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)

Anticipation Alert: Ouija – Origin Of Evil (2016)

Wait, wait, wait!  Don’t judge me just yet.  Give the post a chance.  Let’s get the obvious out of the way.  2014’s stinker called Ouija was a indeed a piece of crap.  And somehow (I just looked this up) it made over $100 million at the box office worldwide.  Let me repeat that loudly:  $100 MILLION!  Well because of that, it’s not a shit movie shocker that a sequel was announced.  Normally I would yawn and flip off my computer at the same time when I hear something like that, but I saw that director Mike Flanagan (Hush, Oculus) was attached and suddenly became a little intrigued.


Look who’s having fun with a Ouija board up there!  Her eye is quite large.  So anyway, Ouija: Origin Of Evil was announced and is actually coming out October 21st – just in time for Halloween.  I think that’s one of the other reasons why I’m somewhat interested in this because any horror movie that comes out around Halloween is worth a little of my time.  Granted, the PG-13 rating is a downer – but give me some creepy goodness and we can work around that negative.

Did I mention that Henry Thomas from E.T. is in this?  Well there you go.  Another reason to possibly check it out.  Don’t worry, I’ll totally eat crow if this sucks but it can’t be worse than the shit bomb that was unleashed upon us in 2014.  On a side note – I’ve never owned a Ouija board and kind of want one.  I can summons my Grandma and ask her if she still needs me to mow her lawn.  Check out the trailer for Ouija: Origin Of Evil below, and try and ignore some of the CGI:

My Christmas Present To Myself: A Visit To The ‘Demon House’

Going back home to Indiana for the holidays brings me much joy because I get to go to White Castle.  And I also get to see my family, but I more look forward to going to White Castle.  Only one thing could upstage tasty burgers and a bag of french fries though – and that one thing is a mysterious house of demons located in a lovely subdivision in Gary, Indiana.

A quick backstory for those who are unfamiliar with this house:  Latoya Ammons and her three children claimed everything from unexplained levitations to demonic possessions while living at 3860 Carolina Street in 2011.  Even a priest swears to have witnessed some of these freaky supernatural acts.  So it has to be true if a man of the cloth is vouching for it, right?  That’s why I had to witness this ‘demon house’ for myself while I was in Indiana and before I did, I told my loved ones to keep my legacy alive should something happen to me.

So off I went to the mean streets of Gary, Indiana with my two chicken-shit nephews as my backup.  As I crept up Carolina street, my nerves were a wreck as I could feel evil approaching.  And then I came face to face with the ‘demon house’ and was completely frozen with fear:


Terrifying!  And also delicious because I have a hankering for some M&Ms now.  Ok, ok – that’s not the ‘demon house’, but it is in the vicinity of it.  Now here is the actual ‘demon house’ in all of it’s spooky glory:


The good news:  I made it out alive.  The bad news:  I’m vomiting up pea soup uncontrollably now.  No doubt, it’s a creepy house from the outside.  Not quite as creepy though as the house next to it with the 100-year-old candy canes hanging on fish wire in the window.  Sadly, I didn’t get a pic of that,  but you can use your imagination.  One intriguing development from the past few months on the ‘demon house’ though is that it is being made into a major motion picture.  Everyone involved in the actual events has sold their story and director Lee Daniels (The Butler) will be going behind the camera.

Now do I believe in all of the actual accounts that were said to have happened in the ‘demon house’?  No.  No I do not.  Maybe just the skeptic in me and I honestly do believe in some supernatural entities, but after reading about this story, I did not really come away convinced.  But I am glad that I was able to visit the house, even though I do regret not taking a picture in front of it.   You know what’s good for regrets though?  White Castle.


Anticipation Alert: Amityville – The Awakening (2014)

La La La La La La La (puts fingers in ears and yells that really loud).  But now why am I being so juvenile and refusing to hear something?  Oh – that’s because yet another ‘evil possession’ movie is set to be unleashed upon the horror masses and I honestly don’t want to hear about it.  But wait….what’s this?  The trailer actually looks good?  And it’s written and directed by Frank Khalfoun?  Ok ok……I’m listening.


