Movies with a * were seen in theaters.
- The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015); first viewing for Thomas. Fourth viewing for Beau.
- Knives Out (2019)*; first viewing for Thomas and Beau, seen in theaters.
- Ready or Not (2019); first viewing for Thomas and Beau.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019); first viewing for Thomas, and second viewing for Beau (Beau saw it in theaters when it had come out).
- Apostle (2018); first viewing for Thomas and Beau.
- Hot Rod (2007); first viewing for Thomas, and second for Beau.
- The Invitation (2015); first viewing for Thomas.
- Gerald’s Game (2017); first viewing for Thomas.
- The Silence (2019); first viewing for Thomas.
- Queen of the Damned (2002); first viewing for Thomas, 100th for Beau.
- The Monster (2016); first viewing for Thomas.
- Await Further Instructions (2018); first viewing for Thomas.
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle (2018); first viewing for Thomas.
- The Rezort (2015); first viewing for Thomas.
- Head Count (2018); first viewing for Thomas.
- CAVE (2016); first viewing for Thomas and Beau (we do not recommend this movie, it wasn’t even good bad just not good). If you do decide to attempt this movie, please be warned there is a sexual assault in the film and it is lingered on for a couple minutes of full screen time.
While coming up with the reviews for this list we have already started another post because we saw that this one was getting long. Beau helped with the recommendations, for some of them since I (Thomas) only saw the movie the recommendation is solely mine.
As before, at the end of each there is a link to the website Does the Dog Die? which can be used to search for triggering content in movies. We highly recommend this website and answering questions for movies that you have seen to help others.
The Invitation (2015); I (Thomas) heard about this movie through the podcast Horror Movie Survival Guide and immediately knew that I wanted to watch it. I had it already on my list and know that I new Karyn Kusama had directed it (the director of Jennifer’s Body) I just had to press play. This movie is about adults who have returned from their South American mid-life crisis getaway and come back death cultists. It doesn’t start with the murder, that is at the end. But it moves to that bloody ending inch by inch as the the viewers POV (ex-husband of cult lady dinner party thrower) becomes more and more convinced that this is a murder party. It is filmed like a bottle episode, and it soars like the best on TV but as a big movie. The Hollywood trendy’s want to die and have invited their friends to join them in their fabulous home in the hills. It is more serious in tone than Jennifer’s Body was, but if you want to see cults done in a way that is close and personal this movie is for you. Instead of a village of murderers, this focuses on the impact that a few individuals can have on the people closest to them. Does the Dog Die.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015); The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an exciting spy film set during the Cold War that mostly flew under the radar when it was out in theaters. It has a stunning cast – Cavill and Hammer are gorgeous to look at and play their parts wonderfully, defying and aligning with their character archetypes at the times you most and least expect. Vikander kills any negative expectations and is picture perfect! The film is gorgeous, with Ritchie pulling off some of his best camera work, and the sets doing much of the support work. The villains highlight the kind of people we love to hate, beautiful and terrible, and there’s an unexpected twist at the end that could have tied to a promising sequel – had the audiences been up for it at the time. Funny, well-paced, with tight editing and really lovely characterization, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a good flick to watch when you want spies with a little more flair than the average Bond. Does the Dog Die.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle (2018); I (Thomas) have not yet read Shirley Jackson’s book of the same name (yet), so I cannot say with any certainty whether or not it sticks close to the source material. What I can say is that I like this movie. It felt like a creeping curse was seeping its way upwards from the earth into the movie, and as it grabbed hold it didn’t do it violently, it did it with a still oddness like a stare that holds for too long between two strangers. It smells of menace as the two girls and their uncle heal from a family tragedy where so many were poisoned with cyanide. These three live alone on their hill with their riches as the entire town hates them for their father, their hatred swells over time until it explodes one night during the movie. In this movie though, the primary figure that breaks through the POV character Merricats spells and sorceries is Charles. A cousin who seeks riches and a way to become the head of the Blackwood estates and their leftover fortunes. At times while watching this movie, I could have believed it if the twist ended up being that all of the characters were actually ghosts inhabiting the halls. This ends up not being true, but the halls are haunted by the lives they have led and the events they have participated in. If you liked the Haunting of Hill House mini series and are looking for more, it is not here or similar. This is a different thing altogether that I would recommend watching with hints of protection spells and curses in the earth, and the performances are good. It is on Netflix as of right now so check it out! Does the Dog Die.
Double Feature! Rich People and Satan (YES THEY SAY SATAN IN THE MOVIE).
Knives Out (2019) followed by Ready or Not (2019); Knives Out has been super popular since it hit the screens, star studded and surprising with Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, a detective contracted to investigate the death of a wealthy mystery book author, and the rest of the famous actors as despicable rich and privileged white people that deserve pretty much everything they get (except the author himself). The movie is remarkable in that it convinced many people to watch thinking those people were the heroes and protagonists of the story, when in fact Ana de Armas is the true focal point and carries it brilliantly, shining through the film as a heartfelt and loving character. The film tells you the truth of the mystery, which is a brave thing to do, and because of that, when the real twists happen, it’s a sucker punch and it hurts ten times as much. Full of sharp and witty cutting jokes, emotional moments between characters, and the real elements of a Sunday afternoon mystery, Knives Out is a real treat – and a big trick for the privileged characters within it.
This is why it pairs so well with Ready or Not, which digs in a lot deeper. Ready or Not focuses on the lead, Grace, played by Samara Weaving, who is getting married to a positive lump of a man from a very rich family all obsessed with the games their family makes and sells. It’s tradition in the family that on the wedding night they all play a game, based on some agreement to a Mr. Le Bail that an ancestor met while traveling years ago. There are many games, most just good fun, but the one – hide and seek – turns deadly should the bride (or groom) from the new family choose it from the random deck of cards. Grace, unfortunately, chooses that one – and mayhem ensues! I (Beau) loved this film because in spite of all the nonsense and all of the other characters basically being shitheels, Grace maintains a surprising level of agency and power, even to the cries of “Hail Satan!” And in the end, well, the rich, privileged jerks get theirs – & it all burns down.
Note from Thomas on the double feature: I really want to see a side by side podcast episode where people can listen along to the commentary of this set. Mark my words I will have a Blu-Ray for both on my shelves as soon as possible!