Show cover of Horror Movie Talk

Horror Movie Talk

An opinionated and accidentally funny horror movie review show. Each week, this horror movie podcast covers a new release in theaters or an older flick on streaming/VOD. New episodes come out every Wednesday.

Tracks

The Strangers Chapter 1 Review
Synopsis A couple embarks on a journey across the country for their five year anniversary. After their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere Oregon, they have no choice but to stay in a cabin in the woods. When Ryan, played by Froy Gutierrez, runs back into town to grab something he forgot out of his car, Maya played by Madeline Petsch starts hearing and seeing strange things in the cabin, almost like someone else is in the house. Review of The Strangers Chapter 1 I really hated this movie. Like, really hated. I didn’t really know what to expect, but taking what didn’t work from the original and even at some points taking direct lines and situations from the original and cramming it into the already too long 90 minute run time was atrocious. I don’t know if I was just tired, but I almost fell asleep at multiple points due to boredom. At the beginning of the movie, there is text on screen that says this movie will show us one of the most brutal crimes committed in America. I will tell you, I have seen worse things on Twitter in the past week. The writing is terrible, it plays like a crappy ripoff of a Wayans Brothers film, I seriously laughed at a lot of points that were not supposed to be funny out of pure hatred. The two main characters who are supposed to be in a five year loving relationship have zero chemistry. Every action they take in trying to survive is the dumbest route they could have chosen. I really really hated this movie. It was bad. It degrades the masterpiece that is the original, and I mean that. The original is an incredibly scary and moving horror film, and this one shits all over it. I walked out of the theater chuckling to myself. Score 2/10
73:28 5/22/24
Arachnophobia Review with David Day
Synopsis Arachnophobia is a movie about Ross, a doctor who moves with his family to a rural town to take over the practice of the town doctor. When a Venezuelan spider arrives in the town through extremely unlikely circumstances, Ross must unravel the mysterious deaths in the town as killer spiders ravish the community. The townsfolk are dropping like flies, and it seems like the only hope for this city is a ragtag team of spider experts/doctors/exterminators/interns. Will they overcome the eight-legged hoard? Or will they be consumed by the hellish nightmare that is the common house spider? Review of Arachnophobia Arachnophobia is directed by Frank Marshall from a screenplay written by Don Jakoby and Wesley Strick. Starring Jeff Daniels as Ross and John Goodman as the exterminator, this movie gives a goofy and fun story that scares me to no end. I couldn't get past a single scene without checking to see if there was a creepy crawly on my body. This movie is entertaining and enjoyable to watch, even for an arachnophobe like me. The story feels improbable, but not so far-fetched that the average spider hater won't feel incredibly uncomfortable in their own home for weeks after watching. Score 8/10
85:31 5/15/24
Tarot (2024) Review
Synopsis A group of friends rent a mansion to celebrate one of their birthdays and run out of alcohol. In their search around the house for more booze they stumble upon an old hand painted tarot deck and Haley, the friend who can read tarot cards, reads all of their horoscopes. Then chaos ensues as they start being killed one by one by the embodiment of the ruling cards in their individual readings. Review This movie isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen but it is also not very good. I did like the costumes and effects of the tarot card creatures, there were a few funny lines (and by a few I mean two), but the script and acting was definitely lacking, leading it to be predictable and a bit silly in a bad way. I was worried that this movie was going to be very offensive toward tarot as a whole, but it took a different direction than I had originally thought, but it still wasn’t perfect either. I wasn’t fully entertained, I scoffed at a lot of moves the characters made, but I wasn’t completely bored either.  Score 4/10
75:28 5/8/24
The Birds Review
Synopsis The Birds is a romantic comedy turned aviation nightmare. When the rich socialite and practical joker Melanie runs into a charming lawyer named Mitch in a bird shop, she does the creepiest thing ever and tracks down his name and address. After driving hours to get to his weekend home in a small town called Bodega Bay. As Mitch and Melanie slowly but surely fall in love, the birds in the area seem to be going crazy and possibly waging a Planet of the Apes-style war except in this movie, the apes are birds. Eyes are plucked out. Hair is messed up. They kiss. What more could you ask for?  Review of The Birds The Birds, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is a movie that cant really surprise you in any way. It's basically exactly what you would expect it to be, a movie about birds that attack people. Melanie played by Tippi Hedren is annoying at times, but her creepy love for Mitch played by Rod Taylor is enjoyable enough to keep me engaged with the film. For me, it almost seemed random how the movie would be focusing on the relationship that building between these characters, and them some bird would just swoop out of the air and attack. There isn't a lot of buildup or explanation about why the birds are attacking. In fact there is even a moment where the characters meet a bird expert, which would have been a good time to maybe give some information about why all this might be happening, but the bird expert somehow is completely wrong about everything she says, making me wonder why they even included that scene at all. In the end, it is a fine movie that kept me engaged enough throughout most of it but not really anything special to me.  Score  6/10
75:34 5/1/24
Abigail Review
