I don’t know what it is about 2022 horror films, but they are fucking killing it! And we still have Wendall & Wild, Hellraiser, Terrifier 2, Halloween Ends, and Rob Zombie’s version of The Munsters to look forward to…well, I hope that last one isn’t cringing.
I was able to catch up on this year’s horror movies that have been all the rage, and I’m excited to have even more in queue. It’s like I picked bangers at the local video store! Now I just need to have a slumber party and popcorn.
No hate, but I am not a Foo Fighter fan. Still, being a child of the 90’s I somehow know the catchy lyrics and melodies as if I was. It was the buzz from socials that piqued my interest in Studio 666. Sometimes-only sometimes- I think it’s cool when trendy musicians hone into their love of horror and make a horror film. I especially like when they pull it off as Foo Fighter’s did with this movie.
I’m a sucker for practical effects, laughable cheesy acting, and catchy writing. It’s not often a horror movie can encompass all three of the aforementioned, so, even just one will make a scary film worth watching. Studio 666 has all three. I’m not that surprised since the movie was written based on a story Dave Ghrol had written. The movie opens with mayhem, gore and as the story progresses I felt some American Satan vibes. Thankfully the music in Studio 666 was way better. It was incredible in fact! I had taken for granted how musically dexterous Dave Ghrol is. Also, I felt the tug of collective grief as I had watched the movie roughly a month after Taylor Hawkins death.
So, not only was Studio 666 a buy-worthy horror movie, it felt good to appreciate a very masterful and legendary band in the horror element.
The Black Phone
Because Ethan Hawke is KILLING IT with his performances lately, I am only playfully talking shit regarding his salty showing off because his daughter is also KILLING IT. The Black Phone was a hit before it hit the screens and my ability to buy it.
The film’s promotion was lit off the BAT! I signed up for the text messages during the promotional campaign and received random messages to call in for details and clues about the movie.
I’m black! I don’t do certain rituals. Shit. It was a thrill enough to get the texts in the first place.
I love when horror movies are based in the past. I’m hopeful that it intrigues young fans to look into the original horror films made during that era and how movies like The Black Phone were influenced. The movie was set in the 1970’s, a time when kid’s biggest worries were being kidnapped but, not enough to avoid strangers offering free magic tricks out of the most suspicious looking vans ever manufactured.
Thank goth-ness in a way because we wouldn’t have films like this brilliant movie. The Black Phone has an old school scenario with a new spin all put on by a seasoned actor a new bad ass kids. Can we talk about the horrible turned rage and powerful performance from Madeline McGraw when she is being beat by her Dad? And, where she spews all my favorite profanities while she rips Jesus a new one while in prayer?
And, have I mentioned Ethan Hawke’s performance? You just need to see it but, I’ll give you a few key descriptions of his character. Cringe. Violent. Hot Dad Bod.
And, for other fans of the movie Sinister, there’s a “brotherhood” connection united in The Black Phone that had me geeking out!
Fucking masterpiece! I didn’t see Prey coming! The representation of each native culture involved in the film was invisible to most but not to the cast and crew. And fans who appreciate the depiction of their culture.
I have discussed how Predator films always have had a diverse cast, and in Alien vs. Predator, the film’s badass was a black woman Sanaa Lathan. Prey became a must watch the moment I heard about it for the lead character would be a Native woman. A Comanche Native woman. I learned that the film’s producer Jhane Myers was on set daily to consult and ensure every detail within the film accurately represented Comanche culture. In addition to the stunning visuals, the movie can be watched entirely in Comanche.
The entire cast was outstanding. It was refreshing to see a depiction of the beauty of the Great Plains and how the land was meant to be cared for. Even when sprayed by blood, limbs and other carcass parts. The hunting sequences were simple yet, horrifying. Predator and a Bear! Woah! The Predator is a creature to behold. Prey is an example of why I’m such a sucker for practical effects. It’s a sexy muthafucka and so cunning!
In all, Prey is probably the greatest of the franchise, which is a feat considering how this rarely happens. A major horror movie franchise with an all-Native cast shows how some production companies are interested in representation with new spins and stories to create.
But, I wasn’t up to seeing anything in theaters. So I had to wait. And wait, I did. Men was not being offered easily on any streaming platform or to buy digitally. Figures, men would make it hard. Pun is totally intended. But, I wasn’t ok when I did see the movie.
It’s not uncommon for a film released by A24 to make a viewer uncomfortable. Men was flat out disturbing. But, not in the sense that you may be thinking. It’s almost hard to describe but, when I realized the lore behind the nightmare fuel “rebirthing” scene was inspired by one of my favorite Celtic deities; I was still disdraught. Fuck! Rory Kinnear is a dude that plays some sick roles and I’d love to pick his brain one day. Virtually, of corpse.
But, what bothered me most of all about the film was James (Paapa Essiedu). Let me know your thoughts about him.
I sometimes have a hard time choosing a film to watch on Shudder. But, when I was told by a trusted source that Rebekah McKendry’s Glorious was pretty damn good. I went for it. I’ve admired Rebekah for years and have not once doubted her filmmaking skills.
Glorious is a indie masterpiece.
It’s fun, mysterious, and not at all what you think when you read about the setting being in a rest-stop bathroom with a supernatural glory hole. You read that right.
The whole movie is a bloody ride, and the end got deeper than I thought it would. Glorious ended up making me contemplate what I’ve done with my life and with the road trips I take because I certainly am even more cautious when I have to pull into a rest area.
I am pissed I didn’t know about the worthiness of Orphan when it came out in 2009. I had no clue about this movie until its sequel created a stir. This is a highly underrated film that took me by surprise from the beginning. This little shit is savage and cunning!
I was blown the fuck away as I was when I first saw Sleepaway Camp and the twists don’t wait until the very end. We get to enjoy the conclusion of the movie with the truth about Esther.
The Orphan First Kill
We live in a time where originality is not mainstream. Where the trend of remaking films that didn’t need remaking or a sequel for an original classic is unnecessary. But, the big film companies don’t give a shit about fan opinions. I don’t know if Orphan needed a prequel but, I’m glad it was made.
As I mentioned before, the buzz around Orphan First Kill is what made me curious to watch Orphan. Esther’s break-out story and the family she conned to adopt her was a story that isn’t bland or boring as prequels can be. Shit gets crazy! The twist actually may have you feeling a certain way about Esther you didn’t think you’d feel about her.
And the end is chunky!
It’s an experience to be alive in a time where a black man can express his love for horror and make original films with original stories intermingled with classic horror. It feels good. It feels like I’m almost part of the magic. That feeling is called called representation!
Nope premiered in theaters at a moment where it became a light in a dark time for me this summer. All four of my kids were home, and we saw Nope as a fam. We’ve loved Jordan Peele since Key & Peele . All of the Halloweens had their ideas about what the plot of Nope would be like, and though the ideation of the film is still up for many discussions, we all collectively agreed the movie was another banger.
It was the cast, especially Keke Palmer, that was a delight to behold in a setting I wouldn’t have typically found interest in. Cowboys vs. Aliens… not my jam, but when Jordan Peele writes and directs such a concept, I’m in. This movie was suspenseful, funny, mysterious, and flat-out wild! Of corpse, there were elements I hadn’t seen before like the UFO itself. Unholy goth, was it terrifying but so simple! My favorite part though was the the “red-ish rain”. If you know, you know.