly, but to good effect throughout the film. You might recognize him from The Hills Have Eyes or One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. The scenes with Sean Patrick Flanery (Powder, Boondock Saints) and Dina Meyer (Saw, Starship Troopers) were probably the worst parts of the movie. The dialogue-driven subplot of John and Lydia's relationship suffers most from the weak and, at times, confusing script. The film in these scenes steps into The Room territory. As with the Room, even these scenes can be entertaining, if only because of the ham-handed exposition mixed with the non-sequitur word vomit. Overall, the good balances with the bad. There is enough going on visually that is genuinely interesting and creepy that you can overlook the sins of its storytelling. My Rating 5/10 Spoilers: The Rundown The film opens with a dream sequence where a sesquipedalian narrator, Dennis, opines about the nature of dreams, storytelling, and reality. The David Lynchian visuals lead to the appearance of the "Cadaver" that attacks the Dennis and literally climbs into his skin. When Dennis awakes, it is revealed that unlike the wordy narrator, in life, he is mentally handicapped. We are introduced to his brother John and Lydia as they all enjoy a picnic together. After the picnic and a visit to Dennis' crush at the ice cream store, John surprises Dennis with an antique mirror. John insists that the mirror "really ties the room together," but Dennis is very upset that John moved his belongings to get it in his room. Soon, Dennis' reflection starts talking to him and compels him to begin killing. First, Dennis kills small animals, and then eventually is convinced to kill children and adults.
Sep 26, 2018
The Predator Review
Intro Trailer/Synopsis Score Spoilers Taglines Horror Movie News It Came From Social Media Outro If you want to watch The Predator, please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. When was the last time that you had a total blast watching a movie? For me it was this weekend at The Predator. This movie is a blast from start to finish. While not technically a horror movie, The Predator is tied to a “horror/action/sci-fi” franchise that is subsequently tied to the Alien franchise. If you have seen any of the other movies in the franchise, you know you get lots of action, some horror elements, and lots of sci-fi elements whenever you sit down to watch one of these titles. Well, The Predator adds comedy into the mix. I wasn’t sure what direction they were going to go with this movie, it could easily have been scarier, but I’m glad that they made it what it is, which is hilarious, action-packed, and completely irreverent. The Predator hearkens back to the action movies of the early 90’s, definitely pulling from its Predator and Predator 2 roots for its sense of humor and it’s snark. This movie even pulls the music from its predecessors, and it feels great! Quick Summary of The Predator The Predator is set in the current day and follows our elite sniper protagonist Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) as he is hunted by and as he hunts the predator and the US Government. McKenna makes first contact with the Predator and seems to be a worthy opponent. The US Government wants to get their hands on the predator, and all of it’s sweet sweet technology, and they obviously don’t want any witnesses, aka loose ends like McKenna hanging around. The Govt. briefly employs the help of biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) who is infatuated with what she see’s to be the most fascinating biological specimens ever. Eventually McKenna and Casey team up with an unlikely band of armed forces men who need some serious psychological help which include Nebraska Williams (Moonlight’s Trevante Rhodes) and Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key) to fight against the US Government, and two factions of warring predators who arrive on earth at roughly the same time. My Rating for The Predator 8/10 While this is not technically a horror movie, it does prominently feature monsters, has plenty of intense gore, and is part of a franchise that has horror elements. If you are looking for scares or spookiness, this isn’t on the menu. If you are looking for a seriously great time and some gut-laughs, check it out. Spoilers for The Predator This movie understood what it was from start to finish and it made the most out of all of it. It had blatant product placement, gratuitous violence, completely inappropriate jokes, and lots of handicapped people who were made fun of. The nitty-gritty of the plot was a predator crash-landed on earth to help humans combat another, much larger predator who is a collector of sorts. What kind of collector, you ask? The genetic kind. The big boy predator is part of a clan that concerns itself with collecting genetic traits and genomes of all the bad-ass species throughout the universe – er, galaxy. Once it has a genetic trait, it seeks to alter it’s own genome, you know, for self-improvement reasons. McKenna and his unlikely crew of psychologically unstable veterans wage war on the big boy predator who has his sights set on McKenna’s child. McKenna’s kid is seen by the predator as genetically superior because he has a special mental abilities thanks to Asperger's syndrome. Is The Predator Worth Seeing? I’m a pretty hardcore predator fan. I enjoy the original movies and 2010’s Predators with Adrian Brody. I’ve read a lot of The Predator comics and one or two of the novels, and I love the Alien franchise and the nods the two give each other. Not a fan of AvP unless we are talking about the games.
