Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 121: The Girl With All the Gifts (2017) and My Little Eye (2002) and Audition (1999) and Trojan Horses at the Gates of Horror

HMP 121 Frankensteinian

HORROR MOVIE PODCAST releases two types of episodes: Themed and Frankensteinian. Episode 121 is the latter. During this show you’ll hear reviews of The Girl With All the Gifts (2017) and My Little Eye (2002) and Audition (1999). You will also hear us discuss two films that we expected to be horror that actually aren’t: Colossal (2017) and The Beguiled (2017). And buckle up for Jay of the Dead’s latest Horror manifesto, “Trojan Horses at the Gates of Horror, which is the audio podcast adaptation of Jay’s blog article of the same name. Has Jay of the Dead lost his mind, or is he actually the Paul Revere of Horror cinema? Join us! We dare you…

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 where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies!

SHOW NOTES:

I. Introduction
— Jay finds the planning agenda for HMP Ep. 001
— Proselytizing for HMP in California
— Podcast love from local sandwich places

Movie Podcast Network Meetup Event – 2017
October 14, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah
HMP Listeners – Buy Your Meetup Tickets: Here!
MPN Patrons Only – Buy Your Meetup Tickets: Here!


[ 0:14:08 ] II. Feature Review: THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (2017)
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Rental )


[ 0:22:51 ] III. Feature Review: MY LITTLE EYE (2002)
Dr. Shock = 7 ( Rental )


[ 0:38:16 ] IV. Feature Review: AUDITION (1999)
Jay of the Dead = 9 ( Must-See / Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 9.5 ( Buy it! )


[ 0:50:41 ] V. Wolfman Josh’s PSA: COLOSSAL (2017) is not a horror film
Wolfman Josh = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )

Upcoming screenings listed at: SheIsColossal.com


[ 0:57:14 ] VI. Jay of the Dead’s Horror Manifesto: TROJAN HORSES AT THE GATES OF HORROR
I. Yes, We Keep Fighting but for Good Reason
II. Horror Isn’t Over Or: Making Up New Names for Things That Have Already Had Names for Decades
III. Don’t Let Them In (Unless You Know What They Truly Are)

VII. Jay of the Dead’s PSA: THE BEGUILED (2017) is not a horror film
Jay of the Dead = 7 ( Rental )

Important links for this solocast portion of the show:

*** This solocast portion is adapted from Jay’s corresponding blog article of the same name: Trojan Horses at the Gates of Horror

— Steve Rose’s article about “Post-Horror” from The Guardian
— HMP Ep. 081 – Jay’s Horror Classification System: Tone and Assignment
— Trailer: The Beguiled (2017)
— Trailer: The Beguiled (1971)


VIII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending


JOIN US ON NEXT TIME ON HMP: We’re talking sharks on film in Episode 122: Shark Attack! – Part 1


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

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

LINKS FOR THIS EPISODE:

Movie Podcast Network Meetup Event -2017
Saturday, October 14, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah
HMP Listeners – Buy Your Meetup Tickets: Here!
MPN Patrons Only – Buy Your Meetup Tickets: Here!

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 classical arrangement of Fred’s song for our updated theme.

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Follow Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter
Horror Movie Podcast Official Facebook
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, Instagram and Facebook @IcarusArts
Horror Movie Podcast Official Instagram @HorrorMovieCast
Josh covers the Universal Monsters, new and classic, on UniversalMonstersCast.com
Follow UMC on Twitter @MonstersCast
Josh covers streaming online movies on MovieStreamCast.com
Follow MSC on Twitter @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave writes daily movie review on DVDinfatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on Facebook
Dave covers the Universal Monsters, new and classic, on UniversalMonstersCast.com
Dr. Shock also appears on another horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
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.

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Note: The Movie Podcast Network episodes are bonus podcasts for our financial supporters. MPN does not replace Horror Movie Podcast and, further, HMP will always remain free.

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

85 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 121: The Girl With All the Gifts (2017) and My Little Eye (2002) and Audition (1999) and Trojan Horses at the Gates of Horror

  1. RE: MPN Meetup Event

    Come hang out in Utah! We would love to see all of you there!
    Happening: Saturday, October 14, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah
    HMP Listeners – Buy Your Meetup Tickets: Here!

    ATTN: MPN Patrons

    We have a discount link for MPN patrons, so DO NOT purchase your MPN Meetup event tickets via the regular link.
    MPN Patrons Only – Buy Your Meetup Tickets: Here!

      • About the meet-up, this is happening regardless of whether the IndieGoGo campaign reaches its goal, right? I want to start looking into transportation and lodging, but I don’t want to commit until I know it’s on like Donkey Kong.

        • The meet-up is happening 100%. Joel bought his plane tickets. That’s it. It’s on.

          The IndieGoGo is intended to let us know what size audience we can expect so that we know what size of venue to rent and the pre-sales should (hopefully) cover those costs. But we are doing it, regardless.

  2. Solid episode, boys. Wolfman, I mostly agree with your take on The Girl With All the Gifts… when I saw this back in the beginning of the year, I thought it would for sure be in my top 10 because it is an interesting and different take on the genre and is very well done. There are also a few really excellent sequences, like the scene when they’re sneaking through a “sleeping” crowd. It since has fallen out of my top 10, mostly because (as you say) something just seemed to be missing for me.

    I am surprised about your turnaround on Colossal, though. I remember discussing whether or not it was horror with you back in April when I saw the movie. I said it was not horror, and you were firmly on the side of “it has monsters, so it’s horror.”

    And, Jason, I challenge you to re-watch Unfriended. I really believe it’s a good horror movie. I’ll even re-watch No Escape if you give Unfriended another go.

    • I was wrong, Dino. To explain where I was coming from, I usually err on the side of raising big tents when it comes to genre classification and my favorite films are those that bend or combine genres. And so, I was responding to the idea that a film like Godzilla (2014) isn’t a horror movie. To that I say, “it has monsters, so it’s horror.” But this is different.

      Colossal has monsters like Sesame Street has monsters. That’s probably going a bit too far in the other direction, but you get my point. I call the Godzilla movies and the King King movies horror, in that they are classic monster movies. For me, something like Pacific Rim is a crossover or borderline.

      Colossal is, as I said many times in my review, simply an indie dramedy. I think the fact that it has kaiju elevates it for me to a film that really catches my interest above a typical Greta Gerwig movie, for example. The kaiju element makes it more exciting for me, but doesn’t make it horror.

      At some point, the scale tips in one direction. And I was mistaken.

      • I will be interested to see what everyone thinks of Dave Made a Maze when it’s released next month regarding whether or not it’s horror. As of now, I’m erring on the side of inclusion and calling it horror (it’s currently in my top 5 of the year), but I definitely think it walks that line.

        • I am dying to see Dave Made a Maze after your hype and after watching the trailer. I don’t see the horror in the trailer, but it looks like a blast in that Michel Gondry / Charlie Kauffman way I love so much. I’m also a Nick Thune fan (from his stand-up comedy) and he’s in a doc that I directed last year, so maybe that will do better if this is successful. One can hope.

          • My apparent goal is to hype that movie up to an impossible-to-reach level so that everyone is just like “wait, that’s it… what’s the big deal” when they see it.

            In an effort to temper expectations, it’s far FAR from a perfect film. There are a number of storytelling and logic gaps throughout the film, for example. But it’s one of those movies that delights in its cleverness, originality and humor. I actually started to get a headache about halfway through my screening because I had been laughing and smiling so hard.

