Discover more from Horror Bulletin
Unwelcome, Becky, The Wrath of Becky, The Dogman Triangle, Malum, and Hellraiser: Bloodline
Weekly Horror Bulletin Newsletter 234
We’ve got six more movies and a short film this week:
We’ll start with the 2023 documentary, “The Dogman Triangle: Werewolves in the Lone Star State.” Then we’ll go to Ireland and become “Unwelcome.” After our short film, we’ll meet 2020’s “Becky” and follow up with her sequel, this year’s “The Wrath of Becky.”
Thanks for reading Horror Bulletin! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
For our bonus films, over at
, we have:
“Malum” (2023) - A police officer spends the night in a very strange old jailhouse.
“Hellraiser: Bloodline” (1996) - the fourth film of the series, this time covering the creation of the puzzle box and giving us Pinhead— in space!
Check out all our books with one easy link: https://brianschell.com/collection/horrorguys
Here. We. Go!
The Dogman Triangle: Werewolves in the Lone Star State (2023)
Directed by Seth Breedlove
Stars Aaron Deese, Shannon Legro
Run Time: 1 Hour, 10 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
This is a well-made documentary blending animations, history, unfortunately scant evidence, and interviews with people telling about sightings they have had. They are convinced they saw something. We’re left to ponder on it. The filmmakers did a nice job of neutrality, not pressing it too hard either way.
We begin with an old-timey ad for travel to Texas, but it warns us to watch out for coyotes and other predators in the wild. Credits roll, telling us that Dogman may try to lure you into the woods with the voice of someone you know; they are only known to prey on humans and should be avoided at all costs.
We open on Aaron Deese, who wrote a book on Dogman, as he introduces Shannon, the interviewer of the films. Aaron’s the expert; Shannon is a journalist. Aaron explains that he started out investigating three encounters that laid out a big triangle that covers a big chunk of Texas.
We then cut to various “Cryptid hunters” who talk about their origins, mostly talking about getting started with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. This leads right into werewolves, or the local variety called the Dogman. They describe the various types of Dogman; some are manlike, and some are more like big dogs.
Then various people describe their encounters with the strange beast. We see actual newspaper clippings about “monsters” eating sheep and things; how much is true and how much is sensational reporting? Could it be a hyena? A Coyote? A bear with mange? A shapeshifter?
The film alternates between fairly normal interview shots and scary drawings of the Dogman. Naturally, we don’t see a real Dogman at any point, but there are re-enactments and cool animations. There are shots of regular nature scenes that have been “aged” to make them look creepier and set the mood, which is also fun.
It’s maybe a little longer than it needs to be but overall, it’s a well-made discussion of sightings, legends, and theories about his probably-mythical creature.
Directed by Jon Wright
Written by Mark Stay, Jon Wright
Stars Hannah John-Karen, Douglas Booth, Colm Meaney, Kristian Nairn
Run Time: 1 Hour, 44 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
This was a good one that didn’t go exactly where we expected things to go. The practical effects really sold this, and overall we thought it was very entertaining.
Maya and Jamie are trying for a baby. The test is positive, which pleases them both. He goes off to buy some non-alcoholic champagne, and a gang outside chases him. They follow him home and beat him up while she hides in the bathroom. They break into the bathroom and assault her as well. Credits roll.
We open on a dead woman outside a little countryside house as the police check out her body. Someone watches them from behind a rock.
That was Jamie’s Irish Aunt Maeve that just died, and she left him the house, which pleases him and Maya; they can move out of their small apartment in the stressful city. The woman who shows them the house, also named Maeve, says there’s one more thing they need to know about the place. There’s an old stone door at the back of the property. Every evening before sunset, old Maeve would leave a blood offering here. Just a plate of meat will suffice to satisfy the little people. They are not leprechauns; they’re redcaps. Maya agrees to keep up the tradition.
They’ve got a great hole in the bedroom roof, but they fully furnish the room anyway. Does it never rain there? They do finally find an available handyman, Eoin Whelen. The villagers are all friendly and very welcoming. Rory, the town drunk, warns Jamie never to leave Maya alone with the Whelans. On the way home, he runs into something bad.
