Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 081: Jay of the Dead’s Horror T&A (Tone & Assignment of Genre) and Intruders (2016) and Indigenous (2016) and The Boy (2016) and Green Room (2016)

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You’re listening to HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies… This is Episode 081, a Frankensteinian show, where we bring you a manic mix of horror-related topics and reviews. In this episode, Jay of the Dead unveils his very controversial, but very bold, new approach to determining whether a film is a horror movie by assessing its tone (T) and assignment (A). Hence, “Jay’s Horror T&A.” (It’s the best I could come up with so far; please help with a better, catchier title.) We also bring you some recent highlights from horror news, as well as several mini reviews of 2015 and 2016 horror films. Join us!

Horror Movie Podcast is a bi-weekly show that’s released every other 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 voicemails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!


SHOW NOTES:

I. Introduction


II. Horror News:
— Friday the 13th video game
— Friday the 13th TV show on the CW
— Friday the 13th reboot update
— New horror streaming on Netflix: Curve, Visions, The Veil
— The Loss of Angus Scrimm
— Until Dawn – video game


[ 0:13:53 ] III. Main Topic: JAY’S HORROR T&A (Tone & Assignment of Genre)

HMP JOTD TA ART


[ 1:09:45 ] IV. Mini Reviews:

THE FINAL GIRLS (2015)
Dr. Shock = 8.5 ( Buy it! )

GIRL HOUSE (2015)
Jay of the Dead = 7.5 ( Strong Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 6 ( Rental )

BAD MOON (1996)
Dr. Shock = 6.5 ( Rental )

TREEHOUSE (2014)
Jay of the Dead = 3.5 ( Avoid )

KRISTY (2015)
Wolfman Josh = 6 ( Rental )

INTRUDERS (2016)
Jay of the Dead = 5.5 ( Rental )

Last Shift and Lights Out (short film)

INDIGENOUS (2016)
Jay of the Dead = 4.5 ( Low-priority Rental )

THE BOY (2016)
Jay of the Dead = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )

GREEN ROOM (2016) with special guest Kill Bill Kill
Wolfman Josh = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Kill Bill Kill = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! )


V. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

Shirt
Listener Holly (@MSRxphile) wearing her Horror Movie Podcast shirt! Thanks, Holly! Proof that we have the coolest listeners. Send us a pic in your HMP shirt to be featured.


JOIN US IN TWO WEEKS ON HMP: Episode 082 as we begin reviewing the “Phantasm” franchise with Mattroid!


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

LINKS FOR THIS EPISODE:

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

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

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming online movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Follow MSC on Twitter: @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on: Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave’s daily movie review website: DVD Infatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on: Facebook
Dr. Shock also appears on this horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Pre-order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead

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 Friday after next for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

363 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 081: Jay of the Dead’s Horror T&A (Tone & Assignment of Genre) and Intruders (2016) and Indigenous (2016) and The Boy (2016) and Green Room (2016)

  1. Big thanks to Wolfman Josh and Kill Bill Kill for bringing us that review of “Green Room” in this episode. I’m dying to see this movie now!

    By the way, it seems from their review that my Horror T&A method works! Wolfman, you said they were mostly victims in this film, which qualifies “Green Room” for a horror assignment, and you said it would probably fall into Primal Horror!

    So, here’s why I say this method works: I know exactly what to expect now, and I can tell merely from your designation of tone and the corresponding assignment here that this is definitely a movie I want to see! I can’t wait! Thanks, Guys.

    JOTD

  2. Jay of the Dead’s Horror T&A. You are hilarious, Jay! Can’t wait to listen to this here in just a minute. Looking over the show notes, I’m just stoked to hear what all y’all have to say about these movies, particularly KRISTY and GREEN ROOM. Like Wolfman, I’m a punk rock fella, so heck yeah!

    PS: JAY OF THE DEAD, when oh when, good sir, will we be getting an HMP rap song from you? You don’t understand, man… I NEED them rhymes!

  3. Well it’s my birthday today and I woke up with one of the best presents a guy could ask for…a new episode of HMP…the rest of the day can only go down hill from here!!!

  4. I think the classification of horror will always be subjective, but let me throw in my two cents. When you look at horror movies, one of the primary threads is that there is a focus on the antagonist. You take a Friday the 13th and replace the protagonists with any different assortment of characters and you have the same movie. Replace Jason and it’s completely different. Same with Wasp or Conjuring. Now, if you replace the bear in the Revenant with a buffalo or Yeti, it’s the same movie. But you can’t replace the protagonist.

    For disaster movies, which include anything from No Escape and Day After Tomorrow to Sharknado or most any zombie film, it depends on the degree to which the event is a focus or the characters are a focus.

    Night of the Living Dead is a horror movie because (though it involves strong characters) a primary focus is on the event. Warm Bodies would not fall into the horror category because the focus is on the protagonists.

    As with any categorization system, there are exceptions and movies that fall on the line. So in the end, if you think it is horror then it is horror to you.

    Mr.V

    • Mr. V,
      I like the productive direction you’re thinking in… Totally agree with you (and Juan below) that there’s always going to ultimately be some degree of subjectivity and personal taste involved in making this determination, but I think that’s probably as it should be, because regardless of what any film critic says, each viewer always must decide his or her own feelings for a film.

      In your example above, you can replace Jason with pretty much any other slasher killer and still have a slasher movie. I agree that the antagonist (or “monster”) is important, because that character or force is Death, and at a fundamental level, you must have “Man vs. Death” at the heart of any horror film to have a true horror movie (of any type or sub-genre).

      But yeah, Mr. V, switching out the monster will change what type of horror sub-genre it is, but that Life-Threatening Force must always be there.

      I recognize that most people wouldn’t consider the Disaster Movie genre to be horror, but according to this T&A theory, if the characters we identify with are victims, and they’re men and women facing a Life-Threatening Force (the disaster), so they would be assigned to Primal Horror. However, in most disaster movies, the protagonists have “a fighter’s spirit” and are victors, so those particular instances aren’t horror.

      To me there is always focus on both the mankind characters and the life-threatening force. Hence, the grand struggle. Remember, the ultimate, underlying question to all horror films is “Will this character escape death?” And that’s why I think it truly comes down to the “tone” of the film, or whether the characters we identify with are victims or victors.

      Thanks for your great comment, Mr. V!
      JOTD

      • But Jay, you can have a fighter’s spirit and still be a victim. Isn’t that what all scream queens are? They are clearly victims, but they try to stay alive by any means necessary. Does that not count as fighting spirit?

        • I’m struggling with the Victim v Victor thing on re-listen. Soooo … Sydney Prescott makes Scream NON-Horror. Ash makes The Evil Dead NON-Horror. Ben makes Night of the Living Dead NON-Horror. That doesn’t work for me. Aren’t the ladies of The Descent fighters? Isn’t Nancy a fighter in A Nightmare on Elm Street?

          • yep. I was having problems because of what that definition turned some movies into… the long list of movies where there are obvious victims and the film ISN’T Horror. Not by any stretch.

    • Jay makes us THINK he’s all innocent, but he’s got that grimy side to him that’s straight out the hood. I remember laughing pretty hard at his intro to HMP episode 69.

  5. Jay, I love that you took the time to think about all of your categorizations and the reasons behind them in order to define more clearly what a horror movie is or should be. Even though I don’t totally agree with everything you said, I would be on board with you 100% if you just stopped picking and choosing (or floating around like Josh said) when a movie meets the requirements that you yourself chose. You nullify your own theories when you subjectify the requirements needed for a movie to be horror. To me, this all felt a little like you were trying to build a category around your own definition of horror, which is fine for you to use because it’s your opinion. But like you said, it all comes down to subjectivity, so let’s all just agree to disagree and move on. No matter what, I think you’re still going to keep getting your chops busted by mostly everyone. The chop busting was just meant to be, Jay. Just let it be, bro.

    And by the way, I dislike the name hybrid horror a lot. It sounds demeaning, as if it’s not real horror. But I digress.

    • Juan,
      It feels like you’re throwing your hands up in the air and just giving up on this…. And that’s fine, because perhaps trying to blaze a trail in film criticism is not one of your life’s goals. ha ha. Indeed, it’s probably hardly anybody’s goal, when you think about it!

      But here’s what you wrote that is peculiar to me:

      Juan wrote: “To me, this all felt a little like you were trying to build a category around your own definition of horror…”

      Well, of course I am! Obviously, my perception of what horror is — is in my mind — what truly seems to be happening with the genre. You’re right! It is my opinion of what’s happening with horror. (Why would I build a theory around something that’s not my opinion?) So, I’ve identified what I believe is happening, and now I’m trying to characterize it in film theory. You’re exactly right about that.

      Now, Juan, if you’re tired of this same old debate, that’s one thing. And that’s fine, because I understand this would be tiresome to someone who doesn’t really care about making such distinctions. I’m sure many listeners are tired of hearing about this.

      But the reason I think my Horror T&A theory strikes you (and others) as problematic is because, as I admitted here and in the show, it ultimately falls to the individual viewer’s personal subjectivity.

      However, I have great hope because when Josh gives the T&A treatment to “Green Room” at the end of this episode, I truly felt (for once) that I knew what to expect from a film that is arguably on that fringe area line! And that’s one major objective to my theory — to help us communicate clearly with one another — in the midst of and in spite of our individual personal subjectivity!

      So, to me, Jay’s Horror T&A actually works!

      JOTD

          • Yep, I got that, Wolfie (I think you actually said something to the effect of “but I don’t think this is horror”).

            JOTD, though, can’t get his mind off the T&A.

      • I’m not giving up, Jay, I’ve just come to terms with the fact that you’ll never admit you’re wrong in classifying certain movies as horror when they’re clearly not. When you announced that you were going to come up with a system to help us define horror, I didn’t think you meant a system for you to justify your picks. I thought you were going to come up with a universal system for all of us so that, although not everyone could agree with, it would be fair and standard. But no, your system is custom made for you and you alone. I’m afraid that it’s just not a system I can get behind. I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, Jay. I’m very thankful for all the hard work you put into this and it is helpful information to have for sure.

        • Yeah, I think that’s where the main friction is originating with this. In one breath, JOTD is admitting that genre classification is, to an extent, a subjective exercise, but in the very next breath he’s trying to apply his own subjective framework for classifying horror as law for all to abide.

  6. Some reviews on the movies covered on this episode.

    Indigenous

    Literally the last movie I watched and one I watched merely to pass the time until Jay posted this episode. Had I know it would have been this awful, I would have just went to bed. It had the feel of a made-for-cable movie. I didn’t like a single character, but at the same time, I can’t say I truly hated anyone either. It’s an entire cast of general indifference. There were a lot of partying scenes early on, none of which felt natural. There was a lot of shaky camera scenes as if it’s a Jason Bourne film. Death scenes wise, it’s all underwhelming. For the vast majority of the film, I was struggling to just stay awake. Things improved at the end when things became so bad that I began laughing at it. The only positive thing I can say about the film is that I dug the look of the creatures. It’s a shame that such great creatures were wasted on this dud of a movie. Perhaps Indigenous is comparable to The Descent, but not the original but the equally terrible The Descent 2

    Rating: 2 Recommendation: Avoid

    Intruders

    It’s difficult talking about this without going into spoilers. So I’ll just say that I went into the movie without knowing what to expect and I had a rollercoaster of emotions. At times, I loved the movie. For other points, it was just a movie. I will say that not everyone is going to consider this to be a horror movie. To some extent, it fits my definition of horror being a thriller that takes the plot just a bit further beyond the normalcy of things that can happen in everyday life.

    —SPOILERS FOR INTRUDERS

    I’m a sucker for movies that surprises me in a positive way. For the first third, I was enjoying it just fine, however; all of that change when the intruders found themselves imprisoned in the basement. Chances are, this will remain one of the biggest shocks of horror in 2016. Great moment. Personally, I lost some interest when it was revealed that Anna and her brother had imprisoned many past sex offenders prior to her brother getting sick. It made both characters a little less likable and Anna became less strong for me. I had thought that the tricked out basement was something Anna’s dad had set-up and used it to keep his kids down there for long stretches at a time. Since his death, the basement hadn’t been used. So for Anna, she becomes the master of what was once her prison. There was something cool about that idea. Instead, it becomes something Anna and her brother did many times, losing my interest in the meantime. It’s still a strong movie, but I wish the third act was better.
    —END OF SPOILERS—

    Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Rent It/Stream It

    The Boy

    I wish I was as enthusiastic about this as Jay was. It’s another movie where I can’t talk much about it without spoilers. To some extent, my problem was that there was so much going on, despite feeling as if nothing was happening for long stretches. Up until the final fifteen minutes, it went by very slowly and was a little dull.

    —SPOILERS FOR THE BOY

    In fairness to Jay, I was hoping to see a killer doll movie. So when it was revealed that the dummy was in fact a mere dummy and that there was a man living in the walls, it was disappointing because it wasn’t why I went to see the movie. Without a killer doll, you’re just left with what you see on the screen. For what I saw, it was mostly just a variety of ideas that I’ve seen recently in other movies. Oh, a woman is on the run from an abusive ex? I saw that in Sinister 2. How about someone living in the walls? Saw that in Housebound. A babysitter comes to work for a family for the first time only to learn that the person she’s to watch isn’t who she’s led to believe it is? Reminds me of House of the Devil. True, it wouldn’t have been very original had it been a killer doll movie, but at least it would have been what I had expected. I didn’t like all of the extra subplots going on, seemingly all there just to create extra red herrings. For example, the abusive ex. I don’t think he was necessary to the movie at all. If you’re someone who doesn’t like killer doll movies, there’s a good chance you’ll end up liking this more than I did though.
    —END OF SPOILERS—

    Rating: 5 Recommendation: Low Priority Rental

    • I really liked The Boy. I don’t know why either. I guess the acting is good, the set is good, there’s good suspense and the mystery is intriguing.

      SPOILERS

      Yes, Sal, the whole movie is a rehash of things we’ve seen before. Housebound totally comes to mind and so does The Pact. I still really enjoyed the last 20 or fifteen minutes and felt like it was a good payoff. I didn’t quite understand the parents decision to commit suicide. Did they know their son was really a murderer and still alive? Maybe they couldn’t live with that. Why did they “give” the babysitter over to the boy? In the letter it said she was his now. I’ll agree it was a little boring at the beginning and overall the trailer might have been scarier than the movie. The trailer did a great job of not giving away the twist, though.

      END SPOILER

      I guess I’d give it a 7, overall.

    • Sal, I don’t disagree with much you are saying about The Boy but I still liked it overall. The twist worked for me. I’d give it a 7.

  7. so i’ve been a listener for awhile and this the firs t time i’ve felt the need to write about anything i’ve heard. but let me say i love the podcast. i can’t find this sort of in depth intelligent discussion about horror movies among me compatriots so it i” was quite nice to find. so thank you all for your points of view.
    that said, i have a couple of qualms about jay’s new system. first, to me scary doesn’t equal horror because it’s a fairly ephemeral feeling. i find lots of movies scary that are catagorically not horror. natural/ real world scenarios aren’t horror to me because though they may be scary they are still mundane. to be horror, i think the scenario must sit squarely in the ‘uncanny valley’, which had been described as so close to real and yet just enough unreal to invoke dread. the dread comes from the sense of unbalance derived from not really being able to say exactly what is wrong or why, at least at first. the rest of the movie builds out of the uncanny valley to become overwhelming to either the characters, the audience, or both.
    in sort there must ne something “abnatural” even about the natural before it becomes horror for me.

    this is why ‘no escape’, ‘the impossible’, and ‘the edge’ don’t qualify, and ‘bone tomahawk’ does. had ‘bone tomahawk’ not established right away that it lived in the uncanny valley, i would say it was just a western. there is nothing abnatural about the bear in ‘the edge’, scary though it be. same for ‘the impossible’; its a big scary wave but its not uncanny. definitely, ‘no escape’ is disqualified because having to escape a situation like that is a narrative that people revere as heroism, but it’s still mundane.

    second, something must be said about intent. even if a movie is born in the uncanny valley, if the point of the movie is to explore something other than dread, its not a horror movie. it migt be a monster movie, but that doesn’t make it horror either-see any godzilla movie. anyone can spice up any movie with horror elements but if evoking dread is not the first thing on the list of things you want to do, you aren’t making a horror movie. iyou might be making a movie that is scary, but that is not the sme thing at all.

    third and finally, horror must dehumanize it’s protagonists in some fashion using the antagonist(whatever it might be). horror arises out of the possibility that we as humans actually aren’t what we thought we were, in terms of physical, emotional, or intellectual strength. true horror breaks those things by flinging a protagonist into the uncanny valley with the monster. he or she doesn’t need to identiy with the monster but they must suspect or have shown them, that the rules they know no longer aply.

    i don’t think your scale takes these three ideas into account, but they are the principles i judge horror movies by , both whether they are horror movies, but also how successfully a given movie achieves them.

