We Need to Do Something – Movie Review

We Need to Do Something 2021

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Hey internet, it’s me, Slick Dungeon. I’m back to review another horror movie. This one is streaming on Hulu right now and is called We Need to Do Something. If you haven’t watched it just a warning there will be some spoilers below.

We Need to Do Something is one of those horror films that basically takes place in a single location. A family of four is trapped in their bathroom after a tornado hits. They’ll need to survive until help can come from the outside but what is out there may be worse than what they are going through.

If you’re not a fan of gore this one will probably not land well with you. However, for all the gore shown in this film, it’s the things not shown on screen that are the most frightening. Like almost all of these types of movies, several characters are keeping secrets of one kind or another and at least one of them knows a lot more about what is going on than anyone else.

About a third of the way into the film there is a definite surprise and things take a decidedly horrific turn.

I was honestly very close to giving this one four stars because the acting here is phenomenal. Even when the incredible is happening, all the actors are perfectly believable. And a lot of the horror is subtle or hinted at which I always like. But for me, the reveal of what was actually happening was a bit underwhelming and not quite believable enough for me to go along with it.

I still think it’s really worth watching and there are absolutely moments that are likely to scare any audience. I found myself having a good time watching it, even with the few flaws it has. I imagine if others do buy into the premise more than I do they would put this higher on their list of good horror films.

If you’re in need of a good scare with quite a lot of psychological terror in the film, this one is definitely worth watching. I would sort of like to see this re-done but with a slightly different character point of view and I think it might be an even more terrifying film.

Have you seen this one? If so, how do you think it compares to other isolation/confinement horror films? Let me know in the comments!

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

TV Review Archive 81 (Episode 3)

Archive 81

Hey horror fanatics it’s me Slick Dungeon, back to review another episode of the Netflix series Archive 81. Just a quick warning there may be spoilers for the first three episodes below so be warned before we get going.

The first episode set our story up with Dan being hired to restore videotapes found after a fire at a building called the Visser. Through these tapes we see the perspective of Melody who is doing a study of the residents of the building. The second episode ratcheted up the connection between the two characters by revealing *spoiler* Melody was being treated for mental health issues by Dan’s father. There is also the potential implication that the two of them possibly had an affair.

While watching these tapes Dan keeps seeing things that don’t make sense. He sees strange images at times, there is a song on the tapes he knows his sister played right before she died in a fire, and there seem to be times where Dan is almost talking directly to Melody.

In this episode, it gets weird. There are times as a viewer where we can’t tell if Dan is dreaming, hallucinating, or somehow actually seeing what it seems like he is seeing. We get more of the backstory of Melody in this episode and start to see that almost everyone at the Visser has something more going on than what it appears on the surface.

There is a subplot with a girl named Jess who seems to have some kind of seizures on a regular basis. While in real life when we would see this happen, we’d all probably have Melody’s reaction which is to want her taken to a doctor to be treated, this is a horror show, so there has to be more to it than that. There is a priest and Jess’ mother who seem to think exorcism is the right approach. There’s clearly some connection between the Visser, Jess, Melody, Dan and Dan’s father all happening at once but it’s still too early to say what it is.

I think one of the most interesting things about this series is that it’s kind of subverting the trope of someone being stuck in an isolated space where horror is happening. While Dan is largely on his own, and he knows this can be bad, the company he works for seems to have people watching him. They have cameras everywhere but they also have a groundskeeper woman who seems to know way more about what he is doing than she should.

This flips the script a bit because usually we want to scream at people to leave the location they are stuck in. Dan can actually leave, and does. But still, there’s something about these tapes and Melody that keep calling back to him. In addition, there were a couple of big reveals in this episode. I won’t get into them here just in case people haven’t watched this far but there was one story with Dan’s friend on the outside that really surprised me and again subverted expectations.