One of the godfather’s of all possession movies is 1979’s The Amityville Horror, and it’s spawned more than enough sequels, prequels and documentaries over the years (my personal favorite being Amityville II: The Possession).  And now we have another to throw into that mix called Amityville: The Awakening.

As mentioned previously, it’s written and directed by Frank Khalfoun (Maniac) and stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bella Thorne, Mckenna Grace, and Cameron Monaghan.  Focusing on the story of a mother and her three children who move into the infamous Amityville house…..wait a minute — why in the hell are they moving into that house?  I’m sure they got it for cheap since murders occurred there and supernatural entities call it home, but is saving a little cash worth all of the demonic fuss?  To make matters worse, the son is in a coma and weird shit starts happening.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the somewhat impressive trailer and get ready for Amityville: The Awakening on January 2, 2015.

Review: The Conjuring (2013)

We’ve seen it all before.  An evil house, a possessed family member, a paranormal team who helps perform an exorcism.  But rarely do you get to see it done so well.  Welcome to the already hyped (and deservedly so) spooky flick, The Conjuring.  A movie that impressed me even more than I thought it would, but not just because it was downright scary and intense for most of the almost 2 hour runtime, but because it was smart.  Yes, you read that right.  A horror movie that is actually smart.  I think I just saw a pig fly by.    Continue reading

Let The Sarcasm Begin……Another Possession Movie Is Coming! Woo Hoo!

I feel like I’m dealing with an alcoholic that can’t put the bottle down.  Except instead of some good Scotch, we’re talking about an overstock of films focusing on possessions and exorcisms.  Can everyone just realize please that there will never be another movie like The Exorcist?  Now granted, there have been a few good exorcism/possession movies since the pea soup was flying in 1973, but it’s gotten a little out of control.  Case in point:  the sorry $7.7 million that The Last Exorcism Part II just brought in.  I want quality, not quantity. And that honestly goes for all horror genres.  We went down this long road with the torture porn, and thankfully, that eased up a bit.  Can we at least get back into the slasher genre?  Don’t worry, I see you Maniac remake.

*can you at least clean your fingernails before poking around in someone’s mouth?*

So the main reason for this post is because it’s been announced courtesy of Bloody Disgusting, that a sequel is in the works already for the 2012 exorcism movie, The Possession.  Being that the first was a modest success, it’s only natural to keep the cash grab game going and throw a sequel out there.  Now look – I don’t mind sequels.  But I cannot stand when it’s obvious that there isn’t any heart or soul behind a project and only dollar signs in the eyes of those involved in making them.  So my advice to the makers of The Possession sequel:  take your time.  You had something there in the first one (even though overall I wasn’t blown away).  So maybe….just maybe….you can pull off a sequel that’s even better than that original.  And no PG-13 crap this time around.  Take it to the limit and you’ll be rewarded by this horror fan. How’s that for incentive?

*great…now what am I supposed to make an omelette with?!*

The Conspiracy Of ‘The Last Exorcism Part II’ Continues!

Aha!  Further proof that my initial findings insinuating that those involved in the upcoming possession flick, The Last Exorcism Part II, know that the movie is going to suck.  As I previously reported with my crack journalism, TV spots that are running right now for the unnecessary sequel, clearly say “The Last Exorcism” in the voiceover at the end of the spot, even though the film is clearly called, The Last Exorcism Part II.  And as I mentioned in that previous post, it simply has to be a subliminal mind game to get you to think that you’re going to see a better movie than you’re actually going to see!  Meaning that the original was actually pretty good and also meaning that this new one is going to blow.