            And to talk about its possible merit as a horror film would be getting into spoiler territory, so that discussion will have to be postponed. I can say that the filmmakers don’t advertise it as a horror film, for what that’s worth.

    • I thought the sequence of the main zombie girl yelling very awkwardly at the other zombies ruined the movie for me. And I really liked it up until that point. Was never going to be in my top ten but it was a fun watch.

      …unfriended. It could have been so much worse. I actually enjoyed it. I think it was on a similar level to “Bye Bye Man” with a much lower budget. I think they did great with that budget!

    • Perhaps in an attempt to preserve “spoilers”, I think that Wolfman Josh left out a very important part in his review of the film. In describing the film as a “zombie” film, it sort of misses the mark in regards to precisely how the zombie infection spreads. This is actually one of the most terrifying aspects of the film! This isn’t quite the same as “bite-change-bite more” and we aren’t looking at a rage virus; this is something entirely different and introduces something far worse to humanity. I do agree with the rating on the film, it is probably an 8 and will likely be on my top ten list for the year. But it was much more terrifying than it was dramatic for me.

      I’ve had a few bad dreams since watching the film a few months back, all regarding that final stage of the infection and what happens to the infected. I find that idea so disgusting, so disturbing, and so sickening to watch. Part of me wonders if there isn’t a small conscious bit left that watches, understands, and is helpless to do anything. It’s actually a small bit of something explored in Lovecrafts work and it involves a means of torment that has always sort of terrified me.

    • Jay absolutely needs to rewatch Unfriended. Once I got past the novelty of the film’s presentation and just watched it as a thriller about characters trapped in a “room” — in a situation that becomes deadlier the longer they’re in the room I might add — I had so much fun with it. I’m thinking this is another Mad Max: Fury Road or The Conjuring situation. Jay, it’s an 8/10 and you know it!

      • Boom! There you go, Jason. I know we’re not alone, too. At the risk of putting words in their mouths, I believe Sal and Jody also think Unfriended is a better than average horror.

        And, if you subscribe to Rotten Tomatoes scores at all, Unfriended is sitting at a reasonably solid 62%… No Escape is a rotten 45%. I don’t personally put too much stock in RT scores, but still. Just saying.

        • Wtf, bro? I was one of Unfriended’s biggest proponents! This cuts me deeply. But yeah, Jay is dramatically exaggerating again.

          Unfriended > No Escape

          No Escape = Not-horror*

          *Not-horror is a brand new sub-genre of horror that’s very unique in that it’s reserved for the rare “horror” movie that’s not really a horror movie, but that some people think it is.

          • Edit/correction:

            “*Not-horror is a brand new sub-genre of horror that’s very unique in that it’s reserved for the rare ‘horror’ movie that’s not really a horror movie, but that some people one person thinks it is.”

            And, sorry about that bro. I remembered you saying you didn’t think it was horrible, but I didn’t want to mischaracterize you by saying you were on the positive side (if that wasn’t true). Clearly, though, I have no problem mischaractrizing Sal or Jody.

            • Oh man, the strikethrough code didn’t work in that correction. I’m sure we can all figure out what should have been stricken, though.

  3. I loved The Girl with All the Gifts and currently have it ranked #2 in my top ten horror movies of 2017 list. In some ways, it doesn’t add anything truly unique to the zombie sub-genre, but the way they handled everything, it did feel different from your usual zombie tale. If there was an Oscar for best child actor, I definitely feel as if Sennia Nanua should be nominated. Admittedly, there is a lot of drama to the film, with questions of what is right or wrong and morality, so the horror fans that aren’t into that sort of thing, likely won’t be too impressed by this.

    Still, I can’t imagine it won’t be in my top ten at the end of the year. I rated it 9/10.

    • Oh, I think there will be a lot of horror fans that feel the same as you, Sal and I’m glad you liked it. I liked it! I think it will make a lot of Top 10 lists. I thought it was solid and original and a great entry in the sub genre, but it just didn’t grab me, for whatever reason. If I could put my finger on it, I’d be a much better film critic. Anyway, I hope I don’t dissuade anyone from checking it out. Worth a watch for zombie fans.

  4. When it comes to Audition, my favorite aspect of the movie is how so much of it is left open for interpretation. It adds to the replay value and it’s not uncommon for me to have a different perspective on the film, with each watch. Below is an excerpt of a review I wrote on the film back in 2014 where I discuss those interests:

    —SPOILERS FOR AUDITION—

    “Another appeal of the movie, especially when discussing the film with others, it’s that there’s a lot left to interpretation. The main question for anyone who has seen the film is how much of what we saw actually happened and how much is a dream? I believe the official story is that all of the horror aspects are just a dream. That Aoyama was just some horny dude and after he banged Asami, he dreamt about what it would be like if she really was trouble like his colleague, Yoshikawa, had a feeling about. This belief paints Aoyama in a pretty bad picture as an older guy who got what he wanted, sex, not a partner in life, and then immediately realized how foolish he had been since Asami could have been some sort of crazy chick without him fully realizing it since he was so focused on getting laid. This does play a part in the film being unsettling. Sure, all of it was a dream, but how many people ended up deeply regretting sleeping with someone the next day? Take for instance those that end up with an STD or AIDS after just hooking up with a random person one night. This fear, whether it was properly realized or not by Aoyama is something we should all be able to relate to. Who are the people we’re choosing to be so close to?

    Now, what if all of the horror scenes in the film actually happened and they weren’t just a paranoid dream by Aoyama? There’s a great quote from Aoyama’s son in the middle of the film. The son, Shigehiko, says something along the lines of, “You can’t be trusted now, you’re blinded by love” while trying to convince his dad to introduce him to Asami before Aoyama proposed to her. That’s exactly what happened. Aoyama was so obsessed with trying to find a new partner in life that he ignored all of Yoshikawa’s concerns, the red flags and rushed the relationship with Asami. Despite seeing this film a few times prior to this viewing, this is the first time I noticed something weird in a scene. In the first date after Aoyama tried to distance himself from Asami, the scene has a lot of choppiness. I assumed that this was just really poor editing, something that baffled me as to how Miike could let pass through to the final cut. Near the end of the film when Aoyama is having his dream (Which if you believe the horror portion of the film is all a dream, then this is the dream within the dream), the viewer is taken back to that dinner date. Instead of Asami coming off as likable and very sweet, we hear her telling some horrific stories from her childhood. She’s clearly a messed up person and not someone who is ideal for a wife. So those previous “Poor edits” are really just edits from Aoyama’s own mind. He purposely edited those revelations out of his memory because he refused to let his passionate feelings for Asami be altered. As Shigehiko said, he was truly “Blinded by love”. I don’t care if these scenes really happened or if they were merely a dream. I love that play on such a common expression, yet one we rarely see in execution.

    Simple put, Audition is one of the most unnerving and tense horror films in the modern age. If the slasher film is a cautionary tale against premarital sex, Audition is a cautionary tale against moving too quickly with a partner that you barely know. It’s a film about every man’s worst nightmare. A woman who is so crazy that she literally sits in her little room and waits for days for you to call. A woman who due to a messed up childhood, lashes out against anyone she believes has wronged her. A woman that will go to such an extent as to cutting off three of your fingers, one of your ears, your tongue and both of your feet while forcing you to live inside of a large sack while your only food is her own vomit. Asami is literally the worst possible person a guy can ever encounter and especially get intimate with. And yet, Asami is also the type of girl that can not find a good guy in this world if her life depended on it. The kind of woman that seems to finally find a decent guy, but in reality, that guy automatically assumes as if she’s some kind of psychotic and sick freak, just because she’s a little quirky. Perhaps Audition is really a film secretly exposing every women’s ultimate fear in that a man will instantly deject them as soon as they get what they want. Ultimately, the main fun of Audition is that it can be whatever you’d like it to be. With the film only being released in the US in the 2000’s, it’s easily one of the top 10 horror films of the 2000’s.”

