31 Days of Halloween — Day 11: Ava’s Possessions (2015) — by Dr. Shock

31 Days of Halloween - Ava's Possessions 2015

Editor’s note: Dave “Dr. Shock” Becker is a host on Horror Movie Podcast, Universal Monsters Cast and Land of the Creeps horror podcasts. He is also the mastermind behind DVDInfatuation.com, a movie review blog where he is watching and posting one review every day until he reaches at least 2,500 movie reviews. Follow Doc on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation.


This 2015 movie begins where most other possession-themed horror films end: with an exorcism.

A priest (John Ventimiglia), standing at the foot of a bed, is grasping his prayer book, ordering a demon to leave its host while the relatives of the possessed girl, whose name is Ava (Louisa Krause), stand in the background, watching silently. Ava, strapped to her bed, is growling and thrashing about as she drifts in and out of consciousness. The entire scene is shot POV, from Ava’s perspective, and moments before the priest finally banishes the evil entity back to hell, Ava (still under demonic control) turns toward a mirror, smiles at her reflection, and says “Hello, gorgeous!”

Along with setting up the story, this opening lets us know that writer / director Jordan Ballard’s “Ava’s Possessions” is going to be as much a comedy as it is a horror film. Continue reading

31 Days of Halloween — Day 7: The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015) — by Dr. Shock

31 Days of Halloween - The Blackcoast's Daughter 2015

Editor’s note: Dave “Dr. Shock” Becker is a host on Horror Movie Podcast, Universal Monsters Cast and Land of the Creeps horror podcasts. He is also the mastermind behind DVDInfatuation.com, a movie review blog where he is watching and posting one review every day until he reaches at least 2,500 movie reviews. Follow Doc on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation.


We realize early on in “The Blackcoat’s Daughter” that something terrible is going to happen. From the word “go,” writer / director Osgood Perkins (son of Psycho’s Anthony Perkins) fills us with a sense of dread, yet somehow manages to also pique our curiosity; a tragedy is about to rock the girls’ school at the center of this 2015 horror movie, and we are more than willing to sit patiently and watch it play out.

It’s the end of February, which means it is break time for the students at Bramford Academy, an all-girls Catholic boarding school situated in Upstate New York. During the course of the day, most of the young ladies are picked up by their parents and head home to enjoy their week-long vacation. But when the last car pulls away, it’s discovered that Rose (Lucy Boynton) and Kat (Kiernan Shipka) have been left behind. Continue reading

31 Days of Halloween — Day 2: The Hallow (2015) — by Dr. Shock

31 Days of Halloween - The Hallow 2015

Editor’s note: Dave “Dr. Shock” Becker is a host on Horror Movie Podcast, Universal Monsters Cast and Land of the Creeps horror podcasts. He is also the mastermind behind DVDInfatuation.com, a movie review blog where he is watching and posting one review every day until he reaches at least 2,500 movie reviews. Follow Doc on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation.


Steeped in Irish folklore, “The Hallow” is an intensely engrossing creature feature. But more than anything, this 2015 movie is proof-positive that, even in the computer age, there’s still plenty of room for practical effects.

Hired by a logging company to survey a lush Irish forest, Adam (Joseph Mawle), along with his wife Clare (Bojana Novakovic) and their infant son, Finn (Wren Hardy), takes up residence in a remote cottage on the edge of the woods. Despite some local opposition, as well as a cryptic warning from their nearest neighbor Colm Donnelly (Michael McElhatton) to stay out of the forest, Adam carries on with his work, and while doing so discovers the woods are home to an unusual fungal-based parasite, one so strong it can control the mind of anyone it infects. Continue reading

31 Days of Halloween — Day 1: The Vatican Tapes (2015) — by Dr. Shock

31 Days of Halloween - The Vatican Tapes 2015

Editor’s note: Dave “Dr. Shock” Becker is a host on Horror Movie Podcast, Universal Monsters Cast and Land of the Creeps horror podcasts. He is also the mastermind behind DVDInfatuation.com, a movie review blog where he is watching and posting one review every day until he reaches at least 2,500 movie reviews. Follow Doc on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation.


The state of modern horror is such that when I first heard about 2015’s “The Vatican Tapes,” I assumed it was going to be yet another found footage-style exorcism film. Well, I was wrong.

Aside from a handful of CCTV shots and the occasional webcam, “The Vatican Tapes” offers a straightforward narrative and is not “found footage” in the least. And while the movie does feature a few standard clichés (jumpy video, demon faces that pop up out of the blue, out-of-body experiences, etc.), director Mark Neveldine and screenwriters Christopher Borrelli and Michael C. Martin also mix things up a bit on their way to a climax that, quite frankly, was much bolder than I was expecting. But are its unique qualities enough to make “The Vatican Tapes” a film I’d happily recommend to horror fans?

No, I don’t believe they are. Continue reading