Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 094: Lights Out (2016) and Ghostbusters (1984) vs. Ghostbusters (2016)

This is HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies… Welcome to Episode 094, another Frankensteinian episode with a special “VERSUS” segment where Brain and Solo (aka Rowan The Destroyer) from The Sci-fi Podcast join Wolfman Josh to review Ghostbusters (1984) versus Ghostbusters (2016). Jay of the Dead and The Wolfman also bring you a “live” feature review of Lights Out (2016) immediately after their screening. You’ll also get reviews of Lady in White (1988) and The Cavern (2005) and Dr. Shock joins Jay for some discussion of The Woods/Blair Witch reveal and the first trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s Split (2017). Join us — you’ll like it!

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!

— MPN Meetup (THIS IS HAPPENING!) — Sept. 15-18, 2016 in Indiana. See the comments below for details! Come and watch “Blair Witch” (2016) with us!

O’Bryan’s Nine Irish Brothers Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana
On Facebook

Quoted from its website:
“Nine Irish Brothers in West Lafayette is a short walk from Wabash Landing, Purdue University, and downtown Lafayette, Ind. Parking is available in our parking lot and in the parking lot directly across Howard Avenue, via valet service (Thursday – Saturday evenings only), or at Wabash Landing. Nine Irish Brothers validates parking passes from Wabash Landing.”

119 Howard Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47906


I. Introduction
— Breaking News: M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split” trailer

[ 0:08:09 ] II. Review: THE CAVERN (2005)
Jay of the Dead = 4 ( Avoid )

[ 0:19:58 ] SPOILERS: THE CAVERN (2005)

[ 0:26:27 ] III. Review: LADY IN WHITE (1988)
Dr. Shock = 6.5 ( Rental )

[ 0:37:43 ] IV. In Horror News: THE WOODS / BLAIR WITCH Trailer and Sept. 16 Release
The Woods Teaser
Blair Witch Trailer

V. Versus: GHOSTBUSTERS (1984) vs GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)

HMP Ghostbusters VS

[ 0:49:23 ] Feature Review: GHOSTBUSTERS (1984) with guests from The Sci-Fi Podcast (mild spoilers)
Wolfman Josh = 10 (Buy it!)
William Rowan the Destroyer = 10 (Buy it!)
Brain = 8.5 (Buy it!)

[ 1:22:12 ] Feature Review: GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) with guests from The Sci-Fi Podcast (very mild spoilers)
Wolfman Josh = 7 ( Theater / Buy it!)
William Rowan the Destroyer = 8 ( Theater / Buy it!)
Brain = 9 (Theater / Buy it!)

[ 2:15:05 ] VI. Feature Review: LIGHTS OUT (2016) at the Dairy Queen
Jay of the Dead = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Theater / Buy it! )

Lights Out Below the Line

Dairy Queen Session Continued:
— Response to Listener’s Constructive Criticism for HMP
— JOTD’s 2 cents on Ghostbusters (2016): 7 ( Theater / Buy it! )
— Listener Feedback: Josh, Joe, Ian, Kagan
— Library AT YOUR MERCY submissions: Green Room Blu-ray contest!

Library “At Your Mercy” Picks / “Green Room” Blu-ray Contest
1. Go to your library.
2. Write down *notable horror movies in their collection.
3. E-mail HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com and include:
– The name of the library and its city, state location
– Your list of that library’s *notable horror movies
4. One submitter will be selected to win a “Green Room” Blu-ray.
5. Please e-mail all your submissions before Sept. 1, 2016. (If you go to various libraries, you can send in multiple submissions and increase your chances of winning.)

*”Notable” horror movies can mean something surprising or obscure. Perhaps an unknown gem or a bizarre oddity. (The films don’t have to be “good” horror films.) Just send us a list of surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant.


VII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
– On Twitter: @ibtrav

— Voicemail from Adam and Laura in Chicago


Listener Joe’s trip to THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE house location! We’re all very proud of you, Joe. Except Josh, who thinks you should have watched the movie there.

Joe Brunett

Listener Kagan’s visit to ZIA RECORDS in Las Vegas! Jay is very proud of you, Kagan!

Kagan at Zia Records in Las Vegas

Kagan at Zia Records - Screaming Skull

Kagan at Zia Records - The Aztec Mummy

Kagan at Zia Records - Naked Beneath the Water

Kagan at Zia Records - Hatchet for a Honeymoon

Kagan at Zia Records - Buy it Purchases

Kagan at Zia Records - The Screwfly Solution

Kagan at Zia Records - Horror Section in Wide Shot


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


Check out more of Brain and The Destroyer (Solo): At TheSciFiPodcast.com

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
Follow Jay of the Dead and HMP on Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast
Follow HMP on Instagram: @HorrorMovieCast
Like HMP on: Facebook
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
Follow Josh on Instagram: @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.

