REVIEW: Pappy’s World [2018]

“Come on. Tickle me.” A self-proclaimed “socially responsible Blaxpoitation” horror short from director Matt Wisniewski and co-writer Fred Polone, Pappy’s World arrives as though a music video for Buffalo-based art-rock project Smokin’ Black Tar with an opening guitar-led track against the silent movements of a young girl (Jaz Frazier) around Christmastime. While she eyeballs a […]

REVIEW: The Meg [2018]

“Discover and then destroy” An adaptation of Steve Alten‘s Navy deep-sea diver/paleobiologist Jonas Taylor-led series of novels has been in the works pretty much since the first installment was published back in 1997. There have been six literary sequels written since then as the property changed hands from Disney to Warner Bros. and directors from […]

REVIEW: Beau [2011]

“Well I’m horrified too” Just before he’s about to leave his apartment for a flight to visit his mother, Beau (Billy Mayo) realizes he’s forgotten his dental floss. What should be a quick jaunt upstairs to the bathroom becomes the biggest mistake of his life upon returning to see his keys—which he left in the […]

REVIEW: The Ranger [2018]

“Coming here was a really bad idea” With punk rock blasting from the stage of a hole-in-the-wall venue that’s probably not actually open to the public considering an eventual police raid shutting it all down, Chelsea (Chloe Levine) is introduced looking the part if not quite one hundred percent committed to this zero consequence, wild […]

FANTASIA18 REVIEW: Cam [2018]

“I literally love you” There’s a moment in director Daniel Goldhaber‘s Cam where Alice (Madeline Brewer) is talking to her younger brother Jordan (Devin Druid) about the previous evening’s performance on web-cam site Free Live Girls. She moved past sex gimmicks towards the dark world of snuff film aesthetics and it worked to move her […]

FANTASIA18 REVIEW: Pengabdi Setan [Satan’s Slaves] [2017]

“Have pity on the children” It wasn’t until 2006 that cult Indonesian horror film Pengabdi Setan [Satan’s Slave] finally received a DVD pressing after accruing its mystique without subtitles courtesy of a Japanese VHS. The 1980 release from director Sisworo Gautama Putra has been called an unofficial remake of Don Coscarelli‘s Phantasm, its supernatural haunting […]

FANTASIA18 REVIEW: Vuelven [Tigers Are Not Afraid] [2017]

“We forget who we are when the things from outside come to get us” You know things are bad when the art coming out of an area reaches a point where “dark, metaphorical fairy tale” becomes a necessary style to wield as intense catharsis. There’s probably better markers to highlight when a community’s abject horror […]

FANTASIA18 REVIEW: Lifechanger [2018]

“I’m not ready to die” To take Justin McConnell‘s horror film Lifechanger at face value is a mistake. You won’t understand this truth right away, though, because it starts out being exactly what you thought. Emily Roberts (Elitsa Bako) awakens covered in blood next to an emaciated corpse as a man’s (Bill Oberst Jr.) voiceover […]

FANTASIA18 REVIEW: Blue My Mind [2018]

“I’m wasting my youth on trains” Adolescence is a metamorphosis from youth to adulthood—a time defined by its constant state of flux physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Puberty is the backbone to this period because of the changes it inflicts. It alters our hormones and appearance while also providing a moment with which to be reborn. […]

FANTASIA18 REVIEW: La nuit a dévoré le monde [The Night Eats the World] [2018]

“I’m the one who’s not normal” Who would survive a zombie apocalypse? The extroverts who’re always part of a crowd, oblivious to the dire circumstances of their surroundings and therefore unable to escape the clutches of an oncoming horde mere inches away before recognition? No. Nor should they. When you think about the type of […]

REVIEW: The First Purge [2018]

“Pray Not Purge” There’s a brief loss of picture halfway through The First Purge‘s end credits that reveals a full-blown commercial for the upcoming ten-part television “event” based on its own franchise. It’s a bad look, especially for those already wondering if James DeMonaco cashed-in after writing and directing the first three installments of his […]