For a pantheon inhabiting monster, it is odd that a good Mummy movie a rarity. Unlike werewolves and vampires, Mummies got stuck in a same-story trope vortex of sameness. Fear not, though, The Scariest Things has found some buried treasures for you!
lightninliBy day, Eric is a mild-mannered Architect, bringing great buildings to the good boys and girls of his hometown of Portland, Oregon. By night, he is a disreputable podcaster looking to promote the best and worst of horror movies!
The Scariest Things Review: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
★★★1/2 and ★★★★ out of ★★★★★
The highly anticipated return of the demonologist duo, The Warrens, has arrived on the big screen. It starts off with a ferocious roar of an opening scene, and largely holds its dramatic tension to the finish of this exorcism mystery meets courtroom drama.
Horror Shorts: Finley (2019)
Dolls are creepy. Ventriloquist dummies add on the extra creep factor. Finley takes advantage of all the established history of the evil dummy tropes that came before it and flips all expectations in the most amusing and satisfying way.
Eric’s Review: A Quiet Place Part II
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
A worthy sequel to the science-fiction horror modern classic. A Quiet Place Part II is very much an extension of the first movie. It feels like one continuous story. Intense, expertly crafted, and wonderfully acted, this movie doesn’t break a lot of new ground but it builds upon what the original did so well. It’s a first-rate thrill ride!
Trailer Alert: Last Night in Soho
Edgar Wright channels his inner Argento with a dreamy giallo-noir trailer for his upcoming film Last Night in Soho starring Anya Taylor Joy, Tomasin McKenzie, and Matt Smith.
Horror Shorts: We Got a Monkey’s Paw (2018)
“What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” The most accursed of curse tropes is brought to hilarious proportions in one of our favorite horror shorts from the Portland Horror Film Festival in 2019, now released on Alter… and now The Scariest Things!
A Podcast Extra: An Interview with Actor/Director Ryan Barton-Grimley
The Scariest Things sat down for a fun and lively discussion with director Ryan Barton-Grimley to break down his raucous horror-comedy Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers, one of our favorite movies from 2020.
Eric’s Review: Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021)
★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
Spiral: From the Book of Saw attempts a fresh start to a somewhat tired franchise, and packs in A-list celebrities into a pedestrian plot, that ties itself up with too much exposition and not enough of the tricks and traps that made Saw such a draw.
The Scariest Things Podcast Episode CXXIII: The 2021 Thingy Awards Show!
It’s time to celebrate the best of horror from 2020, with the third annual Thingy Awards! Once again, we summoned a jury of expert horror aficionados to determine the worthy winners from a pool of great (if perhaps under-seen) scary movies. Raise the curtain and let’s hand out some awards!
The Scariest Things Podcast Episode CXXII: The Best Horror Mothers
Happy Mothers Day! The archives of horror films are filled with great matriarchs. It’s the strongest, and often the most important relationship of our lives, and the horror genre takes full advantage of all the emotional triggers of all things mommy.
Portland Horror Film Festival: A Call for BIPOC Horror Directors
Are you an aspiring horror movie director, and happen to be from an underrepresented ethnic minority in filmmaking? Well now is a golden opportunity chance for your work to be seen! The Portland Horror Film Festival is offering FREE film submissions for BIPOC film creators. Deadline is May 4.
The Scariest Things Podcast: Episode CXXI: Horror Westerns
Howdy partner! The western expanse is big and full of terrors. I’d be careful out there if I were you. A man can go missing out there right quick if you’re not careful. The Scariest Things heads west along the trail of much bloodletting as we examine Horror Westerns in Episode 121.
Podcast Extra: A Conversation with Murder Bury Win Director Michael Lovan
Sometimes when you find a film, you connect with it. And sometimes when you write about this film connection, the director of the film wants to share his love of creating the film with you. Such was the case with Michael Lovan, and his film, Murder Bury Win, and he sat down to discuss all things about this firecracker of a movie with The Scariest Things.
The 10 Best Horror Shorts of 2020
The festival circuit was strong in 2020 with lots of great horror shorts. These 10 horror shorts made it on to our 2021 Thingy Awards. Check out the full short films included for your review!
Podcast Extra: An Interview with Jakob’s Wife director Travis Stevens!
One of the big features released in the SXSW film festival Midnighter selections was Travis Steven’s sophomore feature effort, Jakob’s Wife, starring Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden. It was a wonderful character study of a middle-aged woman finding the most unusual (and bloody) way to break out of a mid-life crisis. The Scariest Things got a chance to break down this remarkable film with Travis.
The 2021 Thingy Award Nominations: Open Ballot!
It’s awards season! And for horror genre fans, it is time for the third annual Thingy Awards! 2020 was a scary year for more ways that we could have imagined, but despite the cinemas being closed down, movie makers delivered some great movies for us. The Scariest Things once again invites our valued fans to vote for who they thought was the best of 2020. Our industry insiders will also be weighing in, for what should be a very interesting award!