If you like Horror Movie Podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review in iTunes. If you want to support the show, we have PayPal buttons on our sister site, Movie Podcast Weekly.com, in the right-hand sidebar where you can make a one-time donation or you can become a recurring donor for just $2 per month. (Every little bit helps!)

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

61 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 094: Lights Out (2016) and Ghostbusters (1984) vs. Ghostbusters (2016)

        • Yes. The various Internet screen names / real names throw me off a little bit, but I currently have three incredible posters in my hand for a listener give-away. Incredible! We’ll talk more about it during HMP Ep. 095! Thanks, Mr. Barlow and Josh!

          • Hey Guys,
            Just finished the new episode, and loved it. Glad you have the posters in hand and I hope they arrived undamaged. Haven’t had much luck shipping others in the past.
            I can be honest enough about my work to say that there are probably only about 1 billion people out there that better than me at art, but I have fun with it.
            The three posters I sent are really the first full fledged digital paintings I have attempted, and I learned a lot from them. I’m doing a series of classic/cult/ whatever I’m in the mood for horror posters, and they should get better as I learn the medium.
            Hopefully they go over well with the community, and when I finish another set I’ll be sure to send more for listener prizes.

            Mr. Barlow <— Should probably get a different handle…this one sounds way to formal :)

  1. Glad to hear some excitement for “Split”. I’m a fan of M. Night, and I’ll always be interested to see what he’s up to next. I think this direction he’s taking with the Blumhouse productions is a smart way to make a return. I enjoyed “The Visit” well enough, and I think the trailer for Split looks promising. I’m hopeful that it will be another strong horror entry for our friend Shyamalan.

    • I’m not particularly excited about Split, but I’m not sure why.

      I don’t know if I’d qualify as a Shyamalan apologist, but I am a supporter. I always root for him to come in with a good movie.

      I think The Sixth Sense is a genuine masterpiece and The Village is close, IMO.

      My ratings:

      The Sixth Sense

      The Village
      The Visit

      Wayward Pines

      Lady in the Water
      The Happening

      After Earth
      The Last Airbender

      Split just doesn’t look that appealing to me. Plus, the PC part of me questions the premise. I do hope it is a metaphor for a werewolf movie, however. That could get me going.

      • You know, I find the M. Night conversation increasingly difficult to have because it’s always talk about batting averages really. Because clearly from the beginning until The Visit, the quality of the films has had a sharp decrease, and that’s what is fun to discuss. It’s just so fascinating that someone can go from Oscar nominations to creating something as terrible as The Last Airbender and After Earth.

        Yet, I’m kind of trying to take a new approach with him, because I can see the batting averages thing, but I’d really prefer to focus on the films I’ve loved of his and my excitement level of what he makes next. I don’t gauge my excitement of Split based on how bad After Earth and Airbender were, and more on it being another wild card Blum film made by a guy that clearly has some filmmaking chops.

        The reason I can’t take this overall career score approach is because Wes Craven is one of my favorite filmmakers, and if you give him a career overview, there are some masterful classics, but overall he might be rocking something like a 44 career score on metacritic (just checked, it’s 45 ha!). Yet, if I let that get to me, I might miss out on a more subtly good films like Red Eye or Serpent and the Rainbow.

        Does M. Night, have another Sixth Sense in him? I doubt it, but will he undoubtably create more strong entries if he keeps trying different things. I think assuredly yes.

        • Again, I’m with about 90% of what you said here.

          Like I said, I’m always rooting for him to be good.

          There are two factors that I see at play here.

          First, for most people it has been diminishing returns. Most people will say that he started out strong and got worse with every movie. Maybe they see The Visit as a comeback film.

          Second (which is related), After Earth, Last Airbender and The Happening were his last films for a very long time, with two years between the Happening and Airbender and three years between Airbender and After Earth. Add that Lady in the Water is seen by most as a failure. Add that The Visit didn’t come out until 2015. You’re basically looking at a full decade of people thinking of this guy primarily as a terrible filmmaker and him not doing much to change their minds. I remember a big laugh from my theater audience during the preview of Devil when his name came up on the screen.

          So, I get the hate. And I get the batting average. I still try to remain hopeful. Split just doesn’t look intriguing to me, director aside.

          • Devil isn’t an M. Night movie. It very well could be though. Do you know if he directed some of it, Josh? I mean, the influence is hard to ignore.

          • No, I know he didn’t direct it. I just threw it in as a bonus. If I remember the articles at the time, he said there were several of these ideas he wanted to see made, but that he didn’t have time to do himself.

