We all screamed for more ‘Scream,’ and Hollywood was more than happy to answer the call for yet another meta-slasher-whodunnit.
The “hey, isn’t pregnancy pretty scary?” genre gets an all-new entry with A24’s False Positive, a deliriously bold and visually unflinching psychological horror from writer and director John Lee, who helmed a few episodes of “Broad City” with this film’s star, co-screenwriter, and co-producer Ilana Glazer. As an obvious homage to the chilling paranoia of Rosemary’s Baby, where a young woman suspects her neighbors might have dastardly plans in store for her unborn child, False Positive takes these similar themes, such as the plight of female agency in a male-dominated world, and adds even more contemporary topics like gaslighting in its effort to give this sub-genre a bit of a rebirth.
No one made us review The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, the third entry in the main horror series of Conjuring films and eighth overall film in the “Conjuring Universe.” This time directed by Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona), the supernatural film once again stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigative duo tasked with solving a spooky conspiracy involving demonic possession, a murder trial, and even an evil cult. Also in this week’s show, we briefly discuss “Mare of Easttown” spoiler-free and review All Light, Everywhere, a new documentary from Theo Anthony about the abstract challenges of using body cameras to hold police officers accountable.
Do you remember the classic horror franchise A Nightmare on Elm Street? Remember the first film? An imaginative, ambient slasher with a strange but horrific premise? Remember when the third film, Dream Warriors, was announced? How bizarre it was to see the classic Krueger story transformed into a fantasy-horror-team-up film with a tone akin to that of a teen superhero movie? Because I don’t, I wasn’t born when those movies came out and I stopped my retro viewings after the second one. But I do imagine the feeling must have been pretty similar to how I felt walking out of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.
Adonis and Sam are back after an unexpected hiatus to continue the Alien/Predator saga with Stephen Hopkins’ sequel to John McTiernan’s introduction to the Predator, Predator 2! It’s a film that has received a mixed reaction over time, and the two of us certainly have some words for this film. Tune in to the Cinemaholics Patreon to hear what we had to say!
Will Ashton returns to Extra Milestone yet again to chart an unusual cinematic path across the 1980s and 1990s! We begin with an examination of David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, including our thoughts on the story’s emotional core, trivia on why the film is significant to the history of the academy, our impressions of David Lynch, and more! From there, we return to the films of Martin Scorsese with After Hours, an unusual and underseen comedic outing from the acclaimed director, and we close out the show by bringing the films of Abbas Kiarostami into focus with Close-Up, a hybrid documentary exploring the very nature and function of cinema.
Guy Simons Jr. (of Anyway, That’s All I Got fame) joins me for the first time on Extra Milestone for a special Halloween episode devoted to two of the greatest serial killer movies of all time! Kicking off our conversation is Alfred Hitchcock’s game-changing masterpiece Psycho, including the unique and revolutionary distribution of the film, the ways in which it insidiously sets itself apart from every other movie, whether or not it should be considered a ‘slasher,’ and more! After that, we jump forward to David Fincher’s haunting detective thriller Se7en, a movie which one of us had somehow never seen until now! We also discuss the film’s somewhat troubled legacy, the ways in which it has infiltrated the internet consciousness, and even some valuable insight on whether or not it should be viewed as an optimistic film!
It’s the second official episode of The Twilight Zone, and it may be one of the best! A traveling salesman (Ed Wynn) is visited by the specter of death (Murray Hamilton), and the two of us have some (many) questions! Tune in to the Cinemaholics Patreon to hear why we connect to this episode so heavily, the ways in which it encapsulates everything that makes the show awesome, and even our incredibly bizarre idea for an entire series that could spin off from this episode!
We’ve met the Aliens, but the time has come at last to face the Predators. This week on Game Over, Man!, Sam and Adonis are taking their first departure from the Alien series to take a look back at John McTiernan’s sophomore feature Predator! If that weren’t enough, one of the hosts isn’t a fan of the movie, making this our first major disagreement! Tune in to the Cinemaholics Patreon to hear how James Cameron serendipitously influenced the design of the Predator, why the hosts are of two different minds, who they actually think would win if a Predator and a Xenomorph were to face off, and more!
A man with no memory of his identity wakes up near a small town that’s completely abandoned…or is it? It’s the very first *actual* episode of The Twilight Zone, and we’re joined by our longtime friend and podcast collaborator Bridget Serdock to discuss it! Is it an effective introduction to the series at large? How does this unusual scenario tap into universal anxieties? Does it actually make scientific sense once the twist is revealed? And what would we do with an entire town to ourselves? Find out in the dimension which we call: A Nice Place to Visit.
The pairings keep getting stranger and stranger every week, and this week’s show is no exception! Special guest Ryan Oliver joins Sam and Jon to tackle two very different classics, starting with Akira Kurosawa’s massively influential 1950 arthouse classic Rashomon. We discuss everything from our differing experiences with the film, how multiple viewings have yielded different interpretations, and why the film has remained so meaningful even after 70 years. After that, we take a huge left turn toward Transylvania to examine the legacy and power of Jim Sharman’s 1975 genre-defining cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which one of us doesn’t like! It’s another collection of varied experiences complete with a litany of recommendations to go along with both films!
