Episode 72: What’s Your Motivation, Heather?

Listen to “What’s Your Motivation, Heather?: 72” on Spreaker.

Updated 10/15/2021 for content warnings: The Houses That Built October 1 and 2 both have flashing and strobing lights at a couple of points, and are not suitable, possibly, for people with coulrophobia.

Patreon Uploaded to Patreon: script/transcript for this episode in .pdf format and ad-free version of this episode, both for all patrons starting at 1 dollar a month. If you need help with adding your Patreon podcast feed to your podcatcher app, please let me know and I will be happy to help you set it up.

Every version of the trailers in the episode were edited by me to remove loud music stings and screams, to keep from knocking you out of your chairs, or from driving off of the road; also for brevity and tightness, and to remove spoilers. I had great fun doing so, and was reminded of listening to my best friend Joshua’s Skinny Puppy tapes in high school, because I felt like a music remixer DJ. For those of you who don’t know, Skinny Puppy is a Canadian band that uses really interesting soundbites remixed into their music, usually from horror movies. Well, apropos of this, our junior year of high school, I misstepped going down a flight of stairs, stepping out into space and plummeting three or so steps, and dislocated my ankle, badly. Truly, madly, deeply.

I was in a wheelchair for a while–practice for now–then crutches, then a moon boot. I couldn’t drive, to my great chagrin as a newly minted driving teen, because it was my right ankle. Josh chauffered me around, and one day when I clunked into his car after school, Vlad the Impala (whom I named, thank you very much), Josh grinned his Christian Slater grin at me and popped in a cassette tape. Over wailing, throbbing music, a woman called “Are you okay?” and a man answered, in a disgusted tone, “I just fell down the damn stairs.” Josh was so beyond pleased with himself. It still makes me laugh.

This comes full circle, because this sample, in the song “Stairs and Flowers”, from Skinny Puppy’s album Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse, came from the 1984 serialized radio drama “The Cabinet of Dr. Fritz”. It was produced by NPR, which was originally inspired in part by “Sticks”, a short story by Karl Edward Wagner, set inside an abandoned house. Does this sound familiar—sticks in the woods, a spooky house? That’s right, “Sticks” also inspired the creation of the Blair Witch mythos. Everything’s connected, as I have always said.

More about “Dr. Fritz”, and “Sticks”, after I talk about this episode…

List of movies in episode 72:

Types: Immersion and Plot Point

Immersion: in which the entire movie is found footage or takes place on the internet.

1. The Blair Witch Project (1999), directors Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez

Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows (2000), director Joe Berlinger

Blair Witch (2016), director Adam Wingard.

These movies are to be watched in this order.

Themes in the movies in this series: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Obsession, Urban legends, Paranormal, Religion

+ Curse of the Blair Witch (1999) (dir. again by Myrick and Sánchez) and Shadow of the Blair Witch (2000) (dir. Ben Rock) These can be watched before and or after the first or second movies, in my opinion. If you want to go in completely spoiler-free, don’t watch them first. I saw them first, and honestly they helped me enjoy The Blair Witch more fully, because

Spoiler

they give information about the role of time in the mythos of Ellie Kedward’s curse

and therefore what is happening to Josh, Heather and Mike.

Not mentioned in the episode: Two more mockumentaries: The Burkittsville 7 (2000), (dir. again by Ben Rock), which looks at the Rustin Parr murder case; and Sticks and Stones: Investigating the Blair Witch (1999), (dir. again by Myrick and Sánchez), which investigates the evidence left behind in the disappearance of Heather, Joshua, and Michael.

YouTube The Blair Witch Project official trailer
YouTube Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows trailer
YouTube official Paranormal Activity trailer

4. Paranormal Activity (2007), directed by Oren Peli

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010), directed by Tod Williams

Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Night (パラノーマル・アクティビティ 2 ) (2010), directed by Toshikazu Nagae—Japanese spinoff, directly related spinoff

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011), directed by Henry JoostAriel Schulman

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012), dir. again by Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014), directed by Christopher Landon—Latinx horror, directly related spinoff

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015), directed by Gregory Plotkin

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin (2021), directed by William Eubank

Themes in the movies in this series: Identity, Trespass, Paranormal, Religion

News on Next of Kin, thanks to Bloody Disgusting’s John Squires: It’s coming to Paramount Plus on October 29, 2021!

Paranormal Activity 4

12. The Last Exorcism (2010), director Daniel Stamm and The Last Exorcism 2 (2013), director Ed Gass-Donnelly

Themes in the movies in this series: Identity, Trespass, Paranormal, Religion, and Seeing what should not be seen

14. Creep (2014), director Patrick Brice, and Creep 2 (2017), also directed by Patrick Brice

Themes in the movies in this series: Identity, Trespass (the second one), Obsession

There’s a Creep 3, starring the incredible Mark Duplass and directed by Patrick Brice, in Letterboxd, with no further information. It’s marked as “in development” on IMDb. I’m in like Flynn! Just like the Hell House LLC series (below), I can get spooked thinking about this series, and can easily bring up evocative images from these movies.

16. As Above So Below (2014), directed by John Erick Dowdle

Themes in this movie: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Obsession, Urban legends, Paranormal, Religion

The official site for the Paris catacombs

17. The Houses October Built (2014) and The Houses October Built 2 (2017), director of both Bobby Roe

Themes in the movies in this series:Seeing what should not be seen, Obsession, Urban legends

Content warning: As for the Hell House LLC movies, these movies may not be suitable for people that are afraid of clowns. Also, upon rewatch, I realized that both movies have some strobing lights, which may cause problems for some people with seizure disorders.

