REVIEW: JeruZalem [2016]

“They say there are three gates to Hell and that night they found one of them” Is it coincidence that Google filed a new application to revive Google Glass on December 28th (despite halting production on the prototype in January) just weeks before Israeli-set horror film JeruZalem supplies a 90-minute adventure into Hell through those exact lenses (albeit a pair of fictitious knock-offs)? Yes. It’s most definitely a coincidence. But whether that technology was going to stay dead or be reborn has little bearing on Doron and Yoav Paz‘s latest…

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TIFF14 REVIEW: Spring [2015]

“I’m not drunk enough to sleep in your mother’s deathbed” The first words in Colin Geddes’ TIFF description for Vanguard selection Spring are, “Before Sunrise gets a supernatural twist.” You read that as a cinephile and you push everything aside to check out what it could mean. A horror romance co-director Aaron Moorhead described in his and Justin Benson’s (who also wrote the screenplay) introduction as “life, love, and monsters”, its Italy-set journey of an American lost and alone proves equally suspenseful, grotesque, funny, and beautiful. The best part, however,…

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TIFF12 REVIEW: Aftershock [2013]

“I’ll buy you a new hand” When opening credits begin with ‘an Eli Roth film’, you should know what to expect. While not quite his creatively—it’s directed by Nicolás López—the torture porn maestro does get a writing credit to accompany his producer and star statuses. With an act structure pretty much identical to Hostel, the fact it is less polished and includes a much more pronounced comedic bent allows viewers to experience a different reaction. Its Chilean setting provides a wealth of partying to be had by our leading trio…

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REVIEW: Српски филм [Srpski film] [A Serbian Film] [2010]

“Victim is the priciest sell in the world” I really hope Eli Roth isn’t watching because Srdjan Spasojevic has just made Hostel look like a child’s fairy tale. After seeing Српски филм [A Serbian Film], I can only imagine directors of the torture porn genre salivating at the prospect of going even further—if it’s possible to fathom there being a ‘further’. I don’t think I could handle a response, the horrors of the final forty minutes of this wanton display of pedophilia, necrophilia, rape, and murder are finding their way…

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REVIEW: The Human Centipede (First Sequence) [2010]

“Mein lieber 3-hund” Everyone needs a hobby. Hitler was a painter, Mussolini a violinist, Hussein’s was plain and simple torture, and I love watching movies. But what about Germany’s most acclaimed and celebrated surgeon for separating Siamese twins? Here is a guy with one of the most high pressured jobs in existence, having the lives of two human beings in his hands each and every time he goes to work, cleaning up what some would say are God’s mistakes. So what could he possibly do when he arrives back home?…

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REVIEW: The Strangers [2008]

“Is Tamara there?” I am all for the torture porn genre—the Saw films are entertaining, yes even the fourth, and I thoroughly enjoyed Hostel. First time writer/director Bryan Bertino has decided to throw his cap into the ring with the new film The Strangers. Supposedly based on true events, the movie ends up running similarly to Haneke’s Funny Games, except without the social commentary and instead more contemporary scare tactics with masks, (I’ll admit that seeing the faces of the killers as human beings is far scarier because you can…

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REVIEW: Hostel: Part II [2007]

“I’m not that guy” The original Hostel was a film that allowed the viewers to sympathize with the victims of an underground Eastern European killing club. With Eli Roth’s newest entry into the “torture porn” genre, he has subverted his protagonists. Hostel: Part II is very much a film about the killers, the men who have come to Slovakia in order to gain the power and knowledge of having killed another human being. I am a huge fan of the first film and thought that it was both stylish and…

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REVIEW: 13 Tzameti [2006]

“Your man kills a third and there’ll be a bonus for you” If you desire to see an edge of your seat thriller, definitely take the opportunity to go downtown to the Market Arcade Theatre and check out the enthralling, French-language 13 Tzameti, while you still have the opportunity. This film is a debut that any veteran director would love to have included in his/her filmography. A minimalist film in terms of dialogue and set, the real magic lies in the performances. Each character has his life on the line…

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REVIEW: The Descent [2005]

“Love every day” I am not a big fan of the horror genre. Many of them are just too campy or schlocky to be terrifying, too derivative of each other, or too slow and drawn out while trying to be suspenseful. Besides the first two masterpieces of the Hellraiser series and the original, read only good, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I could do without the genre completely. I don’t mention Hostel here, because as I’ve said in my review for that film, it isn’t as much a horror as a thriller…

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REVIEW: Hostel [2005]

“Elite Hunting” I have to applaud writer/director Eli Roth for what he has created in Hostel. To me this film is not as much a horror flick as a thriller told with all the gruesome brutality intact. There are no scares, no haunting music crescendoing, and no jump in your seat moments that we expect from the genre. Yes, we get blood and gore and uncut severing of body parts, the film is definitely not for the squeamish, however, Roth tells it in such a way that we as an…

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