Movie Stream Cast 53: Preservation (2015)

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It is another death-defying edition of Horror Movie Stream Cast, when Josh is rejoined by the former host of this show in his creepiest incarnation, Jay of the Dead, to discuss the survival horror film, Preservation. The movie is streaming for a subscription on Netflix and for a $3.99 digital rental on other streaming platforms. You’ll also get a less pretentious list than normal when Jay gives you his Top 5 Survival Horror Films list.

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-Jay and Kyle Bishop talk “Man Eating Animals” on Horror Metropolis 
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98 thoughts on “Movie Stream Cast 53: Preservation (2015)

  1. Well…I watched PRESERVATION. I have to admit, I’m really disappointed. It just didn’t do much for me. It seemed like they had a very simple story idea and then then tried to stretch it out for ninety minutes. I couldn’t get behind any of the main characters. Both brothers came off as unlikable to me, especially the husband. The unlikability factor only increased once the outside forces came around and the main characters did so many stupid things. For a guy who used to be in the military, Sean sure doesn’t use common sense when danger is around.

    It seemed as if Jay’s favorite element of the movie and the reason why Josh upped his rating is because of the identity of the outside forces. For me, it had the opposite affect. We’ve seen that done plenty of times before, and in much better horrors, that it just further made me dislike the movie.

    The movie isn’t without it’s positives though. I liked the initial set-up. They had an interesting plot going on with the whole family dynamics, but once the outside forces came around, the family dynamics plot was thrown out of the window. Disappointing. I really liked the very last scene. The big question of, “What’s going to happen?” and it made me feel uneasy. So that was nice.

    BELOW CONTAINS SOME MILD SPOILERS FOR PRESERVATION

    —–

    I had mixed feelings on the revenge portion of the story. Initially, I was glad to see that the revenge wouldn’t be prompted by a graphic rape scene as it’s somewhat common in revenge films. Even though the rape scenes do increase my personal involvement in the subsequent revenge (Aww man, I’m like Mrs. Voorhees at the end of FRIDAY THE 13TH, only instead I’m yelling/cheering on the girl to torture and kill her rapists), but it can be pretty heavy to watch a rape scene in a movie and sometimes you just don’t want to watch something so dark. But here’s the problem with PRESERVATION – I wasn’t as into the revenge story as I normally am. Maybe it’s because I didn’t care for the main characters, that I found it difficult to care about revenge. I hate to say it, but maybe I would have cared more about the revenge had there been a rape scene. Something was missing from making me care about the revenge, whatever it was, and when your entire third act is dedicated to the revenge plot, that can really hurt your enjoyment of the film.

    END OF SPOILERS

    —–

    Overall, I’d probably just give PRESERVATION 4/10. Rent it if you like revenge stories, but otherwise, you can skip it.

    To add some positivity into this post, I will say I’m a big fan of the director’s, Christopher Denham, first film, HOME MOVIES (2008). It’s a freaky film and made me never want to have kids. I don’t know if either one of you have seen HOME MOVIES, but I greatly recommend it.

    • Yes, I really liked Home Movie and Jay liked it even more than me. As Juan mentions, Jay has reviewed it before and we touch on it briefly in the very next episode of HMP.

      I also didn’t care for the revenge aspect of Preservation, but I thought it was handled well. I was hoping we’d see these three people who are all uniquely skilled really turn the tables on their antagonists. I thought that would have been incredible and more fitting with their character archetypes. With all of their skills, it seems they’d really be able to lay waste to the antagonists. So, where it went as far as revenge was pretty disappointing to me. But, I thought the outside element really did add a lot once Jay got me thinking about it, though. Personally, I don’t think we’ve really seen anything like this before in a horror film. The only examples that come close for me are +++SPOILERS+++ Funny Games and Elephant. I suppose you could argue any film with a teen killer, but this has that school shooting vibe that most don’t. In fact, the comparison to the killers in Elephant was pretty haunting to me the more I thought about it.

  2. Not gonna lie, it’s always a treat waking up to a new episode from you guys. Y’all make make the most mundane part of my day, my commuting, the most entertaining.

    Moving on to the PRESERVATION. I actually really liked this. I was thinking like a 7, but now I’m curious about this ’90s
    event that made Josh appreciate the film on a different level. Could you guys post a link please?

