REVIEW: The Standoff at Sparrow Creek [2019]

“One’s missing” The film begins in total silence to the point where you wonder if something went wrong with the sound. The camera pans through still trees until finding Gannon (James Badge Dale) on the ground with rifle ready to take out the deer we can assume is somewhere out of frame. It’s only when […]

REVIEW: Rust Creek [2019]

“You learn real quick what all can burn you” When Sawyer Scott (Hermoine Corfield) receives the call she’s been waiting for, she can’t help but smile. It’s the first step towards a post-collegiate future with a job in Washington DC all but secured—the tiniest bit of uncertainty preventing her from telling her folks why she […]

REVIEW: New Year, New You [2018]

“I control my own destiny” You cannot talk about Sophia Takal‘s New Year, New You (the fourth episode of Blumhouse Television’s holiday-themed Hulu series “Into the Dark”) without mentioning producer Jason Blum‘s reaction to a Twitter storm in October that stemmed from an interview wherein the low-budget financier relayed an erroneous statement that “there are […]

REVIEW: The Possession of Hannah Grace [2018]

“Green means go” Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) is so intentionally drawn for the plot of The Possession of Hannah Grace that you can take bets before sitting down on whether she’ll prove the hero (itching for redemption as a former cop who froze when her partner was shot and killed in the field) or future […]

REVIEW: The House That Jack Built [2018]

“The choice is entirely yours” I can’t wait to discover what’s next for Lars von Trier‘s oeuvre. He followed his Dogme 95 phase with a period steeped in depression and now that one has seemingly just ended with [the blatantly autobiographical] film The House That Jack Built. At its center is the personification of this […]

REVIEW: Widows [2018]

“This isn’t your world” When the first trailer for Widows dropped, I thought, “Steve McQueen is branching out to genre fare now.” This wasn’t a slight, just an observation. I obviously wanted to see it, but thought I could wait before the notes out of TIFF declared it a must-see. Suddenly I needed to reevaluate […]

REVIEW: Madeline’s Madeline [2018]

“This is just a metaphor” One of the worst things you can be told as a child is how brilliant you are. Parents and mentors love to throw this sort of blanket praise out with promises that everything will work out for you without thinking about the ramifications of what such a falsely optimistic indoctrination […]

REVIEW: Marlina Si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak [Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts] [2017]

“This is my prisoner” Considering the seemingly endless number of Hollywood male directors tackling women empowerment films as a means to declare themselves feminists while also—wittingly or not—preserving their careers at the expense of the women they’re seemingly in solidarity with, you must give renowned Indonesian director Garin Nugroho credit for recognizing the treatment he […]

REVIEW: The Clovehitch Killer [2018]

“I like bad news” Don Burnside (Dylan McDermott) is a pillar of his community. He’s the troop leader of his son’s (Charlie Plummer‘s Tyler) church-adjacent Boy Scouts, a devout man of the Lord alongside his wife Cindy (Samantha Mathis), and the type of guy to go out of his way to volunteer and make the […]

REVIEW: Gräns [Border] [2018]

“You shouldn’t listen to what humans say” Customs officer Tina (Eva Melander) stands at attention while a line of passengers exiting an international flight walk by, her nostrils perpetually flaring. She’s sniffing them as a means of discerning which might have illegally undeclared possessions on their person. An “Excuse me” later and her partner is […]

REVIEW: Monster Party [2018]

“Simple as a pimple” I have to think writer/director Chris von Hoffmann saw The Purge and wondered what could be born from reversing the good guy and bad guy roles. Those are generic terms of course since both movies ultimately contain bad guys and worse guys, but for the sake of argument we’ll say that […]