Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 057: Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) and The Canal (2014) and Paranormal Movie Trends and a Tribute to Christopher Lee

HMP 57 Artwork b

Welcome to Episode 057 of HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies… In this show, Wolfman Josh and Dr. Shock are back with Jay of the Dead to bring you another Frankensteinian episode featuring “Insidious: Chapter 3” and a discussion of the paranomal movie trend in mainstream horror. The Wolfman then reviews “The Canal” and brings you a paranormal Wolfman’s Got Nards pick from 1988. And Dr. Shock brings us his Classic Horror Actor Spotlight.

Episode 057 is also special because we introduce the new Horror Movie Podcast artwork by Trump Widdop. Join us for this episode!

Horror Movie Podcast is now a weekly show that’s released every Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! And remember, we love getting your voice mails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!


I. Introduction
— Wolfman Josh tells us about living in Colombia for the summer

[ 0:08:37 ] II. Mainstream Horror Movie Trends
— The prevalence of the supernatural / paranormal / ghost movie sub-genre among mainstream horror releases

[ 0:27:00 ] III. Feature Review: INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 (2014)
Jay of the Dead = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )

[ 0:51:24 ] IV. Review: THE CANAL (2015)
Wolfman Josh = 7 ( Rental )

[ 1:10:58 ] V. Classic Horror Actor Spotlight: DWIGHT FRYE
Dr. Shock: The Vampire Bat (1933) = 7 ( Rental )

[ 1:38:32 ] VI. Wolfman’s Got Nards: Lady in White (1988)
Wolfman Josh = 7 ( Strong Rental )

VII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— A Tribute to Christopher Lee by James the Ripper
— Plugs

JOIN US NEXT WEEK ON HMP: Episode 058: 28 Days Later… and 28 Weeks Later with Dr. Walking Dead!

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

Leave a comment or e-mail us here: HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com


The Horrorble Podcast, The Canal and Ivan Kavanagh:
Ep. 02: The Canal Review
Ep. 06: Ivan Kavanagh Interview
Ep. 06 – BONUS: Ivan Kavanagh on local radio

— Check out the new Land of the Creeps commentary with Todd Farmer

— Listen to Jay of the Dead’s guest appearance on BillChete’s audio broadcast Horror on the Go: Horror Genre Classification

Pre-order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century

Dr. Walking Dead on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead
Dr. Walking Dead’s books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead

Listen to Mattroid, STATION and Kill Bill Kill on The SciFi Podcast (A must-listen!)

Dr. Shock’s DVD Infatuation is now on Facebook

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Wolfman Josh on Twitter: @IcarusArts
Wolfman covers movies streaming online on: Movie Stream Cast

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dr. Shock’s daily movie review Web site: DVD Infatuation.com
Dr. Shock on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Dr. Shock’s other horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for Horror Movie Podcast.

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Thanks for listening, and join us again next Friday for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

81 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 057: Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) and The Canal (2014) and Paranormal Movie Trends and a Tribute to Christopher Lee

  1. @JOTD – Yes! When you said the new HMP cover art/banner was more horrorized, I feared we’d be getting something gaudy. But we didn’t. This is awesome.

    Tell “Trump” job well done.

    • Yea, Doc talks about Fritz and Renfield! I love the classic horror actor section. I just finished watching the Lodger this week and got caught up on Laird Cregar. Now I’ll have to rewatch The Vampire Bat so I can look for the sets from Frankenstein and The Old Dark House. Keep up the good work, Doc!

  2. A couple of movies that take place in movie theatres and also have films within films are Penny Dreadful Picture Show and Chillerama. You’re probably familiar with Chillerama as it was a fairly popular release a couple of years ago. Penny Dreadful Picture Show is a movie about a demented girl who lives in a theatre. She plays horror movies for blind dates and base on their reaction decides whether or not to kill them. It’s fun and quirky, and one of the short films features Jeffrey Combs, Sig Haig, and wrestler Al Snow. The best of this anthology is not actually in the movie though it is in the trailer. It’s called The Scout and it’s about a boy scout who moves into a new neighbourhood and goes on his first camping trip with his new troup. The camp site is then attacked by a giant monster. Though it’s not available in the film it is watchable on the director’s Vimeo page. https://vimeo.com/nickeverhart

  3. I am really looking forward to the episode on movies with film shoots or movie theater settings as the backdrop. I am pretty sure you guys previously covered it, but “Shadow of the Vampire” immediately sprang to mind. I also, wanted to mention that “Popcorn” is currently up on youtube if it can’t be found elsewhere. A few years back it was on netflix, so hopefully it will show up in rotation again.
    The 1980 movie “He Knows You’re Alone” (with an appearance by Tom Hanks) opens with a movie theater kill, that is similarly revisited in “Scream 2”. I haven’t seen “Scream 3” but I might see if it is somewhere to stream before you release that episode.
    One of my favorite movies about making movies, is Robert Altman’s “The Player” from 1992. It isn’t a horror movie, but there is a wonderfully creepy scene with Lyle Lovett chanting “one of us, one of us” as his character has just watched Tod Browning’s “Freaks”. I don’t know which creeps me out more: the “one of us” scene, or when Lyle Lovett sings his song “Penguins”.

