★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ It is oft said that being a parent is the most unique and rewarding experience one could ever have. Simultaneously it’s the most dull and common experience among us. There are highs and lows to be sure, but most of the relationships are spent having a meal, doing laundry, and trying to figure each other out. Hellbender spends the large majority of its hour and 26 minute run time focused on the more mundane aspects of the parent child relationship, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a wild and peculiar odyssey.
👻👻👻 out of 👻👻👻👻👻 The go-to move for horror filmmakers in the modern era is the tortured family dynamic. It’s creepy, hidden, sinister, and above all tragic. When you mix in a heaping dose of the death of a child, tragic can take a very dark complexion and make it, well, darker.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Everyone gets old. It’s no more complicated than this little horrifying truism. The world of horror is filled with ghosts, homicidal nutcases, Pazzuzu, creepies, crawlies, and robot-monsters. But, nothing, repeat, nothing, is more frightening at the prospect of losing your mental and physical faculties and facing the sad and potential finite end of life.
★ out of ★★★★★ Serious question. Are horror movies required to be scary? Can they just pass off a sense of dread and doom in other less frightening but equally provocative ways? Answer: it sure makes horror more horrifying if there’s some actual horror in the horror film.
★★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ Don’t. Turn. This. Movie. Off. Seriously, it’s a slow burn in grand tradition of slow burn horror films, but the payoff off is so deliciously evil and filling. If you stop after the aspic and the salad course you’ll miss a rather grisly desert.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Make no mistake, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror is not a generalist survey course and this is not a casual hike in the woods. This is a full on PHD thrill ride in to one of the most mercurial of all horror genres, folk horror.
★★ out of ★★★★★ It’s everything you’ve ever wanted! It contains film footage likely derived from 10 different film shoots over the course of nearly 40 years. It’s got Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (Louise Fletcher). It’s got Indiana Jones pal Salah (John Rhys-Davies). It’s got the super crooked hillbilly cop from Rambo, Galt (Jack Starrett). It’s sort of got a couple scenes with a grizzly bear. But just don’t be fooled, there’s not a whole heck of a lot of Charlie Sheen, Laura Dern, and George Clooney.
★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ It’s always fascinating to see how something of little-to-no-value can bring out the worst in people as soon as they realize that someone else is interested in the same valueless item. This dynamic is made all the worse when it’s families fighting over the same scrap of trash. Worse yet? When that scrap of trash is the site of a 1979 horror film, the Whooper.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ As demonic crooner Ronnie James Dio once famously opined “when you listen to fools, the mob rules.” Maybe this prescient piece of advice was being plied to the January 6 insurrection, maybe it was being plied to Halloween Kills, but just maybe Dio’s magical ways were sorting out many future truths.
★★★ out of ★★★★★ Small-time, trailer park professional wrestling meets zombie grindhouse mayhem in director Max Martini's sophomore outing.
The almighty George Romero has a new movie coming out in June 2021! Wait, hasn't he been dead since 2017!?!? Indeed he has, but that doesn't mean that he didn't create a mountain of content never before seen by human eyes. In the same way that Prince will be releasing albums well in to the next century, Romero may have some additional gems that have never made their way out of the crypt. Until now!
Holy Beelzebub! The official/official trailer for The Conjuring III, AKA The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do it, is finally here! Complete with devils, god, witches, the Warrens, and waterbeds — which were a thing in 1981, trust us — this trailer has it all.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Right around the corner from Horror Street, just next to Parallax View Way, and right near Marathon Man Drive, is a fascinating analog look at the lengths obsessives will go to in feeding their obsessions.
★★ out of ★★★★★ The tried and true tattered family dynamic. Kids love their Mom. Dad’s nowhere to be found. Sisters vigorously fight for their Mom’s love. Resentments emerge. The sister’s commitments to the family quickly fall to the insidious and ever-present need to feed the social media beast. We’ve all heard this tale before. Or have we?