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Retake: Horror Debuts

Series: Director:

This series is over. We’ve covered Messiah of Evil, Goodnight Mommy, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, The Babadook, The Lure, Saint Maud, and Relic. So what did we think of these horror debuts? And what did we think about their directors?

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We’re done talking about the movies. Now let’s talk about the series.

We have come to the end of our Horror Debuts series, exploring six films and one extra as our September 2021 Member Bonus Episode. All told, we looked at Messiah of Evil, Goodnight Mommy, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, The Babadook, The Lure, Saint Maud, and Relic. Each director (or pair of directors as the case may be) brings a unique vision to their story, and perhaps the fact that they chose the horror genre as the place to start their feature film career is telling as it allows for a lot of play. So what did we – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – think about not just the films but the series as a whole? How do these films stand up to other horror films of the past and of this last decade? Why these shifts in the types of horror films getting made? We dig in to horror films in general and these films specifically in our Horror Debuts Retake.

Here’s a hint at what we talk about.

How accurate were our original star ratings from when we had our initial conversations as compared to now? Pete found that Goodnight Mommy hasn’t held up over time and demoted it whereas Andy largely still connects with The Babadook the least. Relic tops both of our lists though.

Horror films have evolved over the years and decades. It’s great seeing so many strong female voices rising in the ranks as directors over the last few decades. We would’ve liked to have had more woman-directed horror debuts on this list but found few before the turn of the century. Messiah of Evil is a fun one to include, but even that was co-directed (and still had Gloria Katz uncredited for her role in directing, likely because of DGA policies).

But is there anything to the fact that these films have horror elements but aren’t straight-up horror films? Or that they’re incorporating metaphorical elements much more strongly than we’ve seen recently? Horror films have shifted each decade, so this tone definitely seems to fit the overall vibe of horror in the 2010s, but is any of that coming from the larger group of female directors?

We finally rank all of the films on Flickchart. It’s becoming more and more clear to us that our middle block is throwing too many films we really like into the bottom half. Regardless, it’s an interesting order that mostly reflects our positions on the films, even if not 100% accurate.

All in all, it was a thrilling series and a great addition to our 11th season. Next up – as a way to celebrate our tenth anniversary coming up on November 11th, we’re looking at 10 films that are also celebrating their Tenth Anniversaries! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

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Film Sundries

Listen to Each of the Episodes:
Messiah of Evil
Goodnight Mommy
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
The Babadook
The Lure
Saint Maud
Relic

This is a member bonus episode.

We’d love it if you became a member to support our show, but you’d love it because of everything you get. We have monthly member bonus episodes that only members can access. You also get monthly Flickchart re-ranking episodes, access to members-only Discord channels, and early releases for every episode. We have a special episode we release at the end of each series called Retake during which we break down our overall thoughts of the entire season. Plus, you get to vote on the movies we discuss in our members only episodes as well as the movie lists we discuss on the Saturday Matinée podcast! What can we say? It pays to be a member. Learn more about supporting The Next Reel Film Podcast through your own membership — visit TruStory FM.

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