Middle of the Road films – 2016 – horror flicks

Middle of the Road films

Sure, these won’t win any awards for originality or storytelling, but they are good enough to watch on ‘horror movie night’ with your honey 🙂 Curl up on the couch and catch a gander at these flicks…

The Rites of Spring 2011 - poster The Rites of Spring 2011 - pic 10

The Rites of Spring (2011)

When the crazy ass farmer, with the first day of Spring marked off in his calendar, gets out of his car wearing plastic bags tied over his shoes, you know somethin’ bad is-a-gonna’ happen! He kidnaps 2 young women leaving a bar late at night. He has them tied up, hands over their heads in a barn and performs a series of strange sadistic rituals on them. He drains their blood into a metal dish. He strips them and washes them down with a sponge. He places a cow head mask on one of them…Yeah, it’s some sick shit going down. In the meanwhile, there’s another whole story going on where three people kidnap a young child from their wealthy parents and demand $2 million in ransom. You know somewhere down the line these two stories will converge, and when they do it’s a blood bath! This is a cool flick to watch, not perfect, but not boring or bad by any means. Texas Chainsaw, Children of the Corn, Your Next, and Jeepers Creepers all rolled into one. 2.9/5 stars.

pod-2015-poster pod film 2015

POD (2015)

A brother and sister team up for a mini intervention of their youngest brother, Marty, who has a problem with paranoia. He had been institutionalized in the past over his paranoia and conspiracy theories. His siblings believe he is off his meds so they travel to where he’s staying to get him under control. When they get there he’s armed with a loaded shotgun and is running around the house yelling about government experiments, conspiracies and creatures. It’s a decent film with good dialogue where the family’s unresolved issues are brought to light. They think he’s off the deep end until they realize he has something locked up in the basement. It takes a while for this film to get moving but it packs a nice little punch. 2.4/5 stars

the exorcism of Molly Hartley - poster the exorcism of Molly Hartley - pic 7

The Exorcism of Molly Hartley (2015)

This was an entertaining journey through the lives of two individuals that finally cross paths for a good purpose. One is a priest whose failed exorcism lands him in psychiatric prison. The other is a young woman who becomes possessed by a demon, kills her friends and is incarcerated in the same prison. It’s moderately creepy at points but not anything we haven’t seen before. I know this is a sequel to “The Haunting….” but you don’t have to see the original to understand this one. It’s worth a watch for some modern horror enjoyment and to see Sarah Lind in her underwear, lol. Also stars Devon Sewa from Final Destination fame. 2.6/5 stars.


The Rites of Spring (2011)

POD (2015)

The Exorcism of Molly Hartley

parlor of horror movie reviews


What is ‘Horror’ to You?


What is ‘Horror’ to You?

The other day on Facebook someone said, Stir of Echoes wouldn’t be considered a horror film. Really? It has a vena stir of echoes - bookgeful spirit/ghost, it has some nasty deaths, it has creepy atmosphere… it certainly ain’t a drama. It is written smarter and with more complexity than your average horror genre flick, thanks to the pen of Richard Matheson, but I would still consider it horror.

I would tend to think that paranormal films are more horror than slasher films, but some people disagree. stir of echoesJust because someone doesn’t find a particular film scary, doesn’t mean it’s not horror.

You’re Next is more of a suspense/thriller film than horror, but I feel if someone dies in a nasty way and didn‘t deserve it, it is pretty horrible and therefore considered horror. So my definition of horror is in the broad sense. Of course, even though Ghost had a supernatural element to it, I wouldn’t consider that film horror. Nor would I consider all of the ‘romance with ghosts’ novels and stories that have inundated Amazon.com lately, to be horror. But that’s just me. If you want to consider them horror be my guest, I won’t argue.


My definition of horror is:
‘a book, film, or story that raises your defense mechanism, makes you nervous, edgy, frightened, or scared with the threat of danger, death, and even damnation, at the hands of an individual or thing, above and beyond the conventions of normalcy.’ 


To further explain, being attacked by a serial killer is not a normal event. Attacked by a poltergiest or angry spirit isn’t either. I would consider both horror.Seven film

I wouldn’t consider a Tom Clancy novel horror, even though it raises your defense mechanism, and includes the threat of danger/death. If you are in the mob, or if you cross the mob and get shot for it – that is normal for that lifestyle and not considered horror. Likewise, if we are following a detective who is investigating/hunting a serial killer, that is somewhat normal for what they do and would most likely be considered a thriller or crime drama.

In certain instances a thriller can cross over into the horror genre, like in Se7en and Silence of the Lambs. Serial killer films can be considered horror if we are up close and intimate with the killer’s actions – if we can actually experience the horror felt by their victims. They create a psychological horror atmosphere – an atmosphere of horror within your mind. The Human Centipede and Maniac are definitely horror under this aspect. Jaws can also be considered horror under this parameter.


I would consider most stories with a ghost, spirit or a supernatural entity to be horror. I would also consider films with a psychological terror aspect to be horror. Of course, Horror has many sub-genres. I will have a post about sub-genres in the near future.

But until then, What is horror to you?

What are your feelings on what makes a good horror story?

What films are considered horror that you wouldn’t consider horror?

– and visa-versa –

What films are not considered horror that you would classify as horror?


Maniac (2012) – movie review

Maniac-2012 pic 4

Maniac (2012)

Directed by Franck Khalfoun
Screenplay Alexandre Aja, Grégory Levasseur, and C.A. Rosenberg

What a novel idea. You can shoot a film first person POV film without the pretense of carrying around a camera. That way when the character is running through an alleyway or climbing a fence, you’re not asking, why is this guy still filming? Although this is a remake, I am not offended by what the filmmakers have done here, as I am sometimes with Maniac-2012 pic 1other remakes. Perhaps that is because Maniac (1980), although good, was never anyone’s favorite film. The different approach on the film is welcome.

This is quite a good film with the feel and mood of a 70’s /early 80’s slasher. However, it also has the sensibilities and character depth of a modern film. It’s not a rehash of what has come before but a new and original look at the slasher genre. The cinematography is excellent. There are some great views of NYC giving the viewer a real sample of its various textures,maniac dvd its pulse and its delicate lifeblood. Elijah Wood plays a first-rate part as Frank Zito, the scalp stealing, mannequin collecting psychotic. He flips from tragic figure to frightening psychotic a dozen times throughout the film. The French photographer, Anna, who takes an interest in Frank’s work is a fine actress (Nora Arnezeder). When Anna realizes that Frank has killed her mentor/friend it is an unnerving scene. There are trippy flashes that show some of the reason for Frank’s psychosis but it’s not overdone. It gives you just the right amount of glimpses to suggest the painful evolution from his torn childhood to twisted adulthood.

The film is raw and gritty, both bloody and dirty with a strong R-rating – the way a horror film should be. It combines the best of slasher films with the internal struggle of characters in psychological thrillers like Silence of the Lambs or The Red Dragon. It gives me renewed faith in American horror films… oh wait, this is a foreign made film. Recommended viewing.

Recommended if you like: Slasher films, Silence of the Lambs, The Red Dragon, Torso, The Toolbox Murders