REVIEW: The Gallows [2015]

“He’s going to choke like Charlie” Something doesn’t add up. It does if coincidence is the name of the game (and it is), but that doesn’t make it plausible to accept any revelations Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing deliver in Act III of The Gallows. It’s not ruining anything to say a main character is the kid of a classmate of deceased teen Charlie who died during a high school play in 1993. The filmmakers meticulously ensure we know there are twenty years between that performance and the current one,…

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FANTASIA14 REVIEW: Ejecta [2014]

“Something came to me” Many might take my comparing Ejecta to The Fourth Kind as a slight, but I actually enjoy that film a lot. While Chad Archibald and Matt Wiele‘s science fiction horror doesn’t pretend it’s real, the crosscutting between time and styles similarly keeps us off-balance enough to buy into the escalating danger onscreen. We’re shown straight away that a government or privatized military agency has captured William Cassidy/Spider Nevi (Julian Richings) in the woods through night vision goggles and yet this convergence is the mid-point of the…

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REVIEW: Sinister [2012]

“Even I’m not old enough to know what happened” I like me a good horror film generally because their filmmakers find a freedom from the genre to create imaginative aesthetics. Rarely does one end up disturbing me to the point where I inch up to the edge of my seat and literally beg for more, though. Even knowing what’s going to happen—I guessed Sinister‘s ending as soon as the first breadcrumb dropped to foreshadow the method to the madness—my interest sometimes refuses to wane simply because I need the gruesome…

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BNFF10 REVIEW: Lunopolis [2010]

“Have a blessed day” Ever want to know what a mixture of The Fourth Kind, without the re-enactments, and Primer would look like? Well, neither did I. That doesn’t mean I was turned off at the prospect, however, especially since both those movies are highly recommended by me. So, sitting down at a Buffalo Niagara Film Festival screening of Lunopolis was one I looked forward to. Listed in the program as a Feature Film, but categorized as a Documentary on IMDB, its synopsis confused me into wondering whether this was…

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REVIEW: Paranormal Activity [2009]

“It was my inner child getting scared” Here we are, a decade later, (well, actually eight years if you factor the 2007 original release date), and the fervor caused by The Blair Witch Project in 1999 has begun again, this time in the world of ghosts/demons. Oren Peli’s low budget thriller Paranormal Activity didn’t enrapture viewers at Slamdance enough to find a distribution deal, but after a viewing by Steven Spielberg, it has become one of the feel-good stories of Hollywood. Loving the simplicity, as I’m sure the potential profit…

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REVIEW: The Fourth Kind [2009]

“Even with hypnosis, it’s black” I don’t care if The Fourth Kind utilizes real footage or not, it’s a very powerful film. All the marketing materials allude to the fact that filmmaker Olatunde Osunsanmi interviewed psychologist Abigail Tyler and, by using actual footage of her hypnotizing patients and herself, recreated scenes to give the audience the full story of what is happening in Nome, Alaska. The technique is very effective—excising names, showing the actors’ names and who they are playing, (mostly changed to withhold identities anyways), showing the “real” Tyler…

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