★★★★ out of ★★★★★ When true film auteurs wander outside of their staid and classical lines and in to the horror genre there’s always the potential for some serious magic. Kubrick with the Shining, Freidkin with the Exorcist, Spielberg with Jaws, and even Danny Boyle with 28 Days Later. All these major film think-o-logists had a crack at horror and walked away proud at what they had accomplished, or so ashamed at the terror they had brought to the cineplex, they never came back to the genre. One of the greatest film auteurs of all time, Robert Altman, wandered in to horror with aplomb, but sadly his seminal effort has been forgotten in the sands of time.
Tag Archive for ‘horror film’
Mike’s Review: Victim of Love (Another Hole in the Head Festival)
★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ A super stylish and exceptionally well-scored film that’s partially in Danish and partially in English and…wait for it…features a character who’s half Danish and half American.
Mike’s Review: Alive (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Just when you thought the zombie genre had plumb run out of ideas along comes a pretty interesting and pretty inventive take on on a concept that’s…uh…dying.
Mike’s Review: Scare Me (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ How’d you like a little Chekhov with your Texas Chainsaw? A little Edward Albee with your Conjuring? Or even a dash of Ibsen with your Insidious? Sound too good to be true? Well it’s not.
Mike’s Nightstream Review: The Queen of Black Magic (2020)
★★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ In the latest installment of “If you’re not watching Indonesian horror movies, you’re blowing it,” brings us 2020’s The Queen of Black Magic. It’s true. Indonesia is the new incubator for the creepiest crawlies that the horror genre has to offer. Every country has had their day in the sun. The UK plastered us with Hammer and Amicus throughout the 1960s. The US reimagined the genre with slashers and super killers throughout the 1970s and 80s. And Japan brought a whole new slate of water and hair-borne frights in the late 1990s and in to the early 2000s. Now it’s Indonesia time to shine.
Mike’s Nightstream Review: Leap of Faith William Friedkin on the Exorcist (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ There exists that great space in documentaries that take place decades after the event occurred. It’s this beautiful melange of revisionist history, lucid thoughts, purposeful sleepwalking, and repressed memories. All answers are correct and infallible when the documentary is filtered through the iconic lens of a single and thoughtful directorial darling. THE William Friedkin is the ultimate bridge between Hollywood’s glorious beginnings and the revolutionary young guns of the 1970s. It should come as no surprise the Friedkin has some rather insightful things to say about one of the greatest films of the 1970s, possibly the greatest horror film of all time, and in some camps, THE greatest film ever put down on celluloid — the Exorcist.
Mike’s Review: Spiral (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Horror movies really are the ultimate glimpse in to the soul of man. Society’s reflection upon itself. Our most base thoughts, visions, hopes, dreams, and fears all laid bare for the universe to see. The historic period of time is largely irrelevant to the equation, because the result is always the same — man’s continued inhumanity to man.
Mike’s Review: The Pool (2019)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ So close. Not quite. Just about there. One more try. Close but no cigar. You’re right in the ballpark. Just. One. More. Inch. This is the prevailing and effectively repeated trope in the 2019 (U.S. release) Thai film, the Pool.
Movie News: The Vigil Trailer
Blumhouse is back on the scene with a brand new joint that’s guaranteed to give you a mean case of the shivers. Don’t look now, but the Vigil is coming your way on July 31, 2020.
Movie News: Possessor Trailer
Ultraviolent sci-fi? Sign us up! Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, darker, and more complex — along comes Possessor. Directed by Brandon Cronenberg (offspring of THAT David Cronenberg), Possessor allegedly involves some high-falutin corporate espionage, some brain control devices, and a whole lotta’ assassinating.
Mike’s Review: The Beach House (2019)
★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ If you’re not completely freaked out by the current pandemic, the strange and uneven response to the greatest crisis the world’s faced in the modern era, then have we got a film for you! This is not a fun filled family fete at the beach, oh no, The Beach House is a dark and twisted look at our current state of affairs filtered through the very real possibility that the worst is yet to come.
Horror Short: Desert Quarantine (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ “Timely, topical, and terrific.” Well that’s what the Scariest Things Podcast would say if Variety came calling for a pull quote. Joe Burke’s (Four Dogs) brand spanking new horror short Desert Quarantine is a perfect reflection of a perfect reflection of society’s current spate of worry, hate, fear, and confusion.
Mike’s PHFF Review: Uncle Peckerhead (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Pulling off a feature length film takes some serious gumption. Pulling off a film that balances impeccable comedic timing, a fully realized soundtrack, empathetic characters, complicated friendships, and a heaping dose of spatter gore — well, that’s a whole different story. Directed by horror short filmmaker Matthew John Lawrence, Uncle Peckerhead hits every single note and simultaneously manages to bang out a gory film that would make Herschell Gordon Lewis blush.
Mike’s Review: Z (2019)
★★★ out of ★★★★★ With an increasing number of horror films eschewing the well-trodden path of gore, gags, and scream queens, there’s always the risk of re-calibrating too far to the other end of the scare spectrum. Over the last 20 years there’s been a trend towards melancholy and family trauma — Shudder calls it parental terror, we’re calling it melancholy horror. Sometimes the quiet and somber affairs work and sometimes they’re just weighty, boring, and devoid of scares. The Shudder original Z certainly ran that risk, but effectively shook itself off the melancholy mantle.
