Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 110: Rings (2017) and Riverdale (2017) and Sundance Film Festival Horror Preview 2017

HMP Sundance 2017 Riverdale Rings

In Episode 110 of Horror Movie Podcast, hear our Sundance Film Festival Horror Preview for 2017, courtesy of our HMP Sundance Horror Correspondent, Kagan Breitenbach! During his coverage, Kagan brings you previews of four Sundance Horror offerings: Snatchers and XX and Raw and Killing Ground. Kagan also discusses a few “Horror Adjacent” (but non-Horror) films, such as 78/52 and Thoroughbred and Colossal and I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.

Also in HMP Ep. 110, Jay of the Dead brings you a 2017 Feature Review of Rings and awakens his Beastly Freaks segment to bring you a review of The Fiancé, while Wolfman Josh shows up for work with his horror segment, Screaming Online, in which he covers I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House and Mercy. The Wolfman also has a potential Horror TV show to discuss, in the new hit series Riverdale, as well as a couple of terrible micro reviews. Lastly, we’ve got a great edition of Campfire Tales from Listener Victor in Seattle. 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!


I. Introduction
— Listener reaction to Jay’s comparison of Green Room and No Escape
— Listener reaction to Wolfman’s defense of The Bye Bye Man

[ 0:18:14 ] II. SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2017 HORROR COVERAGE by HMP Sundance Correspondent Kagan Breitenbach

Snatchers (Horror Comedy / TV series)
Kagan = 8

XX (Horror Anthology) – releases Feb. 17, 2017
Kagan = 7

“New study reveals more female directors were behind the camera in 1998 than in 2016” http://bit.ly/2ik1Mt4

“Female Filmmakers Want to Direct Blockbusters; Here’s Why They Don’t – Girl Talk”

Raw ( Drama / Horror ) – releases March 10, 2017
Kagan = 9.5

Killing Ground (Australian Survival Horror)
Kagan = 8

Horror Adjacent (But Not Horror)
78/52 (documentary)
Kagan = 8.5

Kagan = 9

Berlin Syndrome
Walking Out

Catch up with Kagan here.

[ 1:24:02 ] III. Possible new Horror TV series: Riverdale (T— 2017)

Riverdale Afterlife Archie Chilling SabrinaRiverdale Sign

[ 1:38:42 ] IV. Jay of the Dead’s BEASTLY FREAKS: The Fiancé (2016)
Jay of the Dead = 4 ( Avoid )

[ 1:58:56 ] V. Wolfman Josh’s SCREAMING ONLINE:

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)
Josh = 8 ( Stream it! )

Mercy (2016)
Josh = 8 ( Stream it! )

[ 2:12:46 ] VI. Feature Review: RINGS (2017)
Jay of the Dead = 4 ( Avoid )

HMP Rings Banner

[ 2:23:08 ] VII. HMP Listener Feedback
— Victor from Seattle, WA: Campfire Tale
— E-mail from “James”
— Twitter comment from Tom
— E-mail from Bill, just East of Toronto
— E-mail from Gabby

[ 2:55:05 ] VIII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
Wolfman micro review: I Was a Teenage Wereskunk = ( Avoid )
Wolfman micro review: Boo! A Madea Halloween = ( Avoid )

JOIN US NEXT WEEK ON HMP: Episode 111, a must-listen for anyone who believes Horror is important, should be respected, recognized and honored! Don’t miss it!

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


Wolfman Josh recommends these two articles from IndieWire writer Kate Erbland about women in the film industry:

“New study reveals more female directors were behind the camera in 1998 than in 2016” 

“Female Filmmakers Want to Direct Blockbusters; Here’s Why They Don’t – Girl Talk”

Check out Fred Ingram, the dude who wrote the HMP theme song!

And check out Kagan Breitenbach, the dude who enhanced the HMP theme song with some badass orchestration!

And check out this hilarious, trainwreck episode of Movie Podcast Weekly, our sister show, also hosted by Jay.

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 the original Horror Movie Podcast theme and composer Kagan Breitenbach for the use of his arrangement of Fred’s song for our updated theme.

If you like Horror Movie Podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review in iTunes. It really helps our visibility. You can also subscribe on GooglePlay or Stitcher. If you want to support the show even more, you can do so by becoming a patron of Movie Podcast Network and subscribing to our “Special Features” episodes by paying a small fee to get at least one bonus release each month through our official Movie Podcast Network Patreon page!

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

201 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 110: Rings (2017) and Riverdale (2017) and Sundance Film Festival Horror Preview 2017

  1. In case you missed them in the show notes, here are those two articles from IndieWire writer Kate Erbland about women in the film industry that I recommended during Kagan’s review of XX:

    “New study reveals more female directors were behind the camera in 1998 than in 2016” http://bit.ly/2ik1Mt4

    “Female Filmmakers Want to Direct Blockbusters; Here’s Why They Don’t – Girl Talk”

      • I also really enjoyed the first two episodes. I noticed the play on Twin Peaks right away and wondered if they would take that further. It seems like a witty show that has some potential. I really enjoyed the characters. They were overdone in the perfect way making them parodies of themselves. I am curious to see where this show goes.

    • Just finished the first episode of Riverdale, about to binge the other two. Thankfully UK netflix has picked it up and are releasing it weekly. I was rather apprehensive going in as I have no connection to Archie comic. Sure most of the nods and references are completely lost. I guess the jury is still out on this one, but I’m intrigued to see where it goes.

    • Well Josh, you convinced me. My wife started watching it and I saw a few minutes and just thought it looked too “pretty little liars”-ish to me so I dismissed it as a show my wife could watch while the hockey game was on. I guess I’ll have to give it a chance.

      Not sure if anyone mentioned this yet as I’m just jumping on to reply quickly while listening at work, but Netflix Canada actually has it streaming weekly for free.

  2. Hey all.
    Before I download and listen to the episode, I just wanted to report that your podcast inspired me to try out some new material on my students. This week I introduced my newly-created “Psychology of Horror” lecture. We covered Noel Carroll’s “category jamming” cognitive theory of the horror emotion, a variety of different studies and theories attempting to explain the attraction of horror (including my argument that Dead Alive is the single most Freudian horror film ever), and personality research on horror fans. It went over well; I could tell that some of my students were horror fans, and had seen some of the same movies that I had.

    And in your honour, I started the lecture by saying “Welcome to Introduction to Psychology, where we’re dead serious about horror movies.”

    • Professor Headbutt!

      That’s incredible! Dr. Walking Dead would be very proud… That’s exactly the kind of stuff he does for his classes. ha ha. And I totally agree with you about “Dead Alive,” except “Psycho” is a contender, too. (Why didn’t I ever get professors like you guys?) And the fact that you’re using the tagline is the icing on the cake! We’re flattered.


  3. Anton Yelchin doing Peter Lorre roles sounds like the most amazing thing ever. We needed a new Peter Lorre.

    Also, Josh, definitely wasn’t mad at you about anything. Sorry if it came across that way. Nothing but love for all of you and this community. Love all of the discussions.

  4. Josh, if you haven’t seen it, there is a pretty interesting crime thriller from the 90’s starring Luke Perry and Ashley Judd called ‘Normal Life.’ It’s actually directed by John McNaughton who did ‘Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer’ and ‘Wild Things’ among other things.

        • Well, I love Luke Perry in Buffy the Vampier Slayer and I remember thinking he was cool when I was in elementary school or junior high, but I don’t really have a lot to draw on. I think you’ve piqued my curiosity enough on this one to check it out.

  5. Haven’t listened yet…saving it for this weekend when I get in the studio to do some new art. Just wanted to bring this up while it was fresh on my mind.
    Did anyone else see that Stakeland 2 dropped? Big fan of the original and had no clue that a second one was even in the works. Watched the trailer and it looks solid….anyone seen it yet?

    • Mr. Barlow,

      They actually aired Stakeland 2 on SYFY network around Halloween and I watched it and was not a fan. However, my understanding is that the cut we are getting this year differs, but not sure how much.

      The movie that aired very much felt like a made for SYFY movie.

    • Mr. Barlow! Interested to see what you’re cooking up!

      Stakeland 2 (The Stakelander) was a HUGE oversight on our 2017 preview and one we had been talking about through 2016. I have not seen it. Dying to. Jonathan is scaring me a bit, here. Jim Mickle is not back to direct (though I think he produced it), but Nick Damici did write it and stars once again. Interested in checking out relative newcomers Robert Olsen and Dan Berk’s other film, Body, as well. I had seen that poster around.

      • Wolfman,

        Hopefully get done with the new piece this weekend. It’s not my usual cult horror stuff and revolves around one of my own monster creations. Very Halloween themed (holiday not the movie). It’ll be a good one to give away for the next 31 days of Halloween. I’l share it with the community as soon as it’s done.

        Did Jay get you your posters and cards?

        • No he did NOT! But I haven’t seen him. We need to catch a movie together. Bonnie sent some art for me too. The downside of living in the same town as someone you rarely see is that you figure you’ll get around to getting it to them, while those who are far away get a prompt shipment. Haha. It’s all good. I look forward to it.

  6. Yet again in agreement with Wolfman. I find it really difficult rating a film 1 star or lower…especially on a 10 scale! I’m currently subjecting myself to the Leprechaun franchise, and boy are some of those really something. However, on Letterboxd I threw the third a star and half. As I write this, ironically, you guys are now discussing some things being unrateable or difficult to rate. This brought a smile to my face thinking of some of the F13th or nightmare sequels, which are technically terrible films but have given me so much enjoyment!

    On the subject of American remakes; I’m keeping an open mind. I’ve learned my lesson after being so protective of Ringu, Dawn of the Dead, and let the right one in. Another which springs to mind is Infernal Affairs. I absolutely loved this series and was dead against a remake… and was I wrong! The Departed was fantastic. Like you guys say if it gets more eyes on the original then I’m all for it.

      • Wolfman,

        I’m listening to the episode right now. I’m at your review of I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives In the House, so… I’m not sure if you talk about remakes at some point, but with The Wailing… I’m wondering how they’ll tackle the character of the Japanese man in an American interpretation of this film. The Japanese and Koreans have a wartime history that lends to the story not just racial tension but nationalistic pressures as well. I don’t know that there is a clear-drawn parallel that we could see unfold in a modern-American remake.

