A Chat with Paranormal Farm Director Carl Medland

This week I spoke to Carl Medland, writer and director of The Spiritualist, and the Paranormal Farm movies. Carl took time to chat with me about his films, about filmmaking, about his horror inspirations, and about the future of found footage.

For more information on Carl, please follow him on Instagram and Twitter. Watch his films, The Spiritualist, and Paranormal Farm, on Amazon Prime. For the full unedited version of this interview, please go to my YouTube page! And don’t forget to check out my full review of the Paranormal Farm trilogy!

My 10 Favorite Horror Films of the 2010s

Since a new decade is up and running, I wanted to look back and discuss what I think are ten amazing horror movies from the past ten years. I’m not saying these are the best; I’m just saying these are ten movies I love and deserve a mention. Have fun reading, and if you haven’t seen this films yet, please seek them out and watch them! You won’t be disappointed!

10. World War Z (2013) The best zombie movie since 28 Days Later. An adaptation of Max Brook’s popular book was always going to be scrutinized by fans no matter how good it turned out. Luckily, Marc Forster’s $100 million-plus movie version is a crackerjack thrill ride from beginning to end, and, dare I say, better than Brook’s overrated novel. Brad Pitt is fine in the role of Gerry Lane – although, honestly, the role could have been filled by any competent actor – but it’s Forster’s aggressive, frenzied direction that creates scenes of incredible suspense and makes the movie work so well.

9. V/H/S 2 (2013) This cinematic roller coaster ride is the best anthology movie in years. Fast-paced, funny, and scary, V/H/S 2 delivers five stories that are all successfully thrilling, but two stand out as mini-classics. “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” features a small group of kids besieged by a horde of space visitors during a sleepover (flashes of The McPherson Tape come into play), and “Safe Haven,” which follows a film crew as they descend into (literal) hell while investigating a mysterious Indonesian cult, is itself is a near-masterpiece in grueling horror.

8. Willow Creek (2013) Bobcat Goldthwait’s suspenseful, slow burn creep-out is probably the closest a found footage movie has come to replicating the claustrophobic dread of The Blair Witch Project. The premise is simple yet effective: a young couple (Bryce Johnson and Alexie Gilmore) venture into the wild terrains of Northern California to find evidence of Bigfoot only to get in over their heads when fiction turns into reality. Goldthwait understands how POV horror works at its best and utilizes this by slowly building the tension with sound effects, suggestion, and imagination. It all culminates in a hold-your-breath ending.

7. The Witch (2015) An atmosphere-drenched 17th century setting elevates this minimalist supernatural chiller above most other ilk, as does powerful acting and a genuinely creepy environment. The dark, bleak woods of Ontario, Canada, create a surreal world of shadows and mystery, conjuring up more powerful imagery than most of 2015’s horror movies combined. And who can forget Black Phillip, perhaps the cleverest manifestation of evil depicted on screen in years?

6. Midsommar (2019) Never has a movie awash in such bright sunshine been so claustrophobically intense. Director Ari Aster followed up Hereditary with a wild road trip of sheer, raw, emotional suspense – not only delivering a daring horror story, but telling a powerful tale of mental illness. The film’s robust two-and-a-half hour runtime seems daunting, but Aster wisely fills the time with a build-up of dread, leading to a powerhouse climax that will feel like a gut-punch.

5. The Conjuring (2013) James Wan moved past his torture porn legacy in the Saw series by setting his sights on old-fashioned ghostly antics, following up the brilliant Insidious with this instantly iconic supernatural shocker. Wan took the haunted house subgenre and turned it on its head, making it feel as alive and fresh as Poltergeist did when it was released in 1982. The Conjuring was so successful that it launched its own cinematic universe (including the terrific Annabelle: Creation) and made international stars out of real-life ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren, portrayed wonderfully by Patrick Wilson and Vera Famiga.

4. Sinister (2012) Future Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson returned to the world of horror after directing The Exorcism of Emily Rose in 2005 with this bleak tale that involves snuff movies and the ghosts of murdered children. A roller coaster ride from beginning to end, Sinister contains some of the creepiest, and scariest, moments in a horror film since The Blair Witch Project.

3. A Quiet Place (2018) One of the more original horror movies of the last ten years, A Quiet Place reminds me of the classic thrillers of Hitchcock, and proves just how powerful misdirection and suspense can be. Director/writer John Krasinski, with fellow writers Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, wisely avoid a world-view disaster-type of scenario and instead focus on a family’s fight for survival against a species of ferocious, hearing-enhanced predators. The film’s intimate setting heightens both the scares and the emotional impact.

2. Insidious (2011) The second James Wan film on my list, Insidious is perhaps his finest hour since Saw. A literal funhouse of a movie, filled to the brim with creativity, classic storytelling, and good, old-fashioned scares, Insidious is the ultimate modern haunted house chiller. Wan elevates a familiar scenario by infusing it with colorful characters, witty writing, and a rich, otherworldly atmosphere that drenches the movie in a mist of frightening, yet playful, images.

1. Hereditary (2018) Before 2018 nobody had heard of filmmaker Ari Aster, but that all changed after the release of this spellbinding, nerve-shredding venture into hardcore horror. The brilliance of the film is how Aster keeps the plot moving with unpredictability, perfectly weaving a web of mystery, terror, and mythology – juxtaposed against brutally painful family drama – right up until the shock ending. Toni Collette, as the family matriarch, delivers a compelling, emotionally-draining performance that, quite frankly, puts most actors to shame. A horror film that gets under your skin, and that deserves to be on the same shelf as The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs, and Psycho.