Category Archives: Horror

They’re coming to get you, Barbera.

Hereditary (2018) Movie Review

There are some horror movies that make you jump. There are some that make you squirm. There are the rare ones that raise questions about the human condition. And there are the few horror movies that do all three and manage to conjure images that stick unshaken in your head long after you’ve left the theater. Hereditary is of this latter breed.

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To be fair, Hereditary does some of these things much more effectively than others. Namely, the questions it raises about the nature of grief and the things we do or do not say about tragedy fall by the wayside when Continue reading Hereditary (2018) Movie Review

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The Endless (2018) Movie Review

The creative pairing of Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson have produced three feature films: Resolution, Spring, and now The Endless. I will admit that I have not seen their previous two films (although, they made a short for the anthological horror sequel V/H/S: Viral that I did not care for).

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Without the context of their previous work, and not really knowing anything about The Endless prior to seeing it, I found the experience of the film to be Continue reading The Endless (2018) Movie Review

Truth or Dare (2018) Movie Review

On the last day of Spring Break in Mexico, Olivia (Lucy Hale) is convinced by a man she meets at a bar (Landon Liboiron) to travel to an abandoned and remote convent with her friends. There, the stranger asks them to play an innocent game of truth or dare. One of Olivia’s friends remarks with a flippant comment along the lines of, “What, like we’re in seventh grade?”

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Just to be clear, they’re not. The grown adults proceed to play the game in one of the more tonally awkward sequences of Truth or Dare (or Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare, an attribution tagged on seemingly due to the success of last year’s Get Out and Happy Death Day). The scene is meant to Continue reading Truth or Dare (2018) Movie Review

Revenge (2018) Movie Review

The rape-revenge genre is certainly not the most approachable one. It is one of the more controversial, to be certain. A squeamish one, for sure. Rarely can a film in this genre be called “fun.”

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At its most primal, Coralie Fargeat’s debut feature Revenge is a bloody good time. In the tradition of its New French Extremity predecessors, the film goes full throttle into a place best described with words like Continue reading Revenge (2018) Movie Review

A Quiet Place (2018) Movie Review

The first sequence in A Quiet Place is one of the more immediately tense openings to a horror movie in recent memory. Without fully understanding the world, we understand almost from the first shot what sort of situation we have entered into. The film opens in an abandoned pharmacy, where a family is quietly perusing the aisles for supplies. The family speaks only in sign language, even though only the daughter (Millicent Simmonds) is deaf. It is clear that something bad comes with too much noise, so they don’t make a sound.

Until they do.

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It’s a completely effective opening to the film. Continue reading A Quiet Place (2018) Movie Review

The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) Movie Review

The 2008 horror filmĀ The Strangers is, at its essence, a ripoff of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games with a high concept marketing angle (i.e. eerie masks and a crude smiley face logo). Now, 10 years later, we are granted with another high concept sequel, The Strangers: Prey at Night. It is a film that both relies on the weight of its predecessor to get people to see it and expects us to ignore that first film when it attempts the same template.

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Much of Prey at Night is a rehash of the first film. The victims, in this case a nuclear family of four (Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, and Lewis Pullman), are stalked quietly and forebodingly by Continue reading The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) Movie Review

Annihilation (2018) Movie Review

There is a scene midway through Annihilation, the latest science fiction expedition from Ex Machina writer-director Alex Garland, where a woman gets yanked off of the ground and rag-dolled by what appears to be a half-bear, half-warthog creature. It’s all right, though. We already knew this was coming.

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The woman is one of five tasked with venturing into the “Shimmer,” an enclosed, alien space that crash landed on Earth near a lighthouse and began slowly expanding. Inside the Shimmer, the Continue reading Annihilation (2018) Movie Review