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Ep 312: Dead Weight - Walking Dead Eps 801 & 802, Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

This episode of The Harold & Maudecast, 312 "Dead Weight". Hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe preview It's Alive: Classic Horror & Sci-Fi from the Kirk Hammet Collection at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.

We Talk Dead is back for Season 8 of The Walking Dead. We review the premiere Ep 801 "Mercy" and 802 "The Damned".

Now Streaming Movie Reviews, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, starring Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter and Don Johnson, written and directed by S. Craig Zahler (BONE TOMAHAWK). We gave it much Justice 8.5/10.

For more podcast episodes, movie, tv, game reviews and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com

Movie/TV Reviewspodcastsbrawl in cell block 99the walking deadtwdvince vaughnharold & maudeharold & maudecast





Creature Feature - The Mummy & Wind Chill Reviews

On Episode 308 of The Harold & Maudecast Weekly, "Creature Feature", hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe explore the Dark Universe. We discuss Universal's lineup for its Dark Universe, monster movie reboots which kicked off with Tom Cruise's THE MUMMY and will include, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE INVISIBLE MAN, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, DRACULA UNTOLD 2 and more of Universal's classic monster features.

We also review two Now Streaming reviews including THE MUMMY and WIND CHILL, a thriller starring Emily Blunt in an early career role.

Also a preview of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights which we will be touring this week!

For more podcast episodes, movie and game reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




IT - Movie Review

On this episode of The Harold & Maudecast's Justice and Doom Now Playing Movie Reviews, Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review IT.

A new screen adaption of Stephen King's novel "It" has become the unlikely savior of the Summer box office shattering records with a $123m opening weekend. The novel which was originally published in 1986 was first adapted into a television miniseries in 1990.

Set in a small town in Maine in the 1980s, the story follows the interactions of seven children who in addition to being stalked by a bully and his gang, are being hunted by a killer being who appears [mostly] in the form of a clown named Pennywise.

The book weaves in and out of time periods alternating between the children's story and their reunion as adults. In this film it's all about the kids--a narrative choice which seems chosen solely to capitalize off the success of Stranger Things. Unfortunately, this film does not share the same charm and carefully crafted nostalgic atmosphere.

The unknown and underwhelming cast of kids in IT (which does include one of the actors from Strangers Things, Finn Wolfhard), struggles to carry the film when Pennywise is not on the screen. Bill Skarsgård, who takes over the role of Pennywise from Tim Curry (in the 1990 series), gives a career-defining performance. Terrified of clowns or not, it was hard not to crave his presence on screen.

The bond between the kids, the self-named "Losers Club", which is so beautifully developed in the book and the 1990 miniseries, seems thrown in only as necessary for their joint encounters with Pennywise and bully Henry Bowers. DIrector Andrés Muschietti (MAMA) took the helm after Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) left for creative differences. Fukunaga along with Chase Palmer and Gary Dauberman are credited with the script. Can't help but wonder what those creative differences were and if Fukunaga's vision would have been more fulfilling.

A sequel is already in the works which will undoubtedly feature the grown ups. If you have not read the book, love experiencing shared scares, and are NOT hopelessly afraid of clowns you will enjoy seeing IT in the theater. We give IT a 7.2 for Bill Skarsgård's performance and some visually intriguing oh-so scary creatures.

For more reviews visit out website at www.thehmcnetwork.com



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Nov 20, 2017 at 6:30:32 pm it, movie reviews, stephen king, horror, pennywise

Annabelle Creation & Castlevania Reviews

This week on The Harold & Maudecast, Sarah and Jake review the film ANNABELLE: CREATION and Netflix's Original Castlevania, Season 1, based on the Nintendo game.

For our full write up of these reviews and more podcast episodes visit www.thehmcnetwork.com/movie-reviews




Interview w/ Actor Alex Essoe for MIDNIGHTERS

Sarah and Jake from The Harold & Maudecast sit down with actor Alex Essoe to discuss her new film, MIDNIGHTERS, a thriller/horror about a couple who try to cover up a gruesome crime and find themselves in a Hitchcockian web of deceit and misdirection. The film premiered at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival. MIDNIGHTERS is a horror/thriller from Director, Julius Ramsay (The Walking Dead), written by his brother Alston Ramsay. Co-starring with Essoe is Perla Haney-Jardine (STEVE JOBS), and Dylan McTee (Sweet/Vicious) and Ward Horton (ANNABELLE).

Essoe's upcoming projects including the Val Kilmer starring, THE SUPER and THE MAESTRO in which she plays legendary film actress/dancer Cyd Charisse. You can view more of Alex Essoe's project on IMDB.com

For more interviews, movie and game reviews from The Harold & Maudecast visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Jun 28, 2017 at 12:01:35 am alex essoe, midnighters, interviews, movies, thrillers, horror

The Autopsy of Jane Doe - Now Streaming Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review, THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, for The HMC's Now Streaming Reviews, 7.3/10.

