Shudder’s Black Horror Anthology to Produce in Atlanta

Atlanta-based Swirl Films will produce a currently untitled anthology series for the Shudder horror/supernatural-themed streaming service focusing entirely on the work of black writers and directors. Attempting to make obvious racial discrimination and segregation sound wonderful, Shudder General Manager Craig Engler said, “We realized there was a huge untapped reservoir of great black horror stories… Continue reading Shudder’s Black Horror Anthology to Produce in Atlanta

Butchers

The tagline for this direct-to-DVD horror film references Wrong Turn, and it plays directly to that audience. Since I consider myself a big fan of that series of films, I really appreciated it. The cast is solid, with Anne-Carolyne Binette and Julie Mainville bringing extra dimension to their characters Taylor and Jenna, respectively. The plot will be… Continue reading Butchers

Freaky

There’s a scary gulf between 2017’s Happy Death Day and the sequel of Happy Death Day 2U – with the high concept of a slasher-fueled remake of Groundhog Day going from fun and innovative to plodding and self-aware. Now director Christopher Landon returns with Freaky as a horrific halfway point between his two earlier creations. This horror comedy was called Freaky Friday the 13th… Continue reading Freaky

Come Play

Come Play is sort of an unofficial sequel to The Babadook, or maybe the final entry in a trilogy of The Babadook and Lights Out! as expanded short viral horror films, or perhaps just the 746th entry in the Damn, CGI, You Scary franchise that began with Insidious back in 2010. Come Play is also no disappointment as the first decent major-studio creature feature to hit big screens… Continue reading Come Play

Possessor

Brandon Cronenberg’s first feature as a writer/director was a thriller cultivated in a social satire about fans looking to share celebrity viruses – with 2012’s Antiviral adding a twist on body horror that was worthy of his father David’s earliest work. It seemed reasonable to expect some kind of proper comedy as a follow-up. Instead, Possessor is a sci-fi… Continue reading Possessor

The New Mutants

After a cheesy big-budget Michael Bay-esque explosion on her Indian reservation, Dani wakes up in a sketchy secret hospital facility. She’s soon joined by four other “special” teens for “therapy” sessions. Before long, the teens find out that where they are is less like a hospital and more like a prison – they can’t leave!… Continue reading The New Mutants

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

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

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 Rental

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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

Shirley

This image released by Neon shows Elisabeth Moss, left, and Odessa Young in a scene from "Shirley." (Neon via AP) ORG XMIT: NYET627

Fantasy Island didn’t work out as a scary movie, so now it’s time to try Married with Children – except with a tweedy atmosphere that lends a literary twist. That’s how we get Elisabeth Moss as acclaimed horror writer Shirley Jackson, who we meet while she’s exchanging barbed witticisms with her lecherous professor husband. Those are real characters, of… Continue reading Shirley

Cannibal Apocalypse

“In early 1980,” says the opening card to Cannibal Apocalypse Redux, “director Antonio Margheriti and his crew arrived in Atlanta, Georgia, to film an action/horror film, tentatively titled Tough City in the shooting script…Even today, this successful but widely retitled and censored film – best known as Cannibal Apocalypse – remains a controversial subject.” That is all correct. This documentary… Continue reading Cannibal Apocalypse

Brahms: The Boy II

The Boy played a pretty great prank on the public back in 2016. The trailers made a pitch for just another irritating possessed-doll movie. Then the actual plot literally busted out with a great twist that put The Boy up there with The Witch and The Invitation as the year’s best horror films. (It wasn’t a particularly great year for horror film… Continue reading Brahms: The Boy II

The Lodge

The writing and directing team behind 2014’s Goodnight Mommy step up to actual Hammer Horror with The Lodge – where Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz continue their cold Austrian dissection of fatal family matters. Never mind Riley Keough’s fragile turn as single gal Grace, who’s struggling with being squirreled away in a remote location with two children traumatized by their… Continue reading The Lodge