Maeve asks what they left out for the redcaps, and Maya admits that she forgot. Maeve volunteers to do it, but Maya doesn’t want the old woman walking all over their property. Maeve says she saw one of the redcaps once, and they’re terrifying. Feeding them is essential. Maya promises to follow through.
The next morning, Daddy Whelan is there to start on the restoration work - in the kitchen not on the roof. Killian Whaley goes through all the draws looking for valuables. When Maya and Jamie go shopping for groceries, she picks up some liver for her offering. They talk to a priest and Maeve, and they find out that old Maeve made a deal with the redcaps to save her husband, and they took her baby. Since then, she was very devoted to “keeping those monsters on the other side of the wall.”
We see that the entire Whelan family is creepy, obnoxious, and maybe bordering on criminals. Daddy Whelan says he’ll straighten them all out. Later, Maya goes through the stone door to see what’s in the woods on the other side. All she finds is Rory’s dog, who leads her to a stone dome covering a long stairway down. She doesn’t go down there.
On the way out of the woods, she talks to Eoin, who complains that Daddy hates him. He cries, and she says the others are bullies. He gets the wrong idea, and bad things happen. Maya comes out of the woods, but Eoin doesn’t. She tells Jamie what happened; that the redcaps saved her and killed Eoin. Jamie’s got PTSD from the attack in the city, and the stress of dealing with the Whelans is getting to him.
Jamie goes to the pub and hears Killian and Aisling trying to call Eoin on the phone, with no response. They press Jamie who they think knows something, which he sort of does, but he denies it. They don’t believe him, and when they start bullying, Maeve and the townspeople kick them out of the pub. Maya has a flashback, and we see what happened to Eoin. One of the redcaps comes into the house and drops off a bag containing Eoin’s head. She shows Jamie, who thinks maybe she did it.
The Whelans come knocking. They want answers about Eoin. Through some pure stupidity, they find the bag with the head. Maya runs into the woods wanting help from the redcaps as the Whelans break in for Jamie. Killian and Jamie fight until Jamie starts crying. He tells Daddy about the redcaps, and Daddy’s not a believer.
Maya finds the stone beehive and tells the little people inside, “I’ll give you anything you want.”
One of the redcaps attacks Killian, but he thinks it’s a monkey or a rat. Daddy kills one of them. Maya returns to the house just as her water breaks. Aisling kicks her in the face and chokes her. Half a dozen more redcaps make short work of Aisling. Daddy watches Killian die.
Jamie makes his way outside, past a bunch of the creatures, and finds Maya in labor. Daddy approaches with a shotgun, and this time, Jamie mans up and goes after him– until Daddy shoots him in the shoulder. Rory the dog jumps in and saves them until Maya can get the shotgun. Boom!
Maya gives birth as the redcaps drag away all the bodies. They say “Feast!”
Jamie and Maya start cleaning up the blood and making repairs on the house. Then the redcaps come for the baby. She chases them through the woods to their lair, and this time, she goes down the stairs to their underground chambers. She finds the baby, alongside old Maeve’s child taken years ago, and who is now an old woman herself.
Maya gets violent, and the old woman is killed. The redcaps bow down to Maya now. She gets to stay to be their new matron, and the baby is returned to Jamie. “Mama Redcap!”
The moral of the story is clearly, “Don’t go to a liquor store after dark.” I got that even before the credits.
Jamie may be the most worthless leading man in a horror movie ever. I can’t believe he survived.
The setup is very clear and the creature effects are really good. From the trailer, we were expecting the monsters to go after Maya for forgetting to feed them, but that’s not it at all. The final ending was really clear; we know what the redcaps wanted all along, and they got it.
I liked this a lot more than I thought it would, mostly because of the creature effects.
Short Film: Serbian Dancing Woman (2023)
Directed by Alex Magana
Written by Alex Magana
Stars Yanet Lora, Cat Hamm
Run Time: 2:16
See it on YouTube:
A woman walks down the street, and the music playing over the loudspeaker changes to something more ominous. Still, it’s a little catchy. She spots a woman dancing to the odd tune before her and starts recording a video.
