Cardinal Nest

The Student News Site of Coon Rapids High School

The Student News Site of Coon Rapids High School

Cardinal Nest

The Student News Site of Coon Rapids High School

Cardinal Nest


What was your favorite Homecoming Spirit Day?

  • Cardinal Pride Day (36%, 9 Votes)
  • Workout Day (32%, 8 Votes)
  • Dress-Up Day (20%, 5 Votes)
  • Neon Day (8%, 2 Votes)
  • Jersey Day (4%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 25

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Top 8 Horror Movies

The genre of horror/thriller movies has a vast variety of sub-genres. There’s supernatural horror, sci-fi/alien horror, gorey/slasher horror, bleak and unsettling horror, isolation horror, and so much more. Even though there’s such a wide market for horror/thriller movies, it gets difficult to find something especially good after a while. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 8 horror/thriller movies that I believe are a must watch when it comes to the genre. My personal criteria for horror/thriller is good acting, convincing effects/gore, suspenseful moments, it’s disturbing/uncomfortable, and it has to be shot well. 


EVIL DEAD (2013)

Content warning: Extreme violence/gore, sexual assault. 

Streaming services where you can watch: Amazon prime, Vudu

The premise of Evil Dead is a group of five friends who go to a cabin in the woods to help the main character, Mia (Jane Levy), quit her heroin addiction.  A book is then found in the cabin’s cellar, and a passage is read aloud which releases a supernatural force. 

The opening scene sets up the rest of the movie really well by giving us a sense of what is to come.  I also really like how the situation is set up with Mia quitting her heroin addiction and because of this the friends refuse to let her leave.  So once Mia starts begging them to leave after she sees the entity in the woods, she’s accused of lying.  This hurts, as the watcher, because we know the truth.  The acting before the horror elements is not great, but because the horror starts fairly quickly it’s bearable.  I like the cinematography for the most part, it’s not anything beautiful, but it’s done well for the cliche kind of movie this is.  The scenes that demonstrate this are when the demon is first summoned and the camera is going through the woods as if in its perspective.  Also, whenever something really scary happens and the camera zooms in on the actor’s face, the background looks like it’s moving backwards.  The movie is pretty disturbing with its gore, one of the grossest scenes in the entire movie is when the demon enters Mia.  The effects go back and forth between really convincing and gross to looking a little silly, but overall it’s well done.  The illustrations in the book are really fun to see, as it warns us about what is going to happen soon.  But even with this warning when the gore actually happens it’s barf inducing.  The worst examples of this are the face scene and the arm scene.  The final scene is insane and I love it, though I do wish Mia’s dress was white.  My overall ranking of Evil Dead is 8/10. 



Content warning: extreme violence/gore. 

Streaming services where you can watch: Max, Hulu, Amazon prime

There is really no plot to this movie, it’s just the same curse, different people. Though this time the main cast is a family made up of a single mom Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), her sister Beth (Lily Sullivan), and Ellie’s three kids. 

The first scene of the movie is crazy, the gore starts immediately– and the scalp is barf inducing.  The title card shot is so pleasing and well done, as well as the scene of the blood gushing out of the elevator, and I love how crazy Beth looks covered in blood.  Overall I think the movie is shot well, I wouldn’t say it’s spectacular, but it’s good.  The teenagers acting is cringey, somehow the little girls acting is better.  Also all of the kids are just weird, and it feels unrealistic.  After Bridget (Gabrielle Echols) gets possessed and “dies” Danny (Morgan Davies) decides to wrap her up in a sheet and tie her body up– these kids are weirdddd.  When the mother gets locked out of the apartment, Kassie (Nell Fisher) unlocks the door as if she didn’t just watch her mother try to kill all of them, extremely unrealistic.  Same with the reason that Danny grabbed the book, like this is the most unrealistic part of these evil dead movies is the character’s motivation for grabbing and reading the book.  The moms last words being “don’t let it take my babies” is so sad.  Also the way the mother moves after being possessed makes her attacks so much scarier.  The effects in this movie are also crazy, the swallowing glass scene, and the cheese grater on flesh.  And at the very end when all the possessed bodies form into one being looks so disturbing and it’s well done.  Also the wood chipper scene at the end is so gory and nasty and I love it.  Another unrealistic part I wasn’t fond of is when the non-possessed people attack they only hit once, that happens in a lot of horror movies which makes me so upset.  I like Beth’s feral energy towards the end, it was disturbing but also satisfying, and I was expecting this energy earlier in the movie from adrenaline.  The full circle moment at the end was cool but stupid because the entity should’ve been gone by then.  I would give Evil Dead Rise an 8/10. 