        I’ll still stay neutral about this, I suppose, even though I LOVED The Wailing, but I will say this: It’s GOT to be better than the Martyrs remake! Right?

        • Perhaps I’m biased , but we have some lovely(derelict) locations and interesting history in Scotland. Perhaps Merica could pass the buck for this one :p

        • Haha. Colin. Just make your own original Scottish film without remaking The Wailing. Plenty of great Scottish filmmakers right now.

          Dustin, we did talk about remaking The Wailing and Train to Busan right at the end, so I won’t repeat myself too much here. Basically, I think finding some sort of American analogue is possible and I hope they find a good one since we are most-likely getting remakes, regardless. I also just remembered that the Blair Witch team is remaking I Saw the Devil, so we have a lot of unnecessary Korean Horror remakes coming or way. I wish them the best if we’re stuck with them.

          • I would seriously love to see some horror movies set in Scotland. So many creepy, isolated old castles and wild landscapes not to mention extensive and sometimes gruesome folklore.

  7. I’m pretty much in agreement with Jay on ‘Rings.’ I too thought the scene involving the flat screen TV was a lot of fun and a direction I wish the film had more gone in. In fact, the opening bit in the airplane felt like it was leading up to something kind of fun and then the scene just stops right as it feels like it’s beginning to get good. There were also some interesting ideas with the institute introduced toward the beginning but the film forgets about it almost as soon as it is shown.

    I did actually like the look of the film; although I felt like once we got to the small town it was ripping off the look of the 2002 film as best it could. It’s a huge mess but I guess at least it’s a good looking mess.

    It’s a 3 out of 10 and an avoid.

    I also watched ‘Don’t Knock Twice’ this past weekend. Katee Sackhoff and Lucy Boynton (who seems to be competing with Ana Taylor Joy for how many 2016/2017 movies she can pop up in) are both very good in their roles and I enjoyed the myth building of the film’s main baddie. However, in the end it’s same ole/same ole witch esque shenanigans. A lot of great atmosphere, but the film just doesn’t go anywhere interesting. Won’t end up on my worst of 2017 list mainly because I know I will have forgotten about it by then; very average – 5 out of 10 and avoid.

  8. You guys make me laugh. Love this episode. If Andy were to come onto HMP you would probably get a lot more people feeling butt hurt in the comments.

    Get Out- I saw the preview when I saw Rings this weekend and it really had me counting down until this is released. You can definitely see the Insidious roots in this movie. The dreamlike sequences are super creepy. The anticipation I am feeling for this movie is the highest out of all the 2017 releases.

    Has anyone out there seen The Santa Clarita Diet? I watched one episode and wow, super gory. It’s on the same level as Ash vs Evil Dead gore wise. I was disgusted in a good way. It is definitely a horror comedy series, leaning more to the comedy side. I won’t follow it through the series but it might be a watch for some of the HMP listeners. When Kagen was talking about Snatchers I thought of this series.

    Jay the feminist. Love it! Jay, you are very articulate, and your ideas make so much sense and are appreciated. I am excited for XX but not because of the women director, but for the content.

    I can’t wait to see Raw. I myself am a vegan and think this movie will have some sort of commentary on eating a carnivorous diet. Well, I hope so anyhow. Because it is a French film I am sure there will be a bunch of different social commentaries imbedded in the film. Kagan calling it artsy fartsy makes me want to see it even more.

    Kagan- Is this anything like Always Shine? or Queen of Earth? I love both of those movies and this seems like it might be similar. Please say yes.

    Wolfman-Thanks for the info on Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. I am interested to look into more of his work. I I watched the first two episodes today (because of your recommendation) and I am hooked. I noticed the nod to Twin Peaks and it actually continues on subtle levels throughout both episodes. I think the characters are perfect. I think they are well casted and they are overdone in a way that works and makes them parodies of themselves. The Y.A. part of this just seems less YA and more like that wholesome bubblegum America aspect of the show. And Archie seems too boring.
    *You nailed this review by the by which made me watch it right after listening to the review. (The Mean Creek and Brick referenced were spot on.) Bravo, and thank you.

    Your review was hilarious and I have no desire to see this. Thank you for the commentary though!

    Wolfman- You suggested that I watch this last episode but I didn’t watch it yet so I skipped your review. I will make sure I listen after I watch. It’s on my que for my next binge. And you know that I loved The Blackcoat’s Daughter so I am amped up for this. Mood and tone mean a lot to me.

    Great episode guys. You keep prompting me to add more and more movies to my watchlist. Because of you all I am slowly falling into a state a antisocial hermit with my eyes glued to the boob tube. Thanks?

      • Varmint,

        My wife and I binged the entire season and loved it! Definitely a dark comedy and brightly shot, but Jay should be on board since it’s horror in the daylight :)
        Gory yes, scary no, but still a very fun ride. I would compare it to Burying the Ex with Anton Yelchin.

        • Varmint–I watched the entire season of Santa Clarita Diet the day it was released, and I liked it a lot. BUT, I am a HUGE Timothy Olyphant fan so that was probably why I watched it at all. I might have have gotten around to it, but I wouldn’t have binged it in one day. Do you watch izombie?
          I’m excited to watch Riverdale. It sounds like a series I would have fun with.

          • I haven’t checked out iZombie. I am interested though. I am not a big horror comedy fan. I like satire horror though if that make sense. I can do the Evil Dead but anything more comedic than that turns me off. I appreciated the dramatization of the vomiting and blood in Santa Clarita diet but the comedy aspect turned me off. If I were to mix my horror with anything it would be drama. Is iZombie comedic?

          • I’m with you, I don’t love horror comedy either. I would say that iZombie does have some funny moments, but it’s more of a witty crime drama. It’s not even that horror-y, except that there are zombies and people do eat brains :) It’s more of a fun crime procedural. It’s by the creator of Veronica Mars (I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of that show) but it has the same ‘feel’. You should check it out, the characters are great and the lead actress is so charming! I really like it (I bought the first two seasons).

          • I will check out iZombie simply because of the Veronika Mars reference. Loved that show. And actually Riverdale reminds me of it as well because of the sleuthing aspect. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • O.M.G. February 24th cannot get here fast enough. I am dying to see GET OUT.

        And as a side note, I don’t even know if we talked about this on the preview show, but this trailer for IT COMES AT NIGHT dropped a few days ago and the film looks incredible!

        I watched the first two episodes of SANTA CLARITA DIET. I’ll review it on the show eventually, but I do want to say that while extremely hesitant for most of the first episode (I thought Drew Barrymore was atrocious), it is starting to grow on me. It should be said that it was directed (at least the pilot) by Reuben Fleischer, the director of ZOMBIELAND. That gives it a little more context for me.

        Wait, does that mean that I get to be articulate and my ideas make sense or was that for Jay? Haha. Absolutely a feminist.

        Glad you’re enjoying RIVERDALE (it was a scary one to recommend to a horror audience) and I hope you like PRETTY THING (another scary one to recommend).

        • Is It Comes at Night a werewolf movie? That is SUCH a teaser trailer. I have no idea what’s going on but I like what I see.

          And you are very articulate with your ideas and back up your points well. I pretty much watch every movie you recommend on the show.

          I am watching I am the Pretty One right now. So far so good.

          • I CAN NOT wait for It Comes at Night! It’s by the same director as Krisha (which isn’t a horror movie, but it is so tense). It’s been on my Watchlist for awhile–it looks so good!

          • Well, did you like it?!

            “I pretty much watch every movie you recommend on the show.”

            That’s about my favorite comment I’ve ever read. It does scare me a bit, though. I need to be more careful about my recommendations if someone is taking them seriously.

    • The Santa Clarita Diet was even more enjoyable than I was expecting. Somebody told me it was Real Housewives meet zombies but I disagree. Although not scary, the dead pan humor and gore are wonderful.

  9. A couple things to discuss here… First, my own review of Rings and some discussion below…

    RINGS (Redcapjack’s Review)

    The third film in a series, Rings continues to the story begun in The Ring- When a person watches the haunted video tape they will receive a phone call stating that they will die in “seven days”. The caller is Samara, a mysterious young girl who was murdered years ago and is currently haunting the video. SPOILER ALERT: The first film establishes that one can rid themselves of the curse by making a copy and passing it on to another before the seven days are up.

    The third film picks up a little over a decade later when a college professor comes across the tape and starts the curse into motion on a new scale. Rather than seeing the tape as a “curse,” the professor decides to experiment with the idea of life after death and engages in a mass experiment with the student body. One person watches the tape, another person tails behind them, going on in a pyramid scheme that encourages the students to refer to themselves as “The Sevens”. And the tape eventually finds it’s way to the eyes of Holt, whose girlfriend will do anything to save him. And anything inludes watching the tape….

    So here’s what I find interesting: the film continues to push the narrative of the first, but Samara’s presence shouldn’t be the only point in spreading this curse. There should be an endgame and this film finally addresses the possibility of that endpoint when our lead is unable to create a new duplicate. More images have appeared in the video code, images meant for her alone. And those images send her and Holt on another journey of their own…

    “Rings” is not a reinvention of the wheel and makes a few stumbling missteps along the way, but it is largely an enjoyable film. There’s been a pretty big backlash from the horror community and reviews, panning the film on a number of faults. I, however, had a nice time watching the film and enjoyed myself immensely. While it won’t crack my top ten of the year, I can definitely see myself purchasing the blu-ray when it’s released.

    6.5 and a mild rental or matinee show.

    I am listening to Jays review of “Rings” and I am at the part where he is talking about how revealing the monster makes it less terrifying. And just like that, it hit me why people are having a lot of trouble with this film and why the supposed “retcon” is so damaging to the understood mythology of the film. And this kind of goes back to the original film and something that I am starting to think people missed.

    MAJOR SPOILER ALERT (at least for the first Ring)

    Throughout the entirety of the first film we are watching a woman uncover the mystery of Samara’s past; where she comes from, why she’s killing people, how she died. Throughout the film we are led down a rabbit hole with our lead and we uncover an awful lot. And we are led to believe that this poor young girl was murdered by her mother and thrown down a well, where she is calling for help.

    But the end of the film reveals that so much of what we were led to believe was simply NOT TRUE. She was killed because she WAS a monster. She isn’t calling for help, she is luring people to free her so she can kill more and spread her curse more. She is not an innocent child… she is, in fact, a monster.