    There is an aspect of the film that reminds me of IILS (THEM), a French home invasion movie that I love. If you guys have seen it I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. For me it’s a 9 and it’s a must see.

    I liked your top five list, Jay. I don’t think there was anything there that you should be embarrassed about. Out of the five films you recommend, I’ve only yet to see Buried. The rest I would score as follows:

    Cujo – 8
    The Descent – 9.5
    Open Water 2 – 6.5
    Open Water – 8

    On the topic of survival horror, would you say that many creature features are technically survival horror? If so, I’ll hold on to my top five survival horror list.

      • I thought about that too, but for some reason I had that placed in the early 2000s. The Columbine shooting happened in 1999, so maybe that’s why my timeline of events pushed it into the 2000s.

        • Yes, Columbine is what I was thinking of too, though Jay never actually said it. For me, it’s just the planning in any event like this. It’s so tragic and so creepy to me. You could compare it to the Dark Knight theater shooting as well. Or just a general school shooting vibe. Obviously, it’s not a retelling of any specific story, so it’s not a perfect fit, but it adds so much real-life weight to the film for me that I literally got chills when Jay said it and I had to bump it up.

          I forgot about Them. That’s a great comparison, you guys, and on our list for an upcoming Home Invasion episode.

          • Were the killers planning for their bloody day? Watching it, I got the impression that it was something they did on impulse. They saw some people in a secluded area and decided to have some fun. So a quick run to their house to get their gear and they were back. That feels a bit different from something like ILS or even ELEPHANT when it was something more carefully planned out.

            I don’t know what’s a scarier concept though. For those type of killers to sit down and plan out their horrible plots or for it to be a spur of the moment decision.

          • “But, I got the sense that this is their thing, that they do this all the time … or have wanted to for a long time.”

            I can buy the idea that they’ve thought about doing something like that for a long time, whether it was serious talk from all three or not.

            I can also see it as they began their little mayhem by just wanting to scare the brothers and the wife. Maybe not actually deciding that they’re out to try and kill any person until the first person fights back.

      • I didn’t sense strong Columbine vibes from watching the movie, but once it was over, I assumed that’s what Jay was talking about. There’s major aspects of the Columbine tragedy that doesn’t remind me at all about PRESERVATION though. You have that one main connection and that’s about it.

        I agree with Juan about IILS being great. My enjoyment of IILS made it harder for me to like PRESERVATION.

        Jay’s Top 5 Survival Horror Films list is one of the first times I found myself in agreement with him. BURIED greatly exceeded my expectations due to the fact that I wasn’t expecting someone like Ryan Reynolds to be able to carry that sort of story all on his own. I love OPEN WATER. It pains me to see that some people think the film is awful online. The whole idea of being trapped in the middle of the ocean with nearby sharks is terrifying. It actually reminds me a lot of the story that Quint tells in JAWS. OPEN WATER 2 wasn’t as good as the original, but it was fine. If there’s one thing that movie did even better than the first, it’s the frustration factor. At least in OPEN WATER, you couldn’t really do anything. You were in the middle of nowhere. For it’s sequel, the boat is LITERALLY right there! Yet, it’s too high up and slippery to actually get inside. Add in the fact that the baby is crying and you have a parent’s worst nightmare. THE DESCENT is already a classic in horror history for me. It may be my pick for #1 horror of the 2000’s. The plot works so well that you wouldn’t even need the outside forces coming into play and it would have still been a great drama. THE DESCENT is probably as close as any horror film in the 2000’s has got to 10/10. Now, DESCENT 2? Absolute trash. I haven’t seen CUJO in years, but I remember enjoying it. A big angry dog can be scary and like in OPEN WATER 2, you have the frustration factor of being in a means of escape, yet you can’t get the car to move.

        “On the topic of survival horror, would you say that many creature features are technically survival horror? If so, I’ll hold on to my top five survival horror list.”

        I think that as long as a large portion of the plot is devoted to the characters hanging out and trying to wait until either the opposing force leaves or help comes, it can be considered survival horror. Movies like OPEN WATER and ROGUE feels like examples of both.

        • “I think that as long as a large portion of the plot is devoted to the characters hanging out and trying to wait until either the opposing force leaves or help comes, it can be considered survival horror. Movies like OPEN WATER and ROGUE feels like examples of both.”

          Great because then my list can include my number one pick, TREMORS! Would you say it counts, Sal?