    Although I didn’t give it a number review, the fact that I claimed it was, “one of the top 10 horror films of the 2000’s”, would likely imply that I’m at least recommending it. haha

    • I had never even heard of Audition before this episode. It blew me away. I can say that this is the only survival horror movie to actually scare me. I look forward to buying it.

    • At first, as I started to read through the list, I didn’t get what your issue was with it. I wasn’t seeing a lot of big budget, mainstream crap being crammed into the list. There were films I wouldn’t have picked and placements I defintely wouldn’t have mirrored (Starry Eyes is on the list and it is this high?), but the author clearly has more than a passing familiarity with the genre.

      And then it came…

      When I hit John Carpenter’s Halloween at #51, I knew something was wrong. This is person is either an idiot, a contrarian, or they don’t like slashers. But then to find Leslie Vernon above Michael Meyer’s … I just can’t.

      Thankfully, it got better. Mostly respectable picks toward the top. That’s not to say there weren’t some head-scratchers along the way. I absolutely love Get Out, but it feels a little early for it to place it so high on the all-time list. I’m far from figuring out where it will place on my 2017 list, for crying out loud. Also, Re-Animator felt way to high, for me. That seemed out of character, even for this list.

      I’m not sure there is anything I’d make a fuss about in the Top 20. Except that Halloween should be in there.

      • Yeah… one thing I found interesting about the list is that the “big” films from the last few years – The Babadook, It Follows, The Witch, Get Out – were all on the list. I even think Goodnight Mommy was on there, if memory serves. I’m not saying these movies don’t warrant consideration for such a list, but I agree that it does seem a bit early to include them.

        • I can’t stand general “top lists of all time”. They are always all over the place. I need specifics.

          • Also interesting is their Top 10 of 2017 (So Far) list. I thought ght I’ve been keeping up pretty well, but I haven’t seen their 6 through 4 picks: We Are the Flesh, The Transfiguration and Prevenge. Also interesting to see The Lure on there, which i also haven’t gotten to yet. Come December, list season is going to be an interesting time, my friends. I kind of hope Jay returns to his roots and includes films that are “arguably” horror. It’s a great help to my “Jay of the Dead Character Study” I’m working on.

            • We Are the Flesh and Prevenge are currently streaming on Shudder. The Transfiguration hasn’t been released yet, but has been playing the festival circuit. For what it’s worth, Prevenge and The Transfiguration are currently in my top 10 as well… We Are the Flesh is definitely not in my top 10, but I would say it’s worth checking out at least once if you can stomach some extreme content (i.e. unsimulated sex). The Lure is available on VOD right now… that’s also in my top 10 atm.

    • I lost respect for the list right away when I saw how many films from the last 10 years were on the list. I’m sorry, but that’s too recent for me to allow entry on a BEST FILMS OF ALL TIME list. Now if it’s a list of your personal favorites, that’s a different thing. But the purpose of a “best of” list such as this is to give a comprehensive and diverse array of important films in the genre to anyone just getting more into horror, someone who has perhaps only seen some of the bigger studio films or cheesy sequels in horror franchises. Or to give aficionados a few films they may have missed.

      I recently made my own 100 best-of list for a friend who I’ve managed to get more into horror, and I self-imposed some rules:
      – don’t include anything more recent than 2007
      – don’t exclude something just because you don’t like it if it has historical importance
      – try to be inclusive without stretching the bounds (don’t include anything that’s highly contested as a horror film)

      I’m sure lots of folks here would argue with some of my picks and scratch their heads at the exclusion of others, but I think I did a better job of compiling representative and important films than this list.

          • Nice lists, AnDread. I think this is a more accurate 100 best horror films than the paste one. So which film(s) did you include not because you liked them but because of their significance?

            I put May on my watchlist.

            • Thanks, Dark Mark. At the risk of being crucified here, I included Jaws, The Exorcist, The Silence of the Lambs, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre only because of their importance to the genre. They’re not films that I personally enjoy, though I cannot but help to acknowledge their influence and quality. There’s different reasons for each, but they just never grabbed me, as a child or on re-watch as an adult.

              Definitely check out May. It’s a quirky female slasher with lots of tongue-in-cheek moments, but there are some really disturbing scenes, especially the ending. Lucky McKee hasn’t done much, but I’ve enjoyed what he’s done so far. The Woman is also a great (and disturbing) film.

              • I don’t think anyone can argue with personal taste. I like that you can set that aside and recognize the importance of those films though. I do notice they’re missing in your 100 favorites list. I’m not a big fan of Silence of the Lambs either.

    • I love lists like this! They’re great for getting lots of recommendations and the discussion or comments we get out of them help everyone establish a general canon of horror films. That being said, I disagree with a lot of film rankings on this list. It’s hard to even define what “best” means and a 100 favorites list would be very different.

    • I respect it for putting The Sixth Sense (2001) and Get Out (2017) although recent I still think The Sixth Sense might not be considered a classic or even horror I still consider it FREAKING AWESOME!

  5. I always appreciate Jay’s efforts to organize his thoughts into a reasoned argument. That said, I definitely take issue with some parts of his essay.

    Point 1:

    I don’t see any reason to speculate about what Steve Rose means by “post-horror.” He defines it in his essay as horror that defies audience expectations of the genre in some way. He considers post-horror a sub-genre of horror. Therefore, post-horror movies are definitively horror movies. I think it’s fine to question why Rose chose the label “post-horror” for these movies, but it doesn’t make sense to try to determine the meaning of the label based purely on semantics. Someone could likewise take Jay’s term “organic horror” and guess that it has something to do with vegetables. It’s not possible to get a definition from the label itself.

    Point 2:

    The idea that The Beguiled was designed as a faux horror movie specifically to impart a feminist message to horror fans is just bizarre and has no place in a serious article. With this claim, Jay violates the “death of the author” guideline for criticism that he claims to subscribe to. Beyond that, his evidence is paper thin. The point is bad. To Jay’s credit, he pretty much admits as much in his essay. But instead of qualifying it, I wish he would have just left it out.

    Since this is my first time commenting, I should also add that you guys make an excellent podcast. I look forward to each new episode. Thanks!

    • The first thing I thought of when I heard “Post Horror” was “Post Hardcore”. And post-hardcore music took the hardcore movement to a different level. The music still subscribed to some of the elements that made it hardcore but was able to branch off into more creative directions and not stick to ALL the elements of hardcore. Maybe “Post-Horror” is meant the same way…..

      “No wonder some film-makers are starting to question what happens when you switch the flashlight off. What happens when you stray beyond those cast-iron conventions and wander off into the darkness? You might find something even scarier. You might find something that’s not scary at all. What could be emerging here is a new sub-genre. Let’s call it “post-horror”.” (from Steve Rose article)

      Just my 2 cents.

      • Oh, yeah, I think you’re right, PV. That’s well put.

