I’ve known Michael for many years through the horror community and was super curious what he would put together for some Halloween season viewing. Let’s find out what he suggests.
Watch this flick before going out on your Halloween adventures. HAUNT is a masterclass in studio production and set building, highlighted by emerging actors, incredible special effects and the tangible feel of claustrophobia. Let me not forget to mention Eli Roth produced it!
2. Brightburn (2019)
A lot of people slept on this movie when it debuted in theaters May 2019, myself included! I recently borrowed this movie from my brother-in-law and was blown away by the unexpected gore, emotional punches and sinking feeling that the loving family was about to explode.
3. Candy Corn (2019)
This film is one of the few Halloween themed horror films that captures the essence of the holiday in a successful, coherent way. Traditional and nostalgic in its approach, it also features a ton of icons of fright in supporting roles. Hey, PJ Soles, Courtney Gains and Tony Todd!
4. Culture Shock (2018)
What’s more frightening than real life atrocities? This horror-thriller-drama from one of the biggest female directors in the game puts a creepy and uncomfortable spin on one of the political points dividing the nation. Can your body handle the pressure and suspense?
5. Killer Sofa (2019)
It’s a film about a possessed couch that kills people. Do I need to say more?
Michael Therkelsen is the senior editor at award winning website HorrorSociety.com. He’s also a staff writer at GaymingMagazine.com and an independent horror author.
Today we’re getting some recommends from a horror film producer. Andrew Beirl has been involved with productions from Slasher Studios such as Dismembering Christmas and Irrational Fear. Let’s see what he recommends for our viewing pleasure:
1. The Hazing (2004)
Director Rolfe Kanefsky created a roller coaster of a movie starring Brad Dourif, Parry Shen, genre favorite Tiffany Shepis, and scene-stealer Nector Rose. Trapped in a deserted mansion, college students deal with being hazed by mean-spirited Greeks and an evil professor (Dourif) who wants to possess and/or murder them. It seemed to get lost in the shuffle of the mid-2000s horror – but it is ripe for rediscovery this Halloween.
2. The Skeleton Key (2005)
This Southern Gothic flick that many people seemed to avoid because of Kate Hudson, our lead and rom-com darling. Look past her previous roles and enjoy this creepy atmospheric Voodoo horror about a PCA taking care of an elderly man in a creaky house. It reminds me of a feature length Tales from the Crypt. Director Iain Softley really captures the beautiful but sinister setting of a crumbling mansion deep in Louisiana bayous and creates a stylish but clever horror that I patiently wait for a special edition Blu- Ray *cough cough Scream Factory*
3. Frightmare (1983)
This Troma masterpiece involves a group of devoted film fans (including Jeffrey Combs) who steal the corpse of their beloved horror icon for one last hurrah. Needless to say, things do not go well. Now this is not a good film, but it is definitely an entertaining one. Turn off your brain, pop some popcorn and enjoy this schlockfest.
4. Mute Witness (1994)
I have no idea why so many people have not seen this tight, suspenseful tale about a deaf SFX artist who is working on a horror film in Moscow. One night she is locked in the studio after hours and witnesses the filming of a brutal murder. No one believes her, but she knows it was real. Soon the Russian mafia, who funded the snuff film, starts coming for her. This is a tense, intelligent and well crafted thriller that is always good for movie night.
5. Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2019)
The crew of a horror web series and some lucky volunteers travel to an abandoned asylum for a live broadcast. Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital, where rumor states that the director of the hospital killed all of the patients and went missing is one of Korea’s most haunted locations. The movie itself does not add anything new to the found footage subgenre, however it executes everything so well. It is a scary, unsettling film that utilizes a lot of great in-camera tricks.
Today let’s hear from someone who hosts horror movies. What should we be watching?
1. Spider Baby (1967)
This film has been called one of the predecessors to Texas Chain Saw Massacre and House of 1000 Corpses. Though nowhere new as gritty or bloody, it does have a creepy subversive edge and atmosphere. Lon Chaney Jr’s last great performance and Sid Haig’s first.
2. Messiah of Evil (1973)
A love letter to H. P. Lovecraft from the same team who wrote “American Graffiti” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” It’s about a young woman who searches for her father in a strange little seaside village after his letters to her start becoming more bizarre and macabre.