          • I’m ashamed to admit that I have never seen any of the TREMORS movies. By the looks of it, it seems like the type of movie I’d enjoy much more these days than I would have years ago when I was mostly just watching slashers.

          • Oh no! Erase that comment before you give Josh a heart attack haha. Dude, you’re missing out big time. It’s one of the greats in my book.

          • I’ll show you mine if you show me yours 😉

            My list is bound to draw criticism because I maybe using the term Survival Horror a little too loosely, so critics come forward and school me:

            1. Tremors
            2. Aliens
            3. Leviathan
            4. Deep Star Six
            5. Battle Royale

          • It’s a good list, Juan. I did not see the last two on your list coming at all, but they make sense. Battle Royale is a perfect, but a totally off-the-wall pick. Like Shannon, you kind of broke out of the box, here.

          • Josh, I don’t know about a top 5, but I can give you my top 3 Canadian auteurs:

            1. James Cameron
            2. David Cronenberg
            3. Denis Villeneuve

            Now, I’ll admit that I had to lookup “auteur” to know its exact meaning, and that’s what I went by for my list. That meaning, btw, is “a filmmaker whose individual style and complete control over all elements of production give a film its personal and unique stamp.”

            While my picks are certainly of the more mainstream variety, I think the definition of auteur certainly applies to all three of them.

        • Is Josh some big time fan of TREMORS or something? I’ve been listening to a ton of HMP’s over the last few months, but I can’t recall any TREMORS mentions unlike with Jay and his tendency of bringing up PET SEMATARY in nearly every podcast.

          • Yes! Jay and I both love Tremors with a passion. William Rowan Jr aka Kill Bill Kill does too. Jay also likes all the crappy sequels, which I cannot back him on, but I think the first film is about as good as comedy horror gets. The horror elements are pretty light, but there is a lot of suspense and dread and it is really funny. Plus, it’s just a great monster movie. Feels like a throw-back sci-fi creature feature, in a way. We may have never talked about it on HMP, but we used to talk about it on MPW all the time. There are two films among my favorites that Jay always champions and always forgets that I love as much (I want to say more in my heart) than him. The first is Tremors and the second is The Village. I cannot understand what it is about this film that allows Jay to give it the comedy-horror pass, but he does. In fact, he’s in favor of doing an HMP franchise review of the films.

          • With so much love for the first TREMORS, I may have to give it a watch, even if Jay’s love for the movie would normally make me suspicious. Ha

          • There is a lot of nostalgia at play with Tremors for me, Sal, but I think it holds up. Kevin Bacon and the monster really makes it work. I first saw Tremors in elementary school and I was scared to even set foot on my front lawn when we got home from the movie theater.

          • Watched TREMORS yesterday. Overall, I enjoyed it enough to be a bit interested in seeing the sequels. I do have some concerns since those films don’t have Kevin Bacon and Bacon played such a large role in me enjoying the film. There was a nice blend of a weird little tale with wacky characters while having some great scare scenes with the Graboids killing some of the residents. To keep it spoiler free, I’ll just say my favorite death was around the fifty-three minute mark where it was so much more intense than I would have expected a TREMORS movie to be due to the blood coming out of the resident’s nose as the victim is being eaten. That little blood coming out of the nose made all of the difference. I can see the movie being a fun enough ride to watch it again in future viewings. I’d give it a 7/10 and say it would have made for a hell of a weekend when I was a kid. Rent the VHS on Friday night and enjoy it with a bag of Doritos and some Mountain Dew.

            Currently listening to HMP #19 (The Siege Narrative) to hear Jay and Josh’s review of the movie.

        • I thought Jay’s list was great. I think he thought it would be controversial because he had both Open Water movies and the second one ranked higher. You’d have to ask him, though. I was completely shocked that Frozen wasn’t #1 because he always defends that movie violently.

          Has everyone here seen 127 Hours? It’s one of the all-time best survival films I’ve ever seen and it is largely one location, like Buried, but I think it is even better. This one is not horror at all, but I think it’s incredibly tense and very well done..

          • Yes 127 Hours is very good…As for Open Water…I liked the movie but for me there wasn’t much surviving in the movie…they were pretty much helpless the whole time…and there wasn’t really anything they could do in that situation…They were just sitting ducks slowly getting eaten alive…

          • That’s a great point, Shannon. They can’t really do much about their situation. I like the movies where they are struggling and using all of their resources to save themselves. I haven’t seen Open Water in awhile, but Jay has inspired me to watch Open Water 2, so maybe I’ll review them both.

