Sean Whalen

Monster Reviews: Ugly Sweater Party 2018

Monster Reviews: Ugly Sweater Party 2018

Ugly Sweater Party is a 2018 Christmas themed horror film, written and directed by Aaron Mento. It stars Felissa Rose, Sean Whalen, Charles Chudabala, Hunter Johnson, Kevin Caliber, Berna Roberts, Lara Jean, Jennifer Nangle and Gregory Blair.

All hell breaks loose at an ugly sweater party when one of the party goers becomes possessed by an evil ugly Christmas sweater. This film is crass, vulgar and straight up sick. It’s everything a Christmas horror film should be. It’s like a live version of A Charlie Brown Christmas, on Acid.

Never has there been a Christmas film more appalling or ridiculous, than Ugly Sweater Party. It’s a disgusting, hilarious, one of a kind film that definitely doesn’t hold back. The film starts off strange and gets even weirder with each passing minute. Upon first hearing about this film, you’re inclined to think it’s about a house party equipped with an ugly sweater theme. However, that was not the case at all. It’s mainly based at an outdoor camping lodge and is not the usual “party” one would expect.

Ugly Sweater Party is a completely insane ride. There are plenty of hiccups and mistakes throughout the film and at times you’re left wondering what the hell you’re even watching. However, it does a stellar job at holding one’s attention, despite the lack of understanding what is actually going on. One of the problems with this film, is the lack thereof when it comes to the Christmas theme. Aside from the aforementioned Ugly Sweaters and a few sparse lights and decorations that appear to be homemade, there’s not much else tying the film to the holiday. There’s also a metal band thrown in, which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. It was if they needed some filler and decided to add a musical scene which does not bode well with the rest of the movie. Another part of contention is with the ugly sweaters used in the film. While they were indeed Ugly, they are not a version the majority of people are used to seeing. In fact, a few of the cast weren’t even wearing actual sweaters in the film. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense, being that is the main allure and plot of the film.

Ugly Sweater a Party is extremely bloody and offensive, and there are some seriously brutal kill scenes that warm the heart. The blood and gore are pretty much the best thing about the entire film. The camerawork and editing were beautifully executed, which added to the enjoyment of the watch, and the soundtrack contributed to the overall fun factor. The casting was one of the best things about the film. With some experienced horror veterans/icons attached, it gave the film more credence and instantly garnered a secured fan base. And they managed to land a few big names to add to their talented cast. The independent acting was phenomenal. The legendary slasher icon, actress Felissa Rose, was brilliant as Mrs. Mandix (the wife and co-owner of Camp Mandix). She was absolutely perfect in that role. Another great performance came from the legendary horror actor, Sean Whalen, as Declan Rains. Whalen’s character is the deceased serial killer whose spirit possesses the ugly Christmas sweater, causing anyone who dons the sweater to murder and kill anything in their path. Whalen was creepy as hell and gave yet another worthy horror performance.

The main duo of Charles Chudabala and Hunter Johnson, who played Cliff and Jody, paired great together. They seem to have a realistic friendship and did a fantastic job as best friends and roommates. Their brotherhood shown through clearly and they were one of the best things about the film. Overall I give the film 1 out of 3 scratches for its high entertainment value and insane overall concept. So, If you’re searching for some new horror to add to your holiday watch list, Ugly Sweater Party is the perfect addition. It’s definitely not for everyone and will surely make some people sick. However, for those of us who can stomach the insanity of this film, it’s the just present we’ve been waiting for.


Posted by Donovan Smith in HORROR NEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, SATANIC/DEMONIC, STAFF PICKS, THRILLER, 0 comments
Death House Announces DVD Release Date

Death House Announces DVD Release Date

This morning, co-writer (along with the late Gunnar Hansen) and director B. Harrison Smith, gave the news that fans have been anticipating. Death House finally has a release date for DVD. The DVD drops December 11, 2018Cleopatra Entertainment, will announce the VOD release on another date.

Released in select theaters this past winter, fans have been on edge waiting for this announcement. The film tells the tale of Agents Novak and Boone and their virtual tour of Death House, an experimental prison. The film stars Kane Hodder, Felissa Rose, Dee Wallace, Sean Whalen, Sid Haig and many more horror icons. I reviewed Death House in February.

Death House (2017) / Harrison Smith

The VOD release date is slated to drop before December, but that is also the norm for many films. Cleopatra Entertainment is expected to issue a press release in the next few days. Keep watching House of Tortured Souls for information on this. While December 11th cannot come soon enough, we are however excited we have the release date for at least the DVD and fans have begun the countdown!Death House (2017) / Harrison Smith

Pre-order from AMAZON here!

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
DREW BARRYMORE: From Child Star to Cannibalistic Leading Lady

DREW BARRYMORE: From Child Star to Cannibalistic Leading Lady

Drew Barrymore with General from Cat's EyeDrew Barrymore has spent her life in front of the camera in a variety of roles but is especially known with genre fans in recent times for her portrayal of Sheila Hammond in two series the Netflix show The Santa Clarita Diet.

