Holiday Hell (2019)

Score: 3/10

Length: 100 mins

Rating: NR

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, Anthology, holiday, murderer, cult

A four-piece anthology tied together by a girl looking for a girl for her sister at an oddities shop on Christmas Eve. A killer wearing a doll mask killer, an evil rabbi doll, a Santa slasher, and a cult make up the four stories, and the latter takes a mediocre film into a steep downward spiral. It’s not bad for a low budget-horror, but none of the stories really go anywhere and therefore, aren’t exactly memorable. A one-time watch, with acting you can sit through reciting cringeworthy lines.


Pool Party Massacre (2017)

Score: 2/10

Length: 81 mins

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: horror comedy, murderer, slasher

Everyone loves a summer-themed horror, whether it be beaches, camps or… pools. This one doesn’t even really feature a party, it’s like a small gathering of bitchy gal pals and an uninvited boyfriend and his gross brother. Now that I think about it, did anyone even go in the pool!? The movie is mostly composed of talking-  there are so many boring, nonsensical conversations to skip through, you’d think you were watching The Room. It’s obvious that this film written by a man that has no idea how women speak, while at the same time, the acting from the gal group is an equal blend of awkward and inexperienced. The kills are pathetic (I’m not sure I’ve EVER seen murder with such a lack of enthusiasm) and the blood ranges from Slurpee to brown sludge. The only redeeming part of the film was the “killer conversation” which can be described as mildly funny. And even though no one in the cast or crew has ANY idea of how to do an outfit montage, I appreciated it being included. I’d probably say that this best thing, and my favorite thing about this one was the cover art.

Ten Horror Shorts (Under 5 Minutes)

Horror shorts are typically simple and spooky, ending with a twist or monster revelation. They’re easy to swallow but don’t tend to bring on many emotions, as it is difficult to be frightened in such a short span unless there’s tension-building or a jump scare. Because these were all pretty decent (no big flops) I’ve put them in order from least liked to most, omitting my ratings.

The Mannequin (2020)

Length: 4:41
One Sentence Summary: A guy brings home a plastic, white, faceless, not scary in the least mannequin and it follows him around the house (even though it’s legs were clearly tied to the table because it doesn’t have a stand).
One Good Thing and One Bad Thing: Distinct and clear sound effects. Home-made acting.
Watch here: YouTube

The Bachelor’s Skull (2020)

Length: 4:22
One Sentence Summary: A man meddles with the mechanics of his robot-lady and suffers a freak accident.
One Good Thing and One Bad Thing: The computer visuals- the castle-house and the metal inner-workings were beautiful. The acting was mildly painful and diminishes any droplets of horror from this short.
Watch here: YouTube

Clay (2020)

Length: 3:35
One Sentence Summary: A clay murderer is created by an artist with bad facial hair.
One Good Thing and One Bad Thing: The music creates an eerie dread. The ending is lazy and could have easily been made better with a molecule of effort.
Watch here: YouTube

The Moonlight Man (2016)

Length: 2:43
One Sentence Summary: A woman is stalked by a frightening figure on the way to her car.
One Good Thing and One Bad Thing: The walking around the car scenes and the trunk surprise. The first glimpse of the maniac is too soon (and the woman seems more upset about dropping her keys than him at first).
Watch here: YouTube

2 AM: The Smiling Man (2013)

Length: 4:08
One Sentence Summary: Another nighttime follower- man sees a singing, smiling creeper on a quiet street at night.
One Good Thing and One Bad Thing: The simple idea of a person following you on the sidewalk in the late hours is terrifying, especially when his steps are the only sound. The dancing didn’t add anything and I didn’t find the man or his clothing much more than unnerving.
Watch here: YouTube

Polaroid (2017)

Length: 3:15
One Sentence Summary: A man takes pictures of his new apartment and finds and unwanted roommate.
One Good Thing and One Bad Thing: Short and sweet tension-builder. A little simple.
Watch here: YouTube

Sleepwalker (2017)

Length: 4:16
One Sentence Summary: A man opens a door in his bedroom that leads into a forest where a nightmare awaits.
One Good Thing and One Bad Thing: Effective visuals that make you feel like you’re in a dream of your own. Amateur acting.
Watch here: YouTube

The Pretty Thing (2018)

Length: 4:29
One Sentence Summary: A girl is anxious about being unable to lock her back door and communicates with her sister in the other room to help calm her fears.
One Good Thing and One Bad Thing: Excellent tension building in a relatable scenario. I know the focus is supposed to be on the snap and crackle sounds, but it’s weird that the girl never screams.
Watch here: YouTube

Mommy (2020)