    Her goal in the first film is the same goal as the second and third film- to spread her curse and to be reborn. She is a monster… all of the ‘mystery” is meaningless. There is no mystery… that’s the real horror. No matter how many layers you pull back, she is still going to be the monster at the end and she is going to come for you at the end of those seven days. She won’t forgive you, she won’t love you, and she won’t be laid to rest… she is never ending hatred and sadism.

    Finally- they never “explain” the monster. Because everything everyone learns about Samara is ultimately without merit. They go out of their way to make her look like a suffering soul when, in fact, she is the monster through and through. That is what makes her effective as a villain- not so much that she is a ghost as much as no one will ever placate her.

    The Cake is a Lie.



    I wanted to get into this at some point in time but wasn’t sure when would be an appropriate span before it was too spoiler-ish. But this is a direct response to a question posed by the hosts and “James the Letter Guy”… is there a reason? Yes. And here is where I’m going to differ in my interpretation of the material. It is NOT the one given by the main character. It’s important to note that the scenes with his analyst were far more important than mere explanation of what DID is and the fact that many experts deny its existence. A small subplot gone all but unnoticed in the film is that his doctor is preparing a demonstration of HER theories regarding DID, in the validity of each personality and the physical changes the body goes through. It’s far more important than some viewers seem to be aware of… namely, the very “exposure” that James mentioned and that the common treatment of integration for those personalities to the core identity.

    This is the “trigger” that creates the perfect soup for a new personality to rise. The additional personalities are there to protect “Kevin”… but “The Beast” rises to protect The Horde. In the end, the villain was neither the Horde nor The Beast… the real threat was exposure and exploitation by the Analyst.

    • On Split, my partner who is a therapist, was really unhappy with the psychiatrist because she seemed to care way more about her research than helping Kevin. The psychiatrist and her hubris was the real villain here.

      • What?! She loved Kevin! And she was trying to solve a mystery. If anything, I thought she was too emotionally attached to him. I must know more about what your S.O. thought of this film, Frank. Maybe we can do a deep dive when the film is released on BluRay, because I need to do a close-viewing.

        • Sometimes the road to evil is paved with the best intentions. And that’s what I saw with the psychiatrist. Honestly, I hated her.. to me, she was an arrogant egotist trying to prove her “theory” at the expense of Kevin. Yes, she loved him.. but she was using him and she didn’t even see it.

    • I’m glad somebody else enjoyed Rings. It wasn’t stellar but it isn’t the throw away movie it’s being made out to be. It wasn’t as strong as The Ring but I thought it kept faithful to the storyline. The flat screen scene is a must see, I agree with Jay on that but there are also other great scenes scattered throughout. i don’t think this is a movie that should be tossed aside, it fits well in the series

      • That people see the film as a “mystery”… when the mystery is the red herring. I think that people rely on what the film is telling them rather than what the film is showing them… sometimes a movie lies in it’s dialogue but tells you the truth through it’s visuals. Sometimes, characters lie… or they misinterpret the truth.

        The Ring always worked for me because it’s a big “F” you to everyone who thought they had it figured out upon initial watching. Samara will NOT be laid to rest… honestly, her parentage has never really mattered… her history had no bearing on what was coming to pass. She was a monster and she was coming to kill her victims. There’s never any point to the story other than to say “There’s no point. You’re going to die.”

        • I saw the original ring as someone getting into a troublesome predicament (dying in 7 days) and trying to find a way out of said predicament rather than a mystery. Sure, their journey to find the solution to not dying was a mystery but not the purpose of the movie. I think The Ring continued a trend for plot twists that we ended up seeing in a lot of subsequent horror movies in the 2000s. (The Others, Cabin in the Woods The Descent, Drag me to Hell) It seems like in horror the way to truly shock the audience now is to give us a straightforward film with no huge plot twists or cliffhanger endings.

          This new Rings seemed to overdo the plot. The reason I enjoyed the first one so much is because there was still so much ambiguity to Samara’s back story. Rings cheapened the entire franchise for me. I give it a 4/10. Slightly entertaining but overall an avoid

        • I see.

          So then why do you think Rings successfully furthers the story? If you’re saying the mystery in The Ring is a red herring and the parentage and history of Samara never really mattered, then isn’t Rings just a big waste of time since that’s all the movie was about – further uncovering the mystery of who Samara is and from where she originated. It even attempts to explain why she is evil.

          I think the reason The Ring works so well for me is for the very thing you mentioned – the film unfolds in this great mystery, only to reveal that none of it matters. Samara is evil. That videotape is cursed. End of story. You can pass on the curse, but it will never be stopped. The vagueness and unstoppable nature of Samara and the curse is what makes it so effective and scary. Pulling the curtain on that and revealing more of Samara’s origin doesn’t further the mythology, it does it a disservice.

          The title of the film – Rings – was so promising in what it could have been. Nowadays, we all walk around with these little streaming devices in our hands. Imagine if the cursed video was spreading virally throughout the world. It’s sort of a paradigm about how our 24/7 plugged-in life often does us more damage than good. The movie sort of hints to that at the very end of the film, but that’s all we get. To me, that’s a huge missed opportunity for what the movie could have been and would have been an effective way to further the story.

          But I’m not mad at the movie because of what it could have been. It’s frustrating, for sure, but that would be an unfair criticism. I’m mad at the movie because what it ended up doing is pulling back the curtain on what made the original mythology in The Ring so effective – the unexplained and unwavering evil of Samara and the cursed video. I didn’t want or need the backstory Rings provides, but even more than that, it cheapens the mythology laid out in the original film.

          • But the film basiclly does the same thing… it reveals that it didn’t matter. Her back story still doesn’t matter… who her parents are never mattered.

            Of course, the unfortunate thing is that Ring 2 kind of opened the pandora’s box on Samara’s parentage. This movie just continued it…

            Now could the film have been better? Absolutely… personally, I think they majorly dropped the ball on not having Samara crawl out of someone’s mouth a’la “Company of Wolves” style in a certain scene. But in a world with a 10 point rating scale, I don’t think its really that bad and is ultimately an enjoyable popcorn muncher at the end of the night.

  10. Ok I just saw this….David Gordon Green and Danny Mcbride are doing the new Halloween…anyone else a little uncomfortable with this. Carpenter says Mcbride blew him away, but I’m having mixed feelings. Love Danny Mcbride in the roles he plays, but that is when I want to watch a comedy. I know he is branching out from his typical roles and has a spot in the new Alien Covenant. Fingers crossed he doesn’t jack this up!

    • I have faith in these guys. I think they’re going to take advantage of being free from the comedic landscape and really take the opportunity to go all out with the horror. I hope they don’t take it for granted, and I don’t think they will. We’re definitely going to get something interesting, one way or the other.

      Then again, I liked Seth Rogen’s The Green Lantern, so what do I know?

    • McBride is writing. I’d be surprised if he is in the movie. Word is that McBride is a life-long horror fan. And most of us are excited about GET OUT from Jordan Peele, so the fact that Danny mostly does comedy shouldn’t be too alarming.

      As for David Gordon Green, he has done some insanely dark movies. Nothing really horror, but his films JOE and SNOW ANGELS are gut-wrenching and pitch black. S.A messed me up! His films GEORGE WASHINGTON and UNDERTOW less so, but still on the dark-ish side. I remember being really confused when he did PINEAPPLE EXPRESS. That seemed way outside his wheelhouse from what we knew of him back then. His comedies have been more successful, but I think his darker dramas are more his style and defintely his passion projects. I was more exited about his take on SUSPIRIA, seemed to speak more to his skill set, but I’m all in on a HALLOWEEN film from these guys if Jason Blum and John Carpenter are.

      • I guess the new Halloween film… at this point, anyway… is picking up after the events of Halloween 2, so it’s intended to be a sequel as opposed to a reboot. I wonder if the goal is to revise the Halloween story-arcs that come after part 2? My hope is that they don’t go overboard with all the Myers/Strode family dynamics. We got that in every film but the original and number 3, and I’m fine with that not being the focal point of the franchise as it continues.

        I was sad months back to hear that Flanagan didn’t want to be involved in this project. In any case, I’m sure it’ll be a decent film. Can’t be worse than Resurrection!

        • There is a lot of unaccounted for time between Halloween 2 and Halloween 4, so I’d be curious to see anything with Laurie or Michael during that era, even Michael doing some side-killing, as it sounds like you’re suggesting. Maybe approach like Rogue One … A Halloween Story. I would not be as interested in anything that rewrote the mythology of 4 and 5 or especially anything that messed with H2O.

          What’s your source on that bit of news, Mr. Watson?

          I’m not sure I’d be any more or less excited about Flangan doing this film than David Gordon Green, tbh. That would be a tad more comforting, this is a lot more interesting.

      • Years ago, when DGG was still in talks to direct the Suspiria remake, there was a discussion on the AVClub where many joked/feared that Danny McBride would get cast in a prominent role. One particular poster joked that the dialogue would be composed of exchanges like:

        “So you wanna like, f—in know about Helena Markos and witches and s–t? That’s not really the area of my uh, forte, I’m a f—n psychiatrist, but there’s this old motherf—r over here who can help ya.”

        It made me laugh then and still does now. I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about this development but I’m up for Blum and co. giving it a try. McBride’s involvement in Alien: Covenant and rumored horror fandom give me hope. Also, there was a fairly funny scene in 30 Minutes or Less when his character watched Friday the 13th III – maybe he was at least partially responsible for that?

  11. Hello!
    I’m not even sure if I’m commenting correctly! :0 I’ve been listening to this podcast and HNW (?) A LOT. I have no horror community in my city so pod casts are my life! (Much as horror is mostly my life)
    I’m really happy with this pod-cast hitting on XX and women in the field. I’ve been wanting to start a horror pod cast because the voices in them are very male dominated. Though I am a trans person, and have a woman wanting to co-host I think it’s important for each group to voice reactions to films because we are different! I need to post a review of The Boy (that Jay will probably like haha)
    IT’S NOT just because we aren’t men that we will create, but because we are humans with different experiences.
    Thanks for all you do.
    Also Bye Bye Man was hilarious and SUBJECTIVELY awful
    I am a butthead.

    • You butthead. Haha.

      I agree that it’s important to hear from everyone. I wish our podcast had more diversity, but you also have to podcast with people you have a good report with first, I think. I’m brown, at least! Does that count for anything? Haha.

