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 Doom, The 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
10 Cloverfield Lane is a weird movie.
I finished watching it approximately three hours ago; afterwards I discussed it over beers with the friends who accompanied me, and then I thought about it on the long walk home alone. And now here I sit typing up this review, and still the best and most accurate word I can use to describe it is weird. I totally enjoyed about 94% of it. But still: weird.
For those living under a rock or visiting from a different planet (in which case, welcome), there has been a lot of buzz (and, dare I say that vulgar word, hype) over the past few months surrounding 10 Cloverfield Lane. And I say “past few months” literally because, prior to the second week of January, there hadn’t been so much as a peep about a Cloverfield sequel. I mean, nothing. For the last 8 years, fans of the original had been offered – at best – a maybe regarding a sequel, and that was coming directly from the Cloverfield camp, specifically J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves. In fact, it pretty much seemed like a dead issue — that is, until, audiences who went to see Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi in January were delivered one hell of a surprise: a teaser trailer for a movie entitled 10 Cloverfield Lane. Continue reading “10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016) REVIEW
On his way home from work, Christian bumps into an old friend, Wyatt, who he hasn’t seen in awhile. They do the small talk bit: Christian’s life is going well and he doesn’t hesitate to make it known; Wyatt’s life, not so much, so he does the whole “Oh, me? Oh, yeah, everything’s great. I’m GREAT. Why am I holding these two suitcases? Oh, well…” thing. Before you can say this never happens in real life, Wyatt is up in Christian’s apartment making himself cozy, but, y’know, not too cozy – he continually insists “Hey man, I’ll just grab my stuff and go…” (more)
Have you checked the children?
This is the question posed to mousy babysitter Carol Kane via creepy unsolicited phone call in 1979’s When a Stranger Calls. Kane has the police trace the line and gets the shock of a lifetime when an officer tells her: the calls are coming from inside the house – get out of there, now! (more)
I want you to close your eyes and imagine something. Well, close your eyes metaphorically speaking – keep reading this, though. Okay, clear your mind. Now imagine the Internet is down… forever. You have no phone – smart, flip, or otherwise. No texting, no Instagram, no Facebook. No cable, no reality shows. No pizza. No eBay. No public transportation. You start working at age 12 which includes waking up at 4 a.m. and doing manual labor until sundown; you’ll never get paid $40,000 a year to work from your cozy apartment (one block away from that hip coffeeshop) writing listicles for some cutesy start-up blog. Reaching your 50th birthday is rare, and worst of all: no one cares a goddamn about you. Survival comes before anything else. Sounds horrific, right? Welcome to 1630! (more)
There’s no denying it: horror anthologies are hot right now. The format has always been a popular go-to for the horror genre, but by the late-’90s it sort of fizzled out. Enter Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘R Treat in 2007 – a Halloween anthology, naturally – and boom, the sub-genre was revitalized. Since then there’s been Chillerama (utilizing horror’s goofiest gorehound directors), the V/H/S and The ABCs of Death franchises, and even a few T.V. shows like Darknet and Black Mirror. More recently there’s been Tales of Halloween, and soon the upcoming Holidays. There’s also been a slew of lesser watched stuff that I didn’t mention, but trust me when I say: anthology-style horror is hot. (more)