The Scariest Things Podcast Extra: SXSW Recap
South by Southwest (SXSW), the biggest arts and culture festival in the US had a fully virtual presentation in March. Mike and Eric take a moment to discuss the Midnighter Films presented at the big Austin streaming showcase.
Eric’s Review: The Spine of Night (2021) (SXSW Film Festival)
★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
The Spine of Night channels its inner Frank Frazetta and Ralph Bakshi in this bloody rotoscoped production. This is dark high fantasy, with a touch of horror, and though it mines very familiar fantasy tropes for its plot, it does find an original voice. The whole presentation feels more like a curiosity than a revelation.
Scary Radio Plays: A Garden of Terrible Blooms
Award-Winning playwright Sharon Yablon taps into her noir sensibilities for a new podcast of genre radio dramas, A Garden of Terrible Blooms. Prepare for the surreal one-act dramas that touch on elements of mystery, horror, and true-crime centered around L.A.’s famed Sunset Boulevard.
The Scariest Things Podcast Episode CXIX: Horror Movies We are Looking Forward to in 2021
For those of you who pay attention to Roman Numerals, you might have figured out that we got a little out of sequence. Yep, we skipped Episode 119 in our excitement to record HEAVY METAL HORROR. But that does not diminish our anticipation for the offerings for 2021. We’ve got our prognostications we’re never (read: surprisingly often) wrong!
Eric’s Review: Alien on Stage (2021) (SXSW Festival)
★★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
Alien on Stage is a documentary about a troupe of bus drivers turned community theater actors who got the opportunity of a lifetime to perform their production on stage in a theater in the famed West End of London. Though you sweat out whether these charming neophytes can pull it off, there is enough of an inkling that they’ve got something special that this endeavor is so crazy that it just… might… work!
Eric’s Review: Jakob’s Wife (2021) (SXSW Festival)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
Jakob’s Wife is an essay on a mid-life menopausal crisis, by way of vampirism. Jakob’s Wife delivers great character arcs and engaging acting. Barbara Crampton has been given a meaty role, and she delivers perhaps her best screen performance in memory. Larry Fessenden also is stellar as the well intentioned minister Jakob.
Eric’s Review: Gaia (2021) (SXSW Festival)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
Mother Earth just may have it in for us, according to the South African Eco-Horror showcase Gaia, which had its World Premiere at the SXSW film festival. It’s beautiful, quiet, creepy, and full of spores. (Cough! Cough!)
The Scariest Things Podcast Episode CXX: Heavy Metal Horror!
Put on your best spandex, studded leather straps, and break out the hairspray. It’s time for Heavy Metal Horror! Your professors for this episode are Mike and Liz, true metalheads both, as Eric plays the role of the general population of metal familiar, but not metal saturated fandom.
Eric’s Review: Freaky (2020)
★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
Freaky takes the body swap idea from Freaky Friday, and gives it a slasher film twist. It’s a fun concept, and is off and on entertaining, but the film’s sloppy and predictable plot keep it from reaching the standard for similar Blumhouse fare like Happy Death Day.
The Scariest Things Podcast: Episode CXVIII: The Worst Horror Films of 2020
IIn a truly awful year, we just didn’t get a whole lot of movies released, reducing the pool of the bad movies as well as the good movies. If you were going to describe the years less than stellar movies, I think you’d say they were disappointing rather than infuriating. But there’s still plenty for us to throw shade at in this episode. The Scariest Things gets our adrenaline up, discussing our worst films of 2020.
Eric’s Review: Synchronic (2019)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
The latest offering from the collaborative team of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead once again delivers a philosophical, slow burn of a movie. This film about two paramedics in New Orleans uncovering the truth of a new synthetic drug that has time travel properties is grim and heady material. Brooding and moody can be a good thing if anchored properly, and Anthony Mackie holds this film down with a fine acting performance.
Eric’s Review: Gretel and Hansel (2020)
★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
Osgood Perkin’s horror take on the children’s fairy tale is a brooding and moody spin on the most familiar of stories. It has some gorgeous art direction, and a winning performance by Alice Krige, but the plodding script tries to mask the intent of the story. It tries very hard to provide new wrinkles to the old fable, but ends up feeling over-long even at a fairly short run time of 82 minutes.
Eric’s Review: The Witches (2020)
★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
A worthy reboot of a much-beloved gateway horror fan favorite. Anne Hathaway chews up the scenery in the Robert Zemekis helmed adaptation of the Roald Dahl dark fantasy classic.
The Scariest Things Podcast Episode CXVII: Action Horror!
Do you like your horror with a side order of bullets? Do you find that horror and kung fu are completely compatible? Do you wish there were more superhero horror tales? This week we’re talking action-horror in episode 117! Lights! Camera! Start the squibs!