*extreme measures taken to stop her embarrassing bedwetting problem*

Well now the ante of a possible conspiracy has just been upped a few notches and we now learn that the popular movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes, may be in on it!  Knowing that The Last Exorcism Part II is coming out on March 1st, I decided to venture over to RT and see if any reviews were popping up. To my astonishment and equal bewilderment, the site said that it already had one “Fresh” review!  And we can thank Steve Newton from the prestigious Straight.Com for that:

Date of the supposed review:  February 15, 2013.  But click on the link and the date now says:  August 25, 2010.  How can that be you ask?  Because it’s a review for the original Last Exorcism movie!  Scandal!  Outrage! Overreacting on my part!  So those involved with The Last Exorcism Part II are so desperate for good buzz, that they have to put positive reviews from the first movie up on the new movie’s Rotten Tomatoes page, tricking readers into thinking it will be good.  First, the trickery of the TV spot voiceover and now this?  For shame!  We’ll see on March 1st how many moviegoers will be duped into supporting this sequel.  That’s on March 1st when The Last Exorcism Part II will be in theaters everywhere.  March 1st people.  Go see The Last Exorcism Part II on March 1st.  Oh no…..why am I promoting this movie? These evil sonsofbitches have gotten to me too!  My God….no one is safe.

*have you been eating corn again?*

Thank God For Eli Roth’s Upcoming ‘The Green Inferno’

Let me get this off my chest real quick.  If I see one more trailer for a possession/exorcism movie, I’m literally going to rip the hair that I don’t have out of my head.  Oooh look – there’s one coming out (Dark Skies) starring that Felicity chick and maybe it involves some aliens this time?!  Ahhh – and look at that lovely piece of shit trailer for the Last Exorcism Part II (to be fair, I liked the first one).  The ironic mention of that particular upcoming sequel is that Eli Roth is a producer on it, and even though I have little to zero faith in that movie, I have much more invested in Roth’s directorial upcomer, The Green Inferno.  No possessed little girls.  No priests with shocking looks on their faces.  Just some straight up cannibalism.  Fuck yeah!

*don’t touch the hair!*

That pic up there is the first released pic from Eli Roth’s, The Green Inferno. The story centers around a group of student activists from New York who decide to travel to the remote jungles of Peru to stage a protest.  Only good things could come from that, right?  Well, they encounter a tribe of cannibals along the way (Debbie Downer sound effect).  Inspired from the sick, but entertaining 1980 splatter classic Cannibal Holocaust and the sequel which was actually known as The Green Inferno, I’m guessing we can expect a lot of eye-covering moments in this one and possibly some intentional or unintentional comedy as well.  I applaud Roth for diving into something different and getting away from the torture porn (even though I’m sure there will be mucho torture involved here).  Since we can’t get a decent revival of the slasher genre, I’ll take some old school cannibalism in it’s place for sure.  The Green Inferno is currently in the post-production stage, so stay tuned for more info on a trailer and release date!

*eye gouge champion of the world*

Trailer Alert: The Last Exorcism Part 2

Hooray for sequels!  Slight sarcasm there, but here we go with the official trailer for The Last Exorcism Part 2.  I do always like when a horror sequel gets a “Part 2” in the title.  Makes me feel like I’m in the 80’s again.  Ahhh – the 80’s.  Remember when horror movies were good?  Ok – I’m getting off topic, so let’s get back on.

The Last Exorcism Part 2 picks up right where the original left off and we find Nell (Ashley Bell) dirty and scared after just giving birth to a demon baby during a satanic ritual in the woods.  Doctors examine her and find nothing wrong and move her into an all female halfway house.  It’s there that she seeks to rehabilitate herself and maybe even find love (awwwww).  But her past demons (pun intended) won’t allow that, and she must come face to face with them again whether she likes it or not.  Peep the trailer below:

Well, the first thing that stands out other than the fact that Nell looks all growns up now, even though it’s supposed to take place right after the first movie, is the abandonment of the hand held/documentary style look.  Definitely a more polished look this time around.  I actually really liked The Last Exorcism and had no problems with the ending like some people (it was prophesized in the drawing!) and I was fully on board for the sequel.  My anticipation lowered slightly though, because it really just looks like another carbon copy of the 20 possession/exorcism films we have coming out each year now.  I did dig some of the creepy imagery and the Jesus nursery rhyme for some added effect, so I’ll definitely reserve judgement until I see the finished product.  And that finished product comes out March 1st, so mark it down on your horror calendar!

*ok, maybe it is time to try one of those Tempur-Pedic beds I keep hearing about*