Then the woman turns around.
Don’t record other people without their permission. Just sayin’.
It’s well-lit, especially for all taking place at night. Nothing is explained, but it looks good, and the music is very well done. It’s maybe a little too short, but it’s fun!
Directed by Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Written by Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye, Nick Morris
Stars Lulu Wilson, Kevin James, Joel McHale, Robert Maillet
Run Time: 1 Hour, 33 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
It’s an action thriller where the victim ends up being as dangerous as the villains. And speaking of villains, Kevin James is very good his first time ever as a bad guy here. The gore, action, script, and cast were all top-notch.
Becky recounts what happened to the police. She pretends not to remember. Credits roll.
Two weeks earlier…
We get parallel shots of Becky in a fight at school and a bunch of thugs in a prison fight. We then see life in prison and life in high school; it’s essentially the same but without the orange uniforms. Becky gets in her dad’s minivan to go with him, while several of the skinhead Nazis are loaded into a prison transport. She and her father don’t get along for some reason. Meanwhile, the prisoners escape.
They stop at their country home, but Kayla and Ty are staying for a while, which annoys Becky. Becky’s mother died, and Kayla is the almost-new stepmom. They announce their engagement, and Becky’s not happy about it and goes out for an angry walk.
The doorbell rings and Kayla answers it. It’s Dominick, one of the Nazis. Apex, the giant baddie, is lurking around outside and lets Kayla escape. Meanwhile, Becky sees other men in the woods. Becky watches through the window as the men shoot Ty’s dog.
Dominick goes through a bunch of stuff in the basement, looking for something, but he doesn’t find it. We’ve seen that Becky has the item he’s looking for out in her treehouse. Dominick tortures Becky’s father until she produces the key he wants. Becky goes and gets the key, but before she can take it to the bad guys, Dominick shoots her father. She stabs him in the eye with the key and runs away. He has to cut his own dangling eyeball off.
Cole corners Becky in the treehouse, but he says the wrong thing, and she decides to fight back. She stabs him to death with a ruler and coloring pencils. She pounds it through him, inch by inch.
Meanwhile, Kayla works on talking to Apex, who might not be as bad as the others. Dominick overhears, and the two have a discussion. Elsewhere, Becky starts setting up traps.
Hammond finds Cole’s body and also Becky; he pursues her through the woods. He corners her on the dock, but she’s ready for that. She motorboats him to death. Apex, on the other hand, grabs her. He doesn’t want to hurt any more kids and lets her go. He walks off into the woods.
Becky lures Dominick outside and hits him with a car; the On-Star system detects a crash and says “Help is on the way.”. Inside, Kayla and Ty cut loose their bonds. Dominick gives a “we can be villains together speech” to Becky. She sets him on fire, but that doesn’t stop him. As he strangles her, he finds the key around her neck.
Dominick points his gun at the no-longer-needed Becky, but is tackled by Apex, who doesn’t want her dead. Apex is insistent, so Dominick shoots him. As the two men battle, Becky gets the tractor out of the barn and heads their way. Dominick is not getting up after that.
Apex tries to make a heroic speech, but Becky just shoots him in the head. Kayla and Ty come out and sit with Becky until the police arrive.
We cut back to the police interrogation from the introduction. They know what she did, but she plays up being a traumatized teen who doesn’t remember what happened.
What does that key go to?
Kevin James is Dominick in his first villain role. He’s very good at it. That is a very well-trained dog.
It’s a bloody, gory, messy film. Maybe not so much horror as revenge-thriller, but it’s certainly got enough gore to qualify. We definitely liked it.
The Wrath of Becky (2023)
Directed by Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote
Written by Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote, Nick Morris
Stars Lulu Wilson, Sean William Scott, Denise Burse, Jill Larson
Run Time: 1 Hour, 24 Minutes
Spoiler-free judgment zone
As we saw in the first movie “Becky”, this is a young woman who is not to be messed with. And no one messes with her dog. This is more of the same with lots of action, heavy violence, gore, and low-key horror. They pumped up the dark humor this time too. It was entertaining overall.