The newest horror movie Abigail from the guys that directed Ready or Not and the latest Scream movies, is in theaters now. Despite the trailer spoiling everything, it's still a fun ride. Synopsis An elite operative team is assembled to kidnap a billionaire’s 12 year old daughter for ransom. They soon realize that they are in over their heads once it’s revealed the little girl played by Matilda’s Alisha Weir, is actually a centuries old vampire. Wacky hijinks ensue. Review of Abigail I had a mix of high expectations and low expectations going into this film. While the director’s filmography included Ready or Not, one of my favorite recent horror movies, the trailer pretty much gives away the whole plot, and had low quality Blumhouse vibes. I ended up really liking the movie. It’s going to be one of those movies that the less you know about it the more that you’ll like it. It establishes a micro subgenre of switcheroo vampire movies with From Dusk Till Dawn.  The film starts out as a typical heist thriller that knowingly points out the cliche archetypes of the assembled team, then quickly subverts them by giving them slightly more depth.   The titular character Abigail seems a completely innocent victim, but there is something off about her that makes you ask, is this bad child acting, or is this character hiding something? It ends up being both. While the movie is fun, there aren’t many super memorable moments, and plays out largely as you would expect.  The film loses something in the end with a twist that seems sudden and unearned when allegiances are changed in arbitrary ways. Score 7/10
97:46 4/24/24
Creep 2 Review
Synopsis Creep 2 continues the story of Aaron, played by Mark Duplass, a serial killer who posts want ads on craigslist seeking documentarians who inadvertently film their own murders. Sara, played by Desiree Akhavan, has a failing Youtube show and decides to take Aaron up on his offer. Throughout her documentary of Aaron, she empathizes with him and barely believes him while he swears he’s a serial killer. On the other hand, Aaron seems like he has finally found his match. Will he kill her? Will she kill him? Is this the end of the craigslist serial killer as we know it? Review of Creep 2 Creep 2 is one of those sequels that actually gives a fresh look on the original. It does not repeat overdone tropes or follow the same story line whatsoever. This movie could stand alone and it still makes sense, and would still be very effective. There are funny one-liners, there are jump scares, there is a bad ass woman who won’t take any shit. This is not your typical killer chases victim movie. Besides the original, this movie is a fresh take on found footage horror, which is my favorite genre. It is excellent, it pulls all punches, and it takes you on a very adventurous ride. This truly is an exceptional feat of horror movie making as we know it. Creep was good enough, inventive enough, but this sequel takes it to a whole nother level. My only few complaints are that there could have been more fleshing out of Sara, since she is the central character, and I think knowing what’s gonna happen upon rewatching makes it a bit less effective. Other than that, it’s pretty damn good. Score 8/10
76:19 4/17/24
The First Omen Review
Synopsis The First Omen is a catholic horror movie and prequel to the movie The Omen. Maggie or Margaret is a catholic sister who moves from the United States to work in an all-girls orphanage and take her vows as a nun. While there she takes to a troubled girl named Carleta who seems to be slipping through the cracks of the orphanage while the other nuns consider her a lost cause and disturbed child. As she learns more about Carleta’s past Maggie struggles to protect her from the church which seems to have a sinister plan for her. The devil is involved. It's a whole thing. The First Omen is directed by Arkasha Stevenson who co-wrote the movie with Tim Smith and Keith Thomas. Nell Tiger Free stars as Margaret and gives a stunning performance as a young nun.  Review of The First Omen The first omen is everything that Immaculate wishes it could be. It's dark and sinister, giving a fresh and incredibly disturbing take on catholic horror.  The movie is long, which I am known for being a critic of, but I didn't check my watch once during this two-hour-long movie. Its shocking without being distasteful, and Nell Free’s character Margaret is a delight to watch and gives a performance that I think will be studied and copied by many possession movies to come. Even with some of the seemingly out-of-nowhere revelations that keep the plot moving I enjoyed each twist and turn. Its scary, it's disturbing, and it's fun.  Score 8/10
84:10 4/10/24
Tales From the Darkside: The Movie Review
Synopsis This movie, directed by John Harrison, is based off the TV series of the same name. It follows a wraparound story about a kid that is going to be cooked by a woman who kidnapped him, and he tries to get out of it by telling her stories from the titular book. This movie is an anthology, with one wraparound story and three tales from the darkside, filled with frights, fun, blood, and gore. Review of Tales From the Darkside: The Movie This movie is very 1990. The style, the gore remind me of late 80s early 90s horror. I have never seen the TV show, but I can see how this film could be nostalgic to those who grew up in the 80s and had a knack for horror movies. It’s always a hit or a miss when a TV show becomes a movie, but in this case, I think it is a romp. It’s fun, the gore is good, but it’s not very scary. With a 93 minute runtime and a star studded cast, I don’t think you could go very wrong with this movie. With all anthologies though, there are going to be stories within the film that are not very good, and this movie is no exception. All in all, it is a fun time. I didn’t hate it. If it wasn’t so predictable, I would give it a higher score, but it’s very average and that is okay sometimes. We don’t wanna watch the best movie of all time every single day. Score 5/10
89:31 4/3/24
Patreon Exclusive Preview: Night of the Living Dead (1968) Pretentious Review
