I’ve written in great length about director Fred Dekker’s “The Monster Squad” over and over. I love it. I’ve loved it since I was a kid, and I love it now. I wore out the VHS when I was a wee lad, I had a bootleg DVD in my collection when it was out of print for many years, and ever since I love to re-visit it whenever I can. “The Monster Squad” is a drastic departure from director Fred Dekker’s other cult classic “Night of the Creeps,” but like it, “The Monster Squad” is an unabashed love letter to horror movies, and the horror genre in general.
When Graboids show up on Mexican land rich in oil, Earl Bassett is brought in to get rid of them again.
One of the aspects that hinders Magnus Marten’s “There’s Something in the Barn” from being a real home run of a movie is that it never quite decides what it wants to be. Sometimes it’s a horror movie, sometimes it is fantasy, sometimes it’s just downright comedy, and it builds up this intricate universe with not a lot of explanation or extrapolation. “There’s Something in the Barn” could be good. It could be “Krampus” good, but it leans so much toward this fish out of water comedy that it loses sight of the whole premise involving killer elves, and this weird pact that is never fully explored or fleshed out.
Virality seems to be the new aide to indie filmmakers these days. Especially with movie studios treating films like disposable products that they can use as a simple tax write off, many times the best way for filmmakers to get traction on their work is through viral means on the web. Among one of the more notable is J. Zachary Thurman’s short “Finley.” A horror comedy with a genuinely interesting story, “Finley” recently went viral on the likes of Youtube and apps like Tik Tok, the latter of which has inspired many horror tik tokers to post live reactions to Mr. Thurman’s short.
Genuinely funny, and downright fun, “Finley” is the tale of a haunted doll named Finley that comes to life to torment the owners of a new house. The problem is that Finley is really bad at trying to kill people, and eventually becomes an utter nuisance. Filled with great puppetry, a genuinely fun concept, and oodles of clever humor, “Finley” (now available on youtube) is a short film deserving of huge attention. J. Zachary Thurman took time out of his very busy schedule to discuss the short and his thoughts on horror comedies and filmmaking.
Like clockwork every year a studio releases a Christmas themed anthology for the masses, and almost always it’s a big letdown. It’s not really enough to inject the whole Christmas aesthetic. A genuinely scary story helps, too. “Nightmare on 34th Street” is a rambling, often nonsensical, unscary Christmas anthology movie that is literally all over the place. It re-uses actors, garners a whole cast that spend their time obviously reading from cue cards off screen, and director Crow doubles down a shoddy editing job that makes his film more confusing and jarring than scary.
See here’s my problem with “Bad CGI Gator.” It’s not that it takes a short coming and tries to turn it in to some kind of schlocky B movie element. It’s that the movie is only fifty eight minutes and it’s called “Bad CGI Gator.” And said Bad CGI Gator doesn’t make an appearance until at least seventeen minutes in to the movie. If you have only sixty minutes to work with, and your movie is called “Bad CGI Gator,” and you’re promising a Bad CGI Gator, I would think one would try to plaster the titular Bad CGI Gator on every frame as much as humanly possible.
Based on the Pickton true crime case, that of a man who may or may not have killed multiple women and disposed of the bodies on his pig far, Pig Killer follows this killer, named Robert “Willy” Pickton here, as he looks for victims, kills them, deals with his family issues, and eventually gets caught. At the same time, the film follows one of his victims before she gets taken and after.
2023 was abundant in religious based horror movies, and while many were an absolute bust, I have to say that I quite liked “The Nun II.” I am well aware that I am in the minority in this regard, as “The Nun II” proves to be as divisive as the original film. The original works fine but is still the highest grossing film from “The Conjuring” universe; the producers don’t really aim for a soft reboot, this time continuing the saga of young Sister Irene and her new friend and colleague Sister Debra.