We open on a quiet suburban house where Ted and Alice meet Becky and her dog, Diego. This is her new foster home. They’re a very religious couple, and Becky says the right things to fit in. She immediately climbs out the window with her dog and escapes as credits roll.
After some mid-credit animated mishaps, Becky eventually finds a job as a waitress in a diner. Becky tells us with a voiceover that it’s been two years since a group of Neo-Nazis killed her family. She’s sixteen now, and she lives off-radar. She lives with Elena now; she’s old and hates almost everyone, but she picked up Becky as a hitchhiker and they’ve been together for a while.
Becky imagines killing a man at the diner; she might be a psychopath now. We see that she still has that key from the first film.
There’s a news report that the Noble Men may be coming to make an appearance at the town hall on Wednesday. Yes, the Noble Men are a group of Neo-Nazis. Three of them come into the diner, and Becky spills coffee on one of them. Except– they follow her home.
The guys get into her house and knock out Diego the dog. Elena comes in with a shotgun. Anthony shoots first and kills the old woman; then, he knocks out Becky. Anthony swears DJ and Sean to silence. It’s clear they’re planning more than just a rally tomorrow.
When Becky awakens, the old woman is dead, but her dog has been taken. She gets ready for more fighting. Commence the battle-prep montage. She easily tracks down the Noble Men’s compound.
Inside the compound, we see that the leader is Darryl. They all notice that Sean isn’t eating; maybe he doesn’t fit in with this group. They have Diego in a cage and Becky lurking outside their door.
Becky breaks in and finds plans to kill Senator Hernandez. She overhears Darryl telling a story to Sean about “weakest links.” She steals Daryl’s flash drive with the names of all the Noble Men members. Then she finds their armory. At that point, we knew how things were going to end.
Darryl finds a phone, and it says Becky is calling. DJ admits they stole the dog from Becky; they leave out the murder part of the story. Darryl insists that Anthony give the dog back, but he says she can identify him to the police.
Anthony goes outside to confront Becky. He regrets it when he loses his head.
Sean learns about the insurrection plans tomorrow and wants to leave. Darryl kills him with one hand. DJ gets scared and drives away.
Twig goes outside with a gun as Darryl and Becky argue on the phone. Twig gets an arrow through his face and gets even angrier. She traps him in a barn full of tear gas. As he begs for his life, she comes after him with a machete– rather excessively.
Someone shoots Becky with a tranquilizer. She wakes up tied to a chair. Darryl opens the key, and inside, he finds coordinates. Darryl’s mother shows up, an old woman with an oxygen tank. She’s someone we’ve met before. They want that thumb drive back.
Darryl’s mother releases Diego from the cage and feeds him meat. Diego obeys the old woman. One thing leads to another, and soon Darryl is without a mother. Becky runs away, leaving Darryl alone.
Darryl chases Becky through the woods until he steps into a bear trap. No, two bear traps. No, three bear traps. Ow. She takes her key back from his pocket. She goes back to the cabin and releases Diego from his cage. Darryl’s mother, however, isn’t quite dead yet– which is just fine with Diego, who’s really hungry.
24 Hours later, Becky talks to Agent Montana of the CIA. She knows that Becky took out one of the Noble Men’s cells. She wants to recruit Becky into the CIA; Becky accepts. “Now, where’s my fucking dog?”
We cut to DJ, whose car has broken down. As a police car pulls behind him, he pulls out a pistol. No, it’s Becky with a rocket launcher. Boom!
People should really learn not to mess with people’s dogs. Have they not seen John Wick?
Somebody saw “Buffy” too many times.
It’s got more humor than the first, but I think the original was much more tense. This was played more for laughs than in the first film.
Directed by Anthony DiBlasi
Written by Anthony DiBlasi, Scott Poiley
Stars Jessica Sula, Batalie Victoria, Monroe Cline, Candice Coke
Run Time: 1 Hour, 32 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
This tried to do all the right things with a good cast and excellent special effects. But it kind of just became a series of weird things happening in the dark after a while. It felt like it was spinning the wheels for a long stretch before wrapping up. We felt it was just okay.
