★★★ out of ★★★★★ Can a film without a plot to speak of still be compelling? In the case of Meander, a claustrophobic tricks and traps film, the answer is a qualified yes. A woman grieving the loss of her daughter is abducted and stuffed into a ductwork maze sprinkled with an escalating parade of devilish traps. That is pretty much the entirety of what you need to know, but if you take a simple idea and execute it well. it is worth watching.
Call it a hunch. Or perhaps morbid curiosity. We think these upcoming films could be pretty cool. As we transition from what was to what could be, The Scariest Things team casts its gaze forward to what horrors might entertain us the most! Listen in to Episode 140 and find out what you can look forward to with us in 2022!
★★★ out of ★★★★★ Stephen Lang's Blind Man is back. Though this time he's managed to flip the script and is now the nominal protagonist in the sequel to the 2016 break-out surprise hit. Once the fearsome monster from the first movie, he is still a force to be reckoned with, but now he has a young charge to care for. It is tense and exciting, but there are still some major questions that require answers though.
This is the annual ritual of summarizing the year that was. We first celebrate the best of the year, and then we have to get real. Not everything was worth your time when it comes to scary movies last year. We don't enjoy doing this, but we have to name names. Welcome to Episode 139 where we dish out what wasn't good in 2021.
The movie that brought meta front and center to horror, and gave an adrenaline boost to a tired slasher genre is back with its fifth installment. The movie remains meta, and brings a fresh new group of victims... I mean characters... to the screen, along with a few old familiar friends. Is it any good? For a feature this significant it takes all three of the Scariest Things Podcasters to weigh in.
What's the scariest setting in a horror movie? A graveyard? A dungeon? A basement? Nah. Try gas station. The gas station is a favorite point of conflict in a horror movie. If it shows up in your favorite horror film, you know something really bad is going to happen. Check out our dead list of how awful gas stations really are in horror movies.
We have decided to do something a little different, this time: A single film analysis. We look back at one of our favorite independent horror films of the last 20 years: The House of the Devil (2009), by Director Ti West. It's a near-perfect exercise in horror story development and execution, and you can hear our rationale in this bonus podcast episode!
It's hard enough being an older actor in the movies. In horror movies, it can be exponentially harder to make an impact, but there is a new and growing trend to feature older performers in horror movies. Is it a change in the movie culture? Is the audience growing older? The truth is probably that Horror films are casting a wider demographic net than ever, and Hollywood may now recognize that audiences who grew up as teens loving their '70s cult films and '80s slasher flicks are now in their 50s and 60s... and we still love our horror!
Happy New Year Scariest Friends! The Scariest Things has now banked FOUR YEARS of podcasts and reviews, and despite a world-wide pandemic, we were able to see a lot of good movies and share our impressions with our ever growing fan base. It's a good time to thank everybody who has checked in with us over the year. The new Golden Age of horror continues on, unabated, and we look forward to sharing with you a fantastic 2022!
We Horror fans are an odd lot. We actively seek emotional sensations that make us uncomfortable, agitated, and if done well, terrified. To say that we are adrenaline junkies testing our courage is an easy way out, and doesn't really get to the truth of things. Ashley Hirusina, a graphic artist managed in one poster, a deep but succinct analysis of why we seek the scary.
★★★ out of ★★★★★ Bashira is an artistically ambitious and technically accomplished feature debut film from special effects auteur Nickson Fong. As much as it is a treat for your eyes and ears, though, the film's plot is overly complex and the execution of the work sometimes over-shoots the target. The story often feels like two competing stories going at the same time.
Chalk 2021 into the history books! And, every year that I do this, I find it hard to separate my favorite films, and this year was no different. There were really good films from both the festival side and the studio wide release efforts from the past year.
★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ A remarkably nuanced slice of horror at work, from a 19-year-old writer/director that poses the question as to how far would you be willing to go to unearth and expose the dirty secrets at your place of employment. The movie is probably twenty minutes too long, but the plot has a solid mystery backbone to tell a good story, and it is graced with great characters and snappy dialogue.
★★★ out of ★★★★★ Do you miss goofy '80s era R-rated monster movies? Crabs! is one of those cheesy nature-gone-wrong films that doesn't take itself too seriously and manages to deliver some good gory entertainment. It's inconsistent, but there's enough here to have a good night with a bag of popcorn and a B-movie creature feature.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ If V/H/S was done in Spanish, that would be Apps, an Argentinian horror anthology that is filled with plenty of shocks and bloody mayhem. Each chapter is really well executed and continues to prove that Argentina is a major player in the horror movie market.
