Film Review: The Outwaters

I’m usually NOT a fan of found footage horror movies, but I was curious to check this one out when I discovered that it was made on a $15,000 budget and needed to see how writer-director Robbie Banfitch managed to pull this off. Also, the movie takes place in the Mojave Desert, which quite frankly, as much as I find it a very alluring place, it can also emote creepiness as so many people go missing there every year. In fact, it was the premise of one of my short stories, Comets Tear the Skies.

The simple plot is that a group of friends go to the desert to record a music video, and it doesn’t take long before things get really crazy and deadly. For the majority of the film, the viewer is as disorientated and terrified as Robbie wanders the desert in both total darkness and glaring sunlight. What we do see is a gory bloodfest and strange, tremors-like worms crawling around (are they aliens?). We’re never sure what exactly is going on, but what we do know is that our protagonist is in danger, and there’s no escaping the violent onslaught.

This is a strange, bloody cosmic horror in which there’s no moment of levity or respite for any of the people involved. In fact, the horror only continues to progress to the bloody finale that will finally show us what happened to Robbie’s friends, and ultimately what happens to him. Check this out if you love found footage, as this movie really does wonders with its limited budget and the writer/director’s experience, but still manages to create a very chilling movie.

*Thank you so much to Emma Griffiths & Cinedigm for an early screening of the movie.

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Ten Horror Movies To Get You in the Festive Spirit

Let’s be honest, sometimes the happiest season of the year can be rather downright scary. Stores overrun with people, last minute gift-shopping, having to deal with problematic relatives, trying to avoid cringe-worthy office parties, I could go on and on. These movies explore the horrors of the Christmas season, packing a scary punch!

BLACK CHRISTMAS

Forget about the remakes, they all suck. The original with Olivia Hussey (best known for her role as Juliet) is the one to watch. As winter break begins, a group of sorority sisters, including Jess (Olivia Hussey) and the often inebriated Barb (Margot Kidder), begin to receive anonymous, lascivious phone calls. Initially, Barb eggs the caller on, but stops when he responds threateningly. Soon, Barb’s friend Claire (Lynne Griffin) goes missing from the sorority house, and a local adolescent girl is murdered, leading the girls to suspect a serial killer is on the loose. But no one realizes just how near the culprit is.

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT

An orphan raised by nuns (Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick) grows up to be a killer toy-store Santa Claus. At the time, this movie was a box office hit, earning 2.5 million out of a $250,000 budget.

THE LODGE

Not gonna lie, this is probably one of my favorite Christmas themed movies out there. During a family retreat to a remote winter cabin over the holidays, the father is forced to abruptly depart for work, leaving his two children in the care of his new girlfriend, Grace. Isolated and alone, a blizzard traps them inside the lodge as terrifying events summon specters from Grace’s dark past.

THE ADVENT CALENDAR

This was so creepy and twisty, I watched it for the first time last year and was left wanting more. When Eva receives an antique wooden advent calendar, it seems at first that it only guarantees a countdown to Christmas filled with sweets. However, with the calendar comes a set of rules and the promise of wish fulfillment for those who follow them.

WIND CHILL

If you want suspense with a dash of creepy then you might want to check this one out.

Just before their university campus goes quiet for the winter break, a young woman (Emily Blunt) asks a classmate (Ashton Holmes) for a lift home. The two students set off on their trip and begin to get to know each other. But, when a reckless motorist drives them off the road, they find themselves stranded in the snow on a remote highway. As the night grows colder, the two are confronted by a horde of menacing apparitions — and struggle to escape with their lives.

INSIDE

I don’t know what it is about the French when it comes to horror, but they really go above and beyond. This may fall in the category of “torture porn” but it’s still worth the watch. A scissor-wielding psychopath (Béatrice Dalle) terrorizes a pregnant widow (Alysson Paradis) on Christmas Eve.