Synopsis Night of the Living Dead is a zombie movie about a group of strangers who are funneled into a farmhouse and forced to work together for survival. Ben, our protagonist played by Duane Jones is a strong and courageous man who takes it upon himself to lead the group as they struggle to escape the zombie hoard entrapping them in the home. Through twists and turns they learn that friendship was what they really needed all along. Review of Night of the Living Dead Night of the Living Dead is a foundational horror movie that deserves to be a classic. It has a classic zombie movie feel and did a lot to inspire zombie movies in the future. Despite my enjoyment of the film, there are still points in the movie that feel slow, and the dialogue seems to repeat itself a lot when trying to explain the situation. The makeup isn't always very convincing, at least not compared to modern zombie movies, but it's almost refreshing to see zombies that aren't completely covered in blood and gore. Duane Jones gives a fantastic performance as Ben, and it's easy to root for his strong character. Judith O’Dea’s acting is a little over the top for me at times, and her character becomes pretty annoying, but hey maybe if I was in a zombie apocalypse I'd be just as scared and useless as her.  Score 8/10
04:59 3/30/24
Immaculate Review
Immaculate, starring Sydney Sweeney is the new religious horror film that we’ll be reviewing today, and it goes hard at the end, so stay tuned. Synopsis Immaculate tells the story of a young American woman with heavy naturals named Cecilia joining a convent in Italy. It’s slowly revealed to Sister Cecilia that the convent isn’t as immaculate as it seems. The priest and other nuns seem to have ulterior motives for bringing Cecilia there. Once she discovers the convent’s dark and mysterious secrets, it’s too late. She be pregonate. Review of Immaculate Immaculate is a Catholic horror movie that somehow avoids all the tropes associated with that label. There’s no exorcism, no devil, and not even a  strong supernatural element. This subversion of expectations alone makes it an interesting horror movie. Structurally, the film is sound, but it feels more like a framework and not fully fleshed out. The themes and implications of the story aren’t fully explored. There is a lot of fertile ground here, in terms of exploring faith, devotion, obedience, and authority that are only skimmed over.  I wasn’t a big fan of Sydney Sweeney's acting in the first half of the film. Her demeanor and vibe brought too much 21st century ambivalence for a character that is essentially a religious zealot. However, she won me over with her acting in the latter half of the film. The film goes pretty hard with the gore and body horror, but what else would you expect from a movie about pregnancy? We are given an early taste with a graphic leg breaking scene in the prologue, and the final moments of the film are some of the most visceral that I’ve seen in a while. The worst and most distracting element of the film was the sound. The score was terrible, and felt like it was out of a low budget student film. The Foley sound was almost comical with prolonged and impossibly loud creaks and squelches. Score 7/10
113:10 3/27/24
An American Werewolf in London Review
Synopsis Two American tourists David and Jack are hiking through Europe when they are attacked by a giant wolf in the northern moorlands of Britain. A month later during the full moon, David turns into a werewolf. But not any ordinary, this one is louder, friendlier, individualistic, and more confident than British werewolves. It wreaks havoc on London, biting and slashing through town while being openly patriotic. Review of An American Werewolf in London An American Werewolf in London is a classic 80’s horror movie that stands the test of time. Director John Landis brings the humor he is known for from Animal house and Blues Brothers, and combines it with the horror that he brought to behind the scenes of Twilight Zone: The Movie. The cast of relative unknowns David Naughton and Griffin Dunne bring a convincing casualness as college friends, and really sell the humor. The real star of the show is Rick Baker’s practical effects, and the werewolf transformation stands as the gold standard of metamorphoses on camera. While the film does have humor, I would more describe it as casual. Which is a great contrast to the gory violence and disturbing dreamy jump cuts that pop out at you throughout. The film isn’t too ambitious and keeps the plot to a basic monster movie reminiscent of the old universal horror movies, but it is spiced up with quirky 80’s flavor. Score 10/10
82:25 3/20/24
Imaginary Review
Synopsis Imaginary is a PG-13 horror film about Jessica, an artist and author who recently married Max and joined his family, becoming a stepmother to two girls. When Jessica’s father is moved into a retirement home, the family moves into Jessica’s childhood house in hopes of finding a fresh start. As the family settles in, the youngest daughter, Alice, appears to have a new imaginary friend whom she spends all her time talking to. The family soon finds that this new friend is anything but imaginary as it begins to wreak havoc on the household. The movie is directed by Jeff Wadlow and written by Wadlow, Greg Erb, and Jason Oremland. Review of Imaginary This might be one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The script is not subtle at all, and none of the characters talk like real human beings. It's almost like the writers knew what they wanted to tell the audience but had no idea how to convey their thoughts other than having the characters say them outright. The acting ranges from okay to downright awful, and somehow the best actor of them all might have been Piper Braun, the actress who plays the little girl. The movie could have been a tight hour and 20 minutes but chooses to drag on another 25 minutes at the end, making it feel like you've been in the theater for hours. Still, despite all my criticisms, there were a couple of scenes that I enjoyed, so I can't fully commit to giving this movie a 1.  Score 2/10
91:50 3/13/24
The Collector Review