        I should also add that I share Jay’s dislike for the term. It definitely suggests that horror is done and these new movies are not exactly of the same genre. I think Wolfman Josh’s label “arthouse horror” pretty much covers the same kind of films–maybe with a slightly different shading.

  6. I “semi” listen to another horror podcast- “Faculty of Horror” and they just did an in-depth review of Audition. I would recommend anyone checking it out. It was a great review. They go into the symbolism and underlying messages in the film, so lots of spoilers. They are ultra-feminists so that has to be tolerated throughout their entire podcast. A little too preachy for me.

    The Girl With All the Gifts will certainly NOT make my top ten. I just couldn’t get over that one awkward scene with the main zombie girl shouting/yelling/snarling at the other zombie kids. And the zombie kids reminded me from the kids from Hook. Overall the movie just didn’t sit well with me.

    My Little Eye-
    Geez Dr. Shock, you give tooooooo much away in your reviews! I will still watch this but wish I didn’t’ know every play-by-play. Or at least say “spoilers”!

    MY RECENT WATCH LIST:

    Berlin Syndrome-7 Recommend Just saw this a could days ago and it was a great watch. A lot of tension and drama. It has sequences that will remind you of other films in this subgenre but overall very enjoyable.

    Belko Experiment-Meh 5
    I was excited for this and then it fell flat. Too predictable and done before.

    Dark Song-8
    I watched this again last week. I love it. There is one sequence at the end which is a bit odd but this movie kept me guessing the entire time. Short synopsis…A lady wants to summon some ancient magic to seek vengeance on those that have wronged her family and needs the help of this weird semi-hipster creep dude to do it. Is he really helping her? Does he have ulterior motives?

    We Go On- 6
    This was a little slow to start but sped up. Basically some guy is trying to see if ghosts are real and is offering a reward to someone who can prove it to him. There are some trippy sequences in it that made it worth the horror watch.

    Don’t Knock Twice-
    Don’t Hang Up-
    DON”T WATCH rubbish

    Josh- Have you seen Bokeh yet? I really think you’ll like it. Not horror (hope I’m not doing a disservice to the film) but one of the most beautiful films I have seen in a while.

    Jay of the Dead- Very well laid out argument. For it to work, there would need to be an agreement with fans about what classifies horror and that is the never ending debate.

    And when are you guys going to do a French Horror Themed episode?!

    • I think when you watch MY LITTLE EYE, you’ll see I didn’t take things past the halfway point. I also didn’t really delve too deeply into the various relationships between the characters, which plays a big part in the movie.

      And this is the first time I’ve heard anything about my reviews being too “spolerific” (there was an issue with THE RING a few years back, but that wasn’t during a review). If anyone else feels the same, I’ll try to change them up going forward.

      • Just the thing about the packages being left at the doors and what was in the packages and how it had to do with their past. That could’ve been a nice surprise. But I’ll re-respond after I’ve finished it. I’m watching it now!

      • Hey, but don’t get me wrong, your reviews are my favorite because you don’t go with the obvious choice! You have turned me onto the most movies outside of my typical sub genre taste. I’ve watched most of what you’ve recommended above a 6! Sorry is if I sounded harpy!

        • Don’t sweat it!

          I do have a tendency to be over-enthusiastic at times, but I don’t ever intend to delve too deeply into spoiler territory. I’ll be mindful of it going forward.

          And I’m glad you’ve enjoyed some of the recommendations!

  7. So awesome to have two episodes released so close together.

    You guys rock as usual.

    Love the films that were reviewed.

    The Girl with all the Gifts – it’s great, but will get knocked out of my top ten list. Yes, Projectile, I agree. The yell knocked a point off for me.

    Audition – must see for horror fans

    JOTD – I agree with your many points against Post-Horror

    Sadly, I shook the magic 8-ball about the meet-up this year and it’s response was “Outlook, not so good.”

    I still have hope, but it looks bleak.

    Dr. Shock – I make killer barbecue, come out to Northwest Ohio and have some. It’s free!
    JotD and Wolfman Josh, you’re also welcome.

    Heck! Anyone who desires smoked barbecue, let me know.

    Currently listening to Episode #122, love it already. I just viewed Ice Sharks (2016) in preparation for Shark Week. I give it a 3/10. No need for a viewing, unless you have friends over for a shark marathon, then squeeze it in.

  8. Jay,

    Regarding your assessment of Post-horror and the “Trojans at the Gate” theories, I respectfully have to make a few observations. First, your theory regarding Post-Horror seems entirely hypocritical in the light of your approach to the “Trojans at the Gate”. It feels very much like you want to have your cake, eat your cake, and then slap the cake out of other people’s hands and yell at them for daring to say Angel Food is a real cake. Horror is an expansive enough genre to fold in some expansive titles and sub-genres.

    Regarding “The Beguiled”, I have never thought of the old Eastwood film as anything other than a horror film. Having seen the film when I was younger, it always felt very connected in theme and tone with Stephen King’s “Misery”. I wasn’t alive when the film was originally marketed, but it’s listed as a terrifying cult classic in some books and that’s the lasting impression it’s had since that time. So a remake would be best served by marketing it toward the audience that embraced the original film many years ago. Horror. With that said, I cannot speak to whether this film is more in line with horror as the first film focused primarily on telling the story from the Union Soldier’s point of view. There we saw shy, overly eager, and nearly obsessed girls and women trying to cater to him and then growing jealous of one another until things took a dreadful turn. I’ve read this version of the film tells the story from the point of view of the students and faculty at the school, where the soldier is more of an encroaching threat to their way of life. I had no interest in watching the film at this point in my life, at least not in the theater. So you may be right about it not being “horror”, but I’m going to say that the marketing wasn’t misleading. This was a remake of a known quantity. In fact, when Coppola was offered the project, she specifically decided to make it from the point of view of the women… whether this was for a feminist reason or just for the sake of telling the story in a different way, I don’t know? But she hasn’t been shy about saying that she wanted to tell this story from the women’s point of view.

    I honestly don’t know about this theory right now. Most films try to avoid the connotation that it might be a horror film, fearing that they’ll lose prestige and some family box office in the process. That’s been the accepted wisdom in Hollywood for a long time. They try to avoid the niche markets as they find them too “limiting” and leave it to independent companies to develop those projects for purchase later.

    HOWEVER!!!!

    While the film may be “horror” in theme and tone, I found the marketing for “It Comes at Night” to be incredibly deceptive. This wasn’t just promising a terrifying movie, it was insinuating the presence of a creature or external threat beyond “man’s inhumanity to man”. I get what the film was going for, but the advertising was geared for something entirely different. Horror fans were tricked into seeing that film, at best. So I can get behind the idea of holding a marketing team to the fire for deceptive promises.

    • Redcap: Misery and The Beguiled. Of course! Why didn’t I think of it? Perfect double bill!

      Keep up the good work, Roger

  9. Keeping up with DVD Infatuation made Dr. Shock’s reviews in this episode a pleasant surprise. I read his My Little Eye review the day he posted it on the blog and, surprised that I had let a single-setting horror movie slip by me, watched it that night on his reccomendation. What a fun watch it was. I can’t get enough of these types of contained movies, and hearing that you guys are thinking of doing a home invasion themed episode gets me so excited. I ought to start putting together a top 5 list. Lord knows I’ve seen enough.

    Anyway, My Little Eye is an 8/10 for me. Definitely one I’ll show to some friends at a get-together.