    • Welcome to HMP. Great first post. It’s always nice to see new people around, especially when their first post is to call Jay out. Ha

      I mostly agreed with everything you said.

          • I used to login to facebook whenever I was bored, but now I just check out the boards and I have way more fun here than I ever did on any social media.

            #truestory

    • Really good points here Peter. I agree with a lot of what you’ve said, particularly the “scary doesn’t equal horror” part.

      It’s good to see Jay’s still inspiring first time commenters to come here and give him what for!

      • thanks everybody. glad to be here! i’ve been playing catch-up for a while now, and have thought about commenting on previous eps but wasn’t sure anyone would see it.

        several people have said i’m calling jay out. this is untrue. i don’t like holy wars. i’m offering my opinions only. jay and i can disagree. after all, its not my podcast. 😉

          • As good as the past horror talks can be, another appeal of going back and reading old threads are for the off-topic discussions. The other day I read a rather in depth one with everyone discussing their favorite types of foods that left me pretty damn hungry. Ha

  8. The system isn’t bad–I’m LOVING the T&A–but the biggest Achilles’ heel of Jay’s new horror rubric is Jay’s own hypocrisy with regard to Survival Horror! Jay, I say we just do away with Primal Horror. Or … I’ll just stop thinking about this topic.

    • “I’ll just stop thinking about this topic.”

      Ultimately, I don’t know what this topic can resolve. Jay’s T&A system works for himself, but it probably only creates more problems when it comes to new movies that should now be considered horror, known horror movies that aren’t technically horror any more, and the movies that Jay considers horror or not horror simply because he chooses to consider them one way (IE. The Revenant)

      I’d consider the better horror classification that HMP has done is the listings of the three main genres that a film may be. That system summed up each movie quite well. I’d also say that the term “Horror elements” is an effective term as well. Sometimes that’s the best way to explain why a movie feels like a horror even if it comes across as a predominately other type of genre.

      Really though, everyone is going to continue to think of horror as they always have. I don’t know why it is, but there seems to be this weird attitude where viewers don’t want to see genres mix even though genres have continues to expand and be changed every since they were originally thought up.

  9. What is the deal with the limited availability of the Phantasm series? I’m aware that some DVD’s go out of print, but man, it’s not easy to legally obtain those movies in the US. I just did some random searching to check out the prices since I already own the first three and the prices are crazy. Not buying Phantasm IV a decade earlier when I saw it in the store means if I wanted to buy the DVD new, I’d have to fork over at least $75. I’m not even finding any prices to rent or buy a digital copy. Even the original is crazy expensive.

    What gives? This is why piracy exists.

    That being said, I’m really excited for the dual coverage of the Phantasm series on HMP and TSFP. While I don’t have any positive memories of the fourth one, I love the other three.

    • Yeah, they are hard to find!

      Scream! Factory has a beautiful release of II.

      I think you can get III and IV cheaper from the director at the official Phantasm movies website.

      For die hard VHS viewers, you can get them all on Amazon for about $4.

      Luckily, Mattroid, as a mega-fan, had already purchased them all and is hooking me up for the show.

        • That’s excellent news. If nothing else, the original should have a nice Blu-Ray release.

          The Shout! Factory release of Phantasm 2 is top notch and makes me wish they’d get the rights to release the other ones too.

          • I’ve only seen the first one, and I wasn’t a big fan of it. I did get to “meet” Angus Scrimm briefly last year. I saw him from a few feet away when he was signing autographs and then we crossed paths in a hallway. He was in a wheelchair and was being taken to the restroom (I assume). I did say hi and waved my hand and he sort of glanced at me. He looked in pretty bad shape. I don’t even know why he was there to begin with.

          • Phantasm might be worth giving it another try. It’s a pretty trippy movie, but it has an iconic score, crazy visuals, a scary mofo bad guy, and flying metal balls. What else could you possibly want from a movie?

          • A good movie, perhaps? Haha just kidding, Sal. I’ll give it a try since they’ll be reviewing the franchise. It’s the perfect excuse.

          • Juan! I wasn’t looking forward to these bc I had never been interested in the bits and pieces of the films that I saw, but I am (re?)watching them now and the first one is a really unique, fun ’80s film. Totally worth giving another chance. And the second movie is awesome! I’m really happy I had the excuse to (re?)visit these. Kind of the way I felt about the ANOES franchise. It’s been much more fun than I thought.

          • Josh! I know, I know. I’ll definitely approach the series with an open mind. I’m the open minded guy of the group after all, remember? What do you guys think is the best (cheapest) method to watch these since they seem to be hard to find?

          • Yeah, I’m looking forward to the Phantasm franchise review, too. The original Phantasm was one of the first horror movies I’d ever seen, and I love it. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen 2 and 3, but I like them well enough from what I remember. I still have to catch 4.

    • I found the first and third films to be easier to find than the second or fourth. The fourth is nigh impossible, but it WAS streaming on youtube about a year ago when I last wet looking for it. Seriously.

      The Third film I found as part of a DVD set at K-mart and was able to get a digital copy at VUDU. The first I bought up when a special edition came out a few years ago and I watch that film maybe two to three times a year… one of my favorites of all time to be honest.

    • For anyone who still has Netflix DVD, they currently have all four Phantasm movies.

      You can rent Phantasm II on Amazon or any other main digital rental places for as low as $2.99. You should also still be able to find the Shout! Factory Blu-Ray at most stores where you buy Blu-Rays or DVD’s.

      While I can’t confirm this, I would not be surprised if you could find Phantasm or Phantasm III at some store. If you’re interested in buying it, check out the DVD sections next time you’re at Wal-Mart or whatever.

      On my Roku, it looks as if I can buy the four films with the CinemaNow channel. They’re a bit pricey at $10 (Phantasm and Phantasm III) and $12 (Phantasm IV). Phantasm II can be rented for just $2.99 though. The weird thing is I can’t find the movies on Cinemanow’s website, only through the Roku.

      The one who has it really good is someone like David. The prices are far more fair on Amazon’s UK site.

    • I don’t remember a single scene from the fourth one. But I’ve watched the first three too many times to count. Excited for the coverage.

  10. Adam from Chicago here! First official post. Hello everyone! I have been waiting for this episode since Friday!! I think I have refreshed the page like 30 times since then. I just kept telling myself “Jay must be hiding from a wild bear with his computer just out of reach because that’s the only suitable reason why this hasn’t been posted yet”. Ok now to listen and take in the goodness of JOTD and Wolfmanboyfella Josh! Very excited to become a part of the community!

  11. To me the Primal Horror category seems like a stretch. I don’t feel like such a minimal and fringe aspect of the genre deserves to have it’s own category alongside “Hybrid Horror” and “Classic Horror”. Surely most Primal Horror films would just fit in as a subcategory of “Hybrid Horror”?

    I hate being dogmatic about genre and I genuinely believe that any film that even has just a slim chance of being considered horror by even a small segment of the fanbase is worthy of discussion here but that being said I can’t help but see the “Primal Horror” tag as a biased way for Jay to justify his own predilection for films that contain situations that he personally finds frightening but that are really just intense Drama-Thrillers. These tend to be movies about human struggle and desperation and death and loss but so are disaster movies and war films.

    I think the Victim vs Victor argument is a clever and interesting one. A really unique angle from which to come at this debate but I also think it’s kind of a sneaky way to get round the whole “if you’re going to class any movie involving a frightening situation as horror then what about war films” argument. But to me any war film worth it’s running time DOES present the soldiers as victims. Unless we’re talking dumb sensationalist/imperialist crap then a war film is going to show the soldiers less as fighting-spirited victors and more as desperate broken victims of humanity at it’s most horrific. So that stance rings a little hollow to me especially considering how many horror movies are out there feature protagonists who display a whole lot of fighting spirit. That said it’s still a fascinating (and likely in general cases a useful and accurate) discourse. I applaud Jay for coming up with this stuff.

    All in all I’m loving this episode and though I have issues with Jay’s conclusions I still feel it’s a healthy debate and that the inclusive and categoric results of his approach are positive ones. So long as we all agree to disagree and allow some leeway for each individual, subjective view of horror then I’m happy. I guess to me horror as a genre is a form of escapism by which my psyche might temporarily overshadow and override the true, real-life horrors of the world we live in. Maybe it’s something different to Jay but that’s cool.

    • “Surely most Primal Horror films would just fit in as a subcategory of “Hybrid Horror”?”

      That’s exactly what I was planning to add to my comment, David. You’re right, it is just a subcategory within the category of “Hybrid Horror”. I would say that in essence, the “Primal Horror” subcategory is the least horror of all.

      “I can’t help but see the “Primal Horror” tag as a biased way for Jay to justify his own predilection for films that contain situations that he personally finds frightening but that are really just intense Drama-Thrillers.”

      Correct. And if we add Jay’s own definition of horror, which is drama (or conflict) taken to the extreme, then No Escape ceases to be a horror film under that definition. Why? Because it’s not taking the conflict (people killing people) to the extreme. Monsters killing people, now there’s a horror movie.

      But I agree, it was still fun to listen to and it’s still a healthy debate that doesn’t hurt to have. I know Josh just wants to move on and Jay thinks we’re all tired of hearing this, but I honestly don’t mind. As long as there are new angles, new ideas or theories like the ones Jay has proposed here, I think it’s fine to talk about it. Not incessantly, but once in a while.

      • Yeah, I co-sign that notion that “I can’t help but see the ‘Primal Horror’ tag as a biased way for Jay to justify his own predilection for films that contain situations that he personally finds frightening but that are really just intense Drama-Thrillers.”

        I’d go so far to say that it is even more fitting with his definition of “Fringe Horror” than his “Hybrid Horror” when we are talking about movies like Bone Tomahawk.

        I felt like “Survival Horror” was a really useful term (when Jay first introduced me to it) for dealing with movies like Open Water and Frozen, but the waters are muddied so quickly.

        Green Room is an intense dramatic thriller–even siege narrative–that loosely follows some of the tropes of a late slasher. For me, it doesn’t even really have horror elements, unless we are considering all gory violence horror.

        Bone Tomahawk is a Western with brief horror elements.

        No Escape? I don’t see that as anything more than a thriller, no matter how scary it is.

        Even though I don’t really see any of this as horror, I prefer the “Fringe Horror” classification above others.

        • Yeah, I’d say the 3 main categories should be:

          Classic Horror: Films easily identified as belonging to the pure strain of the genre. I’d say if you’re using Jay’s method of Genre identification then this type of film has to be “horror first, any other genre’s second and third”

          Hybrid Horror: Films that are definitely rooted in the horror genre but also incorporate notable elements of other genres. The horror conventions should be evident in no less than 50% of the film to qualify. I’d imagine these movies would have horror listed as the first or second genre in Jay’s method of genre identification.

          Fringe Horror: Films that feature a smaller percentage of horror elements than Hybrid Horror. Movies that might be of interest to the horror community but not necessarily in keeping with the genre as a whole. They could be notable due to an excess of gory special effects that would appeal to horror fans even if presented in a relatively non-horror context or they might feature intense situations that someone like Jay may subjectively classify as “horror”. These would usually have horror as the second or third genre in Jay’s method of identification.

          I think all of these categories should be covered on a horror podcast because horror fans should know about movies as good and gruesome as “Bone Tomahawk”. I don’t want to miss out on a movie that’s got great nasty stuff in it just because it’s a 80/20 split between some other genre and horror.

          • I don’t even think you need a category- just talk about the film and let the listeners decide where it falls based on each hosts’ view of the film. I think there’s plenty more than a ‘brief’ moment in horror with “Bone Tomahawk”, for example… a brief moment of bloody violence, yes. But “horror”? The whole film is the horror- the whole journey and every sickening crack of that leg, every moment in the darkness, every shadow, and the impending threat of what they’re going to find when they eventually find it works as a horror film for me. It just happens to be set in the Old West, but I totally classify this film as “horror”.

            I think we need to have the discussion for every movie based on the films’ merits- there are going to be times when Jay is inconsistent with his definition of horror, and I’m okay with that. I’m inconsistent too- the truth of it is that there are just different tastes on occasion.

          • I don’t think the fact that it’s set in the west was ever part of the argument of why many of us don’t consider the movie horror. It’s more the fact that it’s a full blown western with just a few sprinkles of horror here and there. I can see what you’re saying about the journey and the horror at the end of it. It’s a chilling thought for sure, but my problem is that it wasn’t presented as such. We got a glimpse of the horror right at the start of the movie, then it was absent throughout the rest of the movie until it was brought back at the very last moments. There was never any tension and the horror was never built up. In fact, there wasn’t anything throughout the journey to remind me that I was watching a horror movie. The setting is inconsequential. It’s how it was used that made me question its horror status. That has nothing to do with the quality of the film, of course. It’s a fine film. It’s just not horror. But that’s just my opinion and if we learned anything from Jay is that there is no way around subjectivity.

          • redcapjack wrote:

            “The whole film is the horror- the whole journey and every sickening crack of that leg, every moment in the darkness, every shadow, and the impending threat of what they’re going to find when they eventually find it works as a horror film for me.”

            I just think if you’re going to say that, then you have to say that The Revenant is a horror film for sure.

            The Edge. The Grey. The Road.

            Last of the Mohicans? All Is Lost? Gravity? Everest?

            Come on.

            No, it’s just the approach to the cave and what happens inside that could be classified as horror elements.

            The rest of that stuff is typical for either Westerns or Survival films and can be found in everything from The Hateful Eight to Castaway.

          • I found a lot of build up through the film. There was the discussion with the guide and his description of what the Troglodytes were, there was the scene with the two approaching men, the scene where the horses were stolen, and just that leg… I do happen to believe some of the movies listed are horror and some are not, but I can’t easily define the differences. I think “The Grey” is horror, yes. I think The Edge is, and so is The Road. I don’t think Last of the Mohicans is nor Gravity. Oddly- I’m honestly on the fence on “The Hateful Eight” because it is shot so much like a horror film and it builds tension like a horror film. It is very much a “ten Little Indians”-type of whodunit.

          • I’ve got to weigh in here in favor of redcapjack. It’s difficult to debate subjective vs. subjective, unless you establish some kind of operational (objective?) definition somewhere in the mix. I think redcapjack and I share what the two of us would consider an objective-ish factor that defines horror in the case of BONE TOMAHAWK… and that factor isn’t present in THE REVENANT, THE EDGE, THE GREY… definitely not GRAVITY or THE ROAD. The factor I’m talking about that carries the horror with it is… the nature of the film’s external antagonistic force or threat.

            That’s why I’m down with redcapjack calling BONE TOMAHAWK horror, whereas the others are thrillers. To liken it with THE REVENANT and the rest of the films Wolfman mentions causes us to focus on the superficial aspects of each film’s respective journey without taking into consideration the unnatural aspects of BONE TOMOHAWK’S troglodyte cannibal killer cave dwellers.

            The threat that defines a horror film… if not supernatural… must demonstrate some form of gross abnormality. I would argue that BONE TOMAHAWK’S tribe of killer cannibals does just that, and in turn separates itself from the other films mentioned, relegating them to the adventure or thriller categories… but not horror.

