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.

Hush (1998)

This is an excellent Hitchcockian thriller. Helen, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is engaged to Jackson, played by the hunky Johnathon Schaech. He brings her home to meet his mother, Martha, played by the stunning Jessica Lange. Helen struggles with trying to win over Martha. She soon discovers the possessive and jealous nature of her soon to be mother-in-law. Things get rather shocking when Jackson is called back to work leaving Helen and Mother alone together. Martha is devious and has done some terrible things. Man, no one turns on the charm and the crazy like Jessica Lange.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hush (2016)

Maddie is a writer and she’s home alone for the night. She also happens to be deaf and mute and doesn’t notice the masked killer watching her through the window. He soon realizes her disabilities and decides to play a little cat and mouse with her. A great twist on the typical home invasion genre. Definitely had me jumpy!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Don’t Tell a Soul (2020)

A young boy and his delinquent brother steal money from a house and are chased down by security guard, Mr. Hamby, played by Rainn Wilson. He falls into a deep hole and rather than help him, they run home to their ill mother, Mena Suvari. The younger brother wrestles with his conscience and secretly returns to check on Hamby. Can he be trusted? I am a big fan of Rainn Wilson and enjoy seeing his range. Good but I expected more of a horror film like “Don’t Breathe”. You’d probably enjoy it more if you don’t watch the trailer. This would pair well with “Stuck” (2007 also with Mena Suvari) and the Spanish film “A Christmas Tale” (2005).

Rating: 3 out of 5.