For the first time in SHV history, we're covering both an original and a remake in the same season! This week we're talking the gore drenched, star studded boob-fest that is Alexander Aja's Piranha 3D. This episode also includes a reveal about one of the 2021 season themes and is the penultimate episode for Season 7 : "Aquatic Horror Beach Party". Join us for the most fun you can have talking about floating dongs, "We The Piranhas" are back, and they demand it.
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Sunday, August 23, 2020
This week we say goodbye to the giant sea monster for this season with 1998's Deep Rising, starring Treat Williams and Famke Janssen from director Stephen Sommers (The Mummy (1999) Van Helsing, ) This one has action, pirates and a giant almost Lovecraftian monster. How does it hold up all these years later? The SHV crew gives you their thoughts.
Monday, August 17, 2020
While not technically a horror movie (though the cast and crew might disagree) , James Cameron's undersea epic, The Abyss, was the film responsible for the tidal wave of aquatic horror that appeared in the year of 1989 as all the rest of Hollywood knew is that Cameron was making some sort of underwater sea monster extravaganza and they wanted to beat him to the punch. What emerged is one of the most ambitious and insane "making of "stories in cinema history and we're diving into it on this week's episode.
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Sunday, August 9, 2020
The Aquatic Horror Beach party is rockin' and rollin' into 1989 for the deluge of sea monster movies that all piggybacked off the hype of James Cameron's "The Abyss" (which we'll cover next week!). Even Friday The 13th's own creator Sean S Cunningham threw his hat into the ring with Deepstar Six, deciding if he couldn't make the best of these movies, he could at least make the first one. Featuring musical guest "Obscene Division" with the song "Knock Knock." IG - Poltergeist_OD, Youtube: Poltergeist OD
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Friday, August 7, 2020
THE MUJI MOVIE MINUTE: Dave Franco’s “The Rental” is a promising directorial debut that doesn’t quite stick the landing.
In “The Rental”, 2 couples rent a luxurious beach house for a weekend getaway that goes horribly wrong. Charlie (Dan Stevens) and his wife Michelle (Alison Brie) decide to celebrate his company’s success with Charlie’s coworker Mina (Sheila Vand) and her boyfriend Josh (Jeremy Allen White). Josh also happens to be Charlie’s brother. Quickly it becomes obvious that there is not only at least a little more than professional admiration between Charlie and Mina but that Michelle and Josh both notice and are each dealing with it in different ways. Josh, an underachiever compared to his older brother, is afraid that the beautiful and talented Mina will realize that she can do better and leave him, Michelle isn’t happy having to share so much of her husband but has learned to accept it. These complicated relationships wont be anything new to those familiar with co-writer Joe Swanberg’s previous work in the Mumblecore genre.
The strength of this movie comes from the performances and the relationship drama between the characters. The cast is great and is highlighted by Sheila Vand. Her character is more complicated than the normal final girl. She is smart, strong, and beautiful, but makes some very bad decisions as the film goes on. The movie also looks beautiful. Franco and cinematographer Christian Sprenger take full advantage of the giant beach house and beautiful location that it sets on.
Sadly, this is almost a tale of 2 movies. The first 2/3’s is mostly a relationship drama which works really well. It’s the last third of the movie where it turns into a slasher that it starts to faulter. We are clued in early that someone is watching the house from a distance, but we don’t know who. Unfortunately, once we get to the action it is not very rushed and not suspenseful. It almost seems like we are just going through the motions to get to the final scenes’ revelations (which I wont spoil here). The characters also make some irrational choices. I love slashers and can forgive a lot when it comes to dumb decisions, but they really start to pile up over the last 30 minutes of this movie. It’s a real shame that the excellent character build up that the movie achieves just isn’t capitalized on.
“The Rental” won’t make you afraid to book your next short-term rental but maybe it will make you at least be sure to lock your doors and windows. Dave Franco does show promise as a filmmaker even if this film’s final act feels like an afterthought.
Monday, August 3, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020
THE MUJI MOVIE MINUTE- “Host” is a timely movie with a few good scares that proves Zoom calls can indeed get even worse.
6 months ago, plenty of people had never heard of Zoom. We all know what Zoom is now and most of us are using it or some other type of video conferencing software in some capacity. Some of us use Zoom as a business solution. At this point in the pandemic we are all tired of hearing dress shirt and shorts jokes in video conferences at work. Seriously, there is a special place in hell for people who still laugh at those terrible, unoriginal jokes. Some of use zoom as a safe option to maintain social distancing and still stay in touch with our friends. In director Rob Savage’s “Host” a group of friends use Zoom to participate in a séance. A couple of people in the group do not take the séance seriously, which turns out to be a big mistake.
“Host” is a real triumph of true indie filmmaking. It’s a great example of ignoring your limitations and just taking the tools that you have and making something. Stuck in the middle of this pandemic Rob Savage went viral by making a horror short set in a two-minute Zoom meeting. Shudder’s Craig Engler reached out and Savage agreed to turn the short into a feature. The cast of the movie all had to film themselves as Savage directed them remotely. It was a true do it yourself project.
“Host” is about 6 friends who decide to participate in a Séance over Zoom lead by not so reliable medium. Very quickly you find out that a couple of the friends won’t be taking the séance seriously. Longtime fans of Horror know where this will lead and its not anywhere fun. After a couple of practical jokes the group accidently summons something evil and, due to some bad luck with Wi-Fi, aren’t able to successfully close their circle thus leaving the evil entity to roam free and leaving themselves in a fight for their lives.
One of the major strengths of “Host” is the pacing. At a runtime of only 56 minutes this movie has no filler. The first few minutes are used to get to know the characters, the next few to set the scene for all the action, and the last third of the movie is just nonstop set pieces and scares. There is not anything truly original in “Host”. While we’ve seen all of these scares and set ups before, Savage and the cast execute everything so impeccably that you don’t care. There are some truly great jump scares in this movie, many of which were either expertly setup in the first few minutes of the film or are achieved by using all of the negative space in many of the shots. This movie has a lot of open doors and hallways in the background in most every shot.
I must admit that when I heard of this movie’s existence, I was not overly excited. I knew that someone would eventually make a movie set in the pandemic with some sort of video conferencing gimmick and that it would probably be terrible. I am pleased to tell you that I was wrong, and that “Host” is one of the scariest movies of the year. Turn off your lights, your phone, and turn on Shudder. You wont regret spending less than an hour of your night watching “The Host”. I mean, what the hell else do you have to do right now anyways?
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