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Amanda’s Top Three of 2021

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I’ll admit that I didn’t keep up with many movies in 2021. With my preference for seeing new films in theaters and the fact that they were closed for much of the year, I fell back on some old favorites in my collection. This isn’t to say that I didn’t see any new movies, though. In fact, the one I most wanted to see was only available in theaters (after a much-delayed release date), and I actually got to see it. That film, Last Night in Soho, made the top of my list. Although I didn’t see many new horror movies this past year, I was content with the ones I got to see.

Last Night in Soho

Last Night in Soho is a visually pleasing movie that aims high, focusing on the time-jumping journey of Eloise, a young student enthralled with 1960s British pop culture but living in the present day. There is so much to explore, from the inevitable disappointment of idealizing the past to the brutal reality of survival in a city. The horror aspects of Last Night are subtler than the other movies on this list, at least until the end. It is a good ride, but whether it succeeds in its efforts is up for debate. You can read my full review of it here.

Willy’s Wonderland

Coming in second on my list is Willy’s Wonderland, a movie released through video-on-demand instead of the planned wide theatrical release. In stark contrast to Last Night in Soho, Willy’s Wonderland doesn’t attempt an arthouse effect. The idea of demonic animatronics is cheesy, and the movie delivers on the promise of fun-loving gore. Left alone overnight to clean an abandoned family fun location, Nicolas Cage’s character is hunted by the creepy animatronics, and soon enough, Cage does the hunting himself. There’s also a subplot with a group of teenagers who break into the location and inevitably split up, leading to an unnecessary sex scene but at least they provide multiple points of view as to where the possessed machines are. Turn on your device of choice, and you’ll enjoy a thoroughly entertaining hour and a half.

Possession (1981)

My final pick is not from 2021. Am I breaking the rules? Maybe a bit. But this movie was new to me, and I did see it in a movie theater, so I’ll allow it. Seeing Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession (1981) for the first time as a 4K rerelease was a truly memorable experience. I went in only knowing that the film was supposed to be disturbing. And boy, did it live up to the hype. The movie begins as a standard family drama but soon goes off the rails. Possession is a surreal, psychosexual horror that hits all the buttons: infidelity, the repercussions of divorce on children, miscarriage, supernatural creatures, and other controversial concepts all make appearances. While I’ll never watch it again, I was able to appreciate the cinematography, effects, and Isabelle Adjani’s enthralling performance. Seriously, I was in awe of her complexity and commitment.

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Amanda Nevada DeMel is a born-and-raised New Yorker, though she currently lives in New Jersey. Her favorite genre is horror, thanks to careful cultivation from her father. She especially appreciates media that can simultaneously scare her and make her cry. Amanda also loves reptiles, musicals, and breakfast foods.

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It Came From Shudder: December Edition

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It’s the first Friday of December! You know what that means, it’s time to share a small selection of movies that we’ve watched, or are looking forward to watching on Shudder. Look, we get it, Shudder serves up tons of content and it’s constantly adding new stuff to its catalog. So we’re here to help you with a handful of recommendations.

What to watch on Shudder this Month

A Wounded Fawn
This trailer caught my eye from the start. From what I gather, it’s about a woman who goes on a weekend getaway with a man she’s been seeing who happens to be a serial killer. Starring Sarah Lind and Josh Ruben, this movie looks very suspenseful… and weird? I can’t wait to watch this and get to the bottom of all the weird visuals sprinkled into the trailer.

 

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Christmas Bloody Christmas
Directed by Joe Begos, this movie takes place on Christmas Eve and pits a record store owner against a violent homicidal robot Santa Claus. Yes, I know how that sounds, and yes, I’m sure it’s going to be awesome. The trailer looks so colorful, and it immediately transported me to my second most favorite time of the year, Christmas. Robo-Santa Plus looks brutal and over the top, two things I love in my horror. Christmas Bloody Christmas is available to stream on Shudder starting December 9th.

 

Scare Package 2: Rad Chad’s Revenge
If you’re a fan of horror anthologies like we, then you’re going to love Scare Package 2: Rad Chad’s Revenge. The highly anticipated sequel to fan favorite Scare Package follows Rad Chad’s funeral, where attendees must survive death traps based on Chad’s favorite movies.

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Shudder outdid themselves this time. Bringing us not just A Nightmare on Elm Street, but the entire collection! Do yourself a favor and rewatch these movies immediately, because I can guarantee you it’s been too long since the last time you did. As a bonus make sure to give Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street a watch. Seeing Nightmare on Elm Street 2 actor Mark Patton’s perspective and experience as a gay actor makes for some of the most touching, compelling TV in recent memory.

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Joe Bob’s Goultide Get-Together
Live streaming Friday, December 16th at 9 PM Eastern on Shudder TV. This holiday-themed episode will surely be filled with fun facts, awesome interviews, and a double feature that will have us all tweeting in excitement. As of now, we have no idea which movies will play and that’s half the fun! The other half? Guessing Darcy’s cosplays for the night. If you have never participated in a Joe Bob live stream, make sure you tune in on time and have Twitter ready to engage! It’s a good time. If you happen to miss the live stream, no worries! The episode will be available to stream later on in the weekend.

Next time you’re looking for something to watch on Shudder, make sure to stream these titles!

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There’s News Down in Newville: ‘The Mean One’ (Horror-Parody of ‘The Grinch’) Trailer Has Arrived

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As the release of The Grinch horror parody draws near, The Mean One trailer is finally here!

David Howard Thornton, who has recently skyrocketed in popularity due to his fantastic performance as Art the Clown in the Terrifier films, plays the titular “Mean One.” Given his previous success with making a monster that can be as entertaining as terrifying, he is a perfect match for the role of the antagonist in this Christmas horror comedy.

Directed by Steven Lamorte, the film follows a grown-up Cindy You-Know-Who (Krystle Martin) who witnessed her mother be murdered by the Christmas-hating green monster years prior. As the trailer shows Cindy arming herself with weapons, Krystle Martin’s character promises to make for a badass female lead.

One marked difference between this film and its source material is that it gives us a monster amongst humans rather than a creature amongst other creatures. Judging by the trailer, that will be far from the only difference offered by the horror parody of the Dr. Seuss Christmas favorite.

He may not stop Christmas from coming, but he will make it his own.

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Check out The Mean One in theaters on December 9th!

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