  2. Let’s be clear on the PG13 thing real quick. The scariest movie I’ve ever seen, and I know other people share this opinion is “The Ring”, which is PG13.

    Also, if we were to examine this retroactively, a few other movies that really freaked me out were Jaws, which is PG and would probably get a PG13 in today’s standards. As well as Psycho, which is R, but in today’s standards might actually be PG13. We could also mention “The Shining”, which scared the hell out of me as a kid, but let’s be honest, it would also probably be a PG13 today if it weren’t for the full frontal nudity scene. The only graphic violence in that film is so incredibly brief and actually quite mild.

    Anyway, I’ll save this for the PG13 episode when it arrives. But for me, I never ever write off PG13 movies as not being able to really bring the scares. Lot’s of blood, multiple uses of F**k, and tits are not required for me to get sacred. Sometimes it can help, but good tension is the mandatory element for me.

    • I’m 90% with you, but I do think films that are made for a PG-13 audience sometimes tone down the scares as well.

      I also think the inability to go further with the gore sometimes hampers really visceral scares.

      Of course, gore (along with “f**ks and t*ts”) is often used as a crutch and I absolutely agree that tension is equally as important, if not more.

    • As is typical of my usual JOTD provocation… when I underscore that movies are PG-13, I always talk about it a little more arch than is necessary… Yes, we’re definitely going to explore this matter in-depth during a PG-13 Horror themed episode, so we’ll save it for the ring, but just know that this conversation is coming!

    • Kagan – I’m 100% with you on your first statement. The Ring is also the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. It’s unbelievable to me that it isn’t rated R just based on its scary content, similar to The Orphanage which is rated R for “some disturbing content.”

      Actually, I disagree with your thoughts on The Shining as a mostly PG13 movie for this same reason. Lots of disturbing content.

      Back on point, though, I agree with your overall point – I never automatically write off PG13 horror movies.

      • The PG-13 conversation has been happening for sometime now and every time it gets brought up, it really grinds my gears because it tells me that there’s a lot less respect for a group of movies just because of their rating. Since when does a movie need to be a certain rating to be good? Can’t a movie be good whether it’s rated PG or rated R? I can understand someone having a preference for the bloodier, gorier movies, in which case there’s no way around an R rating. But that doesn’t always equate to a good horror movie. Anyway, I’ll save my real ammunition for when your PG-13 horror episode comes out.

    • Kagan,

      I know this is well after your original post but I wanted to address some of what you said because I think it’s pretty poignant. I think PG-13 horror can be incredibly effective when made with the right intentions. There’s a difference between a well-developed PG-13 movie made by a team of filmmakers that care about the quality of the film they are making and a PG-13 studio project that is made to cash-in a trend and reach the widest audience possible. Perhaps because Gore Verbinski was at the helm, you can tell that there is some real artistry at play in The Ring remake vs. (let’s say) The Fog remake.

      I think it’s a bad idea to select you viewings based on ratings. There are plenty of garbage R-Rated horror movies out there – all the gore, nudity, and profanity in the world doesn’t make it a better viewing experience. This is especially true these days when unconvincing CGI gore can be haphazardly super-imposed into a movie and you don’t always have practical-effects teams making creative or thoughtful decisions. Sometimes, I think reliance on such “extreme” or “edgy” ingredients can take one out of the movie – it feels like the film is trying too hard or trying to compensate for/cover up some weakness.

      I think what bothers people most is when it feels like the filmmakers/studio pulled punches. Although it’s hard to articulate, I think the audience can feel it when something has been removed from the movie or that things are being held back. Watching the Ring, I never felt like anything was being held back and I think that makes a difference. I love the idea of horror movies being made at every rating level so that different age groups can enjoy the genre.

    • Haha! I hope that happens…

      While I mostly disagree with his position against “satellite content” in the podcast, I think he made valid points. It’s always good to have some dissenting points of view. I expect we may have some more of that for the highly scientific content during the Ghostbusters segment of this episode.

  3. Just thought I’d include my 2 cents in regards to the listener feedback Jay and Josh addressed at the DQ.

    On a point by point basis, I want to say that I simultaneously agree with the other listener as well as Jay and Josh.

    First, and most importantly, I think that the horror T&A show, while a little fatiguing at this current date, is one of the most important episode of HMP that has been released. First off, it directly tied to horror films, so it was thematically appropriate. Second, it still existed within the realms of the hosts expertise so they had many thoughtful things to say about it. And lastly, it is an extremely important conversation within the horror community because it is a question that we are approached with whenever we have conversations about horror. I can’t tell you how often people criticize me for classifying “Jaws” or “Silence of the Lambs” as horror. In my opinion, anyone who wants to have a serious conversation about horror films should have his or her own opinion, if not a certain list of criteria, about what horror actually is.