Synopsis When a single dad who owes child support decides to rob a rich family’s home while he thinks they’re on vacation, he unexpectedly gets locked inside of a major house of horrors, with a sadistic mask wearing man who has already decided to wreak another kind of havoc on this family’s home. Review of The Collector The Collector (2009) is a quintessential aughts horror film. The quick cuts, the over the top gore, the good guy who is actually kind of seedy but has a good heart protagonist, the Saw-like green glow of some of the scenes is representative of the era it came out into. This movie came out the same year as Jennifer’s Body, The Human Centipede, Drag Me to Hell, Dead Snow, The Uninvited and many more very famous and quite renowned horror films. Although the critics didn’t like this one, with a 29% on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, I think that this movie deserves some love.This movie is definitely a hidden gem, with only a $3 mil budget, compared to other horror from the same year, with budgets as high as $30 mil. Even though critics hated it, it was a box office success, grossing over $10 mil. It’s fun, it’s inventive, there are a lot of unexpected twists and turns that keep you captivated. Although it isn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen, it has rewatchable value and it has a pretty great sequel, The Collection. If you like gore, if you like interesting kills and action packed scary movies, this one's for you. Score 7/10
98:29 3/6/24
The Void Review
Synopsis A cop named Daniel drives an injured man to an understaffed hospital after he finds him bleeding in the woods. Upon arrival, Daniel realizes this will not be just another day on the job as he is quickly forced to draw his weapon on a nurse, who attacks him in a manic rage. Before Daniel can call for help, the hospital is surrounded by unknown figures in hoods who won't come inside, but won't let anyone leave either. Wackiness ensues. Silliness abounds.  Review of The Void The Void is some sort of hodge-podge that pulls from many different movies, creating a wild ride that barely gives the viewer time to breathe. The creature designs remind me of a monster you might have to fight in a doom video game, which is definitely a good thing, and the acting is for the most part, pretty good. Some of the twists and turns this movie takes feel a little forced to me, coming out of nowhere with what seemed like zero foreshadowing, yet instead of feeling shocked and blindsided I kind of just was like, “Oh okay. I guess that's happening now”. I couldn't tell if the movie was trying to say something about pregnancy, miscarriages, and losing a child. It seemed a little like it was, I just dont know how losing a child connects to triangles, pyramids, and drug-fueled sex binges, but that's just me. Overall it's an interesting movie, worth a watch but not a must-see for me.  Score 7/10
81:56 2/28/24
The House of the Devil Review
Before X and Pearl, Ti West brought us this 70's horror callback. Synopsis Twelve years before the success of movies X and Pearl, Ti West’s first breakout feature film The House of the Devil was released. This film follows Samantha, played by Jocelin Donahoe, a broke college student trying to find a new apartment to get away from her annoying roommate. She finds a job posting that just says “Baby$itter wanted” and decides to give it a shot. After she gets into contact with a robotic creepy disembodied voice on the phone about the job, she decides to take it and have her friend, director of Barbie, take her to the house. Once she arrives to babysit, she realizes that this is not a typical babysitting job, and everyone who lives in this house is off their rocker. But, they’re paying her four times more than she asks for, so she decides it’s worth it. A scary old house in the middle of nowhere while caring for a supposed elderly woman that likes to keep to herself, where her only contact with the outside world is the pizza man, on the night of a lunar eclipse, what could go wrong? So much more than Samantha could have ever thought. Review of The House of the Devil After loving X and Pearl, I decided to give Ti West’s first movie a shot, and I was not disappointed. Like X and Pearl, Ti West’s editing and direction of the film is something to be revered, with his jump cuts and long shots and bone chilling zooms and set dressing, this makes for a good horror movie. It has everything a horror fan would want: pretty girls, lots of blood, a good setup for scares, a creepy attic, a weird old lady, satanic rituals, a friend who doubts the validity of the situation, and a final girl. It is shot on 16mm which gives the film a vintage horror feel, the way it was filmed and the story that was set up kind of reminded me of the original Black Christmas. Even the main characters looked alike. It is a bit slower to get into the action, but you know once you’re in it you’re in for a treat. All in all, this film is good, it is scary, it is artful, and I love seeing how directors started and how they have grown since their first films. I loved every second of it. I was scared, even upon the second watch. Score 9/10
66:16 2/21/24
Lisa Frankenstein Review
Critics are split on this new movie from Zelda Williams and Diablo Cody, but We're nearly unanimous, Lisa Frankenstein is a good time and you should go see it in theaters. Synopsis Set in the late 80’s, Lisa is the weird new girl in school dealing with the grief of her mothers death and life in a new family with a wicked stepmother and kind of nice yet condescending stepsister. She spends her free hours talking to herself and pining for love in a Bachelor’s cemetery, which is totally a thing. She has the hots for the editor of the school newspaper, and while chatting with him at a party, she drinks a spiked drink and goes into a psychedelic trip during a thunderstorm. Using 80’s logic, the lightning resurrects Lisa’s favorite grave resident unbeknownst to her. From there, it’s that age old tale of the goth girl that keeps a reanimated corpse in the friendzone while they murder people for parts.  