            I got yo back, redcap!

          • To back up my comment above, I’m stressing horror’s need for an ABNORMAL threat, and I’m defining it as the dictionary does like so…

            Abnormal:
            1. Deviating from the usual or typical; extraordinary.
            2. Odd in behavior or appearance; strange.

            I think it is entirely in the realm of the norm to see man-eating wolves or bears attack people in the wild. Not to say that wouldn’t be horrifying, but abnormal in the context of the food chain in the wild? Not so much. These are apex predators acting in accordance with their very nature.

            Thriller and adventure movies can certainly have abnormal situations that make for an exaggerated situation that will drive a film and entertain people, and this is where it gets complicated as hell. This is where a film’s tone and content really come into play to cast the film in the direction of one genre or another… often multiple genres at once.

            But all that is subjective, isn’t it?

            I want to write so much more, but I guess I’ll just end here that in my humble opinion, horror needs something unnatural and abnormal driving it. If unnatural and abnormal to you is a bear attack. Cool… I won’t argue anymore about it. But if unnatural and abnormal to you is a murderous tribe of troglodyte cave dwelling cannibals… then we’re on the same page. :)

          • Watson, thank you. And I agree… there has to be an edge of “abnormality” to it for me to consider it horror. I just happen to extend that “abnormality” to include being stalked and hunted by the Bears or Wolves in some of the movies mentioned. Not a bear attack or a wolf attack, mind you- but the systematic stalking and attacking, like what we see in “Into the Grizzly Maze”, which would clearly seem to be horror. Or like with “Jaws” and some other films… I don’t think the Revenent would count because it’s just a bear attack and the rest of the film isn’t really about that. Where-as, “The Grey” is a constant struggle as men are picked off by wolves- or in “Frozen” where the wolves are a constant threat beneath the characters. Animals don’t normally track and repeatedly attack humans- it’s a very rare occasion when they’re attacked once, but for an animal to keep coming back and attacking? Not normal.

          • Redcapjack, I haven’t seen INTO THE GRIZZLY MAZE or FROZEN yet. And I’m with you that JAWS is definitely a horror film. It’s weird, though… I have this tendency to throw most films that involve animal antagonists (that are NOT beastly freaks) into the adventure/thriller category. I probably base this on my subject take on the TONE of the given film. THE EDGE and THE GREY, for instance, are awesome, but strike me more as man vs. wild thrillers. Even though I wouldn’t call them horror flicks, I can totally see why someone would, and I won’t take that away from them. Hell, I used to do quite a bit of solo multi-day hikes and camping trips out in the middle of nowhere up here in the Pacific Northwest, so if a man-eater bear came after me… pure f*ckin’ horror, man.

          • David I’m with you completely again. I really dig this classification system, and it works for the way I see horror. I also am adopting the Wolfman Josh sniff test. When it’s horror, you just know.

            I am grateful again to Jay for bringing this topic up. I am perhaps one of the few who loves speculating genre classification as much as actually discussing the films themselves.

            I also will join the camp of saying Jay is indeed shoe-horning in primal-horror to retrofit his love for survival siege thrillers like NO ESCAPE etc. Due to this, I cannot see myself completely adopting this classification system, but if not perfect it does have logic behind it. I was shocked that Gremlins wasn’t brought up again as it is an area of contention. Would you classify Gremlins as hybrid JOTD? Is it still not horror?

            I have personally never viewed horror films from the victim/victor perspective. It’s smart, and it holds up in many cases except for those films were there is a switch. I’m thinking specifically about a pure classic horror film like THE HILLS HAVE EYES (’77 and remake) where there is a switch to a revenge narrative in the final act. I believe it still maintains horror through this transition.

            I just keep going back to David’s original comment from last episode about exaggeration. It holds true for me. #TeamSniffTest

          • >> redcapjack on February 1, 2016 at 7:57 pm said:

            “I don’t even think you need a category- just talk about the film and let the listeners decide where it falls based on each hosts’ view of the film.”

            I really should have read the comments before posting my own thoughts, because this is pretty much what I said (a day later). So, needless to say, I agree with redcapjack’s above opinion.

            Sorry for stepping on your toes, buddy! I assure you, it was unintentional.

  12. Guys, I just purchased my badge for Fantastic Fest 2016. It’s a film festival dedicated to genre movies (horror, sci-fi, action, and anything oddball in between). It takes place in Austin, TX from September 22-29. I will be attending from September 22-25 and if anyone has plans to attend, please let me know and we can maybe hang out or maybe even share a room to cut down on expenses. I’m a very neat guy, but I snore, so be warned. Anyway, just putting it out there for those that might be interested. Here’s the link to the badge information. I purchased the Fan Badge in case you were wondering, but there are various price ranges to accommodate either your schedule or budget.

    http://fantasticfest.com/attend/badges

    • Juan,

      That sounds awesome. I hope you have a blast and report here on all that you see and do. I’m hoping to be able to go next year; it’s definitely on my bucket list. This year, my wife and I are purchasing a new house so fun things such as the above are not in the cards for 2016. Although, I get a new house so I think I’ll take that.

      • Yeah man, I’m pretty excited, ngl. I’ll make it a point to report on the daily. Follow me on twitter @thereaperofsoul to get quick, bite sized reactions. I’m so excited yet it’s so far away :(

  13. I’m JUST NOW listening to the episode, and I’m at the part right in the beginning about the CW’s take on Friday the 13th, particularly the gore. The show Supernatural comes to mind, and they get away with quite a bit of pretty great gore. Lots of blood splatter, decapitations, slashes, stabbings, shootings, neck-breaks, limbs getting chopped off, incinerations, bone-breaking, bleach-drinking… on and on it goes. Gorewise, Friday the 13th can still potentially be gory. Can’t wait.

  14. Man…All this stuff is making my brain hurt. Jay is sure making it hard to be a horror fan nowadays…So complicated…Now I’m second guessing everything I’ve ever believed in…Maybe its time for a life change…Any of you guys know of any rom-com podcasts I can check out…

  15. Here is my five classifications of horror after what I learned from today…
    1. Sorta Horror?
    2. Kinda Horror?
    3. Is This Horror?
    4. I Guess This Is Horror?
    5. Where Is The Horror?

  16. Okay, I’m listening to the podcast and I just got to Jay defining horror as being an issue of “predator” vs. “prey”- and what Jay is describing as “primal” is a SUSPENSE film. These are the elements of suspense- the ticking time bomb, the sword of damoclese, et al. aspects of a film where a life is threatened and the protagonist is largely powerless against whatever forces are laid against him- by Jay’s definition we have now turned “Dr. Strangelove” into a horror film. I doubt anyone would agree with that classification, but I’m working solely off the definition that I’ve been listening to. We’ve now described “Rope” as a horror film. “North by Northwest”? DOA? And while I realize that this is probably Jay’s attempt to justify a single film on his list of top ten horror films, I’d really like to make something clear: “Horror” is not necessarily “Fear”- it’s probably our most obvious and most referenced, but it’s really only part of what “horror” really is. Suspense is built on FEAR- Horror is built more on a sense of revulsion, which is often most associated with fear. A threat to life is obviously a matter of fear- and it should be considered, but at what point do we stop considering a film “horror” just because a life is threatened? “First Blood”? “Die Hard”? You’d claim that “no, of course not- those films have fighters.” And yet the threat is real- the fear and suspense is real in all of these films or else the film doesn’t work. But there is a definite classification of film genre where it does work: Suspense.

    Additionallly, by Jay’s definition we would now have turned Dracula into an action film(it can be, I suppose.). And, I’m sorry, but this definition truly and honestly disturbs me because it implies that “horror” only exists as a threat to life- and that’s not what Horror IS to me. I enjoy the “predator” aspects of horror but I also enjoy the surreal and otherworldly elements- for example, in a typical Lovecraftian view of horror the greatest danger is not to life but to sanity as the realization of mans insignificance in the universe is suddenly realized and the mind is unable to cope. And now I’ll turn to “Ghostbusters”, where the tone isn’t horror but the concepts are- now bear with me because there’s something to be said here. Tonally, the film is an action comedy- Three buddies using what they know about the supernatural to trap ghosts for profit. But let’s look at the subtext of the film, what lies below the surface- these are four buddies using the VERY LITTLE they know to try and trap ghosts for profit. We are introduced to concepts of other-worldly beings, cross-dimensional entities, suffering spirits, spiritual possession, and ritual sacrifice. Oh, it’s funny and amusing, but if you actually examine the film and the concepts they are delivering- this is horror. Perhaps not in tone, but in spirit (pun intended) and in certain delivery. But if we look at “Bone Tomahawk”, almost the opposite is true- yes, the film is obviously a western. But from a tonal standpoint, this film is a gothic horror set in the west. Throughout the journey of these four men they are prey to the elements, they are in fear of a looming threat, and they are on their way to confront Grendel in his cave. These are CLASSIC horror motifs and it doesn’t matter that the tribe are basically humans, they are MONSTERS by every definition- they are as much monsters as the family in “The Hills Have Eyes” and they are presented as such from the very beginning of the film. Don’t let the hats and the six-shooters deter you, this is a HORROR film- it’s a slow burn to the end, but it is ultimately built for tension, fear, disgust, and terror. To play it off just because it’s setting is in the Old West would be like saying “House of the Devil” is just a babysitter romp.

    I thought the previous comments from Dave did a great job of defining horror so I didn’t weigh in on my thoughts. They would’ve been just “ditto”- but perhaps I should have written something because I did have another thought- the more the idea of a definition is discussed, the further we are creating barriers into a discussion on horror. Let me be frank- I want Jay to come in and tell us that he believes “No Escape” and “Bone Tomahawk” are horror films and I want him to describe what he sees and why he defines it AS horror. With regard to “No Escape”, the film he described and justified as “horror” didn’t sound like it to me and it INFORMED me, as a listener, with regards to whether I would choose to watch that movie. Likewise, the same discussion on “Bone Tomahawk” did give me an opportunity to hear about a film and it recommended my viewing of it. Likewise when Josh talks about “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” – he loved the film, but his description of it and it’s filming techniques made me feel as though this was not the film for me. On the other hand, his praise of “Crimson Peak” nudged me to take time off work one afternoon in order to catch it in the theater and it was my favorite horror film of the year. I don’t want the hosts to buffer discussion on these films as “Fringe” horror or “Classic” or “primal”- I want them to talk about horror and then, if they feel the need to justify that label, to tell us why they feel as such. If they don’t feel something is horror, go ahead and tell us- but it’s ultimately up to us as listeners to decide for ourselves.

    I’m not discounting these views on horror- but I do think they are fluid enough that the hosts are certainly able to talk about individual films and if it walks an edge of definition than I still urge them to talk about it. Don’t let it disqualify you-

    This part is for JAY, specifically: Don’t let anyone dissuade you on “No Escape”- if you thought it was your favorite horror movie, than that’s for you to decide. If that’s how you define “horror”, that’s up to you and you made a good case for it. I don’t have to agree with you and the community doesn’t have to agree. People say I’m wrong for considering “Crimson Peak” a horror film- their opinion doesn’t matter to me one bit. I will argue that it is, present my reasons for why, and then it’s really up to the person I’m discussing the film with to decide for themselves. But please… please… no T&A references! You really don’t need to get this specific in defining horror across the board… take on a movie by movie basis and let everyone’s subjectivity be what it is. You can warn people that a movie plays more like a western or a comedy or a drama- I love that aspect of your reviews. But don’t suddenly disqualify a movie because it may fall into one spectrum more than another.

    Oh, and “No Escape” isn’t horror.

      • Another thing interesting about Ghostbusters is how serious Dan Akroyd took it. That dude is seriously into the supernatural and the movie included a lot of small details that are specific to that demographic.

        Not to mention his original script had the Ghostbusters going into other dimensions and what not but for the time was deemed too expensive.

        Overall, it doesn’t feel like a horror movie to me but it’s closer than people might think. And regardless, it’s still one of my all time favorite films.

        • Ghostbusters is maybe my favorite movie of all time, and I’m diggin’ what you’re saying, Jonathan.

          I’m also really diggin’ everyone’s comments about Jay’s new system. It’s given me a ton to think about. I, for one, think it’s awesome that Jay did this.

          And now, he’s just got to respond to literally ONE of my comments about the rap. And no… can’t let it go.

          • It’s my favorite comedy of all time (along with Clue of course).

            “Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria!”

  17. Way to put it all out there, Jay! I admire your moxie. :)

    Sorry I couldn’t make the show, but at least this way I’ve been able to think carefully about Jay’s treaties and present my thoughts with some premeditation instead of “on the fly.” Here goes.

    I understand the (increasing) desire of fans to discuss, debate, and argue the specifics of genre, especially such a polarizing and subjective specialty as “horror.” Part of the reasons the debates are becoming more contentious is because “genre” as a discrete classification system has almost completely broken down. That’s definitional postmodernism–the borders between genres have collapsed because in our ongoing quest to create new narratives, artists are forever blending, mixing, challenging, and undermining traditional, historical genres. Indeed, very few films released today could be defined as JUST comedies or JUST science fiction or JUST westerns. I would argue the best narratives fight easy classification and defy the confines of genre.

    But genre classifications remain useful, although more as marketing indicators than anything else. On the one hand, producers LOVE to pony up money for established genres because they almost always have a pre-established audience. Genre-bending films are hard to market, as studios can’t simply slap a concisely descriptive label on them, and they are less likely to be entertained by non-fan viewers. On the other hand, some people will watch a science fiction film regardless of content–they just know they like those kinds of films. Horror movies almost always make money, so investors are more likely to get behind a project that is simply “horror” and not some kind of “hybrid.” In that way, genres are reductive designations based on Hans Jauss’s conception of “the horizon of expectations,” which are the things audiences expect (and in fact demand) to see from a narrative. A clearly labeled narrative.

    But let’s talk horror. For me, the debate isn’t terribly interesting because (1) a horror film is any film marketed as a horror film, (2) a horror film is any film that fans CHOOSE to designate as a horror film, and (3) the scholarly definition of horror has already been thoroughly and convincingly established already. :) For me, the quintessential definition of horror (more specifically, art-horror, to differentiate it from the horrors of the “real world”) has been established by Noel Carroll in his foundational book The Philosophy of Horror. It’s not a simple definition–it’s a whole freaking book, after all–but, in essence, he says art-horror is any work of art that produces a physiological reaction from its audience, specifically a response of fear, disgust, dread, etc. What does that mean, then? It’s subjective. According to Carroll, art-horror is in the body–not just the eye–of the beholder. It’s all about the subjective physiological response.

    That said, I agree with Jay that horror is all about tone. But tone is slippery–technically speaking, “tone” doesn’t refer to characters, story, plot, or structure. Tone is all about the attitude of the creating artist(s) towards the subject matter under consideration. So you could call Poltergeist a horror film because the filmmakers clearly have the attitude that the subject matter is horrible, terrifying, scary, what have you–the “tone” is horror. Ghostbusters, on the other hand, clearly reveals the attitude of the filmmakers about ghost to be comedic, satirical, lighthearted, and fanciful. So not horror. This means that if “tone” is going to be the mark of genre, then the filmmakers get to designate the genre of their works and the audience reception has NOTHING to do with it. :)

    So I guess I would agree with Jay that TONE is key–but I would define it much differently (it’s the realm of the filmmakers). But the other key is RECEPTION, which is completely subjective and in the realm of the viewers. In some ways, you can define “horror” the way some reductively define “pornography”: you know it when you see it. 😛

    That’s how I see it, and that’s essentially how I teach it. But I have little interest in genres alone–the EXECUTION of a genre (or a subgenre or a trope or a motif or a theme or a monster or a story) is what matters most to me as a fan AND a critic. Over to you, Jay!

    • Thank you. I loved your comments, Kyle. Excellent and insightful, as always. And I appreciate all the times you were gracious toward me in your response. ha ha I also appreciate all the good stuff that you teach me.