    Another topic addressed in the feedback, was the Horror Fans Plea to Jason Blum, which while totally audacious, was tied directly to the subject of horror films. It was a conversation full of interesting opinions that were articulated eloquently and appropriately. While I cringed at the moments where the feedback was getting very subjective, Josh provided a great counterpoint playing the role of Jason Blum. I thought it was a fruitful conversation that I hope actually gets taken in to consideration if not direct application by Blumhouse and their upcoming productions. Again, this was completely appropriate on this show, and I loved it!

    Also, the discussions of the paranormal and whether or not you are a believer or not and how that ties in to how much the paranormal scares you. Because, for me, I’m not a believer, but the paranormal scares the hell out of me in horror cinema. I think this is compelling enjoyable conversation, and most importantly it ties directly back to horror cinema because it is almost always in relation to a film that is being discussed. Another important thing here is that none of the hosts ever endorse or condemn the listeners for what beliefs they may have. In fact, the hosts go out of their way to make sure they aren’t saying things that may alienate or hurt the feelings of listeners ideals and beliefs.

    Places where I do agree with the writer of the email is where the subject’s link to horror films becomes much more tenuous. Specifically the conversations of racism, poke’mon go, and certain other “real life horror” that may or may not be directly influencing horror films. What I might suggest here, from the perspective of a listener, is to try and take subjects like that and find a very direct and meaningful way to connect them to the discussion of horror films. For example, consumerism is a bit of real life horror that, if strictly discussed only as consumerism on the show, might seem very out of place. However, when the concept of consumerism is discussed in conjunction with a review of Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” becomes 1, directly linked to the horror film conversation and 2, a meaningful way to reflect on reality and its influence on horror cinema. What becomes problematic is when we just discuss something like, tonight on the news I saw a suicide bombing. While that is clearly real life horror, it more lies in the category of news and not a conversation of horror cinema. As a listener, I don’t come to HMP to get news. I go to news sources to get news. Now, I don’t want to be totally stringent because I believe the free flow long form style of podcasting is great here, and it’s cool to go on tangents. In fact, I absolutely love the “campfire tales”. The story of Josh’s handyman or the guy that puked up the hair ball. That stuff is great! I love the personal tone of that. What I don’t love, is when the film talk gets totally replaced by stories of current events. That’s where, as a listener, I’ll listen to it, but I don’t love it as much. I would never stop listening because of it though, and I totally respect the approach the hosts are taking. As I’m hoping to hop on the constructive criticism bandwagon, I would love to hear about real life horror, but I would want it to be tied very directly in to a film as a thematic through line instead of just a second hand news story. That is of course unless there is something really profound to be said. I have to agree, the Pokemon Go segment was the quintessential example of why this off-the-cuff current events portions can actual make for un-interesting material.

    I have to give huge kudos to Jay though for what is 99% immaculate, eloquent, focused, compelling, engaging, inspiring, cinephiling, horrifying, dead serious podcasting. I listened to another horror podcast some time ago where they went in to diatribes, which was fine, but then they started spouting of personal opinions about politics and religion that were downright offensive. I hope everyone here can reflect on the fact that Jay, Josh, and Dave always make HMP a hospitable listening environment that is welcome to everyone. I also want to emphasize that, while this podcast isn’t 100% perfect (which is impossible anyway), I love it so damn much. The listenership and the conversations that come about because of HMP have been life changing, and that’s a testament to how well the show is put together. Being a horror fan can be lonely because their is such a stigma associated with it, and this show has created the first place where I haven’t felt totally alone for loving horror.


    • Eloquently put, Kagan. Thankfully you didn’t undermine your thoughtful words with a phalic emoji. Oh, wait …

      And I think Jay and I both agreed and disagreed with listener Josh as well. Probably Dave too.

      The “chemtrails” discussion was a low point, IMO. Pokemon, while I didn’t love it, was at least tied to zombies … however tenuously.

      And I disagree with you about the racism convo. I think that’s serious horror fodder that we’ll see on screen. Perhaps we just didn’t dig into it enough in our conversation … but I did bring up Romeo.

      I think your “consumerism” example was a good one and we alluded to that, but maybe not enough.

      Anyway, good stuff to think about.

  4. In the over two years that I’ve been a listener, I finally managed to see a new release movie before it was discussed here! I don’t know why, but that felt like a big accomplishment for me. I wanted to share my childhood Ghostbusters love and share thoughts on the 2016 film as I just recently saw it at the drive in.

