31 Days of Halloween — Day 16: Better Watch Out (2017) — by Sal Roma

HMP Better Watch OutEditor’s note: The hosts of Horror Movie Podcast are always impressed by the knowledge and insights of our listenership in the emails and voicemails that we receive, as well as in the comments here at HorrorMoviePodcast.com. Once again, we’ve asked our listeners to participate in our 31 Days of Halloween by contributing written reviews. This review was submitted by a long-time listener and friend of the show who goes by the screen-name “Sal Roma” … You can follow Sal on Twitter @JTalley986 and on Letterboxd at @Sal_Roma.

 


Title: Better Watch Out
Year: 2017
Country: Australia
Director: Chris Peckover

Warning: Review Contains *Spoilers* – But They Are Clearly Marked.

When it comes to 2017 horror, there’s been a handful of movies I’ve been really excited about at one time or another. At the start of the year, it was Get Out. Later on in the year, it was movies such as It Comes At Night, Cult of Chucky, and even The Ice Cream Truck. However, the movie I’ve been anticipating the longest has been Better Watch Out or, as it was titled last year during it’s festival run, Safe Neighborhood. A horror movie set on Christmas and starring the two siblings from The Visit? Sounds awesome. After such a long wait, there was some fear that perhaps the film would be built up too much in my head and would ultimately become a disappointment. Much to my happiness, not only did Better Watch Out live up to the expectations, it exceeded them.

Despite being psyched for Better Watch Out for a solid year, I knew virtually nothing about it beforehand. I knew that The Visit siblings, Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould, were the two stars (which was slightly wrong since Oxenbould played the role of the best friend of the main male star). It was obviously set around Christmas time with a break-in, of some sorts, creating the main turmoil for the film. The early going is enjoyable, but slightly underwhelming as twelve year old, Luke, is desperately trying to woo his five years older babysitter, Ashley (DeJonge) prior to the break-in disturbance. Luke’s attempts to set the mood are cringey to say the least. With each attempt, it gets more and more awkward to watch while at the same time, it’s very innocent and realistic to some extent. It’s relatable to have that early crush when you have zero chance with her. The break-in with the masked intruder created some effective tension scenes as Ashley and Luke attempt to avoid being caught, but ultimately I felt the film was shaping up to be a bit too repetitive with the duo constantly having to sneak around and Luke trying to prove to Ashley that he can be the man that will save her. Due to the age difference, you know they won’t get together, so I was unsure of where they could possibly go with the story to keep it fresh. Where they went is where the massive spoilers begin. If you haven’t seen the film yet, I greatly recommend you watch it first.
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31 Days of Halloween — Day 14: Vault of Horror (1973) — by Sal Roma

HMP Vault of HorrorEditor’s note: The hosts of Horror Movie Podcast are always impressed by the knowledge and insights of our listenership in the emails and voicemails that we receive, as well as in the comments here at HorrorMoviePodcast.com. Once again, we’ve asked our listeners to participate in our 31 Days of Halloween by contributing written reviews. This review was submitted by a long-time listener and friend of the show who goes by the screen-name “Sal Roma” … You can follow Sal on Twitter @JTalley986 and on Letterboxd at @Sal_Roma


Title: Vault of Horror
Alternate Title: Tales from the Crypt II
Year: 1973
Director: Roy Ward Baker

Five strangers enter an elevator in an ordinary office building. However, the elevator disregards their intended destinations, instead bringing them down to the sub-basement. There, the men find five chairs waiting for them around a table, it’s only when they step out of the elevator to check the basement out that they realize that there’s not a button to re-open the elevator doors. In order to pass the time, the men decide to share nightmares that each have been having that represent their fears or obsessions.

After enjoying watching the original Tales from the Crypt film from 1972, I became interested in the Amicus Productions follow-up anthology film, Vault of Horror. Like Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror was originally an EC horror comic from the 1950s. In fact, one of my favorite episodes of the Tales from the Crypt television show and segments from the original ‘72 movie, “And All Through the House…” was taken from a Vault of Horror comic. Like Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror presents a very simple wraparound story to allow five unwitting guests to share personal stories, or in this case previous nightmares, to each other. It is interesting to note that while Tales from the Crypt did feature one Vault of Horror story, the actual Vault of Horror film does not contain a single story that was originally featured in the Vault of Horror comic series. It’s no wonder why one of the alternate titles for Vault of Horror is simply Tales from the Crypt II. Another oddity is that Vault of Horror is missing a host of any kind. Where’s the Vault-Keeper?