3. Not of this Earth (1957)
Early Roger Corman sci-fi/horror film about an alien agent who comes to Earth seeking blood for his race dying from radiation sickness. Effective visuals and superior writing make this a great late night watch.
4. The Sentinel (1977)
Found this one while channel surfing one night and it destroyed me for days! A fashion model moves into a house that just happens to be the Mouth of Hell. Chris Sarandon, John Carradine, Burgess Meredith and an unrecognizable young Christopher Walken star. This movie had some controversy because actors with real deformities and disabilities were used to portray denizens of Hell. Proper or not, it was horrifically effective!
5. Spectre (1977)
A great TV movie written by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Intended as a pilot for a series following the exploits of a demonologist and a doctor as they fight hellspawn trying to enter our world. Would have been a great series is they pulled it off as well as the film!
For over ten years, Lord Blood-Rah has been hosting live horror and sci-fi film events across the country. His syndicated TV series, Lord Blood-Rah’s Nerve Wrackin’ Theatre, can be seen locally on My59 and on various channels and streaming services. See lordbloodrah.com for more info.
So far we’ve heard from a lot of people from different aspects of horror but let’s hear from someone who writes horror. What does Joe Chianakas find scary? Let’s find out.
1. THE BABADOOK
This 2014 movie features a super annoying child, and I must admit that when a monster starts to torment him, I cheer for the monster! The Babadook appears through the creepiest children’s book I’ve ever seen, and it haunts a single mother and her son. The creature and the book are incredibly chilling. This is a fun, creepy, and creative movie.
Another 2014 gem, this is a horror-comedy that is equally hilarious and spooky. Laugh-out-loud moments abound (wait for the “Oh, Jesus”) and nightmare-inducing scenes still haunt me in the middle of the night when I hear creepy noises. This story features a woman who is on house-arrest. She’s convinced she’s locked in a haunted house. For our sake, well, perhaps she’s right.
This amazing 2016 film is brilliant on so many levels. Directed by Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House, Oculus, Doctor Sleep) and starring Kate Siegel (who played the wonderful Theo in The Haunting of Hill House), this is a cabin-in-the-woods story with a twist: The protagonist is deaf. Someone breaks into her cabin, but she can’t hear him. The story is clever, and the acting is exceptional. Bonus fun fact: Siegel and Flanagan both wrote the story. They struggled a bit with the ending. What did they do? They took a long weekend retreat, rented room 237 at The Stanley (the famous hotel and room from The Shining) and revised the ending of the movie in that room until they got it just right.
4. AS ABOVE, SO BELOW
This is one of the best found-footage films in the horror genre (imo), but it got buried in an at-the-time overpopulated field. This 2014 movie takes us deep into the catacombs of France. Having explored catacombs in Europe personally, I’ve always found them to be exceptionally interesting and creepy. The found-footage filming puts you right into the spooky and claustrophobic setting with the characters. And there are definitely jaw-dropping, WTF moments that will keep you glued to the screen. This one’s a lot of fun, if you’re like me and find terrifying moments to be absolutely enjoyable.
5. THE FINAL GIRLS
This 2015 horror-comedy is one of my all-time favorites. Surprisingly, it’s very touching and heartfelt, too. But at it’s core, it’s a slasher movie that spoofs slasher movies. It features a young woman stuck in her mother’s most iconic horror movie, and she has to find a way to stop a crazy killer. I love it because of the laughs but even more because it somehow creatively tugs at the heartstrings.
Joe Chianakas is a professor of communication at Illinois Central College and an author. His most popular work is Rabbit in Red, a horror trilogy that celebrates everything we love about scary movies and Halloween. It started with a basic premise: What if Willy Wonka made horror movies instead of candy and invited fans to look behind the curtain? And what if the things they loved about those movies started to happen to them in real life?
Fans of Basket Case era Frank Henenlotter or 80’s Troma should love this trash horror classic set in a run down apartment where the residents attempt to feed a new tenant booze that contains the spirit of its former residents.
The perfect showcase for George A Romero’s non zombie work. Romero comes up with is own spin on the vampire film with this heady, haunting masterpiece.
A creepy, seedy, gross film about Philipino vampires that like to suck babies out of pregnant moms. One of the first horror films accepted to the Sundance film festival and made by Wisconsin filmmakers that would go on to be involved with many well renowned documentaries.
