HAPPIEST SEASON, LEAP OF FAITH: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON THE EXORCIST, TIME, and THE DARK AND THE WICKED on Episode #332

The family in the film Happiest Season posing together for a family photoDave and Megan lead off this week with Bryan Bertino’s tense possession horror flick THE DARK AND THE WICKED (2:43). Appropriately, the next film on the docket is LEAP OF FAITH: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON THE EXORCIST (17:44), a fascinating documentary about the iconic possession horror film. Next they talk about TIME (32:34), a poignant documentary about a woman’s fight to free her husband from prison. Finally, they discuss HAPPIEST SEASON (42:48), Clea DuVall’s moving queer Christmas rom-com, starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis. In this week’s Patreon bonus audio, we have a blast covering James Cameron’s sci-fi action film ALIENS, which is Megan’s all-time favorite movie.

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EMMA., SWALLOW, and THE HUNT on Episode #296

Betty Gilpin holds a knife angrily in the movie The Hunt
Betty Gilpin’s performance is the best thing about the long-awaited horror film THE HUNT

Dave is back this week from his horse vacation! Is he rested? Neigh. First on the docket this week is EMMA. (4:16), director Autumn de Wilde’s take on Jane Austen’s classic novel starring Anya Taylor-Joy. Next is SWALLOW (19:04), a movie that defies simple explanation but will definitely linger in your mind for a long time after you see it. Then THE HUNT (39:33) is finally out! Is it crummy? Or good? Or somewhere in between? Your questions will be answered! And over on Patreon this week, we talk John Carpenter’s ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK in the exclusive audio segment.

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THE WAY BACK, THE LODGE, ONWARD, and Video Game Adaptations on Episode #295

Ben Affleck stands with his hands on a basketball player's shoulders giving advice in the movie The Way Back
Ben Affleck gives some profanity-filled advice to one of his players in THE WAY BACK

Dave’s on vaca one last week, so Kristen Halbert fills in to discuss a panel about video game to film adaptations (4:05) that she and Evan attended at PAX East. After they explore ideas for future adaptations, Megan reviews the new Pixar film ONWARD (21:23), a heartwarming family tale. Next she and Evan discuss THE LODGE (29:30), a creepy horror flick they’re split on. Finally, everyone digs into THE WAY BACK (47:35), a Ben Affleck film about addiction that leaves one host feeling less than enthusiastic.

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THE RHYTHM SECTION and THE TURNING on Episode #290

Blake Lively looks stern as she points a gun at someone in the movie The Rhythm Section
Blake Lively gets tough in the tense, but stupid action flick THE RHYTHM SECTION

This week we have two movies on tap. First Megan reviews THE TURNING (2:35), a gothic horror film starring Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, and Brooklynn Prince, which shocks you with brutal violence, sexist tropes, and a controversial twist. Second, everyone reviews THE RHYTHM SECTION (21:10), the Blake Lively action flick that’s raw and realistic, but it’s linear, predictable, and dumb. The whole thing leaves the gang listless, as they wander into tangents about ratings systems and Gloria Estefan.

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UNDERWATER, THE WAVE, THE GRUDGE, and LITTLE JOE on Episode #288

Kristen Stewart and Vincent Cassel sitin diving suits anxiously waiting in the movie Underwater
Little do Kristen Stewart and Vincent Cassel know the hell that awaits them in UNDERWATER

This week starts with a critique of how this year’s Oscar nominations (2:25) shamefully overlook women and people of color. Then Megan reviews three movies. First, LITTLE JOE (11:15), a sci-fi film with gorgeous cinematography. Second, UNDERWATER (21:25), a fantastic monster movie starring Kristen Stewart. Third, THE GRUDGE (32:45), a reboot that left her wanting more. Lastly, Dave and Evan take on THE WAVE (41:34), a convoluted sci-fi flick with Justin Long that never adds up.

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STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, CATS, and BLACK CHRISTMAS on Episode #284

Rey holds her lightsaber by her side while she looks aggressively ahead in the movie Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
How the heck does Rey even get over here to fight Kylo Ren? Who knows!

After an extensive discussion over whether soggy cereal is yay or nay proposition, Megan talks about the latest remake of BLACK CHRISTMAS (4:39). This one has a feminist bent that Megan welcomed. Then it’s CATS (19:54). No descriptions here – just listen. Finally, it’s STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (29:37), about which the gang has lots and lots and LOTS of things to say about the story and how it stacks up against THE LAST JEDI and the movies that came before it.

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IT CHAPTER TWO on Episode #269

Isaiah Mustafa, Bill Hader, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, and Jay Ryan stand in the middle of the street of their small town in IT CHAPTER TWO
The losers are back together in IT CHAPTER TWO…but this time…they’re famous adults

This week, we’ve got a deep dive on one movie and one movie only: IT CHAPTER TWO! The conclusion of 2017’s smash hit based on the Stephen King novel is in theaters now, and there’s a whole lot of it. Dave, Evan, and Kris look at the movie from a variety of angles, comparing it to its predecessor and weighing its strengths and weaknesses.

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THE ROLLING STONES OLÉ OLÉ OLÉ!: A TRIP ACROSS LATIN AMERICA, RUSH: CINEMA STRANGIATIO, ST. AGATHA, and READY OR NOT on Episode #267

It’s a disparate movie line-up on Spoilerpiece this week. Dave starts things off with the music documentaries THE ROLLING STONES OLÉ OLÉ OLÉ!: A TRIP ACROSS LATIN AMERICA (4:51) and RUSH: CINEMA STRANGIATIO (11:54). Then Evan regales Kris and Dave with tales of ST. AGATHA (17:40), one of the grosser movies he’s seen in a while. Finally it’s Kris talking about the new release READY OR NOT (30:43).

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GOOD BOYS, LUZ, SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK, and Fantasia Highlights with Dede Crimmins on Episode #266

Keith L. Williams, Jacob Tremblay, and Brady Noon try to pilot a drone in the movie Good Boys
GOOD BOYS don’t, but they do

This week, returning guest/friend of the show/current Chicagoan Dede Crimmins returns via Skype to give us her top picks from this year’s Fantasia Festival in Montreal (3:35). Following that is LUZ (18:30), the German surrealist exorcism/hypnotism flick that everyone should see.  Dede then runs us through SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK (29:14), based on the series of books that scared you silly as a kid. And the good news is, this one is also pretty dang creepy! The episode then closes with our take on tween coming-of-age comedy GOOD BOYS (43:00).

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POLAR, DOWN, and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD on Episode #241

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) rides a dragon with a fleet of dragons and riders behind him in the animated film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Dragons, dragons everywhere in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

This week, Dave recaps POLAR (2:52), clarifying last week’s confusion over ARCTIC. Very different films! Next, Evan and Dave recommend DOWN (17:15), an entry in Blumhouse’s INTO THE DARK series on Hulu, full of lean, holiday-themed horror flicks. This one is a Valentine’s Day creepfest that is well worth your time. Then, Evan and Kris talk HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (23:28), a fine conclusion to a great family-friendly series.

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