Speak No Evil, Resurrection, Deadstream, and Night of the Tommyknockers
Weekly Horror Bulletin Newsletter 201
We've got four more hot new 2022 horror films this week. We'll keep silent about "Speak No Evil," then we'll meet up with an old stalker buddy in "Resurrection." After that, we'll do a "Deadstream," and then have a fun "Night of the Tommyknockers."
In the Bonus reviews this week, over at http://horrorbulletin.com, We've got:
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"Fresh” from 2022
"Spider Baby or The Maddest Story Ever Told" from 1967
Three years ago this week...
THREE YEARS AGO this week, on episode 48, we looked at four Thanksgiving "Classics": "Blood Freak," "Thankskilling," "Thankskilling 3," and "Poultrygeist." Wow. Gobble Gobble, everybody!
Listen to that old episode here: https://www.horrorguys.com/hg048/
New Book: The Horror Films of Roger Corman
We do the usual “Horror Guys Treatment” for all the horror films directed by Roger Corman from 1954 up to 1990. Included are 29 full-length films that truly count as horror, and then watched them all. In addition, we’ll look at seven other noteworthy Corman movies that aren’t horror, including his first producing credit, his first directing credit, his favorite non-horror project, and a few others. If you love Roger Corman’s macabre masterpieces, we’ll cover all of them here.
Fourteenth Issue of Horror Bulletin now available
The newest issue of Horror Bulletin Monthly, our monthly compilation of all our reviews, is out now. This includes all the bonus content and is available as both a print book as well as an ebook. If you don’t have time to read the website or email, here’s one more option for you!
Check out all our books!
The Horror Guys Guide to:
Tales to Make You Shiver, Volume 1 and 2
Here. We. Go!
2022 Speak No Evil
Directed by Christian Tafrdup
Written by Christian Tafdrup, Mads Tafdrup
Stars Morten Burian, Sidsel Siem Koch, Redja van Huet, Karina Smulders
Run Time: 1 Hour, 37 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
It starts out slow. Stick with this one if you watch it. It gets good. Horribly good and realistic in ways that aren’t expected.
Patrick and Karin drive down a dark country road in the middle of the night with their son Abel. They arrive at the resort in Tuscany. Bjorn and Louise are there as well, from Holland, along with daughter Agnes. Bjorn and Patrick meet briefly during the day, and Patrick makes a friendly dinner toast to the group which gets him noticed. Friends Hannah and Derek do nothing but talk about their cooking class. Bjorn notices Patrick staring at him during a concert. Patrick is a doctor, and they all soon become friends.
Bjorn and Louise get home, they find a postcard inviting them to the Dutch countryside to visit Patrick and Karin. Bjorn wants to do it, but Louise doesn’t think they know them well enough. “What’s the worst that can happen?” someone asks. They go.
Patrick offers Louise some of the roast he spent all day cooking. She’s a vegetarian, but she gives in and tries it anyway. Little Abel is creepy and silent. Karin says that Abel was born without a tongue.
The next day, Abel won’t get off the slide so Agnes can try it, and Patrick is meaner than he needs to be. This finally turns Louise off of the weekend to the point that she’d like to leave. Bjorn doesn’t want to go yet. The adults go out to dinner, and the kids are going to stay with Mujahid, a babysitter. No one told Louise about this in advance, and she’s not happy at all.
Patrick gets totally drunk at dinner. Patrick and Karin dance, and they just about have sex on the dance floor; Bjorn and Louise are quite a bit more reserved. Bjorn isn’t pleased when he finds out dinner is on him. Patrick drives home drunk, weaving through the woods with everyone in the car.
They make it home eventually, and everyone is fine. Louise takes a shower and is creeped out when Patrick comes in to brush his teeth in the middle of it. Louise and Bjorn have sex and ignore Agnes calling out, wanting to come in. The little girl eventually quiets down. But later, she finds little Agnes asleep in the bed of the other couple. Louise wants to go home now. In the middle of the night. They all get in the car and leave. Agnes forgot her stuffed rabbit and starts to cry. Bjorn turns around and goes back.
Bjorn goes into the house, and then Agnes finds the rabbit under the seat. Louise goes inside to find Bjorn explaining their absence to Patrick. When pressed, Bjorn’s excuses do sound pretty minor, and Karin apologizes for both of them. Patrick is all apologetic as well, and it is only one more day. Patrick promises it will be fun. They stay.
