A quiet horror movie making noise at the box office, a girls’ night out in a cave, a busted jukebox, a soulful song I’ve listened to at least a thousand times, and a history of modern horror are on my radar during the month of April showers, Easter and fooling people.
- A QUIET PLACE. Who knew Jim from the American TV adaptation of THE OFFICE could star in and direct one of the best horror movies of the 21st century? A QUIET PLACE is a must-see film about a family of four navigating the world in silence to survive a threat that hunts by sound. With an estimated $17 million budget, A QUIET PLACE topped $100 million in ticket sales after two weekends. With 95 percent critic approval and 87 percent audience approval, according to movie review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, A QUIET PLACE should continue making a lot of noise at the box office for the remainder of the month. Check out the trailer on Youtube here.
- THE DESCENT (Netflix). This 2005 horror movie is one of the most claustrophobic films I’ve ever experienced. After a shockingly tragic beginning, THE DESCENT follows six female spelunkers on a caving expedition. They enter the underground without a hitch, but the problem is finding the exit. The 2009 sequel, THE DESCENT: PART 2, is also on Netflix, but it’s not as good as the original. Check out the trailer on YouTube here.
- BUSTED JUKEBOX: VOLUME 2 by SHOVELS & ROPE. Released in December, VOLUME 2 is an album of mostly soulful folk covers by the South Carolina folk duo accompanied by guest artists like Brandi Carlile and Nicole Atkins. The highlights include the opener “Cleanup Hitter” with Carlile’s perfectly aching vocals hitting all the right notes. Atkins pines with smoldering beauty on Concrete Blonde’s “Joey.” Indianola delivers a cool cover of The Hollies’ “The Air That I Breathe” complete with banjo and finger snaps. BUSTED JUKEBOX: VOLUME 1 was released in 2015, and it’s worth a listen just for the killer cover of “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight.” Check out Volume 2 on Amazon here.
- A 1000 TIMES by HAMILTON LEITHAUSER + ROSTAM. The opening track from the phenomenal 2016 album I HAD A DREAM THAT YOU WERE MINE is a rousing rocker filled with wistful lyrics and raw emotions. A tinkling piano segues into a pounding beat as Leithauser explodes from tender to tumultuous in a split-second transformation that’s as infectious as it is affecting. Like Brandi Carlile’s THE STORY, A 1000 TIMES is one of those songs with a timeless quality to it … and one that I’ll be listening to for the rest of my life. Check out the video on YouTube here.
- PAPERBACKS FROM HELL by GRADY HENDRIX. This book is subtitled “The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction” and is required reading for every horror fan who grew up in the heyday of horror like me. I love everything about this book. An incredibly insightful prologue expertly sets the table for the coming surge of my generation’s horror. Hendrix cites three novels for sparking horror’s acceptance into the adult mainstream. I’d tell you what they were, but I want you to read it for yourself. Sorry about the tease. I don’t know Mr. Hendrix, but horror fans owe the man a debt of gratitude for delivering the history book we’ve always wanted whether we knew it or not. Thank you, Mr. Hendrix. Check it out on Amazon here.
That’s all, folks. See you back here next Wednesday.
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