★ out of ★★★★★ Directed by Rob Jabbaz The Sadness, directed by Rob Jabbaz, begins the way your standard outbreak […]
Tag Archive for ‘Shudder’
Mike’s Review: Night’s End (2022)
★★★ out of ★★★★★
There’s nothing worse than living alone in a bleak and dreary apartment. Add Covid19 and some additional isolation. That’s pretty awful. Mix in conference calls with your patronizing ex-wife, her husband, and your best pal trying to help you transition in to the next phase of your life. Well, that’s really awful. Mix in some black magic, demons from another dimension, and true ghost hunters — then you’ve got a real recipe for demonic disaster.
Mike’s Review: Intruder (1989)
★★★ out of ★★★★★
This hop, skip, and jump down memory lane provides an incredible gory realization that horror films from the 1980s were silly, confusing, and nasty bits of business. Sure they were rather amateur-ish, but they were also exciting jumping off points for the masters of horror for decades to come! There’s Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi, Greg Nicotero, Bruce Campbell, Renée Estevez, and even famed Tarantino producer, Lawrence Bender. Some parts are smaller than others, but rest assured, they’re all there!
Mike’s Review: Hellbender (2022)
★★★.5 out of ★★★★★
It is oft said that being a parent is the most unique and rewarding experience one could ever have. Simultaneously it’s the most dull and common experience among us. There are highs and lows to be sure, but most of the relationships are spent having a meal, doing laundry, and trying to figure each other out.
Hellbender spends the large majority of its hour and 26 minute run time focused on the more mundane aspects of the parent child relationship, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a wild and peculiar odyssey.
Mike’s Review: The Runner (2022)
★★.5 out of ★★★★★
To be clear, there’s not a lot of running in 2022’s The Runner. There’s some trundling through the woods and there’s some “running shoes”, but it’s not entirely clear if you you could actually run in the shoes featured in this Shudder film. Think clunky hipster orthopedic running shoes. Probably not optimal for running.
Mike’s Review: Death Valley (2021)
★ out of ★★★★★
It’s always disappointing when someone takes one of your favorite horror sub-genres and brutally bastardizes it. The “we’re trapped in a secret military base and there’s only one way out” storyline takes some care and feeding. The situation is made even worse when it’s given the ham-fisted SyFy treatment. Little attention, little point, and little effort.
Liz’s Review: The Advent Calendar (2021)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
Stylish, creepy and strange. Begin the countdown to Christmas with The Advent Calendar.
Mike’s Review: Martyrs Lane (2021)
👻👻👻 out of 👻👻👻👻👻
The go-to move for horror filmmakers in the modern era is the tortured family dynamic. It’s creepy, hidden, sinister, and above all tragic. When you mix in a heaping dose of the death of a child, tragic can take a very dark complexion and make it, well, darker.
Joseph’s Review: Great White
★★★ out of ★★★★★
Great White delivers some effective shark-attack–movie thrills with solid acting but not many new elements.
Mike’s Review: The Amusement Park (1973/2021)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Everyone gets old. It’s no more complicated than this little horrifying truism. The world of horror is filled with ghosts, homicidal nutcases, Pazzuzu, creepies, crawlies, and robot-monsters. But, nothing, repeat, nothing, is more frightening at the prospect of losing your mental and physical faculties and facing the sad and potential finite end of life.
Joseph’s Review: Seance
★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
The directorial debut from renowned screenwriter Simon Barrett treads familiar territory but is crafted with great affection for a few different horror subgenres.
Trailer Alert! New George Romero Movie: The Amusement Park
The almighty George Romero has a new movie coming out in June 2021! Wait, hasn’t he been dead since 2017!?!? Indeed he has, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t create a mountain of content never before seen by human eyes. In the same way that Prince will be releasing albums well in to the next century, Romero may have some additional gems that have never made their way out of the crypt. Until now!
Mike’s Review: Deadhouse Dark (2021)
★★ out of ★★★★★ The horror anthology is one of the true staples of the horror genre. Always clever, always engaging. As we’ve said before, anthology horror is the traditional extension of gathering around ye’ ole campfire and scaring the hell out of each other. They hearken back to the oldest root forms of scary storytelling. It’s always frightening to hear a scary story, until it’s not.
