Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 098: Blair Witch (2016) and Don’t Breathe (2016) and Scherzo Diabolico (2016) and The Triangle (2016) and Downhill (2016) and They’re Watching (2016)


Episode 098b

There’s something awful hiding in the woods, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This is HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies… Welcome to Episode 098, a Frankensteinian episode chock-full of new release horror films. Doc Shock has the week off, but Jay of the Dead and Wolfman Josh bring you reviews of Blair Witch (2016), Don’t Breathe (2016), Scherzo Diabolico (2016), Downhill (2016)The Triangle (2016), They’re Watching (2016) and even Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)! But the main event of this episode is hearing the live recordings from the Movie Podcast Network MeetUp 2016 in Indiana where you’ll hear listener reviews of “Blair Witch” and the mini-meet-up in Salt Lake City, where you’ll hear listener reviews of “Don’t Breathe.” Join us or we’ll make you stand in the corner of our basement … no, attic … no, basement … no, attic!

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!



I. Introduction
— Agenda for this episode
— Salt Lake City mini HMP MeetUp with Nate, Kagan, Cora, Jay of the Dead and a weirdo from Movie Podcast Weekly
— Movie Podcast Network MeetUp 2016 in West Lafayette, Indiana

[ 0:04:17 ] II. Feature Review: DON’T BREATHE (2016) (and a recording from the SLC mini HMP MeetUp)
Jay of the Dead = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Cora = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Nate = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Kagan = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! )

[ 0:30:52 ] III. Feature Review: SCHERZO DIABOLICO (2016)
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Rental )

[ 0:43:24 ] IV. Feature Review: DOWNHILL (2016)
Jay of the Dead = 4 ( Avoid )

[ 0:52:07 ] V. Feature Review: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (2016)
Jay of the Dead = 5.5 ( Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 7.5 ( Avoid )

[ 1:05:44 ] VI. Wolfman’s Netflix Screaming: THEY’RE WATCHING (2016)
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Stream It )

— Jay of the Dead’s PSA about renting Rob Zombie’s “31.”

[ 1:18:22 ] VII. Feature Review: THE TRIANGLE (2016)
Jay of the Dead = 7.5 ( Strong Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 9 ( Buy it! )

[ 1:39:39 ] VIII. Interviews: HMP Listener Interviews — recorded at the MPN MeetUp in West Lafayette, Indiana
— Ron Martin and Jeff Hammer
— James, Greg and Jody
— Dark Mark and Gomez98
— Juan and Dino

[ 2:03:24 ] IX. Feature Review: BLAIR WITCH (2016) — recording at the MPN MeetUp inside a bus stop in West Lafayette, Indiana
Jay of the Dead = 1 ( Avoid ) – Worst Movie of the Year (So Far)
Karl = 0 ( Avoid )
Ryan = N/A
Ron Martin = 2 ( Avoid )
Dark Mark = 5 ( Low-priority Rental )
Dino = 2.5 ( Avoid )
Greg = 5 ( Rental )
James Waters = 4 ( Avoid )
Jeff Hammer = 4 ( Avoid )
Jody = 5.5 ( Low-priority Rental )
Juan = 6 ( Rental )

[ 2:20:54 ] Feature Review: BLAIR WITCH (2016) postmortem review with Wolfman Josh
Jay of the Dead = 1 ( Avoid ) – Worst Movie of the Year (So Far)
Wolfman Josh = 7 ( Rental )

[ 2:53:17 ] [ SPOILERS! ] [ SPOILERS! ]: BLAIR WITCH (2016) — [ SPOILERS! ] [ SPOILERS! ]

X. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— A chat with Juan and Adam from Chicago
— Wrap-up and plugs with Jay and Wolfman
— 2017 HMP MeetUp and Mini Convention in Salt Lake City!
— Don’t forget to send us your submissions for our #DeadSeriousHorror Challenge!


Below are several photos (with captions) from the SLC mini HMP MeetUp and the MPN MeetUp 2016. Enjoy!

Episode 098c[A mini Salt Lake City HMP MeetUp for “Don’t Breathe.” Left to right: Nate, Jay of the Dead, Cora, Kagan, and some weirdo from MPW.]

Episode 098d[Left to right: Cora, Jay of the Dead and Kagan at the SLC mini HMP MeetUp for a screening of “Don’t Breathe.”]

Episode 098e[At the SLC mini HMP MeetUp for the screening of “Don’t Breathe,” Cora, Jay of the Dead and Kagan flash their best poses where they’re “not breathing.”]