4. This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse
If you aren’t hip on Brazil’s monster man José Mojica Marins and his character Coffin Joe, solve that problem immediately. While this isn’t the first film in the series (that is At Midnight I’ll take your Soul), this sequel plays out very similar to a much better effect. One of the most unsung obscure classics of the genre.
The Swedish answer to the EVIL DEAD that out does the ED remake in every way. Strip away the comedy and what you have here is a non stop, gory horror ride of a film.
Derrick likes horror movies. He is involved with making them (Swamphead, Hole in the Wall, Manos Returns, Screaming in High Heels) and talking about them on podcasts (Astro Radio Z, The Podcast at Orgy Castle).
If you’re not afraid to dip your toe into an old Japanese flick, check out this surprisingly entertaining ghost story. In The Living Skeleton, a young man and woman living under the care of a kindly priest get wrapped up in a series of seemingly supernatural murders. It turns out a group of modern-day pirates murdered the crew of a ship three years earlier, and now the victims’ skeletons are out for vengeance.
What’s great about The Living Skeleton is that the synopsis above is
only the beginning. A little past the halfway point, this Japanese horror flick
takes some delightfully wild turns. I was surprised to see doppelganger
sisters, secret identities, elements of old-fashioned ghost stories, mad
scientists, and more — and all without the film feeling forced or disjointed.
Some of the special effects are hokey in a lovable kind of way — namely the bats on strings and woefully inarticulate skeleton marionettes. But this is otherwise a pretty gorgeous, black & white widescreen horror flick that keeps you guessing. Noboru Nishiyama’s very ’60s-sounding score is the icing on the cake.
2.Demon Seed (1977)
Christie is trapped inside a house run by a super-computer called Proteus IV
that wants to have a baby with her. Yep, you heard me. Demon Seed, based
on the book by Dean Koontz, is mostly a one-woman show, with Christie running
here and there, being captured and tormented by Proteus IV, which manifests
itself as a disembodied voice (an uncredited Robert Vaughn), security cameras
in every room, and a motorized wheelchair with a robotic arm. Later on, the
robot manifests in other ways — some pretty cool by 1977 practical effects
standards. Proteus IV basically rapes Christie a time or two, forcing her to
carry his ‘synthetic spermatazoa’. Whether it’s through shere exhaustion or
maternal instinct, Christie’s character eventually look forward to the baby’s
birth… but what will the baby be?
Demon Seed is an entertaining claustrophobic sci-fi horror film. And with Google, Siri, Alexa, and other disembodied computers given more and more control of our lives and households, perhaps not completely outside the realm of future possibility!
3.Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1982)
orphaned teen (Jimmy McNichol) becomes fearful of his aunt (Forbidden Zone’s Susan Tyrrell) after
she kills a man in their home. But that just scrapes the surface of Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker.
Add in that the aunt has incestuous desire for the boy and plans to keep him
with her forever — full athletic college scholarship be damned. She even starts
poisoning him. Also add in that the local sheriff (Bo Svenson) is trying to pin
the murder on the boy because he thinks the boy is gay. Add in that the boy’s
basketball coach (Steve Eastin) really is gay, and the only character who believes the
teen or tries to help him… even though the victim was one of the coach’s old
lovers. Yeah. In case you haven’t gathered, this movie is most certainly not
your typical formulaic horror flick — and I loved it!
The first thing I loved about this movie is that it
turns the tables on the gender paradigm. It’s a woman to be feared and it’s our
male protagonist who needs rescued in the third act. (And it doesn’t hurt that
he’s a cutey.) The second thing I loved about the movie was that it dealt with
homosexuality at all — a pretty rare thing for a movie in the early ’80s. The
sheriff gets right up in our main character’s face and tries to force him into
a confession with lines like, “You’re a fag, aren’t you? Tell me you’re a fag.
Admit it.” And refreshingly, the character doesn’t go out of his way to prove
he’s not gay. He’s not a homophobe. He even remains friends with the coach
after the coach is forced to quit his job. Again, very progressive for an early
Susan Tyrrell is on fire here, just like she was as the
intergalactic queen in Forbidden Zone.
She’s over-the-top in the best way possible, breaking dramatic moments with
non-sequitur black comedy and giving already-disturbing moments just that
little extra touch of perversion.