Later that day, Bjorn and Patrick are driving somewhere, and Patrick sings in the car. Afterward, Bjorn unloads about how unhappy his life is. They go out to the beach and just scream into the sky. They start to really bond.
Later, Karin cuts her finger, and Patrick admits that he’s not a doctor. He lied to make a good impression. He’s unemployed; he doesn’t believe in working.
At dinner, Patrick rants about Dutch cheese being better than any other countries. After, Patrick yells at Abel for not dancing properly with Agnes– it gets positively abusive until Bjorn intervenes (Why they don’t just leave again at this point is beyond my comprehension).
That night, Bjorn sneaks out of their bedroom to turn off the overloud TV and notices the door to the shed outside is open. He goes out to investigate and finds dozens of pictures of families that have stayed with Patrick and Karin. In each photo, there’s a different single child. Abel isn’t theirs, he’s just a survivor from the previous family. Bjorn then finds Abel dead in the pool.
Bjorn wakes up Louise and says they’re leaving– right now. They drive away, but Bjorn soon runs off the road and gets stuck. Bjorn gets out to run to a farmhouse but doesn’t notice that Patrick has followed them. When Bjorn returns to the car, Louise and Agnes are gone. Patrick drives up to Bjorn, and he’s got Agnes and Louise with him.
Louise has no idea what’s going on, since Bjorn was in a hurry and didn’t explain anything; on the way back to the house, they realize something isn’t right. Patrick stops and flashes his headlights, and someone else responds. Muhajdin comes over while Karin cuts Agnes’s tongue out. Muhajdin takes Agnesa away while the four adults drive in the other direction in silence as the situation sinks in.
They stop the car way out in a snowy field, and everyone gets out. Patrick orders them to take off their clothes. Karin and Patrick then literally stone them to death.
At the resort in Tuscany, Patrick and Karin meet new people, and they introduce their daughter to a new family...
First, I wouldn’t have turned around and gone back for a stuffed rabbit in the first place. Second, I wouldn’t have lingered with the apologies for saying goodbye the second time. After the dance-abusing thing, I would have for sure left then. Maybe people from Holland are just really really really into not insulting their hosts.
It’s awkward and uncomfortable for the first hour, and then it gets off the rails horribly. Just when you thought it was one thing, it changes tracks and becomes something even worse– and far more realistic.
I thought it was slow, almost boring for the first half hour, but it gets really good the further it goes. I definitely recommend this one.
Directed by Andrew Semans
Written by Andrew Semans
Stars Rebecca Hall, Tim Roth, Grace Kaufman
Run Time: 1 Hour, 43 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
After some consideration, we think it might be best to think of this as a twisted modern fairy tale. It’s well made with great performances, and the dialogue is excellent. How much is real and how much is not? We really don’t know. It’s good to go into this one blind. And prepare to be puzzled and pondering when you’re done.
Margaret listens to a younger woman complain about her abusive boyfriend. Then she walks back to her office as credits roll. She goes home and has sex with her boyfriend Peter; she asks him how his wife is doing. She then goes in to wake up her daughter, Abbie.
At work, she gives a presentation; she has a high level corporate job in the medical field, and she seems very intelligent and capable. At home, Abbie says she found a tooth in her wallet, but it’s not hers. We see that Margaret runs a lot. That night, she gets a call from Abbie, who is in the hospital, injured after drunkenly falling off a bicycle. Abbie complains that her mother is always overprotective.
She talks to the abused woman at work again, and once again promises to keep it all confidential. At a conference later, she sees someone in the audience and she gets really upset— she has to get up and leave. She runs all the way home to check on Abbie. Then she goes into the bathroom and cries. She then starts Googling “David Moore, Biologist” and tells Abbie that she’s staying home tonight. She nods off and dreams of cooking a baby in the oven.
The next day, she calls Peter to have sex in the bathroom at work, but he’s not really into it. She goes home and gets drunk with almost-eighteen years old Abbie. The next day, she sees that man again in the store and follows him. She drags Abbie out into the parking lot but refuses to explain anything. Margaret swears she’s just upset because Abbie will be going away to school soon.