Episode 098f[At the MPN MeetUp in West Lafayette, Indiana, left to right: Karl of MPW, Dino, Ryan of MPW and GCL, Jay of the Dead and Juan.]

Episode 098g[At the MPN MeetUp 2016, left to right: Jody, Jay of the Dead, Greg and James.]

Episode 098h[HMP MeetUp Mania — from left to right: Juan, Jay of the Dead, Adam; and Jeff Hammer, Jay of the Dead, Ron Martin (Resurrection of Zombie 7); and Adam from Chicago.]

Episode 098i[Standing inside a bus stop, Jay of the Dead (center) prepares to record an impromptu review with a bunch of horror fans after seeing “Blair Witch” (2016) as Ron Martin (left) and Geek Cast Ry (right) look on.]

Episode 098j[Nemeses and friends, left to right: Dino, Jay of the Dead, Juan.]

Episode 098k[Some of the HMP listeners take a photo inside the theater at the screening of “Blair Witch” during the MPN MeetUp 2016, with Geek Cast Ry photo-bombing. Left to right: James, Geek Cast Ry (background), Dino, Dark Mark (back), Juan.]

Episode 098l[At another Nine Irish pub on Saturday night during the MPN MeetUp, a group of HMP listeners chat about horror movies. Left to right: Dino, Juan (partially obscured), James, Greg, Jody.]

Episode 098m[MPN MeetUp 2016, left to right: Dino, Karl of MPW (obscured), Jay of the Dead, James, Dark Mark, Juan.]

Episode 207h[Nine Irish Brothers Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana — the site of the first ever MPN MeetUp 2016.]

Episode 207i[Nine Irish Brothers Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana — the site of the first ever MPN MeetUp 2016.]

Episode 207j[Nine Irish Brothers Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana — the site of the first ever MPN MeetUp 2016.]

Episode 207k[Nine Irish Brothers Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana — the site of the first ever MPN MeetUp 2016.]

JOIN US THIS FRIDAY, OCT. 7: Episode 099 to hear our themed review of “Old School Horror Anthologies.”
And coming soon!
10/14 – Ep. 100 = Modern Horror Anthologies (and Listener Calls)
10/21 – Ep. 101 = 1980s Slashers: 1980-1984
10/28 – Ep. 102 = 1980s Slashers: 1985-1989
11/11 – Ep. 103 = Creepy Killer Clowns
11/25 – Ep. 104 = Horror Documentaries

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


Blair Witch articles recommended by HMP listeners:

By Hanna Shaw-William, ScreenRant

By Laura Bradley, Vanity Fair

By Marc N. Kleinhenz, ScreenRant

Mister Watson’s Horror Corridor podcast

Check out Ron Martin’s The Resurrection of Zombie 7

Links and reminders for Adam from Chicago:
Adam’s Artbox.com
Adam’s Artbox on Facebook
Adam on Twitter
Adam’s band: Cowboy Jukebox
Follow Adam on Instagram at “Adam’s Artbox” and also follow Adam’s Scary Movie Squad on Instagram at “Scary Movie Squad.”

Movie Podcast Weekly, Ep. 207

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.

Special thanks as well to musician/composer Kagan Breitenbach for the use of his music, Wolfman Josh’s “Screaming Online” theme. Horror fans may take special interest in his “Quartet Macabre”on YouTube.

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!

64 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 098: Blair Witch (2016) and Don’t Breathe (2016) and Scherzo Diabolico (2016) and The Triangle (2016) and Downhill (2016) and They’re Watching (2016)

  1. Hi Everybody,
    Sorry about the huge delay. This may have been my most intricate and time-consuming HMP edit yet, so I hope you’ll understand if there are blunders…

    If you have a spoiler-free, well written horror movie review that you’d like us to post this month (Greg, Jody), then e-mail them to me at HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com with the subject line “31 Days of Halloween.”

    And watch for info on how you can call in to the show LIVE as we record it this upcoming Tuesday night (Oct. 4) and again on Oct. 12.

    Thanks to everyone who joined us for these meetups, and thanks for listening!

    Much love,
    Jay of the Dead

    • Hi all, I am a newbie to the podcast, just started listening about a month ago, but I absolutely love it!!!! I am really bummed that I did not make it to the meet-up in Indiana, especially since I live in Chicago. Just wanted to say hi and to keep up the good work. On a side note, I know this is not horror, but does anyone remember the movie “The Quest” (Frog Dreaming) from 1986? Scared me when I was a kid, I would love to check it out now that I am an adult.