  10. I suspect the inspiration for ‘My Little Eye’ was the reality TV-show ‘Big Brother’ from the very late ’90s/early ’00s. It was very popular here in Europe – a group of strangers live together in a house with cameras everywhere. Only difference is it was broadcast on TV, since this was before streaming & web shows were a thing.

    The DVD features two very interesting audio commentary tracks – one with the director/writer/producers, that is fairly standard stuff, but the other one is an in-character commentary by the ‘company guys’ who run things. It really adds a whole different layer to the film hearing their commentary to what is happening.

    • Wow, the in-character commentary you mentioned sounds so cool. That sounds like it could be considered another film all together. My biggest problem with the film was how little it revealed about “the company,” though I appreciated what was revealed. If the writing and acting is strong on that commentary, it could be truly incredible.Thanks for bringing that up. I think I may have to seek out the DVD now.

  11. The “post-” hyphenated prefix in genre-specific speech refers to a generation of a genre that is not a replacement, nor does it refer to the genre being dead and replaced: it is an offshoot that is closely related to the original, but different enough in a fundamental aspect that it requires partial redefinition instead of just a subgenre suffix, AFTER it has gained enough of a cultural critical-mass to stand out and be recognized with other examples of it’s kind.

    ‘Post’ refers refers to a new generation of the genre that is built on the original or previous generation of the genre but takes one or more of the pillars of that original genre and subverts or changes it in a way that.

    It is a common practice in musical genres (post-hardcore, post-metal, post-punk, etc) where the music can be easily identified as parts of a genre to subgenre, but has a particular fundamental subversion that resonates culturally and reaches a point where that are a sufficient number of bands create works in that niche.

    So for example, if you were to have a genre that is defined by anger/aggression/dark-themes but create something that falls into a category where that work can easily identify it with the trappings a genre, but also a) subverts one aspect of the accepted genre defining pillars (i.e. ANGST/aggression/dark-themes instead of ANGER/aggression/dark-themes) and b) it is different in one of the fundamental aspect without losing it’s genre identity and c) it is is similar enough in it’s same fundamental genre pillar subversion as enough other bodied of work to be considered a zeitgeist.

    • My thoughts exactly Alex! When I first heard the term post-horror, the first thing I though of was post-rock. It’s a genre classification that co-exists and certainly doesn’t replace rock.

      Same goes with horror. There was 0 doubt in my mind that the classification “post-horror” was a sub-genre classification that doesn’t replace horror. Nor did I think post-horror referred to post apocalyptic, nor did I think it referred to the death of horror. Honestly, I don’t think it hurts the genre if you understand post-horror as an extension of horror and not a destruction of it.

  12. Jay, thanks for the “post-horror”/ Trojan Horse rant. I think you’re on the money as it seems many here do as well. Not sure there’s anything more nefarious than simply trying to get horror fan money into studio pockets.

    And regarding Ms. Coppola’s intent to cover her feminist medicine with some horror peanut butter, I think her dependence on surface (in her content as well, see Bling Ring, Marie Antoinette, Somewhere which are all very much about the look and a certain emptiness underneath) makes her stridency feel overdone. Siegel’s original isn’t interested in any of that, just a bunch of girls fawning over Clint. Which I think Clint was interested in too. 😉

    Oh — and how was Bats???? Inquiring minds need to know.

    Keep it up, great ep as usual. Roger

  13. Jay,

    I love how fervently and passionately you discuss the horror genre. Your love for horror is real! I’m always excited to hear what new perspectives and ideas you have about the genre. I think Jeff Hammer is incorrect in saying that debating whether something is horror or not is harmful. The intelligent debate that goes on at HMP has significantly increased my love and appreciation of the horror genre. In fact, the discussion we’ve had has convinced me that horror as actually one of the most complicated, ambitious, and intellectually stimulating out of all film genres.

    As per your request in the episode, I just wanted to send a little of my feedback your way based on the arguments you laid out.

    1- Post-Horror
    I really don’t have a lot to say here because both Alex Kenis and Dan have left comments above that say my thoughts better than I can. Though you are correct, the coining of the term post-horror was imprecise, it certainly doesn’t come across as a replacement. Conventional horror isn’t going anywhere, and neither is the standard classification of horror. Your comparison of post-horror to coke II seems like it is founded in a mis-understanding of how “post” is used as a prefix in genre classification. See Alex Kenis’s comment above in regards to music genres like post-rock. In fact, the very first thing I thought of when you said post-horror was post-rock. Here’s a copy paste definition of post-rock:
    Post-rock is a form of experimental rock characterized by the influence and use of instruments commonly associated with rock music, but using rhythms and “guitars as facilitators of timbre and textures” not traditionally found in rock. Post-rock bands are often instrumental.
    As you read, nowhere does post rock say it is replacing rock. In fact it’s just its own sub-genre of rock. Characterized by textural instrumental music. And isn’t that a perfect comparison to something like a slow burn indie horror like The Witch? A textural atmospheric experience more defined by more by a pervading feeling than digestible jump scares and gore effects? Further, it uses “instruments” in this case film elements that are traditional used in the horror genre. I feel like the comparison is apt. I never once thought a classification like post-horror would be anything more than that. An EXTENSION of the horror genre. Not a REPLACEMENT. I think your defense of the horror genre is awesome, and I totally back you. However, in this case… I truly do not believe the genre is under attack.

    2- False Advertising
    I completely agree with you in terms of films being marketed in such a way of exploiting the horror community. I don’t feel like I’ve been suckered in too much, but I do believe this happens. I also don’t think this is exclusive to the horror genre. I believe after a film is made, marketing departments at studios do whatever they have to to make money. Check out this article by slash film:
    http://www.slashfilm.com/misleading-trailers/
    We’ve all walked in to movies and either been surprised or disappointed that the advertising material didn’t deliver what they promised. Again here, I agree with you that false advertising exists and it’s used to exploit fans of many genres and demographics, but I don’t think the horror genre and community is directly under attack. I think that’s a little alarmist.

    3- Symbolism

    First, Trojan Horse. This has so many implications in it. Most importantly, it implies that there is an opposing force trying to infiltrate and destroy the horror genre and community. Is there really though? I mean… really? With as many horror movies, both traditional and genre-bending, do you really think the horror genre is coming to an end any time soon? Who is the opposing force? Is it movie studios? Is it the same studios that have made $175m on Get Out or $138m on Split or $73m on Alien: Covenant? What is their motivation? Why do they want to kill such a profitable genre? Why does defying genre classification and false marketing really help their cause.

    Next, pill in the peanut butter. Dan left a pretty clear comment about this above in regards to The Beguiled. With this argument you’re making the assumption Sophia Coppola is making the following assumptions: 1- most fans of the horror genre a misogamists and chauvinists, 2- Sophia Coppola has a hidden agenda to give horror fans a lesson in gender equality, 3-she’s willing to risk the success of her film marketing it, not to Jane Austen fans, but instead to horror fans. I do understand the logic that if you wanted to deliver a message to horror fans that you could dress up your film like a horror film, but I really don’t think you have enough evidence for that. Furthermore… if it’s truly being marketed as a horror film… how come on every site I look at it is labeled singularly as a drama? IMDB, Wikipedia, Box Office Mojo, Metacritic, and Rotten Tomatoes just to name a few all list it singularly as a dram. That seems like a bit of a discrepancy if Coppola’s agenda was really to get this film in front of a horror audience.