  4. Speaking of STARRY EYES, a bunch of us discussed the movie a few months ago in the comments for episode 49. Wolfman Josh was definitely right about the score; it’s one of the best parts of the movie. I’ll be interested to hear what JOTD, Wolfman Josh, and Dr. Shock have to say about the movie. Here was my take (copied from my comments on episode 49)…

    STARRY EYES (2014) – 6/10
    This movie was not exactly what I expected, but I sort of liked where it ended up going. It took a long time for the horror element to really surface, though, so you need to be a patient movie-watcher. And, the social commentary of the film was a bit hamfisted and spelled out for the audience. Something I did really like is the film’s score. It’s entirely creepy and sets the mood very well… almost like a twisted nursery rhyme that transforms into a demonic sermon. This movie also has a death scene that immediately landed on my “top kills in a horror movie” list; it’s brutal, extremely graphic, and absolutely awesome. Overall, this movie is not essential viewing, but you could do worse. Definitely worth streaming it on Netflix (FYI, it’s currently streaming on Netflix in the U.S.).

  5. Jay, I just watched “Would You Rather” and I’m sorry to say that it was pretty bad haha. Sorry, man but I just don’t see what you liked so much about it. It’s an average horror flick with a really dumb ending. This is miles behind “Cheap Thrills” and “13 Sins”. It’s a 5 and a lowest of the low priority streaming. I don’t think I’ll ever rewatch this again. There’s too much great stuff out there.

    • Ha… I liked WOULD YOU RATHER, but not quite as much as JOTD. I think he gave it a 9.5/10, or something crazy like that. I come in at a 7.5/10.

      Man, we’ve been clashing on film tastes, lately. At least we’re more like-minded when it comes to beer.

      • A 7.5? Wow! Why are you coming in so high? This is pretty basic filmmaking and storytelling. If we had gained some insight into the characters or have gotten more philosophical talk about why the game was even being played in the first place, then I would back your rating. Instead we got a bunch of “what if” scenarios that were neither interesting nor flashy. Actually, we never got to see any of the aftermath of the decisions the characters made, which was kind of a slap to the face considering the type of movie this is clearly wanting to be. Dino, have you seen either “Cheap Thrills” or “13 Sins”?

        • Here are a few things I said after the VERSUS episode (#39):

          WOULD YOU RATHER (2012) – 7.5/10
          Very polished film with an interesting premise and setup. The torture elements are used to really test the limits of what the human body – and each individual character – can (and is willing to) endure. To me, that’s the most effective use of torture in films of this sub-genre. The additional game elements help to add suspense, and the backstory lends some real stakes to the situation. I do have to say it’s been a little while since I’ve seen this film, but the overall feeling of hopelessness and despair has stuck with me.

          For me, WOULD YOU RATHER is effective because we have a person of power taking advantage of those in need. He introduces himself as a caring individual with the best intentions… and resources… who just wants to help people in need of help. But, he turns out to be a psychopath whose motivations are completely selfish (and sadistic). That’s where the real horror in this film lies with me. It can be interpreted as an allegory for corruption in government. The fact that the hospital (or, at least, some people or “parts” of the hospital) apparently knows the deal and continues to go along with it is even more horrifying.

          * * * * *

          I’ll admit that I might be reaching with my “corruption in government” allegory, but I do think it’s an effective use of torture in a movie. And, in fact, it was pretty restrained for a movie that uses torture, if memory serves me. I know here you’re essentially calling for more background, but I kind of like that we don’t know why the game is being played. All we know is that this guy is a mysterious, wealthy, and sadistic individual.

          It all worked for me.

  6. Well in my opinion 1985’s Demons by Lamberto Bava is tough to beat as a horror movie that takes place in a movie theater…

  7. Anything can be better then the babadook . That movie is a waste of time . I don’t know what movie y’all was watching it was just had the most annoying people in a horror movie ever.

    • Clearly you saw the wrong movie, Willis, or were smoking something pretty strong that night. The Babadook is an excellent film.

      Out of curiosity, which 2014 horror films did you think were better than it?

    • I’m afraid I’m with Doc on this one, Willis. I thought “The Babadook” was very good indeed. I can certainly see it not being to everyone’s tastes though. It’s as much a psychological character study as it is a horror film as well as being an almost totally humourless slow-burn. To each their own.

      It’ll be interesting next week when I confess my lukewarm feelings towards the seemingly universally adored “28 Days Later”!

  8. I’m loving the new banner Jay! It’s got kind of a Black Metal album cover vibe or something. Super creepy.

    It’s also great to hear the voices of Wolfman and Doc again. I love those guys.

    I’ve just listened to the review of “The Canal” and I think Josh was pretty fair to the movie but I have to say I was a little surprised by his description of it as “tame horror” and suggestions that it would be better fitted to the psychological thriller category. “The Canal” was a pure horror movie through and through for me and although it’s certainly lacking in the gore department it eventually ramps up to an ending that is anything but tame in my opinion. In fact I felt that one scene* in particular actually went too far and felt a little like it was put in solely for shock value. I almost felt like Josh was pre-empting Jay’s probable criticisms and letting them seep into his own review!


    * the scene in question being the birth sequence in the sewers. That was gross.