Review of Lisa Frankenstein Lisa Frankenstein is a mess, but it’s a fun mess. As of recording, it sits at a solid 50% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, and I’m honestly not surprised. I predict this one will be divisive, but could ultimately become a cult classic from it’s bizarre campy charm. The premise feels straight from the early filmography of Tim Burton, but unlike Burton, the freshman director Zelda Williams struggles with keeping a consistent style and tone throughout the film. Her background is in music videos, and it really shows in some of the narrative style of the movie, which relies heavily on visual shorthand more than hard earned character development and cause and effect. The script written by Diablo Cody of Juno and Jennifer’s Body fame is the highlight of the film. It taps into a level of snarky and campy humor rarely seen outside of 80’s teen romcoms. Like her other scripts, this one features sharp dialogue and amusing non-sequiters from supporting characters that makes the world fun to watch. The acting is great. Kathrine Newton who plays Lisa shifts from weird nerd to self assured goth murderess with aplomb. Cole Sprouse does great with comedic timing as the mute creature. Liza Soberano walks the line between condescension and likability really well as the step sister. Carla Gugino was the best at bringing the appropriate amount of camp to the stepmother. The main flaws in the movie are the disjointed tone and the arbitrariness of the plot. It would have been nicer to have more effort put into the setups for the major plot shifts and character changes. Without properly establishing cause and effect, the movie can feel confusing. But here’s the thing. With all the nitpicks I could pick at, I was smiling and chuckling throughout the whole movie. I thought it was a blast, and I give it a lot of points for originality.  Score 8/10
95:00 2/14/24
V/H/S Review
Synopsis Four petty criminals who film their violent crimes are strapped for cash, so they find a job to break into a creepy old house to steal a mysterious VHS tape. Once they’re inside, they slowly realize that this excursion might not be worth the money, as there is a dead man waiting for them in front of a wall of TVs and about a hundred tapes to go through. As they watch them, we see the tapes from their point of view and get to see what scares are in store every step of the way. Review of VHS VHS is a 2012 film with nine directors, with the most notable being Ti West (of X and Pearl), David Bruckner (The Ritual, The Night House), Adam Wingard (You’re Next), Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet (Ready or Not and Scream 2022). This gaggle of directors comes together to launch their careers through five different tapes plus the main backdrop storyline to create a classic anthology film that sparked a franchise. This movie is included in the mumble-gore movement of the late aughts and early 10s, and perhaps is the most famous to come out of the genre. I have seen this film no less than six times, and while I rewatched it for this episode I realized that I knew it so well that I probably didn’t have to watch it again to recount it beat by beat and give it a score. To me, this is a modern horror classic. I really enjoy this movie, how it switches from a slowburn creep out to a ghost story to a slasher and so on. I think it is a great movie to get you into horror, it is a great movie to revisit, it is a great movie period. I am thoroughly entertained through every part of it, and even though not every tape is my favorite, I think all of it is very effective as a scary movie and I love the ambiguous ending. To quote my boyfriend when I told him what movie we were reviewing, “Oh so it’s a true syd classic.” It might be nostalgia, it might be the genotype, but whatever it is, I really love this movie.   Score 9/10
93:59 2/7/24
Suspiria (1977) Review
Synopsis Suspiria (1977) (not to be confused with Suspiria 2018) is a movie about a young American woman named Suzie who relocates to Germany to join a prestigious dance academy. As Suzie begins to adjust to her new life, she stumbles into a world of conspiracy that seems to surround her school and the dance instructors. People start to go missing while Suzie and her friend Sara attempt to put the pieces together. When the school's staff start to show their true colors, Suzie must investigate the history of the academy before whoever is murdering the dancers makes her the next target. In the end, they all get more Suspiria than they bargained for.  Review of Suspiria (1977) Suspiria is directed by Dario Argento and stars Jessica Harper as Suzie. The movie, now considered a horror classic, uses unconventional lighting and color, which gives the movie a unique feeling and adds to the suspenseful atmosphere. The dialogue is kind of goofy at times, but to me, that is part of the charm. My problem with Suspiria is that with a run time of only an hour and 40 minutes, it somehow feels like a 2 hour + movie. The scenes drag on, probably to linger on the beautifully designed shots, and the plot is minimal compared to the 2018 remake, which expands on and adds ideas to the original. However, I say all of that just for the sake of being critical. I actually really enjoy this movie.  Score 8/10
84:12 1/31/24
Shutter Island Review
What is this Horror Movie Talk+? This is a Patron pick, and we were more than happy to cover this Martin Scorsese thriller. Synopsis Shutter Island is directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels, a rough-and-tumble U.S. marshal who doesn't play by the rules. His partner, Chuck, played by Mark Ruffalo, also doesn't play by the rules, but he is a little less rough and tumble about it. The two of them are assigned to investigate a missing person at a prison for the criminally insane located on a remote island. As the Duo look further into the mystery, they reveal more questions than answers, and it seems like no one is telling the truth.  Review of Shutter Island A lot happens in Shutter Island, and every scene feels like it is packed with symbolism and clues. Although I am not usually a fan of movies over two hours long, Shutter Island kept me engaged the whole way through, other than a few dream sequences, which I felt went on a little too long. The characters have deep and disturbing histories and it is fun to watch the whole mystery come unraveled. For a smart person who pays attention, the twist may seem obvious the whole way through, but that was not my experience at all. I was so confused the whole movie, and every attempt at filling me into what was really going on went right over my head until the pieces finally clicked together in the end and I felt like a big idiot for not seeing it sooner. It's enjoyable, its weird, it's dark, it's thought-provoking, and the performances are great.  Score 9/10
63:22 1/24/24
Godzilla Minus One Review
