Maika Monroe’s Jay screams at an entity only she can see in It Follows!

The past decade was a very good time for horror fans as there was quite a resurgence of the popularity of fright flicks and thus more movies produced. This and the emergence of some new indie studios and distributors, like A24 and IFC Midnight, as well as, new crowd funding methods to get filmmaker’s films financed, especially impacted independently produced horror. To illustrate this delightful proliferation, here are ten indie horror flicks, each representing the year they were released, that prove the 2010s was the decade of indie horror!

Teen Leah (Nicole Muñoz) unleashes something she can’t control in Pyewacket!


(To get to the reviews of the titles listed that were covered here at the Movie Madhouse, just type the title in the search engine to find the corresponding critique!)

-MonsterZero NJ





The new film from The Witch director Robert Eggers has got a trailer. The Lighthouse stars Willem Dafoe and new Batman Robert Pattinson and opens in limited release 10/18/2019 after playing festivals earlier this year. The release will expand in the following weeks. The film was written by Eggers and his brother Max.

-MonsterZero NJ


source: Youtube



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It’s Halloween🎃!…and as it has become tradition, it’s time to announce MonsterZero NJ’s Halloween Hottie of the Year!…
…and our Halloween Hottie of 2017 is the beautiful and very talented Jessica Rothe, who earns this title with her sassy performance in the hit slasher Happy Death Day. Rothe plays smart-ass sorority girl Theresa Gelbman, who is having the worst birthday possible. Someone is trying to kill her…and does, over and over again. Theresa is caught in a Groundhog Day style loop where she keeps waking up on the same morning, repeating the day leading up to her death. The only way this spirited girl can break the chain is by finding out who wants to kill her and stopping them. As Theresa sets out to solve and prevent her own murder, she transforms from snotty mean girl to feisty final girl and we are along for the ride! The Denver, Colorado born actress handles the role like a boss and gives us a smart, sexy heroine to root for, whose sarcastic sense of humor is as kick-ass as she is!

(Click on the highlighted links or on the movie poster to read a review of the hit horror flick that stars  Halloween Hottie of 2017, Jessica Rothe!)


Jessica Rothe as feisty final girl, Theresa Gelbman!

Jessica’s versatility is on display here as Happy Death Day is a suspense thriller not without some very funny moments and intense action. We’d love to see her back in final girl duties, but she proves that she could probably play in any genre and play it well! So, who knows where we’ll see this charming actress next.



This year was so close that it’s more like a co-winner than a runner up. Anya Taylor-Joy first got our attention in the acclaimed The Witch last year and then again this year in M. Night Shyamalan’s intense and creepy hit thriller Split. In this chilling tale, Anya plays Casey, a young woman who is kidnapped with two other girls by Kevin Wendell Crumb (a brilliant James McAvoy), a man with twenty-three separate personalities who is about to be unleash a horrifying twenty-fourth. Casey must use her own inner pain to strengthen her and find a way to escape her increasingly dangerous captor. Taylor-Joy shows once again that she is star in the making and a very versatile actress.

This year was a tough choice. Both these ladies were great in their roles and really brought it as final girls. If Rothe edged out the win, it was only because of the sheer energy, attitude and sassy sex appeal she brought to her role. Taylor-Joy’s brooding goth girl was excellently portrayed as well and both actresses will surely be delivering more strong work in films to come!

halloween hottie 2014


And don’t forget to check out our previous Halloween Hotties including Dana DeLorenzo, Addison TimlinMelanie PapaliaBriana EviganKatrina BowdenAlexandra DaddarioKatie FeatherstonKatharine IsabelleAmber Heard and Danielle Harris! (just click on their names to go to their pages or simply go to our Halloween Hotties main page!)

-MonsterZero NJ




This newest installment of Halloween Hotties features three relatively new faces in horror that recently have made quite an impression in the genre. These three actresses made for memorable final girls/characters in their respective horrors/thrillers and we can only hope they will grace the horror genre again and soon!

(Click on the highlighted links to read a review of the films that our Halloween Hotties have appeared in)

Anya Taylor-Joy


Anya has taken the horror world by storm, appearing in two highly acclaimed horror films within the space of a year and an entertaining Sci-fi thriller in the middle. The actress was born in Miami, but has lived in Argentina and London and has also modeled and been a ballet dancer. Her varied background may be the reason she can play such different roles and almost be unrecognizable from one to the other. Whether it be a coming of age puritan teen in The Witch, a genetic experiment in Morgan, or an emotionally troubled teen kidnaped by someone with far bigger head problems in Split, Anya is proving a welcome presence in the horror genre and an actress to keep an eye on! Rumor now suggests she may join the cast of The New Mutants, the new X-Men film in the works…and we hope so!


Anya first got our attention as The Witch’s tempted teen Thomasin!




Between movies and TV, this Aussie beauty has been quite busy and we couldn’t be happier that some of that busy has been in our favorite type of flicks! Stasey, already a veteran of TV and films, made her first waves in the horror genre in Lucky McKee’s 2013 horror comedy All Cheerleaders Die as lead Maddy. She next appeared in the unintentionally funny graphic novel adaptation I, Frankenstein, as a sexy gargoyle, no less. She then starred as kidnap victim, Chloe in the 2015 horror/thriller All I Need, which is only now being released and just last year in the horror comedy Fear, Inc. While we wait for this Australian stunner to appear in her next genre role, she can currently be seen in the sexy TV historical drama Reign. A busy girl we’d like to see even more of!


