Motel Hell (1980)

Imurders

This cover always intrigued me as a kid. Vincent and his sister Ida run a motel and are infamous for their smoked meats. We learn Vincent is setting traps on the road to kidnap travelers and bury them in the garden. As if that weren’t sinister enough, we soon learn his victims are kept alive for a most unsavory purpose. Really hammy and over the top, this has a lot of humor despite the grisly premise. I was stunned to learn Vincent (Rory Calhoun) was a heartthrob back in the day. Worth a watch but be advised this may ruin your appetite.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Skeleton Key (2005)

Imurders

Set in a gloomy plantation in Louisiana Caroline (Kate Hudson) takes a job as a hospice nurse for an elderly couple. Wife, Violet, is set in her ways and isn’t overly welcoming to Caroline. Her husband, Ben seems terrified of something, is it of Violet or something more sinister? Can Caroline solve the mystery and help in time? Fun, twisty movie, perfect for rainy day viewing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Candyman (2021)

My first trip to the theater since pre-covid 2019. This deserved a big screen viewing! I am always on board with Jordan Peele’s horror endeavors. This is a culturally relevant continuation of the Candyman legend with strong performances and beautiful cinematography.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Initiation (1984)

Another cool 80’s cover. Kelly (played by Daphne Zuniga from “The Dorm That Dripped Blood” and “Spaceballs”) is a sorority pledge who, in between classes and parties, is dealing with some repressed childhood memories. Her parents (played by Hollywood/horror veterans, Vera Miles and Clu Gulager) seem to be hiding something. On the night of a hazing prank, the pledges find themselves locked in a mall with a killer on the loose. Will Kelly’s professor/psychologist/boyfriend figure things out and arrive in time?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

House on Sorority Row (1982)

I always liked the cover of this movie even though it has nothing to do with the film. It’s an atmospheric slasher in an old sorority house after a prank gone wrong. It has some “Black Christmas” (1974) vibes with a sprinkle of “I know What You Did Last Summer”, some cool deaths, a few jump scares, a terrible band playing the party, and an unexpected reveal at the end. Avoid the 2009 remake!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Get Out (2017)

Chris is a young African American man, meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Things are a little off with the folks in town, a very “Stepford Wives” sort of vibe. Her parents seem a bit too enthusiastic for his arrival. No one is who they appear to be. Jordan Peele is one to keep your eye on!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Clown (2014)

Ken rents a clown costume for his son’s birthday party. The party is truly over because he can’t ever take it off because it is cursed by an ancient demon. Really creepy concept and forget about the movie rules about sparing children.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Beneath (2013)

A group of teens take a boat on the lake fight to survival a monstrous killer fish thing. Awesome practical effects on the creature.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hard Candy (2005)

Hayley is a precocious, young girl who meets up with Jeff, a stranger she met in a chatroom (remember those?). He is significantly older than Hayley. Their interaction is cringey and awkward, but it is Hayley who insists on going back to his place. We learn a lot about Jeff as we explore his fancy house/photography studio. He tries a little too hard to be a nice guy, is Hayley really that naive? I won’t spoil anything, but that 3rd act is a doozy! Another example of my favorite style of film. Almost completely shot in one location, like a play with minimal cast. Food for though: the film takes on a whole different level now that Ellen Page is Elliot Page.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Would You Rather (2012)

Iris needs money to help her sick brother. She is invited to a special dinner party by none other than genre favorite, Jeffery Combs. When money is on the table, she and the other guests must participate in a game of “would you rather”. At first the challenges are tame but as the evening progresses, things get increasingly more gruesome. Definitely a nasty, torturous kind of movie that make you question if you’d be up for the challenge?

Rating: 4 out of 5.