Machete Kills, the sequel to Robert Rodriguez’s 2010 B-movie action lovefest Machete, begins in an unorthodox way: with a trailer for its own sequel. Of course, nothing about the franchise – which was born as a sub-three-minute fake trailer at the top of Grindhouse and expanded into a pair of hundred-minute-plus features – fits the bill of orthodox.
In 2004’s The Village – the sixth film from writer/director M. Night Shyamalan – the citizens of an isolated town in turn-of-the-century Pennsylvania live in constant fear of the monsters that inhabit the surrounding woods. As we learn, a truce has been struck. The villagers stay out of the creatures’ woods and, in turn, the creatures stay out of the village. However, it becomes clear the agreement is fraying.
In a genre dominated by excess, where the incredible, CGI-powered feats of one superhuman are no longer enough to satiate us thus leading to games of team-building one-upmanship, 2000’s Unbreakable stands apart. Working without the bombast of the average superhero film, writer/director M. Night Shyamalan instead gives viewers a quiet movie. His film’s climax is a dramatic conversation; its big fight scene is more street fight than tightly-choreographed Hollywood showdown.
If you’re a horror fan, then The Disappointments Room probably isn’t for you. If you’re a copywriter, then you probably already recognize it as a gold mine. As a combo spooky-house flick and psychological thriller, it’s neither spooky nor thrilling. That title, though. It’s a ready-made critique on the film’s quality – or lack thereof – and it gives rise to endless variants on the theme of “this movie is so bad it turns whatever room you’re watching it in into a disappointing room.”
Fresh out of rehab, Jackie (Julie Benz) needs a place where she can relax, focus on her newfound sobriety, and start piecing her life back together. The titular sprawling gothic apartment building in Havenhurst claims to offer those things, but, spoiler, it doesn’t. What Havenhurst does have is a history of making people like Jackie disappear. Rather than working on her new life, Jackie starts unraveling a mystery that could end with something far worse and more permanent than a relapse.
Try as you might to forget it, the past can be relentless. That’s particularly true if your past involves accidentally having an affair with the husband of a powerful voodoo priestess, as it does for Dani (Samantha Stewart), the unfortunate soul at the center of VooDoo. Sadly for her – and, as it turns out, viewers – that type of misdeed takes more than a train ticket west and a near-unimaginable month block of vacation time to escape.
There is one question that will haunt you long after the credits have rolled on the otherwise forgettable possession/slasher flick, The Devil’s Dolls. At one point, bad dad and iffy cop Matt (Christopher Wiehl) tells his young daughter Chloe (Kennedy Brice) he has a surprise for her in his car. Unbeknownst to him, she grabs a box of tiny cursed dolls that belonged to a recently-deceased serial killer, unleashing a blood-spattered nightmare on their small Mississippi town. Something like two acts later, when Matt finds out what she took, he acts all shocked about it.
There are a few inevitable truths of the aging process, one of which sits at the heart of the sci-fi snoozer Let’s Be Evil. No matter how “hip” or “with it” you consider yourself, as you get older you will become convinced kids and their new-fangled technology will be the death of us all. Hopefully the youth-driven apocalypse scenarios that dance around in your brain are more interesting than what this film ultimately delivers.
Every year the BGH crew selects their picks for best and worst horror films of that year. Stay tuned toward the end of the year for our infallible consensus for the best and worst of the year, compiled by our very own genre mega-scholar Jonathan Schnaars.
There’s nothing strange about how the title character of Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) makes his living: a short order cook at a diner. Of course, with a name like Odd, there was inevitably going to be more going on. It so happens that Odd moonlights as a kind of unofficial clairvoyant detective. He doesn’t merely see dead people; he’ll also jump in and throw fists with the mortals who did them wrong. Besides the ghosts, Odd also sees these monstrous harbingers of tragedy he calls bodachs and can occasionally see the future in his dreams. So, clearly the name fits.
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One Thursday a month, Sophie lays out the rules for a horror film drinking game! Browse our past entires and be on the look out for new ones.
Year End Lists
The Best and Worst Horror Films of 2016
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The United States of Horror
Tag along as our spooky patriots give you a tour of the greatest horror settings from around the U-S-of-A
Horror Through the Decades
Whether you're a dusty Baby Boomer or a filthy Millenial, you'll no doubt appreciate Andrew's look back into the best horror TV shows since the 1950's