Caitlin would like to tell you how much she loves being in horror movies, but…(from All I Need)




This talented twenty-something from Pheonix, Arizona is an actress and a dancer and has proven to be quite versatile. She first caught our attention in the violent post apocalyptic epic The Last Survivors as the tough and tenacious Kendal, who takes on an entire gang to save the lives of those close to her. She also starred in the thriller Follow, was Krista, best friend to troubled teen Nadine, in the heartfelt and hilarious The Edge Of Seventeen (OK, not horror, but a really good flick!) and battled 23 different James McAvoys in the intense chiller Split! Obviously we’d watch Haley in any of her upcoming projects, but hope she returns to our favorite genre soon!


Haley’s Claire finds outwitting 23 different personalities may not be that easy in Split!

-MonsterZero NJ


And don’t forget to check out our previous Halloween Hotties focusing on, Maika MonroeAddison TimlinMelanie PapaliaBriana EviganKatrina BowdenAlexandra DaddarioKatie FeatherstonKatharine IsabelleAmber Heard and Danielle Harris! (just click on their names to go to their pages or head over to the Halloween Hotties listings!)




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mznj best horror_2014

It’s time to look back at the past year and see what I liked. Not such an impressive year as last year!

NOTE: There are a few titles here initially released in 2015 at festivals or limited theatrical release, but I did not catch up to them till VOD or home media in 2016 and felt it unfair not to include them!

(Click on the titles below the movie poster gallery to get to our reviews!)

Full review links for the top 10 and 2 honorable mention titles!

1. Hush

2. Don’t Breathe

3. Pet

4. The Neighbor

5. The Monster

6. The Eyes Of My Mother

7. Train to Busan

8. Hidden

9. What We Become

10. Phantasm: Ravager


1. The Witch

2. Carnage Park

-MonsterZero NJ




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THE WITCH (2016)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

The Witch is an atmospheric folk tale from writer/director Robert Eggers that is consistently moody and has some very spooky sequences, but far from lives up to all the hype that’s been made about it at film festivals. Story finds a Puritan family leaving their village to live out in the wilderness in a clearing before a dense wood. When daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) takes her infant brother for a walk, he disappears basically right in front of her. We all know who and what is the cause of his disappearance, but dissension starts to eat away at the family as the father feels it has to do with their earthly sins and the other children claim Thomasin is a witch and gave the child to the Devil. As more tragedy befalls the family, paranoia begins to tear them apart as they believe something evil is in their midst.

Eggers tells his tale more like an old-style New England folktale than a more traditional horror and the end credits explain that this is fully the intent. He creates a steady atmosphere of uneasiness and the film certainly has the feel of it’s time when religion and superstition were believed in equally. There are some truly spooky sequences, especially in the last act, but there were also times where the slow paced film was a bit tedious as the lamentations of the mother and father get repetitious and fingers start getting pointed at various family members by the others. Kinda like a Puritan era version of John Carpenter’s The Thing but, it doesn’t quite have the tension of that classic. This is because we know from early on that there is a witch and it’s not in the house, as Eggers has shown her to us when she takes the infant and then another child. There is purpose, though to her dividing the family and as the film enters the last act it becomes apparent and then the film really locks in the chills till it’s not totally unexpected final sequence. The dialog is also spoken in the language of the time and while it adds to the atmosphere, it also is hard to understand the characters meaning at times, not being familiar with the vernacular of the period. On a production side, Eggers does have a visual style that suits his unnerving tale and it is photographed well by Jarin Blaschke and given a really creepy score by Mark Korven. There is also some graphic bloodshed and some disturbing imagery that do help with the ambiance of dread, as well. This is a spooky flick, but just not consistently and not as intensely as certain famous author quotes would like us to believe.

The cast are all convincing. Taylor-Joy plays a young Puritan woman coming of age, very well. Her awakening sexuality makes her a prime target for the accusations of her younger siblings and grief-stricken mother. Kate Dickie conveys that mother well, too. A woman tormented with grief as she looses her infant child and than another and slowly begins to believe her own daughter is something evil. Ralph Ineson is very good as the God fearing father trying to keep his family together, but slowly loosing control while trying to keep his faith. He is sometimes hard to understand with his gravely voice combined with the old-style tongue, but he is very good as the patriarch William. Harvey Scrimshaw is solid as Caleb, also coming of age as a young boy and he handles some difficult scenes he’s involved in very well. Rounding out the family is Ellie Granger and Lucas Dawson are Mercy and Jonas, the familiy’s creepy young twins who add to the paranoia by speaking often to the family goat, Black Phillip and claiming he tells them things. Not a good sign!

In conclusion, The Witch was a spooky and effective folk tale horror, but just not as consistently horrifying as film fest hype would have us believe. There are some slow spots and the pacing is very moderate and the old world language is not always easy to decipher, though it does add atmosphere. There are some very spooky scenes, especially in the last act and some effective bloodshed, though Eggers does neuter some of the inter-family tension by letting us know extremely early that there is something very evil in them thar woods. No, it doesn’t live up to the hype, but still a moderately effective story of old world New England evil that has it’s share of chills.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 goats who may…or may not…be emissaries of evil.

Cute brown goat’s grin