Sep 19, 2018
The Nun Review
Intro Agenda Initial impressions and Trailer Synopsis Scores Spoilers and rundown Taglines Social Horror Movie News If you want to watch The Nun, please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. The Nun is set in 1952 at a Romanian convent is tormented by an evil presence. A tragedy involving a young nun gets the Vatican’s attention and they send in Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and tell him to take along a young novitiate Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) who “knows the territory”. When they arrive at the convent, they are met by a low-key Pepe Le Piu imitator named “Frenchie”. The biggest twist comes when we learn that Frenchie is actually… French Canadian! Actually, they find out that convent is super creepy and the superstitious townsfolk deem it cursed (spit). They are definitely not off. The convent is haunted by an ancient demon that comes in the form of a scary looking nun. As they investigate the history of the convent and the recent happenings, it is revealed that the situation is much more dire than originally suspected. The Nun is a good horror movie. There isn't anything truly exceptional about The Nun, but it executes the tropes of a haunting/demon story better than most. Like The Conjuring, it is a light, but very effective R-rated feature. The jump scares are there, but aren't overdone. The director Corin Hardy does an impressive job in this, only his Sophmore feature film. Written by James Wan, the script is tight, though at times bluntly expository. The main bit of background exposition was blatantly recorded in post production that it makes me wonder how it was done originally. The acting is fine, but takes a back seat to the creepy production design and effective editing. My Rating for The Nun 7/10 Spoilers The Nun is closely tied to The Conjuring 2 in that the main protagonist in both movies is the same demon: "Valak". If you're looking for an origin story of how the demon got into a creepy painting, not much is explained in The Nun itself. The Conjuring 2 explains that the demon uses imitation to obfuscate itself as the true villainous ghost. The Nun briefly touches on the fact that Valak chooses the form of a nun because, well, it's in a convent, and nuns trust nuns (?). Valak is given a backstory in a ham-handed and slightly jarring flashback. The convent was previously a castle owned by an evil duke that tried to summon Valak through witchcraft. Right as Valak was emerging from cracks in the ground in the form of Nickelodeon Gak, the heroic CATHOLIC CHURCH burst through the door and saves the day. The crusaders bursting in is right out of Monty Python's "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition" sketch. To continue the Monty Python references, they expel the demon by using a holy relic containing the blood of Christ that looks suspiciously like the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. Despite the noble efforts of the crusaders, the demon is later released because of a bombing run in WWII opened up the cracks in the floor, and Valak got out. In an odd twist, The Nun goes for a relatively happy ending despite the foreknowledge that Valak would later torment the Warrens in The Conjuring 2. At the end of The Nun, Sister Irene expels Valak with the same relic as the Crusaders, albeit much more unceremoniously. Then we are shown that Frenchie was actually marked by the demon, thus serving as the connecting tissue between the two movies. Is The Nun Worth Seeing? I would recommend seeing it in the theater since much of the enjoyment from viewing it comes from the audience reaction. It is a great example of a general audience horror movie. The exception being the slightly higher production value because of it's connection to The Conjuring universe. If you're not too snooty about horror movies and liked the other Conjuring movies, than this is worth the ticket price. What Do You Think? Leave a Comment Below
Sep 12, 2018
The Little Stranger Review
The Little Stranger is a little known horror film that came out in 2018 that toes the line between murder mystery and horror movie. It is very English in it's sensibility and might remind you more of the Turn of the Screw or The Remains of the Day than The Conjuring - Intro - Hot public urination talk - Episode Agenda - Trailer and Synopsis - Quick Review and Score - Spoilers and Discussion - Who would like this? - Hot baby talk - Taglines - From The Facebook - Horror Movie News - Wrap-up and special thanks If you want to watch The Little Stranger, movie please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. If you love scary movies, but wish they were more like The Remains of the Day, then you might like The Little Stranger. It can be found in theaters right now. The Little Stranger is about Dr. Faraday (Domhnall Gleeson), an english country doctor that starts making calls at the estate of the wealthy Ayers family, Hundreds Hall. Think Downton Abbey, but sadder. Dr. Faraday has a history with the estate, as his mother used to work as a housemaid there. Nowadays, the estate a run-down shadow of its former self and is only inhabited by the eligible bachelorette, Caroline Ayres (Ruth