Mike’s Review: Lake Mungo (2008)
★★★★★ out of ★★★★★ There exists this exquisite location somewhere right between a documentary, a dramatization, found footage, a fictionalized accounting of events, and a full on horror show. This venn diagram of a locale is a rather tough place to pinpoint and few films ever wandered there. That was of course until 2008 when Lake Mungo was released.
Mike’s Review: Lights Out (2016)
★★ out of ★★★★★ The tweens are taking over! Hollyweird has handed over the castle keys to a gaggle of focused-grouped 13-year olds. Scary films are now purposely trying to not be scary. All is lost.
Movie News: Extra Ordinary Hits the Streets on March 6
Our universal fav’ film from 2019 gets its official release on March 6! Prepare to laugh, cry, and get 👻 spooked.
Mike’s Review: Dr. Sleep (2019)
★★★.5 out of ★★★★★
Nearly 1,000 pages of creepy thoughts, actions, and psychic happenings were laid out between the Shining and its murderous offspring, Dr. Sleep. It seemed impossible that 1) the Shining would be made in to a film, 2) that Stephen King would be so dissatisfied in one of the true horror greats, 3) that it would deserve a remake, 4) the story would evolve in to a 500 page psychedelic mishmash, and 5) that mishmash would be made in to its own celluloid opus. Seem fantastical? Well it is.
Mike’s Review: Bliss (2019)
🤟🤟out of 🤟🤟🤟🤟🤟
Are you a fan of a) Metal, b) vaguely satanic possessions, c) explicit drug usage, d) nudity, e) lots of blood (read: LOTS), and f) the word FUCK? I mean, sure who isn’t in favor of all these things right? Each has lots to offer. They’re interesting. Taken in small doses they can be a very powerful antidote to a lagging cinematic undertaking. When taken in over-dose-like proportions the gore and bad words take on an underwhelming status.
Mike’s Review: The Color Out of Space (2020)
★★★ out of ★★★★★
Is the ultimate test of a director the ability to grow, mature, and evolve? Pick up new tricks, devices, and viewpoints? Create new and unique takes on the film medium? OR, is it the director’s job to figure out what formula works, stick with that, and never grow, mature, and evolve. Sort of a “greatest hits” approach to filmmaking.
Trailer Alert: Color Out Of Space (2020)
The most fully realized film version of an HP Lovecraft story? More psychedelic freakouts from Nick Cage? The return of more Mandy-like weirdness? A real live Cthulu monster? Director Richard Stanley’s (Island of Dr. Moreau, Hardware, Dust Devil) return to greatness? SO. MANY. QUESTIONS!
Mike’s Review: Mausoleum (1983)
★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ 1983 just called. Your VHS tape is overdue!
Mike’s Review: The Marshes (2020)
★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ Word has it that the kids are in to mash-ups. Girl Talk, Danger Mouse, a little Jay Z, a little Beatles. Throw it all together and see what sticks. 2020’s the Marsh (originally released in 2018 in Australia) does just that — but maybe a little too much.
Mike’s Review: Tenebre (1982)
🔪🔪🔪🔪1/2 out of 🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪 The rules surrounding Giallo have been firmly established. Beginning somewhere around 1964 with Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace and continuing to the present with such color-soaked homosexual freakouts as 2019’s Knife+Heart, Giallo has been around the block.
Mike’s Review: Eli (2019)
★★ out of ★★★★★ Hey Netflix, we see you over there! Yeah, you. Trying your darnedest to jump on that horror bandwagon, peer in to the abyss, produce that oh-so-perfect horror film, and reap the ghoulish accolades of horror fans everywhere. Just so you know, it’s not working. While 2019’s Eli is awfully close to being a solid film you still have a lot of work to do to make in the fast-paced world of horror.
Mike’s Review: Girl on the Third Floor (2019)
★★.5 out of ★★★★★ As we’ve all come to learn in the horror game, a haunted house, no matter how haunted, does not a movie make. For that matter, a bunch of spooky trappings within a haunted house, also does not a movie make.
Mike’s Review: Martin (1978)
★★★★ 1/2 out of ★★★★★ Vampires have been around for a long time (read: possibly forever?) and their story has been told in a weirdly limitless number of ways. Sexy vampires. Gory vampires. Child vampires. Deaf vampires. Suffice it to say, the votes are in and humanity LOVES its vampires!
Mike’s Review: Wolf Creek (2005)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
The joy of youth. The post-college road trip. Finding your way in vast spaces. Unconstrained, unconfined, uncontrolled. The world is your oyster, until it isn’t.
Mike’s Review: House on Sorority Row (1983)
★★.5 out of ★★★★★ College isn’t for everyone. There’s peer pressure, there’s social acclimatization, there’s the freshman 15, there’s the daily grind of keeping one’s grades in check to maintain that almighty scholarship, and then there’s the relationships. The social bond that’s created can be a lasting and spiritually satisfying affinity, but the bond can go so deep that it’ll eventually turn collegiate relations sour and crazy.
Mike’s Review: The Boar (2017)
🐷🐷.5 out of 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷
The planet is running out of animals. Literally and figuratively. Hollyweird has given us sharks (Jaws 1-4), rabbits (Night of the Lepus), bears (Grizzy), fish (Piranha), and man’s best friend (Cujo). There’s even been birds, wolves, snakes, rats, and gators, and whatever the hell a sharktopus is supposed to be. One of the things that Hollyweird hasn’t gotten its money-grubbing paws on is the pig, javelina, or boar – until now.