    Josh, I’m also curious what you made of the ending. I don’t know that this films is really malleable when it comes to interpretation in the same way as “The Babadook” as I feel that the ending solidifies its position as a supernatural movie. The kid closing the door and the estate agent lady smiling knowingly. She was in on it right?

    • Im with you dawg. That Josh described the horror in this movie as tame was quite shocking. I was actually pretty tense throughout the entire film. And like David said, that ending definitely took things to the next level. Another thing that really surprised me from Josh’s review was his dismissal of the movie’s look and cinematography, which I thought was phenomenal and one of the things that make it stand out from other similar movies. I love the use of vibrant colors in The Canal and it’s interesting when compared to The Babadook, which had a very muted color palette. I will give Josh that the characters and story weren’t as intriguing as in The Babadook but to say that the film pales in comparison is a bit harsh. I do understand his point of view however, and appreciate him trying not to fully dismiss the film.

      • I agree with the point that THE CANAL is an effective horror movie. I also agree that it is a very well-made, quality film and one of the better supernatural entries over the last decade. That said, I also agree with Wolfman Josh that it feels like a lesser movie in comparison to other similar films. I rated it even lower than him with a 6.5/10, but still enjoyed the movie and think it’s worth a watch.

        Regarding THE BABADOOK reference, I honestly did not have that in mind while watching THE CANAL. I guess on some level, the stories are somewhat consistent. But the two movies are so dissimilar overall (including the root of the similar story beats) that I don’t think of one while watching the other.

      • I can’t remember which film I saw first, “The Babadook” or “The Canal”, but I can’t say either one reminded me of the other until Josh pointed out the thematic similarities in his review. I don’t know that it’s a fair comparison but I do agree that “The Babadook” is the better film. It feels leaner, more focused and more unique while “The Canal”s main weakness (in my opinion at least) is that it does have a hodgepodge quality about it. A lot of the moments did seem like scenes that I’d seen before in other supernatural movies. I just felt it did them all well.

        Also, while I prefer the more austere, muted palette of “The Babadook” I did think “The Canal” had an interesting look to it. To me it felt indebted to 70’s horror, particularly the vivid theatrical colours of some Italian movies from that decade. Not entirely my cup of tea aesthetically but a fascinating style for this type of film to adopt.

      • Juan and Dino, yesterday I went through to York and came back with the mother-load of all beer hauls. 20 bottles all in. I tried to find some that I’d seen you guys rate highly and came back with the following (alongside many others):

        Dales Pale Ale
        Nitro Milk Stout
        Sam Smiths Organic Apricot
        Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout

        I was also lucky enough to get another bottle of Backwoods Bastard even though it’s so late in the year and a Rodenbach with a 2012 vintage (best I could find). I even got a jar of cucumbers pickled in Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA and cascade hop oil.

        • That’s one heck of a take, David. I haven’t had Organic Apricot, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy the others. Especially Fatamorgana… mmmmmmmmm. And I never had Rodenbach’s 2012 vintage (I had the 2010), but I imagine it will be tasty. Don’t drink it all at once.

          Juan, how can David find KBS across the pond and you still can’t just a few states away?!

          • I can’t wait to try the Fatamorgana. I almost missed it because the front of the bottle doesn’t display the name and it was only chance that I picked it up to investigate and subsequently realised what it was.

          • Hahaha I don’t know, man! Everytime I go to the store, it’s never there. I’ve missed it on tap a few times. I’m bound to find it eventually. But yeah, David, that’s an awesome haul. I’m excited for you.

            I’ve actually been taking it easy on beer this last few weeks, guys. Remember that scene in Scott Pilgrim when he finds out that bread makes one fat? Well… beer makes you fat?! In trying to achieve a healthier, more active lifestyle, I found out that craft beer is quite the big obstacle. So, I’m limiting my beer intake for the time being. It sucks, but it’ll be worth it in the long run I hope.

          • David – Those Scandinavians are very subtle in their design. Omnipollo (Sweden) and To Øl (Denmark) are two of my favorites when it comes to label design.

            Juan – Moderation, my friend. All good things are enjoyed best in moderation. I limit myself to 1 glass per day, and only go to 2 glasses in a day if it’s a weekend or special occasion. But, good on you for making changes to improve your fitness and health.

          • Haha that was my drinking rate before. Now I limit myself to two 22oz. bombers during the weekend. I usually drink one on Saturday and one on Sunday. But beer during the week is mostly out of the window. Yesterday I caved in and had a small 12oz rye IPA. But I think that’s it for the rest of the week. The silver lining is that I’ll save tons of money! This is not a cheap hobby :/ Also, I’m confident that I’ll be able to outrun any zombie during our HMP annual zombie race 😉

  9. Also, I’m so grateful for the “Lady in White” review. I just can’t get enough creepy ghost movies and this is one that I’ve been aware of for a while but I was kind of under the impression that it wouldn’t prove very good or very scary. I’m definitely going to track it down now though.

  10. Supernatural horror is actually one of my favorite sub-genres; not because I believe in ghosts or possession per se (though I certainly am open to those phenomena), but because it tends to affect me most deeply. I’ve only recently come to this realization. I used to be primarily a slasher and monster movie guy, but have begun favoring supernatural horror over the last decade or so. In fact, four of my top 10 horror movies are supernatural, including my all-time favorite horror film – THE SHINING.