          • 127 Hours is incredible. I knew to expect great things from Franco and Boyle, but I never thought the movie was going to hit me as hard as it did. One of my favorite films that year for sure.

  3. My top 10 surviva horrorl movies…
    1. The Mist
    2. The Descent
    3. Cube
    4. Dog Soldiers
    5. Rogue
    6. Black Water
    7. The Reef
    8. Splinter
    9. Feast
    !0. Demon Knight

        • I’m struggling with a top 5 survival horror list. My two favorite horror films of all-time – THE SHINING and ALIEN – could technically be classified as survival horror given the definition we’re using (trapped in a location that becomes more deadly as time passes), but I don’t really consider either of them survival horror.

          Hmmmm…

          As for J’s top 5, I also expected him to include FROZEN, as well as possibly adding Ben Ketai’s BENEATH.

        • For my list, I decided to exclude non-horror (or “fringe” horror) movies, so great survival entries like 127 HOURS, THE GREY, DELIVERANCE, and BURIED won’t appear. I also decided to exclude classic horror movies that “could” very well be defined as survival horror, but we don’t necessarily think of them as survival horror – movies like ALIEN, THE SHINING, THE THING, JAWS, DAWN OF THE DEAD, etc. That leaves me with movies that not only fit the survival horror “definition,” but ones that I also think of as survival horror. So, here it is…

          Dino’s Top 5 Survival Horror:

          1. THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006)
          2. THE DESCENT (2005)
          3. OPEN WATER (2003)
          4. WRONG TURN (2003)
          5. WOLF CREEK (2005)

          Others I considered:
          – CLOVERFIELD (2008)
          – [REC] (2007)
          – TURISTAS (2006)
          – THE RUINS (2008)
          – IN FEAR (2013)
          – THE STRANGERS (2008)
          – YOU’RE NEXT (2013)
          – INSIDE (2007)
          – THE COLLECTOR (2009)
          – SAW 2 (2005)
          – 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007)
          – AS ABOVE, SO BELOW (2014)
          – EXISTS (2014)
          – THE SACRAMENT (2014)
          – THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999)

          • Good list there, Dino. Interesting that all five were released within a few years of each other. I really loved all five of those except for WRONG TURN. It’s not to say WRONG TURN is bad, but it’s just the weakest of the pack for me. It’s grown on me some over the years, but I haven’t been able to shake off my original thoughts of, “It’s good, but there’s so many other mainstream horrors out that’s better.” That 2002-2003 period with 28 DAYS LATER, HOUSE OF A 1,000 CORPSES, THE RING, CABIN FEVER, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, FRAILTY, ect was a really great modern time period to be a horror fan. As a result, WRONG TURN wasn’t able to stand out as much for me as it would have in a weaker year.

            Out of your other considerations, the one that stands out to me the most is THE RUINS. I think what makes that film so scary is that unlike every other movie you mentioned, you’re screwed. You have the thing that’s actively going to kill you, the fearful force that will kill you if you try to leave, and the internal conflict amongst the group that if you’re not careful, will kill you. Every other movie you named seemed to have a way to survive, even if it’s highly unlikely, except for THE RUINS.

            I do need to still see EXISTS and INSIDE though.

          • Oh, man. I love Frailty, Sal.

            Solid list, Dino and I especially like the way you limited your picks.

            However, I also cannot believe that Wrong Turn made your list, but I’m far more incredulous than Sal. To be honest, I’ve only seen it once, but I remember it SUCKING. Like a D-level Devil’s Rejects or Texas Chainsaw. I suppose I will have to revisit it now.

            Been thinking a lot about The Ruins and Turistas lately, due to my location. Great picks. I consider home invasion films to e their own genre, so I’d exclude You’re Next, The Strangers, Inside, etc. I don’t think I’d include any of the Saw films. I wouldn’t have thought of 30 Days of Night or Blair Witch, but they are good picks, once I mulled them over.

            Exists and As Above So Below are excellent selections for my tastes.

            I’d say The Grey is less “borderline horror” and a more obvious horror flick pick to me than The Sacrament.