Barrymore’s first role was uncredited in a made for television movie Suddenly, Love in 1978 (when she was merely two years old and played a baby boy named Bobby).

Drew BarrymoreIt wouldn’t be until two more years late, in 1980, that Drew would play Margaret Jessup in Altered States, which was also the debut film for William Hurt. Altered States reflected a disturbingly surreal element of humanity and was more psychological than horrifying.

A year later Barrymore hit the big time, starring as the adorably lovable Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s E.T -The Extra-Terrestrial. E.T. was a huge success and grossed nearly half a billion dollars at the box office and was the highest-grossing film of 1982, cementing Barrymore as quite an in-demand child star.

Drew Barrymore in FirestarterIn 1984 Barrymore scored the coveted role of Charlene “Charlie” McGee in the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Firestarter, playing the film’s pyrokinetic lead. Starring alongside industry heavyweights George. C. Scott and Martin Sheen, Barrymore dominated her screen time and delivered a powerful performance of a young girl driven by her love for her father.

A year later Barrymore would star in yet another Stephen King adaptation, in the anthology film Cat’s Eye. King reportedly wrote the screenplay with Barrymore in mind for the role as she had impressed producer Dino De Laurentiis with her work a year earlier on Firestarter.

Drew BarrymoreThrough the rest of the 80s, Barrymore played parts in shows such as Amazing Stories, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, and CBS Schoolbreak Special. It wasn’t until 1989 when Barrymore was 14 that she returned to genre films with the serial killer thriller Far From Home, as Joleen  Cox. The film was a flop, despite the fact it featured some horror alumni such as Richard Massur (IT), Jennifer Tilly (Bride Of Chucky), and Matt Frewer (The Stand).

This seemed like a decline in Barrymore’s career until three years later when she would star in the seductive 1992 Katt Shea thriller Poison Ivy. As Ivy, Barrymore befriends Sylvie Cooper (played by Sarah Gilbert) and seduces Sylvie’s father Darryl (Tom Skerritt). Barrymore delivered a sultry and fragile performance as the film titles vixen and regained her hold on Hollywood, yet again being seen as a talented actress.

Drew BarrymoreFollowing the success of Poison Ivy (which would spawn three sequels since), Barrymore appeared in Waxwork II: Lost in Time, Sketch Artist, Guncrazy, and No Place To Hide in 1992.

In 1993 Doppelganger was released. Barrymore played Holly Gooding, a young woman with a strange double. It wasn’t as successful as hoped, but has since become popular with fans.

Later that year Barrymore would play Long Island teenager Amy Fisher, in The Amy Fisher Story – based on the true story of a teenager who shot her adult lover Joey Buttafuoco’s wife. The film was well received at the time, and Barrymore praised for her portrayal of the wayward teen and the crime that shocked the world.

For the following years, Barrymore took more romantic roles and in 1995 even appeared as Sugar in Batman Forever, one of the villain Two-Face’s (played by Tommy Lee Jones) girlfriends.

However in 1996 came a pivotal moment in Barrymore’s career, taking on a role as a victim called Casey Becker rather than the lead she was originally offered. In Wes Craven’s/David Williamson’s Scream, Barrymore’s role became as infamous as Janet Leigh’s in Hitchcock’s Psycho 36 years earlier and has since been part of one of Horror’s most memorable on-screen deaths for over two decades since.

Drew Barrymore in ScreamFrom Scream, Barrymore took more light-hearted roles – for which her fans adore her- in films such as The Wedding Singer, Ever After, and Home Fries.

It was in 1999 that Barrymore launched her production company Flower Films and their first film Never Been Kissed (which reunited her with former Doppelganger co-star Sean Whalen – known as Roach from The People Under the Stairs – and Scream co-star David Arquette) was released.

Drew BarrymoreIn 2001 she returned to the genre in Donnie Darko as Karen Pomeroy. The sci-fi/thriller film still has fans divided to this day over the interpretation of what it means.

Following commercial success with the Charlie’s Angels film reboots and a dramatic role in Driving in Cars With Boys, Barrymore has built her career for the last decade primarily in producing films and starring in romantic and dramatic roles.

Drew BarrymoreIn 2017 Netflix released the first series of The Santa Clarita Diet. The show is a horror comedy, about the strange death of Sheila Hammond. However Sheila isn’t quite dead, she’s undead and has a hankering for human flesh. It is up to her husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant), daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) and their young neighbor Eric (Skyler Gisondo) to help figure out how Sheila became what she now is and try and change her back to normal.

The show has run for two seasons already and confirmation for series three has been announced. Fans are enjoying the dark humor and balance between the comedy itself and grotesque gore. It has been an enjoyable and hilarious show to watch and personally a great reintroduction to genre fans for Barrymore’s skills as a comedienne and her abilities within the genre.

Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant in Santa Clarita Diet

Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments