REVIEW: Dèmoni [Demons] [1985]

“I’ll hold your hand if it’s scary” The concept behind Lamberto Bava‘s Dèmoni [Demons] is pretty great. It’s a reinvention of the rise of demons trope for an age of pop culture devotees within the 1980s era of its making. Rather than deal with cemeteries or rituals, Dardano Sacchetti‘s story (the script is credited to […]

REVIEW: Life [2017]

“Its curiosity outweighs its fear” Calling Daniel Espinosa‘s Life an Alien retread is the easy thing to do. Both are tensely claustrophobic science fiction films with a violent extraterrestrial that’s loose and in search of the crew. But it’s also a very reductive comparison considering they are nothing alike beside genre conventions. The missions are […]

REVIEW: The Void [2017]

“You’d be surprised at the things you find when you go looking” I was recently comparing directorial culture today with that of the 80s and 90s, referencing how new technology has allowed a disintegration of the old school “pay your dues” mentality. Forty years ago you had artists working their way up under the tutelage […]

REVIEW: Grave [Raw] [2017]

“Two fingers will make it come up easier” We strive to become ourselves in college thanks to that first taste of freedom after adolescence’s long haul packed tightly at home and within part-time jobs and/or classes alongside peers who simply don’t want to be there. This is when we’re able to let loose and buckle […]

REVIEW: The Love Witch [2016]

“All it is is using your will to get what you want” It’s an ingenious aesthetic premise: to create new cinematic pursuits showcasing women as the empowered gender—a stark contrast to most Hollywood fare—by utilizing the old Technicolor look, feel, and tone of artifice. Writer/director Anna Biller in effect embraces the synthetic properties of her […]

REVIEW: Get Out [2017]

“Magic isn’t real” If you ever watched “Key & Peele” you’d know the line between comedy and horror is very fine. Their sketches would often devolve into a horrific situation that you’d have to cry about if you weren’t already laughing. I think of “Aerobics Meltdown” where there’s this hilarious conceit of Keegan-Michael Key and […]

REVIEW: Drifter [2017]

“It’s a wasteland. There are no more rules.” You can be two things inside a post-apocalyptic wasteland devoid of morality according to writer/director Chris von Hoffmann: stoic badass on a journey of vengeance or unhinged cartoon cannibal with tongue readier to lick flesh than gun is to blow a hole in someone’s head. There’s no […]

REVIEW: XX [2017]

“Well I have to eat. Don’t I?” The concept is simple: task four female directors to create and film four unrelated shorts in the horror vein—with female-led casts—to be combined into a single compilation in which to show off the talents and voices of artists Hollywood continues to ignore. Tap newcomer Jovanka Vuckovic (whose “The […]

REVIEW: The Autopsy of Jane Doe [2016]

“It looks like they were trying to break out” There’s no sign of forced entry. Two bodies are brutally murdered upstairs and a naked woman without a skin blemish is discovered half-buried in the basement. Sheriff Sheldon (Michael McElhatton) is at a loss. He can theorize the locals’ demise—even if it won’t quite fit perfectly—but […]

REVIEW: Split [2017]

“In the sun we find our purpose” It doesn’t get better than The Village where M. Night Shyamalan is concerned. That film was a perfect confluence of his screenwriting and directing capabilities, a tale of love and protection through drastic measures as metaphor for the struggles of parenthood steeped in heavy emotion and guilt without […]

REVIEW: The Bye Bye Man [2017]

“Don’t think it. Don’t say it.” A horror movie slated to open in October means buzz and solid expectations. It used to be you didn’t see the genre at any other time—back before studios discovered how cheap they were to produce and how palatable they were to teens looking for something to do on a […]