          • I think you should give WRONG TURN another chance, Josh. It reminds me of a low rent version of THE HILLS HAVE EYES, but considering those two main films (As opposed to the original sequel where a dog…A DOG has a flashback! and the remake sequel where you get such classic lines as, “Die, b*tch, die!” Ugh…) are so great, it’s not such a bad thing to be a poor man’s HILLS.

            Unlike some of those other main 2002-2003 movies, WRONG TURN felt more like a fun 80’s horror that ended up being a nice throwback.

            That being said, WRONG TURN 2 was horrendous to the point that I couldn’t even will myself to watch the subsequent sequels.

          • The thing I hate about my list the most is that I couldn’t include one of CLOVERFIELD or [REC], and THE RUINS or TURISTAS. I really wanted to work them in. I certainly “like” all four of them better than my 3-5, but the survival aspect of my 3-5 was more in the fore to me.

            Sal, definitely a good point about the state of horror in the early ’00s. WRONG TURN certainly paled in comparison to the films you mentioned, and I’m sure we could dig up even more from that period. Still, I kind of love that movie; it’s a definite guilty pleasure of mine. There’s just something about those Western Virginian backwoods mutants…

            Josh, I do think you’re being a little too rough on WRONG TURN, but I can also see exactly why you hated the movie so much. I’m not sure a revisit would change your mind.

            Also, I agree with you about the home invasion picks. The reason I didn’t include them on the list is because that’s the focus of the movie, not the survival element. That’s pretty much why the rest of my “others” didn’t make the cut – there was something else that served as the focus of the movie over the survival aspect.

  4. So, here are my Top 5 Survival Films. I decided to drop horror from the equation because I’m more in a mountaineering mood than monsters mode at the moment (damn, did you see that alliteration?).

    TOP 10 SURVIVAL FILMS
    1. 127 Hours
    2. Alive
    3. The Edge
    4. The Grey
    5. Lord of the Flies
    6. Rescue Dawn
    7. Kon-Tiki
    8. Gravity
    9. Buried
    10. The Way Back

    Honorable mentions: Open Water, All Is Lost

    • Great list, Josh! Now let me ask you this. Are the movies in order? If so, are you ranking them solely on the survival element? Because no way is The Grey (as much as I love it) that much better than Gravity.

      • They are in order, but you are right, they are in order in terms of survival films, not general cinema. When I think about SURVIVOR, no wait, when I think about SURVIVAL, I think The Grey before I think Gravity. Maybe the circumstances are just more relatable to me. Gravity, though terrifying in many ways, seems almost like a fantasy film to me compared to, say, The Edge, or stories like 127 Hours and Alive, which actually happened.

        • Well, it is a made up story, but it’s also a very real scenario. In terms of survival, I can see why anyone would go for The Grey and The Edge. They’re great movies all around, not just good survival movies. But neither of those two films had as much tension and suspense as Gravity. At least for me they didn’t. But hey, you can’t go wrong with any of the movies in that list.

          • I’m not dissing Gravity. I think I gave it a 10. I own it. It’s on my list here, I’m just saying, as scary as space is, it feels almost theoretical because it is so alien to me.

            On the other hand, I’ve been there in the cold, in the snow, with wild animals, trying to light a match, but your fingers are too cold. I just eat that stuff up.

    • By the way, which Lord of the Flies movie are you talking about? The 1963 British film or the 1990 American film? I’ve only seen the latter and I like it a lot. It scared the crap out of me as a kid. The scene where they drop the boulder onto the chubby kid still gives me nightmares. Oh and the scene where they stab the kid at night with their spears. Damn :/

      • You know, I’ve never seen the 1963 version. I need to correct that. Thanks for this. Love, love, love the book. Along with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, it’s one of the first novels I read that got me interesting in reading.

    • I like this list, Josh, and I like how you ordered it based on the “survival” aspect as opposed to the quality of the film. I think that’s the better way to assemble these targeted lists.

      Now, I know this is a genre-neutral podcast, but what would your five favorite survival HORROR films be?

      • I wasn’t avoiding the question due to the horror aspect, it’s just that all of the survival movies that get me excited are either borderline horror or technically horror-free. In fact, two others that I’ve been thinking about all week (that aren’t really the greatest films, but are fun) are two Kevin Bacon survival thrillers where he plays a creepy river guide: White Water Summer (1987) and The River Wild (1994). Those are both big, dumb guilty pleasures for me.