      Getting a diversity of listeners involved helps, I hope. I feel like we’ve been very gay friendly. We have a very strong female listenership, compared to other horror communities I’ve seen. I’m glad to hear that we have trans listeners as well. We want to hear from all of you so that we can share your perspectives on the show.

      Thanks for commenting, grayspider. I hope you feel welcome and I’m glad that you have a horror community to come home to.

      • I used to listen to Faculty of Horror and their ultra feminist analysis of horror got to be annoying. It became their schtick rather than their raw reaction to films. I can’t listen to that podcast anymore. I did love when Allyson (sorry if I spelled that wrong) was on the show.

        Sometimes you need to sacrifice multiple diverse points of view for a group that just will mesh well. Such is the case with HMP.

        I think that your gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity can influence the way to see a film. I never really thought about how all of these things influence the way I see a movie but now I can see it. For instance, when I watched I Am Not a Serial Killer I was drawn into that movie because it was a bunch of white suburban kids with one of them being kind of a dark brooding skater outcast. (Much like the crew I hung out with in High School.) So, I was probably much more drawn into that movie than others. For Get Out, I have never faced discrimination or being in a room where I was the minority. Although I cannot wait to see it, perhaps someone who has been in the same social interaction as the lead male actor will have a more visceral reaction.

      • Even if the HMP hosts aren’t the most diverse group in the world from a gender/sexuality/cultural perspective I think it’s important to note that those aspects don’t always dictate diversity of personality which is something you guys have in spades.

    • Welcome, Grayspider. You’re definitely among friends here and like Josh says, it’s great that this podcast has a diverse listenership because it just adds more to the spectrum of perspectives which is important, especially with a genre so fundamentally linked to psychology and personal fears and it just makes the world a more interesting place in general.

  12. Wolfman,
    I did endure the two films that you micro reviewed. Madea Boo! and Teenage WereSkunk.
    Boo! was definitely an avoid. It’s not that I didn’t understand the humor, it just wasn’t funny to me. More annoying than anything.
    Clearly a homage to the 50’s and the era films, but I feel they missed the mark. Your comparison with Psycho Beach Party is actually spot on. But, that film succeeded with keeping the same tone and atmosphere throughout. WereSkunk needed a few rewrites so that it would have been more seamless. Your mini review was exactly the way I felt. It’s not as deep as Troma and not as sharp as John Waters, but it would’ve benefited from each of them. If you plan to “go there” than go. Holding back on content, jokes or whatever can always be seen.
    The poster rocked, but the film fizzled out.

    • Thanks for backing me up, GrayMan. I agree with all of your points. I was debating whether to even discuss those films on the show. I’m glad I’m not the only idiot that watched them.

  13. Hey Guys!

    Another great Podcast! I’d like to comment on the Women Director Topic. I like it when Women get a chance to Direct. Take one of my favorite Horror Movies American Psycho, directed by Mary Harron. I felt such an emotional attachment to Patrick Bateman’s character. His struggle with what was reality and delusion made me feel for him and also wanted to see him kill more. I don’t get that same feeling when I see someone just kill for no reason. There has to be emotional attachment with the character. Women tend to be more emotional than men, but there are always exceptions. Women bring more emotion in that tends to stick more. Look at Pet Semetary, The Babadook and Ravenous, all solid Horror Movies Directed by women and have high emotional levels with the characters. So I say, give more women Horror Movies!

    I also saw Bite the other day. I liked the movie, not Top 10 material, but an honorable mention for sure. The reason it wouldn’t of made my Top 10 was the acting. All the actors just seemed to be reading from a script and not really getting into the material that was presented in front of them. They all could of done way more than what they did. On with the good though, even though this type of movie has been done before, person gets bit and start to turn into what bit them, I did like the execution. I’ve been to Costa Rica before, like these ladies did, and also got bit by a few share of bugs. You never really know what you are getting into when going to a foreign country. There are some pretty gross parts in this movie. One is the dream the main character has of a surprise party. Yuck! If you like movies like The Fly, and Body Horror type movies, give it a watch. I’d give it a 7 out of 10 and say it’s a rental, not high priority, but worth a watch.

    • Women directors also add more depth and a variety of perspective horror can really utilize. The fears of one gender aren’t always the same as the other, it’s important to have that balance of both sides. I will also add that just having a woman director just to say it was filmed by a woman is not the best route, pick the best candidate but take experience and perspective into account. Horror could use a shake up of themes

    • I am torn on this point about women directors…and bringing in more emotions than male directors. Being a feminist I think that women should be judged on their end product rather than the struggle that got them to wear they are. And I don’t think women directors should get kudos for directing horror or action movies because it’s in man’s wheelhouse or it’s a man’s role to be the director. Rather it’s the role of someone with the right creative ability.

      • It’s kind of a difficult conversation because when marketing starts making it more about the gender of the artists than the art itself it kind of creates a paradox where the progressive element is diminished because the quality of the art itself is no longer the focus.

        But like I said in my comment below, it seems like historically women who make great art aren’t commensurately rewarded with the same further opportunities that many male artists receive. Even when a woman is the one best suited to the job she’s way less likely to get it than a man. So I think it is important to set positive examples for young women who might otherwise feel locked out of something like the horror film industry and to show the decision makers that women can do this stuff as good as, if not better than guys.

        Ultimately I guess it’s about achieving a good balance between creating more exposure and opportunities for female artists without eclipsing the art itself.

  14. Once again, another solid episode.

    I was also dismayed to hear that The Wailing will be getting an American remake, as I agree with the Wolfman that the lore surrounding the particular South Korean town is what gives this film its fresh identity.

    I will ask again if anyone has come across helpful resources related to this film that would perhaps reveal a little more about South Korean mythology and the local lore portrayed in the film. I was completely entranced, and the main reason was the way in which these spirits are portrayed. These were the ghosts I was looking for.

    Help a brother out, Reddit has failed me!! (Plus, the insight on the HMP message board is much more fun!)

    • Hey, King Ghidorah! We all posted some resources for THE WAILING in the comments on previous episode. Here are the two that I found most helpful. Some of the people who try to explain the film are completely convinced that they have it all figured out. Maybe that’s just YouTube Vlogger posturing … I don’t know … but I think THE WAILING can be interpreted at least a few different ways.

      This first video was brought to us by Dino and is simple and succinct. I don’t quite buy the interpretation, though. Worth a quick viewing, however. MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW!


      This second video offers much more interesting insight, in my opinion, but is a bit of a slog to sit through. Still, highly recommended if you are obsessed with this film, like me. I want to have this Australian guy on HMP for our Korean Horror episode. MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW.

      • THANK YOU!

        I figured there was probably a lot of discussion about this film in past episodes, and I appreciate the re-sending of these links.

        I’ll keep everyone posted in the unlikely event that I uncover all the mysteries represented by an entire culture in this film.

        I’ll just go fishing. I wonder what I will catch…

    • Yeah, I couldn’t be more against a remake of The Wailing. Regarding remakes I feel like there’s been somewhat of a backlash against the backlash in recent years. Now everyone says give them a chance and don’t be so close minded. I always feel like a big stubborn jerk for writing off western bastardisations of foreign movies but in truth I don’t feel like the ones we’ve had have done much to earn any open mindedness. With a very small handful of prominent exceptions they usually end up being neutered and superfluous. Not to mention that the whole concept panders to ethnocentrism and willing ignorance of other cultures.

      But maybe I’m just a grumpy old git.

  15. Just gave this episode a listen and had a couple of thoughts:

    Excited about the movie Thoroughbred. Love Anya Taylor Joy and Anton Yelchin, super excited to see this movie based on its description on IMDB. I’m really glad to hear it was a good movie and can’t wait to see it.

    Also have lots of thoughts about Riverdale. I’ve been following Riverdale since it came out. Similar thoughts, not super excited about what I’ve seen so far. I grew up on Archie comics and watched the animated Archie mysteries series when it came out. Was super looking forward to these characters come to life, and I’m not quite sold on the picture I’m getting yet. I disagree a little with Josh’s comment and actually love the guy who plays Archie. I think he’s got a quirky, oblivious, too innocent vibe to him that feels authentic. But he’s pretty much the only one that I am completely sold on. Cheryl seems fairly authentic in character, but I feel like her look is nothing like she is in the comics. A little too teen queen for my taste. Betty seems authentic in her image, and has a shy reservedness that is endearing and true to character. But I also think she loses a bit of the strength and the integrity that I love in her comic book character and comes off a bit weak. Veronica seems just way too off for me- i think her image is just pretty wrong, not that I don’t love the character they’ve created in the show. If she wasn’t based on a real character, I would love her even more in this show. Jughead just feels incredibly wrong. For one its Cole Sprouse from the Suite Life, who looks nothing like his comic book counterpart. Jughead just has a cool realness and confidence in himself that I miss from the show’s portrayal. Like that Reggie is Asian because I think that’s a nice change that I can be on board with. Chuck is one of the most beloved characters in the series and is a total jerk in the show, so don’t love that. HATE that Mrs. Grundy is this young cougar because it feels so forced “young adult.” Also HATE that Polly is in a group home, because we all know her as this strong role model for Betty in the comics with an amazing life, and it feels just unnecessarily mean to the character. I’m not sure I like that they are giving us more of the adult’s backgrounds and issues. I like the atmosphere of the show- the dark mistiness that surrounds all of the scenes really makes me interested in what’s going on. I think its interesting that they made Josie and the Pussycats central characters in the show, and that they’re all black. I’m very on board for this because it doesn’t feel forced. There are definitely social justice elements that feel forced in the show, especially in the third episode. And I’m all for trying to be an advocate for issues that are present in our world right now, but in ways that are less “safe” like the show does. It just feels like they want to try to dip their toes in the pool of advocacy but haven’t committed yet because of their ratings. Currently I get more of a Pretty Little Liars vibe more than a Twin Peaks vibe (but definitely recognize the cinematography nods) but looking forward to seeing where the series go. (BTW you can actually watch the show for free the day after it airs on the CW website with a couple of ads.)

