Quiet Little Horrors Three-Year Retrospective

Still from film THE INNOCENTS with a white woman with long blond hair and an old-fashioned nightgown, holding a large candelabra, peering apprehensively beyond the camera

In the listless summer of 2020, everything was locked down and I was unemployed, so I did what any reasonable person would do in similar circumstances: I started a podcast to discuss psychological horror films with my friend Jessi. We called it Quiet Little Horrors. Inexplicably, after lockdown eased and I returned to the land of the full-time employed, we kept doing it. Now, three years later, we’re halfway through season four, releasing two full episodes per month, and continuing to give me an outlet to ramble on about weird movies, I assume to the gratitude and relief of those in my immediate proximity. During the past year or so, we released a number of episodes I’m both particularly fond and proud of, and this seems like a good time to highlight them.

Note: The header link takes you to the page dedicated to that episode, or you can stream the episode directly here, or you can find the podcast via your favorite podcatcher, or all of the above, for some reason, if that’s what floats your boat.

La Llorona

This was a film that I probably wouldn’t have made the time to watch without the impetus of the podcast because it was done a deep disservice by its description. I was under the impression La Llorona centered on the tribulations of the war criminal, with whom I had little sympathy and no interest in centering. But this film is very much about the generations of woman surrounding a horrible man and how they are forced to deal with his legacy. It’s a special film that deserves more consideration and I’m glad we did consider it.

The Innocents

We managed to hit more than a few of my all-time favorites in the past year, beginning with 1961’s The Innocents. Henry James, mid-century Freudian mania, and a dash of Truman Capote: we cover it all.

Near Dark

Near Dark is another all-time favorite that is not without its minor flaws. It was good to discuss what worked and and what we wished worked better, tied off with proper appreciation for Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen.

The Brood

This is one of my favorite episodes. The best episodes are when I’m able to figure out and articulate what has always emotionally and wordlessly compelled me about a certain film, and I did that here with The Brood. Additionally, in what world should anyone ever trust Oliver Reed with their mental health.

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Sometimes introducing an old favorite film on the podcast is a glorious opportunity to revisit something I first loved long ago. Picnic at Hanging Rock blew my mind when I was younger, but I hadn’t seen it in a number of years. So I sat down with my Criterion edition, watched all the special features, read the original novel, read everything else I could find, and fell in love with the film all over again.


I think this is our longest episode, which seems appropriate to its subject. It takes a long time to untangle Possession, if such a thing is even possible. Rather, we dig our fingers into the mass and pull it apart in places, but ultimately allow it to remain a beautiful, distressing mystery.

This is still a hobby for us and not likely to be more than that. But we’ll keep doing it and I’ll keep getting a lot out of it. It’s led me to new films and pushed me to examine old favorites, clarifying what I’m drawn to and why. It’s the sort of thing I’ll keep doing even if no one else is listening to it. But I would also be gratified if you feel like picking up an episode and listening and traveling along with us in the dark.

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