    Like all horror, the level of quality among supernatural films has varied greatly during the current mainstream trend. I feel like the focus has been on the bad, though, and modern supernatural horror has suffered an unfairly bad rap among fans and critics. I wholeheartedly oppose this view.

    There are several encouraging signs that the industry is on the right track with this sub-genre. For my money, the two best horror movies of 2015 thus far are supernatural films – IT FOLLOWS and INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3. And there are several other excellent examples of supernatural films that have come out in the last 15 years: SINISTER, THE RING, INSIDIOUS, THE CONJURING, THE OTHERS, THE ORPHANAGE, DARK WATER, JU-ON: THE GRUDGE, THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, etc etc.

    I appreciated your discussion of the current mainstream supernatural trend. However, I was kind of hoping it would have delved more deeply into the merit and foundation of the sub-genre itself. It felt more like a simple lamentation over the fall of the horror genre.

    * * * * *

    @JOTD – Did you get my email about modern horror trends? Funny timing with me sending that a day before this episode dropped.

    • I too feel it’s unfair to judge the supernatural genre based on some of the more modern, weaker entries. With any subgenre that generates mainstream appeal there will always be a slew of compromised efforts. I’ve repeated this ad nauseum; but to me the horror genre owes a huge debt to supernatural literature. It is the largest root of the whole tree.

      I also disagree with Jay when it comes to ghost movies being less effective if the ghost doesn’t pose a physical threat. That’s missing the deeper point of this type of film in my opinion. After all, anyone can pose a physical threat. A dog or a child with a rock in its hand can harm us physically. People are physically threatened in movies of many different genres. No, what really gets under my skin in a good supernatural film is the immutable sense of horror that comes from the concept of spirits being able to see us, or worse, able to reveal themselves to us at any given time. I think the actual psychological trauma of seeing a genuine spectre with our own eyes would be far more petrifying in the long term than a more containable tangible threat. We can lock the insane killer away and we can slay the monster but once we’ve seen a ghost and we know that they are there how do we avert out minds from the fear that they are always around us? That wherever we go they might always be there, invisible beside us, gathering energy to make themselves known once again. Death is the scary part of a lot of horror films but with the supernatural genre the terror goes beyond death. It shows us that in life we might never be able to escape the dead and in death we might never be untethered from the living. In other words we are witness to that most gaping pit of true, unremitting horror; infinity.

      • Also, I believe Jay mentioned a distaste for that feeling of being scared to go to bed after watching a really creepy movie. To me that’s the result of the best kind of horror and I believe it to be a response only induced by the genre in its purest form. Like the best stories of M.R. James it engenders an unwillingness to be alone with ones own thoughts. Putting on the TV to some banal, lighthearted nonsense normally helps because it stops our brains asking “But what if it’s all true?”. The type of film that elicits such a response is by far by favourite in the genre.

        • “Also, I believe Jay mentioned a distaste for that feeling of being scared to go to bed after watching a really creepy movie. To me that’s the result of the best kind of horror and I believe it to be a response only induced by the genre in its purest form.”

          Well said… I completely agree.

      • In trying to pin down JOTD’s preferences, the best I can come up with is that he does not like subtle horror. That would explain his feelings on supernatural movies, in general, compared to slashers or monster flicks.


        • I tend towards that conclusion myself but then Jay goes ahead and gives something like “The Babadook” a 10/10. I think horror-wise that’s a fairly subtle film. I also remembering him defending stuff like “Willow Creek” with its refusal to show anything more than folks in their sleeping bags hearing things outside the tent. As I said over on MPW, he’s a hard one to pin down. A lot of his horror tastes do seem to orbit around the idea of putting oneself in the position of the characters though. That vicarious rush of adrenaline maybe?

          Personally I feel like my own horror tastes are somewhat antithetical to Jays (though not quite as antithetical as they are to Billchetes). My love for the genre is rooted in the Gothic, eerie and absurdly strange. So I’m not big on the grittier real-world stuff like some of survival-horror and the more dour, overly-serious modern slashers. Even so, I still find a tastes in individual movies parallel my own quite often.

          I’m really love to hear another introspective episode where the hosts really delve deep into psychology and try to uncover as much as they can relating to how horror movies make them feel and why they feel drawn to them. I know that they have covered that topic in a fair bit of detail in the past but it’s just something that endlessly fascinates me. Why are all these fans of horrifying violent movies such intelligent and civil people? Is it a healthy acknowledgement of Jung’s Shadow Self at work?

          • Two recurring comments of Jay (and other hosts, but mostly Jay) that really grind my gears and that I think could help to pin down Jay’s taste in horror are:

            “The kill count was really low”

            “It’s only rated PG-13”

            About the kill count: do you guys equate the effectiveness of a horror movie to the amount of people killed on screen? I get it, kills are cool, but is that really how you measure how scary or how good a horror movie is? Friday the 13th is very generous with its kills, but I don’t think it’s even close to being as scarry as something like The Conjuring, which has one kill (the family dog). Of course Jay thinks The Conjuring isn’t effective because it could potentially be parodied, but you don’t see him taking points off Friday the 13th which has been parodied even by one of its own entries in the series (Jason X). This brings me to another one of Jay’s strange ways of reasoning: deducting a ridiculous amount of points for a single scene that he happened to dislike. In The Conjuring, Jay’s hatred of the floating chair made him rate the movie a 4. Out of all of the great scenes, the compelling characters, the incredible soundtrack, the effectiveness of the atmosphere, the quality camera work, none of this mattered in the end because there was a floating chair. I think Jay is very peculiar about certain things and if these things are present in a movie, it’ll affect his score greatly. So far I know he won’t like a movie if it has a floating chair or hair pulling.