    Lastly, the gates of horror. This is the one that actually disturbs me the most. If we’ve learned anything with genre classification, it’s that it is almost never cut and dry when discussing modern horror releases. In fact, not only do films belong in multiple genres, but they exists in multiple sub genres. The “gates of horror” instead suggests that a film must cross a certain threshold, and it further suggest that we are fiercely defending anything that enters. May I suggest instead the visual of intersecting circles. Genres that exists within genres that can blend in to other genres at will. We still know when something plainly exists well outside of horror, but I see no reason to build walls to defend horror. The core of horror with its rich history is unbreakable. From Dracula to Psycho, from The Shining to Friday the 13th, up in to The Conjuring and The Witch horror is a ferocious genre that won’t be broken up by false advertising or pills in the peanut butter.

    Anyway, I’m sorry to disagree with you at so many points, but I do ultimately want to say that I am spending so much time writing this because I care too. I couldn’t be more grateful that you put this level of thought and effort in to your love for horror. You’re a much more dead serious horror fan than i will ever be. I can’t wait to hear your next argument.

    I challenge you to do one thing in your next blog post though, and it’s just two words…… MORE EVIDENCE.
    Defend your arguments with FACTS not feelings, and you will have my support 100%.

  14. I have to respectfully disagree with those making the comparison to Rose’s post-horror to the “post-” prefix in musical genres. In the music realm, terms like “post-rock” and “post-metal” were used by critics to describe music that truly seemed new, played by bands that sounded similar to each other – but different from previous bands in the same way. If you actually look at what Rose says, he doesn’t provide enough evidence that the movies he discusses are different enough from previous films, nor does he provide much evidence that they are similar enough to each other to be lumped into the same category.

    Rose’s main thrust seems to be that these “post-horror” films don’t rely on jump scares and do innovative things. So, basically he’s saying that horror relies on jump scares or is purely formulaic, which is an insulting and reductive take on horror. There have always been films that are more subtle/psychological and that break the mould.

    I’m sorry, guys, but I’m with Jay on this one (for the most part, other than his crazy conspiracy theory). Thinking that Rose meant something akin to what music critics mean by post-rock/post-metal/post-punk/etc. is being too generous. Rose’s claims have too many holes in them and are too dismissive of the wonderful and diverse history of horror.

  15. I could reasonably see post-horror as a label to designate films such as The Neon Demon and Under the Skin that rely less on narrative and typical horror elements of suspense, dread, shock, or disgust, and more on an unsettling, poetic succession of visuals and sound. But we already have the term “arthouse horror” to describe such films, going back perhaps to at least The Wicker Man, so I’d still see no need to create a new label.

  16. I realize I’m late to the party, but I have a few thoughts about the Trojan horse argument. Jay, I respect your love for horror deeply, as well as your desire to keep the genre alive and true to form. However, parts of your essay/recording, bordered on AM talk show host territory, ala Limbaugh. I use that example not to reference a particular political ideology but to draw upon your unnecessary near-hysteria that invaders from the outside (a mysterious “them”) are trying to destroy what we love and take it away from us. You describe this as a wide-ranging problem, but only give one example where you feel this has happened. I think you might be over-representing this threat, especially when you consider what a strong year 2016 (and 2017 so far) was for horror.

    Additionally, though you didn’t outright say this, I don’t think feminist messages are incompatible with a horror movie and may actually provide a new, interesting perspective. If Coppola felt as though she had to sneak in her message because no one would hear it otherwise (which I don’t think she did), so be it. I vehemently disagree that artists have to be bold and upfront with their messages and sometimes think that such an approach can be hackneyed and overly preachy. I think being able to quietly include values, ideas, and symbolic items is a talent many lack. Furthermore, I think that it’s possible that artists of all types aren’t always consciously aware of the ideas and themes they include in their work and only recognize it after the fact. I’m not sure the Coke/movies analogy works so well given that film as an art form has always been intended to be a varied, multilayered medium rather than something that is always simple and elemental. While I love going to McDonald’s for the occasional Big Mac (I always know what I’m going to get no matter where I go), there’s also a reason people go to fusion restaurants to try something new or experience a novel combination of foods. I think the same applies to movies – if I want a bread and butter horror movie, I’ll always have my Friday the 13ths, but if I want something different, there are also genre-blendings, meta-movies, or films with a deeper subtext. That doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better than the other. Sometimes being surprised (though not lied to) makes the viewing experience even better.

    I will agree that straight-up dishonest marketing is inappropriate and should not be encouraged. However, as others have said, more often than not I see producers trying to market horror movies as something different (e.g. psychological thriller) to make it more palpable to a wider audience rather than trying to get a wide audience by calling a drama a horror movie. Jay, I think the Beguiled is just another example of where you subjectively believe something is not horror but others will feel it does in fact qualify. It’s interesting to me that you work so hard to set up these definitions for what is and is not horror, yet you are known on this podcast as the person who makes the unlikely inclusions to the horror genre (e.g. No Escape) more often than not.

  17. I just fell victim to a “Trojan horse” of a horror movie called “American Fable”, a Netflix movie. Wonderful performances but it was a gigantic letdown! I honestly don’t even know what the point of it was. The film alluded certain horror elements but never went there. I thought it was going to payoff right until the last 5 minutes. Sadly, it did not. Avoid this one if you want anything close to a horror film, friends!

    • Preach, Tina!
      This is exactly what I’m talking about, everybody. Thank you, Tina. I’m not suggesting that we try to restrict anyone’s artistic vision or tell people how to proceed with their creative process… I just love what Tina wrote here, because the concept of “genre” allows us to categorize a collection of certain expectations that typify a certain type of film (a type that we all love). We Horror fans all know and love these conventions and tropes, so in order to preserve them, we must still be able to identify, differentiate and support them. Thanks again, Tina.
      Sincerely,
      Jay of the Dead

      • Slow your roll, Jason…

        I actually reviewed this movie on MPW earlier this year (I think sometime in February), so I’m fairly familiar with it. And with all due respect to Tina, this is a horrible example for you to hitch your (Trojan) horse to. American Fable has not been advertised, categorized, or otherwise marketed as a horror movie. It’s classified simply as a “thriller” on IMDb, and Letterboxd/TMDb has it classified as a “drama-thriller.” The only other genre classification I’ve ever seen it associated with is “fantasy.” Never have I seen it classified or represented as a horror film. Even Netflix has it categorized in their “Sci-fi/Fantasy” section.

        So, claiming American Fable as an example of a “Trojan horse” horror movie is like going into No Escape expecting a horror movie, and then being upset because it’s just an action-thriller.

  18. Pingback: Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 248: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and The Big Sick (2017) and The House (2017) and Band Aid (2017) |

  19. Come on, let us be honest here – the main, if not the only, reason ‘GET OUT’ was hailed was because of the race baiting. Remove that and the film would have bombed, and it would have been forgotten after the first week. Reviewers threw praise at this atrocity out of fear of being labelled as racists. It brings nothing new to the table – it is a cliché-riddled, nonsensical mess with plotholes left and right. If the races had been switched but the rest of the film had been the exact same, I guarantee you that this film would have been universally panned and called a trite, racist and cheap mess by critics and virtue-signalling members of the audience alike. This is not a horror film – it is a shameless cashgrab made to capitalise on race-relations, and sadly it proved to be effective.

    • I don’t think you can take race out of Get Out. That’s the whole point. I love when horror films can tap into societal issues. “Atrocity” seems pretty harsh. Have you seen Pitchfork from this year?