Listen to us talk about possibly the greatest monster franchise ever, and how it just keeps getting better. Synopsis Directed by Takashi Yamazaki, Godzilla Minus One follows the story of Koichi (played by Kamiki Ryunosuke), a kamikaze pilot at the end of WWII who didn’t wanna go full kamikaze so he says that his plane is faulty and lands on Odo Island for repairs. Once there, a baby Godzilla arrives and decimates everyone, except for Koichi and Tachibana, the head repairman. Koichi eventually makes it back to his home in Tokyo to find that his parents are dead and Tokyo has been almost flattened by the war. Koichi encounters a girl named Noriko (played by Minami Hamabe) and she latches onto him for support for her and the baby she is carrying, and they become a happy family. A couple years later, Godzilla comes back, bigger and better than ever. Will Koichi defeat the monster? You’ll have to wait and see! Review of Godzilla Minus One This movie has it all. It had me laughing, crying, shocked, upset, and enthralled. To bounce from hard hitting emotional scenes to incredibly jarring and crazy action scenes and have it effortlessly flow is extremely difficult, yet director Yamazaki did it seamlessly. It was a wonderful movie that depicts Japan’s ruin and rebuilding after WWII, and how the war never left anyone’s minds even for a second. Oh, and Godzilla was absolutely killer. I have never seen another Godzilla movie in full before, but I can tell that they went back to the basics and kept what worked from the original and newer films. From the score, to the visual effects, to the character building, it was absolutely flawless. The Japanese invented Godzilla, it’s only right that they are the best at making films about it. Score 10/10
87:49 1/17/24
Night Swim Review
Synopsis When Kurt Russell's son is forced into retirement from the MLB, he and his family move to a new house with a pool. The pool ends up being a death trap for his family and the neighborhood. But not in the normal way, this pool is extra scary because… that’s right there’s no gate! But actually it gets worse, the pool is also haunted or something. Review of Night Swim Night Swim is produced by Jason Blumhouse, and like most of his horror movies, this one stays in the shallow end of the pool. The main features of Night Swim are recycled tropes from much better horror movies. You’ll recognise borderline theft of the IT sewer scene, and the father descending into madness ala The Shining and Amityville Horror. It is an interesting concept to set a horror movie around a haunted pool. It taps into some latent fears about pools and deep water in general, but this movie definitely doesn’t crack the code and come up with a convincing premise. The ideas all seem half baked and made up as they went along. Is it a ghost? Are there many ghosts haunting the pool? Is the water an entity in itself? Is it a monkey's paw? Sure yeah, whatever. So really the main thing that the film suffers from is a lack of commitment. There are many interesting ways you could go with it. Personally, I would have made the pool be haunted by the ghost of Marco Polo, and gone full horror comedy. The dialogue is also pretty on the nose at times, and feels like a paint by numbers script. There aren’t really any standout performances, but Kerry Condon as the mother is probably the most compelling and believable out of the cast. It’s not a terrible movie, but is very predictable and as MAx and Sydney would call it, “mid”. Score 5/10
114:14 1/10/24
When Evil Lurks Review
It's a new year and a new set of hosts! Listen up as Bryce announces the new permanent cohost(s?) of Horror Movie Talk, then we get right into reviewing When Evil Lurks. Synopsis When Evil Lurks is directed by Demian Rugna who also directed a film you may recall Terrified or Atterados. In this film, two brothers living on a farm find a man infected with a demonic disease. In order to save the town and themselves they do what they can to get rid of the man, but things quickly get out of hand. Our main character Pedro played by Ezequiel Rodrígue is rough, stern and a natural-born leader to his brother Jimi played by  Demián Salomón who kind of just does whatever his brother says. The film gives a nuanced take on possession and while I think Terrified was scarier, this has a better story.  Review of When Evil Lurks When Evil Lurks is heavy and doesn't pull any punches. The violence is brutal and shocking and the makeup on the possessed people makes them look truly disgusting. The characters seem like real people and often dont make the greatest decisions, but are just doing the best they know how to do. The movie feels fresh and puts its own spin on demonic possession, but to say that this movie should be lumped into the same category as a movie like the exorcist believer is laughable. Though it uses the words demonic possession, it really ends up being something very unique. It feels like we as the viewers get to peer into the minds and culture of a deeply superstitious town in argentina which is an impressive thing to do. One of the best parts about this movie to me is that it introduces so much lore that people from this town all seem to just kind of know and understand as the truth, yet I never felt like I was struggling to catch up or understand where they were coming from. It is unsettling, and every scene feels like something new.  Score 9/10
73:44 1/3/24
Saw X Review with Kyle Nolan
Merry Christmas and a Happy Saw Year! Synopsis Let me go into a little synopsis of saw x for you. In saw x we see the return of john kramer and he is searching for a cure to his terminal brain cancer. As he goes through the grieving process of his own mortality, he runs into a friend that may hold the key to a cure. An experimental surgery that is groundbreaking and exactly what john needs.  We get to follow John through his Journey to health but he finds out it's not all what it appears, with hope fading John is ready to play a game with All new Traps but the same gore that we have come to expect out of the Franchise.  Review  Overall I did enjoy this movie, it had me squirming  in my seat and kept me engaged for most of the film. Do I think this is a groundbreaking masterpiece? no , in my opinion it is the best saw movie since the first one. It's what you would expect from a saw movie, traps and blood. I'm happy that we get to follow john and see another side of him and get more character development. There is definitely  parts of the movie that don't make sense for me but you pretty much know what you are going in for.