            Now, about PG-13 horror movies: what is everyone’s beef with this? The Ring is one of the scariest movies that I’ve ever seen. Guess what it’s rated? I rest my case.

            In conclusion, Jay is Jay. There is no sense in trying to figure him out. As David pointed out, he gave The Babadook a 10 and I still can’t believe that actually happened.

            Jay, you know I’m not afraid of setting you straight, but know that I do it out of love.

          • I’ll defend Jay when it comes to letting a single stupid scene ruin an otherwise decent movie. I disagree with his take on “The Conjuring” but I will say that I too have a habit of knocking points off for a single crappy element of an otherwise okay film. It’s especially frustrating if the film seems to be doing everything else really well only to scupper it all with something that stands out as being horribly misjudged, pretentious or pandering. It’s like looking at beautiful painting and then noticing that in the background there’s a juvenile rendering of an old man flashing his junk. The painting might otherwise still be exquisite but from that moment on all you’ll never be able to look at it without seeing that old dudes danglers. I think the worst and most common example of this sort of thing would be the “obnoxious final jump-scare trend”. These days whenever I’m watching a modern horror film and I know it’s almost over I find myself on the very edge of my seat, not due to the story’s internal tension but instead because I’m chanting a mantra of “fade to black, fade to black, that’s enough, just fade to black”. The final jump scare never actually scares me, it just elicits a banshee wail of utter fury. Even a movie as well calculated and brilliantly executed as “Sinister” drops a few points in my estimation because of that obnoxious, pointless and condescending final jump scare. It just reeks of some marketing executive saying “audiences these days are all brain-dead schmucks with compromised attention spans so if we don’t make them jump in the last second of a movie they’ll forget everything else scary that happened and tell their friends that it was lame and boring.”

            As for kill counts and PG-13 ratings, I don’t think either of those aspects can generally be relied upon to determine the effectiveness of a horror film although it does depend somewhat upon the subgenre. I actually think the action and sci-fi genres suffer way more from the dilution of content implied by the PG-13 trend. When you’ve got remakes of movies like “Total Recall” and “Robocop” that are cut down to that kind of rating then it really does feel like a bit of poke in the eye.

            Ultimately though a bad movie’s a bad movie. It has less to do with kill counts and ratings and whether or not it’s supernatural and more to do with the characters and how the story is told.

          • Another recurring criticism that bothers me (although, I might be in the minority here) is “CGI.” There’s good CGI and bad CGI, but I always get the impression that any use of CGI (good or bad) is automatically poo poo’d, as is his/their opinion of the film.

            Nobody likes bad CGI and a poorly done effect can certainly take the viewer out of the film, but I don’t think a movie should be discredited for the mere use of CGI when it’s done well, even if practical effects “could” have been used instead.

          • Thank you Dino! I absolutely 100% agree with everything you said and couldn’t be happier that you are with me on this one. If only we could convince David that CGI is ok (it’s actually an art!), then Juavino could make a comeback and silence the naysayers once and for all.

            But really, I love CGI and I respect anyone who doesn’t, but so far no one either on the podcast or the comment boards has given a good reason why they dislike it other than “it’s just not my thing” or “it looks fake”. Those are not a valid criticisms, they’re opinions. Fake can mean so many things. Practical effects can look fake too. It’s all about the art direction. Not all CGI is meant to look hyper realistic in the same way that not all paintings are meant to look life-like.

          • I think my main problem with “bad CGI” is just that it stands out so much and doesn’t seem to fit in it’s intended environment or move in a way that seems entirely physical and tangible. I’ll always prefer a bad practical effect over bad CG because I find the former easier to accept as an effigy of what it’s actually supposed to represent. I think this is because a physical prop, no matter how shoddy, still interacts with its surroundings in an actual physical manner. I think our eyes and minds are pretty well attuned to processing motion and texture and sometimes CGI just can’t pull of the suspension of disbelief that is allowed by something as simple as corn syrup and red food dye or even stop motion (which is blatantly synthetic yet tangible enough for my mind at least to accept it as a representation of something that’s actually there). I also think that sometimes limitations help to keep creative people approaching their work in thoughtful way. Sometimes I think CGI ends up looking kind of dumb because somebody is saying “now that we can do it on computers we can do this and this and this….”. Characters flipping round in the air a hundred times and all manner of giant tentacles whipping around obnoxiously. The ability to create anything out of nothing becomes more of a hindrance and exercise in self-indulgence than a means to and end. I think some CG moments push the laws of physics to the point where what we’re seeing just seems more ridiculous than impressive. I’m always reminded of a scene in one of the Star Wars prequels where Anakin and Padme are cavorting in a meadow. The scene is terrible enough and should have been cut when their conversation ended but instead were treated to a absolutely laughably bad shot of a CGI Anakin bouncing around riding some giant alien cow type creature. It adds absolutely nothing to the story and it looks insanely awful and I can’t help feel that George Lucas just put it in there because now, with CGI, he could. He didn’t stop to think if he should.