    Ghostbusters came out when I was four, so it was a few years before I was allowed to watch it. I was very aware of its existence though, and I bugged my dad to see it for pretty much all of 1985-86. He always said that it would give me nightmares, and I would pester him to tell me why it was scary. One time he made the mistake of saying that I couldn’t see it because of “the lady in the library”, so I kept asking what the lady in the library does that is so scary. After a while he said, “Do you really want to know?” and of course five year old me said yes, which resulted in my dad attempting an angry ghost impersonation and chasing a screaming me around our house. I was soon after allowed to see it and I loved it. My dad took me to the sequel in the theater when it came out (which as I kid I loved, but am a little less enamored with now). This movie will always have a special place in my heart, and I was ghost crazy all through my childhood – possibly as a result. I read every ghost story I could get my hands on at the library, loved the Ghostbusters cartoon, and was all about ghost stories at slumber parties and camp outs.

    I was worried when I heard that a reboot was happening, but kind of intrigued by the idea of women playing the leads. After seeing it once I am happy to say I really liked the 2016 version and had fun throughout most of the film. I loved the opening haunted house sequence and could have used more scenes like that, but the I found the four Ghostbusters themselves so likeable that I am willing to forgive the parts of the movie I didn’t care for. I agree that the concert sequence was pretty bad. When Ozzie appeared, I leaned over to my husband and said “Look, it’s the ghost of Ozzie Osborne!” The actual ghost they fight in that sequence was pretty silly looking, but I did enjoy the look of the human ghosts throughout the rest of the film.

    As for the Ghostbusters themselves, I think it was Brain that described Jillian Holtzmann as “sex on a stick” for the science crowd, and I found that very well put. I am not at all a scientist, but hot damn, I could not take my eyes off of Kate McKinnon, and it was not just because she was hilarious. Should my husband be worried? Probably. I enjoyed the rest of the cast as well, and I appreciated the way they turned hateful comments about female Ghostbusters around for laughs.

    There isn’t much more I could add that wasn’t already discussed, other than one visual effect that I had a hard time with, which is due to a nerdy nitpick that only people really into haunted house props would notice. The ghosts trapped in the mirror look just like this prop I have seen at haunted house trade shows where you have a digital video you play on a flat screen TV. To give an example, there are haunted painting clips you can play and if you put a frame around your flat TV it looks great. The ghosts in the mirrors in Ghostbusters (2016) looked like a clip from a zombie effect video I’ve seen, and I kept seeing the mirrors as flat TVs with frames on them. This is a weird detail to pick on and If I hadn’t seen the effect several times before as a haunted house prop, I would have thought it was really cool. It seemed to me like an effects person was familiar with the prop and thought it would work well in the story, and it probably does for most people. I found it distracting. I am linking a video that shows some of the clips you can buy to illustrate my point.

    Weird nitpick aside, I give the new Ghostbusters an 8 and will be happy to own it along with the original, which is a 10 for me. This episode was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed the input from both Brain and Rowan the Destroyer. Thanks guys!

    • Totally agree about the ghosts in the mirrors! Looked very cheap, but I got the feeling a lot of the effects were done on the cheap…so iI let it slide.
      Thanks for the listen!

    • Awesome name, lame Ghost Monster.

      I mean where did he even find such a ginormous bow-tie… did it come with his stupid ghost jump suit?

  5. Ahhh, crud. I nailed the intro clip, but we should have made Brain’s horrorized nickname “Brains.” Would have been perfect! Next time, maybe, if you guys liked the science talk for a sci-fi crossover film like this.

  6. This episode made me very happy for a few reasons:

    1. “The Lady in White” coverage. This is a wonderful film, and although I have never made an official list, it’s always included when I rattle off to people what the essential 80s horror films are.

    2. Very happy that Ghostbusters (2016) scored so high with everybody. I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt exactly the same way about Kate McKinnon who I just want to see in everything now. I had hoped the film would rise above the hate and be successful, whether it was good or not, and I’m so glad it was good too. The science talk was a little face-melty in the beginning, but I grew to appreciate even that aspect of the review by the time both Ghostbusters reviews were done.

    3. Also very happy that Lights Out was well received. It’s sitting in my Top 5 horror movies for the year so far. Even though she promises to still go with me whenever she can, it’s actually the last horror film we’ll see together (been taking her since Drag Me To Hell) before college starts, so we made a whole evening of it with dinner first and everything. The fact that the movie was genuinely scary and different and touched on dealing with depression and mental illness made everything that much better.

    This whole episode had me cheering!