    • Get Out would need some tweaks to make it work without the racial element, but there’s plenty that makes it effective aside from that. The way it delves into awkwardness around meeting the family of one’s partner, putting a protagonist in a mysterious and increasingly ominous situation, the way others around him act more and more bizarre, work to amp up the suspense as the film goes on.

      I’m not sure how Get Out is race-baiting. Merriam Webster defines race-baiting as “the unfair use of statements about race to try to influence the actions or attitudes of a particular group of people.” This could mean using stereotypes of racial minorities to influence opinions about a person or issue, as Reagan did with the “welfare queen” stereotype to garner support for cutting welfare. Or it could mean derailing a conversation or attacking a person by calling a person racist when racism wasn’t the issue being discussed.

      But if the whole point of a work is to draw attention to racism, as with Get Out, it could be hardly said to be race-baiting. I mean, that’s like saying Schindler’s List is race-baiting by focusing on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, and saying that the film wouldn’t work without it. I think it’s great when horror films can touch on social issues and fears, and racism is a sadly untapped potential for that. It can be heavy-handed at times but as long as it’s got strong writing, acting, and/or sound and visual design, it works. Romero and Craven’s films, for example, were not necessarily subtle, but they work.

      If you’re bothered by people talking about racism, I could see why you wouldn’t like Get Out, but then I would wonder why such conversations bother you. If you didn’t like Get Out purely on a story/quality level, like Billchete does, I disagree but can see your point. I just see no reason to disparage a film or filmmaker for tackling the subject. Even if you don’t feel it was done well, at least respect them for making the attempt, given the lack of other examples. Maybe it will pave the way for a better film in a similar vein.

      • It seems quite obvious that Peele set out to do social commentary first and foremost, and the story, characters, etc., came in second place, and then poorly at that.

        The story is overshadowed by Peele’s ham-fisted social commentary. The difference between Peele’s magnum opus and the films of Ed Wood is that you actually get the feeling that Wood wanted to make good and entertaining films, and genuinely cared out the genres he worked in. You get none of this with Peele – he is to horror what Anita Sarkeesian is to video gaming; someone pushing their message with a medium they don’t even appear to care for. Compare Peele’s blunt, in-your-face social commentary to George A. Romero’s in his zombie films – the difference is like night and day. Romero told a story first, and added a sprinkle of clever commentary into it – You don’t do it the other way around – unless you can play the race card and make dissidents possibly face accusations of being racist for voicing their opinion that is.

        Jason talks about Trojan Horses at the Gates of Horror, and this is a shining example of a Trojan Horse – This is identity politics at play, and you get a poor film is being hailed simply for the political message. I don’t respect anyone for sacrificing story over message.

        PS. Leave the psychoanalysis to the psychologists, Freud.

        Please clap.

        • If Peele is sacrificing story for social commentary, you’re sacrificing real, genuine film criticism for a personal agenda, which is quite disgusting and has no place on these boards. AnDread was nice enough to try to reason with you in a civil way and your response was to be hostile? Come on. Be better than that.

          P.S. Leave film criticism to the film critics, Einstein.

          • I’m not sure why you thought Einstein would be a better pick than an actual critic like Siskel or Ebert, but in any case, being a psychologist requires an education whereas film criticism does not.

            PS. If you could refrain from resorting to ad hominem attacks, and stick to the points that would be swell.

        • Eastman, I support your right to share your opinion on any film we’ve discussed as long as the discourse remains civil and the discussion remains at least somewhat related to film. I erased your link before – and again, this time – because I believe it crossed the line into hate speech and, if you like, an agenda of race-baiting. It was full of racist images and words and negative stereotypes. I’m not going to allow this show, which we work so hard on, to be a platform for that kind of discourse. I don’t think the agenda of that video has any place in the modern world, or at least one I’m interested in.

          Video aside, I think your comments have been in the spirit of film discussion (although I can’t help but question the source of the underlying anger) and so I HAVE NOT censored your words in any way. And I have no intention of doing so, despite strongly disagreeing with most of your points.

          I have not responded because I have no doubt that GET OUT will come up toward the end of 2017 as one of the year’s best and I don’t have the energy to repeat myself, when I know I’ll be discussing it a lot on the show. But I have read your comments and given them some thought. Still disagree with most of them and I don’t find your line of criticism particularly interesting or useful, but I thank you for participating.

          I do very much appreciate your reference to the films of George Romero and that’s something to discuss, in full, when we cover the Romero Dead films this Fall. Thanks for that.

          • I find it strange you would devote so much of your post talking about me instead of addressing the complaints I have raised regarding the film. I would like to think that my dissent from the ‘mainstream’ should not deserve being spoken down to in such a condescending manner, with several paragraphs being devoted to patronizing comments thinly veiled as ‘compliments’.

            I also vehemently disagree with your assertions that the video review I linked to is ‘hate speech’, and ‘racist’. IMHO slapping on such labels and simply dismissing the points and comments made in the video review completely misses the point of the review, which uses provocative, edgy and charged humour to satirise the (one-sided) racially charged film it critiques.

            I have condensed some of the points, I agree with, raised in the video review:
            * The opening scene is poorly pulled off. The character is talking to himself, solely because of the audience watching, and it removes all tension from the scene. The kidnapping also makes the elaborate method of the female character to lure in victims feel contrived and done solely because the story demands it. It should have been dropped, that way the strange behaviour of the family later on works better, and it keeps the audience wondering what will happen. With this scene present the audience knows what will happen.
            * The car/cop scene – the only reason it is in the film, is seemingly only there to play up the racial angle (ie Peele’s clever social commentary), with the white cops treating the black protagonist like a criminal for no other reason than ‘racism’. Furthermore there is no reason for the female character to call the police to the scene if she plans to kidnap the protagonist. It is unimaginative and a tired cliché of having an animal be hit on a remote stretch of road to get in a cheap and quick jumpscare.
            * The running scene is ridiculous, and I don’t think it was supposed to be a comedic scene. The jumpscare with the grandmother in the window, walking past the corridor in the distance, accompanied by a loud jumpscare sound is lazy and cheap.
            * The slave auction scene, ‘cleverly’ disguised as a peaceful game of bingo is yet another racially charged scene that is completely pointless. It serves no other reason that to allude to slavery in the US, and it is solely there for the audience watching the film. There is no in-universe reason for it to have to be disguised as a game of bingo. Having a straight-up slave auction scene might have been a tad too much even for Peele to get away with though.
            * The family keeps up the charade for far too long. Not only is the female character spending several months to lure in new victims, when simply jumping them on the street and kidnapping them also works, but they even keep up the façade after the rest of the family arrives. There is no in-universe reason for this, and it is simply done in order for Peele to continue the story.
            * The hypnosis scene in the chair is incredibly contrived and serves no other purpose than exposition for the audience. Show, don’t tell.

            Summa summarum: it is a racially charged film, portraying all white characters as racist or downright evil murderous, with a forced, ham-fisted message and riddled with tired horror clichés, unnecessary and contrived story points simply for the sake of the audience/story, to the point of it being ridiculous and draining all believability out of the film. But, because of the message it is given several passes that would have been harshly criticised in any other film. Story > message

            • Eastman wrote: “I find it strange you would devote so much of your post talking about me instead of addressing the complaints I have raised regarding the film.”

              I mentioned that I don’t want to spend a lot of time delving into a film that (I’ve already covered at length and) will likely be covering a lot toward the end of the year. Your points were not as concerning to me as the negativity you were exhibiting and the things you were linking to.