If you’re looking for something unusual, a little provocative and a little campy, then don’t miss Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker!
The Baby (1973)
social worker investigates a mother and her two adult daughters who take
care of a 21-year-old man who wears diapers, sucks baby bottles, and
sleeps in a baby crib. The family insist the man has the mental and emotional
capacity of an infant, but the social worker’s not so sure.
The Baby isn’t the dirty, fetishistic film I thought it would be. Director Ted Post (Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Magnum Force) and writer Abe Polsky anchor the deranged tale in the social worker’s plight to rescue ‘Baby’ from his family. The whole film is engaging and unsettling, teetering between camp and sincerity, until it arrives at a climax that pushes it very well over the edge into psychological horror. It’s such an unusual movie in so many ways, I highly recommend checking it out.
5. The Pit (1981)
A sexually infatuated twelve-year-old boy does what his teddy bear tells him to, which includes feeding the locals to a pack of monsters who dwell in a pit in the woods. I don’t know what the teddy bear and the pit monsters have to do with one another, but the first half of The Pit is remarkable in its depiction of a nascent psychopath. My favorite scene is one where the boy sneaks into the bathroom while his babysitter is in the shower. He writes “I love you” on the bathroom mirror and waits in giddy anticipation of her response. When she screams and admonishes him, you feel for poor kid. The Pit does a good job portraying how negative response to natural impulse can warp a young man’s sense of self and sexuality. Unfortunately, the second half of the movie drops the psychological intrigue and focuses on the pit monsters, which are little more than midgets in monkey suits. But like The Baby, The Pit is another one of those movies unlike anything you’ve ever seen before – and therefore well worth a viewing.
Scott Schirmer is an independent filmmaker based in Bloomington, Indiana. He is a commercial audio/video producer and editor, as well as the director of several feature films. His credits include Found, Headless, Harvest Lake, Plank Face, Space Babes from Outer Space, and The Bad Man. Most of these titles are available on DVD, Blu-ray, or digital download at scottschirmer.com!
Easily in the top 5 scariest movies I’ve ever seen. The Orphanage is a mystery and a nightmare on an epic scale. It’s set in a home that used to be an orphanage for special children (scary location: check!) on a cliffside with secret caves (check, check) creepy kids, masks, ghost hunters, flashbacks and flashforwards that leave your head spinning. It’s a cliché, but truly nothing is as it seems. The suspense doesn’t stop and the ending only fills you with further dread. This film deserves Oscars for its craftmanship and storytelling.
2. Graveyard Shift (1990)
Brad Dourif as the exterminator, David Andrews plays the drifter, Andrew Divoff a bully, and Stephen Macht as the evil, power hungry foreman, all deliver pretty great performances in this made for TV movie. Both Nardello and Wisconsky are rare, fantastic female characters that round out the group nicely. It’s definitely one of my favorite Stephen King adaptations. But more importantly, THIS IS A MOVIE ENTIRELY FILMED IN A DECREPIT OLD MILL IN MAINE AND FEATURES A HUGE AND GROSS RAT/BAT/CREATURE THING!
3.Gags the Clown (2018)
The newest one on my list, because it really took me by surprise. This movie is anything but another killer clown movie or your overdone found footage flick. Gags is weird and funny and carries surprisingly deep undertones (also creepy as shit.) The story never goes where you think it will. It reminded me a lot of Trick ‘R Treat and it should be a required viewing Halloween this year!
4. High Tension (2003)
Dark, disturbing, and just badass. This movie has all the great moments you hope for when you watch a horror movie for the first time. The story is smart and the cinematography is engaging. They both play tricks on the viewers throughout the film. The gore is never shied away from, in fact they lean into it. This is an emotional and psychological horror movie and it stands out from the rest.
5. Tales of Halloween (2015)
I rolled my eyes at another horror anthology until I realized I love horror anthologies and this one was made for horror fans and casual movie goers alike. With films and cameos by all the usual suspects and cult favorites of horror, it really just made me happy to see these guys having fun. The stories aren’t overly complicated, some are genuinely creepy, and each one brings a little something different all while focusing on Halloween.
Natalie Pohorski is a freelance film, television, and game producer based in Madison, WI. She is a big horror fan and FEARnet alum, and now Camp Director for the upcoming Camp Blood Film Festival where campers team up to make a horror short in a weekend at a creepy, old summer camp – www.campbloodfilmfestival.com
Let’s get some podcasters up in here to give some recommends. First up comes Rachel Shatto from the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast with her recommends.