    Thanks again guys

  7. Thoughts on the podcast:

    Jay, I’ve said this before in the twitter conversations with other members of the HMP community but I’ll reiterate it here: YOU are honestly my favorite part of the podcast. You have a unique voice and a unique approach to examining, exploring, and directly questioning the thematic elements of horror, fear, and darkness in a way that I truly do appreciate. I don’t always agree- none of us should ALWAYS agree, but I find myself re-watching a given film after a disagreement to see if the views of the hosts and other posters in this community might change my POV. Because of this podcast, I’ve gone back and watched movies that I swore I never would again- and some of them affected me differently now that I had a new direction to approach it. Some of it I just hated for all new reasons.

    And here is something I have noticed a little bit on the podcast- you are your own worst critic. It’s because you’re insightful, intelligent, and well spoken- and it’s because you come from a variety of directions to approach material. Sometimes you beat yourself up in expectation of people disagreeing with you or calling you to task on certain issues (IE. “No Escape”), but I think you should sometimes pay yourself a little bit of lip service and realize that we all respect you.

    Pokemon-Go was actually an interesting conversation. I think there’s a movie waiting to be made where people are enslaved by App’s and mobile phone devices in a way that Consumerism has been addressed by films like “the Stuff”, “They Live”, “High Society”, or “Videodrome”. It’s an untapped and not fully developed exploration of the darkness inherit in our obsessions with distraction. It’s a great approach and perfectly valid.

    With that said:

    I mostly agree on the thoughts regarding “Lights Out” but rated it a much lower 6 out of 10. I thought it was a good allegory for families who have to deal with a family member who has a mental illness and I thought the performances were okay, but that the film didn’t push the tension far enough. It went for a few too many cheap jumps, but it was a largely satisfying film.

    As has been pointed out to me by Josh, I’m fairly harsh in my own criticism.


    Not going to lie- Split doesn’t appeal to me. It looks like an interesting twist on what looks to be a werewolf movie, but it doesn’t really scream that it’s a “must-see” for me.

    However- The Blair Witch does look interesting. I wound up not liking the first or second Blair Witch films for a number of reasons- but this film looks more than a little interesting, even if I don’t normally enjoy POV-shot film. This one looks interesting and there are some interesting bits framed in the trailer- I especially liked the goriness hinted at with one particular character moment. It just looked nasty and cruel- so I’m in for that film.

    Ghostbusters Thoughts:

    Okay, I’ve already posted my review of the film in the previous forum thread and posted a link to my blog, and that’s almost everything I have to say about the film. But there are a few points I wanted to speak up on regarding the film that I noticed on second viewing (My son loved the film and we went again, totally worth it). These are details that will involve some possible spoilers, so here is a warning:


    There are a bunch of HUGE gaps and awkward editing, especially around the third act of the film. I don’t mean the “dance” scene- which, frankly, I am both sad and happy they cut. It would have sucked but they left everything leading up to it and then fizzled AND THEN included it in the closing credits. And almost all of these gaps involve the two leads- specifically, all motivation surrounding the villain is obviously left on the cutting room floor. There are references made and moments where we’re supposed to assume he’s done more than just catch these girls on one news cast. He intimates they’ve been doing more around the city, but we don’t ever get to see any of it. And when he finally starts to enact his plan and the Mayor ushers the Ghostbusters out of the building- HUGE CUT! We are immediately following Kristen Wiig as she’s alone, away from the others, in her apartment. The others are all back at the office and they’re all still working- When they reunite later in the film, there’s a huge “triumphant return” beat- Holtzman even says she’s happy to have her “back”… this seems to intimate far more than an “I went home for a shower” feel. There’s an acceptance between the two leads- there’s a constant theme of separation, abandonment, and refusing “the call” in Wiig’s “hero Quest”… and for that to happen, there had to be a greater refusal of that call. We can clearly see she isn’t happy to be getting ushered away by the authorities, she’s obviously having a difference of opinion with her partner, but we don’t see that argument. That moment where she splits from the team isn’t seen- but all the beats of her returning to the team are still there. This movie was chopped up with a chainsaw and that’s a dang shame.

    As I’ve previously written, it was a 6 out of 10 movie on the whole for me- BUT I bumped it up to an 8 out of 10 based on the strength of Kate McKinnon’s performance.


  8. Lights Out for both me and my husband was about a 7.5. We saw it with a couple friends, and we all enjoyed it fairly well. My only criticism is that is was pretty standard. It’s definitely a strong redbox Halloween choice. Great for teens and non-horror fans. For a horror fan, I think it satiates well enough. It gives a handful of good scares. The narrative that works fine enough. The best part is definitely the characters and the actors playing them. Our lead and her young brother are a good pairing, and they work convincingly. I disagree with Josh about the boyfriend. I thought his character motivations and development worked fine. I thought it was pretty clear that he was interested in a long term relationship with this girl since it was implied that they had already canoodled just before their introductory scene. As fun as it was, the explanation for our monster wasn’t especially satisfying or necessary. The film also didn’t really explore much more than the short. I wished that the opening sequence had gone on a lot longer and given us a bit more brutality. A good opening kill is a great way to really set the audience on edge, and I thought this opener was on the right track but then ended prematurely. Again, it’s a descent entry, may make it in my top 10 horror for this year, but it isn’t just exceptional. 7.5 strong rental.