So far, this show is really clever and ratchets up the horror to a high degree without showing much gore or anything overly gruesome. I’m really curious where it will go next.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

TV Review Archive 81 (Episode 2)

Archive 81

Hey horror fans, it’s me, Slick Dungeon back to review the second episode of the hit horror series Archive 81 on Netflix. Be warned there will be some spoilers for episode one and two below. If you’re ready, set your camera down and take a look at the review below!

The first episode of this series did a good job of setting up a mystery with our main characters Dan and Melody. Dan is in our present while Melody is in our past. Melody was making a series of videos for an academic paper on a building called the Visser. Dan restores old film, video tapes, etc. for a career. Dan was hired by the mysterious group known as LMG to restore tapes recovered from a fire at the Visser.

This episode gets into strange territory, starting with a commercial for some kind of DNA tracing technology by a company called Wellspring. This also happens to be the name of the episode. The commercial was so realistic I honestly wondered for a moment if Netflix had suddenly begun putting ads in its shows.

The story moves forward with Dan restoring more tapes and us seeing flashbacks of Melody. On Dan’s end it’s clear people are watching him and he has limited access to the outside world. On Melody’s side she meets more of the residents of the building and let’s just say, they are far from normal. There definitely seems to be something under the surface that is out and out creepy. It’s too early to tell exactly what it is yet but definitely enough to make the viewer want to keep watching.

As the episode goes on we see more of a connection between Dan and Melody. They seem to be connected as Dan’s father has now shown up on the tapes. There is also a clear connection due to a song that Dan hears but is also showing up in the tapes with Melody.

Around the last third of the episode things get very bizarre for Melody and the threat of impending doom is palpable to the viewer.

This second episode is continuing the trend of having a pretty major reveal near the end. I’m not going to say what it is here but I can see why people have been binging this one. I’ll hold my judgement over the whole show until the end but so far the first two episodes have been well worth the time.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

TV Review – Archive 81 (Episode 1)

Archive 81

Hey movie fanatics, it’s me, Slick Dungeon, here to give a quick guide to the first episode of the hottest horror series on Netflix right now, Archive 81. There will be some mild spoilers below so be forewarned. I’ll be posting through the first season’s episodes but I have not seen past this first episode so let’s keep it spoiler light in the comments too okay?

Archive 81 is about an archivist named Dan who restores films, VHS tapes, basically any visual arts that use a film reel. He works for a film museum and one day he’s asked to restore an old VHS tape that has been damaged from a fire. We don’t know a lot about Dan other than he somehow lost his family and he at one point was, “feeling low” and has a friend who is concerned for his welfare. Soon into the episode the donor who asked for the video tape to be restored requests Dan come work for him in the Catskills where they have a collection of these VHS tapes. He’ll be secluded and on his own if he agrees though. The company hiring Dan seems a bit odd and the man who hires him seems to know way more than he should about Dan.

Of course, Dan agrees to go, and since this is a horror show, needless to say some strange things start happening. I don’t want to give too much of that away other than to say Dan is restoring tapes that focus on a building called the Visser. The tapes show him a woman named Melody who we can presume will be the focal point of the tapes and might provide clues as to what happened at the Visser.

It’s hard to judge a show from a first episode. Especially one that is meant to be totally bingeable and wants you to sit through eight hours of episodes. I still think it’s worth taking a look at each one on its own merits.

For a first episode, this one sets the tone quite nicely. There’s just enough odd going on that as a viewer you want to know what happens next. At the same time, it’s not giving so much away you see all the twists coming.

It’s clearly going to be weird but to my mind this whole series will end up making it or not based on the ending. I’m just going to say now if this has anything to do with aliens, I’m out. But so far, it has a lot of potential and I’d say it’s probably worth a watch.

Mysteriously yours,

Slick Dungeon

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Book Review – Pray Lied Eve 3: Tales of the macabre and untoward

Pray Lied EVE 3 by Lydia Peever

Note: this review was first posted on Reedsy Discovery, an awesome website that pairs independent authors and readers. To see the post there, click here.

