★★★★ out of ★★★★★ A determined novel that spans multiple time frames and plumb near covers every last aspect horror genre -- except for UFOs and Bigfoot. That might sound like a stretch, but it ain’t. There’s witches. There’s ghouls. There’s 1970s grindhouse lore. There’s the conventions and their inevitable fan-boy hangers on. There’s even true crime podcasters. This book covers it all. Maybe that’s a good thing and maybe it’s not.
★★.5 out of ★★★★★ A stunningly beautiful film that follows a not so beautiful period of time in Guatemala's tumultuous and unfortunate history. This horror film, that's awfully light on the horror, shows audiences that sometimes the scares don't come from ghouls, but they come from right-wing juntas.
★★ out of ★★★★★ Witches are a tricky lot. Literally. Filled with deceit and deception. They conjur up horrible thoughts in your tiny little brain. They’re always on the hunt for a new (or renewed) sacrifice. Most importantly they travel in unrelenting satanic packs of malice. The Pale Door has more fiends than you can shake a stick at, but, unfortunately, doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot with this spooky pile of occult weirdos.
★★★ out of ★★★★★ At the Scariest Things Podcast we pride ourselves for being THE gateway to the trends and tropes of the horror genre. Sure, sometimes we wander in to the deep and dark recesses of the genre. We give Anthropophagous an extra viewing here/there. We cringe when we (re)watch Audition. We think twice about watching A Serbian Film. But, mostly we want to invite everyone in to the never-ending thrill ride that is horror. Sometimes that thrill ride includes PG-13 fare like Vampires vs. the Bronx.
★★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ In the latest installment of "If you're not watching Indonesian horror movies, you're blowing it," brings us 2020's The Queen of Black Magic. It's true. Indonesia is the new incubator for the creepiest crawlies that the horror genre has to offer. Every country has had their day in the sun. The UK plastered us with Hammer and Amicus throughout the 1960s. The US reimagined the genre with slashers and super killers throughout the 1970s and 80s. And Japan brought a whole new slate of water and hair-borne frights in the late 1990s and in to the early 2000s. Now it's Indonesia time to shine.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Horror movies really are the ultimate glimpse in to the soul of man. Society's reflection upon itself. Our most base thoughts, visions, hopes, dreams, and fears all laid bare for the universe to see. The historic period of time is largely irrelevant to the equation, because the result is always the same -- man's continued inhumanity to man.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ "Timely, topical, and terrific." Well that's what the Scariest Things Podcast would say if Variety came calling for a pull quote. Joe Burke's (Four Dogs) brand spanking new horror short Desert Quarantine is a perfect reflection of a perfect reflection of society's current spate of worry, hate, fear, and confusion.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Much of the history of native peoples in horror film, or in this case Canada’s First Nation people, has been beset by misunderstandings, skepticism about tribal rituals, and outright racism. These troubling portrayals throughout horror’s uneven relationship with non-Euro traditions has manifested itself in a series of clumsy attempts to capture the native condition. This, in turn, has played out with mysterious and prescient shamans, strange and incomplete tribal rites, and silly depictions of day-to-day tribal life. That was the case until 2020, with the release of the superb Blood Quantum.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ More often than not the horror story teller is beset with complex stories, radical exposition, and meandering narrative. The horror fan and the horror filmmaker so desperately want to hear and tell a compelling and multi-layered story. But as we all know too well, these stories are overtaken by this well-meaning desire and evolve in to a product so complex that they forget their intended purpose -- the SCARES! The prescient and timely The Isolation Horrors is superbly aware of this exposition trap and manages to create an exquisite economy of horror story telling.
Have you had enough yet? Did you lose out on the last role of toilet paper? Are you debating the merits of the Exorcist vs. Exorcist III with your cat? Has the isolation started to creep under your skin and in to your psyche? Good! You're in luck. There's a new short horror anthology that looks at the dark and horrific side of ISOLATION!
The most fully realized film version of an HP Lovecraft story? More psychedelic freakouts from Nick Cage? The return of more Mandy-like weirdness? A real live Cthulu monster? Director Richard Stanley's (Island of Dr. Moreau, Hardware, Dust Devil) return to greatness? SO. MANY. QUESTIONS!
There's obviously no reason to re-hash 2020 and the fact that we haven't physically been to a movie theater -- FOR NEARLY A YEAR! But, sadly, we haven't. We haven't had chance to stare lovingly at the marquee, the pamphlet with the coming features, and most importantly, the poster.
★★ out of ★★★★★ What in the world happens when filmmakers run out of ideas? Well, it's rather simple. A) In most cases they go back to the well, B) there's always a sequel, or prequel, or a reboot, C) the idea is reimagined through the lens of an out of copyright idea, story, or myth, or D) they just run out of ideas. Sadly, for 2020's The Hunted, the answer is D.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ There exists that great space in documentaries that take place decades after the event occurred. It's this beautiful melange of revisionist history, lucid thoughts, purposeful sleepwalking, and repressed memories. All answers are correct and infallible when the documentary is filtered through the iconic lens of a single and thoughtful directorial darling. THE William Friedkin is the ultimate bridge between Hollywood's glorious beginnings and the revolutionary young guns of the 1970s. It should come as no surprise the Friedkin has some rather insightful things to say about one of the greatest films of the 1970s, possibly the greatest horror film of all time, and in some camps, THE greatest film ever put down on celluloid -- the Exorcist.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ The perfect metaphor/antidote to 2020. Well-meaning people set out to change the world, lessen their foot print, and revel in their own brainy viewpoint. Only to be horrifically outdone by the unplanned mysteries of mother nature and her largely uncaring and brutish ways. Devolution is exists in a very real space with very real consequences. It's everything that 2020 has offered. From the hopefully earnest to the horrifically primal.
Ultraviolent sci-fi? Sign us up! Just when you thought 2020 couldn't get any weirder, darker, and more complex -- along comes Possessor. Directed by Brandon Cronenberg (offspring of THAT David Cronenberg), Possessor allegedly involves some high-falutin corporate espionage, some brain control devices, and a whole lotta' assassinating.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Pulling off a feature length film takes some serious gumption. Pulling off a film that balances impeccable comedic timing, a fully realized soundtrack, empathetic characters, complicated friendships, and a heaping dose of spatter gore -- well, that's a whole different story. Directed by horror short filmmaker Matthew John Lawrence, Uncle Peckerhead hits every single note and simultaneously manages to bang out a gory film that would make Herschell Gordon Lewis blush.
What?!?!? First Thom Yorke dips his toes in the water with his somber interpretation of the Goblin's color-soaked Suspiria vision, and now Daft Punk is scoring the next Dario Agento film? Color us shocked and awed.
★★ out of ★★★★★ Who knew that there was a sub-genre of horror known as Coachella Horror? Well there’s not, but you heard it here first. Perfect millennials mixed with impossibly mundane feuding, throw in a couple very stylish floppy hats, a little paranormal fright (but not too much), and a gathering of genetically perfect young ladies and -- POW -- it’s Coachella Horror!