Length: 4:45
One Sentence Summary: Mostly vegetable cutting and tension building, but a nice little spook on the baby monitor camera.
One Good Thing and One Bad Thing: Mood-setting and attention to detail are done with love. A little longer and bit less produce would make this fantastic. (Seriously, what is she even making?!)
Watch here: YouTube

The Birch (2017)

Length: 4:43
One Sentence Summary:
One Good Thing and One Bad Thing: So original and well done it became an online TV series. I wish it showed how the boys were killed as it leans a little more to fantasy than horror without the extra gore.
Watch here: YouTube

Tumbbad (2018)

Score: 7/10

Length: 104 mins

Rating: NR

Language: Hindi

Categories: 2000s, monster, murderer, fantasy, foreign, Bollywood, recommended, underground, demon

Well, let’s see. A greedy boy from the cursed city Tumbbad, where it rains constantly and everyone is very comfortable being soaking wet, grows up to be a greedy man. A grandmother who is kept alive and in misery by a hex, knows where a treasure is. The treasure, is in a goddess’ vagina, in a tomb, where her son, a red Bad Romance demon-like thing, lives. The now-adult boy visits the demon in the tomb vagina periodically whenever he needs coin, by distracting him with dough dolls and stealing his gold. The original music is catchy, the acting is well-done and I don’t even mind the slow motion CGI. It could use a little bit of the flair and pizzazz a typical Bollywood film might have, even if it just stole some colour. It reminds me a bit of The Fall, but it’s more interested in an Indiana Jones-type story than bright costumes. The story’s end and the accompanying visuals are just short of fantastic and sealed the deal on this sleepy Indian fairy tale. 


… what’s it!?
…Hassan? Hatar? Hamad??

The Lighthouse (2019)

Score: 4/10

Length: 109 mins

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, black and white, supernatural, murder

Robert Eggers, production designer recently turned director, known for The Witch, teams up with his brother to suck all the colour out of his latest film. This is a story about two sailor men who are on duty as lighthouse keepers. They do their duties. They talk about nothing with their silly accents. They go a little cray cray. They get excited about mermaid vagina. One smokes a lot and one farts a lot. But it’s enjoyable because it’s like looking at black and white artsy photographs. I liked that this movie was simply called The Lighthouse, because if nothing else, I came here to learn about lighthouses, and I feel I’ve been adequately educated. ]I did feel immersed in this incredibly slow-burner of a movie, and I found it easy to picture myself in the setting feeling cold and damp, and bored out of my damn mind. Unfortunately, (intentionally?) I had no affections to either character, Da Foe with his rough and tough fairytale fisherman persona nor Pattinson with his affinity for seagull murder. I can appreciate that the realistic decent into madness isn’t typically fast-paced and full of thrilling events, but the most terrifying thing the film has to offer are likely the shadows on Da Foe’s face during his monologues. The lengthy singing and dancing was more than a little painful to sit through, but it might still be a great stuck indoors due to stormy weather, nothing better to do type-film.

Shout out to Amazon Prime for providing interesting trivia facts to read during slow movies.

Ghost Stories (2019)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 144

Rating: Mature (Netflix)

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, Hindi, Bollywood, anthology, murderer, monster, ghost

There are a lot of films with this name, so don’t get confused- this is the Bollywood horror anthology film on Netflix. The same directors who worked on Lust Stories share four creepy tales. A few things you need to keep in mind- Bollywood is known for elaborate action films and romances with loads of singing and dancing. It’s not known for its horror films and rightfully so- they don’t compare to the actual horrors we see in most North American, European, and Asian films, they’re more like spooky bed time stories. So take that horror genre categorizing with a huge grain of salt. And maybe some cilantro.

The segments don’t have titles so I’m just going to make them up and review them separately.

The Old Lady – A young woman is a caretaker for an elderly, bed-ridden lady. Strange things happen in the house at night, and eventually, the nurse happens upon a horrible secret which she smelled from the start.

Egg Envy – An almost black and white story about an expecting mother, a jealous child, and feathery fears of a miscarriage.

Monster Meal – I suppose a zombie movie, but more with monsters. Most of the humans are still turning, however, our main monster looks a lot like Harry the sasquatch from Harry and the Hendersons. Funny enough, this is probably the scariest segment, due to some of the frightening acting by the affected-humans. A man visits a small town and finds two children to be the sole survivors of some sort of mutation that turns humans into apelike creatures with bad eyesight who eat humans.

Granny’s Blessing – The final film is strange and not scary, but definitely quirky. An attractive couple plan an arranged marriage, but the wife-to-be has second thoughts after learning that her fiance is obsessed with his dead grandmother.

The Perfection (2018)

Score: 3.5/10

Length: 90

Rating: Mature (Netflix)

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, Netflix, murderer, recent, girly

The first half of theis movie is actually pretty decent. Guessable, because it’s pretty much Black Swan with cello instead of ballet, but still enticing. There are two points in the film in which there’s a rewind of events. Each time this happens, the film gets worse. A lot worse.