1. Prevenge (2016)
Directed, written, and starring Alice Lowe, this slasher comedy was the movie I recommended to everyone when it came out in 2016, largely due to Lowe’s performance of a pregnant woman on a killing spree — on the behest of her unborn child, no less. Yep, this is a weird one, but truly one of the most compelling movies about maternal ambivalence and female rage I’ve ever seen. Plus, it’s so funny in the most disturbing ways and has final shot that horrifies as much as it delights. I’ve been a fan of Lowe’s comedic work ever since Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace and Sightseers, but this film shows that she has incredible range she has both behind and in front of the camera.
2. Revenge (2017)
I am typically not a fan of the rape revenge genre, but, when experienced through the gaze of French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat, there is as much ferocity as there is style, which makes it both compelling and cathartic. It’s also awesomely gruesome and makes you cringe in the most delicious ways. It’s actually hard to believe that Revenge marked Fargeat’s feature film debut as it;s absolutely stunning and confidently created. It’s a feast for the eyes, whether it’s the sprawling desert vistas or gallons of blood and gore coating every surface on screen.
3. Ravenous (1999)
Ravenous is a criminally under-seen gem. It’s one of those movies that, when it comes up in conversation and you discover there is one other person in the room that has seen and loved it, you find yourself excitedly talking about how weirdly wonderful it is. The film, which was directed by Antonia Bird, stars Guy Pierce and Robert Carlyle who, for reasons I won’t spoil, have to leave a remote 19th century military outpost in order to go on a rescue mission, and from there things get real weird. I’m talking cannibals, frostbite, compound fractures, and wendigos. Yep, this movie really has it all.
4. Braid (2019)
Fans of surreal horror take note: Braid, the feature film debut of Mitizi Perione, is the mind-bending, technicolor nightmare of your dreams. The film is about two friends who decide to rob a wealthy but dangerous childhood friend who allows them into her home — provided they are willing to play a very special and gruesome game. If you like your horror linear, you’ll want to steer clear, but if, like me, you enjoy having your neurons tweaked Braid is going to be your jam.
5. Honeymoon (2014)
Director Leigh Janiak (who you’ll be hearing plenty of soon as she’s just been tapped to direct all three of the upcoming R.L. Stine Fear Street movies) made her debut with this moody and gut wrenching film. The movie stars Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway as newlyweds Bea and Paul on their honeymoon in a remote cabin. The couple’s troubles begin when Paul finds his new wife Bea sleepwalking in the woods, appearing as though she has been attacked. Over the course of the following days, what started off as wedded bliss slowly descends into paranoia and haunting body horror. What makes this movie truly special is the chemistry between Leslie and Treadaway. You suffer with them as tragedy unfolds and are horrified with them as their once romantic vacation turns grisly.
Rachel Shatto is a lifelong horror nerd and opinion haver who, when she isn’t watching horror movies, is podcasting about them. She co-hosts the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast, which critiques horror from a feminist perspective. She can also be found talking about horror movies, both good and (more often) bad, that you can watch online on The Stream Queens Podcast. As if that wasn’t enough, Rachel is also an avid Stephen King fan who podcasts about hismaster work, The Dark Tower book series, on The Cast of Ka.
Today’s recommends come from one of my favorite Ozplotation directors Brian Trenchard-Smith! I was very excited to get a list from him to be part of this fun exercise for the month of October. Let’s see what he recommends for your October viewing pleasure.
1. The Haunting(1963)
Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity. With him are the skeptical young Luke, who stands to inherit the house, the mysterious and clairvoyant Theodora and the insecure Eleanor, whose psychic abilities make her feel somehow attuned to whatever spirits inhabit the old mansion. As time goes by it becomes obvious that they have gotten more than they bargained for as the ghostly presence in the house manifests itself in horrific and deadly ways.
2. Let The Right One In(2008)
Oskar, a bullied 12-year old, dreams of revenge. He falls in love with Eli, a peculiar girl. She can’t stand the sun or food and to come into a room she needs to be invited. Eli gives Oskar the strength to hit back but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people’s blood to live he’s faced with a choice. How much can love forgive? Set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982.