      So, here’s my follow-up question, if you have time:

      I’ve sensed the following sentiments from some of the comments above, and I like the way you’ve said it, because this truly captures my purpose in attempting this T&A system:

      Kyle wrote:
      “Part of the reasons the debates are becoming more contentious is because “genre” as a discrete classification system has almost completely broken down.”

      I completely agree! So, my question is — since we’re in this brave new world where the old, simplistic and reductive genre definition doesn’t sufficiently capture the breadth of our modern cinematic offerings, shouldn’t we try to capture all the horses again with new terms and put them back in the barn, so to speak?

      The sentiment that I’m detecting from some of our listeners is: “Well, I know what my horses looked like because I have a photo and a memory of them, so there’s no need to try to gather them up and capture them again because it’s impossible, anyway.” Or in other words, the genie’s already out of the bottle, so to speak.

      But I publicly acknowledge here and now, once again, that perhaps this is simply a fool’s errand and, alas, impossible because the problem of personal subjectivity and one’s personal tastes and perception is always going to be the missing linchpin that causes any new, attempted theoretical approach to fall apart.

      So, to the critics (which I use here as a respectful word — not meant as a synonym for “trolls”) of Jay’s Horror Tone & Assignment of Genre theory, I am not claiming to have solved the problem of subjectivity… All I’m truly claiming here is that perhaps this system sorta, kinda works well enough for us to communicate somewhat clearly with each other when describing what a movie is *like.*

      Kyle? … Everybody? Thoughts?
      Jay of the Dead

      • I believe you are right and there is no “correct” solution to the problem. Which personally I don’t even consider a real problem. Just because a movie may not be considered horror in the classical sense, does not mean it would not be of interest to the majority of horror fans. Your system (with some trial and error tweaking) is as good as any to convey the merits of a film. Us fans can then decide if it is something that fits our tastes.

        I enjoy horror-comedy, so a review from Wolfman Josh of “What we do in the Shadows” would mean more to me than some others. So as long as the system is descriptive of the various “horror elements” in play, it will be good enough as a guide for the listeners.

        Oh, and it must be consistent.

        Thanks for all the effort you put in your system,
        Mr. V

      • JOTD wrote:

        “The sentiment that I’m detecting from some of our listeners is: ‘Well, I know what my horses looked like because I have a photo and a memory of them, so there’s no need to try to gather them up and capture them again because it’s impossible, anyway.’ Or in other words, the genie’s already out of the bottle, so to speak.”

        Who–specifically–was saying that, Jay? I feel like you’ve gotten some really thoughtful, detailed responses from people who take issue with some of the specifics of your system. I’d love to hear your responses to those critiques.

        I think, as you’ve rightly pointed out, a system such as this is reductive and only becomes more so as the borders of genre expand. Kyle’s accepted academic definition of genre above, which is essentially “what the director was trying to do + how the audience interpreted it” is the broadest, most subjective of any given here. Personally, I don’t think going that broad is useful for our discussions because the number of times we can honestly know creator intent is close to null and the audience whose reaction we are gauging can really only be ourselves.

        So, then, why am I not more excited about a more stringent system, like the one you’ve put forth?

        The closest comparison I can think of is the MPAA. Their ratings system, as I see it, is a total failure. The stated purpose of their organization is to provide parents with information to help them decide what is right for their children. Since I’ve had children myself, I’ve found sites such as Common Sense Media much more useful because rather than giving you a simplistic “PG-13” they operate on a descriptive system that relays things like “Educational Value”, “Positive Messages”, “Positive Role Models” on top of the expected “Violence and Scariness” “Sexy Stuff” “#! Language” and “Drinking, Drugs & Smoking” … which is so much more useful!

        And that’s what I’m sensing in the comments from people like RedCapJack and Mr. V … they prefer us to just do our jobs and describe the films so that they can make up their own minds.

        It’s also why I stand by my “genre-breakdown” as the easiest way to communicate how much of each element appears in a film.

        From the example that RedCapJack gave above:

        “When Josh talks about ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’ – he loved the film, but his description of it and it’s filming techniques made me feel as though this was not the film for me. On the other hand, his praise of ‘Crimson Peak’ nudged me to take time off work one afternoon in order to catch it in the theater and it was my favorite horror film of the year.”

        That’s not to say that your system is useless–especially for you–and I’m happy to communicate in those terms if it helps us communicate better, but I do believe there are some holes in your theory I’d need addressed before I can whole-heartedly jump onboard and I truly believe that more descriptive reviews are more useful.

        Sorry, I know this is a mess. I hope my meaning came though because I don’t have time to fine-tune it at the moment.

        • That is, generally speaking, what I was saying. Yes.

          And I’m not trying to be dismissive, but to use the “horses in the barn” analogy- sometimes the barn just isn’t going to be big enough to hold “all dem dere horses, sahr!” If it’s nitpicked into overly expansive terms as in the T&A system being proposed, then it just feels a little confusing for me as a listener. You, as hosts, shouldn’t have to spend more time explaining the Tone, the classic, the primal, and all that stuff when all I want to know is the plot, the film techniques, and the over-all opinion and WHY you had any sort of opinion on the film.

          And rating. Can’t forget rating.

      • I think Kyle makes some really great points. It’s baffling though, because I even take issue with the restating of Noel Carrol’s perspective:

        “art-horror is any work of art that produces a physiological reaction from its audience, specifically a response of fear, disgust, dread, etc.”

        I agree with redcapjack that horror is more than a fear response.

        Kyle’s most profound point is that the amount of genre blending has created an artistic environment that may be beyond a universal classification system.

        Jay, I think you should keep using the T&A since it works for you and it has some excellent logical ways to convey information to the listeners within the context of your definition of horror. Unfortunately, I for one think I’d have to use a modified version of the T&A as I have stated further up the page that parts of the T&A are fundamentally at odds with my own perspective on horror.

        The T&A is both audacious and admirable. I don’t want to be a naysayer, and throw my hands in the air on creating a unifying classification system. I just think it’s a unlikely that there exists a holy grail system that everyone will adopt. I speculate that such a universal system would have to be written in a committee with the input of numerous people with different perspectives.

  18. Public Service Announcement

    Guys, a few horror movies have been added to Netflix instant stream. I saw some of these on a few top ten lists:

    The Diabolical
    The Hollow
    (not to be confused with The Hallow)
    Hellions
    Para Elisa

  19. Man, there are already a lot of comments to catch up on… just a few quick notes about the show before I read through them all.

    Overall, I thought this was an excellent episode. Really top notch discussion with a bunch of fun bite-sized reviews. Love it. And a surprise appearance by Kill Bill Kill is always a treat.

    Regarding Girl House

    JOTD and Wolfman, thanks for checking out and reviewing Girl House. I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts on the film, and it made me smile to hear that you both enjoyed it (at least, reasonably well enough, in Wolfman’s case).

    Regarding your comments about how the film would have been more effective had it not shown the killer’s normal visage so much, that’s actually something about the movie I appreciated. I felt that it rounded out his character and gave some foundation for why he might fly off the rails like he did in the end. It’s also one of the elements of the film that I thought differentiated it from so many other slashers, and helped make it so interesting.

    In any event, I’m really surprised by how little talk this movie has gotten in the horror community. I think it’s one of those hidden little gems that people need to see, which is why I’m so happy you both took the time to watch it and review it on the show. Maybe that will help it gain some exposure, no pun intended.

    For me, Girl House is an 8/10 and was #7 on my top 10 horror of 2015 list. So, not far off from JOTD (and Wolfman actually liked it more than I expected). Also, BillChete told me on Twitter that he’ll be revising his top 10 again, with at least two new films added to the list. Girl House will be one of those two films.

    Regarding Kristy

    Wow, what an unexpected treat to get a review of Girl House and Kristy in the same show!

    Wolfman, you said something that I’ve been thinking for the last month since I caught up with Kristy, and it was something to the effect of “I felt similarly about this film as I did about Girl House” (paraphrasing). I’m in the same boat.

    Kristy is one of those movies for me that I can see myself putting on in the background when I just want some solid, accessible horror. It’s not groundbreaking or unique, but it’s definitely a solid, well-made and fun slasher flick.

    I liked Kristy slightly less than Girl House – it’s a 7.5/10 for me – but I think it’s the more re-watchable of the two.

      • As far as the T&A is concerned (sorry, had to), I honestly didn’t even think that would be a consideration for you (or Jason, for that matter) because the film is rather tame in that regard.

          • Gosh, you guys… I just did NOT feel GIRLHOUSE! I think I had a bit too much whiskey that night, though, so I WILL give it another shot… no pun intended. (Been off the whiskey anyway… too much sugar… bad for the blood, ya know.)

            Regarding Jay and the whole sexuality issue… let’s not forget how much he raved about GUTTERBALLS. I watched it because of how highly he spoke of it, and I loved it. But I’m thinkin’ my man Jay of the Dead (who always ignores my comments on the threads regarding his rap!) has got an inner wildman goin’ on.

          • I kind of hope Jay continues to ignore you and that just becomes your gimmick. Mister Watson – the listener Jay refuses to acknowledge. Ha

        • Jay here:
          Did you guys hear somebody say “Gutterballs”??? …

          I thought I heard something …

          Nah. Must have just been the wind.

          Ha ha ha. Whatever. I love Mister Watson. I’m not on the comment boards very much because all my time is spent watching these movies and recording / editing / posting these episodes.

          But yes, Mister Watson, an HMP Horror Rap is coming!

          JOTD — Bee-Otch!

          • “Bee-Otch!” Holy crap, Jay, this OFFICIALLY has made my week! I’m laughing so hard right now!

            Gutterballs is AWESOME, and I can’t wait for the HMP rap! Stoked!

            Also, Jay, I love you too!

          • I’m bumpin’ this thread so I can eventually bump a sick JOTD HMP rap in the low low. Aw, yeah.

  20. So, I have a few thoughts on JOTD’s T&A (that sounds weird to say together, but I’m going with it)…

    I hate to say it, but I fell off the wagon right from the start. The opening statement of “ultimately, horror is about (wo)man vs. death” (paraphrasing) is one that I just don’t agree with. Horror can be about much more than just death. For example, how about a battle with one’s sanity?

    I enjoyed the T&A discussion (that’ll never get old) and I definitely appreciate the effort JOTD put into coming up with these guidelines. However, I feel like putting together strict guidelines like this as a measure against subjective material like film is problematic. Can the guidelines be improved with discussion from various perspectives? Yes, but they will never be comprehensive (or narrow) enough to satisfy everyone’s sensibilities. Is there merit in going through the exercise of trying to define set measurements to which you can compare subjective material? Sure, to an extent.

    The bottom line, though, is that horror is subjective – we know it when we see it. The “problem” is that subjective part. What I consider to be horror might not be horror to you, and vice versa. Looking at the obvious example of No Escape for a moment, I would not classify that as horror. To me, that film is clearly defined as an action-thriller with absolutely zero elements pointing it towards horror. However, that film obviously had a very real, visceral effect on JOTD, an effect that lent itself to a horror classification. Do I agree with that? No, but film and horror is subjective so nobody has the right to tell JOTD how he should interpret and classify the film.

    Now, sticking with No Escape, this is where the guidelines become problematic. Could No Escape be made to fit as a horror movie within the guidelines? Yes. But that doesn’t change the absolute fact that, to me, No Escape is not a horror movie. So, we eliminate the primal horror node… but we can’t do that, either, because then we lose movies like Open Water and Preservation (both definitely horror, imo).

    Personally, I think a more fruitful endeavor would be for each host to take time to (again) discuss what horror is for them – essentially, the discussion that happened during episode 001 of HMP. It’s not the scientific approach of creating guidelines for everyone to adhere to; rather, it’s a subjective process by which to measure subjective material.

    In other words, I would rather each host classify horror as they see it, and then the listeners can know how to identify the film based on the host’s horror sensibilities.

    That’s why I think, as Juan, David and I discussed recently, it’s more important to have a discussion of what each host considers horror to be rather than a definitive genre classification system. And despite having already done that in episode 001, I think it’s worth revisiting that discussion now, some 2+ years and 100s of movies later.

      • Thanks, fellas. Of course, I realized after posting this that redcapjack had already said essentially the same thing, even the “battle for sanity” bit!

        And, in all honesty, it’s essentially your (Wolfman’s) sniff test approach.

      • I will add this to the mix – there’s a great benefit to finding a movie critic (or critics) you like and following them for the long haul rather than just looking up random reviews of movies. As time goes by, you really get a great sense of their sensibilities, their likes and dislikes, and how they interpret certain thematic elements. That’s when you can really benefit from the film reviews.

        You don’t even need to necessarily agree with the critic’s sensibilities or points-of-view. Sometimes it’s just as valuable to follow a critic with opposite tastes to yours.

        Personally, I get my main film criticism from a combination of six podcasts, four of which are the MPN shows. The other two fill in slightly different areas of film criticism that MPN doesn’t necessarily cover, so these six shows give me a well-rounded picture of pretty much any and all films out there. And, having listened to these shows for about the last three years, I feel I’m just now really beginning to get a handle on these critics’ tastes, and therefore fully reaping the benefits of their reviews.

        • Dino,
          I learned that very thing from Roger Ebert. You’re exactly right. A film critic can still be useful to us, even if we disagree.

          Lucky for me, eh?
          J

          • You had Ebert, I’ve got you. Seems fair, right? :)

            I’m sure sometimes it feels like everyone’s against you, but, for what it’s worth, I find that I tend to agree with you most of the time.

    • A quick point, Dino:
      The loss of sanity (or the mind or mental well-being)… That’s still essentially “death” of the individual, or the loss of a person as we know them or as they know themselves.

      Death = loss of life as you have known it to be now.

      Horror is about the loss or disappearance of oneself through some type of type.

      JOTD

      • Ok, sure, you can argue it that way. But I think that argument is problematic because it can be applied to many seemingly mundane aspects of life.

        How about the loss of a job? That could be severely devastating and disruptive to someone’s life. They could lose their home… lose their family… lose their sense of self… indeed lose life as they have known it to be.

        The emotional and psychological impact of battling for one’s life is certainly different than the battle to maintain sanity, especially when you consider that the truly insane do not realize they are insane. However, if someone’s life is in danger then they likely know it. Without even getting into the finer points of the psyche, this fundamental difference between the two suggest they are, in fact, two different things.

  21. I’m not DISMISSING genre, as it’s a very effective, if not essential, way for people to approach texts. It’s a kind of shorthand that helps filmmakers, distributors, critics, and consumers. We should be using such designations to help us understand what a film is saying and how we say it, but we shouldn’t try to force blanket designations on a narratives unless it helps up advance a worthy cause.

    But to respond to two points:

    Jay’s question: “Since we’re in this brave new world where the old, simplistic and reductive genre definition doesn’t sufficiently capture the breadth of our modern cinematic offerings, shouldn’t we try to capture all the horses again with new terms and put them back in the barn, so to speak?”

    My answer: No.

    Josh’s point: “The number of times we can honestly know creator intent is close to null.”

    My response: Wrong–We can because of the tone of the work.

    Overall, though, I agree with most of Josh’s points. The job of a podcast such as this one is to make recommendation and provide analysis. If we can use generic designations to help us in that task, all the better, but it will always be subjective because that is the very nature of art. So we approach texts descriptively and thoroughly, offering our interpretations and views, and our listeners are free to make their own determinations.

    • But, Kyle. To your point of subjectivity–and using your system–we cannot objectively determine the TONE the creator was intending unless they tell us. Otherwise, we become the judges of the TONE that they were going for which means that we are really talking about RECEPTION, once again.

      To go back to my Troll 2 example from the podcast: The director intended that film to be scary. But his judgement of the tone he created and the popular judgement of the tone he created aren’t in alignment. Most people believe that he unintentionally created a comedy that approaches farce.

      On the other hand, I know (from listening to the filmmaker commentaries) that the writers of The Final Girls were primarily interested in creating a touching drama filled with actual horror and faithful homage when they wrote the film. I also know that the director of The Final Girls was far less interested in getting the horror or homage right because he was more focused on the drama, satire and humor.

