‘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’

‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once’ is Wonderful, Beautiful Madness

Coming off of last month’s X, I didn’t think it was possible for me to love A24 any more than I already did. Boy, was I wrong about that. If you have even a casual interest in film, odds are you’ve been hearing quite a bit of buzz about Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s (or simply Daniels, as the duo call themselves) new film Everything, … Continue reading ‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once’ is Wonderful, Beautiful Madness

Sex and Violence as an Art Form in Ti West’s ‘X’

Ah, A24. You bring us so much wonderful, weird horror. From slow, understated supernatural dramas like It Comes at Night and Witch to visceral, chaotic nightmares like The Lighthouse and Midsommar, A24’s horror selection has touched on just about every subgenre that could comfortably fit within the boundaries of what some critics have (somewhat obnoxiously) dubbed ‘elevated horror.’ These are ‘respectable’ horror films, movies that … Continue reading Sex and Violence as an Art Form in Ti West’s ‘X’

Darkness, Hope, and ‘The Batman’

Another year, another Batman reboot. I kid, of course. It’s been five years since we’ve seen the Bat on the big screen, with Ben Affleck’s version appearing in the disastrous 2017 Justice League movie that I think we’d all just like to forget. Since that particular outing left a bad taste in the mouth (and with previous appearances not faring much better), it’s safe to … Continue reading Darkness, Hope, and ‘The Batman’

Someone Please Just Put ‘Texas Chainsaw’ Out of Its Misery

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise is… a mess. In 1974, with the release of Tobe Hooper’s now-classic original entry, the series hit the ground running stronger than pretty much any of its contemporaries, save maybe John Carpenter’s OG Halloween. Yet despite this strong start, and the status of its mascot killer Leatherface as a genuine pop culture icon, the Texas Chainsaw sequels have crashed and … Continue reading Someone Please Just Put ‘Texas Chainsaw’ Out of Its Misery

‘Pig,’ and Why We Should All Worship the Ground Nic Cage Walks On

I will defend Nicholas Cage until my dying breath. Sure, he’s a little eccentric. And okay yes, maybe he doesn’t exactly always make the smartest career choices. There’s The Wicker Man, of course. And Ghost Rider. Knowing. The second Ghost Rider. You get the idea. Some real stinkers. And sadly, because of that, there seems to be a consensus within the public, pop-culture consciousness that … Continue reading ‘Pig,’ and Why We Should All Worship the Ground Nic Cage Walks On

‘Scream’ is the Best ‘Scream’ Since ‘Scream’

Meta commentary is, for better or for worse, everywhere in film these days. Movies are increasingly self-aware, self-referential, and self-deprecating, to varying degrees of success. When done well, a movie written in this fashion can be witty and intelligent, savvy in its own genre tropes enough to lampshade and subvert them. When done poorly, however, a movie that tries too hard to be cleverer than … Continue reading ‘Scream’ is the Best ‘Scream’ Since ‘Scream’

How ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ Taught Me to Never Count a Franchise Out Too Soon

Ouija is a godawful movie. And this is coming from a guy that likes most of the Leprechaun films. Trying to cash in on the Ouija board IP that Hasbro currently holds trademark over isn’t an inherently and idea. In fact, the Ouija board as a piece of horror iconography is so ingrained in the spirit of the supernatural that, frankly, it’s a no-brainer. And … Continue reading How ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ Taught Me to Never Count a Franchise Out Too Soon