Scream VI, as one of the film’s own characters tells us, is a “requel sequel” — i.e., a sequel to a franchise reboot which also follows some, if not all, of the continuity of the original film(s). We have been seeing many of these in the horror genre lately (and we are scheduled to see even more), so this is good territory for a “requel sequel” of Hollywood’s favorite meta-horror franchise to interrogate. Unfortunately, this interrogation falls flats.
This film picks up where the last one left off, with the two surviving sisters of the last Woodsboro murder spree, Tara and Sam Carpenter (Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera), relocating to Continue reading Scream VI (2023) Movie Review →
This is the second installment in our “Psychotronic Cinema” series. (What is psychotronic cinema?)
The Collingswood Story has received something of a new lease on life with the continuing trend of “Screenlife” movies. Films which take place entirely on digital screen spaces find their origin point in 2002 with Collingswood. Though not Screenlife in the “pure” sense of taking place entirely on a screen (it’s maybe at 95%), Collingswood makes use of emergent technology in a relatively novel way – blocky early-2000s desktop aesthetic and all. A pandemic-era film like Host owes a great deal to this film, whose video chat technology amplifies a mood of isolation and loneliness.
Separate the film from its novelty, though, and Collingswood does not Continue reading The Collingswood Story (2002) is the First Screenlife Movie →
While I do find myself saying it quite often, I think “third act problems” is a strange statement. In most cases, a third act problem probably originates as a first or second act problem, as in, something needs to be resolved in the third act for the film to work and that does not happen. The third act reveals the problem, but it was an underlying structural problem that carries over across acts.
I make this distinction to say that Brandon Cronenberg’s Infinity Pool has major third act problems, but that these problems pertain to the film’s overall structure.
Cronenberg’s Possessor was my favorite horror movie of 2020. It is the type of film that does not give clarity to every angle of its story, but the overall Continue reading Infinity Pool (2023) Movie Review →
John Hyam’s Sick does one thing; thankfully, it does that thing pretty well.
Hyam’s previous film, Alone, was a similarly straightforward piece of genre formalism. Both films share the same singular goal: shoot people in peril. Unlike Alone, Sick comes with horror genre royalty in its byline. Kevin Williamson’s first feature screenplay since Scream 4, Sick is a cabin in the woods style slasher in the time of Covid. It is April 2020, and two college students (Gideon Adlon and Bethlehem Million) decide to quarantine together at a fancy, isolated cabin. And, as anyone who’s seen a horror film will already be well aware, no one is truly alone in an isolated cabin at night.
The first hour of this 84-minute film consists almost entirely of young people being stalked violently by an anonymous, knife-wielding killer. Unlike the other Williamson property this brings to mind, though, Sick is Continue reading Sick (2023) Movie Review →