REVIEW: The Beguiled [1971]

“Old enough for kisses” If you’ve ever wondered what would happen inside a Confederate girls seminary (boarding school) unwittingly thrust into the position of harboring a wounded Union soldier during the Civil War, Don Siegel‘s The Beguiled seeks to provide some dark answers. Based on Thomas Cullinan‘s novel A Painted Devil and adapted by Albert […]

REVIEW: The Book of Henry [2017]

“I want to see the sky” There’s a lot of backlash against director Colin Trevorrow for reasons he didn’t necessarily earn. Most of the vitriol stems from his being scooped up by the Hollywood studio machine after helming just one indie film. That debut was the Sundance award-winning Safety Not Guaranteed, a small-scale sci-fi written […]

REVIEW: 47 Meters Down [2017]

“It’s like you’re going to the zoo only you’re in the cage” There’s this great moment towards the end of 47 Meters Down when a flare ignites to reveal a trio of sharks circling Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt). It’s a beautiful image in its horrific content: warm colors illuminating the cool dark […]

REVIEW: It Comes at Night [2017]

“Are you sick?” Distill any post-apocalyptic, sickness-infested world inhabited by survivors to its core and you receive an unfiltered glimpse at humanity’s desperation. Strip away the artifice and redundant plotlines, tear down labels in the vein of hero or leader or savior, and make sure “hope” becomes an archaic concept lost to distant memory even […]

REVIEW: Alien: Covenant [2017]

“One wrong note eventually ruins the entire symphony” I was in the minority with Prometheus in 2012, declaring its brilliantly nuanced story diving beneath its genre conventions as the best entry in the Alien franchise since the original. It was spirituality-tinged science fiction whereas Ridley Scott‘s 1979 classic was character-based horror with palpable emotion-laden terror. […]

REVIEW: Lost Highway [1997]

“I like to remember things my own way” POSSIBLE SPOILERS Every cinephile has a moment when “the movies” became more than entertainment. Mine was David Lynch‘s Lost Highway. It was my first foray into the auteur’s catalog—a viewing that occurred three or four years after its initial release courtesy of a rented VHS cassette tape. […]

REVIEW: Yella [2007]

“I want you to love me again” There’s a glimmer of hope in Yella Fichte’s (Nina Hoss) eye when things finally seem to be going in the right direction. She’s earned a new job starting the day after tomorrow, one that should fill her empty bank account and lead her towards prosperity. But before she […]

REVIEW: The Eyes [2017]

“Catered kidnapping with class” The premise is hardly fresh: six people wake in a room tied to chairs, strangers without a clue as to what’s happening. Think Saw. Think Unknown (the 2006 one). Think numerous films, television shows, and other forms of media that fit the bill. So how does Robbie Bryan‘s The Eyes set […]

REVIEW: Rupture [2017]

“You will feel it soon” It’s taken ten years, but Secretary director Steven Shainberg has finally followed-up Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus. The result is Rupture, a body horror-lite tale about a woman held captive as part of an experiment meant to unlock humanity’s hidden potential to evolve beyond our current state. Written […]

TFF17 REVIEW: Tilt [2017]

“Can we get away with anything we want?” If only we could go back to the days when mid-life crises happened at fifty-years old and at best meant buying an expensive car (at worst asking for divorce to marry younger). Now this existential breakdown occurs much earlier—let’s say thirty-years old. This is what happens when […]

TFF17 REVIEW: The Endless [2018]

“Please, be quiet” To resolve is to settle, finding the determination to do something rather than simply wait for something to happen to you. A resolution isn’t therefore a firm ending. On the contrary, it serves to provide beginnings. That decision has the potential to set you onto a path towards freedom either from the […]