The found footage horror film The Houses October Built begins with documentary archival footage and inter-titles that describe how dangerous haunted house attractions can be.
This intro is appropriate, given that the film is a restructuring of a 2011 documentary film by the same filmmakers. It is seemingly impossible to find a copy of this documentary, so one can only assume that Continue reading The Houses October Built (2014) Movie Review →
Clown, “presented” by notable horror director Eli Roth and written-directed by Cop Car and future Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts, has gotten a U.S. VOD and limited theatrical release after two years. The film was made and premiered prior to Watt’s last year’s critical darling Cop Car, and it is a psychological horror film involving everyone’s favorite terrorizing force: Clowns.
When the hired clown cancels last minute, Jack’s (Christian Distefano) birthday party is in jeopardy. Luckily, good ol’ dad Kent (Andy Powers) swoops in to save the day, Continue reading Clown (2016) Movie Review →
Age of Cannibals follows two German business consultants on a business trip in Lagos, Nigeria. While moving about their hotel, they try to convince a businessman to move his resources from India to Pakistan, deal with a new, young co-worker, and brashly handle cultural differences.
Stylistically, the films is fairly cut and dry. There is little out of the ordinary, save for Continue reading Age of Cannibals (Zeit der Kannibalen) (2014) Movie Review →
Aufdruck (stylized AUFDRUCK or LABEL) is a short film from independent filmmaker Jaschar L Marktanner. It is a film shot in elegant black and white that features a plunking piano score, a score which plods along with the conversation of two women (Mary Krasnoperova and Kira Mathis) at a restaurant.
At first glance, the film appears to be Continue reading AUFDRUCK (LABEL) Short Film Review →
Charlie (Josephine Japy) lives in a household demarcated by fighting parents. She hears her mother sob at night. At school, she becomes quietly fascinated by new student Sarah (Lou de Laage). Sarah is more impulsive, more charismatic than Charlie. They are foils, and yet their chemistry is instantaneous.
Their relationship grows when they vacation together, but it grows toward the realm of the complicated. Lines are grayed. And all the while, Continue reading Respire (Breathe) (2015) Movie Review →
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is the fifth installment of the Paranormal Activity franchise, although it is not a direct sequel. It is a spin-off of the franchise, its characters not directly involved with the rest of the series. As such, it is not to be confused with the upcoming Paranormal Activity 5: The Ghost Dimension.
In The Marked Ones, recent high school graduate Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and his friend Hector (Jorge Diaz) start filming their day-to-day encounters. After his neighbor dies inexplicably, Jesse and Hector break into her apartment to investigate. They come across Continue reading Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) Movie Review →
In the Hungarian film White God, young Lili’s (Zsofia Psotta) mixed-breed dog Hagen (Body and Luke) is abandoned by her overbearing father (Sandor Zsoter) and left for dead. Now a stray, Hagen wanders the streets fruitlessly searching for his owner, only to find himself among a group of other strays who run about the city avoiding the human world that has rejected them.
Large swathes of the first half of this film show Hagen walking through heavy-trafficked streets, moving in and out of the hands of various dog-hating lowlifes. At times, minutes go by without Continue reading White God (2014) Movie Review →
Craig Daniels (Pat Healy) is a mechanic and a family man. At least, he was a mechanic. Then he got fired. On the same day that he received an eviction notice. As he scrubs his grimy hands at the end of his short last day, a closeup reveals the wedding ring on his finger. A finger that is tensely tapping against the sink with the knowledge that its owner has fallen into dire straits.
Enter Vince (Ethan Embry), the sleazy but well meaning high school friend of Craig. Vince is a debt collector. The off-the-books type of debt collector. Then enter Colin (David Koechner), a seemingly well-off stranger who just wants some drinking company on his wife Violet’s (Sara Paxton) birthday. As per the genre’s usual tropes, something seems off about Colin and Violet. Colin is uncharacteristically charismatic and friendly. Violet is uninterested in almost everything.
As the night moves on and the drinks start flowing, Colin starts engaging Craig and Vince in a series of bets. They are innocent bets, but they come with tempting Continue reading Cheap Thrills (2014) Movie Review →
In Teacher of the Year, Matt Letscher plays the eponymous character, Mitch Carter. Mitch is humble and dedicated to his craft, yet also clearly tired and showing the desire to be somewhere else with his career. After winning California’s Teacher of the Year award, a documentary crew begins following him and the small charter school that he works for. He also gets offered a high paying position at the National Independent School Association, a job that he is hesitant to take.
The movie is filmed in mockumentary style, a genre that has become somewhat tired through its prevalence in television. In this case, nothing new is brought into the mockumentary genre. However, the talking head interviews that are employed are easily Continue reading Teacher of the Year (2014) Movie Review →
Creep is an independent horror film starring Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass. Brice also doubles as the director and triples as co-writer with Duplass. In it, Duplass plays Josef, a man suffering from inoperable brain cancer who has hired freelance videographer Aaron (Brice) to film what could be his final days for the sake of his unborn child.
The film begins with heartfelt scenes of Josef optimistically narrating fun activities that he would like his son to experience once he is gone. These scenes are also accompanied by innocent jump scares. In one, Continue reading Creep (2015) Movie Review →