★★★ 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.
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Mike’s Review: Three from Hell (2019)
★★ out of ★★★★★ At Rob Zombie’s darkened dirtbag core is a full and unfiltered embrace of the age-old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Slow motion. Hyperbolic acting (or in some cases no acting). Closeups so close you can count individual pores Captain Spaulding’s grease-paint soaked forehead. Weirdly rare and off-putting selection of non-Joe Walsh James Gang tracks. If you’ve seen House of a Thousand Corpses and Devil’s Rejects then you’ve been thoroughly exposed to Mr. Zombie’s cinema trickery.
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.