Tag Archives: horror movie

Hell Fest (2018) Movie Review

“This guy keeps following me around. It’s so creepy.” This is, more or less, the opening line of Hell Fest, delivered in voiceover over the opening credits. With this first line, the entire plot of Hell Fest is described. This guy, in a mask, keeps following around the group of people that we are asked to suffer through for 90 minutes. And it is, purportedly, creepy.

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Hell Fest is Tobe Hooper’s Funhouse by way of The Houses October Built (note: neither films alluded to are very good). Using a horror-themed amusement park as its setting, people are harassed by Continue reading Hell Fest (2018) Movie Review

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The Nun (2018) Movie Review

The Nun is the latest entry into the The Conjuring franchise. After a standout appearance in The Conjuring 2, the eponymous demon nun (Bonnie Aarons) is given the standalone treatment. In this iteration, it is Romania in 1952. In the catacombs beneath a rural convent, two nuns approach a door sealed with a wooden beam. Carved in that lock, in Latin, are the words “God ends here.”

On the other side of the door…

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Is an evil nun. Can’t imagine it’s a spoiler to mention that.

This cold open, aside from not making a ton of sense given the demon nun Valak’s end goal, establishes the foggy, gloomy atmosphere of the film. One of the nuns, as she runs from Valak, Continue reading The Nun (2018) Movie Review

The First Purge (2018) Movie Review

I’m going to be transparent about something up front: I’m going to the mat for The First Purge. Not only do I think it is a passable movie, but I think it is the only good Purge film to date.

The Purge is a franchise whose premise showed so much promise from the beginning. An American political system in which an annual event allows all crime to be legal for one night. It has B-movie schlock written all over it.

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Why, then, was The Purge a quaint home invasion movie? Sure, it had the high concept marketing gimmick of people in creepy masks (a concept that has reached pique kitsch by the fourth installment). But otherwise it was no different, narratively, from a Funny Games or a Panic Room (both of which: superior artistic efforts than The Purge).

Exciting to hear, then, that Continue reading The First Purge (2018) Movie Review

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

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

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

Winchester (2018) Movie Review

Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), owner of the Winchester repeating rifle company, lives in an elaborate, labyrinthine mansion of an estate. “There are almost 100 rooms in the house,” Sarah Snook’s character says early in the film. “It is easy to get lost.”

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She says this to doctor Eric Price (Jason Clarke), who is called on to judge the state of Sarah Winchester’s mental health. This is due to concern that other Winchester stock holders have over Sarah’s obsession with the idea that her house is haunted by Continue reading Winchester (2018) Movie Review