★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ Not all horror films need to be over-wrought. They needn’t be filled with hyper-complex multi-layered lore. CGI has its time and place, but that time in place is not in every time and every place. On occasion horror is able to lean simply on human emotions, quaint spaces, and languid settings. If you need a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of 21st century horror then Beyond the Woods is waiting for you…just beyond the woods.
Tag Archive for ‘scary’
Dead List: Top 10 Found Footage Films of All Time
You love ’em. You hate ’em. You don’t know where to start. You worship at their altar. All these things are true. One of the most polemic (and satisfying) devices in the horror genre — shaky cam/found footage flics.
Dead List: Top 10 Animal Horror Films
Thumper, Ben, Lassie, Willard, Cujo…my pet gator? Why have you chosen to forsake me? In Episode 16 we explored this very question and got down and dirty in the animal kingdom. These are some of the scariest pets and animals to have ever graced the silver screen and boy have they gone bad! They PRETEND to be man’s best friend but ultimately they’ve got other things in store for us weak and inferior humans. Before you race out to the pet store watch the ten scariest films ever made featuring animals!
Mike’s Review: Impetigore (2019)
★★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ Ghosts, doomed villages, tortured family dynamics, the blackest of black magic, and thousand year old Javanese curses all come home to roost in the latest spookfest from Joko Anwar. Possibly (read: possibly) the best horror film director out currently, Anwar knows his way around a story, cinematic shots, and the creation of truly sympathetic characters.
Mike’s Review: The Siren (2019)
★★.5 out of ★★★★★ A somber, quiet, and contemplative affair. This faux mythology, while largely devoid of dialogue, packs away some interesting social/sexual dynamics. Fans of Troma and Full Moon be forewarned, this film is NOT for you. While it is a monster movie that’s loosely based not the eastern European “Rusalka” water harpy myth, this is not the Toxic Avenger, nor is it the Evil Bong.
Mike’s Review: Demon Seed (1977)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ The Demon Seed is one mighty mashup of technological/sociological concepts. Freedom of choice, meets man’s desire to concur his natural surroundings, meets the infallibility of the god complex, meets sexual politics, meets the ecology movement, meets the military industrial complex, meets a horrifying faux 2001 psychedelic freakout. Yes, it’s all here on display in a 1970s groove.
Mike’s Review: Z (2019)
★★★ out of ★★★★★ With an increasing number of horror films eschewing the well-trodden path of gore, gags, and scream queens, there’s always the risk of re-calibrating too far to the other end of the scare spectrum. Over the last 20 years there’s been a trend towards melancholy and family trauma — Shudder calls it parental terror, we’re calling it melancholy horror. Sometimes the quiet and somber affairs work and sometimes they’re just weighty, boring, and devoid of scares. The Shudder original Z certainly ran that risk, but effectively shook itself off the melancholy mantle.
Mike’s Review: Wonder Valley (2017)
★★ 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!
Mike’s Review: Lights Out (2016)
★★ out of ★★★★★ The tweens are taking over! Hollyweird has handed over the castle keys to a gaggle of focused-grouped 13-year olds. Scary films are now purposely trying to not be scary. All is lost.
Mike’s Review: Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015)
★★ out of ★★★★★ Sometimes less really is more. And sometimes way less is really way more. Eschewing all prior entries in Paranormal Activity franchise, and more importantly questioning the simple aesthetic of the found footage horror sub-genre. Enter Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. For those of you keeping track at home — and sadly, at this point, you really need to keep track to follow this franchise — this is number six.
Movie News: Extra Ordinary Hits the Streets on March 6
Our universal fav’ film from 2019 gets its official release on March 6! Prepare to laugh, cry, and get 👻 spooked.
Mike’s Review: Dr. Sleep (2019)
★★★.5 out of ★★★★★
Nearly 1,000 pages of creepy thoughts, actions, and psychic happenings were laid out between the Shining and its murderous offspring, Dr. Sleep. It seemed impossible that 1) the Shining would be made in to a film, 2) that Stephen King would be so dissatisfied in one of the true horror greats, 3) that it would deserve a remake, 4) the story would evolve in to a 500 page psychedelic mishmash, and 5) that mishmash would be made in to its own celluloid opus. Seem fantastical? Well it is.
Mike’s Review: Three from Hell (2019)
★★ out of ★★★★★ At Rob Zombie’s darkened dirtbag core is a full and unfiltered embrace of the age-old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Slow motion. Hyperbolic acting (or in some cases no acting). Closeups so close you can count individual pores Captain Spaulding’s grease-paint soaked forehead. Weirdly rare and off-putting selection of non-Joe Walsh James Gang tracks. If you’ve seen House of a Thousand Corpses and Devil’s Rejects then you’ve been thoroughly exposed to Mr. Zombie’s cinema trickery.
Mike’s Review: Bliss (2019)
🤟🤟out of 🤟🤟🤟🤟🤟
Are you a fan of a) Metal, b) vaguely satanic possessions, c) explicit drug usage, d) nudity, e) lots of blood (read: LOTS), and f) the word FUCK? I mean, sure who isn’t in favor of all these things right? Each has lots to offer. They’re interesting. Taken in small doses they can be a very powerful antidote to a lagging cinematic undertaking. When taken in over-dose-like proportions the gore and bad words take on an underwhelming status.