SILENT NIGHT

Watch this for the ensemble cast alone, as it’s got some of the best Brit actors. A couple invites their closest friends to join their family for Christmas dinner at their idyllic home in the English countryside. As the group comes together, it feels like old times — but behind all of the laughter and merriment, something isn’t quite right. The world outside is facing impending doom, and no amount of gifts, games or wine can make mankind’s imminent destruction go away. Surviving the holidays just got a lot more complicated.

KRAMPUS

More of a horror comedy than full-on horror. While the holiday season represents the most magical time of year, ancient European folklore warns of Krampus, a horned beast who punishes naughty children at Christmastime. When dysfunctional family squabbling causes young Max (Emjay Anthony) to lose his festive spirit, it unleashes the wrath of the fearsome demon. As Krampus lays siege to the Engel home, mom (Toni Collette), pop (Adam Scott), sister (Stefania LaVie Owen) and brother must band together to save one another from a monstrous fate.

P2

Who doesn’t like to see Wes Bentley being creepy? Just me? Angela (Rachel Nichols) is working late on Christmas Eve. When she finally decides to leave, she goes down to the parking garage to get her car, but it won’t start. Thomas (Wes Bentley), the garage’s security guard, offers to help. He also invites Angela to dinner, but she refuses. Thomas, crazed, knocks her out. She wakes up in Thomas’ office, chained to a chair and in different clothes. Now Angela must fight for her life in order the escape from the garage.

BETTER WATCH OUT

Another dark comedy with a psychological horror twist. Ashley travels to the suburban home of the Lerners to babysit their 12-year-old son Luke during the holidays. She must soon defend herself and the young boy when unwelcome intruders announce their arrival.

Which ones are you going to be checking out?

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5 Horror Movies featuring Female Villains

There’s a special place in Hell for those who scorn women or find themselves on the receiving end of female fury. Here are 5 horror movies with female villains that are just as beautiful as they are deadly.

JENNIFER’S BODY

When a demon takes possession of her, high-school hottie Jennifer (Megan Fox) turns a hungry eye on guys who never stood a chance with her before. While evil Jennifer satisfies her appetite for human flesh with the school’s male population, her nerdy friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), learns what’s happening and vows to put an end to the carnage.

TEETH

Dawn (Jess Weixler) is an active member of her high-school chastity club but, when she meets Tobey (Hale Appleman), nature takes its course, and the pair answer the call. They suddenly learn she is a living example of the vagina dentata myth, when the encounter takes a grisly turn.

AUDITION

This disturbing Japanese thriller follows Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), a widower who decides to start dating again. Aided by a film-producer friend (Miyuki Matsuda), Aoyama uses auditions for a fake production to function as a dating service. When Aoyama becomes intrigued by the withdrawn, gorgeous Asami (Eihi Shiina), they begin a relationship. However, he begins to realize that Asami isn’t as reserved as she appears to be, leading to gradually increased tension and a harrowing climax.

THE LOVED ONES

Hell hath no fury like a prom queen scorned. When Brent rejects Lola’s invitation to prom, he sets off a chain of events that leave him the victim of her twisted revenge. Now, the only guest at Lola’s terrifying and demented prom, he must fight to survive what could be his final dance. Will Brent withstand this nightmare of drills, nails, glitter and syringes, or become one of Lola’s “loved ones”?

THE RING

It sounds like just another urban legend — a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is skeptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery.

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10 New Horror Movies to Check out During Spooky Season

From Torn Hearts

2021-2022 have been filled with so many thrilling new horrors. From creepy child abductors, to finding strange large eggs in the middle of the woods or trying to escape crazed killers wielding chainsaws yet again, here are a few of my favorite new horror movies that I enjoyed that will get you in the mood for Halloween!

The Black Phone (Peacock)

X (Showtime)

Fresh (Hulu)

Hatching (Hulu)

Orphan: First Kill (Paramount +)

The Sadness (Shudder)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2022 (Netflix)

The Yellow Wallpaper (Prime Video)

Hellraiser 2022 (Hulu)

Torn Hearts (Epix)

From Hatching
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3 Realistic Horror Movies That Will Give You Nightmares

Sure, ghosts and demons can be very frightening, but what are the chances that they will happen to us in our lifetime? Some horror movies are scary because the chances that they could actually happen are high. Here are three realistic horrors that will chill you to the core.