Content warning: violence/gore, suicide. 

It’s on Netflix and the original audio is in Mandarin.  I watched the original audio with subtitles.  The premise of the movie is our main character Li Ronan (Hsuan-yen Tsai) is cursed from breaking a taboo and is finally able to get her daughter back, and now she must protect her from this curse.

It’s shot as found footage, and I personally like this format because it makes me feel more connected to the characters and what’s going on.  For a horror movie it made me really sad, especially since Li Ronan is chalked up to being mentally ill and crazy when really she is being cursed.  The acting is really good, which helps you focus on what makes the movie scary.  Every scene in the small village is nerve wracking and unsettling.  There are a couple moments where I did get annoyed by how unrealistic it was.  Like Dodo (Sin-Ting Huang) being left alone with the camera despite how hard Li Ronan has fought to be with her, I don’t think it’s realistic that she would leave her daughter alone.  And then it also takes a long time for her to realize Dodo is gone which adds to the frustration.  The cult-like spiritual rituals are uncomfortable to watch, and I felt scared of the group getting caught.  The effect of the teeth falling out looked a little silly, but it didn’t completely take me out of the movie.  But the effects they did on their bodies looked realistic, the bruised old men with the chants written on them were scary, as well as the nasty effects done on Dodo’s body.  The most irritating part of the movie was when Ronan was feeling hopeless so she went to this spiritual place and this elderly couple agreed to help her and Dodo.  But for the spell to work Dodo can’t eat for 7 days, and when Dodo’s health starts deteriorating Ronan FEEDS HERughhhhhhhh.  So then Ronan brings Dodo to a hospital and gives her stuff back to the orphanage.  The plot twist of Ronan’s intentions for filming this is insane and jaw dropping.  My overall ranking for Incantation is 8.75/10, though it’s not very appealing for a rewatch. 



Content warning: gore/violence, alluding to sexual assault. 

Streaming services where you can watch: Amazon prime, YouTube

Barbarian is about Tess (Georgina Campbell), who booked a rental home and when she arrives finds out someone else has been booked during the same time.  She decides to stay and what she finds underneath the surface of this home is far worse than an airbnb mishap. 

The misdirection at the beginning is really well done, I had no clue what to expect when going into this movie during the first watch.  I couldn’t help but think what an amazing meet-cute between Tess and Keith (Bill Skarsgard) this would be, and then remembering this is a horror movie is saddening.  I really love the acting from everyone in the movie, it feels very realistic.  But, there are some parts in the plot that really annoy me.  One of them being when Tess finishes her interview, and they have small talk towards the end and Tess shares where she’s staying and the local tells her that’s a terrible area.  I simply don’t understand why she would stay there. I know they set up a convention in town, but surely she could find someplace that can house her.  The other one being when this random man runs up on Tess who tries to enter the house again, yelling to her to not go into that house.  It did make for a scary scene, but also a very unrealistic one, because this man knew the danger of this house and went about warning her in the most insane way possible.  Also it felt very unrealistic for Tess to go down into the depths of this basement to get to Keith.  I really liked Tess’s character until she started getting all interested in the basement of this house.  The movie is shot very well, I love that the shots amplify the horror.  The switch from Tess and Keith in the basement to introducing our new character, AJ (Justin Long), was nicely done and I like how they make him connected to the house.  Then the cut to what the whole neighborhood used to look like, and giving us background on the man who used to live in the house is so well placed and confirms what was going on inside of the basement.  The gore is realistic, and the effects done on the mother and the old man look really good and disturbing.  Long did a concerningly good job at playing this piece of crap man.  When AJ gets to the house, which turns out he owns, he finds that there’s people’s stuff still inside.  He sees the basement, and instead of being worried about the contents inside of it, he starts measuring for square footage and if he can add that to his airbnb listing.  AJ’s character is actually so infuriating, they did such a good job of writing a character that I am actively rooting against.  The ending is sooo good, it makes you feel bad for the mother because it isn’t her fault she is the way she is.  Tess putting the mother essentially out of her misery is a bittersweet ending for the movie, and the song for the end credits is perfect.  Overall I give Barbarian a 9/10. 



