Tag Archives: 2017

Saw (2004) Movie Review

This review of Saw is part of the Saw Franchise Retrospective¬†series in anticipation of this month’s release of Jigsaw.

The first image we see in James Wan’s Saw, now somewhat of a perennial torture porn classic, sets up the illogical world that this series is grounded in. A fitting introduction, one might say. We see Adam (Leigh Whannell, who also serves as screenwriter) underwater in a tub with a key dangling in front of his face. He is holding his breath, but also unconscious. When he wakes, he yanks open the drain and the key disappears forever.

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How long was he out? How could he be alive after Continue reading Saw (2004) Movie Review

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Gerald’s Game (2017) Movie Review

A sexually frustrated married couple, Jess (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood), travel to a vacation home in the forest to spice up their sex life. Two pairs of handcuffs (the real ones, not those fuzzy novelty ones that break when you really get going) trap Jess to the reinforced bedposts of a queen-sized bed.

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Jess stops Gerald as the sex game goes to far and starts treading into a rape fantasy that she was not expecting, but of course it can’t simply end there. As they fight about their broken marriage, Jess repeatedly asking for him to uncuff her, Gerald Continue reading Gerald’s Game (2017) Movie Review

Happy Death Day (2017) Movie Review

Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) wakes up hungover in the dorm room of Carter Davis (Israel Broussard). Glibly, she blows him off and leaves to her sorority house, where she continues to brush off people left and right. If you cannot yet tell, she is not a very nice college student. She doesn’t even care that it is her birthday.

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She goes to class (she is engaging in an adulterous relationship with her professor), comes home to prepare for a party, and leaves alone to get there. On the way, she is cornered by a masked knife-wielder and killed. But wait… Continue reading Happy Death Day (2017) Movie Review

The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) Movie Review

Over the past decade, The Poughkeepsie Tapes has become an artifact of horror fandom lore. Initially set for a 2007 release, John Erick Dowdle’s mockumentary profiling of a serial killer was pulled from the release slate and faded away.¬† In 2014, the film received a light VOD release and vanished again.

On October 10, 2017, The Poughkeepsie Tapes was given, for the first time, a proper release. It is currently available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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In retrospect, the film feels like the found footage love child of The Blair Witch Project and V/H/S. Talking head interviews frame the story of a serial killer who Continue reading The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Movie Review

Caution: This review makes mention of two key plot points of Blade Runner 2049 that may be construed as “spoilers,” even though both are pieces of plot information that are introduced early on in the film. Either way, Denis Villeneuve reportedly asked critics not to reveal any plot points of the film, so I guess you’ve been warned.

It has been 35 years since Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, a dystopian urban image of a world in which people are hired to hunt down and “retire” artificial beings known as Replicants. Based on, if only in its philosophical quandaries, Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the film questioned where the line between humanity and artificiality is.

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The script of Blade Runner 2049 from Hampton Fancher and Michael Green continues this existential exploration. The film, directed by Denis Villeneuve, whose cinematic visions have only grown in terms of visuals and heady ideas, follows a new Blade Runner code-named K (Ryan Gosling) as he stumbles upon Continue reading Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Movie Review

The Houses October Built 2 (2017) Movie Review

Should I start off conversation on The Houses October Built 2 by addressing the logical miscalculations of its very first scene, the cold open which picks up where the first film left off. Last we saw of Brandy (Brandy Schaefer) she was buried alive in a shallow grave, screaming for her life. Now, we find her back in the trunk were she was before being buried in a coffin, being dropped off on the side of the road by the Blue Skeleton haunt crew.

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So, did she fall unconscious again before the masked men took her out of the coffin? Are they magicians? Or was their an awkward moment where they unburied her and dragged her screaming back to the trunk? That would be a bit anti-climactic.

The Houses October Built 2 follows the same formula as the first film, in which the crew of haunted house thrill-seekers travel to Continue reading The Houses October Built 2 (2017) Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes (2017) Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes, in name and historical story, appears to be a feminist film, and in a sense it is. Mostly, though, it is merely a safe movie about a feminist figure.

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The crux of the film is the tennis match between self-proclaimed chauvinist Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) and #1 women’s tennis player Billie Jean King (Emma Stone), but the action begins with Continue reading Battle of the Sexes (2017) Movie Review