Father (Brian Cox) and son (Emile Hirsch) coroners investigate a the death of a beautiful girl "Jane Doe," whose mysteriously unscathed body was found in the basement of a house where a quadruple murder occurred. As the pair uncover bizarre clues to the girls death and origin strange things start to happen leading to a terrifying truth.

THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE was the darling of the 2016 film festival circuit, particularly for horror fans and now we know why. Directed by André Øvredal (TROLLHUNTER) the film cleverly makes use of its solo location with a well crafted script written by Ian B. Goldberg (Once Upon a Time) and Richard Naing (DEAD OF SUMMER), that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the bitter end. Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch give convincing performances as father and son detectives. The film successfully finds a way to navigate genres which is most impressive. Diehard horror fans will appreciate the practical effects and creatures. There's just enough gore yet not so over the top to alienate fans whose preference leans more toward thriller vs hardcore horror. The filmmakers thankfully don't try to overcomplicate the story rather they rely on their acting duos performances in concert with a slow build up of suspense to a series of unexpected jump scares. The promise of the ending was more exciting than the actual ending, which is our only disappointment. That said, it brings something new and quite creative to the genre which is no small feat. This indie horror will surprise, scare and entertain you. Justice 7.3/10

For more movie, game and tv reviews and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Zombies for Every Occassion - Train to Busan & The Girl with All the Gifts Reviews

This week the Harold & Maudecast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe, celebrates its 290th episode with two new Now Streaming movie reviews, "The Girl with All the Gifts" and "Train to Busan" both zombie films, cause we love zombies.

The Girl with All the Gifts, released September 2016, Directed by Colm McCarthy, written by Mike Carey based on his novel by the same name. Starring, Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Sennia Nanua. 

In a dystopian future a bizarre fungus as infected the population turning it's initial hosts into rabid, zombie-like creatures. When a save-humanity at all costs scientist and a empathetic teacher discover one of their child test subjects may hold the key to saving humanity, they set out on a dangerous quest of survival and redemption. 8.5/10

Train to Busan, released in South Korean and Asia July 2016, Now Streaming on Netflix, written and directed by Sang-ho Yeon, starring Yoo Gong, Dong-seok Ma, Yu-mi Jung and Soo-an Kim.

A overworked father travels with his young daughter by train to visit his estranged ex-wife. Unbeknownst to them and the other passengers, a zombie outbreak is about to take over their train and they must work together to survive. 8.8/10

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for complete write ups on these reviews as well as more TV, movie, streaming and game reviews.




The Walking Dead Ep 714 Review

This is We Talk Dead, a weekly Walking Dead podcast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe from the HMC.

In this week's episode of We Talk Dead, review & recap of Episode 714 "The Other Side". At the Hilltop, Simon and the Savior crew need a doctor since Negan threw their last one in the furnace. Gregory is not too happy about this but after some strategic ass kissing behind the trailer, he bends the knee -- but not before getting a get out of death free pass from Simon should Gregory choose to visit the Savior compound -- Huh? Meanwhile, Daryl and Maggie hide out in the food cellar where Daryl finally breaks down and apologizes to Maggie for killing Glenn. Ah but Zen Maggie is way ahead of him, seeing the big picture, placing no blame on his winged shoulders and simply asking him to help her win.

Rosita and Sasha decide to take an ill advised and most probably ill fated road trip to the Saviors compound to Kick Ass! After some friendly cat fighting over Sasha's necklace, you know, the one Rosita made for Abraham who then gave it to Sasha, they work out their differences. At the compound they bump into Eugene who apparently really is Negan. What the hell Eugene!

For more We Talk Dead and other podcasts, movie, game and product reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com.


Posted by: Sarah Mason on Mar 24, 2017 at 10:18:59 pm walking dead, podcasts, tv, amc, zombies, horror, reviews

The Walking Dead Ep 713 - Review & Recap

arah Mason and Jake Essoe host "We Talk Dead" for The HMC Network. This week, review and recap of The Walking Dead Episode 713 "Bury Me Here".

Meanwhile back in The Kingdom... We find trouble in Ezekiel's royal garden as an infection threatens to take out all the gardens. Carol's starting to get hip to the fact that something much more serious went down in Alexandria and she confronts Morgan for answers. Benjamin wants Carol to be his sensei after seeing her handily take out 5 Walkers with a sign post. Richard itching to get the fight started, sabotages The Kingdom's weekly drop with The Saviors leading to unintended and unforgivable consequences. Morgan figures it out and spirals out of control -- Uh oh, Clear? Carol to the rescue, for now.

