REVIEW: The Conjuring 2 [2016]

“This is the closest to Hell I ever want to go” When a formula succeeds as well as that of James Wan‘s The Conjuring and its real life subjects have as extensive a Rolodex of haunting investigations as Ed and Lorraine Warren, the prospect of a sequel arrives as both inevitability and an initial pause. Generally these types of projects change creative hands early so studios can rush ahead without worrying about scheduling conflicts, but Wan has never been one to shy away from involvement on subsequent entries to his…

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REVIEW: The Mule [2014]

“Who doesn’t want a veranda, eh?” Directors Tony Mahony and Angus Sampson‘s The Mule is not at all what I expected. The marketing materials draw it up as a B-movie romp, something the involvement of Sampson and Saw co-creator Leigh Whannell (they co-wrote this one together from a story by Jaime Browne) helps corroborate. Besides a couple gross-out moments due to the excremental nature of the plot, however, the film proves differently. It’s instead a rather slowly paced true-life thriller spanning two weeks while the authorities wait on their captive…

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REVIEW: Cam2Cam [2014]

“r u alone?” This year’s most tonally out-of-place ending goes to Cam2Cam. A horror/thriller pitting the murderer of a young American in Bangkok against the victim’s sister for either vengeance or a smart getaway somehow finds itself culminating in a weirdly romantic vibe of lost loves sending gifts via post to remember the lovely time they had in Thailand. It’s the biggest left turn since The Truth About Charlie‘s mediocre by the numbers remake shifting to memorable WTF whimsy for its final five minutes. Cabin Fever comes to mind too.…

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Posterized Propaganda February 2014: ‘RoboCop’, ‘The LEGO Movie’, ‘Non-Stop’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. February is here, January dump month is over, and 2014 is officially ready to take control with only a few more festival holdovers from last Fall. A couple summer-caliber flicks…

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REVIEW: The Conjuring [2013]

“There’s usually always some rational explanation” After watching the cinematic account of the Perron family’s plight in 1971 during James Wan‘s The Conjuring—alongside a brief view at Annabelle, the creepiest little possessed doll ever—it’s hard to believe paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren’s most infamous case of demonic insanity was Amityville. Described as the story that couldn’t be told until now via an opening text-based screen crawl reminiscent of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the events that occurred in Roger (Ron Livingston) and Carolyn’s (Lili Taylor) Rhode Island home are…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2012: Summer Excess and Festival Freshness

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Summer is over and the studios still have a few genre flicks to unload before the arthouse, festival favorites begin rolling out. Oh, and Halloween is here too. The sad…

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Posterized Propaganda February 2012: The Dreadful and the Dread Inducing

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. And we’re back after ignoring a month where the most interesting poster was Liam Neeson‘s face washed out in white. I’m not saying February is any better—because it’s not—but at…

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REVIEW: Insidious [2011]

“Last night I watched myself sleep … then I flew away” Ever since James Wan and Leigh Whannell collaborated on what became a franchised sensation in Saw, expectations for the two were high. I haven’t seen their second film, Dead Silence, but I do remember press being positive and the creepiness of dolls—a motif the two seem to champion, (look at the chalkboards for an Easter Egg here)—quite unnerving. So, with the buzz on their newest horror film, Insidious, almost universally great, I became excited for what could be an…

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REVIEW: Saw 3D [2010]

“If I’m lying, take me to the quarries” Could it be the final installment in the increasingly convoluted saga that is Saw? I’ll admit that I checked out somewhat after episode four, to me the last really strong story formed from the surprisingly intelligent and creative Jigsaw mythology. After that it all rapidly devolved to merely a series of traps loosely tying one innocuous poor soul to the big picture, trying hard to make it relevant but only futilely stretching the whole thing thin. The seventh entry, forgoing the roman…

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REVIEW: Zombieland [2009]

“It’s amazing how far you can go with costume jewelry and a cutthroat attitude” It is sometimes a fine line to cross when handing the reins of a big budget film to a newcomer, but that’s exactly what Sony Pictures did with Zombieland. The foursome in the lead aren’t necessarily A-list big money talent, but they are stalwarts in the industry, (Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin—I know she’s 13, but she did get an Oscar nom), and rising stars, (Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone). Steeped in horror clichés and more…

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REVIEW: Repo! The Genetic Opera [2008]

“All debts are paid at the opera tonight” Blood, gore, goth, and … opera? If Darren Lynn Bousman is behind the camera, yes, they meld together into a passion project for all to experience. He can thank the success of the Saw franchise, which he directed three installments, for allowing him to get the financing and support to put Repo! The Genetic Opera into theatres, (even if it didn’t come to my hometown). The middle third of a planned trilogy of rock-horror, the film takes place in a future where…

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