  2. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually want to watch Blair Witch again. I feel like my mind was just not in it on that first viewing (it was during my afternoon nap time), and wonder if a more attentive viewing would do it justice.

  3. The articles that I mentioned were recommended to me by Juan and other HMP listeners on Twitter:

    By Hanna Shaw-William, ScreenRant

    By Laura Bradley, Vanity Fair

    By Marc N. Kleinhenz, ScreenRant

    • The more I read and think about these theories, the more I like Blair Witch and want to watch it again… but then I go back in my mind to the moments immediately following the movie and how I felt, and wonder if the film just didn’t do a good enough job to warrant these theories.

      I don’t know the answer to that question, but I am interested in figuring it out. Once it’s available on VOD, I think I’ll double feature it with the original.

  4. Don’t Breathe was a delightful veer away from your typical horror movies. Today if you want true horror fans to appreciate a movie, you need to come up with something completely different or improve on what has been done in the past. I recently watched No Escape this week to see why Jay was so hyped up on this movie and it actually reminded me a lot of Don’t Breathe. Both movies set their main characters in an environment where they are at a huge disadvantage. In Don’t Breathe I was worried that the entire movie being shot within the house would be overdone and boring. But, I was so invested in the two main characters that I felt like I was there with them. Also, both movies made me think what I would have done if I were in the position of the characters.

    I know Wolfman didn’t like the vent scene because it has been done before, but this is an instance where you have to just do it better than what has been done. I feel like this scene reinforced the “trapped” vulnerability of the characters.

    Pride Prejudice and Zombies? I am sorry, in my opinion, I thought it was terrible. I think the characters were unbelievable and poorly cast. I couldn’t get past this fact to make it through the movie. I did think the zombies looked cool. But, I only made it up to the baby zombie part. I couldn’t do it. I would give it a 3 out of 10.

    They’re Watching was excellent until the last 15 minutes. I loved the found footage and the characters were great. THe horrible effects at the end ruined the movie for me. I think they should have kept it low budget and made the effects at the end low budget instead of what they did. The ending was just silly. Great premiss and idea though.

    I really liked The Sacrament, so I can’t wait to check out The Triangle. I’m also waiting to see Blair Withc when it comes toe the cheap seats because of the negative reviews.

    So, I have recently started watching Outcast on HBO and it is unbelieveable. You guys need to check it out. It is all about possession and this show does it right. It is creepy and makes your skin crawl and make you question things. The characters are likable and cast perfectly. Give it a watch. It is worth an Itunes download. I know that there is a series on FOX called The Exorcist and I’ve watched the first 2 episodes. It’s alright, but oh my, Outcast blows that out of the water! a MUST SEE!!!

    • Thanks, Projectile Varmint. I’m very intrigued about “Outcast” now…

      And by the way, if y’all thought I pushed the limits with “No Escape,” I’m going to be mentioning a film during my wrap-up plugs in HMP Ep. 099 that’s admittedly the farthest thing in the world from a true GENRE horror movie, yet it’s one of the scariest, most haunting, most unsettling things I’ve ever seen…

      Can’t wait!

    • Varmint. I love your screen name, but I’m not going to type it every time. Haha. I feel like we’re on the same page with They’re Watching. I just can’t say that the last 10 minutes of the movie ruin it for me. I don’t like it. It wouldn’t have been my choice. But the rest of the movie was totally enjoyable. It’s not going to make my all-time greatest list due to the wacky ending, but the wacky ending also doesn’t take away the experience I had throughout.

      Please don’t misunderstand that I liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I just don’t think it’s objectively a bad movie. Not at all my taste, but it’s technically well made, IMO.

      Regarding Don’t Breathe, I just don’t ever need to see another air shaft scene. It’s like a Top 10 movie cliche. And you’re never going to do better than Aliens. If it really fits the movie, like 10 Cloverfeild Lane, I can live with it. I see what you’re saying about the use here adding to the oppressive nature of the house and I said on the show that it makes sense due to the setting, but I also don’t think they really knocked it out of the park with that scene, either.

      You’ve really caught my attention with Outcast. Cannot wait to watch it. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. This is why I adore this podcast. In the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies discussion you pretty much hit every nail on the head regarding the issues I have with with the Action-Horror genre. I agreed with every point you both made and felt like you articulated points that had bugged me in a way I previously couldn’t find the words to express. Excellent stuff

    And Jay wins a lot of respect for admitting he enjoys the BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries. Another hidden facet of Jay’s prism of personality is revealed.