Margaret starts slacking at work; she’s very distracted and blows a presentation. She sits in the park and spots the man reading a newspaper across the way. She tells him to go away, but he claims at first to have no idea who she is. He then says Ben is there with him and rubs his belly. He says she told him about Abbie and her own name, even though she didn’t. It seems like he’s gaslighting her.
Margaret goes to the police and tells them about David. They split up 22 years ago. The officer is very supportive but says there’s nothing he can do until David actually does something. He hasn’t actually approached or threatened her in any tangible way.
Margaret asks Gwyn, the girl from work, if she could kill someone, and Gwyn says probably not. Margaret confesses that she did something bad when she was young; something unforgivable. It’s a long and chilling monologue. She tells how she fell for David back when she was eighteen, who soon started being super controlling, subjecting her to increasingly worse tasks and abuse. She got pregnant but wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. She named the baby Benjamin, but David got jealous and sent Margaret out for groceries. When she came home, David simply said he’d eaten Ben. “He’s in my belly” and that he could still feel him moving around down there. Gwyn gets upset and goes home.
The next day, Margaret starts stalking David. She knows where he lives and follows him. She meets him at a diner. He says that Ben is still inside him, suffering. “At any moment, I could purge the boy; put him out of his misery.” He demands that Margaret start walking to work barefoot instead of driving. Again, she threatens him, but he doesn’t seem to mind. “You kill me, you kill him.” He also hints that he may have been the one who hit Abbie’s bicycle.
The next morning, Margaret walks to work, barefoot. Later, Abbie says that Margaret needs to go see someone, as she’s “having an episode.” Margaret lies and says that someone from work is behaving erratically and that Abbie should avoid him. Abbie realizes that it’s only halfway true, but she agrees to watch out.
She goes to David’s hotel, and the clerk says he isn’t staying there. She goes upstairs into his apartment and finds almost nothing there except an old photo of her and an old baby blanket. The landlady comes in and throws her out.
Margaret buys a gun and starts following David around. Abbie calls Peter to come and help; she’s worried about her mother. He gives her the number for a psychiatrist. Margaret might be a little irrational. Abbie thinks Margaret is making all this up to control her and keep her from going away to school.
She follows David out to a dark place and points a gun at his head as he sleeps on a bench. “You kill me, you kill him,” David warns. He grabs the gun out of her hand. He makes more demands and threatens Abbie’s life and then walks away with the gun.
The next morning, Abbie packs her stuff and leaves. Then Margaret beats up Peter for trying to help her. She threatens,“try to impede my mission one more time and I’ll beat you until you’re dead!”
David comes to see her at work. “I’m the only one here who can see you,” he taunts her. He tells her to meet him at a place at ten o’clock. She writes a letter and leaves a video for Abbie in case tonight goes badly.
She goes to the new hotel and finds David there. He has an old drawing that she once made. He talks, and she rubs his belly. Did she just feel his baby kick in there? He says that he and Ben forgive her, and she cries. She believes that her son is alive inside David. “He needs to be fed; he needs to be held,” she insists. “I have him now, and he has me, and I think that we don’t need you any more.”
She pulls out a knife and cuts him, but he gets the knife away. Then she pulls out another knife and stabs him again; he stabs her as well. She pulls him down onto the floor and ties him up. He goes on and on about her killing their son and that he’s a better mother than she is. She cuts his belly open and saws the hole bigger and bigger. She reaches inside and digs for Ben.
Finally, she finds baby Ben inside, intact, alive, and perfectly healthy. She pulls him out. “I saved you,” she whispers.
We see Abbie in her room, Perfectly fine. She comes in to see Margaret and the baby. She’s really leaving for school this time, and everything is fine now.
For a long while, we were wondering if David was even real or a figment of Margaret’s imagination. At no point do we ever see David interact with anyone other than Margaret. It’s clear that Margaret is losing touch with her sanity, but is she simply becoming disconnected from reality? And if he is real, is she the dangerous one?
Either way, the suspense ramps up, albeit a little too slowly for our tastes. There was about a half-hour too much angst in the middle of the film. The whole thing is more of a psychological thriller than horror, at least up until the last few minutes.
I don’t think I understand the final scene. Was she fantasizing everything? Were all three of them in some kind of afterlife? Was any of it real? Was all of it real? I do not know.
