‘One Cut of the Dead’ and the Magic of Genuine Surprise

Sometimes, I come across a movie that’s so unique and so weird that I find myself at sort of a loss for words. Not because the film is indescribably amazing or anything like that, but because the very act of trying to give a synopsis spoils it. These are the kinds of movies that are best gone into completely blind, and having it reveal itself … Continue reading ‘One Cut of the Dead’ and the Magic of Genuine Surprise

‘Wolf Creek:’ Sadism in the Outback

Aliens, werewolves, ghosts, and demons. All of these monstrous staples of the horror genre have been endless sources of terror onscreen for generations of movie-goers. Everyone has their weaknesses, that one thing that scares them more than anything else. Maybe it’s bugs, with movies like The Fly and Arachnophobia making you positively squirm in your seat. Maybe you’re deeply Catholic, and anything involving a possession … Continue reading ‘Wolf Creek:’ Sadism in the Outback

Ti West Crafts the Perfect Prequel With ‘Pearl’

Earlier this year, director Ti West and A24 gifted us with the wonderfully subversive X, a stylish, thoughtful send-up of 70s slasher and grindhouse sensibilities. It was a clever, brutal film, dripping with subtext and artistry, yet still managed to deliver on the requisite kills and thrills in a way that even the most disinterested of horror audiences could appreciate without feeling bogged down by … Continue reading Ti West Crafts the Perfect Prequel With ‘Pearl’

‘Barbarian’: You’ll Never Use Airbnb Again

Horror films can often come from the most unexpected of people. And perhaps surprisingly, a lot of these people end up being comedians. Bobcat Goldthwait gave us the excellent Bigfoot found-footage film Willow Creek. Danny McBride was responsible in part for bringing Halloween back from the dead in 2018. And who would have thought the man behind this gem would go on to make such … Continue reading ‘Barbarian’: You’ll Never Use Airbnb Again

The Predator Gets Some Much-Needed Redemption in Hulu’s ‘Prey’

The older I get, the more I realize that my taste in movies is probably the direct result of having been raised by people who had absolutely no idea what was appropriate for a child to watch. Some of my earliest, fondest memories as a kid revolve around watching a revolving cavalcade of sex, violence and adult language that I had no business whatsoever experiencing, … Continue reading The Predator Gets Some Much-Needed Redemption in Hulu’s ‘Prey’

An Environmentally-Unfriendly Visit to ‘The Bay’

When I was a teenager, I did a three-year program called the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School. Part of a larger initiative all throughout the state of Virginia, the program was, essentially, a way for select students to take college courses and pursue some higher education while still in high school. It was an amazing experience, one that prepared me for my actual college years better … Continue reading An Environmentally-Unfriendly Visit to ‘The Bay’

Jurassic World: Dominion Manages the Impossible: Makes Dinosaurs Boring

When I was growing up, I was pretty much the textbook definition of what you’d call a “dinosaur kid.” I was obsessed. I’m pretty sure there’s some old home movies floating around of me, as a small toddler, just casually rattling off Latin names for the extinct beasts, surely much to the chagrin of my poor parents. I was convinced, for the first several years … Continue reading Jurassic World: Dominion Manages the Impossible: Makes Dinosaurs Boring

‘Leaving Dc’ A Lesson on Anticlimax and the Deflation of Tension

As any writer will tell you, endings are hard. I used to give Stephen King (who remains my favorite author) endless grief for his seeming inability to satisfyingly end any of his stories post, like, 1990. That is, right up until I started writing fiction myself, and finding that, holy hell, endings are the worst. Telling a story is easy. You can pile on as … Continue reading ‘Leaving Dc’ A Lesson on Anticlimax and the Deflation of Tension

Savageland: Found Footage Horror Gets Sickeningly Political

I’ve been on a bit of a found footage kick lately. I know some of you out there really can’t stand the genre, due either to its conventionally low production values or its tendency to induce motion sickness faster than not-quite-up-to-code teacup ride at a sketchy carnival, but I’m a huge sucker for any film made with a handheld camera and roughly six dollars. They … Continue reading Savageland: Found Footage Horror Gets Sickeningly Political

Nic Cage Soars as Nic Cage in Stellar Love Letter to Nic Cage ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’

I feel like I’ve gone on the record more than enough times on this site in defense of Nicholas Cage. The movies of his that I’ve explicitly covered, Mandy, The Color Out of Space, and Pig, are all amazing films because they exist in what I like to call the “Post-Cage” era. That is, the age of cinema where we’ve all sort of collectively identified … Continue reading Nic Cage Soars as Nic Cage in Stellar Love Letter to Nic Cage ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’