    • David,
      Thank you, Sir.

      Someday we should probably do a themed episode on Action-Horror. I think there are a couple of strong entries that work well (e.g., “Aliens” leaps to mind), and it’s because of the balance they strike within the victim / hero, where the protagonist is able to successfully be both.

      Thanks again for writing.

      • Aliens is a good example of Action-Horror that works well but to me it feels like both the action and horror elements come from a much more organic place than most of other examples of the genre. Too many of the (particularly more modern) entries feel cynical and calculated to seem “cool”. “Wow, cgi vampires bouncing around the room fighting guys with machine guns, epicly awesome!” but where’s the atmosphere? Where’s the tension? Even though Aliens is cited as an action movie the action on offer doesn’t feel over-the-top or hyper-choreographed, it just unfolds as a natural side product of the plot which in itself represents a natural reaction to the threat from the first film. AvP on the other hand goes in that more indulgent modern direction with it’s slow-mo, spinning camera scenes and all that additional artifice. That’s not stuff I want to see in a movie that’s supposed to make me feel like I’m there, being hunted mercilessly in claustrophobic confines. It actively reminds me that what I’m seeing was edited together by people on a computer in some studio. Too much of the sub-genre suffers from leaning so heavily on the blatantly artificial; choreographed fight scenes, CGI, one-liners, hackneyed camera/post production tricks designed to elicit buzzterms like “adrenaline-fueled” and “hyperbolic action set pieces”.

        Not that there’s not a place for that type of film or anything wrong with enjoying those elements. Personally that stuff just negates the sense of atmosphere I usually look for in a horror flick.

    • Yes, Andy was the first I heard to say something similar when receiving photos from the Indiana MeetUp, but Cora was representing the HMP ladies at the SLC gathering!

      • That was a good time in SLC with Kagan and Cora. Alethea nicely accepted to go as well. Even though the movie was not what I was hoping for it was a fun time. Now, if we can only find out what happened to Kagan?

  6. Hey folks, a little two cents on Blair Witch. Feel like Josh was too forgiving, and that Jay was a bit too harsh. Here’s my own point by point opinions of Blair Witch. The bad, the a little annoying, and the good.

    *******SPOILER ALERT FOR BLAIR WITCH 2016*********


    1. The ear cameras. Conceptually this is good, but the execution is poor. If you remember, this same idea had been used, in a slightly different way, in “As Above so Below” in which all the characters had cameras on their head lamps. It was nice because it gave the filmmakers a lot of freedom to get better use of their space. We could see the catacombs from several different perspectives. In Blair Witch, it’s going for the same effect, but the problem is that the ear cams are too close up. You’ll notice that anything being shot from one of the ear cameras is consistently at a medium close up, and when characters are close together the shots are even just plain close ups. This isn’t so much a problem when characters are just talking, but for long scenes of just walking through the woods, the camera is constantly pointing at the ground at a medium close up jarring around very quickly from side to side. Now, I understand shaky cam is one of those found footage criticisms that is always there, but I have seen lot of found footage movies and this is the only one that has made me literally sick to my stomach. I found myself at several times having to look away from the screen because of how much motion sickness I was feeling. This was validated by a couple other people I went to the screening with. Ear cams could have worked if they were a bit wider angle.

    2. The characters were weak. The only likable/bearable character was Lisa. She does a fine job in the finale where she has largely no-dialogue. James and Ashley were fine, but they don’t really do a whole lot. Lane and Talia were also okay. I think Josh is giving them too much credit. They aren’t given enough to do to really feel like you know them. The character that single handedly ruins the entire first half of the movie is Peter. He is obnoxiously stereotypical. He’s unnecessarily stupid and confrontational. Overall it makes for a mix a genuinely forgettable characters who make countless stupid decisions. Again, I point to “10 Cloverfield Lane”, a film act proves that movies do work better when you have smart characters that make smart choices. Blair Witch is loaded with dumb characters that make… dumb decisions. Therefore, making them unrelateable and eventually detestable.

