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.
(4 Out Of 5)
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!
It’s far and between that I watch a horror movie trailer, and then re-watch about five more times quickly after. Such is the case for the new trailer for the film written and directed by Ari Aster called Hereditary. Just the tease alone, that you’ll see below, made me want to go take a shower.
Not even sure where to begin with this one. But first, yes – the buzz is already very strong on Hereditary thanks to it’s screening at Sundance last month. Being toted as ‘This generation’s Exorcist‘, those are obviously very strong words. Judging from the trailer though, that might not be crazy talk.
The visuals incorporating the dollhouse into real life are stunning, as is the last half where we see horrible things. Horrible, horrible things. A kid bashing his head against a desk, creepy crawlies crawling all over someone, a person engulfed in flames, and some serious chopping with a kitchen knife. All of this is accompanied by some unnerving music that sets the tone for what this movie experience is going to be like. Hereditary opens on June 8th. Make sure you bring an extra pair of underwear to the screening though. I’m thinking you might need it.
The year was 2006. I had just recently moved to Los Angeles. Gas prices were relatively low. And a young filmmaker named Adam Green was busy bringing ‘Old School American Horror‘ back! Yes, that’s right – the 80’s homage/throwback Hatchet was born. And thus, it’s villain Victor Crowley was as well (thanks in large part to Kane Hodder). I remember watching Hatchet for the first time, almost blindly buying the DVD. What I was treated to was indeed a love letter to the horror that I grew up on in the 80’s: Unapologetically nasty gore, inventive kills, boobs, and boobs. Did I mention boobs?
Adam Green would go on to give us two more Hatchet sequels in the aftermath of the success of the original. Now, I’m not ashamed to admit that they didn’t really hit my horror spot as much as the first time I saw Victor Crowley grace the screen with his horribly disfigured swampy face. I liked the sequels, but the vibe felt off to me. But now……..Victor Crowley is back in 2018 and he’s looking like his old self! For better or worse, that is. Yes – the aptly titled Victor Crowley is the fourth (and maybe final) sequel in the Hatchet series and if the first full trailer is any indication, it will go out on a high body count note! Check it out below and get your preorder in for the Blu-ray/DVD over at Amazon HERE for a super good price.