BAD THINGS on Shudder is a new horror movie with LGBTQ characters and a touch of THE SHINING. In a very good way that is clearly a tribute and with a female touch. A lot of mindf*cks in this one. Read our full Bad Things movie review here!

BAD THINGS is a new Shudder horror movie with a core cast of female and non-binary actors. Don’t worry, there are men in this movie as well, but since the core characters are all somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella, they’re not required in any of the relationships.

There is a definite touch of THE SHINING in terms of both the setting and the main character. However, the main character also brings to mind another iconic character like Taxi Driver‘s Travis Bickle. She has a lot of rage. The main character in this Shudder horror movie is a woman, which definitely goes to show that those iconic characters could’ve been female.

Continue reading our Bad Things movie review below. Find the movie on Shudder from August 18, 2023.

The Shining with a female gaze

This new horror movie begins when a group of friends leave the city to spend the weekend in an abandoned hotel. Not my kind of weekend getaway, but it does also have more of a practical reason. Ruthie Nodd (Gayle Rankin) inherited the hotel from her grandmother. She needs to decide whether to sell it or keep it and make a career out of it.

Unfortunately, the hotel does also come with a lot of bad childhood memories. Most of them involve her mother, who has always been absent. Even when present, Ruthie has craved the love of her mother and never gotten it.

That’s why it’s no surprise that she wants to sell the hotel and forget all about it. However, her partner Cal (Hari Nef) dreams of renovating it and making it their job to run it.

With them at the hotel for this “getaway with a twist” are their friend Maddie (Rad Pereira) and the mysterious Fran (Annabelle Dexter-Jones), who has a few secrets of her own. Actually, all the characters have their own agenda.

Fairly early on, there’s a solid vibe of The Shining. No, this hotel isn’t out in the middle of nowhere like the Overlook Hotel. Instead, The Comley Hotel is in more of a suburban setting. However, the hotel is closed and we’re in the middle of winter. Also, two joggers keep showing up and they definitely reminded me of those iconic twins who wanted to play!

Bad Things (2023) – Review | Shudder Horror

A story of mother and daughter

As Bad Things comes to an end – don’t worry, no spoilers about the ending here – it does become increasingly clear that our main character is very hung up on her mother. This in itself isn’t out of the ordinary. However, her inability to connect or communicate in any way with her mother is.

In that sense, this very much becomes the story of mother and daughter. She hungers for approval and love but doesn’t get it. Instead, she tries to get it from wherever it’s available.


Be sure to check out Mother, May I? where the issue is between mother and son >

And yet, it’s never quite satisfying enough, which results in some drastic decisions and brutal actions. Get ready for some very scary final moments at The Comley Hotel. It really is a place where women do bad things. As stated by the director: “Instead of seeing bad things being done to women, we see women doing bad things”.

There’s also a chainsaw at this shutdown hotel. And someone clearly inspired by (as an obvious pop culture reference) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. Okay, the first one especially. A gorgeous moment for any fan of horror movies!

Watch Bad Things on Shudder or AMC+

The writer and director of Bad Things is Stewart Thorndike. This is the second film in a trilogy about the power of motherhood – the first movie being the 2014 horror drama Lyle starring Gaby Hoffman.

The fact that this movie is the second in a trilogy makes me happy as it means I have a third movie to look forward to. Or, I mean, I do fear what kind of mindf*cks the third film will have. And yet, I also welcome them. These complex characters with disturbing mental challenges are fascinating to watch. From a distance.

Bad Things manages to be an actual ghost story. Think The Shining and what might haunt an old hotel. But also a very real look at mental illness and full-on rage. Think Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver – or just What Keeps You Alive. There’s nothing subtle about the main character as she comes unhinged. But that’s mostly because we see all aspects of her.

You’ll see! This new horror movie on Shudder has a runtime of just 1 hour and 23 minutes, so give it a shot.

BAD THINGS is coming to SHUDDER and AMC+ on August 18, 2023.


Director: Stewart Thorndike
Writer: Stewart Thorndike
Cast: Gayle Rankin, Hari Nef, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Rad Pereira, Jared Abrahamson, Molly Ringwald


For a group of friends in the Northeast, a weekend getaway at a snowy resort sounds like just what the doctor ordered. An opportunity to reconnect, relax, and recuperate among serene, snow-capped mountains and trees. But peace doesn’t last long as the ghosts of guests past and relationships long buried come to light. Soon enough, their trip transforms into a psychological tailspin and bloody nightmare, as both long-deceased guests and the space itself come to life, and the group turn on each other in a race to stay alive.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
Latest posts by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard (see all)