            I don’t inherently distrust all CGI though, I just think if it’s “good CGI” then I probably shouldn’t be able to tell that it’s CGI at all. If that’s the case I wholeheartedly support it. I can also forgive more blatant uses depending on context. It might work in a dream sequence, or maybe something with a really silly, purposefully unbelievable tone and of course as a format of animation on its own terms it’s fine (though I do mourn the dying art of hand drawn animation). I think it’s the integration of live action and CGI that can be problematic but again, if I can’t tell it’s being used then I’m fine with it. And it still doesn’t totally make or break a movie. I really like the movie “The Host” which has some pretty blatant CG going on but is full of compelling characters and fun ideas whereas I didn’t much care for “Exists” which had amazing practical effects but annoyingly vapid characters that I just couldn’t give two shits about.

            This kind of stuff is just too subjective to truly quantify.

    • BillChete actually mentioned something earlier this year that’s worth noting in regards to the current supernatural trend in horror cinema. It was in the HMP episode at the beginning of 2015 when he talked about his 2014 horror top 10 list. BillChete remarked that his tastes in horror movies has evolved in recent years according to the current trends of horror. I found in the past that my horror preferences didn’t necessarily align with his, but I thought this was a very salient point by an enlightened BillChete.

  11. Hey Jay,

    This podcast is still improving with each episode and it was already great in the beginning.

    Just want to say that as far as younger people in horror films are concerned, I’m right there with you. I’m pressing up against 40 and when I see kids who are in college, most of them really do look like kids to me.


    You’re not alone, horror brother.

    As far as Jurassic World goes, I’m looking forward to hearing your review on that one – but NOT on this podcast! It has the genetic freaks, but I watched it and found myself wishing I could see an all-out R rated version of such a story with mass carnage! It just wasn’t horrifying at all.

    Anyways, great work on the show (all of you!) and man, I never thought anyone could captivate me with talk regarding horror films from the ’30’s and ’40’s, but Dr. Shock does it.

    I love this show.

    • With regards to “Jurassic World” not being horrifying I’m curious how it might measure up to your assessments of the other movies in the franchise, Levi. Would you say that it’s tamer and less horrific than the original movie? Or do you consider none of them to have “teeth” in that regard?

      • There are scary moments in all of them but I don’t find them horrifying. They’re really made for families, movies that we can watch with our kids. Spielberg does that and does it well.

        As far as the first film goes, the only thing I really don’t like about it is that, when all is said and done, it’s a story about a man learning how to love children and see their value.


  12. Sticking with the supernatural sub-genre, I watched SESSION 9 the other day. I have a few questions about the movie. Before I get to my questions, I’ll say that I thought the movie was solid, but I was slightly disappointed. I think the movie suffered from my high expectations going into it; I know Juan and Grey Imp included it in their all-time honorable mentions, and I believe David (and perhaps others) also spoke highly of it.

    The film is an exercise in subtle, restrained horror. It did a good job of building incredibly tense and suspenseful moments throughout the movie, but I was only actually “scared” once (and even that was mild). The setting was excellent and the story was interesting, but failed to connect the dots in some ways. That might be more my failing than the movie’s, which is why I wanted to ask a few questions (below).

    Overall, I give the film a 7/10. I wanted to like it more, but it was just missing something for me. Regardless, I think it’s a solid film and definitely worth a watch.

    **********SPOILERS FOR SESSION 9**********

    I have two main questions after watching SESSION 9:

    1) What was the connection between Gordon and Mary Hobbes? Did the spirit of Mary (or “Simon” in this case) latch onto Gordon when he saw the wheelchair (and heard the voice) during the initial walk-through of the facility with Phil and the security guard? If so, was it his newly soured psyche that led him to hit his wife that night, or are we to understand that was just the result of a painful accident happening to a man already under extreme stress?

    2) Is it just me, or did the Doctor’s voice on the recordings sound extremely similar to Phil (David Caruso)? I checked on IMDb, so I know it was a different person. But, while watching the film, it really threw me off because I couldn’t tell if that was intentional. If it was intentional, is Phil just a figment of Gordon’s imagination? And, if so, what does that mean? Ultimately, I don’t think the similarity in voice was intentional, or at least we weren’t meant to interpret it that way. But, it really preoccupied a lot of my thought while watching the film.

    • You know it’s been too long since I last watched “Session 9” for me to accurately answer these questions. I do remember liking it a lot and probably would rate it about an 8.5/10 from memory. I think it’s one of those films that intentionally doesn’t really give you all the answers and could be open to both supernatural and psychological interpretations.

      What really stuck with me the most was that final line though. I remember that sending chills running up and down my spine. It still creeps me out thinking about it.

      • “And where do you live Simon?”

        “I live in the weak and the wounded… Doc”

        To me, this last line gives one the final piece of the puzzle. It could be interpreted as Simon being an actual demon that possessed both Mary and Gordon or it could also be just a “multiple personality” that takes over one in a moment of rage. Mary’s tapes were just a parallel of what Gordon went through. They both committed an unspeakable act of violence towards their loved ones in a moment when they were not being themselves. They became “possessed” by Simon for just a moment. I believe that it was after this that they went insane and developed multiple personalities in order to cope with what they had done. The final means to say that Simon “possesses” people at their weakest (like after being burned with boiling water) and it’s scary because it can happen to anyone. The mind is a frail thing even if we like to think otherwise.