3. The Entity (1982)
Carla Moran awakens one night to find herself being beaten and raped by an unseen presence. Terrified of what’s happening to her, and shunned by friends and family who think she’s lost her mind, she seeks help from parapsychologists. The researchers soon discover that evil spiritual force has been drawn to Carla and is responsible for the violent attacks. The question now, however, is how do they stop it? Based on a supposedly true story.
4. Cabin In The Woods (2011)
Five teenagers head off for a weekend at a secluded cabin in the woods. They arrive to find they are quite isolated with no means of communicating with the outside world. When the cellar door flings itself open, they of course go down to investigate. They find an odd assortment of relics and curios, but when one of the women, Dana, reads from a book, she awakens a family of deadly zombie killers. However, there’s far more going on than meets the eye.
5. Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)
In Japan, when the volunteer social assistant Rika Nishina is assigned to visit a family, she is cursed and chased by two revengeful fiends: Kayako, a woman brutally murdered by her husband and her son Toshio. Each person that lives in or visits the haunted house is murdered or disappears.
Brian Trenchard-Smith is a film director with over 50 credits to his name. Some notable titles include Dead End Drive-In, Stunt Rock, and BMX Bandits. He is also an author. His current book Alice Through The Multiverse promises a time twisting, paranormal thriller. Check out the trailer below and maybe pick up a copy with the link at the bottom.
Today we’re taking a look at suggestions from someone who has been in a lot of horror films. Actor Bill Oberst Jr. has made a name for himself in the horror genre and even been portraying Ray Bradbury in a stage show. Let’s see what he has to recommend.
1. Angst (1983)
Why? (a) It is German. (b) It is disconcerting to watch. (c) Things like this actually happen.
2. Cannibal (2006)
Why? (a) It is German. (b) It is uncomfortable to watch. (c) This exact thing actually happened.
3. Amadeus (1984)
Why? (a) They were German. (b) Salieri’s fall into madness is true horror. (c) No one is happy at the end.
4. Freaks (1932)
Why? (a) The freaks are real but… (b) The freaks are not the real freaks. (c) The cruel people die.
5. Duel (1971)
Why? (a) The windows are tinted. (b) There’s no reason – it just wants you dead. (c) It won’t stop until you die.
Bill Oberst Jr. is an actor of stage and screen who is not afraid of the dark. His “Criminal Minds” TV character is included in CBS’s list of “The Most Notorious Serial Killers In Criminal Minds History.” His major awards include a Daytime Emmy Award, the inaugural Lon Chaney Award For Excellence In Horror Film presented by Lon Chaney’s great-grandson Ron Chaney, a United Solo Off-Broadway Award and dozens more. Bill’s latest film is Rob Zombie’s “Three From Hell.” His latest stage project is “Ray Bradbury Live (forever)” a solo portrayal of Ray Bradbury authorized by Ray’s family and estate. His official site is billoberst.com. His IMDb page is https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2454994.
A film I grew up watching, and can never get enough of during the Halloween season. Great film to watch in the dark.
2. Nothing but trouble (1991)
Funny and Scary, there are some weirdos out there and you never know when you’ll run into them. LOL.
3. Haunted Honeymoon (1986)
Wonderful film, great cast, great writing.
4. When a Stranger calls (1979)
Great suspense, perfect beginning to a film, something the remake could not pull off.
5. Ghost Story (1981)
I like to watch good ghost stories and this is one of them.
Reyna Young’s alter ego Miss Misery has been labeled by press as “The Queen of Horror in the bay area”. She currently resides in San Francisco with her husband John Gillette and son Logan. Reyna is a Director and actress with over 15 years of experience in Theater, Television and Film.
Reyna is known for her work in the horror and action genre films and is a late night horror hostess of the popular syndicated show Movie Massacre which she writes, directs and produces. She was born in 1983 in San Francisco, Ca and grew up taking dance, singing, tap dancing, martial arts and acting classes. The oldest of two children, her younger sister and her were raised by their Father. She is of English, Hispanic and Native American descent. http://www.lastdoorwayproductions.com
We’re back once again with some alternate viewing pleasures for your Halloween Season. Yes we love our Halloween staples but why not this year find something new to watch and possibly find a new favorite? First up is Lauren Gallo:
1. Hush (2016)
Hush feels like a familiar horror/thriller set up: a remote home in the woods, a serial killer, and the young woman who has become his next victim. The difference here is that our main character is deaf, something the killer quickly learns and likely thinks will make his target an easy kill, but Maddie is anything but. While the premise isn’t new, it is interesting watching the main character portrayed with the inability to hear, as we rarely see Final Girls with perceived disabilities in horror and hopefully this opens the door for more inclusive choices within horror.