Content warning: claustrophobia, violence/gore, suicide. 

Streaming services where you can watch: Amazon prime, YouTube

As Above So Below is about archeologist Scarlett (Perdita Weeks), who is looking for one of history’s greatest treasures– the Flamel’s Philosopher’s Stone.  She enlists the help of her friend, George (Ben Feldman), who helps her figure out the location of the stone.  The only issue is to get to it they have to go through the catacombs. 

It’s filmed like a documentary which I really like, it makes the events feel more personal and deepens our connection to the characters.  I like that the movie sets up Scarlett’s motivation, it doesn’t feel absurd for her to risk everything to get this stone.  I really like the acting in this movie, it feels like these are real people, my only issue is that for a lot of the movie I feel like they aren’t scared enough.  For a good portion of the movie the horror comes from the claustrophobic feeling we get inside the catacombs.  But once these odd paranormal things start happening inside the catacombs I know at least half the crew isn’t making it out alive.  We see their guide Papillion’s (Francois Civil) tag on a wall of a place he said he’s never been to.  We hear a ringing telephone when none should be working down there, and there’s a random piano that has the same broken key as George’s childhood piano.  The effects for the gore are insane to look at, I wouldn’t say it’s super realistic, but the effects are good enough to feel distressed.  But the effect of these stone people looks so dumb it’s very laughable.  A part I was really irritated about was when the crew gets to this cave opening with an inscription carved above the opening.  George translates this carving, and it turns out to be what is believed to be written above the gates of hell.  Scarlett knows this, and yet she decides to start crawling inside the tunnel.  The true love kiss that saves George felt silly, but besides that I really like the ending.  My rating is 8/10. 


THE LODGE (2019)

Content warning: religious trauma, cult, suicide. 

Streaming services where you can watch: Max, Hulu, Amazon prime

The Lodge is about this divorced family that gets torn apart by tragedy, they then go to the lodge for the holidays as a bonding experience for the kids and their dad’s girlfriend, Grace (Riley Keough). 

I thought it was weird for Mia (Lia McHugh) to have a replica of their lodge as a playhouse, but other than how I felt it was unrealistic, the playhouse made for some really cool shots of it and then the real lodge.  It was also insane when Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia were playing with the lodge playhouse, and then later we learn that they were plotting their twisted “prank”.  The scene of the mother shooting herself was so unexpected and disturbing because that’s something real.  But the effects/gore on Grace’s body, the frozen dog, and Richard were well done and very realistic.  Then Mia sobbing that her mom isn’t going to go to heaven is so heartbreaking and Aiden coming to sleep on the floor of her room to comfort her is so sweet.  But this sweetness does not last, these kids show their true shades of crazy real quick.  And what they did to Grace is so wrong and disturbing, that I can’t even feel bad for Mia and Aiden.  They’re also so delusional and hypocritical the way they call Grace a psycho meanwhile they’re plotting against Grace who didn’t do anything to them!  Every actor in this movie is good, I enjoyed it a lot before the intense thriller/horror started.  Especially Riley Keough who plays Grace, she did a phenomenal job of portraying Grace’s spiral back into her trauma.  I really like the way this movie is shot, and there are a lot of unsettling scenes that get amplified by the music.  The final scene is so good and depressing, I like it left off with a still of the gun letting us know the three characters’ fate shortly after the movie ends.  This movie is super messed up and depressing, I rate it a 8.5/10. 


GET OUT (2017)

Content warning: gore/violence. 

Streaming services where you can watch: Amazon prime, Hulu

Get Out is about a couple, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) a black man, and Rose (Allison Williams) a white woman.  The couple goes on a weekend trip to Rose’s parents’ house, and as every second of their stay passes by things get weirder and weirder. 

