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  • “SCREAM: THE TV SERIES: Episodes 6 – 8” (TV Review)

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    In the past three weeks, SCREAM has been getting good, and I must admit, I’ve missed you. For the most part of latter episodes, this show is making me feel young again, approximately the age I was when I watched SCREAM 2. For a little while there, it felt that SCREAM: THE TV SERIES was headed to STAB: THE TV SERIES territory, but now, it feels great to be back, criticizing a television program for the MTV horror-teens.

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  • “TROMA’S WAR” (Blu-ray Review)

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    As an ardent fan of Troma and their history of releases, there’s always an odd relationship this writer has with TROMA’S WAR that can only be compared to that of film critics to Michael Cimino’s HEAVEN’S GATE. On one hand, TROMA’S WAR is a massively underrated gem, featuring stronger-than-anticipated performances, an epic sense of scope and production value (relative to Troma’s means) and a vibrant sense of over-the-top fun that stands alongside the biting satire in Lloyd Kaufman’s script. On the other hand, however, TROMA’S WAR is also infamous for being the film that almost put the nail in Troma’s coffin, and knocked down the independent brand below even their humble beginnings, so there’s an inherent contempt that Troma die-hards (undeservedly so) have for the film. But now that TROMA’S WAR is on Blu-ray, fright fans now have a perfect reason to revisit the film, considering it’s been given the high definition blessing on Troma itself.

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  • “SINISTER 2” (Film Review)

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    For those going into SINISTER 2 believing it to be a retread of the first SINISTER, this writer has some good news and some bad news for you. The bad news is that SINISTER 2 is not much like the original SINISTER in most ways, even if the strong family-driven drama and graphic kill films carry over into the Ciaran Foy-directed sequel. The good news is, however, that SINISTER 2 is different in many great ways, and the many ways that the film spins the mythology of Bughuul and his potential victims offers something much more unique to fright fans while still satisfying SINISTER die-hards.

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  • “THE BINDING” (Film Review)

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    Despite its vomit-spewing, head-spinning horror pedigree, William Friedkin’s intelligent and nuanced 1973 classic THE EXORCIST transcends genre. In addition to its healthy box office, two Oscar wins and four Golden Globes, the film was celebrated by the Vatican upon its release, with Father Kenneth Jadoff heralding it as a ‘deeply spiritual film’ given its examination of faith under duress. Having recently screened writer, producer and director Gus Krieger’s feature directorial debut THE BINDING, itself a powerful and thought-provoking film, I predict a similar emotional response from audiences, denominational, agnostic or otherwise.

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  • “BIG GAME” (FANTASTICA Blu-ray Review)

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    This writer isn’t sure about any of the readers out there, but considering the loud and overloaded action fare that seems to come out of Hollywood more often than not, there’s definitely a hole where the fun, high-concept action/adventure film used to be. You all know the ones: the action pictures you’d so often find the names “Renny Harlin”, “John McTiernan”, “Paul Verhoeven” or “Kathryn Bigelow” attached to and would feature eccentric villains and heart-felt heroes with egos as big as the explosions on display. But with the rise of CGI and the dumbing down of the action movie model, these films have seeming gone dormant… that is with the exception of Jalmari Helander’s BIG GAME, a blast from the past through the eyes of an up-and-coming Finnish director.

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  • “THE BOY” (Movie Review)

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    Craig William Macneill’s THE BOY focuses on the exquisite loneliness of a child’s life and a meditation on that child’s development into a murderer. Not a horror film in the most direct sense, the movie is poetic, quiet and methodical, and meditative in tone, almost as still and isolated as the landscape in which it was shot.

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  • “BURYING THE EX” (Blu-ray Review)

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    Out of the many of the proclaimed “Masters of Horror” working today, there’s few who keep their cinematic voices as refreshing and versatile as Joe Dante. While his budgets and resources are a far cry from his subversive studio days, Dante still goes for broke in terms of his projects and subject matter as opposed to slumming it with annoying tailored fan service. There’s no better example of Dante’s evolving voice than BURYING THE EX, a potentially by-the-numbers Rom-Zom-Com that escapes its meager means via Dante’s ambition and willingness to get down and dirty with the subject matter.

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  • “THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS” (Blu-ray Review)

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    There’s no denying that Wes Craven is indeed one of the top directors in the genre, and there are few who are outright more terrifying and gripping that Craven at the top of his game. Yet Craven is known for his peaks as well as his valleys, and from the jump from one point to another, there is a ton of weird, wild stuff on the way. THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS is among Craven’s most bizarre (and heavy-handed) films, and though the film isn’t necessarily a genre classic in any regards, the outrageous places the flick eventually goes has rightfully earned THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS a loyal cult audience.

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  • “THE SLASHENING” (Film Review)

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    In an age where horror spoofs are almost universally derided, there’s a certain amount of gutsy respect afforded to filmmaker Brandon Bassham for going straight into THE SLASHENING as a parody. After all, there’s only so much material in the slasher genre that has yet to be untouched by spoofs or commented upon by self-referential fright flicks. And while this serves true for some parts of THE SLASHENING, which is clearly inspired beyond its means, Bassham thankfully takes a more absurdist approach that provides inherent charm to this lean, mean parody.

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  • “HARBINGER DOWN” (Film Review)

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    For a critic who primarily reviews within the horror genre, giving a completely unbiased review to a project such as HARBINGER DOWN is almost impossible. Given the film’s publicized Kickstarter, promotional materials presenting itself as a “practical effects film” and the heartbreaking saga of Studio ADI’s work on THE THING, HARBINGER DOWN has been a film fright fans have been rooting for since day one. And while any horror fan should be excited when one of the industries top FX masterminds is given free reign to do an old school monster movie, that same sense anticipation can be a double edged sword, and HARBINGER DOWN unfortunately falls into that category.

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