All posts by Alex Brannan

Halloween Kills (2021) Movie Review

Halloween Kills is so busy being a sequel to Halloween (2018) and Halloween (1978) that it forgets to be a coherent horror film. Don’t get me wrong, David Gordon Green’s follow-up to his 2018 hit reboot is a bloody mess of a slasher movie (in a good way). But it is also a bloody mess of a script (in a bad way).

When Green and co-writers Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley (Scott Teems replaces Fradley on this sequel) decided to scrap franchise continuity to focus on Continue reading Halloween Kills (2021) Movie Review

Fantastic Fest 2021: Barbarians, Knocking, Found Footage Phenomenon — Movie Reviews

The Found Footage Phenomenon, Barbarians, and Knocking are screening as part of Fantastic Fest 2021.

The Found Footage Phenomenon

The Found Footage Phenomenon is just what it says on the tin: an overview of the phenomenon of found footage horror films that sprung into the mainstream after the massive success of The Blair Witch Project in 1999. As a primer for the uninitiated,  Continue reading Fantastic Fest 2021: Barbarians, Knocking, Found Footage Phenomenon — Movie Reviews

Fantastic Fest 2021: The Slumber Party Massacre — Movie Review

The Slumber Party Massacre (2021) is screening as part of the 2021 Fantastic Fest.

The original The Slumber Party Massacre, written by Rita Mae Brown and directed by Amy Holden Jones, holds a special place in my heart, as it does for a number of slasher fans. The 1982 cult film was delightfully subversive, coming in the midst of the glut of slashers from the 1970s-80s

Needless to say then, that there are big shoes to fill for this remake (from my perspective, at least). This said, Continue reading Fantastic Fest 2021: The Slumber Party Massacre — Movie Review

Fantastic Fest 2021: V/H/S/94 — Movie Review

V/H/S/94 is screening as part of the 2021 Fantastic Fest.
 
V/H/S/94, the fourth installment in the cult horror anthology film series, follows the franchise’s weakest entry, V/H/S: Viral, a forgettable and occasionally downright lazy film. 94 marks the return of Simon Barrett and Timo Tjahjanto, the former of which had a hand in both V/H/S and V/H/S/2 and the latter of which directed a segment in the second film. It seems evident that this film is meant to be a course correction of sorts.

 

These films garner mixed reception overall, but I’ve had fun watching the first two films with friends. They aren’t Continue reading Fantastic Fest 2021: V/H/S/94 — Movie Review

Fantastic Fest 2021: Homebound — Movie Review

Homebound is screening as part of the 2021 Fantastic Fest.

Sebastian Godwin’s debut feature, Homebound, is a lean domestic thriller with a transfixing tone and a less-than-satisfying conclusion.

Holly (Aisling Loftus) is off to meet her fiance Richard’s (Tom Goodman-Hill) ex-wife and children in the countryside. On arrival, most of the family is nowhere to be found. Eventually, Richard’s estranged children come out of the woodwork. However, they are cagey and distant. The ex-wife, Nina, is apparently not planning on showing up at all. By dinner, even Richard is acting somewhat strange, exhibiting mood swings which Holly is off-put by.

Something is amiss. Perhaps it is just collective nerves over this novel situation. Richard hasn’t seen his children in quite some time. Holly is meeting them for the very first time, and at least two of them are not providing a warm welcome. But… Continue reading Fantastic Fest 2021: Homebound — Movie Review

Fantastic Fest 2021: Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest — Movie Review

Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest is screening as part of the 2021 Fantastic Fest.

Seth Gordon’s 2007 The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters has become something of a cult doc. It depicts a classic underdog story within the arcade gaming community. An unknown family man who plays a Donkey Kong cabinet in his garage at nights goes after the world record set by video gamings biggest name at the time, Billy Mitchell. (Mitchell was later accused of cheating and falsifying his achievements. His world records were temporarily stripped from him and ultimately reinstated in 2020. There remain open legal cases on the issue which have yet to be resolved).

Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest, from director Mads Hedegaard, is something of a spiritual sequel to The King of Kong in its story of niche glory among average joes in the increasingly fading arena of the video arcade. But even more so it is an Continue reading Fantastic Fest 2021: Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest — Movie Review

Review: The Sadness — Fantasia Festival 2021

Robert Jabbaz’s debut feature film, The Sadness, takes place in the midst of a pandemic. In particular, it takes place during a point in a pandemic where people have stopped worrying about mutations and have largely gone back to their normal day-to-days. Against this backdrop, young couple Kat (Regina Lei) and Jim (Berant Zhu) have planned a vacation. They begin the movie arguing over Jim needing to take on a job during the same week Kat has taken time off of work. Given where this film eventually goes, it is a somewhat banal place to begin the film.

There are many who will turn on this movie. It certainly gives you plenty of chances to turn as events in this Taiwanese city shift from Continue reading Review: The Sadness — Fantasia Festival 2021

Fantasia Festival 2021 Movie Reviews — Glasshouse, Sweetie You Won’t Believe It, The Last Thing Mary Saw

Glasshouse; The Last Thing Mary Saw; and Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It are screening as part of the 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival that runs Aug. 5 to Aug. 25.

Glasshouse

Glasshouse is an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller. It explores  Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2021 Movie Reviews — Glasshouse, Sweetie You Won’t Believe It, The Last Thing Mary Saw

NYAFF 2021 Movie Reviews — Three Sisters, Shadows, The Silent Forest

Shadows, Three Sisters, and The Silent Forest are screening as part of the 2021 New York Asian Film Festival that runs Aug. 6 to Aug. 22.

Three Sisters

Lee Seung-won’s Three Sisters is a meditative drama about the distant lives of three sisters leading up to their reunion at their father’s birthday party. Mi-yeon (Moon So-ri) is the mother of two in a religious household, and she discovers her husband is engaging in an affair with Continue reading NYAFF 2021 Movie Reviews — Three Sisters, Shadows, The Silent Forest

NYAFF 2021 Movie Reviews — Sinkhole, Joint

Sinkhole and Joint are screening as part of the 2021 New York Asian Film Festival that runs Aug. 6 to Aug. 22.

Sinkhole

Sinkhole is a midbudget blockbuster from South Korea and a disaster movie in its purest form. From director Kim Ji-hoon, who has dabbled in the disaster genre before (The Tower), the film is about exactly what it says on the poster. When  Continue reading NYAFF 2021 Movie Reviews — Sinkhole, Joint