Daniel's Horror Digest, 07/18/17


*turns cap around, sits backwards in chair*
Hey folks, I don't often give shoutouts to Brands, but I would be remiss if I didn't give Shudder its propers. It's basically Netflix for horror (plus other obscure, uncategorizable movies) and it's where I watched a few of the movies I've very briefly reviewed below. The others can be streamed on Netflix or rented on YouTube as indicated.


Review: Blair Witch

All photos courtesy of Lionsgate

Blair Witch, 2016
Directed by Adam Wingard
Written by Simon Barrett
Distributed by Lionsgate
Last September, select moviegoers were more than a little surprised to learn that The Woods, a found footage horror movie premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, was in fact a stealth sequel to the landmark film The Blair Witch Project. Briefly (and somewhat confusingly) titled Blair Witch, it picks up over a decade and a half after the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of student filmmakers Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams and Joshua Leonard deep in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland. It's actually the second sequel, with 2000's Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 being a non-found footage cash-in so bad and unlike the original that most people reading this have forgotten it, if they even heard of it in the first place.
I finally got around to watching the new Blair Witch a couple days ago and to sum things up really quickly, I wasn't a fan. I am, of course, absolutely biased here. Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez's The Blair Witch Project is the scariest movie I've ever seen and one of my favourite films in any genre. So my standards are high, to say the least. But I don't think the Blair Witch sequel is a bad movie, just really misguided, and in fact I even want to give its few shining moments their propers when I get around to discussing them. So without further ado, and knowing that I am NOT going to shy away from spoilers, let's dig in.



Guess it won't be a surprise when I say I don't think I have it in me anymore. Writing, I mean.


Review: The Witch

All photos courtesy of A24

When the family comes across the clearing at the edge of the woods, they fall to their knees and pray, mother and father holding their hands aloft. Pious exiles, this Puritan clan—father William, mother Katherine, and children Thomasin, Caleb, Mercy, Jonas and, soon, baby Samuel—has found true salvation far away from both oppressive England and their compromising Puritan community. It will be a hard life, but a pure and righteous one.

But someone else has already staked a claim on this wilderness. She lives by herself in a shack deep in the thicket, occasionally wearing a red riding cloak that looks lifted directly from the pages of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. She is a witch, but not the cackling, green-skinned variety of The Wizard of Oz or a verbose, compassionate intellectual in the vein of Hermione Granger. There is something much more primal and elemental to this crone, and when she’s done working her unspeakable magic the family at her doorstep will be at each other’s throats.


7 Ways Alien: Isolation Helped Me Accept My Anxiety Disorder

The Creative Assembly

(Originally published on The Robot's Voice.)

My name is Daniel, and I suffer from a mental disorder. Specifically, I have severe anxiety, which often manifests and renders me useless in social situations and leaves me afraid of everything up to and including my shadow. It’s more than a little ironic, then, that I love horror in all of its mediums: film, literature, comics, take your pick. While I might avoid anything remotely tense in everyday life, I enjoy the primal thrill of being scared by a movie or book. Consider it a form of exposure therapy.

With Alien being my all-time favourite film, I was extremely pumped for Creative Assembly’s video game sequel, Alien: Isolation. Though overly long and—I should impress this—ridiculously stressful, Isolation is by far one of the best games I’ve ever played. Not simply for its mechanics or extreme faithfulness to the source material, but for how it allowed me to better understand the disorder that has plagued me for most of my adult life.

If you’ll bear with me, consider…