We open on a weird throne made of yard tools. Then we switch over to a bunch of terrified-looking girls on a farm where a great number of bad things happen to them in a Satanic ritual.
We see that Captain Will Loren has been written up in the newspaper for gunning down a cult leader and saving three girls; he thinks it could have been four if he’d been faster. He then goes down to the shooting range and executes a couple of cops as credits roll. He then shoots himself.
Brand new police officer Jessica Loren is Will’s daughter. Her mother, Diane, is an alcoholic and doesn’t want Jessica to become a cop. They clearly don’t get along. Someone throws a pig’s head at her car. She’s requested a night shift at the neatly-abandoned city’s jail, where she meets Officer Grip Cohen, who’s grouchy and creepy but explains the ropes to her. This was where he father did the murder-suicide.
Jessica starts wandering around the huge, dark facility until a wild-looking man comes to the door. He pees on the door and walks away. She starts getting prank calls about slaughtering pigs. She soon learns that her relationship to a lunatic cop-murderer isn’t going to be a career booster.
She opens her father’s still-padlocked locker and finds news clippings from the cult case involving John Malum. Someone drops off a live pig just outside her door, but she brings it inside. She finds one of the side doors propped open and looks around to see if anyone has come in. Someone did: the wildman from earlier– she Tases him.
Due to massive incompetence, she gets locked into a dark holding cell with the man, and suddenly, her radio won’t work. She hears her father’s voice in the darkness, “Still here.” After a jump scare, she gets outside the cell. She phones Cohen, and he’s really a jerk.
She finds some papers concerning calling a “Temple Baron,” and it includes a symbol that she’s seen painted in several places, including on the back of the pig.
Jessica goes outside and runs into Marigold, a beaten-up hooker who needs medical assistance. Marigold soon starts talking as if she’s possessed.
Jessica gets another prank call, but this one mentions a hostage. The station reports that all three of the girls her father rescued have been re-kidnapped this evening. She watches old videos of the cult killings, and then they start getting personal. It’s not long until she starts seeing genuine monsters in the darkness.
We get a flashback to Will arresting and questioning John Malum and his cult members. They swear to kill him and his entire family. Jessica hallucinates a bunch of scary stuff; she’s not having a good first night on the job.
Officers Price and Hudson arrive to pick up the man in holding. Price tells Jessica about her father’s final days on the job. She then gets a flashback about her own baptism– by John Malum.
Jessica’s mother Diane comes to the station and admits that John Malum tracked her down and made her have a baby. We soon see that the phone line in the station is broken; every time she’s called outside, she’s been talking to Malum. The cultists start coming out of the woodwork, and she shoots a large number of them.
Jessica eventually finds the “throne,” and John Malum’s rotten, but still moving corpse is sitting there. The cultists are there, as well as a huge demon. Jessica shoots her mother by mistake, and all the cultists, cops, and monsters laugh at her. She shoots herself in the head.
It’s a creepy location, and the acting is good. The whole situation with a cop all alone in an empty police station is a stretch to believe. Why not just hire a security guard at that point? There are lots of jump scares and gore, often for no real reason, but they are well done.
Still, it escalates nicely, and it’s definitely nailed the creep-factor. It gets a little annoying watching things happen that turn out to be not real or hallucinations.
It's just a series of weirdness that happens in the dark. It started off pretty good, but then it took way too long to get to the good stuff. It drags badly in the middle, which, oddly, is where all the action is.
Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)
Directed by Kevin Yagher
Written by Peter Atkins
Stars Bruce Ramsay, Valentina Vargas, Doug Bradley
Run Time: 1 Hour, 25 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
What’s better than Pinhead? Pinhead in space! Which isn’t as silly as it sounds. It’s not a great sequel, but it was entertaining. We get to see the origin of the box, Doug Bradley is still Pinhead, and there’s some new Cenobite action.
We open on Space Station Minos in the year 2127. They have a robot working on the infamous puzzle box. There’s a human working the robot’s hands as a spaceship arrives and unloads a bunch of armed men. The puzzle box moves and shifts— and opens. The robot explodes and things get weird. He sees Pinhead.