  9. Excellent review of Lights Out. I was really pleased with the movie. I didn’t have as much of a problem with the backstory, but felt like the film had an overall “plastic sheen” to it. That was my biggest issue. I wish it had a more grounded look and feel to it, like Green Room or It Follows.


    JOTD briefly mentioned that the film could be read as a metaphor for depression; in fact, I see great parallels between Lights Out and The Babadook, where a single parent is struggling to raise a young child while dealing with their own mental health issues. I just wish the ending of Lights Out was left ambiguous similarly to how The Babadook ended.

    ********END SPOILERS********

    I’m not exactly sure where I come in on this movie, but it is high. In fact, it’s probably my favorite horror movie of the year so far. Both Green Room and 10 Cloverfield Lane are better movies and I accept them both as horror, but neither of them are necessarily what I think of when I think of a horror movie. So, in that base sense, Lights Out is probably my favorite horror movie of 2016.

  10. One day I will see a new release in the theater. These days we tend to wait for Netflix releases to see new flicks. I’m trying to convince my husband to see Blair Witch with me when it releases in September.

    I don’t tend to get amped up over M. Night Shyamalan releases simply because of his track record. I firmly agree with Josh’s M. Night ratings in the above comment. I hope this movie is good, but I’m skeptical. I watched the trailer and the first thing I thought of was the 2003 John Cusack film “Identity”. It doesn’t seem to be an original idea, but I will try to remain open-minded.

    Ghostbusters 1984: it’s a 10 for me. I can watch it over and over. It was the first movie I ever saw in a theater (I was 4) and still vividly remember being scared to death during the library scene. Best line: “We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!” – Peter Venkman.

    Now to the listener email- I have been a listener for over a year now, and I will honestly say that I have never been put off by any of the show’s content. (I did fade in and out during the proton pack/science conversation…math and science are like a foreign language to me ?). I thank listener Josh for his positive reviews as well as constructive criticism. We can all learn from the input of others, right? My own personal opinion- I love this podcast for many reasons. I come here because of the way material is presented, the diplomacy with which films are reviewed and the friendly, family atmosphere the hosts provide. I personally love the unpredictability of each episode and I also love the “personal” aspects. I love hearing more about our hosts and our listeners…it makes me feel close to all of you. I don’t come here for straight horror reviews. Again, this is just my personal opinion, but I love what you guys are doing and have no complaints. You’ve made me feel like I’m part of a big, happy family. ?

  11. I love everything I’ve seen Adam Wingard direct including Popskull and A Horrible Way to Die. I know that he’ll do a good job with Blair Witch but I’m worried those quotes about how scary it is are actually cultivated from reviews and mentions about the original film rather than the new one.

  12. Hey JOTD,

    I know that others have said variations of this already, but I wanna agree with everyone. After listening to this episode twice and hearing those critiques of the show, I really gotta say that I love all of the genre analysis that you bring to the show (we rarely agree score-wise, but that’s OK). You’ve added the phrases “siege narrative” and “infected narrative” to my horror lexicon, and “Beastly Freaks” is way cooler to say than “Creature Feature”. My “31 Days of Halloween” sub-genre checklist is going to look very different this year as I’m adding things I learned from the show.

    Every time I watch a flick now I find myself asking if a character is a “victor or victim” as well as looking for the other T&A elements to see if they fit in with your classification of horror. This show has added a new layer of fun to watching horror films and for that I am extremely grateful.

    Lastly, to add to what Allison already said, I love that the show is family friendly. I myself am not offended by swearing, but it’s nice to be able to listen to the show out loud wherever I am at and whatever I am doing. I am even able to play it while working at retro videogame store where I’ve recommended the show to anybody who’s asked what I’m listening to.

  13. I know I’m late to the party with this, but just last night I noticed Extraordinary Tales ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3454574/ ) on Netflix Canada. I hadn’t heard of this, I was intrigued, I gave it a watch.

    My thoughts: For those who have not seen it, Extraordinary Tales is an anthology of Edgar Allen Poe short stories (The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Masque of the Red Death), each animated in a unique style and narrated by a different voice actor. The framing device is a conversation in a graveyard between a raven that contains the ghost of Poe and a statue that contains the spirit of death. Three things sold me on watching the film: (1) I positively adore Poe; I’ve been reading his stuff since I was in sixth grade, (2) The Fall of the House of Usher is narrated by Christopher Lee (seriously, people, I’d watch a movie that was nothing by Lee reading soup recipes, just to soak in that man’s voice), and (3) The Tell-Tale Heart’s narration is an old audio recording of… wait for it… Bela Lugosi!