    3. Two things that go nowhere. First, Ashley’s foot thorn. This sub plot is given so much god damn screen time. And why? First, she hurts her foot, next she is limping in every scene, then there are several scenes of them doctoring it (stupidly doctoring it), and then she even pulls something from it. All told, Ashley’s foot issue has to be at least 5-10 minutes of screen time. But… how does she die? Is it from or even remotely related to her injury/infection? Nope! She falls out of a tree. And how does she fall out of a tree? Getting something that she should have absolutely no reason to go after that wouldn’t help her even if she got it. Which brings me to…

    4. The drone. What the hell? So, one of the typical things with sequels that have been spread across time is the introduction of new technology. Like, in the original “The Blair Witch Project”, we had a camcorder and a 16mm camera. Now we have ear cams and a drone. How are we going to take advantage of either? Well the director and writer duo here decide not to do anything with the drone. We see a couple shots above the forest and THAT’S IT. Nothing is revealed, no creative sequences are done, the damn thing just crashes. That’s it. Again, like Ashley’s foot, the drone is given at least 5 or more minutes of screen time and it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to drive the story forward or do anything interesting. Basically, it’s main purpose in the film was to kill Ashley.

    5. Last note is that the deaths, in general, were unsatisfying. If you are going to add more characters just to knock them off slasher style, at least kill them in interesting ways. All I can say was Talia got bent in half, and that was kind of cool. The rest… I honestly can’t remember how anyone else died.

    A Nitpick

    So at the end, the Blair Witch is basically turned in to a physical monster. My personal favorite reading of the original film is that the Blair Witch was an entity that haunted the woods and more or less possessed people to do things. This is backed up by some of the brief interviews in the beginning of “The Blair Witch Project”. We are told by one of the interviewees that there was a killer from the 1940s who had a cabin out in the woods. He would kidnap kids from Blair, and take them to the cabin. Once they were there, he would take the kids down to the cellar 2 at a time and have one face in to the corner while he killed the other. The explanation for putting one in the corner is that the killer didn’t like to be watched. He said he felt the eyes watching him, which is why he put the other child in the corner. Not to explain away my entire read on the ending of the original film, but what we know when Heather sees Mike facing the corner is that she is the second child. She is going to be killed, and then Mike after her. It’s so chilling. We just have that little bit of information from an interview much earlier in the film, and it pays off really well. You can dig in further if you want and assume that the Blair Witch herself possessed people to do hands things and that Heather and Mike happened to be killed using the “corner technique” because they stumbled in to the cabin. I personally find it just as possible that all three of them could have been killed the same way that the men were at Coffin Rock. Again, at coffin rock, we didn’t really hear anything about some witch monster skulking around. We just heard about some really specific disemboweling and symbol carvings. I believe, within the lore of the first film, the witch doesn’t physically exists, and that’s one of the reasons we don’t ever see her. To me, this new film’s explanation for the corner gig felt a lot like when other sequels try to retrofit mythology that genuinely doesn’t make sense within the world of the first film. I honestly don’t love mythology building like Josh does. I think that’s when all horror franchises really start to “nuke-the-fridge” is when the start saying stuff like “oh the Blair Witch had a daughter, and now she’s going to come back for revenge”. It’s like… no, the was no daughter. It’s just the Blair Witch, some ambiguous evil force that’s going to kill the shit out of you if you wander into her woods.


    1. The manipulation of time and night time. I love the idea that once people stumble into this woods they will never come out. I love the perpetual night, and the extending and distortion of time. It was done in a subtle way that added to the atmosphere without really distracting much. I felt that was a really creepy moment when Lane and Talia stumbled in to the camp and basically said they had been walking around for a week. I thought when they woke up at 7am and it was still dark out side was also amazing. The woods turned into a purgatory, and I thought that was fresh and exciting for the sequel.

    2. Despite not actually liking making the Blair Witch a physical monster, I did enjoy the entire finale quite well. It’s the best part of the film, and everything preceding just felt like an excuse to get to the cabin. I think the inside of the cabin was one of the scariest filming locations I’ve seen in a long time. It was genuinely horrifying. I think the tension was built really well. Lots of nice scares and adrenaline pumping. It got me in the same mood I do when I watch the finale of Alien or a good final girl sequence. If the rest of the film hadn’t been so unwatchable, I think this finale would have really been a sucker punch. Unfortunately, the rest of the film was actually abysmal, and even this finale couldn’t save it.

    ******END OF SPOILERS********

    Final thoughts. The acting and filmmaking are so weak and crude that it’s hard to take the movie seriously most of the time. I am actually not really a fan of Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard, but there previous entries were a lot stronger than this. I suppose that’s a compliment that I’d really rather see their original concepts than their take on a horror franchise. This movie is a 4/10 for me.

    xox – Kagan

      • Still can’t get enough of your name Projectile Varmint!

