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Episode 376 - The Hole In The Ground (2019)

A24 Films seems to take a lot of chances. They have found numerous films off the festival circuit that have been beloved by critics and in some cases highly successful at the box office. Some of their films have included IT COMES AT NIGHT (2017), THE WITCH (2016), and HEREDITARY (2018). Their latest film, unlike those, is a straight to VOD movie in North America. Unlike the others, this one is from Ireland and by first time director Lee Cronin.

Sarah (Seána Kerslake) and her young son Chris (James Quinn Markey) head to a rural town in the Irish countryside. Her back story seems to suggest she’s running from an abusive husband. Yet, where she has landed seems to be a town with a very dark past. A strange woman begins to follow Chris and believes he is not who Sarah says he is. Soon, deep in her home’s backwoods, she discovers a sinkhole that could be something very nefarious.

Whether the film was Irish or they felt the story wasn’t something they could market for a theatrical release, A24’s new film has received fine reviews no matter. And much like some of their other films critics seem to enjoy it more so than viewers. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new horror film and gives their opnion.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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Episode 375 - The Golem (2019)

In 2015, a new group of filmmakers, the Paz brothers, released a found-footage movie entitled JERUZALEM. After doing some TV work and one other feature film, this movie was the breakout that put them in the eye of many horror fans. Kinetic and incredibly fun, the movie received good reviews and a cult following. Now in 2019, their latest film, THE GOLEM, is a new direction for the brothers. Much more a quiet film, it also has received fine reviews.

In 1673, a small isolated Jewish community in Lithuania is fortunate to avoid the plague that seems to be affecting the surrounding gentile communities. As fear begins to grip their hostile neighbors, one woman decides to dabble in the black arts and create a golem, an animated guardian to protect her village. But much like in the past, such a creature can take on its own mind.

With its plot much like a drama, the film shows a different direction by the brothers. Though filled with a cast of mostly unknowns outside their native Israel, the film has been praised as technically well acted. Dark Discussions takes a look at this newly well received film and gives their opinion.

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Episode 374 - Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

Director Christopher Landon has returned with a sequel to 2017’s surprise hit, HAPPY DEATH DAY. This time Landon not only directs but writes the screenplay for 2019’s HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U. This one is a direct sequel to the original and was somewhat of a surprise film to be greenlit. But with the success of the first, the movie was quickly produced and released in February of 2019.

Tree Gelbman once again is stuck in a timeloop. Murdered over and over in the first film, this time she discovers that there may be a more scientific reason why this is all occurring. With the help of her boyfriend Carter, his roommate Ryan, as well as sorority sister Danielle, the group tries to decipher how to stop her predicament. However, a new ripple has caused Tree to have her doubts on whether the solution is all that good.

Once again leads Jessica Rothe (as Tree) and Israel Broussard (as Carter) return. Also the entire cast from the first has returned. Rachel Matthews (as Danielle) has a scene stealing role, while Phi Vu (as Ryan) also returns in a much larger role. Unlike the prior film, this one seems to turn towards science fiction rather than horror, but generally the film keeps the feel of the first film intact. Dark Discussions takes a look and gives their thoughts.

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Episode 373 - The Prodigy (2019)

Creepy kids, or deranged children in general, has been a staple as a horror sub-category for scary films. From the science fiction horror film CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED (1964) to the more recent films like JOSHUA (2007) or THE ORPHAN (2009), the subgenre has often reinvented itself. Now the new 2019 horror film, THE PRODIGY, has arrived to a new generation of fans.

Eight years ago, Sarah Blume gave birth to her new son Jackson. When she and her husband John take him home, they soon find that he is much more advanced and intelligent than most his age. Soon his behavior begins to turn more dissocial leading them to believe that their child may either be troubled or something worse.

The movie stars ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK’s Taylor Schilling as Sarah. Also of note is director Nicolas McCarthy, director of such notable genre films as THE PACT (2012) and AT THE DEVIL’S DOOR (2014). Dark Discussions takes a look at this new theatrical release and gives their thoughts.

