Category Archives: Reviews

“XX” (2017) REVIEW

Since the release and warm reception of both V/H/S and The ABCs of Death in 2012, there have been a proliferation* of anthology-style horror films, more than a few of them sequels to the aforementioned titles. Despite an almost overabundance in those 5 short years, there’s been no real lack of creativity when it comes to theme for these films: the V/H/S series focused on our favorite nostalgic medium, ABCs were alphabetical bursts of horror, and from there Tales of Halloween took place on the spookiest of nights, Southbound dealt with a hellish highway, and Holidays bloodied up some of the most recognizable calendar dates. Continue reading “XX” (2017) REVIEW

“High-Rise” (2016) REVIEW

high2

If you took the claustrophobic paranoia and shaggy-haired chic of David Cronenberg’s apartment complex horror, Shivers (1975), added a bit of plastic personality and debaucherous decadence from Mary Harron’s American Psycho (2000), and filmed it all through Stanley Kubrick’s surrealistic dystopian lens, the result would probably be pretty close to High-Rise, the new film from director Ben Wheatley, based on the novel by J.G. Ballard.

Now if you think that description sounds like the final product might be a bit too chaotic and disjointed, well, you wouldn’t be wrong. Although all the 1970s set design is absolutely stunning to look at, the overall final product often feels disorganized. That’s not to say High-Rise isn’t an incredible and enjoyable film – it is. It’s just a lot to take in. Continue reading “High-Rise” (2016) REVIEW

“Green Room” (2016) REVIEW

green1

The way I felt watching Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room this weekend is the way I imagine unsuspecting French audiences who saw the short film L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat back in 1896 felt. Totally blindsided by moving images of a train up on the screen, the Parisian moviegoers ran screaming in terror to the back of the theater for their own safety. The film was so real and so visceral that it had an actual physical effect on them. It’s the type of reaction that film can (and honestly should) have on audiences, and it’s something this oft-jaded viewer is constantly in search of. Continue reading “Green Room” (2016) REVIEW

“Hush” (2016) REVIEW

Sometimes I watch a movie and it feels like the writer took the first simple premise that popped into their head, immediately pitched it to a producer without fleshing it out, and dusted their hands of the whole thing.

“Here’s my idea: it’s a home invasion movie, but, get this – the girl who lives in the house? She’s deaf.”

“Is that it?”

“Pretty much.”

“Congrats, kid – you got yourself a picture! Here’s a check.”

I imagine everyone shaking hands afterwards and patting backs in a satisfied manner while wearing big, shit-eating grins. Movies! Continue reading “Hush” (2016) REVIEW

“The Invitation” (2016) REVIEW

invite2

This review is entirely spoiler-free.

The month-old trailer for The Invitation is one of a rare breed. Cryptic, creepy, and alluring, it’s an anomaly among today’s trailers which seem to want to show as much as they possibly can in their 90 second runtimes. Even though nothing is revealed – except for the movie taking place during a dinner party – it’s very clear that something isn’t right at this dinner party. But trailers can oftentimes be deceiving. Is the movie able to deliver on the ominous, mysterious tone in the preview? Continue reading “The Invitation” (2016) REVIEW

“Midnight Special” (2016) REVIEW

special1

No one did “kids in danger”-style adventure movies better than – or made them look half as fun as – Steven Spielberg, especially during his early-’80s hot streak. A quick look at the films he was involved with during that period, from writing to producing to directing, reads like The Guidebook to Everyone’s Childhood: Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Poltergeist, Gremlins, Indiana Jones and the Temple of DoomThe Goonies, Back to the Future. In fact, he was so good at putting youths in questionable and precarious situations (in films for a young audience, mind you), that an entirely new rating system – PG-13 – had to be established; parents cried foul at the amount of violence and gore these films contained, despite the fact that they were, y’know, kids movies. Continue reading “Midnight Special” (2016) REVIEW