        I love the original. It’s probably in my top 25 favorite horror films. It’s less and less of exciting to rewatch, but the parts that work so well in it still work really great. The ending is stellar, but the parts that work better for me are the subtle moments in those opening interviews that end up being so important for later in the film. I love the folklore elements involving the child murderer in the 40s as well as the massacre at coffin rock. I also enjoy the tent scenes that are simply creepy out of pure atmosphere using subtle sound design.

        • I really liked the first one too. Probably would make my top 20. Any movie that makes me care about what happens to the main characters will get a positive rating. I really enjoy character development in horror movies which is hard to come by now. Have you seen They Look Like People? It’s more of a slow burn drama first, then horror but I really enjoyed it. I thought the characters were believable and extremely likable. The dialogue and character interactions feel like how you would interact with friends. This is how I felt Blair Witch was. The remake however was the opposite. Liek you said, poor character likability. Great review by the by.

    • It Follows has made it into my top 20. The atmosphere in that movie trumps any flaws with the CGI or plot holes. I am always searching for decent movies that any of the actors are in because I think they were a huge part of the success of that movie.

    • Bummer. In the comments section for one of the episodes (tracking down which one would be too much like work), I expressed my desire for there not to be a sequel to It Follows, but it would be good to see a different horror offering from DR Mitchell.

    • Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo How can they not follow up their work with another Horror work?! They’ll be killing their momentum!

  7. So, here are my thoughts on some of the movies talked about here.

    Don’t Breathe

    When a trio of teens decide to target a blind Gulf War veteran, they get much more than they bargained for when the man wakes up and subjects the burglars to a savage funhouse of horrors. Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead remake) sits at the helm and uses every trick you come to expect while pushing the envelope a few steps beyond for some truly twisted bits of terror. Our three burglars are struggling kids who are trying to break free from their poverty-stricken Ohio slums. A “hot tip” leads them to the home of our Blind Vet, whose name we never learn. He is played by genre vet, Stephen Lang (Avatar). Having lost his daughter to a car accident some time previous, the man is living off a settlement with the driver’s family. The teens quickly find themselves trapped within the house and discover more locked doors than they’re expecting. Jane Levy (Evil Dead remake) and Dylan Minnette are cast in the lead roles of Rocky and Alex- Levy all but unrecognizable from her role in Alvarez’s previous film. Both are fairly standard character actors who really don’t stand out too much.

    So I was sitting in a pretty loud theater with a bunch of teenage boys who were trying to make themselves feel tough by scaring their girlfriends with inopportune “jumps” every few moments- all of which came to a head when one teen sitting in front of me declared “Wait… he’s blind?!?!!” after over an hour into the film and several moments where they specifically state the character was blind. Despite this interesting audience, I still found the film tense and that it worked well where it intended to work. Still, most of the film seemed to be a fairly “paint-by-numbers” affair with the traditional beats getting struck here and there.

    And then the third act began.

    And the film went from tense to downright terrifying, disgusting, and horrifying in a way that I didn’t expect from a wide release film. I felt my dinner gurgle up and threaten to leak out my throat, a little bit of that bile burn deep down in the back of the tonsils. The film ups the ante and our nerves get raked across an acre of broken glass. Our Blind Vet goes from tough as nails hardcore to sadistic monster in a steady progression that suddenly dips into the deep end of crazy town. The violence, both physical and mental, really ramps up in the final moments of the film.

    7.5 and a strong recommendation.

    They’re Watching

    Let me bring you to the beginning before my trembling fingers take you to the end; “They’re Watching” is another “first person-found footage”-type film designed to seem like a sort of mockumentary film. The premise starts with a television crew being sent to another country to film some kind of home improvement out in the middle of the woods. They immediately start to clash with the locals and tension starts to build. When the crew returns to film some “after’ footage, the tension ramps up and we sort of have a siege where the characters feel hemmed in by the population surrounding them. But their problems with the locals are really just the beginning.

    If anything, the film sort of reminds me of “the Shrine” in that the film builds with a “Stranger in a Strangeland” premise with an underlying threat that eventually reveals itself in a slightly less expected way. And, also like The Shrine, I found the reveal to be sudden and horrifying. The film leans more towards splatstick humor rather than building on dread, but the two films share much in common in that way. When the film finally turns the corner, there are no holds barred and the rest of the film feels worth the drag.