    Also watched Rings during opening weekend. Not very happy with the movie, got to say. The Ring plays a very special place in my heart, because it was the first horror movie I ever saw. I remember putting blankets up on all the TV’s in my house because I was 100% sure Samara was coming for me. I was excited to see that they were going to do a reboot of the series, mostly because I was hoping it would be redeemed from the second movie which I kind of hated. I just felt like Ring 2 was absolutely unnecessary, and while a decent movie, could have been done without. But this new movie is kind of trash. I feel like when movies are rebooted, especially these days, producers get this weird determination to show how much the industry has grown since the first movie and decorate it in unnecessary CGI. I feel like The Ring was 100% scarier than this movie because the disturbing elements and storyline didn’t feel so forced. We knew there was a curse and were willing to follow Naomi Watt’s character along as she was discovering all of these weird and strange things. And we were willing to believe her motivations because she was a mother. But this movie? I could care less if anyone died in this one. The whole concept of creating a network of cursed people to study the progression, kind of like a science experiment, was really interesting. But I think they took it in the wrong direction. I didn’t want or need more information on Samara’s backstory. I felt like we had enough of that in the first two movies. Also, tell me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we already introduced to Samara’s birth mother in the second movie? It was just such a bad directorial move. I feel like the movie wanted to do what Final Destination 5 did and bring the story back around. But it really didn’t have the chops to accomplish that. Don’t get me started on the fact that we’re supposed to believe that the two main characters are 18. No one was really a good actor in the movie and the scares weren’t even scary. And the ending was absolutely stupid. Long story short, was really excited about the movie because of all of the promotional materials and hype. But was sorely disappointed in the outcome.

  16. Wolfman Josh, I think Jay may have undersold ATM a bit when he said it’s pretty straightforward. It’s similar to Mercy in that the ending makes for a different beginning – whether or not Sparling covered all his bases in this case is something that’s been debated on the IMDB message boards (RIP) but I think you oughta give it a shot next December

    • I second this, ATM is worth a watch. I put it on originally for background noise and ended up glued to the screen. It’s tense, claustrophobic, and the hooded figure (reminded me a lot of the killer from Urban Legends looks wise) was effective. It’s not a perfect movie, definitely has plot holes and continuity issues but it’s a great watch

        • Am I the only person that LOVES Urban Legends? It’s a 9/10 for me :)

          But, I did think that I was the only person that loved Jennifer’s Body and was very excited, Josh, when you said it’s a better movie than most people think it is. That comment made my day!

          • I’d give Urban Legends a 7/10 it was good fun and kind of ridiculous in a good way. Plus the concept was great.

            I don’t think most people have Jennifer’s Body a chance, it was brilliant! My only issue was the dialogue, which was quite awful

          • Slashley–excited to hear you like Jennifer’s Body as well! I actually loved the horrible dialogue!
            “They’re this indie band from the city. I saw their MySpace and the singer is extra salty.”
            It’s so good! :)

            • I guess I’m just like lime green jello about the dialogue. My favorite line is “I spent the night scrubbing the carnage off the linoleum.” That was somehow a powerful line. The succubus plot line is also great. Did you like All Cheerleaders Die? It has some Jennifer’s Body vibes to it

          • Slashley–I haven’t seen All Cheerleaders Die, but I will try to find and watch it today! Thanks for the recommendation!
            I love all the witty lines in Jennifer’s Body, but one of my favorites is…”PMS isn’t real Needy, it was invented by the boy-run media to make us seem like we’re crazy.”

    • Thanks, Haunted Marshmallow! Haha. That’s almost as fun to say as Projectile Varmint!

      Yeah, I absolutely plan to watch ATM. In fact, I went straight to FYE to buy the DVD the day after we recorded our Christmas episode, but it was pretty pricey. I decided to grab it on Amazon, instead, and just haven’t gotten around to it.

      In any event, I’m becoming a big Chris Sparling fan.

    • No offense to you and your IMDb compatriots, but I just saw the notice that said “we have concluded that IMDb’s message boards are no longer providing a positive, useful experience for the vast majority of our more than 250 million monthly users worldwide.” Yeah. I could have told them that about 10 years ago. We will happily take you in the comments over here. Tell all of your horror friends at IMDb!

      • Chris Sparling definitely has a fan in me too. After Buried and ATM, I fear I spent too much of Mercy “waiting” for the ending – especially watching it with your review in mind. Because of this, I think I was disappointed that the story didn’t wrap up with the bow I thought it would, but I’m not sure I’m being fair to it. It was an odd viewing experience for me. It was so obvious that there was something the audience wasn’t getting, like you said, and i don’t know that there was enough going on in the middle of the movie to keep me invested in it beyond that mystery – and when that mystery didn’t end with the punch I thought it might, I felt sort of cheated. The movie did have some great tension though, and I loved the non-linear device. When you said it was a “different kind of home invasion movie,” I knew I had to check it out. I really ought to rewatch at least the first 20 minutes and see how I’m feeling.

        And hey, Wolfman, what are your thoughts on Kevin Smith announcing that Clerks 3 and Mall(b)rats (2) aren’t happening, and instead, a Jay and Bob movie is (potentially) on the horizon? I’m kind of bummed. Clerks 3 has been one of my most anticipated movies for years, and it’s frustrating that after being strung along for so long, the idea just ended with a whimper when at one point it seemed so likely to happen. I’m less of a Mallrats fan, but I was excited to see Jason Lee and the gang back together. As for Jay and Bob, I love Jason Mewes and I’m super happy that I might see him in a big role on the big screen again, but outside of his charisma and some fun cameos, I’m not a huge Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back fan. It’s certainly fun and watchable, but a lot of the humour is too “early 2000s teen comedy” for my tastes. I don’t think it has the subtlety that some of Smith’s films manage to pull off, and I think that out of all the Askewniverse films, it’s the most likely to have its continuation be Yoga Hosers-esque. That isn’t something that makes me hopeful. I was really looking forward to the heart that Clerks 3 was bound to have, and I’m not sure Smith is going to be interested in including that sort of maturity in a Jay and Bob movie. Instead, I think he’ll see it as a chance to display Mewes’s charisma and feature a lot of fun cameos, and while I can’t blame him, I am a bit disappointed right now. That being said, this is all speculation – I know nothing about the quality of the scripts for either of the three films, but I can’t help but speculate, the same way Smith can’t help but get excited and announce films long before they’re guaranteed to be made. It’s our nature. Still, if Jay and Bob Reboot ever makes it to any sort of screen (I’m trying not to count Smith’s eggs before they hatch) I’ll be watching it the first night.

        Wow. Sorry for the largely non-horror related post. Maybe you ought to revoke your offer for me to migrate from IMDb. I guess I’m taking the loss of the message boards harder than I thought. Thanks for the welcome!

  17. Do you have an episode about foreign horror? If not, you guys should do an episode on the Suckiest American Remakes of Foreign Horror and your faves!

    Here is my list of the Suckiest Remakes:
    1. Martyrs
    2. The Eye
    3. Into the Mirror (South Korea)/Mirrors (American)
    4. The Wicker Man
    5. Pulse

    The ones that did it BEST:
    1. Ringu-The Ring
    2. Ju-On -The Grudge
    3. The Vanishing
    4. Quarantine
    5.Tale of Two Sisters/The Uninvited (American)

    Ones I would HATE to see Remade: (4 of my favorite foreign horror)
    1. Thirst
    2. Battle Royal
    3. Audition
    4. Ichi the Killer
    5. Inside (France) <—-I just checked IMDB and apparently they DID remake this in 2016 but in Spain

    *I highly suggest that anyone that is into foreign horror check out Inside. There are so many good things about this film. The cgi is a little iffy but that's my only real complaint. The gore factor is high, like really high. It is another home invasion film but this time the main character is pregnant which adds a new level of suspense to the film. I won't ruin anything else, the less you know the better. Check it out NOW!

        • These movies are some of the reasons I cannot do gore anymore! I used to be into gore when I was younger, ya know Dead Alive, Junk, Zombie Holocaust. That was when I thought the gorier a movie was, the better. Now, I realize plot, tension, and character development mean so much more to me.

      • Martyrs x 5???? WOW! Martyrs is brilliant, but so disturbing! I cant imagine something being much worse. What would be your top 5 most disturbing films? Have you seen Frontiers? I want to watch it, but I’m nervous!

        • This was a tough one Michelle. Thanks for making me relive the most disturbing moments in cinema!

          My lists are based on viewing the film from beginning to end. These are the most disturbing. The Human Centipede was disturbing at times but the movies below you can’t unsee and they will haunt you. These films remind me of when I watched Faces of Death when I was in middle school and yah, my life has never been the same since. I think Inside disturbed me so much because of the last sequence. I am sure there are more disturbing films out there but for some reason the following films have ruined my life (lol, not really, but close to it!)

          1. A Serbian Film
          2. Inside
          3. Martys
          4. The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
          5. In My Skin

          Honorable Mentions:
          I Stand Alone
          Cannibal Holocaust

          • Ha! That was kind of a jerk move on my part; I apologize! I did add your movies to my Watchlist and am excited to watch a few of them. In My Skin sounds so crazy though! Are you on Letterboxd, Projectile? I’d love to follow you there and take a peek at your movie lists. It seems you’ve watched quite a few, and I’d love to see some of the films you’ve loved. The most disturbing movie I’ve ever seen is The Killer Inside Me with Casey Affleck. It isn’t even a horror movie, but it’s the closest I’ve ever come to throwing up during a movie…it is SO disturbing.

    • I like your lists. I’m going to come up with some. On the topic of foreign horror, obviously there are foreign films peppered throughout all of our episodes, but we’ve decided to take it country by country and really explore the horror cinema of one place at a time. You’ll probably remember our Austrailian horror episode from this past year. Personally, I want to do Korean next, but we’ll eventually do it all. Eventually.

      I feel like Japan is an obvious choice (that will probably require multiple episodes). What other countries are people most interested in?

      • I’d definitely like to see Korea and Japan but Spainish Horror would also be great. Rec is in my top 20 list of all time favorite horror. Plus The Orphanage, Here Comes the Devil, and Atrocious(a total throw away movie but enjoyable. Foreign horror is a great topic to delve into, we can learn so much about a culture based on their fears.

      • I think Japan and Italy are the big ones for me but definitely South Korea, Spain, Mexico and India (which is a pretty huge blindspot for me).