        So, survival horror … I’m going to be boring with some classics and obvious choices at this point:

        1. The Thing
        2. Jaws
        3. Tremors
        4. The Grey
        5. Open Water

        And I could easily add Wolf Creek or Rec if I was making a Top 10. I am also really warming to The Ruins, Turistas, and As Above So Below (even Preservation!!!) as time passes and could see them on a Top 10. Based on your comments below, I need to check out The Hike right away. Also really interested in Open Water 2, the more I think about it.

        • Josh, re: THE HIKE… just to be clear, I actually prefer PRESERVATION to THE HIKE. The latter is the more brutal film of the two, but I’m not sure that’s necessarily a compliment. Where PRESERVATION veers into slasher territory, THE HIKE actually borders on torture porn at parts. In fact, I’m not entirely sure you’ll like it at all.

      • I’ve never really been a fan Deliverance. That’s one I “appreciate” by the Jay of the Dead definition rather than actually enjoy. In fact, although I own it, I can’t think of any instance that I’d ever pop it in of my own volition just to watch.

  5. I agree with your entire list Josh and I would also say I liked Into the Wild…The Road…and Castaway…and if you haven’t read it…you should read Stephen King’s short story “Survivor Type” from The Skeleton Crew book…I guy gets marooned on a tiny island with a bunch of herion and lets just say…auto cannibalism occurs and yeah enogh said…Can’t believe this hasn’t been made into a movie yet…

    • Oooh, I’m buying The Skeleton Crew right now. Thanks for the recommendation.

      I love The Road and considered it, but I decided to go with straight survival films without the post-apocalyptic angle.

      I like aspects of Into the Wild, but it mostly bugs me because I can’t believe how much that guy is lionized. He only died because he is a moron.

      I need to give Castaway another chance. I only saw it once in theaters and I wasn’t a fan, but that was quite awhile ago.

      • The Skeleton Crew also contains the short stories for The Mist and The Raft (Part of CREEPSHOW 2). I know people tend to love THE MIST, but I prefer both short stories compared to their film adaptions. I seem to recall The Raft being far better than the film version. I’ll have to find my copy of the book to read Survivor Type.

  6. Speaking of Jay giving Tremors a pass on the comedy, when are we getting that horror-comedy episode? I’m dying to hear you battle Jay on why horror-comedy just works!

    • Sadly, it’s going to be awhile. Jay is editing this crazy found footage episode we just did. It was ALL OVER the place. I feel really bad for him. It was kind of a cluster, but should be a fun listen. We are trying to get the Scream franchise review in the can before Kyle starts teaching Fall semester. We have the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise review to prep for October. Jay is doing a follow-up Jason Blum episode, along with a review of The Gift. We are doing a Witch Hunter episode in conjunction with the releases of the Sundance film The Witch and the Vin Deisel Last Witch Hunter movie. We have the next At Your Mercy episode with the listener picks. And we will probably just have a bunch of Frankenstein episodes peppered-in-between all of that. We’re pretty booked-up for the foreseeable future.

      • #damnson

        Wow! You guys are quite the busy bees. I’m looking forward to everything you mentioned although I’m particularly interested in your NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchise review and your second entry in the now infamous AT YOUR MERCY episodes. Not gonna lie, I’m a huge Freddy fan. I love Friday the 13th and Halloween, but growing up, Freddy was my jam.

        You know, The Gift has been getting great reviews. The trailer didn’t get me too excited, but I think I’m going to catch it this weekend now.

          • The theater experience is basically the same. A few years ago there were still old little theaters, but now all of the movie theaters are in modern malls. Most of them are run by a big chain called Cine Colombia, which is perfectly fine, but not quite as good as most American theaters. However, there happens to be a Cinemark here in Medellin, which is where I watch movies when I’m home in Utah, so I’ve been very comfortable and at home for most of my movie experiences. I have only seen a few movies in the theater here, though. I saw Jurassic World twice, Ant-Man, and Mission Impossible. They don’t have any of the smaller films I’ve wanted to see so far. They got The Gallows a week late, but I kind if lost my interest in paying an arm and a keg to see it after Jay’s review. I’ll catch it streaming. My wife and I also went to a really small screening at a Cine-Pub in Cartagena, when they had some indie movies playing every week. The movie theater treats were a bit of a disappointment (until I found Cinemark). Movie popcorn is one of my favorite things on the planet and they don’t have the same butter here, the salt tastes weird, etc. The worst things about Colombia are always when I’m trying to chase an American experience. It’s best when I just embrace the local approach.