YouTube The Houses October Built trailer

“You smell different when you’re awake.” –The Houses That Built October 2

19. Unfriended (2014), director Levan Gabriadze and Unfriended: Dark Web (2018), Stephen Susco

Themes in the movies in this series: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Privacy and the right to information, Urban legends (the second one), Paranormal (the first one)

Note: Dark Web is LGBTQ friendly, having a healthy lesbian couple as main characters.

21. Hell House LLC (2015)

Hell House LLC 2: The Abbadon Hotel (2018)

Hell House LLC 3: Lake of Fire (2019), all three directed by Stephen Cognetti

Themes in the movies in this series: Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Paranormal, Religion (the third one)

Note: remember, these movies are not for anyone with coulrophobia, aka the fear of clowns. The clowns in these movies are dummies, used as props, but they are huge plot points, and are horrific looking. I am not afraid of clowns, and still had a nightmare featuring one of them.

The third one uses a theatrical version of Faust in a most interesting way.

YouTube Hell House LLC trailer

Plot Point:

In which found footage and/or the internet is utilized as part of the movie but not the whole.

24. Noroi: The Curse, aka ノロイ (2005), director Kôji Shiraishi

Themes in this movie: Seeing what should not be seen, Paranormal

25. The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007), director John Erick Dowdle; also directed As Above So Below

Themes in this movie: Seeing what should not be seen (the most extreme example on this list), Obsession

As I talked about in this episode, this is one of the gnarliest, most intense, most graphic horror movies I have ever watched. The others would be High Tension (French Extremity, read Alexandra West’s book (Faculty of Horror podcast) on the topic), Terrifier (more killer clowns), and half of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (I couldn’t finish it, but I am going to read this book about its making.)

26. Lovely Molly (2011), director Eduardo Sánchez, also directed The Blair Witch Project

Themes in this movie: Identity, Paranormal, Religion

This film is a haunting and original exploration of grief. Horror is probably the best vehicle for grief.

27. The Den (2013), director Zachary Donohue

Themes in this movie: Seeing what should not be seen, Privacy and the right to information, Trespass

28. Devil’s Pass (2013) aka The Dyatlov Pass Incident, director Renny Harlin

Themes in this movie: Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Urban legends, Paranormal

Recommended books about the actual incident:

Mountain of the Dead: The Dyatlov Pass Incident by Keith McCloskey

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar

29. Exists (2013), another directed by Eduardo Sánchez

Themes in this movie: Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Urban legends

30. The Canal (2014), director Ivan Kavanagh, British horror

Themes in this movie: Trespass, Privacy and the right to information, Obsession, Paranormal

31. The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014), director Adam Robitel

Themes in this movie: Identity, Privacy and the right to information

This movie haunted me, and is one on this list that made me yell out loud. Also, as a former counselor, I applaud the family dynamics shown in this movie—the push and pull between the mother and daughter taking up physical and emotional space in the mother’s home as the mother needs care.

32. The Visit (2015), director M. Night Shyamalan

Themes in this movie: Identity, Privacy and the right to information, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass

Another movie where family dynamics themselves are frightening, and other people’s homes can be scary.

33. Nerve (2016), directors Henry JoostAriel Schulman, same of Paranormal Activity 3 and 4

Themes in this movie: Trespass, Obsession

34. Searching (2018), director Aneesh Chaganty

Themes in this movie: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Privacy and the right to information

35. Cam (2018), director Daniel Goldhaber

Themes in this movie: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Privacy and the right to information, Paranormal

36. Phoenix Forgotten (2017), director Justin Barber

Themes in this movie: Seeing what should be seen, Paranormal, Obsession, Trespass

YouTube Phoenix Forgotten trailer

37. Horror in the High Desert (2021) director Dutch Marich

Themes in this movie: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Obsession

Also mentioned:

(2007), directors Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza ; 2 (2009), same directors;

Quarantine (2008), director of As Above So Below and The Poughkeepsie Tapes’ John Erick Dowdle;

Lake Mungo (2008), director Joel Anderson

Faculty of Horror Podcast: Episode 84: Summer of Plague Part 1: and 2

Letterboxd My Letterboxd
Letterboxd My Letterboxd  “internet horror” tag
Letterboxd My Letterboxd “found footage” tag 
Letterboxd My Letterboxd There Might Be Cupcakes Movie List: contains (or will) every movie mentioned in every episode--I'm working on it

Remember Skinny Puppy and “Sticks”? Back to The Cabinet of Dr. Fritz (1984), and its 13 episodes:

    Episode 7 was “Sticks” by Karl Edward Wagner, also narrated by Thomas Lopez.

Karl Edward Wagner at ISFDb

Books mentioned in the episode and suggested:

All of these books have been added to Goodreads the podcast’s Goodreads’ bookshelf (RSS feed) and to Goodreads the podcast’s Goodreads group (please join, thanks!) currently reading bookshelf ( feed).
Exists

Creepypastas:

The official Creepypasta wiki, on which can be found “Ted the Caver” and “Slenderman”. Slenderman, as I mentioned, was created originally from two photographs. Those photos, of children playing in one, and seemingly in distress in the other, with a looming Slenderman figure in the background, were created for a Photoshop contest for the Something Awful website in 2009. Here’s more about it, along with those two images, at the Know Your Meme website.

On Reddit:

Reddit NoSleep, Reddit Creepy Gaming, and the Reddit official CreepyPasta subreddit

Don’t forget to follow the Reddit There Might Be Cupcakes subreddit.

Hell House LLC
Listen to “What’s Your Motivation, Heather?: 72” on Spreaker.

Remember how I always say everything’s connected? One of the lyrics of “Stairs and Flowers” is “wheelchair virtue so to speak”. Your favorite wheelchair-using podcaster loves you. And stays away from stairs nowadays. Skinny Puppy * Stairs and Flowers * Spotify Spotify and Apple Apple Music

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to Top
We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. We do not store personal info.
Accept