What I am sure of is that this was a lot of tension buildup with an inconclusive ending that felt weak. And the ending is the horror element. I’ll give this one a pretty low grade because of that.
Directed by Joseph Winter, Vanessa Winter
Written by Vanessa Winter, Joseph Winter
Stars Joseph Winter, Melanie Stone, Jason K. Wixom
Run Time: 1 Hour, 29 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
This is an extreme case of an influencer doing a livestream for views that gets way too real and goes off the rails. The majority of the film is just Joseph Winter as Shawn, who does a good job with it. The supporting cast and special effects are all really good. There’s a lot of dark humor, and all in sum, it was a fun one to see.
Shawn is a livestreamer/YouTube guy who does a show where he confronts his greatest fears, one at a time. Except he’s been sued nearly into oblivion for a prank gone wrong. Now, he needs to make a big comeback. One fear that he hasn’t yet faced– ghosts. For his next event, he’s going to spend the night alone in a haunted house.
He goes to the most haunted house in the United States and will spend the night there. He’s very annoying and does everything we hate with livestreamers, including sponsorships. He doesn’t want to get scared and run away, so he sabotages his own car, throwing the spark plugs into the woods. He pries the door open and goes inside. Just so he doesn't change his mind, he padlocks himself inside and throws away the key.
He explores the main floor of the house, and it’s about what you’d expect with garbage and graffiti. Three rooms of the house have actual, documented paranormal activity. He sets up little motion-activated cameras in various places. He explains the various ghost sightings of the past. One death was a tall man in the bedroom, another was a weird poet who hung herself in the stairway, and a whole family died in the upstairs bedroom. Then there was a death in the bathroom.
The chat people tell Shawn to provoke the spirits, and he aims to please. He tells us stories about Mildred the poet, who is still collecting the souls she could never have in life. He does a really poor summoning, and then runs away in fear even though nothing happens.
One of Shawn’s cameras shows a ghostly presence, and he totally flips out. His viewers call him a wimp on the chat, so he goes back to the spot to investigate. There are sounds, and the doors do things. Shawn screams like a little girl, but it turns out to be Chrissy, one of his viewers who tracked him down to meet him. The chat people want Chrissy to stay.
Before long, they find a secret passage with stairs going down. They go into the old cellar and find a trunk full of clothes and a little locked box. He also finds Mildred’s diary.
They pull out an Ouija board and have a try with that. Chrissy goes upstairs without Shawn, even after they had agreed not to split up. They argue, and she bites him. She stabs Chrissy in the neck, killing her in self-defense. Of course, her body isn’t there a minute later.
Before long, Shawn’s cameras start picking up things that he can’t see with his eyes. He finds the key to open the little box, and inside is a photo of Chrissy, who is really Mildred. It’s also got her finger in the box. Chrissy/Mildred appears in various places, and soon, Shawn jumps out an upstairs window to escape, breaking his leg badly in the process.
He limps to his car but has trouble finding the spark plugs in the trees; there are other things in the trees. Various people from the Internet send videos that give him information about the house and make suggestions.
Shawn reads some of the diary, and he finally figures out what Mildred really wants— an audience. He asks his own audience for help translating the words; he plans to… demonetize her, just like a failed YouTube channel. He goes back inside and uses the stuff he can find laying around to battle the ghosts.
Shawn really is kind of an idiot. Who does he think is the real influencer here?
It’s very suspenseful. Five minutes into the film, Kevin said that he hoped Shawn would die a painful death, which I think was intentional. Shawn is really annoying, but he’s very realistic. Actually, it’s done so well that you start rooting for him the longer the movie goes on, and he does get less annoying and more relatable.
The ghosts and things are creepy and believable, and things escalate nicely.
It’s funny, dumb, and really effective.
2022 Short Film: Guts
Directed by Chris McInroy
Written by Chris McInroy
Stars Kirk Johnson, Jeremy King, Mike Carreon
Run Time: 8:03
Horace sits in his boss’s office and is denied a promotion. “It’s because of my guts, isn’t it?” He’s got a big hole where his belly should be, and his intestines are hanging out. He leaves a puddle of nastiness in the chair when he gets up. Still, it’s just a normal day in the office.
This is actually the way real offices work— I’m pretty sure that I’ve worked at this place.
