Tag Archives: best streaming horror

The Beach House Delivers Sleepy Seaside Body and Environmental Horrors

There’s something creepy afoot in Cape Cod! In The Beach House, body horror meets environmental horror in this smart sci-fi horror thriller reminiscent of 1950’s sci-fi classics. What was intended as a romantic getaway for college sweethearts begins to unravel into something sinister.

Director Jeffrey A Brown’s feature directorial/ writing debut drips with dread and old fashioned suspense. Of the four characters under one roof, I didn’t trust anyone, though I wasn’t exactly sure why (Ok, Rosemary’s Baby has left me with some lifelong deeply engrained trust issues). Without any real reason to distrust the Turners or the young duo, the suspicion is there all the same pretty early on. So there’s this feeling of instability which personally always shakes me to the core and builds up this sense of dread. For me, much of the movie played out with elements of a psychological thriller because of this. Which characters were reliable, which were not, what was the actual reality of what was happening? Those are beautiful little anxiety builders, when the storytellers are intentionally crafting a shaky foundation, we can’t quite get our footing and it is unsettling to say the least.

TBH__10.1.8

At first glance everything seems peachy keen ideal. Then there is this feeling that something lies beneath for every member of this beachside party. The cracks begin to reveal themselves, as they are wont to do. This college co-ed couple has problems, the dude with the Dad who owns a coastal getaway home- problems. The sweet older couple vacationing seaside- you guessed it, problems. It’s realistically human to have layers and issues, but it’s unclear if these problems will lend themselves to nefarious acts. We are working with a shaky foundation, though exact details may not be totally revealed just yet, there is this art of slowly undressing it, making the audience aware that not all is as it may seem, and keeps the guessing going. Which is honestly so fun!

The shift from the serene idyllic seaside cottage color scheme of the first act is in stark contrast with the moody dark world we find ourselves in as the film progresses. Mega juicy highlight – there is definitely a special effects gross out factor that made me shudder, cringe, involuntarily let out some audible disgust, and turn away, hiding my eyes and peeking through squinted eyelids and laced fingers because it was too cool not to watch. Much like staring into the sun… it was too much to view straight on with no protection to shield me from the horrors I was witnessing. Kudos on the wildly fun disgusting factor.

TBH__4.1.31

The cast of four beautifully carries the story onward, with nuanced performances that leave the viewer apprehensive. Veteran actors Jake Weber and Maryann Nagel are both endearing as the Turners, but not without raising suspicion. It’s a fine line to walk, and they do so masterfully. Liana Liberato as the super smart and driven Emily and Noah Le Gros as the soul searching, idealist “isn’t there more to life” Randall play off each other in a way that keeps the energy interesting. There is clearly love present, but with a lot of conflict, and they portray the duality well. Emily is a brilliant badass, and of course I’m here for it.

TBH__8.1.3

The Beach House has something to say. It isn’t preachy, it just is. Naturally unfolding through the storyline and the knowledge dropped by budding astrobiology student Emily. While it is reminiscent of 50’s sci-fi, it never feels as though it is actually trying to emulate those films. It is fresh enough and original enough that it conjures up feelings of those classics for fans of those films, freshly nostalgic. In COVID times it carries an extra element of chills, mirroring elements of reality, which for me always makes for the best and most horrific horror.

The Beach House hits the Shudder streaming service July 9th.
Dive in and find out what seaside horrors await!

Check out the HorrorGirlProblems Podcast
to hear an interview with writer/director Jeff Brown

TBH__4.1.10

Cosmic Opera Blood Machines: A Multi-Sensory Sci-Fi Feast Now Streaming On Shudder

Sci-fi, dirty synthesizers, technicolor visuals – If you like any singular aforementioned entity, you’re in for a treat. If you subscribe as a fan to the holy trifecta of all aforementioned elements- Blood Machines is going to be a ‘gasm of a sensory experience for you. And I’m jealous of that. But happy for you in spite of my jealousy.

Admittedly this isn’t entirely my sort of thing, but I do love me some dirty synth and Carpenter Brut’s shining glory of a soundtrack/score, works hand in hand with stunning other worldly visuals for a full on multi-sensory feast. These synths aren’t just dirty, they are filthy. The soundtrack itself works as a standalone album, you’d feel things and see things, and much of what you saw would probably be quite similar to the Blood Machines imagery- futuristic, drenched in rich crimsons and blues. A mix of past, present and future, things that have yet to be seen, and things that lived only in the minds of Seth Ickerman (which is actually two French dudes, not one singular person) and Carpenter Brut and would never be seen if they hadn’t brought it to life. Blood Machines is absolutely the love child of Brut and Ickerman.

If the movie feels like an extended epic music video for the album, that’s because essentially, it is. Carpenter Brut and directors Seth Ickerman first teamed up in 2015 for the “Turbo Killer” music video. Blood Machines is a sequel to that video, done on a much more epic and grandiose scale. “Turbo Killer” essentially feels like Giallo had a baby with Grand Theft Auto, toss in a bit of grindhouse and add a shit ton of gritty 80s synth. Blood Machines is an extension of that, taken to another level quite literally- out of this world, hinted at during the finale of “Turbo”. Touted as “a three part, cyber punk space opera”, the fifty minute mini movie/music-video-on-performance-enhancing-drugs is split into three bite-sized parts and is best consumed all at once as appetizer, main course, and a dessert that does not disappoint.

It’s weird and beautiful and artistic and brings to the surface questions regarding AI we already find ourselves asking, and will undoubtedly find ourselves addressing more prominently in the not so distant future. The story conjures up morality notions reminiscent of Philip K Dick. It pays a bit of homage to classics while simultaneously remaining wholly fresh and original. This is all done in an artistic operatic fashion, not the way a traditional narrative film would lay out the elements. So go dive into the sensory feast that is Blood Machines. My only regret is not being able to watch this on a bigger screen with a bigger sound system. The sound and the visuals really lend themselves to an ultimate drenching and dousing of the senses in a theatrical setting. Maybe eventually we’ll be attending special midnight Blood Machines screenings, with pristine projection quality and choice sound equipment. Or, better yet… a screening with a live Carpenter Brut accompaniment. Until then, crank up your home system, and enjoy the feast you are about to partake in.

Blood Machines is now streaming on Shudder
(If you’re not already subscribed, use promo code SHUTIN for 30 days free)

In some regions, you can also stream via Vimeo On Demand

Wet your whistle with a four minute introduction via “Turbo Killer”:

Shockwaves Top Horror of 2018 – Now Watching

Making my way through Shockwaves Podcast’s Top horror films of 2018. Watched some of these throughout the year, but missed out on a good amount of them. The Lists:

Continue reading Shockwaves Top Horror of 2018 – Now Watching