We start with the typical waspy white girl (a character Allison Williams has down pat by now) and your typical sweet, bi-racial competition. Both girls meet in Shanghai, where their former musical academy is auditioning for new students. The former-students make fast friends and plan an excursion together which goes horribly wrong when one of the girls gets sick. The Netflix movie can be split into three parts, separated by the rewinding of events: The first part is full of gag-worthy body grossness, including vomit, diarrhea, maggots, and amputation, so I’d highly recommend you don’t start this movie with a meal. Unless it’s meal worms and you’re trying to go for a theme. The second chunk is all of our twist reveals and the action-section. It’s watchable, but you can feel the film start to slide downhill. Part three is just horrible, stupid, and ultimately laughable. I actually guffawed at the end, and that’s a rare occurrence for me unless Larry David is present. I assume they were trying to finish with the same thrills the film started with and just went way too far. We get it, it’s rape-revenge, you want something bad to happen to the perpetrators, but throwing it in at the very last moment does not satisfy anyone. If the movie cut after the second scene with the girl running, it might have won itself a few more points.


Us (2019)

Score: 5/10

Length: 116

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, underground

I watched this on a plane returning from Israel along with every horror movie the plane offered, and sadly, this was the worst one. At the start I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if (this) was the twist? And then it was. Womp Womp.

Obviously high expectations are set for this movie- Jordan Peele’s follow-up after the success of Get Out and staring loved-by-all, Lupita Nyong’o. Lupita does a fantastic job as both versions of her character, from the creepy voice to the scared mother, and this is clearly where the film shines. Unfortunately, the story, although unique, is not thought-provoking, scary, or even an interesting tale. The reveals at the end are incredibly unsatisfying and ruin anything the film has achieved thus far. It’s not an awful movie… I wasn’t bored, cringing, or rolling my eyes, but it’s not anything I’d recommend or ever watch again.

It’s about a family who goes on a vacation, and stops at a familiar beach where a traumatic childhood event happened to the mother. Later in the evening, strangers stalk and taunt the family, but even stranger still, the aggressors look just like them. The story revolves around the family we see, and “the tethered” which we learn about later. A big issue with the film seems to be the confusion and lack of story-telling around “the tethered”. Lots of potential, lots of let-down. Too many bad decisions, too many plot holes. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen to Candyman, as the story is already there.

Midsommar (2019)

Score: 9/10

Length: 147 (yes, it’s like three hours long, but it doesn’t feel like it)

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, murderer, recent, recommended, supernatural

This is the director’s second full-length film after Hereditary, and let me say, I thought it was fucking fantastic. It has everything I want: flowers and hippy euphoria nonsense, strange plot line that actually somehow makes sense, uncommon gore, and a break-up story with a fantastic ending. I think most will probably like Hereditary more (though you have to look up what’s it’s actually about afterwards to appreciate it fully), but this movie was my jam. I also thought the acting was very well-done, the actors were well chosen, and the location was on-point. It’s a story about a rocky couple and their friends who venture to Sweden for a mid-summer festival. Things get very cult-y and weird as the group discovers (and participates in) more “family rituals”. Things go from bad to worse at a believable pace, and I found the choices the characters made strangely realistic for the situation they’re in. The one and only thing, in my opinion,  that’s lacking in this movie is the scare-factor. Don’t expect any tension or jump-scares in this film, it’s not really the director’s style. He’s more of a slow, repulsion kinda guy, and I can’t fault him for that, but that’s why it’s not at a perfect score.

Mandy (2018)

Score: 6.5/10

Length: 121

Rating: NR (clearly R)

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, supernatural

If you want a metal movie without much actual metal music, this is your film. Packed with Nicholas Cage anger revenge awesomeness/hilarity, this one is a must see, but that definitely does not guarantee you’ll like it. There’s not even really a story. Wifey Mandy is killed by a strange hippie cult and their motorbike demons for no reason I can remember. There’s no twist or anything, she’s killed in front of her hubs, he’s traumatized, and does a bunch of ridiculous stuff to seek revenge with his self-made ax-chainsaw situation. I mean, this movie can be summed up as a really bad drug trip experienced in a basement full of records and guitars. Weirdly enough, I wanted a little more from the film. Mandy wasn’t likable in the least, and I feel like if you’re going for an insane Nic Cage revenge film, you should be going HARD. I also kind of wished the rock and roll aspect was a little more integrated. Perhaps one band holds the soundtrack, or just more rock and roll aspects in the movie. I didn’t even notice many songs in the movie to be honest. Loved the art house vibe, the crazy Cage acting and the whole idea, but I just wasn’t blown away by it, and this should be a movie you remember forever.