I am a major horror movie fan. Over the years I’ve written a few posts for NoE inspired by the genre:
- The Top 7 Horror Movie Villains
- The Top 7 Horror Movie Monsters
- My Top 7 Horror Movies of All Time
- A review of Cult of Chucky (I friggin’ love the Child’s Play franchise)
As such, I’m surprised it took me so long to dig up a couple of podcasts (my favorite medium!) that focused on elements of the genre. One came to me by way of a friend in the NoE Slack, and the other by simply searching for “horror” in Overcast and selecting one based on its description. I’ll pitch them to you in that order.
Horror Movie Survival Guide
The original concept behind Horror Movie Survival Guide is this:
Two friends watched every VHS in the horror movie section of their local rental joint and kept a notebook of their viewing experiences. One was a horror veteran, and the other a total newb. They summarize each movie and rate them across two metrics:
- If you’re desperate
- Barely qualifies as a horror film
- Seen worse, seen better
- Not too shabby
- Not enough blood to fill a Dixie cup
- A puddle of blood
- Enough blood to gross out the average viewer
- A bathtub of blood
- Run for the barf bag
Another unique element of Horror Movie Survival Guide is their attention to a growing list of rules you must follow if you want to be the “final girl.” I do wish this was a more frequently occurring piece to each episode, but there is a lot of overlap after you’ve plunged the depths of the genre, really.
Each episode runs around 40 minutes and is primarily summary supplemented by a running commentary. It feels very informal, and that is one of the things I enjoy about it the most. Their episodes sound very much like the casual conversations that break out amongst friends as they leave a theater – covering the plot and talking about what worked and what didn’t – along with some interesting researched behind-the-scenes information for each film.
The hosts are also fun to interact with on Twitter, as well! I’ve pinged them a few times since I picked up the podcast, and always get a holler back. Recently there’s been a shift in the direction of the podcast due to one of the OG hosts, Marion, stepping away for the time being. Co-hosting duties are now shared between Julia and Teri, and they’ve ventured beyond the confines of the notebook a bit into more recent horror movie offerings. They even take submissions on Twitter (which is why I’ve hit them up, personally).
Super casual. Easy listening. Binge-able run time. Weekly episodes. Definitely a recommended listen (even though they don’t like Chucky quite like I do).
The Faculty of Horror
The Faculty of Horror is a bit more academic than Horror Movie Survival Guide. Andrea is a sociologist and author and Alex is an author and lecturer, and they bring a whole lot of brain to their podcast episodes.
You will get very little in the way of summaries during the course of an episode. Instead, the hosts are big on critique and analysis, and I love that deep, intellectual approach to my favorite genre. They’ll compare and contrast, tackle conventions like witches and child antagonists, devote entire episodes to specific filmmakers, survey sub-genres like parodies, and more.
During the course of an episode, they’ll venture into sociology, psychology, philosophy…The Faculty of Horror definitely requires a bit more focused and attentive listening than Horror Movie Survival Guide does. I feel like I’m auditing a collegiate course on the horror genre as I listen along, and I couldn’t love that any more than I do!
I don’t feel like this podcast is intended for the horror newbie as much as Survival Guide is (though both are pretty spoiler-rific, so beware!)…I mean, I could be wrong, but to sit through the kind of analysis the hosts and their frequent guests offer to listeners about the films without having a pre-established love of them and their ilk would be tough, I think.
Their episodes tend to linger around the 1 hour mark, but several go north of 1.5 hours in length and occasionally even 2 hours. But they only release an episode once a month, so you’ve got plenty of time to listen to it in pieces here and there and not fall behind. The only thing I don’t love about The Faculty of Horror is their use of clips from movies during the episodes. Sometimes they make sense and are quick asides. Other times they run a bit long and feel weird without the accompanying visuals (sometimes they’re mostly sound effects and score). But those pieces are usually few and far between.
Longer runtime. Analysis over summary. Super intellectually stimulating. A very different experience than Horror Movie Survival Guide, but I love it just the same.
I am current on Horror Movie Survival Guide after coming to them sometime last year. I’ve still got a ways to go with The Faculty of Horror to claim the same, but I’ve only just discovered them and their monthly release schedule means I gain that ground more quickly!
Both are anticipated downloads upon release, but I also know they’re not the only two of their kind in the wide world of podcasting. So if you’ve got another horror movie podcast I should queue up, please hit me up on Twitter and let me know! And while you’re logged in to do me that favor, give Horror Movie Survival Guide a follow at @WeRIntoSurvival and The Faculty of Horror a follow at @FacultyOfHorror and queue up each in your podcast client of choice.
Tell them Nerds on Earth sent you. I mean, it won’t net you anything…but still…
Now to step away from posting and fire up Child’s Play 3 as I continue the first of my biannual viewing of the entire franchise!