      • This conversation makes me pretty glad that most of my favourite Asian horror films are older stuff like Kwaidan and Kuroneko that would almost be impossible to remake in a Western style because they’re so intrinsically routed in Japanese folklore and history. That said I would have thought The Wailing to be remake-proof for much the same reason. I just feel like these kind of films are unique because of their cultural elements. Strip that away and you’re losing the most significant and compelling aspect of the stories. It’s kind of a horrendous thing to do to a piece of art; making a bastardised, homogenised copy to pander to people who don’t care enough to have bothered with the original. Not that that’s always the case. Some of these stories are more universal and adaptable than others but for something like The Wailing it’s going to take an incredibly clever, inventive and respectful filmmaker to come up with anything close to doing it justice.

      • That surprises me that Jay liked Inside! I really think French cinema is truly some of the most disturbing and beautiful stuff I have seen…

        In My Skin
        Trouble Everyday
        In Their Sleep
        Frontiers- The only one I haven’t seen

        I would vote for a solely French HMP episode. There is a lot out there though!

          • I am not on Leterbox. I wish I had documented all of the movies I have seen. I had an unhealthy obsession with foreign horror in college and we had this dvd store that had imports. I have to check out The Killer Inside Me. (Although I dislike Casey Afleck.) I read the IMDB description and I am intrigued.

          • I know, it’s hard to like Casey Affleck right now, but I’m so conflicted because I LOVE Out of the Furnace and Gone Baby Gone!

  18. With regards to the marketing of XX, I definitely understand people finding it a little condescending and I could see it maybe coming across as greductive gimmickry but personally I’m fine with it. As Josh rightly pointed out in the episode, the playing field is far from level and I think anything that demonstrably shows that women want to make horror movies and can do so in an effective way should be as loud and celebratory about it as possible. Sure in a perfect world it should just be a case of “the best person for the job” but Steve Bannon is President and this is far from a perfect world. I think female creators (not to mention minorities) have been contributing quality stuff for a long time but have never seen the commensurate recognition, exposure or opportunities they should have so simply letting the art speak for itself doesn’t always work in our society. I get that if the message comes across as “Wow! Look! Bet you never thought women could do this stuff! What a novelty!” then it’s kind of regressive but I took it to be more intentioned towards inspiration. If it’s helping younger female horror fans realise that there’s a huge space for their voices in the world of horror cinema then it can’t be a bad thing.

    • I am so torn on this issue. I get that the playing field isn’t even but I don’t know if I have seen a horror movie directed by a female that really gave me a different perspective that I haven’t seen done by a male. To be fair I haven’t seen XX and I wonder if this will be the one. Now that I am looking at my list of French films I noticed a few different women directors:

      Trouble Every Day- Claire Denis
      In My Skin-Marina de Van
      In Their Sleep-Caroline du Potet,

      • It’s an obvious choice but I’d venture to say that The Babadook might have been quite different if it had been directed by a guy but at the end of the day I think it’s safer to avoid alluding to specific attributes of films that could hypothetically be informed by the gender of the filmmaker because it’s easy to fall into the trap of stereotyping. I think ultimately a good writer and/or director can succeed in presenting authentic or interesting perspectives of any gender irrelevant of their own. But even then it’s important to remember that filmmaking is a hugely collaborative effort and anyone from an editor to an actor to a set designer will be influencing things. Star Wars was written and directed by dudes but I imagine Carrie Fisher and George Lucas’s wife at the time (who was very involved in the project) contributed a great deal to making Princess Leia such a strong and charismatic presence.

        It’s such a complicated, multifaceted debate but I think it’s one that people need to be having until we see more female artistic voices in the industry (so long as the debate doesn’t distract from the art itself), whether they’re offering profoundly feminine perspectives, the nuance of subtle variation or just raw talent.

  19. Riverdale’s pretty great-not horror specifically, more suspense/thriller. It has its weird moments (especially surrounding the murder plotline), and some of the characters have dark personalities and backstories. Suspenseful, sure, but nothing too scary. Still worth the watch. Archie is very boring, sure, but the character dynamics between Betty and Veronica makes up for that.

    I’d give it 4 dead teenagers out of 5.

  20. Finally got round to seeing The Wailing … Thanks to Wolfman & Dino for the recommendation. Wow this film blew me away! Very creepy and sinister. This is definitely one that will carve itself into the memory. Beautifully shot, strong performances, and interesting symbolism. I look forward to viewing this again and again as I feel there’s plenty to pick up on.

    Has anyone saw Sammo Hung’s Encounter of the Spooky Kind? I couldn’t help but think of this during the first half hour of The Wailing, mainly due to the bumbling cops. Boy, does the mood change quickly.

  21. I was listening to your discussion about remaking “The Wailing”. I watched this movie for the first time a few nights ago. I went into it knowing that it was subtitled but I had heard so many great reviews of it that I had to see it. Unfortunately subtitles seem to take me out of the movie… that being said, I did enjoy it and I found myself thinking about it long after I finished watching it. The images in the last 20 minutes of the film were some of the most disturbing I’ve seen. I would love to see this remade but I do agree that it would be best done in a similiar location..

    Oh and I was disappointed when I heard Jay’s review of Rings. I was really looking forward to the sequel. I’m guess I will wait to watch it on video…Thanks guys…great show!..

  22. First time commenting. On the topic of Rings I had a friend who said “I should’ve trusted my gut instincts when I walked out on the trailer.”

  23. Thank you for reading the letter from “James” and dealing in a nuanced way with the issues Split brings up. To add on to what James said, the biggest problem for me is not necessarily misconception, as important as that can be. It is horror after all, and I’m not necessarily expecting horror films to be 100% accurate about representation. The biggest issue for me when thinking about disability in horror is whether it contributes to the stigmatization of people with disabilities, in this case DID. As James said, people with DID have been the targets of violence rather than the committers of it. And this holds up with mental illness generally. Why not have some horror movies depict the violence people in institutions suffer, or suffer at the hands of their caregivers, rather than being the perpetrators of it? Whenever a movie connects a character’s disability with their evil nature or violent acts, it gives me pause, and often ruins the movie.

    I found this to be the case with Shyamalan’s last movie, The Visit. Not only does The Visit root violence in mental disability, sending the message to viewers to be afraid of mental illness, it’s just such a cliché that you would think a film coming out this recently would be able to do something different. So going off my reaction to that movie and knowing that Split involves a man with DID kidnapping and terrorizing women, regardless of how sympathetic the main character is, I just don’t know if I could get into it. Maybe I’d watch it if it becomes available on Netflix or Amazon Prime for free, just to see what I think, but I certainly wouldn’t pay for it.

    I’m curious as to whether you think Split tells a complex enough story to resist this stigmatization?

    Now, I don’t want to seem like a Debbie Downer. I’m not sitting there watching horror movies just looking to see something I take issue with, and I’m a proponent of taking a film on its own terms and trying to understand it with the most generous interpretation possible. There’s probably only a few horror movies that I think are egregious examples of stigmatization—Lights Out and The Visit being two of the most recent. And I tend to give a pass to older films because you have to understand them as a product of their times. I’m surprised James didn’t mention Psycho as a film with a DID antagonist, which is one of my favorites.

    Of course, the newer films are products of their times as well, and there is still a huge stigma attached to disability. But there’s also more of counter views circulating out there today.

    I understand disability, deformity, and mental instability are typically viewed as scary things. I don’t think that always using them for horrific effects is always bad. It totally makes sense within horror’s framework of playing on the fragility of our bodies and minds, which can be upsetting by itself, but can also be a reminder of our mortality. For me though, the best horror is transgressive, meaning it crosses boundaries. It blurs the line between normal and monstrous, able-bodied and disabled, alive and dead, good and evil, etc. That IS scary, but it’s also a reminder that those categories aren’t as clear-cut as we sometimes think. And maybe that can provide a justification for liking Psycho so much if I think on that famous line, “We all go a little mad sometimes.”

    • In my opinion, the man with the illness is NOT the perpetrator of violence… and it’s very hard to discuss the film without going into spoilers, but the DID is not the root cause of the violence in the film. And the film does deal with the issue as precisely what DID really is… the mind’s defensive mechanism for coping with trauma.

      to me, I did not feel that the lead character was so much sympathetic as he was someone the audience can empathize with. He’s very obviously a victim…

      Now a little about me: I suffer from a pretty serious case of PTSD at times and can be triggered by a number of things…. and I stress “Suffer”… because when I lash out, I do so without my full faculties. When something happens to trigger me, I am often facing regret and frustration with the aftermath… this film tackles that.


      Let me just say this… of the three girls kidnapped, only one was an accident and an oversight. The lead of the film was not an intended target. The other two girls are actually GUILTY of something that created the situation they are in. They are not exactly “innocent victims” in this scenario.

      • As someone who suffers from “mental illness” (I have a personality disorder) I was in no way offended by the display of DID. I was actually quite satisfied with how they portrayed it and they even included a bit about the debate on its validity as a disorder. Sometimes people with mental illness are the bad guys in real life, sometimes they are “normal” people who live next door. Portraying some people with mental illness as villains is fine, it’s rooted in truth but I agree with Redcap that the perpetrator was a victim in Split. Factors and triggers led to the path he went on in the movie (trying not to spoil anything) but he wasn’t the only villain. I liked that the layer of empathy was there, it wasn’t just he has DID so he kidnapped three girls, he happened to have DID and a life that warped what was justifiable.

        • Slashley, I take your point that sometimes people with mental illness are the bad guys in real life. The problem is that in horror movies they almost ALWAYS are the bad guys, whereas in real life, they’re more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators of it. Many people seem to have this mistaken notion that being “crazy” means you are dangerous and prone to violence, and having (my calculations are rough but I think reliable) a bagillion movies with mentally ill antagonists doesn’t help this situation. Like I said in my reply to Redcap, if there were more characters who were shown as being ordinary people, or at least not almost every single time prone to the most extreme behavior, I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with them being sometimes the bad guys.

      • Redcap, I appreciate your take, and saw your comment above where you claimed that his therapist was exploiting him for her research? This does add an interesting layer to it, but I’m not sure this makes him more of a victim than a villain. Based on what you’ve said, it sounds something like a slasher concept, where a past trauma causes violence in the present. While that past trauma might be horrible, and add a note of sympathy for the killer, for the most part we see them as scary and evil.

        I found this description from a review – not sure if this is a spoiler or not, but let me know what you think: “There’s Barry, a New York fashionista, Hedwig, a goofy 9-year-old, and darker personalities Patricia and Dennis. Calling themselves The Horde, the latter two have influenced the abduction of three high school girls as a ritualistic sacrifice for the 24th personality often referred to as ‘The Beast.'”