If you are a book reviewer and want to contribute reviews on Reedsy Discovery, click here.

(Note: this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through this post I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you)

SUMMARY

Macabre tales of alienation, terror, and the supernatural…

Take a seat in a darkened theatre for Wormwoods Final Cut, then cast a wary glance at the scarecrow Staked in the fallow field. Gaze across strange shores, All White and Jagged, and too far away from the safety of a library holding Grave Marginalia. Listen close for the Fading Applause in Quintland before Checking Out of the abandoned hotel rotting back into the ground, then stumble through city streets to avoid the Crocodile Rot.

Horror, weird tales, quiet stories of the dread… these seven stories serve as a following to the first three dark offerings of the Pray Lied Eve series. This third installment is dense, and as with the previous collections, we delve into realms, perhaps best left undisturbed.

REVIEW

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pray Lied Eve 3: Tales of the macabre and untoward is an anthology of seven short stories mostly falling into the horror category. This is the third entry into the series but it’s not necessary to have read the previous books in order to enjoy this one.

Like all short story collections there are some stories that work better than others but each one here is an enjoyable read. Most of them have at least some gore in them but if you are a regular horror reader it won’t be anything you are not used to reading.

One of the strongest stories comes at the beginning in Wormwoods Final Cut in which a young woman hears something strange in an old film projector. She’s not the only one to hear it and it just gets more horrifying from there. Also extremely memorable is Grave Marginalia where a quiet library is disturbed when the staff finds a collection of books that contain things that definitely don’t belong in books. Stake is a quite short tale but it pulls off the story very well in a short amount of time. Fading Applause in Quintland is probably the story that works least in this collection but it’s still an interesting entry and worth reading.

Overall, if you are a fan of short stories, especially ones with a horror or supernatural theme of any kind you’re likely to find at least one good story here.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Movie Review – Unfriended

Unfriended 2014 Film

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hello people, it’s me Slick Dungeon! I’m back to review another movie for you. If you haven’t seen Unfriended from 2014 you may want to click away from your instant messaging apps, hang up from Skype and log off of Facebook so you can go watch the movie before I spoil the whole thing for you in this review. You have been warned.

For this review, I’m going to start with the good. The acting here is really solid and all the performances are more than believable. The idea of the movie is pretty clever. Basically, a teen girl was bullied into suicide a year ago. A year later a group of her friends are on a Skype call and weird things start happening. At first they blame one another but it’s soon obvious that it’s at the very least a hacker, if not something more supernatural trying to torment them. They use the technology of the time in a way where if that happened to you, you would probably be pretty freaked out by it. This did lend to some mystery and a few decent scare moments. I thought this was a good setup and was hoping for something good to come out of it.

Which brings me to the bad. Some of the problems of this movie are that you are basically watching a zoom call and people typing, editing, re-typing and all of the annoying things you see in a chat message in real life. This has the effect of being distracting and sometimes boring. There are also a ton of pop up windows, resizing frames, moving stuff around on the screen etc. that are just distracting and sort of pointless here. Some of this is actually a function of the fact that this was made in 2014 and it’s honestly kind of impressive how far we have come from then in the way of communication tools.

And like almost all good horror movies there is a twist at the end. I’ve got to say this twist was so obvious and telegraphed that I didn’t find it shocking at all. It’s pretty much what I expected. I think maybe in 2014 this would have worked but it doesn’t in my opinion now.

I feel like this would be an interesting re-make in the age of zoom meetings though and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was something out there like this that I don’t know about. Overall, this was an okay movie but I think the thing I found most horrifying in it was the video connection speeds and user interfaces we used to put up with. (shudder)

Digitally yours,

Slick Dungeon

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Censor – Movie Review

Censor 2021 Film

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hey out there internet, it’s me Slick Dungeon back to review another movie for you. I found this little horror gem on Hulu called Censor. I’m going to give mild spoilers below so be forewarned.