Wilson), her horrifically battle scarred brother Roderick (Will Poulter), her mother played by Charlotte Rampling, and the lone housemaid Betty. But are they the only Ayers living there? We...slowly find out that the house is haunted sorta kinda, and then the movie ends. My Rating for The Little Stranger 4/10 It was a slow movie that could only be generously classified as about 5% horror movie. It’s slightly interesting because of the human drama, but the scares fall flat. Spoilers for The Little Stranger Expand for Spoilers There is a lot of ambiguity and subtlety in this movie. I walked away wondering if there was any supernatural occurrences whatsoever, and if all of the calamity could be just explained by surreptitious actions of Dr. Faraday and/or human error. The only thing that keeps me from definitively making that conclusion is that the spontaneous scratch marks that appear on Mrs. Ayers, seem to have no other explanation than supernatural phenomena. So it could either be one bad dude, or it could actually be the ghost of a dead Ayers child that creates all the havoc at Hundreds Hall. There is talk of poltergeists and a heavy emphasis on Dr. Faraday's covetousness and forwardness. The poltergeist could be just an extension of Dr. Faraday's sub-conscience, which is an idea alluded to in the script. I'm tempted to read the book that the film is based on to get a little more insight into the character of Dr. Faraday, but to be honest, the movie wasn't interesting enough for me to spend more time delving into the story. Needless to say, everyone dies because of some curse that befalls Hundreds Hall, and Dr. Faraday is seen in the epilogue wandering the halls staring off into the middle distance. The last shot is of Faraday as a child looking over the balcony that Caroline was pushed over. Does that mean he did it? Was Caroline's "It's you" referring to Faraday? I dunno, maybe. Is The Little Stranger Worth Seeing? I wouldn't recommend seeing it in the theater, but it would make a fine "Netflix and chill" movie. It's not a good horror movie, and it is only a middling drama. If you are the Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey, you might like it, but everyone else can probably find something better. https://youtu.be/rA9OPdojcuI Horror Movie Talk Episode 5: The Expand for full transcript this episode of horror movie talk brought to you by Costco meatballs I don't know maybe we should just do Costco meatballs and rice for when dinner comes around and you're barely more ambitious than sandwiches by Costco meatballs in the frozen aisle of Costco today hello and welcome to
Sep 05, 2018
The Meg Review
Intro Episode Outline Trailer and synopsis Rating Spoilers and discussion Taglines Bryce Called it Getting screwed by local government Outro If you want to watch The Meg, please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. The Meg is a run-of-the-mill, but well-executed monster movie starring Jason Statham and the sovereign nation of China. Jason Statham plays Jonus Taylor, an expert rescue diver who is retired after a tragically failed rescue, which Jonus blames on a giant fish or something (but no one believes him). He is brought out of retirement after another diving accident befalls his ex-wife who was researching the deepest, hidden depths of the ocean. Before her video feed cuts out, she says “Jonus was right!”. The big fish ends up being a megalodon, a giant shark, that they inadvertently lead to surface waters. From then on, it’s a paint by numbers monster movie that hits every beat you would expect it to. The Meg also stars a cast of disposable characters played by Bingbing Li, a Chinese actress you might have seen in Transformers Age of Extinction, Ruby Rose channeling Aeon Flux, Rainn Wilson phoning it in, and others. The Meg is an enjoyable movie if you don’t go in with lofty expectations for a movie about a giant shark that eats a bunch of people. It is the epitome of general audience popcorn fair, and an amusing spectacle. My Rating 5/10 It hits all the marks, the witty banter is slightly less cringy than most generic action movies, but there isn’t anything notable that makes it better than average. Spoilers There really isn't much to spoil here. The shark eats many people, but not the protagonist. They kill said shark. The end. The only notable aspect of the movie is how custom tailored it is for the Chinese audience. Several of the main characters are Chinese, Mandarin is spoken throughout, and the main set piece action sequence at the end is on a Chinese beach. The strategy has paid off though, The Meg has made one and a half times as much as the domestic box office. Is The Meg Worth Seeing? The Meg would be a great movie to watch on cable. It's not necessary to see it in theaters unless you are really into monster movies. It is a truly average popcorn movie that is tailored to mass appeal. The plot doesn't have a lot of "bite." All of the deaths are righteous or noble. In summary, This movie is great for middle-aged dads that like shark week and drinking beer. If you like dumb monster movies, then this will be a fine notch in your belt. If you want to watch this movie please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast.