Mike’s Review: The Marshes (2020)
★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ Word has it that the kids are in to mash-ups. Girl Talk, Danger Mouse, a little Jay Z, a little Beatles. Throw it all together and see what sticks. 2020’s the Marsh (originally released in 2018 in Australia) does just that — but maybe a little too much.
Mike’s Review: Haunt (2019)
🤡🤡.5 out of 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡 Writing is a struggle. Too much exposition gives the appearance of being a churlish jerk who sucks all of the oxygen out of a room. While too little exposition has the air of being aloof, uncaring, and unwilling to let the audience in on the scares. Weirdly, Haunt vacillates between both words, but manages to tell this spooky story in the most ineffective way possible.
Mike’s Review: Tenebre (1982)
🔪🔪🔪🔪1/2 out of 🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪 The rules surrounding Giallo have been firmly established. Beginning somewhere around 1964 with Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace and continuing to the present with such color-soaked homosexual freakouts as 2019’s Knife+Heart, Giallo has been around the block.
Mike’s Review: Eli (2019)
★★ out of ★★★★★ Hey Netflix, we see you over there! Yeah, you. Trying your darnedest to jump on that horror bandwagon, peer in to the abyss, produce that oh-so-perfect horror film, and reap the ghoulish accolades of horror fans everywhere. Just so you know, it’s not working. While 2019’s Eli is awfully close to being a solid film you still have a lot of work to do to make in the fast-paced world of horror.
Mike’s Review: Girl on the Third Floor (2019)
★★.5 out of ★★★★★ As we’ve all come to learn in the horror game, a haunted house, no matter how haunted, does not a movie make. For that matter, a bunch of spooky trappings within a haunted house, also does not a movie make.
Mike’s Review: Sisters (1972)
🔪🔪🔪🔪out of 🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪
Siamese Twins at Birth: What the Devil hath joined together let no man cut asunder.
Mike’s Review: Wolf Creek (2005)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
The joy of youth. The post-college road trip. Finding your way in vast spaces. Unconstrained, unconfined, uncontrolled. The world is your oyster, until it isn’t.
Trailer Alert: Black Christmas (2019)
Well, we’re not sure who asked for this, but it’s on the way. On December 13, 2019, we’ll all get a chance to sit down and ingest the latest spooky offerings from Blumhouse in the form of the re-re-re-make of Black Christmas.
Mike’s Review: House on Sorority Row (1983)
★★.5 out of ★★★★★ College isn’t for everyone. There’s peer pressure, there’s social acclimatization, there’s the freshman 15, there’s the daily grind of keeping one’s grades in check to maintain that almighty scholarship, and then there’s the relationships. The social bond that’s created can be a lasting and spiritually satisfying affinity, but the bond can go so deep that it’ll eventually turn collegiate relations sour and crazy.
Mike’s Review: The Boar (2017)
🐷🐷.5 out of 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷
The planet is running out of animals. Literally and figuratively. Hollyweird has given us sharks (Jaws 1-4), rabbits (Night of the Lepus), bears (Grizzy), fish (Piranha), and man’s best friend (Cujo). There’s even been birds, wolves, snakes, rats, and gators, and whatever the hell a sharktopus is supposed to be. One of the things that Hollyweird hasn’t gotten its money-grubbing paws on is the pig, javelina, or boar – until now.
Mike’s Review: Green Inferno (2013)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Are you looking for that something extra to jolt you out of life’s day-to-day doldrums? That little something to shock your system in to a complete state of hysteria? Something so odious and vile that your mind won’t know how to process the capital “G” grisly-gore? Your pals at the Scariest Things Podcast have found just the thing. Enter…Green Inferno.
Trailer Alert: Little Monsters (2019)
ZOMBIE ALERT: Two decidedly different performances (well three, technically) from the same actor in two horror films in the same year? Say it ain’t so!
Mike’s Review: Midsommar (2019)
🌸🌸🌸 out of 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸 This is the true story, of nine strangers, picked to participate in weirdo cult hapennings, work together, and have their lives destroyed. Find out what happens, when people stop being polite, and start getting real…its a world of real cults!
Mike’s Review: Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
★★ out of ★★★★★
Now with 30 percent less jump scares!
Mike’s Review: Vast of Night (2019)
👽👽👽👽 out of 👽👽👽👽👽
UFOs are real! Well, they might be real. Or, they’re probably imagined. Rather, we’re all crazy and we’re collectively imagining them. Or, maybe, just maybe, they really are real and the space aliens are making us crazy in an attempt to make us believe/not believe that they’re real/not real. All are real possibilities and 2019’s The Vast of the Night lays all of them on the table for us to sort out.
Horror Movie News: The Banana Splits Movie gets a trailer and an R rating
Horror is a big, broad, wide, deep and inviting genre. Everybody is welcome to hang out, have some chips, try […]