        I’m sorry I can’t help with the second question. It’s been too long since I’ve seen the movie. I hope I was able to somewhat help with the first question.

        • Brilliantly put, Juan. I think that final scene speaks to the capacity for evil within us all. The corruptibility of the human psyche. Truly terrifying stuff.

        • Juan, this was awesome and definitely helped make it click for me.

          That’s actually horrifying: Simon being an evil spirit that infests the “weak and the wounded” and lives where the weak and the wounded live – in a mental asylum. Wow.

          • Out of curiosity, did the explanation make you come in a bit higher or are you still at a 7? I love Session 9 because it’s true psychological horror at its best. It doesn’t rely on scare or gore. It’s just pure atmosphere and scary themes. The scene where the lights start to slowly go off in the hallway is one of the scariest scenes that I’ve seen because even though I pretend like I’m not scared of the dark anymore, the truth is that the dark is still very much one of my biggest fears. Combine that with the obvious but elegant metaphor for darkness taking over one and you’ve got yourself a killer scene (at least in my book). Anyway, this movie is a 9.5 for me. I think it’s underrated and I think it’s one of the best examples of how much horror you can accomplish without showing much.

            • It helps bring it up a little, but not as dramatically as JOTD’s flip on THE BABADOOK from an 8 to a 10. SESSION 9 is a 7.5/10 for me, now. I agree that the movie is very well done, and I love the premise and setting of the film. I love subtle, psychological/supernatural horror like this. But, for some reason there was just something about the movie that didn’t quite hit for me.

  13. Another horror film that deals with the movie-making process is the Japanese flick “Joyu-rei” (better known as “Don’t Look Up”) from 1996. It’s an early offering from Hideo Nakata (the director of “Ringu”) that deals with a haunted film set. To be honest it’s pretty standard yurei fare and if I recall correctly it has sort of a made-for-TV vibe. I think I liked it well enough but would only recommend it to die-hard supernatural movie fans. It’s spooky but subtle, slow and kind of generic.

  14. Madhouse (1974) has some “on-set” scenes. It’s been a long time since I watched Videodrome so I can’t remember if that fits. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare would fit but probably should be lumped into a franchise review.

    Insidious 2 made me not want to watch Insidious 3 but Jay’s review has peaked my interest again.

  15. Um, as far as The Babadook and Canal go, I liked both. Sorry if I’m here a little late; I didn’t go through all the threads, so if I’m retreading old water, ignore me. But I think they’re actually pretty similar, not in execution, but overall themes. The Babadook is a specific distillation of a mother’s, (or woman’s,) fears, while The Canal is the reversal. They are clearly gender specific, but in a lot of ways overlap. Excuse me if that sounds a little too derivative, but I can completely see the comparisons. And there are the obvious psychological aspects that can be tied together, I suppose.

    As far as the 28 Days/Weeks conversation goes, I can’t wait.I legit love both films, and often-times have a difficult time parsing which I prefer over the other. (I’ll admit, part of that has to do with my love for Rose Byrne and Jeremy Renner, but still.)

    • “But I think they’re actually pretty similar, not in execution, but overall themes. The Babadook is a specific distillation of a mother’s, (or woman’s,) fears, while The Canal is the reversal. They are clearly gender specific, but in a lot of ways overlap.”

      That’s an interesting and succinct take on the main themes of the two films. Hard to argue against this point.

  16. Thank you so much Dr. Shock! Was so happy to finally hear you discuss Dwight Frye, especially for mentioning Alice Cooper’s “The Ballad Of Dwight Frye” as far as in Son of Frankenstein I’m pretty sure that was the one where he was one of the villagers, as far as Invisible Man, yes he is a reporter and is one of the few to actually speak up and get a few lines.

    If yall haven’t heard AC’s ballad definitely give it a listen, very haunting song.

    Very very ready to see Inisdious Ch: 3. I had high hopes because I am a very big fan of this franchise and have really grown to love the work done by Leigh Whannel and James Wan and was very excited when I saw the trailer. Glad to hear the good rating by Jay I will definitely be seeing it once I get off this river on July 1st.

    Nice little side note on Lin Shaye, she’s mostly known for playin Woody Harrelsons landlady as yall mentioned in “Kingpin” but her horror roots do go back a few years. She played Nancy Thompson’s teacher in “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, the one that says “you’ll need a hall pass” and well as the nurse that gives Dylan his sleeping pills in “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare”. She’s the sister of New Line Cinema founder, Bob Shaye and can be seen in many New Line movies such as of course Kingpin, and Nightmare but had a small part as Ms. Nugaboren in the beginning of Dumb and Dumber, Jam’s mom in Detroit Rock City, among many others. So nice to see she’s really blossomed on her own talents and not just as a bit player in films her brother had made/distributed. Is this boring information? Probably, but thought it was interesting. BTW if you didn’t get the memo on my top 10 list, I definitely want to be part of the Nightmare series review. With that being said time to go to bed, keep em comin, yall are makin one towboater very happy 😀

    • I don’t think you’ll be disappointed when you see INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, especially if you’re a fan of the franchise. Chapter 3 is exceptionally good.