In our first Patron-Exclusive podcast, we’re continuing the Alien franchise with James Cameron’s Aliens, the pluralized sequel that shook the world! Sigourney Weaver returns as Ellen Ripley in an Oscar-nominated role that pits her, a team of memorable space marines, and a young orphaned girl against an entire hive of deadly Xenomorphs, and it’s even better than the original! Tune in on the Cinemaholics Patreon to hear us discuss the brilliant character interactions, effective and efficiently-produced scares, and even the deeper implications on the potential of humanity!
Things are getting real heavy this week, because Adonis Gonzalez is here to talk about the two best movies of 1985, which happen to be radically different from one another! We start with a harrowing exploration of Elem Klimov’s Come and See, an anti-war film depicting the Nazi invasion of Belorussia through the eyes of a young boy. We discuss the history of the film’s reputation, the drama associated with the production, the way that it emerges as (potentially) the only War movie that actually matters, and why we find it so difficult to even recommend. After that, we were happy to cleanse our palate with a discussion on Robert Zemeckis’s iconic Sci-Fi Family Comedy Back to the Future, covering its deft narrative construction, effective antagonist, and curious soundtrack decisions, as well as a deserved commendation for the recently deceased Ron Cobb.
Welcome to the very first episode of a new limited podcast series hosted by Sam Noland and Adonis Gonzalez! The two of them have decided to celebrate the spookiest time of year by reviewing every Alien and Predator movie, and they’re starting at the very beginning with none other than Ridley Scott’s landmark 1979 Sci-Fi Horror Classic Alien. Tune in to hear them discuss their experience and familiarity with the film, why it still easily lives up to the hype, behind-the-scenes information, and even a fun scenario on how they would introduce someone to the film for the first time! Give it a listen, and then be sure to sign up for the Cinemaholics Patreon, where the remainder of the episodes will be exclusively available.
Sam Noland is back on Extra Milestone after a week’s respite to take on, along with friend and coworker Robert Wilkinson, two radically different classics. First up is Charles Laughton’s gothic thriller The Night of the Hunter, which stars Robert Mitchum as a psychopathic priest hunting down two children during the Great Depression. Next up on our itinerary is the landmark spoof comedy Airplane!, the laugh-a-minute lampooning of pop cinema celebrating 40 years of making the world howl with laughter.
When it comes to psychological horror, there is one unwritten but common and maybe even obvious imperative: you have to mess with your audience’s mind. The true horror doesn’t come from a man in a papier-mâché Halloween mask or a creepy-crawly creature from the fifth dimension like you’ll see in other scary movies. It comes from mystery, the feeling that you never have any idea what is actually going on in the film you’re watching, as well as the sense of dread that confusion might entail. So I guess you could say Rent-A-Pal is a pretty good psychological horror — one certainly deserving the genre label.
This week’s Extra Milestone is so iconic that we may just need a bigger boat. Anthony Battaglia reunites with Sam to discuss two immensely significant blockbusters that have irreparably shaped the cinematic landscape. We start with a discussion on Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, including our differing experiences with the movie, our appreciation for the writing and acting, differences from Peter Benchley’s novel, a confession as to our shared fear of open water, and even an extremely hot take involving the infamous sequels! After we dry off from that conversation, we take an isolated look at Irvin Kershner’s The Empire Strikes Back and how it changed Star Wars (and sequels in general) forever, why it maintains its effectiveness after dozens of viewings, why we can never view the Dagobah sequence the same way again, whether or not it contains the best lightsaber battle ever, and the dichotomy between good and evil that was solidified in this film.
It’s all play and no work on this week’s Extra Milestone, because Jason Read has returned to the show to discuss a trio of very different movies. We begin with a detailed exploration of Stanley Kubrick’s Horror masterpiece The Shining, complete with reflections on why the terror of it is so effective, analyses of the movie’s themes and mysteries, a discussion of why method acting is a flawed and unnecessary process, and even a few personal stories that relate to the movie. Afterward, we take on Joe Dante’s Gremlins, stopping along the way to discuss its implementation of cinematic language, its historical significance, and all of the darkly comedic chaos that comes with it. Finally, we cap off the show with a fittingly sporadic look at Dante’s oft-overlooked sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch, which is one of the most entertaining movies either of us have ever seen, as well as being a knowing satire of culture stuffed with enough cameos and mania to last a lifetime.
Personally, I believe the horror genre doesn’t get nearly enough credit these days. I’ve struggled to figure out just why that is. Perhaps it’s because of the over-saturation of the genre, the fact that there are quite literally hundreds of films to choose from, many of them admittedly not exactly something to write home about. Maybe it’s because even when horror was at its peak, when the big monsters like Dracula or Jason Voorhees spooked audiences during the Halloween season, horror was advertised as something of a niche genre; meant only for those who could truly appreciate the shock, schlock, and gore of a scary movie. Or maybe it’s because no on-screen jump scare could ever compare to the horrors of reality that many of us have to live through on a daily basis. Either way, the horror genre is pretty underappreciated and often times overlooked when awards season comes around.