Episode 713 continues where 712 left off in bringing us back to why we love The Walking Dead -- great zombie action, characters and a story we love that's actually getting somewhere. Big shout out to Karl Makinen aka Richard, for is phenomenal performance in this episode. Lennie James is equally amazing, as always.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more episodes of We Talk Dead and other podcasts.



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Mar 24, 2017 at 10:17:56 pm walking dead, podcasts, tv, amc, zombies, horror, reviews

The Belko Experiment - Movie Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review The Belko Experiment for The HMC Now Playing Reviews.

Writer/Producer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) took a little break from making blockbuster super hero movies to write this wonderfully gruesome horror/thriller. When the office workers at Belko came into work they had no idea they would be the subjects of a twisted social experiment. The American company, in Bogota, Columbia, is put on lock down and a mysterious voice over the intercom announces that they must kill 30 of their fellow co-workers or 60 will die. Assuming this is a hoax, COO, Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) attempts to calm the nervous staff now assembled in the lobby. When it becomes clear that this is no joke, things start to unravel pitting co-worker against co-worker in an ultimate survival of the most moral test.

James Gunn's script, the phenomenal ensemble cast and Greg McLean's careful direction of Gunn's vision make The Belko Experiment one of the best indie horror/thriller/action films in years. It lives up to its tagline, "Office Space meets Battle Royale" with the level of gore and violence, which could have gone way over the top. But McLean's steady Direction keeps the film grounded. The ending, which could go many ways, will surprise you and leave you questioning your own humanity. Shoutout to the the practical effects team who did a fantastic job with such a small budget. Horror fans will be utterly charmed by this film and moviegoers in general will enjoy the psychological thrills and relentless action.

The Belko Experiment hits theaters on March 17, 2017.

For more movie and tv reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Get Out - Movie Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe Review the film, Get Out, on Now Playing Reviews on The HMC.

Jordan Peele of Key and Peele makes his directorial debut with Get Out, a thriller about an interracial couple headed to meet the parents for the first time. Chris (Daniel Kuulaya) reluctantly accompanies his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to her parents house in the suburbs and soon finds that his worst fears were nothing compared to the terrifying reality awaiting him.

Get Out is a great first feature debut by Peele. His script is effective and fast moving with sufficient suspense and jump scares that will definitely grab you when you least expect it. Seasoned horror/thriller fans will not be particularly shocked or surprised at the reveal nevertheless its quite fun and scary. The only somewhat sour note is that Williams portrayal of enlightened rich white girl Rose felt like Marnie plays a part in a horror movie. Overall there are some great performances including lead Daniel Kaluuya and veteran supporting cast members Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener.

We are giving this film Justice. It's worth a trip to the theater to see it. 7.5/10

Release date: February 24, 2017 (USA)
Director: Jordan Peele
Screenplay: Jordan Peele
Producers: Jason Blum, Sean McKittrick, Ted Hamm
Production companies: Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment

Listen to our full review and visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more reviews, podcasts, videos, news and event coverage.




Split - Movie Review & M. Night Shyamalan Tribute

This week on The Harold & Maudecast we review M. Night Shyamalan's latest film, Split. 7.5/10 on our Justice & Doom movie meter. Split stars James McAvoy, Betty Buckley and Anya Taylor-Joy. For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, including producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.

In addition to Split, we review Shyamalan's, The Visit, which was the top grossing horror film of 2015. We also examine Shyamalan's vast body of work from The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, The Happening and more. Take a listen!

Split Synopsis
Writer/director/producer Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs with Split, an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind. Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film.

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.

Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

For more of reviews, interviews, videos, podcasts and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



I'm Not a Serial Killer - Now Streaming Movie Review

Now Streaming on your favorite VOD service, IM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, the 2016 horror/crime thriller starring Max Records, Laura Fraser and Christopher Lloyd. In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay.

Based on the novel by Dan Wells the film is Directed by Billy O'Brien, Screenplay by Billy O'Brien and Christopher Hyde.

This film is more X Files than straight up horror. Christopher Lloyd fans will geek out over his wonderful performance and lookout for Max Records in the lead role as the would be serial killer turned crime sleuth/demon hunter. He's exceptional. There's a magnificent payoff at the end of the film -- we won't spoil it for you. But we do hash out the details of this well crafted indie film. Now streaming on Netflix. 7.8/10

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more reviews and podcasts.



OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL - Movie Review 8.5/10

This week on The Harold & Maudecast's countdown to Halloween Movie Reviews, OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL. In 1967 Los Angeles a widowed fortune teller (Elizabeth Reaser) tries to make ends meet for herself and daughters Lina (Annalise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson) by boosting their séance scam with a new prop, a Ouija board. Bad news for the family when daughter Doris unwittingly unleashes unwanted evil entities. Even Father Tom (Henry Thomas) can't fight these grim creatures.

OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL is the surprise sleeper hit of the October movie season. With clever jump scares, a well crafted story by Co-Writers Jeff Howard and Mike Flannagan this film is a must see for movie fans. Flannagan, best known for OCULUS and HUSH also directed this film. He is proving himself to be one of the best horror/thriller directors working today and one to watch for the future.

Lulu Wilson (DELIVER US FROM EVIL) gives a breakout performance as Doris. Always great to see Henry Thomas aka Eliot (E.T.) and Elizabeth Reaser steps out of the shadow of the TWILIGHT series and delivers a fantastic performance as well.

Bonus! Listen for the haunting score by The Newton Brothers.

OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL is this year's THE CONJURING. It delivers the scares, and the story. 8.5/10

For more reviews & interviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Interview with Alex Essoe star of THE NEIGHBOR

This week on The Harold & Maudcast co-hosts catch up with Actress, Alex Essoe (STARRY EYES) on her new film, THE NEIGHBOR. Alex gives us a lesson in how to kick ass like a boss, first squibs, and what comedian Bill Engvall was like as a villain.

THE NEIGHBOR - Crime/Thriller, Directed by Marcus Dunstan, written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, starring Josh Stewart, Alex Essoe and Bill Engvall was released August 19, 2016 and is available on these VOD services - YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu, Google Play.

Visit www.haroldmaudecast.com for more interviews and movie reviews




The Invitation - Movie Review

This week on Now Streaming, we review the 2016 film THE INVITATION starring Logan Marshall-Green (PROMETHEUS), John Carroll Lynch (American Horror Story: Freak Show), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones) and Tammy Blanchard (MONEYBALL). The horror/thriller is directed by Karyn Kusama (GIRLFIGHT) and written by Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi. If you attended a dinner party hosted by your ex-wife and her new boyfriend at your old home, and they broke out a video of their new found love for a cult in which they circle around to watch people die, would you stay? Yeah. Well, with the exception of Will (Logan Michael-Green) this group doesn't quite catch on fast enough.

This film completely messes with your mind and it is AWESOME! Killer performances/writing/directions, it's a gem of a find. Stream it now! Big Justice.



Movie Reviews - The Conjuring 2 & Hush

Who doesn't love Horror movies in the Summer!? This week we review two horror/thriller films one Now Playing and the other Now Streaming.

HUSH from Writer/Director Mike Flanagan starring Kate Siegel who co-wrote the script and John Gallagher, Jr. It's a thriller with horror elements about a writer living in isolation in a house in the woods with just a couple nearby neighbors. She finally seems to break through her writer's block when a masked man appears to torment her forcing her to fight for her life. Just when you think you've seen every thriller plot twist and jump scare there possibly is in suspense films, think again. This well crafted script backed by solid performances from Gallagher and Siegel delivers. Be prepared to watch it with a pillow covering your face. It's that scary.

THE CONJURING 2 is the much anticipated (amongst horror lovers) sequel to the 2013 film THE CONJURING. Reprising their roles as real-life 1970s paranormal sleuths Ed and Lorraine Warren are Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. Also returning is Director James Wan who in addition to THE CONJURING birthed the INSIDIOUS and SAW franchises. The Warren's case files include the infamous Amityville Horror incident which finds its way into the beginning of this sequel. This time the Warren's travel to London to investigate, on behalf of the Catholic church, a family being tormented by the ghost of an elderly man who died in their house. Turns out, it's a lot more sinister than that as the Warren's discover ties to Lorraine's earlier visions and the Amityville case. Though not as good as its predecessor, THE CONJURING 2 delivers on the jump scares -- you won't see them coming. And the demon takes the form of the CREEPIEST nun ever which says a lot coming from two hosts who endured Catholic school. As a standalone horror film, its solid, very scary, good performances, as part of this franchise, slightly lessor than the original. Listen to our review for our full 2 cents!

HUSH - 8.5/10
THE CONJURING 2 - 7.8/10






The HMC Network is a podcast network featuring genre entertainment commentary, movie and TV reviews, video game reviews, lifestyle & travel, event & Con media coverage & more. Featured on the Creative COW is our flagship podcast, The Harold & Maudecast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe. Combining critical analysis with passionate fandom, The Harold & Maudecast offers a fully-informed look at your favorite movies, TV and video games. Commentary and reviews include the latest Walking Dead and Game of Thrones episodes, film festival and Comic Con & fan fest event coverage, technology expos and more. Fandom Never Gets Old.


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