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Episode 372 - Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

Though in the movie business for some time, Dan Gilroy really hit it big with NIGHTCRAWLER (2014). Discussed on episode 161 of Dark Discussions, the film was rated the best genre film by our podcast that year. Now back with his new film, VELVET BUZZSAW (2019), this one debuted on the streaming service Netflix and has received very mixed opinions from critics and audiences alike.

When a mysterious man dies in the hall of his large apartment complex, an art dealer finds his body and calls the police. When she is told that he was an eccentric artist and all his paintings would simply be disposed of, she sneaks into the apartment and steals them prior to their removal. During her pilfering, she discovers that the man had been trying to destroy his work prior to his passing. Rather than fulfill the artist’s wishes, she begins selling them and all involved are now beginning to die mysteriously.

The large ensemble cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, Billy Magnussen, among many others. Rather than focusing on a true lead, the movie moves about between characters not much unlike a Michael Crichton novel. Dark Discussions takes a look at this very unique film and gives their very varied thoughts on the movie.

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Episode 371 - Straw Dogs (1971)

The year 1971 was a very important year for cinema. Directors and screenwriters began pushing boundaries never seen in film before. That year such films as A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, DIRTY HARRY, and THE FRENCH CONNECTION released along with Sam Peckinpah’s STRAW DOGS. The film starred Dustin Hoffman and Susan George along with a number of British character actors such as David Warner.

David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman) and his young wife Amy (Susan George) move back to her Cornish home from mid-America so David can do work for a college grant that he was granted. What looks like a beautiful little town begins to haunt Amy as old acquaintances return to her life. Soon David’s own life is turned upside down when a group of handymen begin to upend his self-esteem. As time passes, his own relations with Amy turn sour only to be brought to a head when unforeseen circumstances upend their life.

One of the most controversial films of its day, the movie is now consider a classic in both cult and mainstream cinema. Peckinpah’s tale touches such topics as masculinity, small town versus big town, foreigners in a foreign land, classism, elitism, and colloquialism. Chosen by one of Dark Discussions patreon supporters, your co-hosts take a look at this very controversial movie.

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Episode 369 - 2018 Review

We are already a month into 2019 and some good films have come out. But last year was a heck of a year too. Dark Discussions puts together their review of all that was good and bad in 2018. More than 75 different films were worthy enough to be considered as a top 20 movie in genre cinema.

Each of your five co-hosts put together a list of movies that were worthy of their own personal top films of the year. This included both a list of horror movies and a list of other speculative fiction films. Afterwards we then combined them and came up with Dark Discussions definitive lists of the best of 2018. Some obvious films like A Quiet Place and Hereditary appear but also little known films like Housewife, Mon Mon Mon Monsters, and Terrified were considered.

Also included are some of our listener choices and what they felt were the best of the year. And don’t forget our top and worst scenes, scream queens, breakout star, and anything else you can think of. Dark Discussions wraps up last year in a nice tight bow and gives their listeners a good many films to go out and search for.

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Episode 367 - 2019 Preview

With January 2019 underway, it is time to visit what is coming this year to cinemas, video-on-demand platforms, as well as those genre films that are going straight to disc. Last year, horror seemed to dominate genre and there were a lot of great flicks. This year once again there seems to be a lot of great ones coming. Plus also more superhero flicks. Reboots and remakes and sequels are also arriving too.

Dark Discussions once again is back with their look forward to the new year and which films seem to interest them most. Some of the more high profile flicks spoken of include IT CHAPTER 2, PET SEMATARY, GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS, as well as the new ANNABELLE film.

Some other flicks talked about include VELVET BUZZSAW, THE HOLE IN THE GROUND, UNDER THE SILVER LAKE and BRIGHTBURN. And then at the very end we list off other films and talk about some of the latest news about movies and genre cinema.

