• House on Haunted Hill

    House on Haunted Hill

    ★★½

    The most surprising thing about this was that Vincent Price wasn’t the best thing? I mean he was great but Elisha Cook Jr. was just going for it. This is the film equivalent of a cheap haunted house at a run down amusement park, everything is unconvincing and the whole vibe is that of a gimmick; but I have fun with those rides and I had fun here.


    30 Days Of Halloween

  • Wolf

    Wolf

    ★★★

    Mike Nichols is out directing this script at every turn, but if anything sells it it’s Jack Nicholson and James Spader who play of each other really well. There are certainly some decisions made around the plot that weaken the whole but it’s still pretty focused and entertaining.


    30 Days of Halloween

  • Most Beautiful Island

    Most Beautiful Island

    ★★★★½

    Oh my word. That was one of the most stressful experiences I’ve ever had watching a movie. I want to avoid being hyperbolic but I can’t think of something that’s had me so on edge before. I love it. My mouth just hung open through the credits...damn. What a movie.


    30 Days of Halloween

  • The Town that Dreaded Sundown

    The Town that Dreaded Sundown

    This is too meta for its own good. The script isn't tight enough to sustain the copycat killer chase and everything ends in such a laughable reveal that it feels like something off of a b-rate skit show.

    Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's filmmaking is equally chaotic with constant camera movement and bizarre choices of angle. When I watched last year's The Current War I thought that this style paid off about ten percent of the time and that the rest was unfortunate…

  • The Town That Dreaded Sundown

    The Town That Dreaded Sundown

    The Town That Dreaded Sundown may not have been the first slasher but it certainly laid the groundwork for the sub-genre definers like Halloween and Friday the 13th. However in between the heavy breathing, refusal to run, and killer POV there’s a throughline that feels more in line with Zodiac. This is not a film dedicated to laying out the cold hard facts of the Texarkana Moonlight Murders, although it dresses itself up as one, but it is deeply interested…

  • Godzilla Raids Again

    Godzilla Raids Again

    ★★★½

    I’ve made it a sort of annual tradition to add a Godzilla movie to my Halloween watch list, but I’ve almost exclusively focused on the entries that avoid the existential horror of the original. So this year I decided to go to the direct follow up, Godzilla Raids Again, which was released only a year later and so has clearer continuity to its predecessor. And I was happy to find that Godzilla Raids Again built off the original in some natural and…

  • Mimic

    Mimic

    ★★

    Mimic is Guillermo Del Toro’s second feature film and shows greater technical ambition than his debut, Cronos, but lacks the heart that has become the trademark of his work. This is a standard creature feature (with post-Jurassic Park vibes) that even at its best fails you work because of two stale main characters.

    Dr. Susan Tyler played by Mira Sorvino is a blank slate who only rarely shows any sign of an internal life. The script gives her a lot of tasks to…

  • Freddy vs. Jason

    Freddy vs. Jason

    ★★½

    “Invite only, cornpoke.”

    I have very little investment in either of these characters so my bar is pretty low. Really all I want is some fun Freddy moments, a human cast that doesn’t hurt to watch, and then the two baddies hitting each other. And that’s what I got so even though I won’t remember any of these in a few days it was fun spectacle while it lasted.

    Not-So-Spooky-A-Thon
    30 Days of Halloween 

  • Jason X

    Jason X

    “This sucks on so many levels.”

    I don’t believe in capital punishment but I reconsider that every time I see the costumes in Jason X.

    Not-So-Spooky-A-Thon

  • Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

    Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

    ★★★½

    “Kids...”

    Nothing but the nonsense and honestly that’s exactly what I want. 

    Not-so-spooky-a-thon

  • Picnic at Hanging Rock

    Picnic at Hanging Rock

    ★★★½

    An ethereal horror that combines natural and domestic beauty in an otherworldly first act and then creates a ghost story sans ghosts in the second. Picnic at Hanging Rock is all atmosphere and if you can get on the same wavelength it’s a soothing and tense watch.


    30 Days Of Halloween 

  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★★★

    I don’t know if my take is in line with Ari Aster’s intentions or the general consensus on Midsommar, but it’s the one I got. 

    Dani is so utterly isolated that the intensity of community and empathy she sees displayed in Hårga is terrifying. Dani has lost someone deeply close to her, we never see her with a unique friend group, and her romantic relationship is untenable. Whether she is unable to see the layers of manipulation within Hårga  is…