Aug 24, 2018
Slender Man Movie Review
The hardest part about watching Slender Man, for me, is having to sit down and write about it now. Don’t get me wrong, the watching of the movie was not fun in any way, shape, or form. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the individual parts of this movie because there really weren’t any. It was one big confusing mess that director Sylvain White cobbled together from writing duo David Birke and Slender Man character creator Victor Surge. If you want to watch Slender Man, please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. This thing is rough. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySy8mcceTno Not redeemable, not enjoyable, not so bad that it’s good, just bad in the same way as when you realize you have explosive diarrhea - there is no good time for it, and you just wish it never happened. Slender Man (the character) was created in 2009 by Victor Surge and has been featured in thousands of creepypasta stories, videos, video games, and movies since his creation. He’s an abnormally tall looking humanoid figure who has elongated legs and arms, wears a suit, and who often shows up in the woods to torment or abduct kids. In 2014 there was a stabbing in Wisconsin where some pre-teen girls stabbed their peer 19 times in the woods to try to appease the fictional, woods-dwelling slenderest of men…they are both serving lengthy periods in mental health facilities for their heinous act. The victim survived. All this to say, Slender Man has taken on some pretty serious folklore and followings among the youth of America. This movie is rated PG-13 and aims to target to youth of America, and dear sweet jeebus help us all if this thing gets through to them. Not because I’m worried that they will commit horrible acts, but because if they liked this movie I would lose all faith in our future. My Rating 2/10 Spoilers: The Rundown There is nothing to be spoiled in this movie because most of it is impossible to follow. You would do much better to listen to the podcast for the rundown, but here it goes anyway. Here is every Slender Man appearance in the whole movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5RHzn1XpEU Four teenage girls learn about Slender Man. Knowing about Slender Man is enough to infect them with Slender Man-itis. He haunts their dreams, and causes them to see him everywhere. One by one they are picked off by this skinny boi until only one or two are left. They try to fight against him but his tall, thin frame is too much for them to resist – they all eventually die? I’m not sure what happened in this movie, honestly, I am still confused. How Slender Man Stacks Up It does not stack up. This movie takes being bad very seriously. There was no point where I was scared, except for about 15 minutes into it when I realize I had an hour and 15 to go. If you want a real scare involving Slender Man, look up some of the top tier creepypasta that has been written about him. Please, do not support this movie. May Slender Man take mercy on our souls for creating this abomination. Agree or disagree? Let us know! Episodes include Unfriended: Dark Web and The Devil’s Doorway. Check out our latest blog about how slashers killed horror and why good horror is on it's way back If you want to watch this movie please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast.
Aug 13, 2018
Unfriended: Dark Web Review
Unfriended: Dark Web is the sequel to the 2014 movie, Unfriended, and if you saw the first movie you might be bracing for impact – don’t. Dark Web is a great deal more enjoyable than the first movie, and only ports over the computer screen viewing format of Unfriended. If you want to watch Unfriended: Dark Web, please consider renting or purchasing the movie through this amazon link to help us support the podcast. https://youtu.be/4DJAWGXkvq8 There isn’t much else that ties this sequel to its predecessor, which is a good thing. Frankly, I’m not too sure why they chose to keep the series going instead of just starting over, but there you have it. Having seen the first movie, I was ready for a big letdown walking into the theater on the opening weekend. The setup and lead-in to Dark Web let me dangle and confirmed my worst fears, this was going to be a rehashing of the original. The acting and script seemed corny, and the movie relied mostly on the strange and slightly jarring format of watching someone use a computer. Stephen Susco, the same man that brought us the classic, The Grudge, brings us this, and I can't say that this is quite as iconic. If you are familiar with this format, it’s just as mentioned – watching someone use a computer. Imagine standing behind someone who is using a computer and watching their mouse drag slowly across the screen. Maybe the cursor sits for a little bit on a button or circles around a piece of dialog to emphasize it’s importance. This describes almost the entire movie. At first, it’s very distracting, it later becomes pretty easy to follow and is executed well. I could see the format being confusing enough to my parents for them to turn this movie off immediately. My Rating 6/10 Spoilers: The Rundown It starts with Matias, the protagonist, trying to login to a computer that he took from a cyber-café that he works at. The action starts with a group of friends meeting online over Skype for a long-distance game night. The protagonist, Mat and his deaf girlfriend, Amaya have several asides that point to relationship tension over his neglecting to learn sign language. While the game night ensues, Mat begins getting strange and alarming messages from a Facebook account that claims he stole the laptop he is using. Eventually, Mat finds some alarming videos on his stolen computer, videos that nod at things like rape, human trafficking, and human torture. He does his best not to get sucked into this world but ends up being entrapped by the owner of the computer and told that if he doesn’t keep up his end of a twisted bargain he, his girlfriend, and all his friends on Skype will be killed. Stuff happens, and it ramps into a sort of Final Destination style kill-fest with a pretty decent twist. To cap it all off, Unfriended: Dark Web was released to theaters with two different endings. There is no easy way to find out which theater has which ending, but I would suggest asking the employees which one they got – it could work! How Unfriended: Dark Web Stacks Up Once the action starts to kick in, and you realize that the antagonist in this movie is a real person who is willing to do horrible things to people in real life and not a supernatural killer like in the first movie, it really comes into its own. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lve29BQ69MM The acting pulled a fast one on me in the beginning, making me think that this was going to be a poorly acted, generic and forgettable horror movie, but all the actors gave an admirable performance when called upon to be believable. If continuity errors bother you tremendously, there will be plenty of spots in Unfriended: Dark Web that will niggle you. My suggestion would be to go in, suspend your disbelief, and have a good time. As far as I can tell, they were shooting for a PG-13 rating while making this but the darker concepts of human trafficking and torture, while not substantially present, were enough to push it to an R.