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Episode 365 - New Year's Bucket List Special

New Year's resolutions are a big thing for folks. Some want to lose weight, find a spouse, get a new job, work towards completing something; others have goals that they strive for. Co-host Mike said that there are a lot of genre films he hasn't seen that he wants to get to, so as a New Year's resolution, why not ask all the co-hosts to see some film they always wanted to see and then discuss. The third year doing so, each co-host chose a genre movie that they had never seen and decided to watch it and give their opinions.

Films we discuss are EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1962), THEM! (1954), THE MUMMY (1932), and VANISHING POINT (1971). A wide variety of films they are but also some important ones too that one of your co-hosts finally got to see.

With all that, Dark Discussions would like to say happy 2019 to all our listeners and patreon supporters, both new and old, and hope to hear some of the films you folks have never seen and plan to in this new year. Email us and let us know.

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Episode 358 - Dan Lench Special

Since the inception of Dark Discussions Podcast, not only have your co-hosts become good friends, but they have met many of the listeners, sometimes in person, but also online on social media. With topics including smaller films and independent cinema, writers, actors, and directors have come aboard to the Dark Discussions Podcast community. One such person, Dan Lench, star of such films as CIRCLE and THE LURKING MAN, has become an important part of the “family.”

Having done splendid work in genre cinema including playing a scoundrel banker, an insane mental patient, and a demon from the underworld, Dan has proven not only to be one fantastic actor, but also a true fan of genre cinema and all its scares.

The man himself has been interviewed by your co-hosts a number of times to discuss his work and what’s next. While presently working on the stage in an adaption of Oscar Wilde’s THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, Dark Discussions has asked him to appear once more to give his thoughts of some of his most favorite horror films.

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Halloween Boutique Psychotronic Reviews Volume 008

Welcome to the latest edition of Halloween Boutique Psychotronic Reviews – a podcast that reviews and critiques films released by boutique labels that have taken old and sometimes forgotten midnight movies and re-releases them in special editions where the quality of the picture is fully remastered, usually from onetime lost or privately owned negatives or prints.

This month is a bit different. This volume rather than doing an episode on midnight movies, I instead have focused on a subject. With June being LGBTQ Pride Month, I have searched about and found seven films specific to a lesbian theme. But unlike the typical exploitation films released by boutique companies, I’ve focused exclusively with arthouse films of the serious type.

The seven movies reviewed are of various quality, with a few being outstanding, and a handful being wonderful surprises. The films include alphabetically AWOL (2016), BARE (2015), BELOW HER MOUTH (2016), BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (2013), DUCK BUTTER (2018), ROOM IN ROME (2010), and SUMMERTIME (2015). Sorry for the long delay between episodes, but I am now back.

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Episode S02 - C.H.U.D. Lives! A Horror Anthology

April 27th, 2018 release of horror anthology C.H.U.D. Lives!: A Tribute Anthology. Dark Discussions interviews some of the authors of this new horror book including Ross Baxter, Chad Lutzke, and Philip Perron.

C.H.U.D. is a genre defying, cult classic film featuring monsters living in the sewers below New York. The stories in this anthology expand the world created by the film and add depth to the C.H.U.D. universe like never before. From stories of apocalyptic horror and all out monster action, to tales of underground parties interrupted by uninvited guests and evening strolls that end in death, this anthology will leave you both smiling and breathless.

Relive the fear as these original stories take you beyond the movie to events that occurred before, during, and after the scenes we remember so well.

Includes C.H.U.D. related stories by Jonathan Maberry, Tim Waggoner, JG Faherty, Mort Castle, Michael H. Hanson, Martin Powell, Ben Fisher, Jason White, Chad Lutzke, Ross Baxter, Philip C Perron, David Bernstein, Nick Cato, Alex Laybourne, Christopher Fulbright, Angeline Hawkes, David Robbins, Robert Waters, Greg Mitchell, Ryan C. Thomas, and Eugene Johnson.

With an introduction by David Drake. Compiled by Eric S. Brown.

C.H.U.D. Lives! also features in-depth interviews with Andrew Bonime (producer) and Parnell Hall (screenwriter), as well as never before seen behind-the-scenes photos from the classic 80s horror film.