I can honestly say you have never seen a film like Sator before. More than that, you’ve never heard a story behind a film crazier than that of Sator as well. Sator represents a 7-year journey for Jordan Graham, who did literally everything on this film. He is credited as the writer, director, producer, editor, cinematographer, and even did the music for the film. The long journey was mainly a result of the titular entity who has haunted Graham’s family since the 1960s. His real-life grandmother, the late June Peterson, randomly discussed her “automatic writing” in which the being Sator speaks through her, and this caused Graham to rewrite his film into a darker and more atmospheric horror. Available on VOD now on Prime, VUDU, and Apple TV, Sator is one of the most unique film-viewing experiences you will have and a damn effective horror film even without knowing any of the crazy backstory. I had a chance to speak with Graham about the film, his family’s history with Sator, and more.
Climate of the Hunter is a new twist on the vampire subgenre of horror. Combining arthouse flair, ‘70s vampire mythos, dark humor, and psychological family drama, it was one of my favorites of the year. The film stars Ginger Gilmartin and Mary Buss as sisters Alma and Elizabeth, who begin to compete for the affections of Wesley (Ben Hall), a man from their past who returns to the secluded wooded community they live in.
The film received a limited theatrical run in December and will be available for streaming on January 12, 2021. Director and co-writer Mickey Reece has made over 25 films in the last decade and I got a chance to speak with him about his unique new film and his style of filmmaking.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and quarantine has the potential to suffocate those who crave conversation and discussion, especially about pop culture and movies. Ex-New Yorker and current Texan Peter Marsh felt that strain and used his time off to create his own YouTube channel, AnchorPete, in which he does movie and book reviews and interviews with genre authors. Through a mutual friend, he contacted Chris D’Onofrio and me to do a horror podcast focusing on our favorite director, Mike Flanagan. After two successful shows on his channel, the three of us have created The Lasser Cast, a new channel and horror review video podcast now on YouTube.
The Dinner Party DVD | Digital
Directed by Miles Doleac
Written by Miles Doleac & Michael Donovan Horn
Starring Bill Sage, Lindsay Anne Williams, Jeremy London, Mike Mayhall, Alli Hart, Sawandhi Wilson, Ritchie Montgomery
Studio: Uncork’d Entertainment
Not Rated | Run Time: 115 minutes
Release date: June 9, 2020 (Digital/On Demand/DVD)
Plenty of horror movies in recent memory have used the “dinner party” as a plot device to mixed results, and Miles Doleac’s The Dinner Party does bear some resemblance to contemporary horror films like The Invitation and Would You Rather, but that’s only in the set up. After that the film follows with a beautifully shot, super gory, cannibal cult movie with a highly intellectual script, great soundtrack, and slick sense of humor.
Jeff (Mike Mayhall) and his wife Haley (Alli Hart) arrive at a beautiful mansion for the titular event, Jeff hoping to get his latest play produced by their wealthy hosts. Jeff wants things to go perfectly and that means Haley better behave. It’s clear from the onset Jeff is psychologically abusive, and we learn through a series of flashbacks that Haley has a very dark and troublesome past. They are greeted at the door by the obnoxiously playful Sebastian (Sawandhi Wilson) and we soon meet the dinner table of guests including Sadie (Lindsay Anne Williams), Carmine (Bill Sage), who is both a doctor and chef, famous author Agatha (Kamille McGuin), and Vincent (Doleac).
Overall I thought 2019 was a great year for film all around and horror did not disappoint. There was great horror everywhere you looked in 2019. Mainstream horror hit the theaters and the indie horror scene continued to grow and improve. The streaming world made amazing contributions to horror with Netflix producing several great movies and Shudder continuing to dominate the genre with their Shudder Exclusives and foreign imports. And I need to shout out Hulu and Blumhouse for their spectacular Into the Dark series, in which the streaming service puts out a new seasonal horror film every month. So let’s jump in and see which horror films made the cut…