The urge to create complications, to produce bigger and stronger obstacles within stories, is one of many balancing acts writers manage when crafting their stories. Introductions of characters and settings, moving the narrative forward, designing conflict – these are all… Read More ›
“The 16th Episode” features shades of other found footage films yet remains uninspired.
A movie that centers around three YouTubers wanting to make their own movie/documentary is something we saw about 20 years ago with The Blair Witch Project, which centered on three film students whose goal was to document the Blair Witch… Read More ›
In the mood for good, cheeky fun? Look no further than teenage horror-comedy “Slaughterhouse Rulez”.
Chances are, even if you’re reading this, that the film Slaughterhouse Rulez is a bit of an enigma to you. Despite boasting a cast which includes Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz), Nick Frost (At World’s End), Michael Sheen (Tron: Legacy), and… Read More ›
Existential dread only gets you so far in “Head Count”.
We’ve seen so many horror movies where the central focus is on a group of people in their 20s who go out in the middle of nowhere and are then stalked by a bunch of murderous psychopaths. While the story… Read More ›
“Room for Rent” doesn’t deliver on the scares or the fun audiences want.
Let’s talk horror of the modern age. With the huge success of studio darlings like It, Us, and Halloween, as well as smaller, artsier films like Hereditary, The Witch, and It Comes at Night, there is a big discussion of… Read More ›
Horror thriller “Starfish” focuses on personal loss within a global apocalyptic scenario.
The phrase “Based On A True Story” elicits many responses. In some instances, it suggests an attempt to recreate significant events, whereas, in others, it implies not a recreation, but an interpretation of events. It’s Schindler’s List or 127 Hours…. Read More ›
Found footage horror film “Haunted Hospital: Heilstätten” offers a meta commentary on Internet culture.
When executed well, the found footage subgenre can be an incredibly immersive experience, spellbinding the audience and convincing them that everything they’re about to witness is not just real, but urgently so. The most famous of these films is 1999’s… Read More ›
Hallucinogenic nightmare “Braid” warps reality in the first feature from Mitzi Peirone.
There’s a moment in writer/director Mitzi Peirone’s Braid where you’re either all in or all out. When the mayhem’s rising, the blood flowing, and the veil of reality’s so thin it’s barely perceivable, a choice has to be made: embrace… Read More ›
“Piercing” manipulates your expectations to great satisfaction.
February is becoming a strange month. Like January, February tends to be a dumping ground for films not likely to find an audience or for films leaning into Hallmark’s notion of love. While some aspects of this remain true (markets… Read More ›
“Suspiria” utilizes dance as a conduit for horror in ways not yet seen on screen before.
Let’s talk about the 1977 Suspiria, shall we? In the grand scheme of 20th-century horror, it doesn’t really get much finer than Suspiria. Sure, it’s pretty light on substance and heavy on style, much in the vein of other horror… Read More ›
Eco-thriller “Strange Nature” terrifies in all the wrong ways.
Whatever aspect of the film industry you’re in, you’re in because you love it. It could be the creation of creatures, the set design, or the costumes that lured you in or maybe it’s crafting the stories performed, being the… Read More ›
“Knuckleball” is a pitch you won’t see coming.
Ever wondered what the 1990 classic Home Alone would’ve been like if it weren’t a kids’ movie? That seems to be the starting point for director Michael Peterson’s thriller Knuckleball, which sees a clever 12-year-old stave off the murderous advances… Read More ›
Familiar and clichéd, “Mara” isn’t the stuff of nightmares.
The opening titles of Mara state that 40% of the world’s population suffers in some form from sleep paralysis, which seems like a generally applicable number. They soon follow it up with the idea that two thirds report having encountered… Read More ›
“Down A Dark Hall” is a surprisingly elegant and beautifully constructed YA adaptation.
Lois Duncan deserves more respect as an author, at least from people of a certain age who grew up reading her books. To many people, Duncan’s novels, however silly they could sometimes be, were the first tastes of dark, twisted… Read More ›
Unfortunately, technical prowess doesn’t outweigh narrative weakness with “Along Came The Devil”.
Horror films involving demonic possession seem to be one of the hottest trends in recent years. From the Conjuring series, the Insidious series, and the upcoming Suspiria remake, horror films about possession utilize supernatural elements recycled time and again in… Read More ›
Portuguese dark arthouse film “The Forest of the Lost Souls” is worth a jaunt.
Horror fans looking for something more cerebral should check out the Portuguese dark arthouse film The Forest of the Lost Souls (A Floresta das Almas Perdidas) from first-time feature director José Pedro Lopes, dropping into select theaters August 3rd 2018…. Read More ›
Introspection and patience reward when “The Night Eats The World”.
The wealth of film hitting theaters and VOD services is enough to overwhelm even the most discerning cinephile, which is why it matters to remain open to films beyond your borders both physical and metaphysical. Locking ourselves into genres, into… Read More ›
Netflix’s Martin Freeman-led zombie apocalypse feature ‘Cargo’ meanders narratively, reducing tension and emotion along the way.
For years now, zombie-related stories have been the rage on screens big and small. Whether telling the on-going story of a group of survivors (AMC’s The Walking Dead) or a one-shot of a father protecting his daughter (Train to Busan),… Read More ›
Despite appearances, ‘Ghost Stories’ is no by-the-numbers affair.
Writing partners Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson are likely not names you’d know though you’re likely familiar with their work. Nyman’s an actor who’s worked on The League of Gentlemen, The Brothers Bloom, and Despicable Me 3, whereas Dyson’s spent… Read More ›
You won’t sleep while ‘They Remain’.
With only one other directorial credit under his belt, writer/director Philip Gelatt helms the full feature adaptation of Laird Barron’s Lovecraftian short story —30– under the name They Remain. Tracking the complex relationship between two scientists working in a remote encampment,… Read More ›