Category Archives: Horror

They’re coming to get you, Barbera.

Crimes of the Future (2022) Movie Review

The near-future of Crimes of the Future is marked by the progression of medical technology. And the progression of human evolution in the form of biological mutations. For some, vestigial organs and appendages serve as performance art pieces. Inner beauty takes on new meaning in a world like this. Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) and Caprice (Lea Seydoux) have grown a reputation in the art world by performing live surgeries, during which Caprice removes useless organs which Tenser’s body spontaneously produces.

It is also implied that, in this future, “surgery is the new sex.” People’s tolerance for pain has drastically increased. Tenser remains wide awake as Caprice uses a mechanical autopsy machine to open his Continue reading Crimes of the Future (2022) Movie Review

Men (2022) Movie Review

I have a distinct feeling that Alex Garland planted things in Men, the writer-director’s new film starring Jessie Buckley and a bevy of Rory Kinnears, which I have not entirely picked up on. Namely, allusions to religion and mythology which fly outside my knowledge structures. Yet what I did understand about Men, what was left after those allusions are stripped away and narrative and theme remain, was altogether so blunt and superficial that I in moments thought I was watching a parody of a specific breed of arthouse film. A parody of the exact film Men is.

This is not a case of I didn’t understand the film, therefore I don’t like it. On the contrary, Continue reading Men (2022) Movie Review

X (2022) Movie Review

An idealistic group of pornographers are looking to find stardom and profits in the late-1970s, just as the home video market is knocking on the door. But this is not Boogie Nights. The group of (mostly) young couples land at a remote homestead in rural Texas to run-and-gun this film, where the threat of violence seems to be just outside the frame. But this is not The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, either.

In 1979, six Houston natives rent a guest house from an elderly couple in rural Texas. The homeowners are wary of the young folks — they certainly wouldn’t take too kindly to them shooting an amateur adult film on their property.

Nevertheless, producer Wayne (Martin Henderson) assures Continue reading X (2022) Movie Review

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) Movie Review

Catch me on the right day and I’ll tell you that Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is my favorite horror movie. It jostles around with a few other notables, but it will likely never leave my top three.

The Fede Alvarez-produced, David Blue Garcia-directed Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) could be compared to the 1974 masterpiece with which it shares a title (sans definite article). Not just because it shares a villain, but also because it adopts a similar thinness of plot and character and dialogue. That said, I am not about to tell you that this year’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre is among my top three all-time horror favorites.

Let me tell you why. Oh, let me count the ways…

For starters, and I make similar mention of this in my review of the last awful Chainsaw installment, no sequel, prequel, nor reboot of Hooper’s original film can hope to Continue reading Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) Movie Review

Scream (2022) Movie Review

The extra-textual more or less fuels Hollywood at this point. Intertextuality and metatextuality exists in all manner of blockbuster cinema. And this certainly bleeds through to the audiences. Even casual moviegoers have become intimately aware of the larger, interconnected puzzle that makes up the Marvel cinematic universe, enough so that Spider-Man: No Way Home is released not as some esoteric nerdcore comic book movie which only the most knowledgeable fans are able to follow. No, it is one of the most profitable films ever, regardless of pandemic concerns.

This is not to discredit audience literacy over the way Hollywood functions, of course. And the self-referential, metatextual, etc. has been around in cinema for Continue reading Scream (2022) Movie Review

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