The Daily Stream: Things Is DIY Horror Madness You Need To See To Believe

The Movie: "Things"

Where You Can Stream It: Shudder, Tubi

The Pitch: What do you do when you visit a cabin in the woods? If you are the friends at the center of 1989's "Things," then you sit around and drink beer. Maybe you walk around the house a little bit only to find that a bunch of giant ant creatures are secretly roaming around. Perhaps you will occasionally watch the news hosted by an adult film star.

Look, I understand that this synopsis could be a lot more straightforward. However, Andrew Jordan's infamous DIY horror is anything but straightforward, veering wildly between plot lines and tones across its 83-minute runtime. There are about five to ten straight minutes of our central characters doing nothing before something crazy happens, only to go back to yet another long stretch of nothingness. Their Canadian accents are so strong that your first assumption might be that they're Americans pretending to be Canadians. The titular creatures are essentially just giant ant toys. Both in theory and in practice, it's not a very good movie.

Despite all of this, "Things" is also one of the most authentic movies you will likely ever watch. It is proof that anyone can pick up a camera and make a movie with their friends, even if their resources are limited. The less you know about this film, the better your viewing experience will be because its mere existence feels like a testament to horror filmmaking.

Why it's essential viewing

If you are expecting high production values for everything you watch, then you will likely get tired of "Things" extremely quickly. Shot on a Super 8mm camera and released commercially on VHS (via Coming Soon), it feels like you're watching someone's weird home movie rather than a "legitimate" film release. It is clear that Jordan and co-writer/star Barry J. Gillis had no idea what they were doing while making the film.

However, that's the real beauty of "Things." What the film lacks in quality, it makes up for in genuine passion. While watching the movie, it becomes clear that Jordan and Gillis were making it entirely based on vibes, perhaps learning what the filmmaking process is like as they go. That, in all honesty, is more authentic than anything following the recent trend of "movies about the magic of movies" because it shows that anyone can just pick up a camera and go for it. It doesn't matter whether you have experience in actually making movies or not. What does matter, however, is the fun you have while making it, a feeling that is clearly felt in every meandering scene.

There is no better time to watch "Things" than now. It's the quintessential cabin in the woods movie, albeit with a lot more beer-drinking and weird blood-sucking insects. If you're looking for something off the beaten path to watch this Halloween, go into this film armed with only the knowledge I've bestowed upon you here. You won't regret it.