Horror films are a niche with a dedicated community of followers. There are folks who love nothing more than to sit back and watch something terrifying while either being compelled, shocked or even amused.
Around these parts, there’s a podcast that’s been bringing light to these films and the people who love them. It’s called the PVD Horror Podcast, and it’s hosted by Brandin Whetstone, Josh Dahlin and Dave Lizotte.
Along with being a fixture on the internet, the podcast also hosts monthly screenings at Buttonwoods Brewery, located at 530 Wellington Ave. in Cranston. Their next one screening will be of “Slumber Party Massacre 2,” scheduled for Sept. 10 at 8 p.m.
Whetstone, Dahlin and I recently had a talk about who came up with the idea for the podcast, films they’ve bonded over, having different tastes and how they go about choosing the films for the screenings.
ROB DUGUAY: Who initially had the idea for the PVD Horror Podcast?
BRANDIN WHETSTONE: It all started between myself, Josh and Dave, so the three of us run the podcast. We’ve always had a goal to establish a cool community around horror films, so that’s how everything kind of started. It’s just some friends coming up with a cool idea.
RD: What are some of your favorite horror flicks that you guys have bonded over?
JOSH DAHLIN: “Psycho Sisters,” hands down.
BW: The thing about PVD Horror is that we each have different tastes. Dave and myself love horror slashers and types of movies like “Halloween,” “Friday the 13th.” Josh likes a lot of the lower-budget stuff and other different types of films, so that’s what makes the podcast the way it is because we all have different tastes. Some films that Josh likes, he’ll show them to us and we’ll give it a chance, and vice versa. It’s cool.
JD: I like those “made in the basement” type of horror films that you can get for five dollars. Those are my favorite.
RD: What do you think of the current state of horror films these days? It’s definitely gotten a lot more gory, but there are also a lot of films like “Saw” and “Escape Room” that have had technology play a big part in the role of the antagonist, and there are others that have used aspects of social media as well.
BW: I think it’s very cool. Josh and I have children and they also love horror, so it’s now bringing this new generation in with all this new technology. Over the pandemic, we were able to watch a movie with my kids about a horror website and they used Zoom. I thought it was great how they used technology, social media and everything to come up with new ideas. I think it’s really awesome. Like you said, “Saw” can be pretty gory and with new technology we’ve seen Chucky in the new “Child’s Play” remake become a digital doll. It’s definitely taken horror to another standard and it’s opened the eyes of new fans.
JD: For me and my kids, it helps us bond with the art form because they understand it. We just watched a movie where there’s a demon that goes through TikTok every time somebody does a dance and they understand that and we can relate to that. It draws us closer as a family because they like their stuff, they understand it more, and of course me being a horror buff I’m all about it. It really fills a gap between the younger generation and the older generation, in my opinion.
RD: How did the film screening series start at Buttonwoods Brewery and how do you go about picking the films?
BW: Once we pick our films, we break down a list of ones that we all enjoy and ones that we love to watch and have fun. We also think about the horror community that we’ve built. We all want to have a good time and socialize. We go through a list and we break it all down while coming up with different ideas. We’re so deep into social media and we’re always talking to our followers, so we know a lot of their tastes and things that they don’t like. We have weekly polls regarding which films people think are underrated, really bad, cheesy and other things, so we kind of get an idea of what our fans love.
A lot of people just love stuff from the ’80s and we’ll do an ’80s horror night, which usually does well. It’s usually a film that everyone’s seen over and over and it makes people want to come back because it’s not an atmosphere where you have to be quiet and pay attention. It’s something on the screen that everybody has watched and loves so they can just have a good time and be themselves. It’s also something that we love to put on under the PVD Horror name.
RD: For the podcast side of things, what do you have as the vision for PVD Horror going forward in the future?
JD: We do two separate things for the podcast. We go on social media and bring up films that not a lot of people might know about, and we bring those to the forefront to discuss them. We also do tons of interviews. Usually it’s 50/50 and we’ll try to keep it that way going forward. We have a lot of interesting people in the community that have offered to be on the podcast and we just haven’t gotten to them yet. Plus, we’ve also done some really awesome interviews already, but going forward I think we’re going to try to engage in more community activity on a local level, especially in Providence, Cranston and the surrounding areas. We want to give Rhode Island a big push in the horror community in general.
BW: We’ve had great guests like Brad Greenquist from the original “Pet Sematary” and Diane Franklin from “Amityville II: The Possession.” We’ve had a lot of fun talking to people in the horror community, it’s been awesome and we definitely have a lot more guests coming soon.
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