    6.5 out of 10 and a rental.

    Enjoyed the episode. And I have officially entered the contest with a little video, though I still have plans to make a different video when I visit the Phantasm House. So far it’s just me and Allison with an Eye… an eye for terror, an eye for fear, and an eye for horror. Or is that three Eyes?

  8. Piggy-backing on the mockumentary/found footage theme from They’re Watching, The Triangle and Blair Witch in this episode, I would highly recommend checking out Noroi: The Curse (2005). Even if the mockumentary/found footage sub-genres aren’t your style, I would recommend checking out Noroi. It’s one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in awhile, and immediately shot up to the top of my found footage list.

    If you’re interested, I posted a mini-review of it on Day 3 of 31 Days.

  9. Still working my way through this episode, but I’m glad to hear Wolfman Josh stealing my two “positives” from Blair Witch: the drone (if they had used it better) and the voodoo doll moment.

  10. Great episode guys.

    The meet up sounded really fun! Wish I could of made it from here in the UK.

    Maybe next time I can travel the journey over the pond!

    Hope everyone had a good time!

  11. Problems I had with Blair Witch:
    1. It always seemed like they were a 10 minute walk from their car. You could feel a real isolation in the original. They should have used the drone to fly around a little and really see how deep they were.
    2. That one girl’s injury is never paid off. They never show what it is and what’s happening to her.
    3. The yelling for people and then a jump scare when they accidentally bump into them was getting really old. At one point, the main girl actually says “Would everyone please stop doing that!”
    I actually liked the last 20 minutes, as soon as they see the witch and find the house.

  12. Bummed to hear all the hate for Blair Witch. Though I still attend to see it, all the negative talk convinced me that I am happy waiting until it comes out on disc. Not to doubt the opinions of the Indiana meetup crew, but I wonder if there was a bit of group polarization effect at play. Group polarization effect suggests that members of a group will make more extreme decisions or form more extreme conclusions than they would if they were on their own. I know that I’ve walked away from group viewing experiences where I’ve highly overrated something because of the collective enthusiasm of the group. Conversely, I’ve also claimed that movies were far worse than they actually were because the crowd I was with was really down on them and heckling them the entire time. If anyone is interested in reading up on this phenomenon beyond my Psych 101 explanation, this wiki article isn’t bad:


    That being said, I haven’t seen the movie and have no real right to question the extreme negative views of people who have actually seen it. Perhaps it’s just difficult for me to believe that Adam Wingard is capable of making a film that is so dismal.

  13. New listener here! I just listened to the “Blair Witch” podcast today and I wanted to share my Blair Witch story because I think you will find me insane.

    I saw the original “Blair Witch Project” one week before the wide release in NYC during a special screening. While I was aware it was not real, I was not aware of what it was about. I knew the found footage portion, but didn’t know what to expect and I truly had a great and scary time watching it.

    When I returned to CT, I knew this thing was going to be big and I am a HUGE fan of scareing folks. At the time I was living at my mother’s house, in a fairly wooded area. I was able to create about 5 of the stick figurines out of sticks from the yard, glue and string. I went to my local movie theatre the night of the first wide release screening with the figures and placed them onto 5 random car windshields close to the time the closest screening was scheduled to let out and then I sat in my car and waited.

    It was so fun watching people come out to their cars, pick up the figures and look at each other. Most threw them to the ground with panicked looks on their faces and some even argued that they were playing tricks on each other.

    Yes, I’m a real creep for doing this, but I like to think that those folks will always have a story about that night. I made the figures pretty damn close to the movie versions if I do say so myself.

    Hopefully you see this, Jay and can share it with the gang.

    Your podcast is awesome. I was a Fangoria radio listener while that was on and have been looking for something ever since. Thank you for filling that void. I hope to one day make it to a meetup. Do something on the east coast!

  14. Not sure if my Blair Witch Project story posted. I will resend if it didn’t One thing I wanted to add regarding the new Blair Witch that I haven’t seen mentioned much (well two things really)

    1. Found footage, eh? So that means that since they were in a time loop, no one ever actually found the footage and therefore it was edited together by the Blair Witch and posted on youtube. With added moody music no less! Lame.

    2. When the ‘Ashley’ character starts to get sick due to her infected foot, at some point in the movie, her pals are talking to her and the echoey audio effect of someone zoning out happens. This is to represent Ashley getting sick and delusional, but how did her Bluetooth camera pick up what was going on in her head? Lazy, lazy writing.

