It’s a smorgasbord of different horror flicks on Hulu. Did they show me a good time? Let’s find out.
SAINT MAUD (2019)
Considering I despise religious horror, maybe I should have just skipped a movie called Saint Maud with a woman in a white robe wearing a crucifix in the poster art. But my feelings on the film would have been a little more forgiving if there had been some horror…
This is actually a story of a young woman who finds God after she has a life-changing experience as a nurse. She becomes a nun, goes to care for a lesbian dancer dying of cancer, and decides she can save her.
Thankfully, even though this dancer is dying, she’s not going to take any brow-beating from a religious nut.
Feeling like a failure once again, Maud quickly loses faith. But then she finds it again. She’s really a tragic and lonely figure, so I’m going to use a dirty term here to describe this film—elevated horror. Yes, just as I love to use the term torture porn because so many people hate it, I’m using elevated horror because it has suddenly become the new torture porn.
In the end, we don’t even know what the hell was real or what wasn’t as Maud has some “supernatural” experiences before she finally thinks she found salvation.
SPOILER: depending who watches this film, the takeaway can either be a) kill a lesbian, earn your wings and ascend to Heaven, or, more clearly b) kill anyone while playing God and go to hell.
THE EVIL NEXT DOOR (2020)
This Swedish film is riddled with familiar situations for anyone that has seen any horror movies in the past 20 years or more. A straight couple moves into a new house with the male partner’s son, who strikes up a friendship with what at first glance might be an imaginary friend.
But pretty soon the female partner is experiencing the usual—bumps in the night, voices, fleeting movement in the shadows, and a young boy who starts acting out against her.
It’s all very cliché, right down to the jump scares, the man in the relationship thinking the woman is the problem, and the woman seeking out the former owner of the house for answers. But hey, the cheap scares are effective and there are some creepy scenes involving the mysterious presence living in the house.
But what stands out most is that this is a sad look at the challenges of being a stepparent of a child you want to love that doesn’t want to love you back.
WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING (2021)
This is one bizarre film, and as it neared the end I turned to the hubby and said, “You know none of this is going to make any sense when it’s over, right?” Seconds later, the film ended abruptly with no clarification of any of the events that took place. And yet I found the film to be fast-paced and oddly compelling.
A family holes up in their bathroom when a storm is about to hit, becomes trapped there, and must then face off against a series of mysterious threats…and each other.
The mother is played by Allison from Hocus Pocus, and the father is played by horror veteran Pat Healy, who is ridiculously entertaining in his over-the-top performance here.
But the flashback story is that the teen daughter had a girlfriend, and they were practicing witchcraft together. Now the daughter thinks all the crazy things happening to them in the bathroom are result of her casting spells. Are they? We’ll never know.
Even so, the horror aspects are pretty thrilling and fun, there are several references to Ozzy Osborne, who also makes a voice-over cameo as a demonic voice, and Taco’s 1983 hit “Puttin’ On The Ritz” is featured prominently in the film as a ringtone and during the closing credits.
While Censor is rather slow paced, it is a treat for anyone who grew up in the 1980s and is aware of the wave of censorship that swept over the U.K. concerning a list of banned horror movies that became known as the “video nasties”.
The premise is quite cool. A young woman in the 80s has a chip on her shoulder about being a censor responsible for saving the world from the video nasties.
But her life turns upside down when a) a serial killer blames his work on a movie she cleared, and b) she becomes convinced her sister, who went missing years before, is one of the actresses in a film she is reviewing.
Her goal becomes to hunt down the director of the film, making much of this a slow-moving “private investigation” horror flick. However, the final act makes up for it as the censor queen starts to lose her shit from watching the movies she thinks no one else should be allowed to watch. Believe me, I won’t be watching a movie with that thing below in it. Oh shit. I just did.