With this roundup, I’ve made a major overhaul to our review system. Gone are the letter grades, replaced instead with something that gives a more positive reflection of the films (well, most of them, anyway). I love horror movies – obviously – and also appreciate that, with each movie, a tremendous amount of effort went into their production, regardless of the outcome. I’m not one who delights pissing on the heads of those who have devoted themselves to creating something that I generally enjoy, and I don’t think the letter grades were effective at conveying that notion. A ‘C-‘ grade sounds pretty shitty, no matter how it’s framed, and gives across the impression that I rather disliked it, when that’s not so much the case. So now, that same movie would get a rating of ‘Decent-ish’ – something I didn’t regret watching. Now, that doesn’t mean I’ll never give bad reviews, because these are being sold as products, after all, and respect of the creative process only goes so far. If I think it’s crap, then I’ll say so. This system also allows me more flexibility in regards to expectations of a film. A big-budget Hollywood horror movie might get a rating of ‘It’s Alright’ while a micro-budget out-of-left-field effort might get a ‘Really Good’, while comparably, I consider them to be equally enjoyable. Regardless, I have 36 more reviews to re-evaluate and modify, so that’s going to be a thing.
Additionally, the Streaming Top 50 is getting the axe after 3 installments – the numbers showed that the cross-section of people who love horror and people who love data charts are not a big group. That seems pretty self-evident, in hindsight, when I put it out there like that. Under the Radar is going along well, and will be continuing for the foreseeable future. Soon, there will be a new feature for Wednesdays – it’s proven to be the day that posts go to die, so I’m going to post whatever I please and it shall be aptly titled ‘Whatever Wednesday’. If I want to post about The Great British Baking Show, then that’s what it’ll be. This seems like an excellent plan to build a reputation as an outlet for horror content.
Finally, I know I’ve been mentioning some horror history article several times on Facebook, and it really is an actual thing that mostly exists and will be finished soon, but I keep needing to shelve it to write reviews. Those are what drive 80% of the traffic for the page, even when adjusted for the greater amount of them. That’s what the peoples want, it seems, so they remain in the forefront for now.
Speaking of reviews, here’s some:
Kuntilanak – 2018
Five adopted children are left in the care of their foster mother’s niece for three weeks. In the meanwhile, the niece’s boyfriend has procured a nice gift for the aunt – an ornate antique mirror. Unfortunately, the mirror is cursed with a ‘kuntilanak’, an evil spirit that feeds on the souls of children, preying especially on those without mothers. (Revised from a grade of D.) Full review here.
What the Waters Left Behind – 2018
A documentary film crew sets off for the flood-ravaged ruins of a ghost town. Once there, they become the targets of a depraved and bloodthirsty family of cannibals. (Revised from C-.) Full review here.
Cold Skin – 2018
A man with a mysterious past takes a job as a weather observer on a desolate island near the Antarctic Circle. Upon arrival, he meets the island’s only other resident, the eccentric misanthrope Gruner, and is informed rather unconvincingly that his predecessor died of typhus during his year-long mission. Come nightfall, however, he learns there are much greater things to fear than Gruner lurking about. (Revised from a grade of C+.) Full review here.
The Lodgers – 2018
Twins Rachel and Edward lead cursed lives – bound in solitude to their ancestral estate by a supernatural force that governs their lives and demands they produce children once they reach adulthood. As their 18th birthday arrives, Rachel is having none of it and begins desperately seeking a way out, but conversely, Edward may be warming up to the idea. (Revised from a grade of C.) Full review here.
Summer of 84 – 2018
As the title clearly explains, it’s the summer of 1984, and a serial killer is on the loose in the fictional suburb of Ipswich, Oregon. A teenage boy comes to suspect his police officer neighbor of the grisly crimes and enlists the help of his buddies to find the evidence to prove it. (Revised from a grade of B+.) Full review here.
Overlord – 2018
The night before the D-Day landing, a small squad of American paratroopers are tasked with bringing down a Nazi communications tower in a French village. After a disastrous drop, the ragtag band of survivors, with the help of a young French woman, regroup to carry out the mission, but what they discover is even worse than they could have imagined. (Revised from a grade of B.) Full review here.
Stephanie – 2018
In the midst of an unknown global epidemic, young Stephanie is alone in her home, fending for herself while eluding mysterious paranormal and monstrous entities. When her parents unexpectedly return, the joyous reunion quickly sours, as nothing and no one are quite as they seem. (Revised from a grade of B.) Full review here.
Killer Kate! – 2018
Kate, a mild-mannered office worker, is surprised with an invitation to the bachelorette party of her estranged sister, whom she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years. They gather in a secluded home in the California hills, rented with an AirBnB-style app, for a good time, but the deranged family that lives there has other plans for them. Murdery plans. Full review here.
Downrange – 2018
An SUV full of carpooling college students experiences a blow-out while on a quiet stretch of country road. This is no ordinary flat tire, however, as the group suddenly find themselves under fire by a psychotic sniper. As the hours pass, they’re picked off one by one, and with the situation growing ever more grim, can the remaining survivors turn the tables on their tormentor before he claims them all? Full review here.
Alice is a successful camgirl – an erotic performer who interacts with a live audience during her shows via the internet in exchange for tips. As she ascends the ‘Top Girls’ chart, her rivalry with other performers heats up until she discovers that a doppelgänger imposter has hijacked her identity, locked her out of her account, and has stolen her show. She must unravel the mystery of her malevolent double before the fraudulent lookalike unravels her life. Full review here.