Dirty Horror’s Rapid Reviews: ‘The Ritual’ & ‘Verónica’

What do a best friend hiking trip in Sweden and a bad Ouija board experience during a solar eclipse have in common?  Well, nothing actually – but they are both the premises of two recent horror movies that hit the wonderful world of Netflix.  Let’s start with these poor bastards that did some hiking in Sweden:

The Ritual (2018)


This one took me by surprise.  A British horror film (directed by David Bruckner) set in Sweden that follows four friends who keep a pact to go on a hiking expedition after another one of their friends was killed six months prior.  Now of course, when you have people hiking in some creepy woods in a horror movie then bad shit’s going to happen.  The rub with The Ritual is that it’s pretty unpredictable.  A hybrid of The Blair Witch Project and The Wicker Man with a little monster action thrown in, this movie is beautifully shot and packs the emotional punch lacking in a lot of horror movies.  It also packs a pretty great literal punch towards the climax.  And The Ritual is creepy.  Did I mention it’s creepy?  Yeah.  Go watch it.

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(4 Out Of 5)

Verónica (2018)


There have been some decent Ouija board related horror movies throughout the years (Witchboard, Ouija: Origin Of Evil), but none that have really hit me where it hurts like this new offering titled Verónica.  A spanish horror film directed by Paco Plaza (who gave us the impressive Rec franchise) that manages to take the somewhat tired ‘possession’ storyline to new creepy and emotional levels.  The plot is fairly standard (a girl and her friends attempt to use a Ouija board to speak to her dead father during a solar eclipse), but manages to still be riveting.  The acting is superb (especially Sandra Escacena playing Verónica) and Paco Plaza has a knack for utilizing the camera so well, especially during those ‘wait, did I just see something in the background?‘ shots.  I felt it could have been trimmed by about 10 minutes or so, but that’s a minor complaint for a movie like Verónica.  Go watch it!

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(4 Out Of 5)

Review: Insidious – The Last Key (2018)

I have a rule of thumb for any movie in a horror franchise that has the word ‘LAST’ in it’s title.  That rule would be that it should be the last entry into that particular franchise.  Done. Finished. Finito.  Such is very much the case with Insidious: The Last Key, a desperate attempt to keep the Insidious series going with yet another prequel and even worse…..without any true scares.  Let’s tiptoe into the review and get started.

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Review: Better Watch Out (2017)

What says Christmas more than a 12-year-old boy that has a crush on his 17-year-old babysitter?  Actually, that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas – but in the new holiday horror movie Better Watch Out, it sure does!

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Review: Red Christmas (2017)

You better watch out, you better not cry……you better not pout because there’s a really good Christmas horror movie that you need to watch this year!  I know, I know – it’s Halloween season.  But I had the pleasure of finally sitting down and watching Craig Anderson’s Red Christmas and it indeed got me into the Christmas horror movie spirit!

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Dirty Horror’s Rapid Reviews: ‘Leatherface’, ‘Cult Of Chucky’, ‘Gerald’s Game’

Ugh.  I’ve been neglecting my blog.  I’m sorry, baby……I promise I’ll take better care of you and shower you with my witty sarcasm and pointless posts about 80’s horror movies.  But first, how about some reviews!  Considering I have actually been watching some of the current crop of horror movies, I figured I’d share my brief thoughts on some.  Emphasis on ‘brief’.  Let’s go!

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Review: The Queen Mary: Dark Harbor (Long Beach, CA)

‘Tis the season for Halloween haunted houses and spooky attractions!  Last weekend, I did my usual trek to Universal Studios Hollywood for Halloween Horror Nights.  After that, I was already itching to do more.  So next up, The Queen Mary: Dark Harbor in Long Beach, CA!

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Review: IT (2017)

Have you heard the one about the evil clown named Pennywise that eats children and feeds off of their fears?  I guess the punchline isn’t going to really be funny.  Regardless, the wait is over and the revamped version of Stephen King’s IT movie has finally arrived in theaters!  Part remake.  Part redo.  And all business.  Literally, because it’s going to make a shit-ton of money on opening weekend (latest projection is around $130 million).  But does this new incarnation of IT live up to the hype, and how does it compare to the original 1990 mini-series of the same name?  The latter I won’t focus on too much, but the former I definitely will.   Continue reading

Review: Lamb Of God @ The Forum (Los Angeles)

Crossing things of my bucket list is fun.  And I got to cross another one off the other night when I finally saw Lamb Of God at The Forum in Los Angeles for the first time.

Been a fan for a while, so I was amped to see what they had in store for the LA crowd.  And minus a few mic issues (f*cking sound guys) at the start of ‘Laid To Rest’ to open the show, the boys pummeled the crowd with 10 songs – raising the intensity with each one.  Randy Blythe is a force onstage – and to me, that’s one of Lamb Of God’s strong points as a live band.  The heavy riffs, the booming drums…..they’ll always be there.  But it’s Randy’s energy and interaction with the crowd that makes the experience hit you even harder.

On the band’s closing song ‘Redneck‘, Randy encourages the crowd to get the biggest circle pit going that The Forum has ever fucking seen.  And from my vantage point, they may have succeeded.  Great show.  Great energy.  And oh yeah, Slayer was there too.  HORNS UP!


Laid To Rest
Now You’ve Got Something To Die For
Engage The Fear Machine
Blacken The Cursed Sun
Still Echoes
Walk With Me In Hell

Review: Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival (Long Beach, CA)

It’s no secret that I love Halloween.  So naturally, I was more than excited to see the return of the Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival to Long Beach, California last weekend! This was the second year for this particular event, and to be honest – it was bigger, better, and much spoooookier this time around. Continue reading

Review – Annabelle: Creation (2017)

It’s hard to believe that The Conjuring spinoff flick called Annabelle came out almost 3 years ago.  It seems like just yesterday that I was throwing tomatoes at the screen and yelling obscenities after watching that atrocity.  But, I have good news!  A prequel to that very movie called Annabelle: Creation has arrived and……….wait for it…………..it’s good!!!  Oh – and pretty fucking scary too.   Continue reading