The man, Paul Merchant, is taken into custody and questioned by Rimmer. He tells a story about Phillip De Merchand, an ancestor of his, who was commissioned by Duc de L’Isle to build an occult puzzle box. We see the box being constructed. He calls himself “the finest toy maker in France,” and then demonstrates it to his wife.
Duc de L’Isle ties a woman to a chair and his assistant, Jacque strangles her. Phillip takes the box to him and is paid for his work. The Duc and Jacques skin the dead woman open and hang her empty skin up with hooked chains. The Duc does a ritual, and a gateway opens. The dead skin fills up, and there’s someone inside her now. “A summoned demon is yours to command,” he proclaims. He names her Angelique. “He who summons the magic commands the magic.”
Phillip tells an old doctor what he saw through the Ducs window. The old doctor suggests that if Phillip could design a box to summon demons, then he could make a box to destroy them. He sneaks back into the Duc’s house to steal the box, but Angelique and Jacque have killed the Duc and want to release demons on Earth. They kill Phillip.
Back on the space station, Paul continues to tell Rimmer about other boxes and other times.
In 1996, Angelique sees John Merchant’s face on a magazine cover and says, “The bloodline continues.” Jacque, still alive after 200 years, forbids her to go to America, but she bites his face off instead. He “tried to stand in Hell’s way,” so she no longer has to obey him.
John Merchant, in America, receives an award. He goes to give his speech and sees Angelique in the audience, and she creeps him out.
Angelique lures a man into the basement of the building and asks him if he likes games. She breaks into the foundation of the building and pulls out the puzzle box. “I have such sights to show you,” she says as she gets him to unlock the box.
Chains shoot out and the walls open up, pulling him inside. Pinhead arrives and picks up the box. He knows Angelique. “Hell is more ordered since your time, Princess,” he says. She says that John Merchant subconsciously remembers his ancestor’s box… as a building. “This is a holocaust waiting to happen,” Pinhead says in awe. He’s making a building-sized version of the box.
We soon see that Pinhead and Angelique don’t really get along very well. Twin security guards explore weirdness in the building, and that goes badly for them. They find Pinhead, and he shows them pain. The two twins are merged into one new cenobite.
Pinhead wants John to suffer, so he kidnaps Jack, John’s son, and his wife, Bobbi. He runs through his building looking for them, but finds lots of chains, shadows, and things that he didn’t build, as well as lots of screams. He finds them easily enough, but Pinhead is with them. Pinhead talks about the box and about the room downstairs that could be a bigger pathway; he wants that room finished.
John gets on his computer and finishes the design that Pinhead and Angelique want. The laser lights go everywhere, which angers Pinhead, and he kills John. The box pulls in Angelique and sends Pinhead back to Hell.
Back on the space station, Paul relates that Jack grew up and continued the bloodline all the way to him. Paul tells his own story.
He had the robot solve the puzzle with his help, and it activated. Pinhead appears and calls himself “an old friend of the family.” That was when he was captured— after releasing the monsters.
Meanwhile, Pinhead is skinning troops in the basement. “Kill them all,” he commands the others. Rimmer releases Paul, who says he can help. “Soon, the bloodlines will be severed,” Pinhead taunts.
Suddenly, Paul vanishes. Pinhead had been addressing a hologram as Paul and Rimmer flew off in a shuttle. Paul presses a button, and the whole space station folds up into a huge puzzle box with Pinhead inside it and explodes.
Pinhead’s dead— we’ll never see him again!
It was fun seeing the origin of the puzzle box. Angelique is a new character, and I’m not sure that she was necessary when Pinhead was already there. There were only Pinhead, Angelique, the Twins, and the Beast this time around— none of the other, more familiar cenobites make an appearance.
It’s not terrible. It makes more sense than most people give it credit for, but it could have been better.
Newsletter Contact Info:
Stay tuned for more regular and bonus reviews next week!
Book Store: https://brianschell.com/collection/horrorguys
Subscribe by email:
Thanks for reading Horror Bulletin! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.