Hey! Watch where you're sticking that thing! Do you believe in UFO's? Do you think of aliens from outer space with fascination... or dread? Sometimes the aliens look like Alf. Sometimes they look like little green men (and later... little grey men). Some come for peace, and some come to carry us off the earth for experiments of the most awful kind. We will be talking about the latter! Enjoy Episode 136: UFO Horror!
★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ Super Hot is a film that has been popping up on my recommended list on Amazon Prime, so I gave the little nerds vs. vampires movie a shot. Kandace Kale is solid as the goofy deadpan lovelorn lead, and at its best, the movie has its fun and silly moments. On the whole, though, it's a pretty pedestrian production. (Shrugs)
Care to do the Time Warp (again)? We have researched and ranked the rarest of the sub-genre, the oddball unicorn film that is the Horror Musical. Stylized, emotionally amplified, and often bafflingly strange, we have rounded (almost) all of the available horror musical titles we could find and ranked them! Sing for me! Sing my Angel of music!
The Horror Potluck is back! What is the potluck? It's when each of the podcasters brings a movie to the recording session and we all discuss a movie that the others selected. This time, each of us picked just one movie that we thought had a compelling reason to spend additional time dissecting. The movies we picked are: Baskin, Halloween Kills, and Tourist Trap, each of them worthy of a longer look for uniquely different reasons.
Mysterious sightings and local folklore have pushed curious crypto hunters into the woods and onto deep lakes to reveal the truth. Maybe, just maybe, that local legend will show itself to you. In horror movies, they are true, and they will WRECK you. The Scariest Things talks about some of our favorite cryptid creepies in Episode 134.
★★★★★ out of ★★★★★ It was worth the wait. Antlers is a somber and intense showcase of Northwest folklore horror, with layers of well-told subtexts of domestic abuse survivors, the plight of small-town opioid abuse, and the graphic power of the Native American cryptid legend of the Wendigo. Mix in great acting and some great creature and body-horror effects and you get an all-around winner this fall.
For the second year in a row, our favorite film festivals were presented to us in a streaming format (though some festivals had theatrical releases). This has allowed the Scariest Things to watch lots of horror from the comfort of our own homes, with some (mostly) pretty awesome content. We recap the best and the worst of the Summer Festivals from 2021.
★★ out of ★★★★★ Halloween Kills harkens back to the old traditions of the Halloween sequels. And that's not a good thing. The movie delivers expert gore effects and the cruel hyperviolence is superbly done. Old-school slasher fans will likely be quite pleased. But, for those who have grown accustomed to smart protagonists and the nuanced scripts of modern horror, you will be disappointed. This movie is simply an exhausting bloody trudge, setting up the next and nominally final chapter to this trilogy.
★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ UFO abductees and true believers gather together in a secretive communal cult, hoping to reconnect with their alien encounter. Cosmic Dawn is more about the cult and its actions than the actual alien encounters, and threads enough menace and strangeness to keep you conflicted about whether
Once upon a time... horror was something you learned from your grandmother or the tribal elder. It is ancient horror by way of magic and myth, bolstered by the shared beliefs of a culture. This sub-genre is open to a broad range of interpretations and can be somewhat hard to pin down for definition. Leave it to the Scariest Things who were not afraid to give our own takes on what Folkloric horror is all about.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Destroy all Media has once again teamed up with The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and are in the process of developing a television series, Black Goat, for which they debuted the pilot at the H.P Lovecraft Film Festival. The Pilot episode drips with cultish dread and portends apocalyptic omens. The cosmic horror universe is ripe for development, and it will be fascinating to see who picks up the series.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ It is wholly appropriate that The Whisperer in the Darkness is an adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story. As in Love + Craft. It is a lovingly and well-crafted period piece creation of Cosmic horror. Not only does the film take the look of the era when the story was written, but it also captures the film noir aesthetic in glorious shadowy black and white. If you like Cthulhu and cold walks in the rain, this is a movie for you!
The Scariest Things loves its short horror films, and we had the privilege to talk with director Tim Shechmeister who gave us our favorite horror short from the extensive roster of great shorts that played at the Portland Horror Film Festival. Check out an exclusive release of Hello? right here in this post!
★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ Malignant is the sloppy drunk Auntie of horror movies. It meanders along confusingly for the first two thirds of the movie, and then goes preposterously entertaining for a brief spell, and then closes with a logic defying conclusion. It is a hot mess of a movie but it has some redemptive high points.