        Is this accurate? That to me does make it sound like the DID is the source of violence, and preparing for the emergence of a personality called “The Beast” by sacrificing 3 teenage girls certainly makes it sound like they’re trying to make DID scary.

        You say the girls aren’t “innocent.” That adds another interesting element. It’s hard for me to comment on this without having seen it. So you’re saying, in your view, James McAvoy’s character is justified in what he does to them? Or at least we see it more as a reaction to unjust treatment than an inherent evil/tendency to violence? Your relation of your own experience seems to indicate this.

        Thank you for sharing your personal experience with PTSD. I’m glad that as someone who may face related struggles, you were able to enjoy the movie. I understand that mental illness can result in unpleasant, occasionally violent, behavior. The thing is though that 99% of the time we’re not talking about kidnapping, mutilation, and murder like happens in the majority of movies that have a mentally ill protagonist. Having this frequent portrayal, without having many depictions of mentally ill characters who are ordinary people, or at least not scary or dangerous, in my view gives a totally distorted and scary picture of mental illness.

        For some people, they don’t have a problem with this, especially if there are extenuating circumstances like you’re suggesting is the case in Split. For others, like myself, I’m just tried of stories that connect disability with violent acts. Still, after the HMP hosts’ glowing reviews and your comments here, I’m becoming more open to giving this movie a chance.

        • I know it’s been awhile but here are my thoughts: Patricia and Dennis are darker personalities who have been shunned and locked away by the majority of the “Horde” personalities. It is a part of the story that makes sense when you get back story on WHY the Beast is emerging…

          It is very difficult to discuss portions of the film without spoiling it. It is incredibly difficult to explain why I feel this film justifies its’ exploration of Dennis as a fully realized CHARACTER as opposed to the “cliche’ we see so often in horror and suspense films. And, yes, I was worried that this film would fall into that category and I did not feel that it did. Not at all- but I will say that anyone who wants to be offended can find this film could be offensive. So it is not completely innocent of all it’s negative press.

          And, I will also add this: I did find a portion of the film VERY difficult to sit through. “MILD SPOILER” – I do not enjoy film with any violence toward children, even if that violence is inferred or insinuated. I will often avoid a film if a child is even at risk of being harmed. Much of my own trauma was suffered as a child and a preteen, and I find films that harm children to be cruel and/or cheap as a result. They make me angry. McAvoy’s character has survived a childhood trauma… and it is not the only depiction in the film. It is very rare that I will EVER give a film with this material a positive rating. There was a point in the film where I was very tense, very angry, very close to screaming due to the anxiety of the moment. And, from an artistic view this scene was absolutely necessary in telling the story that Shyamalan was telling. This is not a cheap “psychological problem as a monster” story- this is a deep exploration of the trauma that can create monsters OR strengthen us, depending on how we cope with the trauma.


            I found the scene where she removes her final shirt and reveals her scars incredibly moving. Throughout the film I was becoming very frustrated with Dennis making everyone remove their clothes. I was thinking of it as classic horror movie exploitation and cliche. But when she revealed her scars as the thing that would save her, it blew me away. I’ve never seen a horror film turn the gratuitous exploitation of women on its head like that in one moment. AND make a statement about the potential strength that can be drawn from trauma. And the film makes a great statement about mental health in general. Saying others who don’t struggle, don’t understand and tend to deny the ones suffering their dignity. I am a mental health provider for children, so the scenes with the therapist really stuck with me. She cared for Dennis and tried very hard to work as an advocate for him. BUT I will say that I think the reason she didn’t survive was because there was an element of her care that objectified Dennis and the Horde. I think it made a very fair statement about the shortcomings of healthcare providers at times. Definitely made me think.

          • Thanks for the clarification, Redcap. I was all set to avoid this film at all costs, but you’ve given me reason to reconsider. If I come across Split for free I’ll give it a chance. I still don’t see myself seeking it out.

  24. Kagan, forgot to mention before, but awesome job with the Sundance round-up! I’m looking forward to all of them. Also, congratulations for your credit in Snatchers. That’s big-time, bro! You are legit, that’s for sure…


    Wolfman, I’m with you on I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I thought it was a thoroughly engaging, masterfully composed art-house horror film. It had a certain brilliance in its quietness and a steady build-up of tension. And it definitely has me excited for The Blackcoat’s Daughter.

    • I was put off “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House” by all the negative reports I’d heard but I’m reconsidering with both you and Josh recommending it. I tend to like subtlety, quietude, slow pacing and ambiguity in my supernatural horror and it sounds like it’s that kind of film.

      • I think Pretty Thing is worth your time, David.

        Hearing that Juan didn’t respond to Demon, I understand why he disliked I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House as well. Both are more about the mood and psychology and dread building at a steadily creeping pace than about anything overt.

        If I had to guess, I’d guess you’ll enjoy it if you go in with the right expectations.

          • I felt like The Demon was kind of similar to The Invitation (though personally I think the former is a much more unique and fascinating film) in that for the majority of the experience there was more an extreme sense of unease and discomfort than actual fright or horror. The disintegration of what should have been a perfect day into a series of gradually escalating, embarrassing and chaotic incidents. But even so the tone of both films is ominous enough and the endings disturbing enough for me to classify them as horror. Not recommended to genre fans leaning more in a Billchete direction though.

        • I finally watched it (I am the Pretty thing that Lives in teh House) and it has that same creepy factor that Blackcoat’s daughter has. It just makes you feel uneasy. And the panning of the camera, sheesh that was so unsettling to me. Thanks for the recommendation. And I thought it was horror for sure. It was a psychological ghost story.

      • David, that’s exactly the kind of film Pretty Thing is – quiet, subtle, slowly-paced and ambiguous. Probably why many people didn’t like it, but it is a beautiful supernatural film.

    • Look at that handsome dude! So hot, Kagan.

      Yes, excellent job, Kagan. You really brought it. Thank you SO much!

      I’m glad you enjoyed Pretty Thing as well, Dino. It’s beautifully made.

  25. JOTD – If you haven’t already, it’s time for you to watch The Wailing. It’s required viewing (currently holding a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes). You’re doing yourself a disservice by not watching it, and you certainly have to watch it before voting on the awards.

    Watch The Wailing.

    The Wailing – watch it.

    The Wailing

      • Word. I’m so excited, I wanted to make sure I got my favorite seats before normal people started thinking of buying tickets.

        I forget where I heard this, but it’s been described as a good movie – not just a good horror movie. Expectations are high.

    • I will be seeing Get Out as soon as it hits my theater as well. I remember I really liked the dream sequences in Insidious and hope they are just as good in Get Out. I am hoping for that same scariness. I don’t scared that easily anymore but those dream sequences freaked me out. (The monster on the other hand was a huge letdown.) Can’t wait!

  26. Is everybody seeing advertisements for A Cure for Wellness parading as a horror movie. It seems like I’m seeing a lot of advertisements and I read that they are using fake news sites as a marketing tool. IMBD has it listed as a mystery/thriller, but it kind of looks like its trying to be weird for the sake of being weird. Anyone got insight into this flick?

    • I mean, I’m pretty sure people are saying it’s a horror movie. I think it will be more psychological, but I think it will meet my definition if it tries. This is the director of The Ring, afterall. The early reviews I’ve seen have said that it is bad, however, so I’m trying to temper my expectations despite being a massive fan of Dane DeHaan. He’s probably my favorite actor his age after seeing him in Lawless and especially A Place Beyond the Pines. The only other word I’ve heard from an indie critic on the film is that “it will be compared with Shutter Island, but that is a bad comparison.”

      • Based on the trailer, it looks good to me and certainly delves into horror territory. And I love the title alone. It’s too bad that the reviews have been bad. Are there any common complaints? It’s only playing at limited theaters around here so I’m not sure at this point if I want to go out of my way to see this now or wait until it’s available on streaming.

      • Right when I saw the preview I instantly thought “this seems a lot like Shutter Island.” I think it had to do with the cool colors in the way it was filmed and the plot line? I really hope this movie measures up to the hype it is getting through the previews.

  27. I am mixed on the topic of “forced diversity.” I think there have been cynical uses of diversity in horror where it feels as though the filmmakers are more concerned about fulfilling pre-determined quotas rather than trying to give a voice to marginalized groups. As much as I enjoyed Aaron Yoo’s character, an Asian-American individual, in the Friday the 13th reboot, I was bothered by the dialogue that was written for Lawrence, the African-American character. While his character was largely likable, so many of his lines were along the lines of “Hey, look, I’m a Black guy!!!” and it felt as though his character merely served to check off a box.

    That said, I often fear that diversity will not figure into a genre like horror unless it is initially forced. Unlike my Libertarian friends, I do not have a faith that these things will all work out organically on their own, as decades of films have proven. Many may disagree, but I’d rather have forced representation than no representation, as heavy-handed as it may be. I agree that it is obnoxious when a film like XX is marketed on the weight of being a novel female-directed horror anthology, but you have to admit that such a feature is unique in the genre. I see no reason it shouldn’t be emphasized given that the project was intentionally crafted on such a concept. That said, I can see why some women might find that patronizing and feel as though the marketers are saying “Hey look at them! They can do it too! Women can be just as good!”

    At the end of the day, there will always be people who balk at diversity in films, forced on not, and decry it as a signal of an overly-PC society. To many, the mere inclusion of a person of color or a women in a prominent genre role is considered PC, regardless of how well it is executed. I can’t tell you how many people I heard complain about the “PC” casting of John Boyega and Daisy Ridley in Force Awakens, despite the fact their characters never brought much, if any, attention to their race or sex.

    • These people must be white males, right? I’m not trying to be an instigator when I say that, but who else could it actually offend?

      I mean, I’m brown and I watch movies populated by white people all the time with no problem. It doesn’t hurt at all. Women certainly watch movies full of guys and they are fine. Why is it suddenly “forced” when white men have to watch movies with some people who are brown females?

      It seems like these people may have become very accustomed to and comfortable with seeing themselves depicted on screen at all times and can’t handle even the slightest taste of what the rest of us are going through all the time.