      I have a clear statement of authorial intent with regard to TONE. Now I can talk about my RECEPTION with that intent in mind and quite easily settle on my classification and ultimate recommendation.

      But, as I stated above, this is a rarity. The number of times we can honestly know creator intent is close to null if we take the breadth of cinema into account. If tone is, as you say, supposed to be “all about the attitude of the creating artist(s) towards the subject matter under consideration” then we have to know what they intended. Otherwise, we are decoding their intention ourselves.

  22. Great analysis from everyone who has contributed to the conversation. I have always simplified the classification & clarification of the genre as quite rudimentary, spreading horror over seven basic sections. The lists below optimistically back that up & my fingers are crossed that nobody is put to sleep by this post. I have noticed that for the most part, hybrid horror is represented far more than I ever expected. I love slasher films to death, but I would have to place them mostly under straight horror. The same would go for home invasion movies. They are exemplified across many of the sections to follow.

    All films listed were arbitrarily chosen. Some of them are the best of what they represent, others are there to help make a point.

    #1 Straight/Intentional Horror: films that are simply downright scary sans the drama & comedy that spread across most other subgenres.

    Examples
    The Exorcist (1973)
    Halloween (1978)
    Inside (2007)
    Kidnapped (2010)
    Martyrs (2008)
    Night of the Living Dead (1968)
    Psycho (1960)
    Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
    The Shining (1980)
    Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

    #2 Horror Action: self-explanatory

    Examples
    Aliens (1968)
    Death Proof (2007)
    Feast (2005)
    The Guest (2014)
    The Hitcher (1986)
    John Dies at the End (2012)
    The Last Circus (2010)
    The Purge II (2014)
    Shark Night (2011)
    You’re Next (2013)

    #3 Horror Adventure: films in which anyone places themselves in a situation they may pair with danger.

    Examples
    Backcountry (2015)
    The Barrens (2012)
    The Blair Witch Project (1999)
    Eden Lake (2007)
    The Edge (1997)
    Frozen (2010)
    Hunter’s Blood (1986)
    Rogue (2007)
    The Ruins (2010)
    Willow Creek (2013)

    #4 Horror Comedies: self-explanatory

    Examples
    Baghead (2008)
    Black Roses (1988)
    The ‘Burbs (1989)
    Club Dread (2004)
    Freaked (1993)
    Severance (2006)
    Shaun of the Dead (2004)
    Slither (2006)
    Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)
    What We Do in the Shadows (2015)

    #5 Horror Dramas: films that most would argue have a higher percentage of drama in comparison to a lower level of horror.

    Examples
    Bone Tomahawk (2015)
    Calvaire (2004)
    The Collector (1965)
    Dead of Winter (1987)
    Frayed (2007)
    Kill List (2011)
    Mute Witness (1995)
    Nightwatch (1994 & 1997)
    Repulsion (1965)
    With a Friend Like Harry (2000)

    #6 Horror Sci-Fi: self-explanatory

    Examples
    Alien (1979)
    Cloverfield (2008)
    Event Horizon (1997)
    The Fly (1986)
    The Host (2006)
    Lifeforce (1985)
    Mimic (1997)
    The Mist (2007)
    Predator (1987)
    Under the Skin (2014)

    #7 Horror Thrillers: films that mostly contain crime investigation.

    Examples
    American Psycho (2000)
    Big Bad Wolves (2013)
    I Saw the Devil (2010)
    Seven (1995)
    Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    Sleep Tight (2011)
    The Tenant (1976)
    The Treatment (2015)
    When a Stranger Calls Back (1993)
    Zodiac (2007)

    Did I make sense? Probably not & hopefully my apology can be accepted.

    Great topic of conversation.

    • Great breakdowns with a bold fringe horror pick or two in each category. I like the idea of Adventure Horror.

      For me, this mostly reaffirms my belief that it is best to just list all of the other subgenres one might find in a film.

    • I like your breakdown of the genres, but I have a problem with your definition of the straight/intentional horror genre. You describe it as straight horror with no drama or comedy. I disagree. Drama will most likely be present in most horror movies. It’s a big part of many of the horror movies you listed.

  23. Although the topic of genre classification is “old,” it is also cyclical and worthy of discussion.
    If one is describing a movie to recommend it to someone, then I’m fine with using as many sub-genres as necessary: horror, comedy, action, drama, sci-fi, or whatever.
    If one is trying to describe how much horror is in the movie, then I think a percentage helps: “this movie is only about 10% horror,” or even “this movie has very little horror.”

    In the T&A system, “classic horror” is problematic to me because that can also refer to the sub-genre, classic horror, or older movies that help define the genre and have stood the test of time (my favorite sub-genre of horror). For T&A it might be more clear to call it “traditional horror” or something like that.

          • Does it really? I’ve heard some hate for it on other podcasts because people think it’s making fun of the genre… I don’t really get that. I think it’s celebrating the genre in the likes of Scream and Behind the Mask; you can mix humor and horror, Ghostbusters and Shaun of the Dead did it and the receive universal acclaim . I’ve never understood the Cabin backlash, it’s a FUN movie.

          • Thank you! That’s what I’m saying! It’s funny that you mention Cabin in the Woods, Scream, and Behind the Mask because those three films are absolutely in my top 10. I’m a big fan of meta films even if people seem to think they’re poking fun at the genre.

            I recently read a review of Cabin that scolded the movie for its ending. The reviewer really took it personally, it seemed, and damned the movie for allowing the destruction of the world just because the final girl doesn’t want to kill a worthless pothead. He talked about how much he doesn’t want to see his family and friends die and basically just said, “F*ck this movie’s ending.”

            What’s funny to me is that since the “gods” who destroy the “world” are a metaphor for viewers who will damn a horror flick for doing something unexpected… it’s just all too fitting. Ha ha.

            Charlie O, what are some of your favorite horror films?

          • God my favorites… that is a hard one. Behind the Mask is definitely up there, I adore that movie. Trick R Treat is definitely up there, Devil’s Rejects, Blair Witch, Halloween, Creepshow, Nightmare on Elm Street 3… too many to name honestly.

          • Trick r’ Treat and Behind the Mask are legit in my top 5, and the rest of the films you named, I love. I’m digging your horror tastes. There’s a link I’ll have to find where a lot of us here on the HMP forum post our top 10. I haven’t done it yet, myself. I’ll have to hunt that link down, though. Dino told me about it the other day.

          • I don’t think Cabin in the Woods gets a lot of hate around here. It’s a pretty great movie. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone actually say they hate it. I’ve only heard talk about how it’s hated by others.
            The top 10 lists are on the main page on the right under lists. I’ve been working on my for over a year now. I guess I gotta commit soon. Here’s a link…
            http://horrormoviepodcast.com/horror-movie-podcast-our-top-10-all-time-favorite-horror-movie-picks/

          • Wow! Just commit, baby… it’s not like you can’t change it at any time. It’s your list, after all.

            In fact, I’ve been thinking about tweaking mine.

          • Dino said, “Wow! Just commit, baby…”
            Now, where have I heard that before? Time to run!

          • Dark Mark, I’ve heard Wolfman Josh talking about how he doesn’t dig The Cabin In the Woods, and I seem to remember some listeners agreeing. I’m relieved to hear you say that you feel like more people like it than I thought. That’s good news. Cabin is amazing!

          • Oh and Dark Mark, thanks for posting that link. I’m still working on my top 10. I’ve got my top 25, and while my top 5 is SOLID, my 6 through 10 could be pretty much ANY of the rest of my top 25. Gotta keep thinkin’, yo.

        • I actually don’t like saying that Leslie or Trick R Treat is in my top because I feel like the old guard disregards us. I feel like if The Exorcist or Psycho isn’t at the top of your list you’re not counted as a real horror fan. (Again Halloween is in my top, it’s fantastic)

          • I’ve had these same thoughts for years, Charlie O. Should one really lose any credibility for being honest with their tastes, particularly if those tastes deal more strongly in 21st century horror? I should hope not.

            Now, I love me a ton of 70s, 80s, and 90s horror, but I guess I just kind of look at it like this: There was once a time when all those great horror movies that are now older than you or I… there was a time when those films were new. They didn’t have the scene cred just yet. People were still figuring out how to react to them. The Old Guard in those days praised the films of the 60s and prior because that was the paradigm from which they came; the paradigm that informed their tastes and opinions on “current” trends that we now call the 70s and 80s classics.

            Well now, the current breed of the Old Guard are those connoisseurs of 70s and 80s horror cinema. They probably don’t think of themselves as the Old Guard. Who ever does? That said, SCREAM is 20 years old. It’s a classic now. People our age, Charlie O (those in their early 30s), are on the verge of becoming the new Old Guard, and that means that the only thing separating films like Cabin in the Woods and Trick r’ Treat from those elder classics is time. That’s it. Like fine wine, they’ll age beyond their cult classic status and right into canon.

            And so, I’m fine having these future classics on my top 10. HALLOWEEN is. SCREAM is. Why not TRICK R’ TREAT, right?

          • And maybe we are becoming the “new” old guard. But I don’t think that’s obstructing my enjoyment of new horror. I think The Conjuring (sorry Jay) was a fantastic haunted house movie, and Sinister (sorry Blumhouse haters) was GREAT. Are they Halloween level, probably not, but it’s still great horror.

          • Oh, I agree. I love THE CONJURING, the entire INSIDIOUS trilogy, and tons of other recent movies. I feel like if I watch WE ARE STILL HERE even one more time, it’s going on my top 25 no prob. These recent movies, I think, are part of the paradigm that I feel a part of, so I still feel ’em. I’m wondering when that paradigm will move on without me, and I’ll be stuck expressing the same sentiments that the current Old Guard does when they elevate 80s slashers above current ones simply because “it was the 80s, and those were MY formative years!”

            Okay, fine, I’ll admit… the 80s rule! But I’m wondering how long it’ll be until I’M saying something like, “Ah, these haunted house movies haven’t been good since the 2010s. These 2030s horror films just don’t get it!” Ha ha.

          • I feel Saw deeply hurt the legit accolades of our preferred genre in the last decade (even if some of them were good movies)

          • You really liked the whole Insidious thing? I didn’t watch past the first thanks to overwhelming negative reviews

          • I feel like the Insidious films are strong entries in the modern supernatural horror category. Of course, not everyone is into supernatural horror, and hey, that’s cool. It just happens to be my favorite horror sub-genre, so that’s where I’m biased, I suppose. I love how they’re written and executed. But most of all, I sometimes dream that I leave my body, and it’s always a HORRIBLE experience… so when that first film went into the whole thing with The Further, it resonated with me. Hell, Jay of the Dead often says he just does not like supernatural horror, but even he loves the Insidious trilogy. I’m hoping they film just ONE more that finishes where the 2nd one left off (since number 3 was a prequel), and then they call it quits.

            As for what you said about SAW… I think I know what you’re talking about. I think the first SAW and even the second one are strong films, but the “torture porn” sub-genre did really have a negative effect on public opinion of horror. Good observation, Charlie O. I can’t remember if I’ve seen them all, either. I used to drink a lot. I think I own the first SAW on Blu Ray… and maybe the 5th one, although I have NO IDEA why. Ha ha.

          • Charlie O, I’m hoping to see more comments from you on this forum because you are awesome!

  24. I just finished watching TURBO KID, and I must say… Wolfman Josh was totally right to have that film in his top 10 of 2015. I LOVED it.

    On a side note, I finally saw a picture of Wolfman Josh, and he looks EXACTLY like I thought he’d look. How ’bout that?

    • I’ve heard a lot about this one being on top 10 lists and am kinda interested. Do you think it works as well for non 80’s babies? (I’m a 90’s kid)

    • YES seriously! This movies kicks so much ass. I thought it was going to have a more Hobo With A Shot gun vibe (I wish I could explain what I mean by that. I guess more so a kind of smutty gross out Street Trash tone which I don’t find much rewatch value in) but it’s so well rounded. As much of a violent fun splatter gorefest as it is its also a really feel good movie. I mean..Apple is basically a Pixar character. When I found myself stoked over the kill scenes and then smiling because it had fun moments of chemistry and light heartedness I knew it was something pretty damn special. MUST SEE EVERYONE

  25. I would love to ask for everyone’s help: As Josh so awesomely stated 2 episodes ago I am indeed an artist (thank you once again for that Josh!). I am currently in the midst of dropping a bunch of new print lines and would love the help of my fellow horror nerds to decide. Amongst the pieces I am deciding between are roughly 100 horror pieces from different films, shows, etc. I want to know what things you love or would even consider hanging in your homes. This is not some lame sales pitch by any means so don’t take it like that. I just want to involve the people that care about the things I like in the things that I do. HELP!! There’s too much to choose from! Go check out my instagram to help me out with this. My name is @adamwmichaels

      • Yes!!!! Art the Clown is utterly terrifying! I suppose it’s fitting his film is called Terrifier right? Thank you very much for checking things out! And also proving to me why choosing what to make into print work is not easy…I figured not many people would know who Art was and the first reply on here is about him! This will prove to be a difficult choice indeed. Feel free to keep sharing your opinions on which ones are exciting for you to see! It helps me out for sure AND gives us more to nerd out about.

        • Check out my comment right below THIS. I accidentally posted it as a new comment, rather than replying to your initial post, so you’ll have to scroll down a little bit to see it. Again, I LOVE your art. I’m into horror-themed art, so I’m digging the hell out of your work!

          • Thank you so much! I try to do all pop culture style art whether it my comic book or film or horror and make it something that despite its theme just looks totally stunning on a wall. I call it nerd art you can hang in your living room. I eventually hit a point in my life personally where I wanted to keep gracing my walls with the stuff I liked but I just got tired of the only wall type decor being shitty posters from scpencers gifts or something (however I do love classic iconic posters. But anything beyond that options become litmited). So I started making myself cool art pieces. It sort of spread like wild fire after that. There’s something I truly love about making a mortal Kombat piece or horror piece or something like that and have someone who isn’t remotely into that stuff say “wow I really love that”. And I get to explain what it is as the recurve it in s totally different light.

    • I just followed you on Instagram. Your artwork is pretty rad. I especially like your Collect, Ghostface and Star Wars stuff (the Emperor and red imperial guard, in particular).

      As far as suggested pieces for the future, an It Follows series might be fun, with Jay being chased by different versions of the It monster in each piece.

  26. I just looked over your Instagram, and I must say… your art is AWESOME! Love the “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” cover, too! You a gigging musician, by chance?

    Anyway, I’m thinking that anything related to Poe or The Raven would be awesome to have in print. Looks like you’ve got at least one pic dedicated to that! The slasher killers, of course, will appeal to horror fans… Michael, Freddy, Jason, Leatherface, Ghostface… but I’m REALLY digging your pics of The Strangers and The Collector! A series of prints devoted to these slasher icons would probably sell well, right? The Universal classic monsters are probably a safe bet.

    You plan on making one of Sam from Trick r’ Treat at all?

    Good stuff, AdamWMichaels! I’m’ blown away!

    • Whoops just saw this! Wow thank you for such awesomely in depth thoughts! You are very right about everything you have said. AND IM VERY GLAD THAT YOU DIG THE COLLECTOR. Definitely one of my favorite horror films of all time (I count them both as one movie to be honest). I actually did a Sam a couple years back. I’ve covered a lot of ground. If you keep scrolling through the #dailyhalloweensketch search then you will see past years as well. They stated out more as sketches and clearly over the years have evolved into full blown pieces. That event has become very popular. Every day in October I post and original ink and watercolor piece and it’s avaible for insanely cheap. So it’s a good way to get an original piece of art work for not much more than print work. Kind of my fun little treat to fans and collectors. The first one to comment that they claim it is the buyer. 2015 was pretty nuts. Most didn’t last for 20 seconds without a claim. Its fun and stressful. But an exileratting stressful:)

      • That is awesome. I may get an Instagram solely for that! And yeah, The Collector and The Collection are AMAZING. Of course, Art the Clown is the MAN! When you finally decide on which pieces to print, when do you think they’ll be for sale?

