Cutting Room is our monthly post where we do short, mostly spoiler-free, single-person reviews for movies we've watched on our own. If you hear us shout something out on the podcast, you can swing by here to read our more succinct thoughts on the matter. Let us know if you have some thoughts on any of these movies, and check out past posts in the "More Horror" section.
The Endless (2018)
8.5 Bearded Brewmasters
I friggin’ love Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead movies (Resolution and Spring) so I’d been waiting for a really long time to see this one. I’d been waiting for so long I’d gone through multiple cycles of getting my hopes up and then plummeting into a well of doubt about their ability to keep things trending upwards. It was rough, I tell you. And in the end, I’m very happy with this movie and won’t go into anything about the story or plot. It’s a technically solid, well acted, completely impossible to pin down film that goes well beyond horror, though it fits extremely well into the genre. This time, we also get to see Benson and Moorhead try out their acting chops and it goes surprisingly well. Do yourself and take a day to watch their movies. I’d recommend making this one last on the list for a variety of reasons that I won’t get into, but it’ll be worth your time regardless of how you approach it.
What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
I had this one on the list for quite some time, waiting until the mood struck. I knew the conceit of the film and thought it was brilliant, and I also knew Mark watched it and gave a mixed review. I think that overall, I agree with his take. I’m not really a Flight of the Conchords fan and this thing absolutely reeks of Jemaine Clement’s brand of humor. That’s not a bad thing by and means, but it is extremely specific. I will say that I liked the concept of this movie waaay more than the execution. I felt it was a bit too meandering and didn’t really execute deeply enough on the core concept of a flat full of vampires from various stages of history trying to live together in the real world doing mundane, TRW-type things. I think I’d still recommend this movie, but do so with a mini-warning that the first 20 minutes will probably be a lot more enjoyable than the remaining 70...
The Burbs (1989)
This movie is a flat out jam. Flat. Out. Jam. If you don’t like it then you are lying or you haven’t seen it and if you haven’t seen it then do yourself a favor and pop it in right now. This is about as entry-level as I could possibly go with a movie for this website because its more National Lampoon comedy with some horror elements than anything truly horror, but the backdrop is such that I’m doing it. And so should you. Tom Hanks demands it.
The Mind’s Eye (2016)
5 Bulging Veins
Jack plopped this one down as the movie I haven’t seen but need to watch during our 2017 end of year awards show omnibus extravaganza spectacular-athon (go find it in our podcasts archive. We get real drunk. It’s great.), and I forgot about it until now. Then I watched it and I almost immediately forgot about it again, hence why it’s last in this list. I’m giving this movie a pretty down-the-barrel type rating because it’s just fine but outside of some cool gore effects it doesn’t capture the imagination or do anything that I’d call unique. Cool head explosions aside, there just isn’t much here, and I’d prefer Scanners for that, anyway.
Houses October Built 2 (2017)
HOB2 was my top 1 from last September’s HRR. Jack’s was The Hatred and Jake’s was Mother! so I feel like I probably won that one. HOB2 picks up right where the first left off, which you would know if you watched, like, any fraction of the trailer. But then since the first movie ends in November they lose all that momentum by jumping forward to the next October. It actually is quite charming because of what happens in the first ⅔ of the movie (there’s a freaking Kobayashi cameo), but following that it devolves into nonsense. I would actually totally jump on board this franchise if it was just a means of highlighting America’s (or the world’s) coolest October attractions and then tenuously tacked on a bullshit narrative at the end, but I don’t think that is where this is going. Will I watch HOB3 if it happens? Yeah. Will I be totally psyched about it? Nah, probably not. The movie is actually kinda fun until the end, so if you’re interested you can check it out on Hulu.
Scream Queens Seasons 1 and 2 (2015/2016)
Season 1: 8 Armless Frat Dudes
Season 2: 5.5 Amputated Hands
Speaking of Hulu, this tv series is on it. Boom, nailed that transition. Still got it after all these years. Anyway, not an exaggeration, Scream Queens season 1 is the best season of horror television you will be able to find anywhere. It’s delightful. Emma Thompson, Abigail Breslin, and Jamie Lee Curtis are just the top names on this incredibly deep cast list that turns in great performances. At once both incredibly silly and violent it’s very hard to not be hooked by its char,. Everyone should go watch season 1 right now. Forewarning: the 90 minute pilot drags just a bit, but after that it’s all fireworks. Now go, go watch it. There. You back? Cool, let’s talk season 2. Scream Queens Season 2 adds John Stamos, Taylor Lautner, and Kirstie Alley, but struggles to maintain the same chemistry that season 1 had going for it. If season 1 is the ride you drove to the carnival for, then season 2 is the tilt-o-whirl that is still kinda fun, but also definitely not why you came to the carnival. Pure momentum carried me through to the end of the series, but honestly in retrospect I would probably just recommend you skip the second season. In summary, Season 1 absolutely wonderful… Season 2 just alright.
4.5 Forgettable Plotlines
This is a monster of the week series in the same vein as The X-Files or Fringe. Unlike those two, it is predominantly trying to be comedic. I say trying because despite its cast it really is just that… trying. Adam Scott and Craig Robinson headline the show, and are clearly its best selling point, but ultimately it falls flat for most of the first season 1. You might have fun for one or two episodes, but unfortunately I can’t give this one much of a recommend. Look, I wanted to like this. Both Robinson and Scott are great comedic actors, but there just isn’t the right connection here. If you don’t believe and you think “surely the deep state has corrupted Mark’s young mind” then you can find it on Hulu and see for yourself.
The Endless (2018)
Wow. This movie certainly was a movie. I have seen Spring (Jake made me), but I wouldn’t say that I’m a Moorhead and Benson fanatic. I am moving in that direction, mind you, but the dudes only have like three movies. This movie has everything you want in a movie to make it near infinitely rewatchable. Beer cults, ineffective padlocks, organ solos, bad covers of House of the Rising Sun, and flannel shirts. Without getting too spoilery, I would like to reflect on the fact that this movie is highly rewatchable as a funny little trait in its own right. Jake also watched The Endless, and he actually is a Moorhead and Benson guy so I’m sure his review is a bit more knowledgeable. However, I’m here to say that you can jump into this one without knowing much about them and still have a good time. The movie is about a cult that makes really kickass beer, so that means I’m going to give it a minimum of an average score. As a small warning, this is not your standard horror movie. There is some horror here, but I would say that this movie largely has no genre. Maybe it’s just a family drama? Hell if I know. Go see this. Then see it like five more times and let me know if it makes any more sense. For the record this movie definitely deserves a higher rating, but I couldn’t resist giving it the score of 2π.
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
3 Waterin’ Holes
i sat down with the wife to watch something we didn’t really need to pay much attention to. Turns out, we probably could have completely not paid attention to this one and had a better time. ATBLML takes a long time to get going, then continues being slow, then ends slow. I feel like this one did something unique and interesting for its time, but then was immediately superseded by a pile of movies that did it better. Having not seen it in its time and revisiting it now, I do not have the rose colored glasses that others might. This movie sucks. If you are trying to get something done and need a movie to actively repel your attention you can find this one on Netflix. It’s a generic boring slasher about teens in a farmhouse. That’s about as deep as the plot goes.