reviews,  thoughts

Horror Huh?

So recently I watched two “horror” films that were allegedly scary according to critics. The Rite and Insidious. The Rite, quite frankly, was laughable. It started out promising (even if it did move a bit slow) and then it went flaccid just before climax. That happens a great deal with movies these days. Paranormal Activity was another one that fizzled at the end. Sadly, Insidious was another one. First, the opening and ending were cheesy, campy, whatever. Second — I was enjoying the movie until they brought in the old lady and she explained “The Further”.  At that point it was Poltergeist all over again. Except instead of a mother rescuing her daughter, a father has to rescue his son from “the other side”. The Demon was laughable. Cloven hooves, really? And a friend described the demon as Darth Maul on crack. Yep – that’s about it.

What the hell happened? Does Hollywood not know how to tell a good story anymore? There is no suspension of disbelief – just nonsense that makes no sense. I suppose that in order for some of these films to be scary fun you have to subscribe to the standard worldview i.e. Demons are evil beasties with red skin,  horns and cloven hooves and want to mess with humans and make them cry and scream and die.  When you don’t subscribe to said viewpoint – these movies just aren’t scary. I found The Ninth Gate intriguing. A lot of people hated that movie. But that’s more along the lines of my worldview. I can relate to Ninth Gate.

For scary try Baby’s Room. For occult-horror fun (notice I didn’t say accuracy since trying to find “occult” accuracy in Hollywood is like trying to find a man who can give birth)  try Spellbinder  or Susperia.  If you want Horror/Sci-Fi Occult Bizarre, try The Eighteenth Angel. I also thought Stigmata was a fun religious thriller.  Sorry, I don’t do slasher films or blood and gore. That crap turns me off.

So what are your favorite occult/paranormal horror/thriller movies?

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at


  • Laura

    I really like the Ninth gate but it was just the ending that spoiled it for me…..and also Johnny depps mustache but other than those 2 things it was rather good.

  • Steph

    Believe it or not, I started out hating The Ninth Gate. Absolutely hated it! But then I watched it again and saw what I missed the first time. The ending is actually pretty brilliant IMHO. 🙂

  • David Shaw

    I tend to avoid modern horror, i am a Hammer and Amicus man myself, those films are unsurpassed, and never will be.
    But i must make my confession, i am a massive Slasher fan and collector, i love those kinds of films and if they have any occult content you can ignore it as it invariably is as ridiculous as the plot itself (though not always).
    But a high and gruesome body count is always good by me, and the prettier the better…………….DID I REALLY SAY THAT !!!!!

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