    I was disappointed in the framing device. I know that it only exists to give us an excuse to string together five different Poe stories, but they needed to put a little more thought into it, and use CGI that looked less amateurish. But the point of the movie is the stories, so I soldiered on and endured the interstitial scenes.

    The best thing about this movie is the variety of animation styles on display, ranging from complex CGI, to an Alberto Breccia-inspired stark black-and-white that reminded me of certain parts of Sin City, to more traditional hand-drawn animation. I would rewatch the movie just for that. The Masque of the Red Death is practically silent except for the soundtrack and a single spoken line, which I found effective and creepy as death comes for a throng of aristocratic revellers in the form of a fatal disease (in the original story we see that these rich folks foolishly thought that they could seal themselves in and party while a plague ravages the countryside. Wealth makes no-one immune to mortality). And of course we have the voice acting. Bela Lugosi, dude. Bela Lugosi.

    The downside here is that Poe was a master at creating a terrifying atmosphere through scene description and inner monologue (Go re-read The Premature Burial. Without the inner monologue the story would be about ten seconds long). I’d say the animation is about 50/50 at creating a Poe-like sense of oppressive anxiety, and quite a bit of the inner monologue is cut (I know that using the Lugosi recording meant that they were restricted to what Lugosi had actually recorded, but a sizeable portion of the narrator’s mental breakdown is skipped entirely). I found The Pit and the Pendulum, one of my favorite Poe stories, to be frankly boring, and any ambiguity about what might be real and what might be hallucination is entirely removed.

    As an exercise in showcasing different visual ways of portraying Poe, I was mostly impressed, and for that (plus, you know, Lugosi!) I’ll give this a 7 out of 10 and say stream it, especially if animation is your thing or if you’re a Poe-lover.

    Your thoughts?

  14. Another great episode, guys! I appreciated your review of Lights Out, though am saddened that I did not enjoy it as much as you both seem to have (I’d give it about a 6.5). I went into this movie really hoping to enjoy it but it never quite clicked for me. I found the central idea of the monster to be quite creepy, if not a bit reminiscent of the movie Darkness Falls. However, I think Lights Out is a better film than Darkness Falls, but still doesn’t milk the “gimmick” as much as it could have. I found the reliance on manipulative, obvious jump scares to be frustrating when they were working with an idea that could have been used to generate so much tension. For instance, I thought the scene with the flickering light coming in through the window was excellent and really provided a palpable sense of dread. The buildup and payoff were both fantastic. I imagine that there were a number of other scenarios like this that could have elevated the movie.

    I also had a bit of a personal issue with the resolution of the movie and what it seems to imply about mental illlness (note: even though it could be read that way, I don’t think it was the director’s/screenwriter’s intention). Overall, it was an adequate movie. Given the faith I put in HMP’s reviews, I want to revisit this film soon and see if I missed something. Jay and Josh, I am glad you were able to find enjoyment in this film and am only sad I didn’t get into it as much as you did.

  15. Dr Shock-thank you so much for the Lady in White review. I remember now watching it when it first came out and enjoyed it back then! Once you started talking about it-I recalled it immediately. Not the most “horrifying” movie, but a good one to help introduce kids to the genre. Thanks again!


    For a movie based on some little horror short, I mostly loved the movie. The fact that it was PG-13 made it even more impressive since they threw some things together and ended up creating a bit of a scary movie. That being said, I hated the ending. It reminds me of a certain 2007 Stephen King based adaption that had an ending that was in my opinion – depressing for the sake of being depressing.

    To put it bluntly, what I got out of the Lights Out ending is if you’re going through some awful things due to your mental problems, go ahead and blow your brains out. It will solve ALL of the problems for both yourself and everyone around you. I didn’t have a single problem with Sophie dying, but for her to kill herself to fix everything sent the wrong message. I would have much rather have seen Diana kill Sophie as a sign that Diana no longer needed her (Maybe thanks to being now connected to Rebecca or Martin?), having Sophie die by some other means, or even just having Sophie live.

    Still, I did really like Lights Out. Even though the movie had had some good reviews, I didn’t have the highest expectations going into it, but instead we got a very solid The Babadook-like film with a great looking villain/creature. I just wish the ending was changed in some way so that I’m left depressed.

    I gave it a 8/10 rating.

  17. Pingback: 31 Days of Halloween — Day 27: Lights Out (2016) — by Dr. Shock |

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