Movie News: RLJE Films & Shudder Announce Their Acquisition of North American Rights to “Great White”
What The Exorcist is to possession movies, Jaws is to shark movies: a classic film that will likely never be equaled in its subgenre. There have been some fine shark attack films during the past few years, though, and absolutely some fun ones. RLJE Films and Shudder are releasing their entry into sharksploitation and survival horror this summer with Great White, and it sounds like it should be a winner.
Joseph’s Review: The Banishing
★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
The Banishing serves up several haunted house tropes, but it looks good while doing so, with solid performances and conspiracy angles.
Joseph’s Review: The Power
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
The Power is a riveting U.K. supernatural horror film set in a hospital during that country’s 1970s rolling blackouts, following a nurse on her first night on the job. Real-world horrors are exposed by an otherworldly force in this first-rate chiller.
Directed by Corrina Faith
Liz’s Review: Violation (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
Slow, steady and brutal, Violation is a beautiful gut-punch of a horror film.
Mike’s Book Report: Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man: Collected Stories (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ The rise of the podcast generation paired with a nation’s emerging fascination with rampant conspiracy theories is the perfect backdrop for a horrifying and mercurial folk tale. In both the case of podcasts and conspiracies people don’t stop until they’ve reached the ever-loving bottom of the barrel. The problem is these barrels have no bottoms.
Eric’s Review: Jakob’s Wife (2021) (SXSW Festival)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
Jakob’s Wife is an essay on a mid-life menopausal crisis, by way of vampirism. Jakob’s Wife delivers great character arcs and engaging acting. Barbara Crampton has been given a meaty role, and she delivers perhaps her best screen performance in memory. Larry Fessenden also is stellar as the well intentioned minister Jakob.
Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1982)
★★★★.5 out of ★★★★★
To describe this film, one must invoke the voice of Bill Hader’s Saturday Night Live character, Stefon. The audience cheers as Stefon slides in from stage right. Hands rise to face. Breathe deep. And release.
Mike’s Review: Shook (2021)
★★ out of ★★★★★ The tried and true tattered family dynamic. Kids love their Mom. Dad’s nowhere to be found. Sisters vigorously fight for their Mom’s love. Resentments emerge. The sister’s commitments to the family quickly fall to the insidious and ever-present need to feed the social media beast. We’ve all heard this tale before. Or have we?
Mike’s Review: Deadwax (2018)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ It should come as no surprise that record collectors are an awfully weird and obsessive bunch. They perseverate over every possible pressing, color, variation, and vinyl release of individual artists. Their search is endless and somewhat pointless. They fixate on whether to open a sealed copy of a rare record. Most importantly, record collectors won’t stop until their search is complete. Dead or alive.
Mike’s Review: La Llorona (2020)
★★.5 out of ★★★★★ A stunningly beautiful film that follows a not so beautiful period of time in Guatemala’s tumultuous and unfortunate history. This horror film, that’s awfully light on the horror, shows audiences that sometimes the scares don’t come from ghouls, but they come from right-wing juntas.
Mike’s Review: The Pale Door (2020)
★★ out of ★★★★★ Witches are a tricky lot. Literally. Filled with deceit and deception. They conjur up horrible thoughts in your tiny little brain. They’re always on the hunt for a new (or renewed) sacrifice. Most importantly they travel in unrelenting satanic packs of malice. The Pale Door has more fiends than you can shake a stick at, but, unfortunately, doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot with this spooky pile of occult weirdos.
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.
Joseph’s Review: 32 Malasaña Street
A family hoping for a new start in life by moving to Madrid instead finds itself targeted by an angry ghost in 32 Malasaña Street, which makes up for any familiarity with technical quality and fine performances.
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.
Joseph’s Review: Host
★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ Host is highly effective Zoom-based horror in which the cast members were also responsible for their […]
Mike’s Review: Impetigore (2019)
★★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ Ghosts, doomed villages, tortured family dynamics, the blackest of black magic, and thousand year old Javanese curses all come home to roost in the latest spookfest from Joko Anwar. Possibly (read: possibly) the best horror film director out currently, Anwar knows his way around a story, cinematic shots, and the creation of truly sympathetic characters.
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.