In the 1980’s in Brittain there was what was called the “Video Nasty” controversy. Basically, there were a lot of low budget, mostly horror, films that were put on videotape but never went through the British version of what our MPAA would be. There was a loophole because video is not the same as film. This caused some controversy because this meant it was possible for kids to get their hands on some pretty gory stuff. And there were religious organizations who thought even watching this stuff could lead to real world violence.

I only mention all of this because it’s necessary to know a little bit about that in order to fully enjoy Censor. In the movie, Enid Baines is working at the British Board of Film Classification where they are going through a backlog of these videos. When Enid was little her younger sister disappeared and Enid was there when it happened. She doesn’t have a full memory of exactly what happened but Enid believes her sister could still be alive. One day while at work she sees a video with an actress that she is convinced is her sister.

I can’t go much further into the plot from there without spoiling things so I’m going to stop there with the description. However, I can say the film is deeply psychological and keeps you guessing. I imagine there will be a segment of viewers who don’t appreciate the ending but in my opinion it was cleverly done. There is some gore in this movie, some of which looks rather fake, and some of which looks much better. If you are averse to gore this would be one to skip. But if you can handle that sort of thing this is a great little film to watch. It’s well acted and has interesting twists to it.

If you’re looking for something with a bit of blood but that is also smart, definitely check this one out.

Cleverly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Book Review – The Huntsman of Corvinus

The Huntsman of Corvinus

Note: this review was first posted on Reedsy Discovery, an awesome website that pairs independent authors and readers. To see the post there, click here.

If you are a book reviewer and want to contribute reviews on Reedsy Discovery, click here.

(Note: this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through this post I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you)

SUMMARY

An ancient evil descends on the Central European capital city of Budapest. A supernatural killer stalks its timeworn alleyways, provoking terror amongst its distraught population and leaving untraceable and shocking murders in its wake.

An estranged American family finds itself at the center of the unnatural violence. Confronting a vicious predator, they find they must band together if they are to survive its ageless and malevolent curse. But as they come to grips with their horrid adversary, their time and options for escape dwindle, and they can only hope that overcoming their wicked foe will not cost them everything.

REVIEW

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Erica and Laszlo Varga are going through a difficult period. They have divorced and their daughter Monica splits her time between Erica and Laszlo. Laszlo has not been the best of fathers or husbands and this is cause for plenty of tension in the little family. To make matters worse, they are living in Budapest which is a huge adjustment for Erica. As difficult as these troubles may be, they are fairly normal. But when strange killings start to happen around the Varga family their lives are turned upside down. The killer is brutal and vicious and it seems he is getting closer at every turn. The police have to figure out who he is and how to stop him while Erica, Laszlo and Monica all just want to go about their lives.

The Huntsman of Corvinus is tightly paced and the action keeps the reader interested. There is good character development and it feels like there is no wasted space in the book. The end of the book does have an interesting twist that makes it worth reading all the way through and will likely keep readers guessing.

It does take a long time to reveal the mystery of the Huntsman so in some ways the ending feels a bit rushed but it still has a good pay off. The setting of Budapest was a nice touch for the story and the descriptions of the setting fit well with the tone of the story.

At its heart this is a horror story and while it does have gruesome moments, they are not so over the top as to be shocking or off putting to the reader.

If you like books about gritty murders set in interesting locations or just a good, quick story, with a few scares in it and an intriguing family dynamic this book is worth a read.

Book Review – HELL: The Necromancer

Hell: The Necromancer by Tom Lewis

Note: this review was first posted on Reedsy Discovery, an awesome website that pairs independent authors and readers. To see the post there, click here.

If you are a book reviewer and want to contribute reviews on Reedsy Discovery, click here.

(Note: this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through this post I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you)

SUMMARY

A wave of occult-themed killings sweeps across Los Angeles, leaving a grisly trail of corpses in its wake. The only lead is a mysterious young girl caught at one of the crime scenes. A girl who scares the hell out of the police and the guards at the prison where she’s being kept. A girl with a terrifying secret. The power to raise the dead.