This movie is shot beautifully, I really love the camera work.  The acting is also reallyyyy good, you can feel from the very beginning that something is off, which I love.  Daniel Kaluuya was especially good in his role, and there wasn’t a single moment during this movie where I was pulled out by something awkward.  The actors for the parents, Dean and Missy Armitage (Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener), were really good which makes everything so much more disturbing.  Rewatching it makes you notice all the little details that seemed innocent at first but were actually nefarious.  Like Rose’s parents house being very southern plantation-like in its aesthetic, as well as Rose and her entire family wanting Chris to not smoke.  As soon as Chris and Rose get to the house the energy is very tense, and finding out that the only two helpers around their house are black does not ease this feeling.  The infamous running scene is terrifying with every watch, but during this rewatch it’s so much deeper than that.  Dean gives Chris a tour of their house, and during this mentions his father who lost his spot in the Olympics to Jesse Owens, and later in the movie we find out that the grandfather is in the body of this black man and that is why he’s running at night and what makes it so much more disturbing.  The hypnosis scene is also very messed up, the acting and the way it’s shot makes this a standout scene.  It’s so terrifying how Chris is so easily rendered helpless, and we get more of his backstory and the trauma and guilt he still carries with him for what happened with his mother.  Then it turns out that their weekend retreat to meet Rose’s parents, falls on the same weekend of her parents’ annual get together.  Then a bunch of old white couples pull up to the house, and it’s really gross how Rose shows Chris around like an object to the white couples.  And these couples are so gross the way they talk to Chris in the way they fetishize black people saying things like ‘Tiger Woods is the best golfer, and asking if black is better’.  Then the most heart dropping feeling occurs when we see the black man that got kidnapped in the opening scene at this party accompanied by this older white woman.  Then the scene where Chris walks upstairs away from the party and as soon as he gets up the stairs everyone stops talking.  Then Logan (LaKeith Stanfield), the man that got kidnapped, gets his photo “discreetly” taken by Chris with the flash on, and then Logan attacks Chris begging him to leave and get out.  The bidding scene is soo messed up and incredibly disturbing.  Then when we learn that Rose has, arguably, the most disgusting part of this family’s operation I feel so betrayed and sad for Chris and every other victim.  The effects in the movie are well done, I like the detail of the black peoples eyes being hazy/glossed over because they are only a passenger in their own body.  Also the effects for the surgery on the old man’s head is barf inducing because it’s gross and realistic.  My final verdict is that Chris is Him, he wipes out the whole family tree and I love that for him.  The way I thought the movie was going to end was actually Jordan Peele’s original ending.  Hearing his commentary on the og ending is very thought provoking and bittersweet that we got the nicer ending but also knowing it’s not very realistic– 10/10. 



Content warning: extreme gore/violence, nudity, cult. 

Streaming services where you can watch: Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime

Midsommar is about an American couple Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor) going on a trip to Sweden with their group of friends for midsummer, but the longer they stay the more twisted this custom becomes. 

I like the very first shot and think it’s cool that the first thing we see is an all encompassing image of what will happen during the movie.  I also enjoyed the transition from Dani going to the bathroom in the apartment to her in the bathroom on the plane to Sweden.  The flowers the may queen sits in and wears are so beautiful.  The acting in this movie is phenomenal from everyone on screen, with Florence Pugh having an outstanding performance.  The acting by the community in Sweden is very unsettling because they do things very differently from America.  The effects in the movie are disturbingly realistic and I had to look away a couple times, mainly during the elderly cliff scene.  Some other disturbing scenes include the barn scene, and when they make puppets using the peoples skin.  But also the non-gore effects are good, when Dani is tripping on mushrooms, strands of grass are coming through her hand and it looks cool.  Also I’m immediately upset for Dani because she calls her boyfriend because she’s worried about her sister, and he’s just dismissing her.  And when they hang up he’s out with his friends and they’re all talking crap about her and Christian is agreeing with them.  It’s also so much more irritating because if this man child wasn’t with Dani she wouldn’t have gone to Sweden and went through the craziness of the religious cult they visit.  As each American visiting disappears everything just becomes more and more chaotic.  The rituals of this community are really odd, specifically the mating ritual, and I did not enjoy all the naked people on screen.  Also I am completely on Dani’s side even though she ends up completely brainwashed.  It was so real of her to choose to sacrifice Christian.  The music in the final scene is amazing, and Pugh’s expression at the beginning and the end of the sacrifice are insane and interesting to compare.  Overall I give Midsommar a 10/10.

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