              Eastman wrote: “I would like to think that my dissent from the ‘mainstream’ should not deserve being spoken down to in such a condescending manner, with several paragraphs being devoted to patronizing comments thinly veiled as ‘compliments’.”

              I am truly sorry that you felt spoken down to. I didn’t veil anything. I said what I meant and I was trying to be respectful, despite finding your comments charged in a way that I found disturbing.

              You know, I only heard about your comments because both Jay and I had received several requests for them to be removed by our other listeners (largely due to the link). I thought it better not to feed into negativity, but after AnDread replied civilly and you mentioned your link being missing, I thought I would at least do you the courtesy of telling you why.

              Eastman wrote: “I also vehemently disagree with your assertions that the video review I linked to is ‘hate speech’, and ‘racist’.”

              That actually scares me. It called for blood shed at the end.

              Eastman, I don’t disagree with all of the movie-related points that you’ve laid out above (thank you for distilling them and leaving out what I consider to be the ‘backward racist bullshit’ in the source video), but I also think that many of these points are minor, nit-picky complaints you could make of most horror films. They especially feel like minor complaints when compared to the overall achievement of the film. I promise that the podcast hosts will address your points when we re-review the film as we discuss our Top 10 of 2017 … and probably when we get to awards season as well.

        • Eastman, I get the impression that neither of us will probably change the other’s mind much. And you actually didn’t respond to most of my points. I’ll leave the discussion with a few rebuttals to yours, and try to step aside after that for fear that it will devolve into a pointless flame war.

          “It seems quite obvious that Peele set out to do social commentary first and foremost, and the story, characters, etc., came in second place, and then poorly at that.” If you truly believe that, that’s fine. I disagree, obviously, but I can understand that reaction. However, you haven’t made a case for why that is; you’ve simply attacked Jordan Peele on a personal level, and objected to the idea of incorporating racism into a horror movie as “race-baiting” (which as I pointed out – and you failed to comment on – it is not, since it sets out directly to address racism).

          “The story is overshadowed by Peele’s ham-fisted social commentary. The difference between Peele’s magnum opus and the films of Ed Wood is that you actually get the feeling that Wood wanted to make good and entertaining films, and genuinely cared out the genres he worked in. You get none of this with Peele – he is to horror what Anita Sarkeesian is to video gaming; someone pushing their message with a medium they don’t even appear to care for.”

          This is a claim without evidence. Your support is to make a claim about Peele “not caring about horror,” which I believe is patently false, given the allusions to many other horror films within Get Out itself, in addition to the many statements Peele has made about his love for horror. But regardless, the first claim – that Get Out’s social commentary is “ham-fisted” and overshadows the story – is a claim about the film, whereas your other statement – that Peele doesn’t care about horror – is a personal attack.

          “Compare Peele’s blunt, in-your-face social commentary to George A. Romero’s in his zombie films – the difference is like night and day. Romero told a story first, and added a sprinkle of clever commentary into it – You don’t do it the other way around – unless you can play the race card and make dissidents possibly face accusations of being racist for voicing their opinion that is.”

          I think Peele and Romero’s incorporation of social commentary is actually quite similar. I say this with Romero being my #2 favorite horror director, after Carpenter, and Night of the Living Dead being my #1 favorite horror movie (check my Letterbox if you think I’m just saying that). As the hosts said in their Romero tribute episode, his social commentary, despite what he would say in interviews, was actually quite obvious and transparent. It was well-thought-out and worked very well, but it wasn’t subtle. I would say the same is true of Get Out – no, it’s commentary isn’t subtle, but it works well to bolster the tension set up by other elements in the film that I mentioned in my first comment.

          Think about Dawn of the Dead, for instance. You have zombies walking around a shopping mall, running into things, grabbing at items, and you have survivors who are also greedily scooping up things like money, that don’t even have any real value in the situation, just in case. I mean, that’s no genius-level critique of consumerism, and it doesn’t take a genius to see that’s what he’s doing. But it is done in a way that fits with the film, and works towards the disintegration of what the protagonists thought was a safe situation. And it’s quite amusing to watch. So it works.

          “Jason talks about Trojan Horses at the Gates of Horror, and this is a shining example of a Trojan Horse – This is identity politics at play, and you get a poor film is being hailed simply for the political message. I don’t respect anyone for sacrificing story over message.”

          Why? Who says story has to dominate message? In most older respected works of literature and art, message always came first, story second. Besides, horror films are not necessarily known for their sophisticated and original stories. We often love a film DESPITE the lack of a good or original story. Sure, there are some exceptions, but at least I don’t consider story to be the be-all-end-all of a film. In fact, I don’t hold any one factor above others. A film can work for one reason or another – visuals, sound design, great kills, etc. – while being flawed in other areas.

          In my view, Get Out tells just as a good of a story as it does deliver a social message. I think both were equally important to Peele. But, even if that were not that case, I could still respect someone who puts their message first, because that’s an artist’s prerogative.

          “PS. Leave the psychoanalysis to the psychologists, Freud.”

          I’m not sure where this comment comes from…was I psychoanalyzing you, or the film, or…?

          • Psychologist here (since apparently that’s now a requirement to critique a horror film for some reason…)

            Eastman, it sounds more like your issues with the film have to do with a political/philosophical difference. You don’t agree with Peele’s stance on racism, so you view any discussion of it as “ham-fisted” or “race-baiting.” It’s the same mentality as those that suggest that discussing income inequality in this country is “class warfare.” In my mind, talking about the problem is always better than hiding it. Sure, it may get provocative a times, but it’s silly to expect the downtrodden to always respond in a calm, measured manner when they believe that they are facing huge obstacles and being attacked by an uncaring majority. Obviously, Get Out was just a movie and, as such, makes use of a fantastical story line to point out a lot of societal issues. Speaking as a White dude, I did not feel the least bit attacked while watching this film because I’m fairly secure in the fact that I’m not going around treating others poorly. Finally, as much as I love George Romero, I completely disagree that he was ever subtle with his messages.

        • Not to kick the hornet’s nest again, but I couldn’t pass this up since you mentioned Romero: I’m watching the “The Directors” episode on Romero that’s available on the Season of the Witch Anchor Bay DVD. It’s an awesome nearly hour-long interview with Romero & others about his career. Anyone interested in his work should pick up the DVD for this alone. (Season of the Witch is an intriguing little film as well that deserves watching.)

          Anyway, in it, he says that although he was resistant to making a sequel to Night of the Living Dead for many years, when he finally did decide to do one, he started by thinking how – just as he did with Night – he could satirize the spirit of the 70s, which he says came down to rock and roll, garish colors, and consumerism. He says flat out, “I started with all that rather than stories or characters.” I had never heard that before. So there you have it. Seems my Dawn of the Dead reference was spot-on.

        • This is staggeringly silly. As a person who is not a fan of the SJW nonsense, but smart enough to know there are issues to address… This is utter nonsense. Get Out is a well thought out story with compelling characters and motivations, a film that actually takes Liberal Racism to task for it’s polite version of incredibly offensive behavior. Jordan Peels writing is concise, satyrical, and relatable. You are looking for a reason to be offended if you can’t recognize the storytelling at work here.

  20. Thanks Wolfman Josh for the recommendation and review. The Girl with all The Gifts was amazing!

    I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think it will make my end of the year list.

    • That’s awesome. So glad you liked it. Sounds like you enjoyed it even more than me, but that’s great. It’s a unique film, for sure, and I think we’ll be seeing it on a lot of Top 10 lists at the end of the year.

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