          • I will be heading back to the United States the day before elementary school starts for my daughter, but I’m not exactly sure at the moment. One day at a time, Dino. One day at a time …

          • I’ll save my more detailed thoughts on THE GIFT whenever HMP or one of it’s sister sites covers it, but I’ll just say I really enjoyed it. Even though it wasn’t horror, it gave us something different from what Blumhouse’s norm. Good plot, some creepiness, and a lot of going back and forth with questions. I’d give it 8/10 and it’s worth checking out in the theater.*

            *Unless you’re in Colombia and the movie isn’t being shown. In which case, no fun for you. :(

            • As long as you dig thriller/dramas, you should really enjoy it, Dino. It reminds me a bit of something like PACIFIC HEIGHTS, which is one of my favorite non-horror, but scary films of the 80’s-90’s.

          • Sal, I caught THE GIFT yesterday. I’m right in around where you seem to be on it. It’s a solid movie with a payoff that’s much more twisted than I expected. I enjoyed it, and initially put it in the 7.5 or 8 range.

            Juan, have you seen it yet?

            • What I really loved about the ending is (There aren’t any actual spoilers here) that the suspense was so high that I didn’t know what was going to happen. There was a bunch of possible outcomes and potential twists that may or may not pan out. So THE GIFT isn’t a movie where you know how the movie is going to end and you’re just along for the fun ride. Instead, you’re paying close attention in those final ten minutes because you can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen and what really happened.

            • I have not had a chance to watch a lot of stuff, bro. I really want to catch a few movies at the theater this weekend but… I have the first season of True Detective sitting on my desk right now…

              #priorities

  7. Great list Juan…I love Battle Royale…I knew about it but hadn’t seen it until I bought the blu ray and that movie is the definition of a survival movie…My family and I are also huge Tremors fans…I own all the movies and the television series and my daughter has watched them all I don’t know how many times…

  8. Here is my top 5 horror comedies…I had a difficult time with this because I want it to be true comedy and not because the movie is so absurd and over the top that it is ridiculous…ok here it goes..
    1. Shaun of the Dead
    2. Army of Darkness
    3. Zombieland
    4. What We Do in the Shadows
    5. Idle Hands

    • Got to say, I’m surprised by the recency of your list, what with Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, and especially the brand new What We Do in the Shadows. Glad you enjoyed that one. Idle Hands is also a unique choice. It is under-appreciated film. It is far more entertaining that it has any right to be. I expected more 80s schlock, Shannon, with only Army of Darkness approaching that realm. I like all of these movies, though, and love some of them. So glad you rightly put Shaun of the Dead above Zombieland. Always bugs me when someone has those flipped. I also wanted to see Tremors on here, but glad to hear that you and the family enjoy them so much. So, what is your take on the sequels and the TV show?

      • Even though I prefer Shaun of the Dead over Zombieland, I don’t mind that people prefer the latter. I don’t understand why it bugs you so much, Josh. They’re both very high quality zombie films and even though one is superior, the other is not that far behind. I just don’t see that big of a gap. Please elaborate.

  9. So, PRESERVATION was sort of a mixed bag for me. Overall, I liked the movie well-enough, but there was something about it that kept me at an arm’s distance. I couldn’t really put my finger on what that was, but I think your conversation may have helped me pin it down.

    Before I get to that, though, I wanted to start with some of the positives of the movie for me. I really enjoyed the general premise of the film: three people, including two city slickers, who venture off the beaten path for a weekend hunting trip only to find that they are the ones being hunted. I really liked the dynamic between the two brothers, how they once were close but have sort of drifted apart as their lives went in two different directions. I liked the underlying distrust that grew between them as the movie progressed, and the head fake the movie throws over one of them.

    *****SPOILERS FOR PRESERVATION*****

    I really liked the killers in the movie. Everything about them, from their character design and preferred mode of transportation, to the ultimate revelation of who they are. Like JOTD, I definitely got a Columbine vibe from it. I also agree that the de-masking of the killer in this really added a lot for me. It actually blew my mind a little, and came to a head towards the end when the last remaining killer gets a phone call from his mother. Really great stuff.