49:36 12/27/23
Christmas Bloody Christmas Review with Carl Swan
Will robo-santa win you over? Only if you believe. Synopsis CBC pits off-brand lead character Tori (Riley Dandy) against a malfunctioning, homicidal robot-Santa manufactured by Uncle Sam. Tori runs a shop next door to a toy store with one of the killer Kriss Kringles and … mayhem ensues.  Review of Christmas Bloody Christmas Review: This flick takes the concept of intelligent tech (a concept popularized by 80s slashics like Maximum Overdrive, Deadly Friend, Chopping Mall, RoboCop, and Terminator) and Frankensteins it onto another favorite 80s concept: the killer Santa. Of course, the gold standard for killer Santas was set by Charles Sellier’s ‘Silent Night Deadly Night’ in 1984, but that doesn’t stop modern directors from trying to put their own special spin on the ax-wielding punisher of naughty boys and girls. Last year alone, we got three new entries in the category: Violent Night, The Mean One, and Joe Begos’s Xmas Bloody Xmas. I can easily say that Begos’s option is my favorite. Not because it’s a perfect film. The top half is talk-heavy. The lead character is somewhat annoying. And with Begos aiming for a Rob Zombie aesthetic - lots of neon light and oversaturated primary colors - much of the action is muddy and hard to discern, which is a bummer since some of the gore looks really good. Heads get stomped and split down the middle; eyes get poked with the ass-end of Santa’s ax, multiple cops gets shotgunned in the facial. This grindhouse gruesomeness isn’t helped by the cinematography, but I still appreciate that Begos shot the movie in 16mm and included plenty of gore for his core audience. There’s also lots of references to iconic horror properties; and, I like the cast. Riley Dandy delivers an effective final girl with Tori - the smart-mouthed and strong-minded record store owner caught in the middle of robo-SantApocalypse with a bunch of dimwitted men who refuse to listen to her advice. The exception is Robbie (played by Sam Delich), her equally saucy and opinionated employee whose Xmas wish (tho unstated) is to get into Tori’s pants. He gets his wish, and lasts longer than any of the other dudes because he actually listens to Tor. And that’s largely what this flick is about. But also, it’s a mindless blood-and-guts movie about a killer Santa that slices and dices without rhyme or reason. If taken with a big heaping boulder of salt, it can be plenty of fun.  Score 6/10
44:38 12/20/23
The Pope’s Exorcist Review with Sydney Lee
This fun exorcism romp is more fun than riding a Vespa across Europe. Listen to Bryce and Sydney break it down. Synopsis The Pope’s Exorcist is a 2023 film that follows Father Gabriele Amorth, the real life Chief Exorcist of the Vatican from 1986-2016, as he goes around to possibly possessed adults and children and cures them of their affliction, through unconventional and sometimes frowned upon means. The movie follows Amorth, played by the award winning actor Russell Crowe, as he tries to get rid of a very powerful demon that has attached itself to a little American boy named Henry, who has just moved into an inherited Spanish castle with his mother and sister. This movie is based on true events and documents from the Vatican, as well as being based on two books Father Amorth wrote before his death in 2016. There are some true elements to the story but a lot of it has been fictionalized to make this slightly scary, sometimes funny exorcism movie.  Review of The Pope's Exorcist In reviewing this movie, we have to take into account how many movies try to be The Exorcist, and ultimately fall flat because no one could ever top the 1973 horror classic. This movie definitely takes cues from its predecessor, with the possessed boy shouting obscenities at his mother and the priests, body contortion, some suspenseful and mysterious scenes, and an origin story for the demon that honestly was refreshing to all the other long played out demon stories. This movie got better the longer it ran, but it is in no way a slow paced movie. Every minute has you wanting to keep watching. It starts off a bit basic for long time horror movie lovers like me, but it got more interesting as it progressed. And with a 100 minute run time, it is the perfect length for a movie night.  The script is very basic and mimics many other exorcism movies, and at times the characters would probably be better off not speaking than saying their bare bones lines to get the plot moving. But whoever wrote this movie was obviously highlighting Russell Crowe. They gave him the best lines, the most backstory, in a way he was the most, if not only, interesting character in the entire film. He solves everyone’s problems, he makes the characters and the audience laugh, we can sympathize with him while also being very interested in what his next move should be. As a viewer, it seems as though he had the time of his life filming this movie, and that is what makes it watchable in my opinion. There were good gorey scenes, some of the lines from the possessed boy were so outrageous that it made me step back and say okay maybe this movie has more going for it than I had originally thought. Ultimately, it is very entertaining, but it would have been nothing without Russell Crowe. Score 8/10
87:01 12/13/23
The Exorcist: Believer Review with Max and Sydney
Do you believe that this sequel is good? It's going to take some strong faith on your part. Synopsis The Exorcist: Believer is a direct sequel to the original 1973 The Exorcist. In this film, we get not one, but two, that’s right two possessions for the price of one. When two teenage girls go out into the woods to perform a séance, they disappear and reappear days later acting… strange. Their parents struggle to find out why the reason th... It’s possession, they are possessed. The father of one of the girls played by Leslie Odom Jr. must recruit an Oceans 11 type ragtag group of exorcists and Chris MacNeil reprised by Ellen Burstyn, who I can only assume had an important boat she wanted to buy. Review of Exorcist: Believer NBCUniversal shelled out 400 million on the rights to The Exorcist IP and entrusted David Gordon Green to work his soft reboot magic that he showed with the Halloween franchise. They’ve committed to producing two more of these exorcist films, and after watching this one… I’m not  a believer. Much like most of the previous sequel and prequels in the franchise, this film fails to recapture the humanity, darkness, and complexity of the original. You could point to the fact that they keep giving these movies to mediocre or hack directors, but even John Boorman fucked up The Exorcist 2, and he directed Deliverance. Also, since The Exorcist was released, it seems like there is rarely a year that goes by that there isn’t an exorcism themed horror movie in theaters. It’s a tired horror trope at this point. As a result, The Exorcist: Believer comes off as another generic possession movie going through the motions while skipping all the “boring” parts like relationships, character development, or mystery. A lot of eyes have rolled over some of the messaging in this movie about being woke. Ellen Burstyn's line about not being part of the damn patriarchy and being excluded from the original exorcism comes off as heavy handed and completely detached from the story of the original film. I think Chris MacNeil's character is the greatest casualty of this film. However, I think the root problem is that in trying to make Exorcism more inclusive and exploring the universality of evil, it comes off as wishy washy and noncommittal. Score 3/10 https://youtu.be/RAR4_7LCDIg
80:11 12/6/23
Whoooores Only Vol. 8 – Voice Mail Episode with David Day
Hey remember David Day? He came back to listen to and respond to your voicemails with Bryce.
55:59 12/1/23
The Exorcist II: The Heretic Review with Sydney Lee
Who possessed these filmmakers to make one of the worst sequels of all time? The Exorcist 2 is a befuddling mess that bears no resemblance to the original. Synopsis In this sequel to the Exorcist, Father Lamont, played by Richard Burton, is assigned to investigate the last exorcism of Father Merrin to clear his name of any doubt of faith. Father Lamont finds Regan spending her time in therapy in a psychiatric institute that appears to be the backrooms of Westworld. Her doctor, Gene Tuskin, played by Louise Fletcher is testing out a new device that synchronizes hypnotic states… or something. In the course of her experiments and Father Lamont’s investigation, we find out that Regan isn’t Exorcized, but just mostly exorcized. In the end, we get more pazuzu than we bargained for… Review of The Exorcist II: The Heretic The Exorcist still stands as one of the best movies of all time, and still is my favorite horror movie. So I have always been intrigued by The Exorcist 2, and the fact that it’s so bad, that almost no one ever talks about it. Exorcist 2 is widely regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, and probably the worst sequel ever made. How does this happen? If you look at the cast, there are some real heavy hitters. The film's cast includes one Oscar winner (Louise Fletcher) and five Oscar nominees (Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Richard Burton, Ned Beatty, and James Earl Jones). It’s directed by Sir John Boorman, the director of Deliverance. In short, a bunch of people that should have known better than to absolutely abandon everything that made the original good. Instead of grounding the story in reality and the characters’ humanity to further analyze the nature of good, evil, and faith; we are treated to some kind of scifi supernatural fever dream. The film feels like it was written on the fly, and that’s not far from the truth. After it’s disastrous opening, it was pulled twice from theaters to be recut, and even after all that, this film is utterly befuddling. There are some scenes, especially involving the hypnotism device, that are so hilariously inept that it feels like they were written as jokes. If you dig deep enough, you can find some interesting ideas about good attracting evil, and the dangers of getting too close to evil, but they are completely overwhelmed by the bizarre choices in the story. It is a very bad movie, but the case can be made that it’s so bad that it’s good. This is definitely an oddity, and could be a good time with friends if you want something to riff on while watching. Score 3/10
74:23 11/29/23
Thanksgiving Review with Kyle Nolan
Why make the feature length version of a beloved fake trailer when you can make a watered down Blumhouse-style remake? Synopsis Plymouth, Mass the indigenous home of the pilgrims is beset by a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer. Wearing the mask of Plymouth’s founder and dressed as a pilgrim, the killer seems to be exacting revenge on those involved in a deadly Black Friday riot a year earlier. Between the holiday themed kills a cast of teens led by JEssica (Nell Verlaque), as well as the sexiest sheriff alive played by patrick dempsey try to unmask the killer and save the town. Review of Thanksgiving This film is based off of a fake trailer that Eli Roth created for Grindhouse to play in between the double feature Planet Terror (2007) and Death Proof (2007). The trailer was an homage to 80s hard R slashers such as Pieces and My Bloody Valentine. The film, instead of being a gritty and stylish homage, Thanksgiving feels like a lazy Blumhouse remake of a much more iconic movie.  There are some great kills, half of which are shown in the trailer, but they are wrapped with a bland sanitized script full of too many uninteresting characters.  Eli Roth really seems to be phoning it in on the directing. The film comes off as lazy, since there is very little style and the editing is constantly undercutting the impact of some scenes by dwelling a second too long, or not giving you crucial information. Overall it comes off as an unseasoned and undercooked turkey of a movie. Score 4/10
57:02 11/22/23
It’s a Wonderful Knife Review With Carl Swan
In this follow up to Freaky, writer Michael White takes on the Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life in this disappointing horror sendup. Synopsis In the sleepy town of Angel Falls, Winnie Caruthers kills a rampaging masked killer and saves the town from further massacre. After a year, she has never fully recovered from the trauma of the killer killing best friend, and everyone around her inexplicably is a huge dick to her about it. In a moment of despair she wishes that she never existed, and a magical aurora borealis grants her wish and she gets inserted into an alternate reality where she never killed the masked murderer, and he has continued his rampage. Review of It's a Wonderful Knife Coming off of the success of Freaky, a horror sendup of the Freaky Friday premise writer Michael White attempts for a repeat by creating this horror parody of It’s a Wonderful Life. The problem is on the surface the premise doesn’t make any sense. “Oh how I wish I’d never existed so I didn’t have to kill that serial killer” just doesn’t come off as a logical desire.  However the most egregious sin of the movie is it’s entirely inconsistent tone. Is this supposed to be an over the top satire? Is it supposed to be a heartwarming morality play with an edge? Is it supposed to be a visceral gory horror film with sardonic humor? It ends up being nothing other than a tonally confusing mess. It feels like the film went through 5 rewrites while shooting, one of which being done by an 8 year old. One example of this inconsistency is exemplified in the character of Winnie’s father played by Joel McHale. I’m not sure if he’s supposed to be a sympathetic character, an inconsiderate asshole, or a psychopath. Some of this is due to the plot taking place between two different realities, but the problem is really that they never truly establish his character in the first place. The film makes a lot of bizarre choices not only in the story, but in the production. The first couple of deaths used some of the least convincing digital blood that I have ever seen in a theatrical release. By the end of the movie it goes completely off the rails and adds inexplicable supernatural powers to one of the villains. Score 3/10
74:35 11/15/23

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