There’s some pretty amazing gore here too, but this is simply hilarious on every level— it’s just one layer of awesomeness after another. This is absolutely a must-see short!
2022 Night of the Tommyknockers
Directed by Michael Su
Written by Rolfe Kanefsky, Michael Mahal, Sonny Mahal
Stars Richard Grieco, Tom Sizemore, Robert LaSardo
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
This one is a creepy story in an excellent setting with good direction. The script was a little talky with a large cast. There were some good performances, most notably and not surprisingly from the top three billed guys, but some of the acting wasn’t the strongest. Overall though, it was a fun effort worth the watch.
The miners don’t think the old mine can take much more dynamite. That’s OK, because there are worse things down here, like Tommyknockers. Think leprechauns, only bigger and much meaner. One of the men up ahead yells that he found gold, and all the others run to join him except one guy who falls flat on his face. When that guy gets up, he’s the only one left. Credits roll.
The Dirk gang is in town, causing trouble. They rip off a guy gambling in the saloon, and then they stop in to rob a bank. The rest of the town sets up an ambush outside the bank. They take Betsy, a bank employee, as a hostage. There’s a quick shootout where everyone mostly stands out in the open and doesn’t get hit, then the bad guys all ride away.
The bandits make camp for the night, and we soon learn that Betsy was in on the caper all along. They all sit around the campfire and have a somewhat awkward conversation. Dirk knows of a bank full of gold in Nevada. The gold miners there store all their gold in the local bank, and it’s just sitting there waiting to be plundered.
Tobin Horn, a Pinkerton, comes to town collecting bounties, and he wants to go after Dirk and his men. The dead bank manager’s brother also swears to get revenge on the gang.
The gang arrives in town, and they find the town deserted. They all search, but there’s just nobody there. The horses, on the other hand, get spooked by something and run away.
One of the guys, Lucky, gets attacked by something that looks like a zombie mummy monster thing, a Tommyknocker. Night falls, and Dirk and the guys finally hole up with the town’s few survivors, and the Tommyknockers attack. The people inside whine about what’s happening and how they’re all gonna die. Marshall Steed wants to fight the things till the army gets here. They go on for ages talking about their predicament as Dirk and the gang sit on the sidelines.
The marshall’s got a group of prisoners in the jail who want to help fight, but he doesn’t want to release them. Finally, some of the bar patrons reveal to the gang that the monsters outside are called Tommyknockers. The miners woke them up somehow down in the mine, and they’ve been feeding on the townspeople ever since.
Suddenly, the Tommyknockers attack, and the locals fight them off– with only a few losses. The monsters soon return, and this time, the townspeople don’t fare so well. We get a glimpse of the creatures in their underground lair, and they’re eating bits of people down there.
Dirk wants to get the gold out of the Wells Fargo safe. Someone mentions that maybe that’s all the monsters want– their gold back. All the attacks come at night. Julia’s a photographer, and she mentions that she has flash powder.
Tobin, the bounty hunter, arrives in town. He finishes off Lucky and yells for Dirk. Dirk gets some dynamite from the general store and blows up the gold-filled safe. Tobin gets the drop on Dirk as Betsy clears out the safe. Betsy comes out and shoots Tobin, but the monsters get Dirk soon after.
Betsy, Julia, and Fred take the gold and head out into the mountains– right near the mine. Julia and Fred take the gold into the mine to give back to the monsters. The sun comes up, and all the Tommyknockers return to their caves, where the last survivors are now hopelessly lost. Betsy gets eaten, but Fred and Julia make their way out. They dynamite the cave shut on the way out.
In an after-credits scene, we continue the running joke of Lucky, who apparently can’t really be killed…
We recently watched “Bridge of the Doomed” by the same director and it had many of the same cast members. That one didn’t have the clunky dialog that this one had, but this one has much more elaborate sets and outdoor filming.
There are a lot of characters, and some of them are played by actors– quite a few of them, however– wow. Actually, there are far too many characters, and most of them end up with some dialog, so it’s a very talky film, especially for the first hour. Why, if this was going on for several days in a row, would there be any townspeople at all left in the town? They didn’t flee during the day? Did they just think the monsters would get bored and stop coming?
The Tommyknockers themselves are really well done and look good. Once the monsters show up, the action picks up.
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