    *****END OF SPOILERS FOR PRESERVATION*****

    Wrapping up the positives, I thought the movie was well-made for a low-budget indie flick, and the performances were fairly solid (although, I wasn’t a huge fan of Mike). I appreciated the pacing of the film, which I think helped to make it a fun watch from beginning to end. I also really liked the original score by Alexis & Sam – it was very atmospheric, conjuring images of country wilderness with a touch of THE EXORCIST in the opening credits sequence. Speaking of that opening credits sequence, I liked how the film begins with the camera following closely behind their SUV as if it’s stalking and watching them, setting up the whole premise of the movie.

    So, there is a lot of good in this film that I thought worked well. For some reason, though, it didn’t quite sit well with me overall. There was something keeping me from really embracing the movie the way JOTD did, and I think it had to do with the film’s progression from survival horror, to slasher, to revenge flick that you guys discussed on the show. Now, I’m a fan of all three sub-genres, but I feel like the tone of the film was all over the place with these jumps. This tonal imbalance really threw me off and stops it short of being an excellent film to me. Personally, I would have preferred to eliminate (or seriously shorten) the revenge portion of the movie. I think it would have been better off sticking primarily to a survival tale with slasher elements (namely, the killers).

    Overall, I still had fun with this movie and think it’s worth a watch. It’s a 6.5/10 for me, and I say stream it.

    • Also, J mentioned THE HIKE (2011) as a similar movie to PRESERVATION. I agree that the films are generally similar in premise, but I feel like PRESERVATION is like the Disney version of THE HIKE. There’s certainly a lot of blood in PRESERVATION, but THE HIKE… man, that’s a seriously brutal film.

    • I agree that the film would have likely been better had they stuck to being mostly survival. As Josh said, there was some interest there due to the background of the brothers. How would they respond to being stalked and what sort of methods would they come up with to out think and hunt the killers? Instead, we get something entirely different. Shame.

      *****SPOILERS FOR PRESERVATION*****

      I have to ask this now since I got the feeling this was true with Jay, Josh and now you, Dino. Before the unmasking, were you guys aware that the killers were teens? It sounds like you three didn’t know until they were unmasked. If that’s true, maybe that’s part of why I was underwhelmed by the movie. From very early on, I picked up on the fact that they were teens. As a result, when they removed their masks, it didn’t come as a shock. If the unmasking is what revealed the fact that they were teens to you, how much do you think that surprise influenced your overall rating?

      • Sal, honestly, I didn’t realize the killers were *** until the unmasking. Though, in hindsight, the clues were certainly there (i.e. their preferred mode of transportation, among others).

        I can see how knowing this beforehand would deflate the reveal, but I still think it would have worked for me.

  10. Boy, I’m late to the party on this one. There’s no way I can catch up with all these crazy lists and comments but I’ll just be honest and say that when I think of “Survival Horror” I don’t usually get particularly excited. I was thinking that it’s not that big of a genre for me due to the more realist approach but seeing “Lord of the Flies” brought up made me realise that my real problem with the sub genre is that so many of the films are just totally one note in my opinion. “Lord of the Flies” broached this point because that’s a survival tale that I actually adore (book and both movie versions) but that stands apart from so many other similar stories because it is the exact opposite of one-note, it’s utterly full of brilliant subtext and allegory. The rotting pigs head that’s at the centre of the story is a stroke of genius. Not only does it represent the gradual decay of decency and order but it can be seen as a visual metaphor for the dark, violent side of human nature; the devil residing in us all, as it’s namesake suggests. Conversely I find a lot of lesser survival narratives pretty bland although ultimately it depends on execution. Something like “Open Water” just doesn’t do it for me though. Not because it’s “just people in the water for 2 hours” or whatever but because it just feels unimaginative and flat. I get that actually being in that situation would be horrifying. But having an operation on my balls would be horrifying and I don’t want to see a movie about that.

  11. Just watched Preservation. It was ok. I wish Pablo Shrieber had a bigger role in it. He’s a tremendously fun actor to watch in Orange is the New Black and Weeds. I also had a hard time with the girl’s motivation for even going on this trip. She’s a vegan but still make a half attempt at shooting a deer. And the song they sing at the beginning that has a callback later on I’d assume was fair use for public domain? Even at the start of the movie it seemed out of place and lame. I had a lot of other problems with small things but don’t want to talk about them here in case someone hasn’t seen the movie.

  12. Pingback: Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 149: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) and the Mission: Impossible Franchise |

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