    This movie was awful. 1 out of 10 avoid. It’s poison.

  15. Ok…. One thing that I didn’t hear much in the reviews fresh out of the theatre… All of the damn FALSE jump scares, SO MANY.

    The theatre I saw this in had the volume up so high that I was legitimately getting a headache from the terrible false jump scares.

    I will say that some of the acting was better than given credit for, and that the movie has a lot of interesting points (which never actually play out)…..

    Rent if you like to jump a lot, even if it is just a false jump scare.

  16. Also, the review of they’re watching…. Loved it, watched it, and I loved the movie.

    I agree 8/10
    Stream it.
    I will own it.

    This is a great witch movie, wish they had a little more of a budget to make some of them mayhem seem more realistic

  17. What an episode, fellas! Missed me some Doc Shock, but as always, HMP knocks it out of the park.

    First off… can I admit something? I’ve NEVER seen The Blair Witch Project (1999)! Back when it came out, a friend of mine told me every last detail about the movie, and I just never got around to it! That said, after listening to JOTD’s words about it, and after hearing Dark Discussion’s episode about it… I will probably not make it a priority to see Blair Witch (2016).

    Thanks to Wolfman, I did go right out and watch Scherzo Diabolico (2016), and I really enjoyed it, although I found the last act of the movie to be a bit much on the part of the “protagonist.” My disbelief found itself not too adequately suspended. Still… good flick! Enjoyed it!

    I saw They’re Watching (2016) a couple months ago. It was a good ride. I’m anxious to see Downhill (2016). You guys really intrigued me on this one!

    As for Don’t Breathe (2016)… I doubt it will make my top 10, but I had fun with it. Alvarez knows how to direct a film! Still, I dunno if I found myself connected to any particular “sympathetic” character in the film. Too many shades of gray, perhaps. Cool flick, though.

    Last thing I want to say is THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your kind words about my podcast, Horror Corridor. I only have 3 episodes out right now, and all 3 mention HMP quite a bit. Jay gets name-dropped a little too much, maybe. Ha ha. But in episode 002, I talk about Jay and Wolfman quite a bit. All three get a shout-out in the beginning of episode 003, but yeah… I’m HONORED like I can’t believe that Doc Shock and JOTD dig what I’m doing. I’ve got messages from a few HMP listeners, too. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    And Jay… I DO take your Lore comparison as a complement. Wish I had his downloads! Ha ha. Much love to all y’all. Can’t wait to listen to episode 099!

  18. Blair Witch review was very entertaining, glad some of y’all got to meet up and have a good time. I wanted so so SO bad to listen to the review of Don’t Breathe, but I took yalls advice and decided to wait. I’m so excited to see this movie I don’t wanna do anything to ruin it

  19. New listener here, just wanna start by saying that I LOVE this podcast. You’ve found a fan in me.

    This episode made me want to call in sick from work just because right now I want to watch the original Blair Witch, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (I’ve slept through most of it… of what I saw I tend to agree with Wolfman on his points, but I want to rematch it to have a clear opinion of it) and most of all; The Triangle. You guys totally sold me on that movie, and I need to put my hands on it.
    I remember watching the original Blair Witch at a friends place during a late night party (putting on a horror movie was our way to empty the house since I was always the only horror fan amongst my peers) and it just got into my head bis time. I down right hated Blair Witch 2… but I think by principle I need to go and see this new one.

    Hope I can make it out one day to one of the meet ups, Montreal is one hell of a long way from you, but still planning on tripping to you guys eventually.


    • Cath! Thanks for listening. I was just in Montreal to work at Just For Laughs and try to catch some movies at Fantasia! Too bad you didn’t start listening a little earlier.

      Love hearing from new listeners. I hope you go back and listen to some of our themed episodes. There are links on the sidebar of the main page here at horrormoviepodcast.com … those are my favorites.

      Thanks again for listening and commenting and look forward to hearing from you in the future. Love the name “Cathfish.”

      • Thanks for the kind welcoming words! We actually might have worked together or partied at the Hyatt during JFL as I was working it too! I’m an event coordinator for major events/Festivals here 😉

        And I’ve already started exploring the older and themed episodes… I’m a huge slasher fan so all the Freddy/Jason/Michael/Ghostface go straight to my heart, and I saw there’s quite a couple of them on there.

        Can’t wait to hear more from you guys.

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