  17. Jay of the Dead here. Sorry I’ve been MIA, everybody. HMP Ep. 058 on The Infected, “28 Days Later” and “28 Weeks Later” is still coming late, late on Friday night! It’s worth the wait!

    In the meantime, if you need something to listen to, Josh, myself and my other MPW buddies have a 2 and 1/2 hour podcast for you on the entire Jurassic Park franchise, including the new “Jurassic World.” Give it a listen today! Thanks.



  18. It’s sort of a shame that the majority of conversation following this episode has been about movies other than INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3. Maybe that’s because not many people have seen it yet, but if that’s the case then it’s a shame as well.

    I’m a fan of the Insidious franchise overall. I think each movie is effectively creepy and made to a very high standard uncommon in modern horror movies. The first half of the original INSIDIOUS is excellent and, at the time, was one of the scariest things I had seen in a movie in a long time. Unfortunately, that movie lost it for me in the second half once they went into The Further. INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 is probably the weakest of the three films, but certainly no less fun. It had its fair share of scares (though, they generally felt cheaper than in the other two Insidious films), and I really liked the Bride in Black storyline.

    But, I think CHAPTER 3 is the best and most effective entry in the franchise from beginning to end. I felt uneasy and on edge for the entire film, but it was still a “fun” horror movie. I think this movie handles The Further much better than the previous two films, and I was fine with the cheesy paranormal investigator scenes (they didn’t make me #palmface like in the other two films).

    I like the Bride in Black, but… oh boy… the Man Who Can’t Breathe is sooooo freakin’ creepy. I know a big criticism of the film (and the Insidious franchise as a whole) is that the movie is just a series of jump scares as opposed to real scares, but I wholeheartedly disagree with this and my argument begins with the Man Who Can’t Breathe.

    The representation of the Man Who Can’t Breathe, both visually and behaviorally, is terrifying. Visually, he’s a representation of humans’ mortality – he appears frail, wears a hospital gown, and requires an oxygen mask to breath. As JOTD mentioned on the show, it’s even more devastating that the girl he terrorizes in this movie, Quinn, had recently lost her mother to cancer. In fact, his m.o. appears to be to prey on the souls of the weak and the wounded (to borrow from SESSION 9). In all, it makes for an incredibly affecting horror element.

    Something else that happens in this film, and JOTD mentioned on the show, is that the Man Who Can’t Breathe physically interacts with the real world. This, combined with Quinn’s helpless condition, creates a completely terrifying and hopeless situation. We feel her terror throughout the movie and how it’s leading to her ultimate despair. There’s one scene, in particular, where she’s laying prone on the floor, immobilized and hopeless, and we see the feet of the Man Who Can’t Breathe in the background with Quinn’s tear-streaked face in the foreground as he approaches. I don’t know how anyone can say that’s anything other than real terror.

    That is an example of the kind of real horror present throughout CHAPTER 3. The movie is exceptional in every way, and is chock full of true horror and real scares. I actually come in a little higher than JOTD on this one and give INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 a 9/10.

    For the record, I give INSIDIOUS an 8/10 and INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 a 7.5/10, so I’m definitely a fan of the franchise. That said, I’m a fan of the franchise because I consider them to be effective, well-made films with interesting premises. And, CHAPTER 3 is the best of the lot. Go and see it in theaters while you still can.

    • Just saw this movie yesterday. There were two couples in the back and me in the middle of a large empty theater. Good horror viewing circumstances. Anyhow, I really enjoyed it. I’m with you, Dino, I like this movie more than 1 and 2. The man who can’t breathe has a great look, like Jay said, and I like what you said, Dino, how he seems like a frail character but is very powerful. The fact that she can’t run away really amps up the horror! I’m glad I saw it in theaters. Good recommending Jay and Dino.

      • I’m glad you got to see this in theaters, Dark Mark, and that you enjoyed it. I think a lot of people can be unfairly dismissive of the Insidious franchise, which I don’t really understand.

        On a down note, CHAPTER 3 is not doing as well at the box office as the first two installments:

        INSIDIOUS – $54,009,150 domestic/$97,009,150 worldwide

        INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 – $83,586,447 domestic/$161,919,318 worldwide

        INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 (to date) – $47,319,050 domestic/$79,519,050 worldwide

        I suspect CHAPTER 2 was the beneficiary of the critical success of INSIDIOUS, while CHAPTER 3 is feeling the burn from a not-so-well-received CHAPTER 2. That’s unfortunate.

        Looking more closely at the numbers, CHAPTER 3 is still doing fairly well on the weekends (and respectably well on weekdays), but with its theater-run probably running out of legs soon it looks like it’ll end up falling short of the original’s box office numbers. That said, with a reported $10 million budget, it’s still a huge moneymaker, so hopefully we get more good Insidious films in the future.

  19. Definitely will be seeing Ch 3 as soon as i get home. I’m also growing more and more fond of the supernatural horror movie. Many as of late have been very very effective and honestly they really do scare me more than a slasher. Not sure why that is, but I agree the Insidious franchise has been very good so far. I also love The Ring, Conjuring, Grudge, Oculus, etc. I don’t know why they scare me so much more than other sub genres but they do legitimately creep me out to the bone when done well.

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