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One woman takes a selfie while riding on a boat while another woman looks at the scenery
Posted on June 22, 2023

Platformed Dread: Talking Influencer (2023)


In today’s episode, it’s a disturbing journey into the misleading world of social media courtesy of Kurtis David Harder’s Influencer (2023). The story follows social media influencer Madison (Emily Tennant), who is in Thailand for what was supposed to be a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, Ryan (Rory J. Saper). But her lonely and mundane reality is shown to be completely at odds with the exciting, friend-filled adventures she portrays online. When a chance meeting with local CW (Cassandra Naud) offers Madison an opportunity to turn her lies into truth, she embarks on a dark journey where image is definitely not everything. Equal parts eviscerating indictment of influencer culture and cautionary tale about the importance of skepticism, Influencer is a film specifically of its time. But is that a good thing? We’re breaking it all down today with spoilers, so stay tuned.

We discussed Kurtis David Harder’s 2019 film Spiral in an earlier podcast.

Godzilla movie monster looks ready to strike a city
Posted on May 12, 2023

A Disaster of a Movie: Talking Godzilla (1998)


On today’s episode, we’re diving into the magnificent world of creature features with 1998’s Godzilla. Directed by Roland Emmerich, the film takes the famous monster’s story and puts a decidedly American spin on it to questionable results. We’re talking about historical revisionism and what makes a really bad horror film in today’s episode so stay tuned!

Articles Mentioned:

Film Recommendations:

A woman looks deeply concerned
Posted on April 21, 2023

Where are all the bodies?: Talking Barbarian (2022)


In today’s episode, we’re diving into Zach Cregger’s Barbarian (2022). Told in a three act structure, Barbarian vacillates between realism and absurdism in what is arguably one of the most unique horror films to drop in recent years. Following three characters and their relationship to a house located in the Detroit neighborhood of Brightmoor, the film plays with genre hybridity while also offering a powerful indictment of the power of cultural norms to mask what lurks beneath the surface. We’re breaking it all down today with spoilers so stay tuned!


A woman stands outside of a door pausing before entering a room. Inside, a man is sitting on a bed and he is smiling.
Posted on April 6, 2023

A Return to Nihilism: Talking Smile (2022)


In today’s episode, we’re diving into Smile (2022), a film that has almost single-handedly reinvigorated debate over the importance of trigger warnings.  Written and directed by Parker Finns, the film follows Rose (Sosie Bacon), a doctor who cares for patients at a psychiatric facility while navigating her own mental health journey. Following the death by suicide of a patient in her care, Rose begins to suspect that she is the new target of a demonic entity who won’t be happy until she’s dead. With its nod to the uncanny and gruesome death scenes, Smile is a horror movie explicitly about trauma but is it also about something more? We’re breaking it all down today, so stay tuned. 

Please be aware that this episode contains spoilers and references to suicide.

a black and white photo of a woman looking scared.
Posted on March 22, 2023

Before Norman Bates: Talking the Spiral Staircase (1946)


In today’s episode, it is early horror with an unexpected feminist twist in 1946’s The Spiral Staircase, directed by Robert Siodmak. Set in 1906, the film follows Helen (Dorothy McGuire), a woman with traumatic mutism, who cares for Mrs. Warren (Ethel Barrymore), the difficult and bedridden lady of the manor. When a serial killer begins killing off women with so-called afflictions, Helen is warned that she may be next. Adapted from Ethel Lina White’s novel Some Must Watch (1933), the film takes up themes such as disability and masculinity while simultaneously challenging the notion that the modern slasher film began with Hitchcock’s Psycho(1960). We’re breaking it all down today with spoilers, so stay tuned.

Essential reading:

Anne Golden, “Robert Siodmak’s The Spiral Staircase: Horror Genre Hybridity, Vertical Alterity, and the Avant-Garde,” Recovering 1940s Horror Cinema: Traces of a Lost Decade, edited by Mario Degiglio-Bellemare, Charlie Ellbé, and Kristopher Woofter (Lexington Books, 2014), chapter 5.

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