THE STRANGERS

Kristen (Liv Tyler) and James (Scott Speedman) are expecting a relaxing weekend at a family vacation home, but their stay turns out to be anything but peaceful. First, a mysterious and dangerous woman arrives at the door while James is out on an errand. When he returns, he accidentally kills his friend Mike (Glenn Howerton), mistaking him for an intruder. And then real danger does show up — in the form of three masked torturers, leaving Kristen and James struggling for survival.

Scare Factor: 10/10 Home invasions are scary, and sadly very probable!

SPEAK NO EVIL

On a vacation in Toscana, a Danish family instantly becomes friends with a Dutch family. Months later, the Danish couple receives an unexpected invitation. It doesn’t take long before the joy of reunion is replaced with misunderstandings.

Scare Factor: 9.5 – strangers that turn out to be crazier than anticipated is very frightening and makes you understand why summer friends should never be seen outside of holidays.

WOLF CREEK

A chilling, factually based story of three road-trippers in remote Australia who are plunged into danger when they accept help from a friendly local. Kristy, Ben and Liz are three friends in their twenties who set out to hike through the scenic Wolf Creek National Park in the Australian Outback. The trouble begins when they find that their car won’t start and they run into a local bushman named Mick Taylor.

Scare Factor: 10/10 Who doesn’t like to hike? And who doesn’t find themselves enthralled by the help of friendly strangers? This movie will make you wary of strangers forever.

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3 Horror Movies I Can’t Wait to See

Spooky season is almost upon us and there are already a few movies coming out prior to October. Here are my top three that I can’t wait to see!

PEARL

If you haven’t checked out X yet, then do it now! Pearl is a prequel to X and explores the titular villain from the first film. Set in 1918 during the era of the Spanish Flu pandemic and World War I. The events take place prior to the previous film and explore how the cabin where the massacre of X takes place was once used as a boarding house during the war. Pearl feels trapped at the isolated family farm, and she’s tasked with attending to her comatose father and dealing with her cruel mother. But she lusts after a glamorous life she’s seen depicted in Hollywood movies, and her yearning sets off some devastating events.

TERRIFIER 2

The first movie was deliciously gory in all the best ways possible! After mutilating sole survivor Victoria Heyes and committing suicide upon police confrontation. Art is resurrected by a sinister being a year later and begins to hunt for two unsuspecting siblings on Halloween night.

MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM

I loooove Grady Hendrix novels because they’re both terrifying and hilarious. One can already see from the trailers that the movie is gonna be faithful to the book as much as possible and I’m here for it. The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries-and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

What movies are you looking forward to?

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3 Campy Horror Films to Watch When Sick

Whenever I was little my go-to whenever I was sick was Gatorade, saltines, chamomile tea, Archie Comics, and campy horror movies. My parents would always rent me some new campy horrors and buy me new comics, and I’d always feel marginally better afterward. So, if you ever find yourself stuck in bed and need a way to kill a few horrors with some campy horrors, don’t worry! I have you covered.

PSYCHO GOREMAN

Intergalactic assassins converge on a small town after two siblings unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord.

EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN

The second of three films in the Evil Dead series is part horror, part comedy, with Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) once again battling horrifying demons at a secluded cabin in the woods. After discovering an audiotape left by a college professor that contains voices reading from the Book of the Dead, Ash’s girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) becomes possessed by evil spirits that are awakened by the voices on the tape. Ash soon discovers there is no escaping the woods.

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS

A group of carousing American tourists is taking in the cultural landmarks of Paris when a chance encounter results in sightseer Andy McDermott (Tom Everett Scott) saving the life of Parisian Serafine Pigot (Julie Delpy). While on a date at a nightclub with Serafine, Andy is suddenly attacked and bitten by a werewolf. The next day he discovers that Serafine is also a lycanthrope, and that he is beginning his own grueling, hirsute transformation into one of the fanged beasts.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVE CAMPY HORRORS?