Jul 28, 2018
The Devil’s Doorway Review
This found footage movie focuses on one of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries, which you would think would provide enough basis for solid terror to be spooky on its own. As it turns out, The Devil’s Doorway is not terribly spooky, it’s not even spoopy, it just kind of is. If you want to watch The Devil's Doorway consider renting or purchasing the movie through this link to help us support the podcast. This movie focuses on two priests who are sent to investigate some reports of miracles that were made by those that inhabit this particular Magdalene Laundry, and they end up finding a demonically impregnated young woman who is imprisoned by some pretty questionable nuns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF6wtgdJ8B4&t=2s I was excited for this movie because usually, Catholic horror movies capitalize on all the weirdest in a long line of weird stuff that Catholicism offers us. You have everything from officially recognized possession, to ancient architecture, to clergy that has something terrible or perverse to hide. This movie touch on all these aspects, and still manages to be pretty forgettable. As mentioned above, this is a found footage movie, but they put their flavor on it by setting it in 1960. I have no idea how large the film camera that Father John (played by Ciaran Flynn) carries around must be, but it can’t be small, and for that, I applaud his efforts. If you aren’t a fan of found footage, this has all the things that you dislike the most about the format, lots of jiggly-running, plenty of out of focus shots, and lots of panning around looking for something that isn’t there. It even adds what I call “the strobe effect.” The strobe effect involves the light that is attached to the camera (and is often the only source of light) very reliably going out for about one out of every ten seconds for a good portion of this movie. If you like the found footage format, the only thing that might bother you about this is the aforementioned, “strobe effect.” It's clear that director Aislinn Clarke cared about this movie, it just didn't translate very well. My Rating 4/10 Spoilers: The Rundown Father Thomas (Lalor Roddy) and Father John (Ciaran Flynn) are dispatched to a Magdalene Laundry by the Vatican to investigate some purported miracles. They are met by a steely Mother Superior ( Helena Bereen) who is not thrilled about being investigated by the Vatican. https://youtu.be/FOYRKjimCSA As the older Father Thomas and younger Father John talk, we learn that Father Thomas has essentially lost his faith in God. He has investigated many miracles for the church and has always found the culprit to be a person of faith. Similarly, he mentions that the worst evils perpetrated on earth are done by man. We meet Kathleen (Lauren Coe) who is imprisoned in the bowels of the laundry and chained to the walls. Kathleen is a pregnant virgin who seems to be the polar opposite of the Mother Mary. As we wade through the plethora of jump-scares, Kathleen eventually gives birth. I’m going to be honest, I don’t think I saw the baby, and I didn’t even know there was one. Jump-scares bring us into a system of tunnels below the laundry, where more jump-scares lead us on a demon-baby chase. Stuff happens, and the end is pretty underwhelming. How The Devil’s Doorway Stacks Up This movie misses plenty of opportunities as it progresses. The setting is great - the subject matter is hard to mess up - the acting is pretty darn good. It’s forgettable and has some annoying tendencies. The strobe effect soon became the focal point of my annoyance as I waited for the next reliable light’s out moment. The jump-scares were fast and furious. The audio was terrible, and I mean terrible. The Devil’s Doorway is great for those who have a good time with jump scares. Other than that, it fails despite having a lot going for it. If you want to watch The Devil's Doorway consider renting or purchasing the movie through this link to help us support the podcast.
Jul 25, 2018