      • AdamWMichaels,

        I can’t wait til next October because by that time, I’ll have an Instagram, and I’ll claim stuff like crazy! So, Adam… I showed my girlfriend your art just a few minutes ago, and she loves it! She killed me by asking, “Does he have one of Art the Clown or Sam from Trick r’ Treat?” Same thing I asked you, man!

        Anyway, when you get some of these in print, I’m DEFINITELY buying several prints off you. My girlfriend just revealed to me that she wants to do a horror theme in our room, and I about had a heart attack! We’d definitely get Art The Clown, The Strangers, Poe and the Raven, a Michael Myers, and some others that I can’t remember since your Instagram page isn’t on hand. Once again, good stuff, sir! I love it.

  27. Hi all! First time poster here. I’ve been listening since I discovered the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise review in October and have been hooked since. Listening to Jay, Josh, and Dave discuss horror reminds me of the conversations I used to have ten years ago with my high school friends. It has been a long time since I have had friends that were interested in horror movies like I am, so finding a community like this has been special for me. Each of the hosts brings something different to the table and makes me excited to be a horror fan again. Even though I don’t always agree with what Jay has to say, I really appreciate how kind, upbeat, and positive he is to both his co-hosts and his listeners. I love that you guys are able to comfortably disagree with each other in a respectful way – it never seems to devolve into bickering or hurt feelings, which provides for a classy listen.

    Although I often find your extensive debates about genre classification to be a bit tedious and subjective, I applaud the effort and thought put into the process. We live in an interesting time when genre is not as easy to identify as it once was. However, one of my biggest frustrations as a horror fan has been the general public’s rejection of a movie being defined as horror when it is respectable and/or considered for awards. For instance, many will deny that movies like Alien, Jaws, and Silence of Lambs are horror and, instead label them as thrillers, sci-fi, etc. This almost seems to suggest that classifying these movies as horror would be a slap in the face and that they are deserving of a “more respectable” genre classification. Therefore, I am more likely to have an overly generous inclusion criteria with horror in order to demonstrate the variety and depth that genre has to offer.

    I’ve been very interested to hear your coverage of the recent Friday the 13th developments. I will have to play this videogame and am cautiously optimistic that the CW show will be decent. However, I am less enthusiastic/indifferent about Sean S. Cunningham’s involvement. Although I am grateful for his role in creating the franchise, I have never felt that he fully understood what fans enjoy about the movies. Listening to him in interviews, he always struck me more as a producer/businessman than a director with a real creative vision. Nevertheless, I hope these ventures prove to be successful for him and the franchise!

    • Hey, Chris. Glad you decided to hop on here and participate. I hear you about your high school horror buddies; I had that in college, and then suffered a similar 10-year void afterwards until discovering HMP a few years ago.

      Make sure you catch up on the back catalog of episodes (if you haven’t already). They’re all gold.

    • Forgot to mention that I tend to agree with your thoughts re: Sean Cunningham.

      Of course, we can always ask Wolfman Josh if that’s the case since they’re pals now.

  28. I’m going to chime in early, knowing that the hosts have probably already recorded at least some of their next combo-shows with the Sci-Fi Podcast and those folks over there… and I may just head over there to double post this here tidbit that I want to say about “Phantasm”….

    Phantasm Thoughts:

    Michael is a young teen in the care of his older brother, Jody. The two have only recently lost both their parents to tragedy and are now faced with another death when their friend is found murdered. Haunted by nightmares and the impending threat of his brothers desire to leave, Michael believes he witnesses a strange occurrence at the local Cemetery. He starts to investigate the mysterious Tall Man, the string of recent deaths, and what’s behind that low hum that echoes throughout the halls of the mortuary.

    For me, Phantasm is one of those PERFECT horror films that does precisely what it sets out to do from beginning to end. It is a surreal nightmare with iconic imagery, smart scripting, incredible casting, and an unexplained horror that will continue to haunt the viewer long after the film ends. It borrows from a Weird Fiction influence with probably nods to Lovecraft (Whisperer In The Darkness), Ramsay Campbell, and especially Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes). Don Coscarelli takes a limited budget and a small pool of actors to create one of the most enduring films in horror that is nearly as effective today as it was the day it was released.

    There are several things that truly make the film work:

    First, the surreal nightmare landscape where things may not be as they initially appear. Jody offers an early explanation that the film we are seeing may not be real- that much of what we are seeing may be the tortured dreams of young Michael and that our main protagonist may be seeing his life through a prism of grief. He is desperately afraid that Jody may leave him behind and he follows his older brother from a distance. Things are off kilter through much of the filming- the hallways of the mortuary seem to stretch for miles with twists and turns, that low humming, and the sudden imagery that seem to erupt from nowhere.

    Secondly, the relationship between the three protagonists seems genuine. There seems to be an honest affection between Jody, Michael, and their friend, Reggie. It comes through at various points in the film and Coscarelli is brave enough as a film maker to let those moments linger when another director might cut the material entirely. We see the bond between these characters and why Michael feels the way that he does regarding Jody’s possible departure. We also see how closed in Jody feels, how torn by devotion to these two brothers Reggie becomes, and what effect the Tall Man’s schemes has on these characters.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, the mystery. We never actually find out what is happening, if it’s really happening, or why it’s happening. The Tall Man’s work is a mystery- and it remains a mystery that is never solved even as we travel throughout the series of films but most importantly in the first film in the series. We see clues- we see things that are happening, we know there is a plan, we know there is an endgame, but we never know what that endgame really is. And, in the first film, we can’t even accept it as a given that the film is really happening as we’re seeing it. This is all from the point of view of a young teen- a young teen haunted by nightmares during the a period of grief and loss. And with all these ways in which to interpret the film, I love thinking about it from several different angles. If it’s a teen in grief or if there really is an inter-dimensional traveler enslaving the dead to do his bidding for some unknown purpose, the horror still works either way.

    All of this and I haven’t even gotten to the spheres. And believe me, those spheres are something to see- it’s one thing to see them flying through the halls, but to hear them coming and to have that impending sound of doom start whistling louder and louder as it gets closer. Then Coscarelli gives us that shot of the sphere, a perfect mirror to the hallways surrounding it when those blades emerge with a “snikt” and then plunge into their victims. That one kill is one of the most intense moments in film history and initially landed the film an X-rating when the body drops and releases other fluids to puddle on the white marble floor.

    Angus Scrimms’ “Tall Man” character is an iconic figure in horror and Coscarelli’s film is a masterpiece in surreal nightmares. That’s my two cents.

    • As a Phan I pretty much agree with you whole heartedly on what you said. But man the first Phantasm is rough around the edges. The production values are just at near high school play level. Even though I would like to get more people into the series, the first movie is a hard barrier to get through, especially for a non-horror fan.

      • heh… ironically, was working on stuff for the sequels and will probably be kind of an answer. I’m actually not as big a Phan of the sequels… as you may read. =)

        Phantasm 2

        With the cult success of the first film, Studios began asking Coscarelli for a sequel and we are once again pulled into the mystery of Phantasm. The film picks up where the last came to an end and Michael (replaced in this film James Le Gross) spends a couple of years in an asylum where he is haunted by dreams of the Tall Man’s activities in other towns. He is released to the care of his friend, Reggie. The two return to Reggies home only to see it explode and the two men decide to hunt the monsters responsible.

        Where the first film was a haunting nightmare, the second decides to forego some of the mystery in favor of an action narrative. Mike is an adult, Reggie is his buddy, and the two men are on a mission. The Tall Man is a much more definitive boogeyman of sorts, and he has long since moved on from one town to the next in his efforts to collect the bodies of the dead and leave a desolation in his wake.

        The gore and special effects are improved in this film. The sphere receives a bit of an upgrade with a few different models, including the very special “Gold Sphere”. The robed dwarves are joined by the Diggers but the Velvet Lady is nowhere to be seen. Some of the atmosphere of the first is lost with a lack of dream-like quality and the film totally abandons the “surreal” for a much more linear style. Definitely some of the chemistry is lost, as Le Gros seems largely detached from the script in general and doesn’t seem to carry the same sense of purpose that A. Michael Baldwin had with his interpretation of the material.

        While the film carries a special place in my heart, much of what worked in this first film is missing in this second. A quadruple barrel shotgun and a super huge chainsaw make for awesome set pieces, but the story is supposed to be about the relationship between Michael and The Tall Man- and while Angus Scrimm is pitch perfect (once again) I simply can’t see Le Gross as being even halfway as engaging a presence as our Michael from the previous film. Seriously, “Mike” is supposed to be the focal point of the film but he’s the least likeable aspect of the story. Reggie quickly becomes the films major driving component and we are much more concerned with his character than we ever are with the character of Mike or his forced “romance” with the stories other lead female character (A forgettable Paula Irvine as “Liz”).

        This film is a strong 7 out of 10 and should be owned by fans of the series.

        Phantasm 3

        Like the previous film, this story also picks up on the heels of the previous film’s ending and we are once again following the exploits of The Tall Man as he continues his trek across the country. This time we are once again introduced to A. Michael Baldwin reprising his role from the first film as Mike and the spiritual presence of his brother, Jodi. Along with Reggie, the three are once again on a quest to stop The Tall Man- or discover his mission- or something.

        And you know what?

        The chemistry of the first film is back. Mike, Jodi, and Reggie work well together and there is a sense that something lays broken between all three men and that they are only held together by one another. The brothers, especially, seem to be on a journey that may bring them beyond their own humanity and it’s up to Reggie to keep them from straying too far. This is the film that kind of kicks it up a notch with amazing gore effects and a twist ending that begs for a sequel.

        Unfortunately, the film is still unable to capture some of the atmosphere of the first films nightmarish qualities and seems intent on keeping the film grounded with the “reality” that it’d built throughout the previous film. One desolate town leads to another and another with a varied cast of hikers, thugs, and scavengers along the way.

        6.5 out of 10 and a rental, but not really necessary unless one is a hardcore collector.

        Phantasm IV

        This film is an interesting experiment. Don Coscarelli happened to have a bunch of material he’d shot for the first Phantasm movie that had eventually wound up on the cutting room floor- but good ol’ Don decided to keep it rather than scrap it. Unable to fully finance the promised sequel, he managed to scrape together just enough money to pull together a bit of new material and then recycled a lot of that old material in order to release a full length feature that plays a little like a “Look back” episode on some sitcom that would feature material we never saw before.

        Oddly, much of the material from the previous film does manage to work as Michael “remembers” moments from the past in a sort of lucid dream within which he becomes trapped for most of the film. We see snippets of conversations, we see full blown scenes of violence and creeping atmosphere leading up to further revelations surrounding the relationship between Mike and The Tall Man.

        Most of the newer footage involves Reggie as he continues on his quest to rescue Mike. He manages to engage the help of a sphere-bound Jody and the two men head out into the desert for shenanigans.

        I think much of the film eventually works but only in a completists sense. I wish there was more to recommend with this film, but we have to judge a film on its own merits rather than just by the previous installments and Phantasm 4 is certainly the weakest entry in the mix that never really sees a proper conclusion as we are left with yet another promise for a sequel.

        5.5 out of 10.

  29. There are many genre of movies.
    Look up Target website and the movie category list. Its crazy.

    No Escape, Reverent, The Edge, and so forth are NOT horror flicks.
    There are genre categories for them.
    Its called Thriller or even Suspense Thriller.
    To call them horror is like calling 3 Amigos a western and Spaceballs a Sci-fi and not comedies. In fact, it’s worse than that analogy. It just doesn’t make sense. I understand the logic to an extent but come on y’all.
    By these new standards it seems that Kill Bill would be considered horror.
    Is J that salty about No Escape?

    • I really think you all are too caught up on what defines the genre honestly. You’re hyper analyzing a medium that exist for no other reason than to entertain… in essence I think you’re contradicting it’s purpose.

  30. So while I’m still letting this horror genre discussion sink in it had me thinking: victims constituting horror and victors constituting non-horror kind of confused me. It’s becoming no secret that I’m an avid fan of the Collector series. The main reason it’s one of my favorite horror films is how proactive the hero is. The films strongest aspect in my optinion is that you never find yourself frustrated because the main character is doing something stupid. Hell in the second film he does stuff I never would have thought of to fight back. He’s a very victorious character. But it never leaves the Collector as a victim himself (mostly) unlike the case in movies like I Spit On Your Grave where the once predators become victims scared for their lives. Does a series like The Collector grey the line? Or is it very much a survival horror? When I place it under the stipulations that are being discussed on this episode it just got me wondering. Where do you place it?

      • Nice! I love The Collector and The Collection. I don’t know how similar our tastes are, Wolfman, but I think there are things you can appreciate about it.

    • I haven’t seen The Collection but I love The Collector. It’s definitely horror and for sub-genres I’d say; home invasion and torture. Have fun Wolfman!

      SPOILERS
      The main character, Arkin, is a victim who fights back. He has the chance to run away but I don’t think he is ever in control (the victor). As you said Adam, he’s just surviving. Plus, things don’t work out for him in the end.

      • It’s been a little while since I’ve seen both The Collector and The Collection, but I remember them being very different movies. I guess it’s comparable to the difference between Saw and Saw 2.

        That said, I enjoyed them both (The Collector is the better of the two for me, though).

  31. re the mini reviews of “Treehouse” and “Kristy.”

    As we say here in Arkansas: “y’all’s crazy.” I think Treehouse is an easy five for true horror fans and probably a zero for regular folk. Yes, it is slow at the beginning, but once the kids get into the woods, I am drawn in. I’ve re-watched it.

    I was working on a project and had it playing for background on Amazon Prime. I almost turned it off around the time two parents were having a vague conversation about “it starting again” but was halfway into a work vibe and just left it on and I was not sorry. I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it is. I thought the story itself was interesting, the story telling was engaging for me (once they actually get in the treehouse), and the set-ups, twists, and turns were unexpected. (spoiler-ish) I think the use of cell phones is clever, and like another low-budget horror movie, “Found,” allowed for intense horrors to happen off screen with the viewer and characters hearing the kills and leaving it to the imagination. I like that this film kept the viewer with the children and never veered off into scenes of the antagonists and never actually explained the antagonists, which made it all the more frightening, for me anyway. I was actually turned off by the cover because, like you, I have been fooled many times by a great cover (“Stung” for example) only to find myself in a boring movie.

    For WMJ’s take on the name Kristy, I interpreted it as a strike against privileged white girls who coast through existence and have everything handed to them. If there were anti-Christian motives and motifs in the opening, I missed them. Having gone to undergraduate school at the University of Oklahoma, I met and dealt with many Kristys and most of them acted entitled to the nth degree and they made going to classes unpleasant. This movie was very subjective for me and I couldn’t remove myself enough to root for the protagonist and felt ghoulishly happy with the very end scene of the movie.

    re other movies;

    I found “Turbo Kid” uninteresting and turned it off ten minutes in. I’m glad it has so many fans because I can tell the film maker put in a lot of time and effort, but retro for retro’s sake isn’t my thing. The same with “It Follows” and “Final Girls;” I can’t generate enough interest to consider watching them. I’d rather re-watch original 80s slashers. Am I doing myself a disservice by avoiding these movies? Probably. But there are so many subjectively interesting efforts out there, that I’m ok with it.

    • Scott!

      What are you saying? You haven’t seen It Follows? I can understand not appreciating Turbo Kid (and even The Final Girls), but It Follows is incredible and the ’80s influence isn’t distracting in any way. You do need to give it more than 10 minutes, though. Come on, brother.

      Re: Kristy … down with the entitled and over-privileged, but this girl wasn’t that. She was nice to everyone. Sure, she borrowed someone’s swanky car, but that’s bc she couldn’t afford a car. Anyway, it was fine, a solid thriller, stalk and slash, but it just didn’t stand out for me, personally. Kind of reminded me of a modern I Know What You Dud Last Summer or Urban Legends.

      • >> Wolfman Josh on February 4, 2016 at 1:13 pm said:

        “…Re: Kristy … down with the entitled and over-privileged, but this girl wasn’t that. She was nice to everyone…”

        *****SPOILERS FOR KRISTY*****

        And that’s why she ultimately prevailed where the other (real) Kristy’s failed.

