TIFF18 REVIEW: Rojo [2018]

“They say bodies appear in the desert” The film opens as people leave a house with objects in-hand, the assumption being that they were bought in an estate sale or pilfered before one could begin. A man (Diego Cremonesi) looks in the front door as clueless as we are to what’s happening before a jump […]

REVIEW: A Simple Favor [2018]

“Oopsy” You don’t wonder which woman has secrets after meeting Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) and Emily Nelson (Blake Lively). Instead you wonder which has more. They’re built to be hiding something in their past whether dark or not. The former: a goody two-shoes, little Miss Perfect type who always has the energy to show up […]

REVIEW: Predator [1987]

“I ain’t got time to bleed” I really hope the anecdote is true that Jim and John Thomas wrote their script for Predator based on a joke positing how the only opponent left for Rocky Balboa to fight after Ivan Drago was an alien. It’s a cheesy thought and cheesier premise, so the fact that […]

REVIEW: Searching [2018]

“Mom would be too” While it’s been done before (Unfriended and Open Windows to name two recent features), Aneesh Chaganty‘s all-on-digital-screens thriller Searching has earned a lot of buzz namely because it arrives with a genre pedigree beyond “schlock.” The vast majority of critics, filmgoers, and distributers still find it easy to dismiss horror despite […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: The Dig [2018]

“He’s on my land” After fifteen years in jail for murder, Ronan Callahan (Moe Dunford) returns home to find his victim’s father caught in a loop. Every day spent behind bars was a day Sean McKenna (Lorcan Cranitch) languished in the bog behind the Callahans’ property, digging holes along a carefully marked grid in search […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Freaks [2018]

“Go away ghost” It’s weird to think about a movie like Push today—an under-appreciated, much-maligned sci-fi that I’d argue is a lot better than the legacy it’s been given. The X-Men and Spider-Man trilogies had completed by the time it was released and Iron Man just hit theaters the year before to usher in what […]

VENICE18 REVIEW: Tumbbad [2018]

“Wake her up and ask yourself” As the Hindu folktale at the start of Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad‘s Tumbbad states: while the Goddess of Plenty birthed 160 million deities from her womb (Earth), the one she loved most is also the one that’s been erased from memory. His name is Hastar and he […]

REVIEW: Mandy [2018]

“It’s all but a beautiful dream” At some point during Panos Cosmatos‘ acid trip of a phantasmagoric horror Mandy you will start to wonder if you’re the one tripping on LSD. It could be when oily ghouls on motorcycles arrive with the call of a stone horn’s whistle or perhaps when a severed jugular sprays […]

REVIEW: Arizona [2018]

“Nothing but possibility” You should know going in that Jonathan Watson‘s Arizona is a comedy. It’s billed that way. Former “30 Rock” and current “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” writer Luke Del Tredici is responsible for the script. And Danny McBride has had his face plastered on all the marketing materials. But you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking […]

REVIEW: Elizabeth Harvest [2018]

“It just happened” Brightly lit as though a fantasy beyond Elizabeth’s (Abbey Lee) wildest dreams, we meet her and new husband Henry (Ciarán Hinds) as they drive towards the rest of their lives. She basks in the luck she believes she possesses to find a man of his intelligence and wealth even if she’s quizzical […]

REVIEW: What Still Remains [2018]

“People need to stick together” There are two kinds of people still watching “The Walking Dead”: those who love the gore quotient and believe zombies are the true enemy of the people and those who understand that the undead are merely a catalyst to expose the evil that has always lived within. I’m of the […]