2. Inferno (1980)
With Dario Argento’s second offering in his “Mother of Tears” trilogy, it must be said right off the bat that Inferno is not near the masterpiece it’s predecessor, Suspiria, is. That being said, it’s not awful either and serves as a decent Italian horror flick that continues the supernatural story of three powerful witches, Mater Suspririorum, Mater Tenebrarum, and Mater Lachrymarum, who each do their dark workings behind the scenes from their respective homes in Germany, New York, and Italy. In this installment, an American music student studying in Rome, Mark Elliot, heads to New York after an urgent letter from his sister Rose, who suspects she’s come across one of the infernal Mothers.
While it doesn’t quite live up to Suspiria, Inferno still has some beautiful imagery and a good progressive rock score by Keith Emerson, whom Argento chose to score this film as he wanted a different sound for this one than the iconic Goblin score of the previous film. This is a good late-night, popcorn type of watch if you dig Argento’s Mater mythos.
3. It Follows (2014)
In what is the most literal haunting allegory for one hell of an STD, It Follows follows the story of teenaged Jay, who after a sexual encounter starts being stalked by a strange supernatural force in the form of many different human-looking creatures that only she can see. With the help of her friends, Jay tries to get the bottom of this sinister force, which is apparently like a curse passed on through sex. Starring the talented Maika Monroe, this is a movie where the houses and settings feel so real and not the hyper-stylized homes of other Hollywood films. They look truly lived in, messy, and almost circa the ’80s with little modern updates. The unknown, stalking creeping terror of what follows Jay is well done, with a scene by the beach and in an indoor pool being truly excellent at showing how this force can hurt more than just it’s intended victims.
If you’ve felt a little bored of the classic slasher and have been looking for something that feels fresh and original, give this one a try. Also, don’t have sex, apparently, either.
4. The Invitation (2015)
Being invited to a dinner party in the LA canyons by your ex-wife and her husband is totally not awkward enough right? So let’s make it worse and add murder. Will and his wife Eden divorced after the tragic accidental death of their young son, and now Eden lives with her new husband David and is hosting a dinner party in which she invites Will, his current girlfriend Kira, and several of their mutual friends plus a few friends of David. What starts as awkward starts to thaw a little, but something has Will feeling a little off and then sliding into paranoia about what’s actually going on. It doesn’t help Eden and David have seemed to find “religion”, and not in a good way, and the party definitely goes tits up when people start dying.
This is a slow burn type of thriller that ratches up the tension incrementally, and makes me hope the LA wellness crowd sticks to yoga and adaptogens, and, you know, not mass murder.
5. Berlin Syndrome (2017)
When a holiday fling goes wrong in this film, it goes really, really wrong. Aussie tourist and photojournalist Clare is visiting Berlin where she meets local gym teacher Andi, a seemingly kind, slightly shy man who she keeps running into. What seems like two lonely souls finding comfort in a physical connection goes very wrong when he’s not willing to let Clare go. Not just emotionally either, Andi locks Clare in his apartment and ends up keeping her trapped there, trying to force the relationship to continue.
This is another one that starts off a bit slow, but then when shit hits the fan (or rather, lock hits the door) the film dives deeper and deeper into the tension of Clare trying to survive her captivity, discovering she was likely not the first girl Andi has kidnapped and then trying to survive his growing dissatisfaction with her that could likely be fatal. All in all, Berlin Syndrome is a good thriller/drama and Teresa Palmer as Clare really sells the loneliness, fragility, and yet also stubborn strength of her character. Moral of the story is, when Nice Guys go bad, they go realllllly bad.
Lauren Gallo has been a horror fan since family members who would babysit her as a child would leave things like A Nightmare on Elm Street on in the background. A sometimes contributing writer to Geek Nerdery, Lauren now spends a lot of her time on the real-life horror that is riding Bay Area Rapid Transit and relaxing to Bon Appetit Youtube videos.