        • Yeah. She wasn’t a real Kristy, but the cult members didn’t know that, nor did they take the time to ask, is that really your car? is your daddy rich? Is your grandpa a fortune five hundred? They went on the shallowest of observations to spur their terror and that’s perhaps the most frightening aspect of the movie is that is how irl most assaults happen.

          As for “It Follows,” much like a Kristy, I #cantevenrightnow but I appreciate that everyone likes it so much and I really enjoyed HMP’s review of it.

          • I actually think that’s the most interesting part of Kristy. Justine has to work for what she has – she mentions in the beginning of the film that she needs to study more so she can do well (or something to that effect), and we see her practicing swimming throughout the movie (presumably she’s on the swim team and attending school on scholarship, but this is just how I read those scenes).

            And just like with everything else in her life, she ultimately works hard for her survival. The fact that this small cell of Kristy killers assumed she was a Kristy based on appearances alone, and are then surprised later to find themselves in a struggle for their own lives, is a beautifully elegant social commentary on the destructive nature of prejudices.

          • I definitely see your points, both of you. That theme is pretty buried, though. For me, it lacked the weight of a classic mistaken-identity film for that really to register as interesting, let alone elegant. The set-up scenes didn’t really work if that was what I was supposed to take from it. And why the Jesus talk with no payoff? Idk.

            Scott! I think you have the wrong idea about It Follows. It’s not AT ALL is the goofy homage world of Turbo Kid or The Final Girls or Hobo with a Shotgun. It’s a real, stand-alone horror movie. Just saying. I’ll leave you alone now.

          • I agree with you, Joshie. I liked the movie a lot. I thought it was a lot of fun, but the whole Kristy thing didn’t work for me at all. If you remove it from the movie, it wouldn’t change a thing, because like it was said, those ideas are so buried that they’re never explained, expanded upon, or pay off in any way. I also want to second everyone’s sentiments on It Follows. It’s an excellent movie that perhaps you should reconsider not skipping.

            I disagree with your “retro for retro’s sake” comment. I’m not saying such a thing doesn’t exist, but when movies like The Final Girls are as good as they are, you can tell that they were made with true love and understanding for that era and for the genre. That my friend is not doing retro for retro’s sake. That’s taking something you love, taking great care of it, and sharing it with the world and I’m all for that.

          • I completely agree that the religious angle of “Kristy” was a pointless addition in the beginning. They did nothing with that. And, while I admit that my reading of the film is a bit of a stretch – I have my doubts that the writer/director really considered this theme when making the film – it does make me like it a little more than I did before. :)

          • I LOVED Kristy, but it’s funny to me that it was originally called “Satanic,” since we get practically no satanic undertones in the film at all. I think a more satanic theme would have strengthened this film a great deal. Still really liked it, and you guys have made some great points.

            Personally, I love to see female antagonists who just kill because they’re evil and not because of a rape-revenge backstory or something similar. I wrote about this better in another post. I need a nap.

    • Oh yea, that’s where I heard about Treehouse. I think you mentioned in in October, Scott. Good or bad I’m probably going to check this out.

  32. Well J after you rave about “THE BOY” I am going to see it today. I hope you do not steer me wrong. However you and Josh have always made great recommendations in all your films to watch. I will update you later to tell what I think. Once again The Shrine was outstanding and Josh recommendation of “Faults” was right on and I do consider this a horror film under your new horror rating system which I call “Jay’s barometer of horror”

    Keep up the good and look for my update on the boy tomorrow.

    Mario (LOON) Leon

    • Jay of the dead you were right on with this movie !!! I am giving it a 7.5 and to see it as a rental at least! I loved the twist and I won’t ruin it on here. The movie had aspects of “People under the stairs” and “Housebound”. And if you have seen those movies then you should figure out the twist. Glad you recommended it J because I was going to pass on it, glad I did not keep up the good work!

      Mario (Loon) Leon

          • Juan, I’m surprised you hated this so much. I agree Jays rating is a bit high but it’s a fun movie. Solid slow burn for the first two thirds and then just goes off the wheels, in a good way, for the last twenty minutes or so. There is one movie from the early eighties I want to compare it to in that last twenty minutes but I know that will probably give too much away.

            And didn’t you kind of like The Forest? Maybe that was Sal, but I thought this was way better than The Forest.

          • Personally, I enjoyed The Forest more than The Boy although just slightly. I gave the former a 5.5 and the latter a 5.0. Neither is what I’d consider bad, but I can’t say either one is a stand out though.

            I’d say both Intruders and the Martyrs as being superior January 2016 horror films.

          • Jonathan, I hated The Forest even more. It’s a 4 for me.

            As far as my hatred for The Boy goes, I don’t think it’s unfounded. The movie has a lot of problems. Bad dialogue, useless characters, unintentionally funny “scares”, and a weak story. These are all problems that plague a movie that is not even that fun. If you want to talk about a movie that really pulled off the slow burn/batshit crazy end, then go see We Are Still Here. Now there’s a good example of a movie that borrows from other movies and regurgitates a quality product. Anyway, the movie’s problems aren’t even my big gripe with it. My gripe with the movie is how mediocre it is. I tend to lash out at mediocrity a lot more than I do at failure. So, in a way, I am being a little harsher on it than the rest of you. But when you take into account how much the movie took from other movies, better movies, and did nothing with it, then that really bothers me. And I hate pooping on a movie that some of you seem to like and I’m sorry if I’m being a party pooper, but I like to call then like I see them.

          • I would give ‘The Forest’ a 4, ‘The Boy’ a 7, and ‘Intruders’ a 6. I’m by no means calling ‘The Boy’ outstanding; I just don’t understand all of the hate it’s getting I guess.

            Haven’t seen the ‘Martyrs’ remake yet.

          • I’m starting to forget my ratings. I guess I’m going to have to keep track but I enjoyed The Boy slightly more than The Forest.
            I bought both Martyrs because I wanted to watch the original first and wow! I’ve heard a lot about it but I had no idea until I watched it. I haven’t gotten around to the remake yet.
            January 2016 is way better than January 2015 for horror, imo.

          • I couldn’t enjoy Martyrs due to how pointlessly violent it became. I love horror, but they pushed it to such an extreme that it was no longer scary, but comparable to watching a snuff film. I don’t see the appeal in that. The first half of Martyrs was really good though.

            For the remake, I could get into it because it was, as expected, less extreme than the original. That fact will likely make others dislike the remake though.

            Personally though, I feel Martyrs would be such a superior short film. Keep only the first half and have the short end when a character discovers something that changes the entire movie. Throw up the credits and *Boom* a perfect 40 minute short. Granted, if you did that, Martyrs would no longer be the best title for it though.

            Hopefully you enjoy the remake though.

          • SPOLIERS FOR MARTYRS (2008)
            When Anna gets caught in the second half I thought, “Oh no, now I have to watch this girl get tortured.” It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting though. It did feel like a few movies put together into one which I thought worked OK.

            Yes, I’m looking forward to the remake. My friend was the composer and he doesn’t think many people will see it. He’ll be glad to know some of us are watching it.

          • Yeah, I can’t imagine why they chose to remake Martyrs if they weren’t even going to give it a proper US theatrical release. Likewise, I don’t know if it makes the most sense to keep it so similar to the original, except making it far less extreme.

            What ends up happening is you create a film that flies under the radar and for a large percentage of those that are aware of it, they may be disappointed. Chances are though, there’s going to be some people like me and will enjoy it as an alternative to the original. I can see myself re-watching this one, while I’d prefer not to see the original again.

          • Good to know, Sal. I’ve never watched the original because I’ve heard enough about where it goes to know its not for me. I might check out the remake now.

          • It is very comparable to another popular film from the 80’s toward the end but that would totally give everything away.

          • I’m pretty sure I know what 80’s movie you’re talking about and I’d agree to some extent. You expect one thing, but you get something different.

          • I think I just thought of a movie I would compare it to more than the 80’s movie Jonathan mentioned.

            I’d compare it to one of Jay’s favorites, The Village. Some are going to feel cheated out with the ending where they may have not been had the trailers been a little more honest.

          • Sal,

            We are trying to avoid trailers that give everything away…. This movie is not outstanding but it is not an avoid!

            I really just wish it would have gone more into the rules it focused that on the trailer but in the movie it is not that important. I think Juan and you should revisit the movie with a second watching of The Boy!

          • Oh believe me, I’m not a fan of trailers that give everything away. However, I think it’s also important to be true to what a movie is. It’s tough though. Anytime you have a movie with a twist ending, you kind of have to mislead your potential viewers to protect that twist.

            I’d be open to watching The Boy again when it pops up on Netflix, but I can’t say I imagine my opinion would change. There wasn’t much that grabbed my interest even before the final twenty minutes began.

          • All trailers now a days are misleading. I just did a write-up on ‘Hail Caesar’ in the comments section at MPW and I’m telling you a lot of people are going to hate that movie that see it based on the trailer.

            And Sal, if you are talking about ‘April Fool’s Day,’ that was not the movie I was referring to. I made this more confusing than I meant to. The last act just remineded me of the last act of another film from the 80’s. The main reason I didn’t want to mention the title is because i think the sub-genre The Boy turns into in the last act is kind of part of the twist and part of the fun and I just didn’t want to ruin that for anyone that was still planning on seeing it like Dino and Josh.

          • And for the record, I love ‘Child’s Play’ and ‘Child’s Play 2’ for that matter. But I believe we have discussed that in the past.

  33. Juan,

    I agree with your assessment of drama in intentional horror. However, I don’t believe that any film that falls into that genre would ever be viewed for the drama or comedy. Take The Shining. There is plenty of drama regarding Jack’s drinking problem. In Rosemary’s Baby, Ruth Gordon is spewing hilarity for most of the film. She is a comic delight at times in that role. Halloween (bring it haters) has atrocious banter between the teen leads. The dialogue is a sign of the times for when it was made. I love that film but Black Christmas destroys Halloween with it’s character development & script. I was going to list that on my original post, but didn’t have the courage to do so knowing some of the lines that Margot Kidder has. Do most people get annoyed at Franklin or find him laughable in TCM? When he says to Sally, “Nothing, nevermind.”, I cannot help but cough with hoot. Martyrs, Kidnapped, & Inside do not have any moments of fun. You cannot point out specific drama related points that the characters are going through in them. However, we as horror fans would never say, “Hey, let’s put on so & so for a slice of life. We’ll just have to ignore the masked maniac, demonic spirit, home invader, or William Shatner.” With all the other subgenres that I listed previously, they are more mood specific.

    It’s always been funny to me when thinking about An American Werewolf in London. It’s the first horror film that I ever viewed. I braved it at five years old. People always group that film into the Horror Comedy subgenre. To tell you guys the truth, I never placed it there. Yes, there are some witty moments in it. When they are at the Slaughtered Lamb, I do crack a smile a few times. Yet, possibly due to the age I first experienced it at, I find it far more intentional horror than comedy horror.

    The T & A discussion is interesting.

    Hopefully I’m making sense. I like the points you mentioned though, Juan.

    I think it’s time for HMP to roll out a Giallo episode. I remember the great Torso (yeah, that’s right, Jay) being reviewed at one time. How about laying out some Argento, Fulci, & Martino for us????

    • Hi Jason Dragon,

      Thanks for taking the time for replying. I think you misunderstood me a little or perhaps it was I who misunderstood you. I didn’t mean to say that drama precedes horror. All I said was that there is plenty of inherent drama in horror. Some of the greatest—and I would argue as straight horror as you can get—films in the history of horror have a dense drama backbone to hold it all together. The Shining, The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, Psycho, Night of the Living Dead, all of these movies have more drama than you think and I’ll go as far as to say that without this drama, these movies wouldn’t work on the same level. Remove it from them and you get a generic horror movie that you’d find at Redbox. That’s not to say that drama is the first thing that comes to mind when watching these movies, but it’s most definitely present in a big way and it is important to have. In your original comment you said “#1 Straight/Intentional Horror: films that are simply downright scary sans the drama & comedy that spread across most other subgenres” and I disagreed because you’re implying that drama is completely removed from the pure breed of horror (so to speak) and I don’t think that’s the case. I do agree that there is a sub-genre within horror that puts a bigger emphasis on drama and uses horror mostly as a backdrop or as a means to allude at bigger themes. (which you could easily say about many horror movies). But none of the movies you listed qualify for your “Drama Horror” sub-genre in my humble opinion. I think movies more fitting of that category would be The Sixth Sense, Maggie, We Are What We Are, Let The Right One In, The Innocents, The Others, just to cite a few. Whether you agree with me or not, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we all engage in dialogue and discuss these movies that we all love, some of us for different reasons, but love all the same. It’s the only way to gain new knowledge and perspective. That’s why I have a big problem with Jay’s “genre contamination”, because it limits the genre.

  34. ****SPOILERS FOR THE BOY****

    I’m sure it has already been mentioned but did anyone find it to be a cross between Pin (1988) & Housebound (2014)?

  35. I am currently watching ‘Howling II’ and drinking some Buffalo Trace. Probably not a great combo but just glad the weekend has begun.

    • Word.

      I’m drinking a 2015 vintage of Mother of All Storms by Pelican Brewing, waiting for my oldest to fall asleep so I can pick a movie. Possibly The Diabolical.

          • I have a four year old little princess myself. I can’t imagine having a twelve year old. I guess I’ll find out what that’s like soon enough.

          • Dino and Jonathan, those are great ages. Enjoy it. Yeah, my son was born when I was 18, so I was a young father. A few years later, I found myself doing the single father thing, so my son and I have got a pretty tight bond… since it was just us for years, but yeah… good times. Well… I’m off for dinner, a couple (sugar free) alcohol drinks, and then… a horror film with m’lady. Cheers, everyone.

    • I almost bought Buffalo this week but ended up getting Jefferson’s instead. I’ll be cracking that open later tonight and watching Pontypool.

  36. Juan,

    Don’t you just love when two people can’t make sense of a simple point trying to be made clear. Just kidding (as Jay loves to say). These boards are the greatest of all of the podcasts I’ve been a part of. I’ve been called a troll before by just trying to make a point on other sites. I literally had to ask someone what that word meant in it’s context, being I was never introduced to the concept of being one. Yeah, I know, funny. HMP has the best community of listeners, as these guys here know how to put out a 10/10 product. Seriously, everyone here is so civil & intelligent about their comments.

    HOWEVER, if you don’t think my list of Horror Dramas qualifies as exactly that, you must have not seen what comprises it. Maybe just maybe you can argue Nightwatch. I’ll still back my original post, though. The others are heavily sedated with drama, lightly exposed to horror.

    Going back to your original thought on your last post, I agree with a lot of what you wrote. At the heart of the story, The Exorcist is about a mother struggling with a sick daughter, exhausting her final resources on how to heal her. BUT, that is just the heart of it. We still need all other major organs, a skeleton, & muscles to flesh out the juice (or pea soup) of the plot.

    My point to that list of films on the initial post was, when it comes to intentional horror, drama is never the justification to watch one of those films. Heck, The Room has drama but you’ll laugh right through it all. Please people, don’t go watch The Room. I’m sure there is drama represented in Borat.

    Like I stated way up above in that original post, there were 4 of the 8 categories that had home invasion represented. I don’t like to label those or slashers as a subgenre. In fact, sometimes I’ll arrange my films by genre. The only that is never represented is fact drama, due to that being part of every film I have. My point is that these subgenres are all over the place & can be tough to pinpoint where they belong.

    I think it comes down to mood. After you view something, whether you liked it or not, where would you place it in your genre/subgenre state of mind?

    I love how people are calling Knock Knock a horror film. No way. It’s about a naive man who wants these women with him. There is no home invasion element. He just jettisons all common sense of the situation to the place his wife arrives at. He cannot wait for the evening holds with the three of them. If they broke in, it becomes a whole different story. Another subgenre can actually be idiot horror. I like the film, but no way is that horror.