The Cinemaholics gang is finally getting existential. Our featured review this week is She Dies Tomorrow, a new indie horror from Amy Seimetz. We also discuss Beyoncé’s Disney+ visual album Black is King, which sort of ties into last year’s The Lion King remake. Also, Host is a new horror film shot and produced during the pandemic, and it’s about a Zoom call that goes horribly wrong. Fun! And last is a new political documentary called The Fight, which is about recent ACLU cases fighting various human rights cases in the United States. We also talk briefly about “Umbrella Academy” Season 2, the future of Netflix sitcoms without “Friends” or “The Office,” and the latest release date news for Tenet.
The summer is about to conclude with a creeping, atmospheric, gory bang, because Emily Kubincanek is back on The Extra Milestone to discuss a trio of Horror Classics! We start with a look at Sean S. Cunningham’s iconic slasher Friday the 13th, and how it sets itself apart from other such films, as well as the excitement of it all that still plays today. We continue with a discussion of James Whale’s sequel Bride of Frankenstein, including the similarities to Mary Shelley’s novel and how Universal crafted a new narrative around the characters. Finally, we dive into the hellish effects showcase that is the late Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator!
Special guest Abby Olcese joins us for a review of the new horror thriller The Rental, Dave Franco’s directorial debut starring Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Sheila Vand, and Jeremy Allen White. We also discuss Yes, God, Yes starring Natalia Dyer and the recent documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble.
In what will likely go down as the nerdiest and most esoteric Extra Milestone yet, I am joined by my good friend and fellow hardcore cinephile Andrew McMahon to discuss a pair of significant, influential, and all-around great films. We begin with a lengthy discussion of Michelangelo Antonioni’s reflective 1975 thriller The Passenger, in addition to Antonioni’s career as a whole that we’re familiar with, followed by a look at Michael Powell’s career-ending 1960 horror film Peeping Tom. We get into a lot of exciting history and interconnectivity to the greater cinematic art form over the course of both conversations, and we hope it’s just as fun to listen to as it was to record.
Special guest Sam Noland joins us for a weird review of the new weird western Bacurau, now available through some streaming platforms and maybe your local arthouse theater. The gang also discusses a new sci-fi horror flick called The Platform on Netflix, the HBO documentary mini-series McMillion$, yet another sci-fi horror flick called Swallow starring Haley Bennett, and stoner buddy comedy Coffee & Kareem on Netflix starring Ed Helms and Taraji P. Henson.
The time has come yet again for a new release to be completely steamrolled at the box office by an installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and shamefully so, if you ask me. The unfortunate and doomed film comes this time in the form of A24’s Midsommar, a folk mystery/thriller from Hereditary director Ari Aster, which just so happens to be one of the best movies of the year.
If you’re a fan of the Annabelle and Conjuring movies, then we have a special treat for you this week. I recently spoke with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of the new horror film Anabelle Comes Home, which hits theaters later this week. Dauberman was also the screenwriter for the first Annabelle in 2014, along with Annabelle: Creation and The Nun. He co-wrote It from 2017 and is the executive producer and co-writer for Swamp Thing, a new DC Comics series on streaming.
We’re not the podcast you thought we were before. This week, Sam Noland joins Jon Negroni for a packed episode, covering all the wide releases of the week, plus some extra limited/streaming releases. Our theme music this week is “Amoreena,” performed by Taron Egerton on the Rocketman soundtrack.
The Curse of La Llorona is the sixth film in the ongoing Conjuring series. Released through Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema, the film is helmed by first-time director Michael Chaves (the director of next year’s The Conjuring 3), written by Mikki Daughtry & Tobias Iaconis, and stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, and Patricia Velásquez. The story is based on the Mexican folklore of La Llorona, also known as The Weeping Woman, and follows Anna (Cardellini), a widowed mother of two in 1970s Los Angeles, who must protect her children from the supernatural entity in question (Marisol Ramirez).
The escapist horror of Stephen King is known and perhaps beloved for its eery “other” worlds and frightscapes mirroring our own reality, yet are not quite the same. Something is always off in the very best of King’s written stories and media adaptations, and in the same way, Pet Sematary (a remake of the schlocky 1989 horror hit) contains just about everything recognizable in a memorable, unshakeable King horror, but something here inevitably strikes as a bit twisted and wrong.
This week, we’re dedicating the majority of the show to reviewing the new horror film Us, the second feature by director Jordan Peele after his 2017 debut Get Out. We’ll be discussing the film entirely spoiler-free for the first half of this review, then after a fairly obvious spoiler warning, we’ll be digging deep into the secrets, meanings, and interpretations we had after our first watch. Plus, we kick off the episode with a brief review of Yardie, the first feature film directed by Idris Elba.