REVIEW

Rating: 4 out of 5.

At its heart The Necromancer is a story about a pair of sisters. Hannah had a rough entry into this world but she’s a fighter. Natalie, her twin sister, has not had an easy life either. Both of the girls have supportive families but these girls are anything but normal. They see things that are not there. Sometimes glass breaks when either one of them gets overly emotional. And they can see things that are frightening and may mean the world harm. The only true protection these girls may have is one another.

In Los Angeles, a wave of grisly murders occurs. Hannah and Natalie are the key to unraveling the mystery of what happened. But finding out what these girls know is not easy and it could be downright dangerous. There is a force at work bigger than anyone can imagine and it’s ready to get out into the world.

While there are plenty of good scares in this book and the tone is decidedly dark, it is surprisingly emotional as well. Author Tom Lewis does a phenomenal job of keeping a tight cast of characters and giving the reader enough room to care about them. There are multiple sections which may make a reader tear up even in a story full of strange and supernatural events. The characters of Hannah and Natalie are especially well developed but even the minor characters feel like they have a depth to them. This is refreshing to see in a dark story like this. This is what kept me turning pages.

The plot develops nicely and comes to an impressive conclusion making this a consistently good read.

If you like stories like Carrie, The Shining, or The Hollow Man combined with a bit of grisly murder mystery this is definitely a book worth checking out.

Book Review – Hellsleigh

Hellsleigh by D.C. Brockwell

Note: this review was first posted on Reedsy Discovery, an awesome website that pairs independent authors and readers. To see the post there, click here.

If you are a book reviewer and want to contribute reviews on Reedsy Discovery, click here.

(Note: this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through this post I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you)

SUMMARY

They say if you listen carefully at night , you can still hear the screaming…

Seven bodies are recovered from Hellsleigh , the most infamous asylum in the country, which has been left derelict for the last 30 years.

24 Hours Earlier:

On the eve of its planned demolition, famed parapsychologist and author, Brandon Fiske and his team of paranormal investigators break into the abandoned hospital determined to find proof of its supernatural powers.

Local villager, Jason Hough whose past is connected to Hellingly returns for one last visit, along with a group of university students in search of a place to party.

Little do the two groups know, they are there on a very special anniversary for the hospital, an occasion the building remembers only too well…One thing they’ll all find out the hard way is: once you enter Hellsleigh, it wont let you leave…

REVIEW

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hellsleigh has a haunted past. It was once an asylum for those with mental illness but twisted and cruel events occurred there. For the past thirty years the place has been left disused and is about to be demolished. Brandon Fiske, who has made a career out of writing about haunted places, has brought a team with him to investigate the hospital on the eve of its destruction. One way or the other he wants to find out if spirits are real. Meanwhile, Jason Hough and a group of his friends are looking for a place to party. And what better place for a part is there than an old, abandoned hospital where no brothers, parents or police will be? Once everyone has arrived, things start down a dark and deadly path. It remains to be seen if any of them will survive.

DC Brockwell does a fine job of managing a large list of characters and balances the time focused on each well. There are significantly bloody and frightening scenes so anyone who enjoys a good bit of body horror will enjoy this book. The death scenarios are fairly inventive as well and are guaranteed to stick in the readers mind. The end comes to a satisfying conclusion and ties up the loose ends nicely.

While a lot of the book is inventive and intriguing, the setting of an abandoned mental hospital does read like something horror fans have seen before. In addition there is a bit of time jumping that some readers may not enjoy but it is necessary for the end of the book to work as intended.

All in all Brockwell has put out a solid horror story that has enough for most horror fans to keep them awake at night. It would be great to see a fresher, more surprising setting in the next book from this author. Either way I’m sure it will involve a good scare worth reading.

If you are a fan of American Horror StoryThe Shining or movies that involve a good amount of blood and gore like the Saw series this is a book worth reading.