Fantasy Island

People of a certain age will recall that the ABC show Fantasy Island was much darker when the two pilots premiered in the late ’70s as Movies of the Week. Guest stars would unearth traumatic secrets at a magical resort while host Mr. Roarke (and his diminutive sidekick Tattoo) enjoyed the cruel turns. Then the series got… Continue reading Fantasy Island

Gretel & Hansel

The girl finally gets top billing in Gretel & Hansel, but the true star here is director Osgood Perkins – who’s already written and directed two minor horror classics that have been unfairly buried under a streaming quagmire of small-screen content. Unfortunately, Perkins is just hired help for Orion Pictures in this latest updating of the… Continue reading Gretel & Hansel

Color Out of Space

Hollywood exiles unite for a proper Nicolas Cage comeback – with Richard Stanley recruiting the overblown star for the director’s own return after being famously fired a week into filming 1996’s The Island of Dr. Moreau. Stanley had previously made some excellently disturbing thrillers, but went back to documentaries after his own showbiz tale of terror. Now… Continue reading Color Out of Space

The Turning

DreamWorks has already screwed up a remake of 1963’s The Haunting, so now the studio turns to updating The Innocents in a bid to cash in on elevated horror. The classic 1961 thriller remains the best of several adaptations of Henry James’ Turn of the Screw. This latest one is kind of wobbly as a tale of a governess… Continue reading The Turning

Underwater

Norah (Kristen Stewart with a bleached-blonde crew-cut) is an engineer at an underwater station some seven miles deep near the Mariana Trench. An earthquake (along with flooding) occurs, but there’s something else sinister lurking beneath the murky depths. While some will easily compare the movie to Alien, The Abyss and the like, it more closely… Continue reading Underwater

The Grudge

Ringu deserved to become The Ring, and Shutter was definitely worthy of a (pretty good) U.S. remake – but The Grudge was always kind of a bad idea during a brief wave of Asian horror remakes. The 2004 Hollywood hit couldn’t improve on the Japanese original’s muddled mess of a story. For starters, there were way too many potential victims… Continue reading The Grudge

Little Joe

Plant breeder Alice (Emily Beecham) is engaged in developing a new species of an aromatic crimson flower with therapeutic properties of an anti-depressant, carrying the threat of an abrupt change in those who inhale its sterile pollen both socially and psychologically. Along with its mood-lifting promise of sheer happiness, those affected are protective of this… Continue reading Little Joe

Doctor Sleep

Although the screenplay is based on Stephen King’s sequel to his novel The Shining, it is most definitely a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s FILM interpretation of the first book. If you have not seen Kubrick’s film, you will not get nearly as much out of this movie as you should. (In fact, if you haven’t seen The… Continue reading Doctor Sleep

Zombieland: Double Tap

Zombie films and TV shows have reached the point of ad nauseam, but somehow Zombieland: Double Tap manages to eke a huge amount of originality out of a now tired genre. In case you’re wondering (and it’s explained pretty well in the film), Double Tap refers to the “rule” that you always ought to finish off/confirm each… Continue reading Zombieland: Double Tap

3 From Hell

Trash fiends are invited to the Sid Haig Memorial Service on Oct. 14 at your local multiplex – also known as the final theatrical 3 From Hell screening after a three-night run in September. The added date was announced just a day before Sid’s tragic death on Sept. 21. The cultish B-film star had found a decent… Continue reading 3 From Hell

The Addams Family

The marketing and promotion team for the new animated Addams Family, including pushing Addams-themed pancakes and other menu items at IHOP, has been propagandizing the new film as the Addams’ “first ever animated comedy” when that’s not exactly accurate. Some may remember the short-lived Addams Family cartoons in 1973 and then again in 1991, not to mention an… Continue reading The Addams Family

Little Monsters

Horror fans shouldn’t trust any review of Little Monsters that doesn’t invoke Shaun of the Dead. The idea of a loser getting a chance for redemption in a zombie apocalypse has a twist here, though, since Simon Pegg’s character was close to being a zombie himself. Alexander England is playing more of an overwrought weirdo who’s downright unlikable.… Continue reading Little Monsters