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Film Review: Last Night In Soho

I’ve enjoyed Edgar Wright films ever since he began with Shaun of the Dead. Now, Last Night In Soho doesn’t have time to be witty or funny as it’s drenched in dread and blood.

This film has everything I personally love, London, 60’s music, and a badass chick in the form of Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy). But the true breakout star of this movie is shy Eloise played by the superb Thomasin McKenzie. Eloise has fashion designer aspirations and when she’s over the moon when she’s accepted to a fashion school in London. Only she finds out real quick that London isn’t as amazing as it seems when she fails to fit in with her college peers and seeks refuge in Soho where she rents a room from Miss Collins.

The moment Eloise enters the room, she begins to have visions of the past. Every night when she goes to sleep she mysteriously enters the world of 1960’s London and sees the night life from the eyes of aspiring singer Sandy. Initially, Eloise is smitten to enter the world she always wanted to inhabit. In her waking life, she tries to emulate Sandy, by her looks, haircolour, and speech. But she soon discovers that all the glitz and glamour isn’t as it seems especially when she witnesses a brutal murder. Soon, she’s being haunted even in her waking life, and the fine line between reality and fiction weave in a terrible fever dream that comes to a brutal head in the final act.

This film will leave you speechless in the final act but also with a smirk.

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5 Horror Movies I’m Looking Forward to in 2022

ORPHAN: FIRST KILL

I really enjoyed the first film in this franchise and am curious about the interesting plot in the sequel:

Leena, a murderous sociopath who looks like a child due to a medical condition, escapes from an Estonian psychiatric facility. Leena impersonates the missing daughter of a wealthy family but becomes pitted against a determined mother.

DARK HARVEST

A legendary monster called October Boy terrorizes residents in a small Midwestern town when he rises from the cornfields every Halloween with his butcher knife and makes his way toward those who are brave enough to confront him.

NOPE

Not much is known about this film plot-wise, but it’s Jordan Peele and there’s a mushroom cloud in the sky, so I don’t know if it’ll be a horror movie inspired by atomic bombs?

DON’T WORRY DARLING

A 1950’s housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community begins to worry that his glamorous company may be hiding disturbing secrets.

HATCHING

A young gymnast who tries desperately to please her demanding mother discovers a strange egg. She hides it and keeps it warm, but when it hatches, what emerges shocks them all.

WHAT ARE SOME HORROR FILMS YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR? LET ME KNOW!

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Film Review: The Advent Calendar

This film from writer-director Patrick Rideremont is a fever dream of a modern fairytale of storts. Eva (Eugenie Derouand) is a former ballet dancer who is now stuck in a wheelchair after a car accident (caused by her best friend). Said best friend gives her an ancient Advent Calendar for her birthday and this is when the Faustian thrills begin.

From love potions, voodoo, and trippy hallucinations, this horror has it all. The rules of the Advent Calendar are quite simple, eat all of the candy in the calendar or you die, follow all of the calendar’s rules or you will die, and don’t you dare throw the calendar away or you will die.

The calendar seemingly seems to give Eva everything she desires, but receiving these “gifts” means that she must be willing to sacrifice something as well. As the days go on, the gifts she reaps are bigger and the sacrifices begin to get much more personal each time.

Reading some reviews of the film, I know some didn’t like the idea that a disabled character would go above and beyond morality to try to regain the use of her legs. And I get why that would be problematic. I think the script should’ve shown the real reason why Eva was obsessed with regaining the use of her legs so that she could dance again (ballet was her life). Without showing the audience how important ballet was to her, her drive to be “normal” feels like a form of ableism.

Overall, the film has beautiful cinematography and the actual Advent Calendar prop is something that all horror enthusiasts would love to have (maybe without the Faustian curse though).

You can check out the film on Shudder.

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