The Pale Door

Major studio releases are finally back in theaters. Horror fans, however, have to struggle with handing over box-office bucks to a movie that comes from the notably cheap Shudder production line. The film certainly opens like some dedicated schlock, with a quote from an Edgar Allan Poe poem that has as much to do with… Continue reading The Pale Door

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula

The last zombie movie to play theaters before the real pandemic started was Block Z. That was a Philippines production set in a medical school, so you could show up in a Times Square multiplex wearing a mask and surgical gloves while looking like you were just doing cosplay. Block Z was a pretty good unofficial sequel to… Continue reading Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula

Unhinged

Just when Rachel (Caren Pistorius) doesn’t think her day can get any worse, it does. While at an intersection, the pickup truck in front of her won’t move and sits through an entire green traffic light. Rachel honks at the stranger and soon regrets doing so, because the man in the pickup truck (a sweaty,… Continue reading Unhinged

Ravage

First of all, I love a nice, tight, independent horror film.  Anything with a runtime of less than 80 minutes really appeals to me. That’s the first bit of good news about Ravage, the first feature written and directed by Teddy Grennan. The film is gripping right from the beginning, and the performances are excellent… Continue reading Ravage

The Burnt Orange Heresy

There are few things more ignorant than film critics claiming Rashomon is about the relativity of objective truth. Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 drama is about absolute truth – and The Burnt Orange Heresy might be the first movie of the 21st century to properly play around with the same high concept. There’s no unreliable narrator in this story about an art… Continue reading The Burnt Orange Heresy

She Dies Tomorrow

Jane Adams & Josh Lucas in She Dies Tomorow by Amy Seimetz

The critics are raving about She Dies Tomorrow, and it’s fair to say that the film is the third best horror movie to seek out a drive-in audience in 2020 – despite lacking the big metaphor behind the wholesome sci-fi of The Vast of Night, or the slasher antics livening up the touching yuppie angst of The Rental.… Continue reading She Dies Tomorrow

Day 13

The year 2020 is going to go on record as a real downer. Disregarding for a moment all of the sickness and fear, there are other types of loss that are a bit quieter and feel a little selfish. Weddings, funerals, graduations, and other major life moments are put on indefinite hold. Live music, art… Continue reading Day 13

The Secret: Dare to Dream

Well, here’s a movie that’ll make it tough for Katie Holmes to ever mock Tom Cruise’s religion. She stars as widowed Miranda Wells, who’s in debt and overwhelmed by added expenses courtesy of bad teeth and three children. (Miranda’s also stuck with a mother-in-law who disappoints the ungrateful kids by making them Eggs Benedict instead… Continue reading The Secret: Dare to Dream

The Rental

Rental_AR_05.23.19_234.ARW

Anyone bothering to follow box-office receipts this summer has found that COVID-19 has allowed a lot of horror movies to briefly claim the #1 slot from the drive-in circuit. The Rental should be the first of these to deservedly cash in quick. That’s against all odds, too. First-time director Dave Franco isn’t the first hipster to… Continue reading The Rental

Irresistible

The first minutes of Irresistible tell us the setting is “Rural America,” followed by “Heartland, USA.” One more intrusive line of text would establish the overkill as a joke. The opening credits might also have noted how the role of Deerlaken, Wisconsin is played by Rockmart, Georgia. Unfortunately, beloved writer/director Jon Stewart never becomes that acidic or… Continue reading Irresistible