    I see your point, Juan.

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree, or disagree to agree for that matter.

    Sorry to digress. I really am. Great discussion!!!!

    • I agree Jason, you are a troll…I mean Knock, Knock is not a horror film.

      But seriously, this is an awesome place to just have a discussion about horror films and just films in general (and sometimes alcohol and kids). You all rock!

    • While I wouldn’t necessarily call Knock Knock a horror film, it’s not that far off. It reminds me of a horror anthology where sometimes you’d have that lite horror to add some laughs in between the serious shorts. It could fit well in the context of a Creepshow movie.

        • I feel as if Knock Knock and Something to Tide You Over have similar tones throughout the movies. They’re both lighthearted at moments while far more serious at other points.

          • I would say the biggest difference between the two is that Creepshow is meant to be comedic while Knock Knock was meant to be serious but ended up being unintentionally funny. Anyway, we really shouldn’t be mentioning both films in the same sentence. It’s kind of a crime.

          • Can you point out any moments where you felt Knock Knock was unintentionally funny? It seemed to me that a lot of those dark humor scenes were meant to come across that way. For example, the game show scene with the headphones and trivia question.

          • Well, in my opinion the dialogue and acting were so bad throughout the whole thing that they were laughable almost to the point of so-bad-it’s-good, but not quite that. I have my doubts that this was Eli Roth’s intention, but perhaps I was too distracted by Ana de Armas’ beauty to notice. I’m aware that this is supposed to be satire, but it was all but lost on me with the tone of the movie all over the place. It was almost like the director and the cast were in on a joke and I was left out wondering what just happened. If you want specific moments, there’s the “monster” moment with Keanu and his kids right at the beginning of the movie, Keanu’s DJ scene was ridiculous (and so was the amount of records he owned for being such a lover of vinyl), and the scene where Keanu is buried, looking at all the incoming facebook messages while he looses his shit. But like I said, that’s just what I got from the movie.

          • This is probably why we feel different about the intentions of the film. I enjoyed the movie, so for me, it never entered “So bad it’s good” territory.

    • Haha don’t listen to Jonathan, Jason. You’re no troll. Unless Jonathan is referring to Jason Pyles aka “Jay of the Dead”, then yes, Jason is a troll 😉

      But yeah, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree, buddy. I see what you’re saying, but I’m having a hard time agreeing with it. It all stems back to the original topic of this episode, Jay’s T&A. Our personal definition of horror is obviously very different, so we’ll never see eye to eye on certain things and that’s fine. We don’t all have to think or like the same things.

  37. Just reread the post I left for Juan. Sorry for leaving a few words out. Long day at work is no excuse for bad errors of grammar.

    Got a 10:10AM Pride & Prejudice & Zombies date. Wish me luck.

    • Allison Road… damn. I almost never play video games, but I’ll play that. Ha ha… my girlfriend and I just got back from Black Sabbath’s farewell show in Tacoma, Washington, and we just played some Left 4 Dead 2, so I guess I play video games once every blue moon or so. I don’t have the current-gen consoles, though. Do you, Dino?

  38. Just finished ‘The Diabolical.’ Really surprised this did not get more attention and at least a little bigger of a theatrical release last fall. It’s a pretty cool twist on the paranormal sub genre and has a very solid lead performance by Ali Larter. Really don’t want to say much more – should go in with as little knowledge as possible.

    It’s a solid 7 and worth a look; currently available on Netflix.

    • Didn’t Billchete have this pretty high on his top 10 of 2015? I watched it right after he put his list out. I love me some Billchete, but my tastes are pretty much polar opposite of his tastes. That said, THE DIABOLICAL was an interesting watch. I think people who like supernatural films should give it a space on their Netflix queue.

    • I wholeheartedly agree, Jonathan. I think this is a great little film with a very clever and original twist to the haunted house sub-genre. I think it fell flat a little, mostly because of its budgetary constraints, but overall I was very pleasantly surprised. I’m already on board with what this director will do next. It’s a 6.5 for me and it’s most definitely worth a watch.

  39. Don’t waste your time with Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, everyone.

    Besides Lily James being adorable, I found it boring to exhausting heights.

    • Boring, eh? I was planning on seeing this next week end. Maybe I won’t now. Lily James is, indeed, adorable, but I’ve never been one to shell out hard earned dollars just to see a pretty face. I need more in my life!

  40. Thank you guys for weighing in on your suggestions! If any wants to see what horror art went up its all on my site. adamsartbox.com
    Today is the final day for by one get one half off so swoop take advantage of you are a collector of any kind of horror art things.

    • I just shot you an e-mail with a couple questions. I’m hoping to pick up a couple prints from you tonight. Hope you get this message or that e-mail quickly.

    • Sorry didn’t give my own opinion, I love the series. It’s like the horror equivalent of LOST IMO. It IS a mess, but it’s so fun to follow.

      • I think it deteriorates with each successive film, but I mostly enjoy the series on the whole. The first is absolutely the best of the bunch and has the most memorable sequences, with later films either just lifting from those previous scenes or just making them BIGGER… though not necessarily better.

        • I think the second is the best. I love the adventure / road aspect of it. I don’t know how the Tall Man is destroying these towns without any intervention, but I’m enjoying the ride.

  41. I can’t wait to take the time to dive back into the Phantasm series.

    The first one is a classic & remember liking the sequels.

    Hopefully they have all held up.

    • I don’t know that I would call any of them gems, but I’ve recently watched:

      Visions
      Curve
      Last Shift
      The Veil
      The Shrine
      Jeruzalem (not on Netflix)

      I’ve been meaning to write-up quick mini-reviews for them, but time has been my enemy lately. The Cliff’s Note version is that I liked Curve best of the lot, but think about Visions more than the rest (so, I think that left the biggest mark).

        • I enjoyed Last Shift and I can see why people would grant it “gem” status. Didn’t quite hit that mark for me, though… but, I guess it depends on where you set that mark. Like I said, I enjoyed it, too.

          I’m sure most people on here have seen it by now, though…

          • I think it also depends on how you define “gem”. To me, a gem doesn’t need to be amazing. It just needs to be a solid and rough around the edges enjoyable movie and be relatively unknown. I’m pretty sure this is the universal definition of gem, but correct me if I’m wrong, everyone. So with that definition in mind, something like It Follows isn’t a gem. It’s an amazing movie for sure, but it’s too good and too mainstream to fit into the “gem” threshold. Something like Last Shift however, is good (not great) and it virtually flew under everyone’s radar. That makes it a gem to me. But I digress.

  42. HMP: Movie Club! “PONTYPOOL”

    Summarizing from an earlier review I’d written for a stage show I saw a few years ago…

    “Pontypool Changes Everything

    At least that’s the title of the original book upon which the movie is based. And there’s a stage play is based upon the movie, and a radio drama has also been released, and so on so forth and again. It’s quickly becoming one of the most oft adapted fictions of the modern era, and that’s pretty impressive to be honest. I’m a big fan of low budget minimalist pictures, so this one had been on my radar from shortly before it’s official release on film. It’s an interesting little story, with a bizarre premise, and a minimalist approach to the zombie apocalypse reminiscent of the original zombie film; Night of the Living Dead. Instead of a lone farm house and a group of survivors, we’re trapped in a radio station with minimal staff that includes an aging former shock jock, his producer, and the lone radio technician. And when the poop hits the fan, we’re not left with a traditional horde of flesh eating zombies either- they’re infected people (conversationalists) driven to blood-thirsty acts through the usage of “language”… yes, you read that right. Language is the means through which the virus is spread.

    Now, first off: if you think the premise is too bizarre, then let me put you on pause. Language IS an infection- it’s not just a means of communication, it’s not just a series of sounds that come out of the human mouth. It’s an understanding, a way of defining our world, and a means through which people can convey thoughts, emotions, logic, and understanding. The words I’m writing this very moment are having an effect on my own mind, echoing my thoughts as I think them but also reflecting them back to myself to check for comprehension and understanding. It may seem like a lot of “blah blah” to you, but the truth is that if you are reading my thoughts you are also being infected by them and by the verbiage and translation within your own minds. And my words are also being infected by your own understanding of them. The story regarding the “Tower of Babel” is very much a reflection of this same idea. For a slightly goofier yet probably far easier to understand translation of what this infection might be like, you could listen to the song “Bulbous Bouffant” which is just a series of words that the singers find impressive, amusing, and fascinating. There is no true meaning to the words being shouted out through the song, the meaning is totally lost, but the song is highly entertaining nonetheless.”

    Stephen McHattie stars as Grant Mazzy and carries the bulk of the film’s work on his impressive shoulders- communicating to the audience (Us, ostensibly) precisely what is happening and getting information throughout the movie. Lisa Houle co-stars as Sydney Briar, Mazzy’s producer. The film mostly revolves around this pair as they try to make sense of the growing reports of violence, riots, and callers who seem to babble incoherently throughout the night. The performances are strong throughout and director Bruce MacDonald (“Hellions”) makes the most of his minimalist set and budget to trap the audience with his leads.

    8 out of 10 and a strong rental.

    • HMP Club #5 – Pontypool

      This was my first viewing of Pontypool. The movie takes place in a Canadian AM radio station which is attacked by zombies who have been infected by the English language. I found it a little confusing at times but it didn’t drag. The acting is good and the script unfolds nicely but the love story seemed a little forced. I came away from this movie thinking about language and how often we are mindlessly repeating words and phrases. It’s not very scary but a good watch on a winter day. If you like the War of the Worlds broadcast, you’d like this film. I’d give it a 7.

  43. I’ve caught up on some new (and new-ish) horror lately, and wanted to share a few quick thoughts with some Unsolicited Mini-Reviews…

    (in no particular order)

    Visions (2016) — 6.5/10

    This plays out like a standard haunted house/supernatural horror flick, but switches gears dramatically in the final third. Overall, this is a very solid film with strong performances by the main cast. I loved the twist at the end, but wish we didn’t have to suffer through all the cheap jump scares and mediocre ghost effects for the rest of the film. Of all the recent horror movies I’ve seen, this one has stuck with me the most for some reason. Not sure why… maybe it’s because of where it goes in the end. Visions is currently streaming on Netflix in the U.S. and I would say it’s worth adding it to the queue.

    Curve (2016) — 7/10

    This is a fun little survival horror flick that takes place mostly in a single location. It takes an admittedly generic concept and, with it, crafts a well done and thoroughly entertaining movie. There’s really not much else to say about it, but it was probably the movie from this group of six that I enjoyed the most. Curve is currently streaming on Netflix in the U.S. and I say it’s worth streaming now.

    Last Shift (2015) — 7/10

    An interesting concept and excellent setting combine to create a wonderfully atmospheric film. I enjoyed the background story that haunted the film’s protagonist and how it all connected back to her. The ultimate revelation may have been a bit predictable, but it was still reasonably effective for me. Last Shift is currently streaming on Netflix in the U.S. and I say it’s worth a stream.

    The Veil (2016) — 4.5/10

    This is a difficult film for me because there’s a lot to like, but it ultimately falls very, very flat because of some bizarre choices (mostly, the ending for me). The story’s framework is reminiscent of the Jonestown mass suicide, complete with charismatic cult leader and idyllic setting. And, oh that setting… the setting for this film is pretty fantastic, as are the performances (even if there is a lot of scene chewing by the cult leader). As the film progresses, the mystery of what happened there begins to unravel – I actually really dig the film’s little twist on the mass suicide story. Unfortunately, the movie is riddled with generic ghost story jump scares, and the ending goes completely off the rails in an awkwardly bad way. The Veil is currently streaming on Netflix in the U.S. and I say it’s a very, very low priority queue.

    The Shrine (2010) — 6/10

    I wish this movie got to its end faster. I found this one to be mostly a slog with a somewhat interesting mystery and setting, but marred by some very wooden acting. I liked where the movie ended up… mostly because I did not see it coming… but it was little relief from what came before. It’s probably more like a 5 or 5.5 for me, but that mask… The Shrine is currently streaming on Netflix in the U.S. and I say it’s worth adding toward the bottom of your queue.

    Jeruzalem (2016) — 6.5/10

    This is a found footage film that handles the “why is this being recorded” question in a very clever and believable way. Some of the locations in the film are beautiful and very interesting, and I really liked how they blend two horror sub-genres into an interesting monster. The opening two-thirds of the film are heavy on the setup, as is often the case in found footage, but the final third is frenetic and mostly good. That said, I think this is one for found footage fans only. Jeruzalem is currently out in limited release in the U.S. and available to rent or purchase on VOD; if you’re a fan of found footage, then I’d say it’s a low-priority rental.

    • Regarding Visions, do you feel the third act would have been nearly as effective had Isla Fisher’s character not been pregnant? While it wasn’t anywhere near as good as Inside, the pregnancy sub plot seemed to help up the drama quite a bit for me.

      • Well, that’s sort of the whole point of the movie, isn’t it?

        p.s. FWIW, I think your comment is a little spoilery with your movie reference. I purposely left that out because it sort of gives up the goose on the ending.

        • I just watched this and #bromygod, it’s pretty damn good. It’s a clever little twist on the haunted house sub-genre that throws some pretty big curves at you and then delivers one hell of a twist ending. The great thing is that it all felt so organic. I’m still very high on it having just seen it, but I’m calling it an 8 and a high priority stream. I don’t see this in my top 10 of the year, but I think it’ll definitely be an honorable mention.

  44. Gosh, fellas, over 300 responses. Jay I love you anyway. I hope this wasn’t covered in any previous comments, but I think your “tone” metric might better be stated as “intent.” A film about “winners” ends up being a different cathartic experience for the audience (we sympathize and want to experience victory) than one about “victims” (in which we are asked to endure and be horrified (primally?) for 2 hours). The intent of Ghostbusters is to make us laugh, and the horror is the excuse (the elements). Tone is a hint to how we take the film, not the decider. The “intent” of Bone Tomahawk is to horrify us, using the western genre as the method. I consider it horror. The “intent” of Revenant is a kind of nature adventure film, and the horror elements are merely decoration (as in The Edge), not horror in my mind either.

    “Tone” should not be your primary sorting device, but “intent” if you will. Impossible = drama. Open Water = horror. Backcountry = thriller. Related of course is the nature of the intent. Most “supernatural” antagonists, whether they be unknowable forces (like the shark in Jaws) or actual otherworldly serial killers (Jason, Henry as in Portrait) tend to make the fear of death more horrible. A killer with a knife seems to make it a thriller. An unstoppable cannibal seems to make it horror. If the nature of the threat (which is decided by the filmmakers along with the tone) can not be reasoned with, our dread (our primal response) is more emotional and physical.

    Butch Cassidy, during the middle, when the posse has a supernatural ability to track them, approaches horror. But explanation reduces it to drama. The moment Alan Rickman explains to McClane he simply wants money, he goes from supernatural killer to supercriminal. From monster to mastermind.

    Thanks as always for the great discussions. I’m not even kidding.

    Roger L

  45. I just wanted to say how happy I am to have discovered your podcast back in October. I’m a 39-year old married guy whose wife, although supportive, does not share in my passion for the genre, which cannot be understated.

    Since “Drag Me To Hell”, my daughter, who is now a high school senior was my staple horror buddy. As she’s grown up and gotten incredibly busy applying for colleges and transitioning to adulthood like they do, I’ve found myself with a new found empty feeling not having really anyone to discuss horror with.

    Message boards on IMDb and the like just aren’t cutting it with all the trolls and general disinterest. What I can see from all of the comments is that this is the place I want to be for actual quality discussions.

    I’m so excited to hear future shows and to join in the discussions.

    • Welcome to HMP, Jody.

      The IMDb boards can be pretty frustrating. While there is talk for seemingly every single movie or TV series since the dawn of time, there’s so much random negative talk. I’ve yet to discover a movie over there that doesn’t have a “This is the worst movie ever” thread. While the HMP boards are open to trashing a movie, we try to at least be respectful of everyone else.

  46. Just watched the movie Southbound and as of right now…I feel pretty confident it will easily be in my top 5 horror movies of the year…

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