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31 Days of Halloween — Day 12: Hostel (2005) — by Sal Roma

HMP HostelEditor’s note: The hosts of Horror Movie Podcast are always impressed by the knowledge and insights of our listenership in the emails and voicemails that we receive, as well as in the comments here at HorrorMoviePodcast.com. Once again we’ve asked our listeners to participate in our 31 Days of Halloween by contributing written reviews. This review was submitted by a long-time listener and friend of the show who goes by the screen-name “Sal Roma” … You can follow Sal on Twitter @JTalley986 and on Letterboxd at @Sal_Roma.


Title: Hostel
Year: 2005
Director: Eli Roth

Warning Review Contains Some *Spoilers*

Longtime American friends, Josh (Reeker’s Derek Richardson) and Paxton (Quarantine’s Jay Hernandez) are living it up as they backpack across Europe. Joined by their new Icelandic friend, Oli, the trio encounters a traveler known as Alexi, who promises that the real place to go is the small country of Slovakia, where they can meet and have fun with all of the hot women they could ever imagine. The promised land of Slovakia turns out to be everything the trio imagined, quickly finding a party spot and they each head off for a night of fun with a local girl.

The next day, Oli is nowhere to be found and the hostel staff that the lads are staying at claim that he abruptly left already. While Paxton is unfazed by this news, knowing that for as much fun as they had together, Oli was still a stranger, Josh is convinced that something isn’t right in this little Slovakian town. What Josh and Paxton do not know though, is that Oli is only the first to disappear with everyone eventually discovering what horrors Slovakia has to offer its foreign tourists.

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31 Days of Halloween – Day 3: The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972) – by Sal Roma

HMP Red Queen Kills Seven TimesEditor’s note: The hosts of Horror Movie Podcast are always impressed by the knowledge and insights of our listenership in the emails and voicemails that we receive, as well as in the comments here at HorrorMoviePodcast.com. This year we’ve asked several of our listeners to participate in our 31 Days of Halloween by contributing written reviews. This, the first such review, was submitted by a long-time listener and friend of the show who goes by the screen-name “Sal Roma” … You can follow Sal on Twitter @JTalley986 and on Letterboxd at @Sal_Roma.

 


Title: The Red Queen Kills Seven Times
Country: Italy
Year: 1972
Director: Emilio Miraglia

It’s said that one family, the Wildenbrücks, is eternally cursed with a sister killing the other once every hundred years as represented by a painting that has been in the family for generations. In the painting, the Black Queen kills her sister, the Red Queen. In death, the Red Queen returns to kill six innocent people, the seventh victim being the Black Queen. It is now 1972, one hundred years since the last killing. After a series of murders begins with the killer resembling the Red Queen, everyone begins to suspect Kitty Wildenbrück’s sister, Evelyn, to be behind the killings. What no one knows is that after a fight between the sisters, Kitty accidentally caused the death of Evelyn. Could Evelyn be committing the kills from beyond the grave or is it someone else in Kitty’s life? Kitty must learn the truth before the six innocent people are killed and the Red Queen turns her attention onto Kitty…

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Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 100: Modern Horror Anthologies – From 2000 to Present

 

hmp-modern-anthologies-100-episodes100 episodes of HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, because we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies… Welcome to Episode 100. Thanks for tarrying with us the past three years. In this show, we bring you a themed episode on Modern Horror Anthologies – From 2000 to Present. We also bring you three Feature Reviews on Trick `r Treat (2009) and The Theatre Bizarre (2011) and Tales of Halloween (2015). Later in this show, we’re joined by HMP listeners Dino, Juan, Chantel and Adam! We also want to give a special thanks to Kagan, who sent us the tremendous rendition of the HMP theme song for the intro (and outro) of this episode. Thank you for all your support!

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! Continue reading