      I reviewed Moana on MPW and talked about this a bit … this year (and the end of last year) are the first time I’ve seen Polynesian actors playing Polynesians on screen as leads in a studio film – with Dwayne Johnson playing Maui and Jason Mamoa playing Aquaman – in my entire life! What would the world look like to you if you’d never seen a white person star in a movie? Serious question. And what would some of these people do if they’d grown up watching only brown superheroes their entire life and then have to deal with people complaining about “Political Correctness” when they finally got to see the white superhero that they dreamed of as a child when they were in their 30s? That anyone has to gaul to complain about that astounds me. I mean, get a life.

      Woah! This rant isn’t directed at you, Chris. Just some thoughts that your comments triggered. Sorry for going there, but I simply don’t get it. It’s laughable that anyone would complain about John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, as good as they were.

      • One more thing – that is actually relevant to this conversation…

        The way you include these minority groups and have it not feel forced is to let them tell their own stories. That’s why we need to make space for female artists and artists of color. A black horror fan isn’t going to write a F13th movie with a forced black character. That black horror fan is going to write GET OUT.

        • I think this issue on diversity in horror is why I love foreign horror so much. It is directed by a plethora of different points of view solely because they are not all created by white males (who may or may not have earned their right to direct but rather have it handed to them on a silver platter.) But, I wonder if the points of view in those other countries are the equivalent of white male directors here in the US?

      • I think it ultimately comes down to bigots being incredibly pathetic and insecure people. They lack personality, intelligence, imagination and decency so much that they realise the only thing they can rely on to make themselves feel worthwhile is an imagined sense of superiority based on race/gender/sexuality etc. Anything that draws that false sense of superiority into question threatens the fantasy world they inhabit in which they can somehow claim all the past successes of their own kind as their own personal triumphs that raise them up on a pedestal above those they prefer to see oppressed. There isn’t any real logic to it. It’s pitiful really.

        And not to attack Chris (whose comment was extremely respectable, well articulated and intelligent) but I think anyone suggesting that these things “will all work out organically on their own” should maybe pay a bit more attention to the history of everything ever.

        But that said, I think Josh has hit the nail on the head with his point about forced diversity being grating when it is inorganic and inauthentic. I do think a good enough artist can explore narratives beyond their own experience but when the diverse aspects start to feel like pre-fabricated inserts conjured by some faceless committee trying to hit “quotas” or tap into “ethnic markets” then the cynicism becomes transparent and the diversity redundant. Don’t appease women and minorities and LGBT folks by letting them mime along. Hand them the damn mic!

        • Woah, I didn’t expect this much of a response – sorry for not responding/clarifying sooner.

          Josh, yes, these are definitely white males I’m talking about and most of them are people encountered on the internet. I realize that it is easy to over-represent the internet troll population but they are loud and forceful. It tends to be people that inhabit all the dominant identity categories and fear that any representation of others threatens them in some way. These are the same people that believe that “Happy Holidays” = A War on Christmas or see feminism as somehow robbing them of their stature in society.

          Obviously, this is all a bit of a straw man argument, as I am describing masses of people who I do not come into direct contact with in my daily life. Personally, I love watching movies about other cultures/subcultures/places in the world because it gives me a chance to escape my own perspective and try something new. I don’t defend the responses of these people – my only point was that for some, diversity, forced or not, will be perceived as the studios being politically correct and that we have to conduct our own “sniff tests” to determine how appropriately things were handled. Sadly, there were people who complained about those two Star Wars castings, just as there were people who moaned about a group of female ghostbusters. This is why I’d rather see forced diversity vs. no diversity, though I agree that this shouldn’t be an either/or conversation. I often find that the people that complain about “forced” diversity (and I don’t mean to reference Mattroid, who you mentioned on the show) are the type that have always had representation in film and don’t understand how diverse casting could be so profound to someone of a different color, gender, orientation, etc, even if it may not be done as organically as one would hope.

          David, I agree that these things won’t work out organically and by no means meant to suggest that I shared such a view. My point was that sometimes you have to force something a bit before it gets to a place where it can occur organically. History shows that majority groups don’t willingly give up much of anything until it is forced. I think Josh is right in that, beyond casting, allowing for more diversity in writing and directing will give rise to varied stories that feel natural and authentic.

          • I certainly didn’t think that you were suggesting that you shared the viewpoint that these issues will organically resolve on their own, Chris. Apologies if that was my implication. In fact I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said here and in your original post.

      • I do think there is such a thing as “forced”, though I don’t think boyega or Ridley fit those parameters at all. BUT I do think the character in the F13 remake absolutely was and it was kind of patronizing. But there are other places where it is relevant… Let’s look at Thor. As much as I love the actor, I think the casting of Idris Elba was patronizing and the actor himself isn’t entirely happy about it. There are times when the issue should be forced and other times where the issue is just not relevant.

        But I do want to see broader representation in film and a broader exploration of cultures.

  28. What’s everyone’s go to Valentines Day horror movie? I usually do a double feature of the original and remake of My Bloody Valentine but am thinking about expanding my horizons. Any suggestions would be delightful!

  29. February 24 is gonna rock. Not only is that the release date for Get Out, that’s also the day that XX is coming to my city (Columbus). Should make for an interesting double header. Even though XX’s release date is the 17th, it will only get to a select few cities. The film’s official website has the city and theaters with dates. IMDB doesn’t seem to have showtimes inputted yet.

  30. Just watched mercy on Netflix after listening to wolfman, loved it, great little twist and really enjoyed the whole starting again very hateful eight, more thriller then horror maybe but we’ll worth a look. Thanks wolfman 8/10 from me looking forward to the pretty thing in the house next.

  31. Great episode guys I just finished listening. I just wanted to drop a quick message regarding Riverdale. I’m a massive fan of After Life with Archie I think it is one of the best takes on the Zombie genre in sometime. Escape from Riverdale was fresh, fast paced and had me hooked from page one. Coming from the UK the Archie comics are not that widely read. But thanks to After Life with Archie and my life long obsession with Zombies I’ve now gone on to read The Chilling Tales of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
    I’ve watched the first three episodes of Riverdale and so far and I’m really impressed. I love how the writers have given the show that Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet feel. Fingers crossed the show will continue to develop and dive deeper into the dark heart of Riverdale. I was also very impressed with Luke Perry who gives a great performance as Archie’s dad.

  32. OK just watched the first 2 episodes of riverdale, now I know I’m England andI don’t know archie, my wife now knows him as he ran around with his top off at every opportunity she likes him, or a ginger zac effron as she calls him, I know of the puss cat band but is this horror , have I missed something , everyone is droolong over the feel and look, why am I not getting it, my Mrs can’t wait for the next one but she hates horror and likes 90210 and maybe at a push buffy so I can see what she likes. I think all you need is a vampire and you have all the ingredients of twilight , lots of attractive people wondering about. I will watch a couple more , I’m trying people I really am but slasher or the exorcist or even supernatural which to me is very soft horror but even they have the right idea. Now I know it’s early days and if you go against wolf man then your wrong.but if I’m missing something please let know. I’m just saying

  33. There is a cure! A Cure for Wellness is destined for cult status with its Shutter Island vibes and increasing feelings of discomfort. A young business partner is tasked with going to a wellness sanitarium in the Alps to fetch an older partner who appears to have had a mental break. This quick trip drags into an extended stay after a car accident leaves our main star Lockhart with a broken leg. Dane DeHaan delivers in his role as Lockhart. Although there aren’t any surprises in the plot, it’s presented with satisfying pacing and strong imagery. There were a couple of cringe worthy scenes, one in particular involving teeth that was well shot and much appreciated. Despite the fact that the scenes with The eels (maybe these are supposed to be leeches?) were largely shown in the trailers, they still paid off in their execution. If you like a suspenseful psychological horror thriller with slow burn pacing, go see this movie! 8/10
    Side note: I have a feeling that this one will be debated as whether or not it’s horror. Without using spoilers, I’m going to say it does qualify. An individual was placed in a terror inducing situation which he has no control over. True he is not an “innocent” victim but he is a situational victim. There’s also argument that he is not the main victim. Plus whenever something alive appears to be in a toilet, that my friends is scary because anything could happen.

    • Hey guys. First time posting. Been listening a while now. You guys are amazing. I saw Split and A Cure for Wellness this weekend. While Split was clearly the superior film (and most would agree), I want to echo Slashley and give some love to ACFW.

      It’s definitely not perfect or groundbreaking. But I found it refreshing. I’m a huge fan of the fantastic atmospheric Italian horror films of the 70s and 80s like Suspiria, Inferno, The Beyond, and Phenomenon. There were also gothic romantic elements one would find in the early horror films as well. While there were modern elements, this wasn’t a modern horror film. And I think it deserves credit for that. When these characters enter the hospital they’re transported into a different time, escaping the modern world and so are we as an audience. I love how this film follows the same progression. From a tale of a modern overworked 20something to a story of love, obsession, and a mad doctor. From Wall Street to Peter Cushing battling Christopher Lee in the villain’s underground lair. Not for everyone. But I’ll watch this one again. No doubt.

      • Welcome, Weird Weldon! You make the ACfW sound even more enticing. A throwback to Hammer horror and 70s Italian movies? Yes, please!

    • Thanks, Slashley. Been debating whether to seek this one out in the theaters or wait for it to come to streaming. Sounds worth checking out. This line in particular sells it for me: “Plus whenever something alive appears to be in a toilet, that my friends is scary because anything could happen.” Yikes!

  34. Hy all. Sorry for not being on the message boards lately. Life seems to get in the way. Anyways, great job by Kagan covering the Sundance Festival. It is great getting a perspective by someone who was there and talked with some of those involved in the making of some of the films. I look forward to any more film reviews he is invited to share with the audience.
    I also wanted to say I just watched XX and I have to saay was disappointed with the film. Maybe the particular stories had a deeper meaning than I was able to realize, but they all left with a sense of wanting more. I really did not care about any of the characters involved in the stories (except for maybe the mother in the second story, whom I found likeable). My favourite story was the first one, perhaps because I like Jack Ketchum as a writer. I also found the wraparound “story” very weak. I love the audio in the film and the emotional sighs/screams from the characters, and the last dinner scene in the first story was interesting, but otherwise I found myself fading in and out of caring what happened. Am I being too harsh? I mean I am all for the playing field levelling out to have more women involved in the genre, but a better representation than this movie can surely be made. I gave it 4.5/10. Am curious what everyone else thought. Cheers!

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