LOGO
  • “GREEN ROOM” (TIFF Film Review)

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    Following up his award-winning grimy art house thriller BLUE RUIN, writer/director Jeremy Saulnier returns with an even more intense and satisfying film that goes straight for the jugular (at times, rather literally). Pitched somewhere between siege and survival horror, this punks vs. neo-Nazis tale (you know, that old chestnut), is a harsh and vicious little genre effort laced with just enough cynical humor to qualify as sterling entertainment. It’s a nasty movie that, above all else, confirms Saulnier’s versatile talents and provides genre fans with enough raucous entertainment to likely earn itself a bit of a cult status somewhere down the road.

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  • “THE WITCH” (TIFF Movie Review)

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    Set in the paranoid and devotedly religious period New England and told in a manner that blurs the line between the imagined and the supernatural, Robert Eggers’ THE WITCH is one of the more remarkable horror debuts in recent years. Eggers takes the material and period detail quite seriously, so a romp this is not as terrifying as it might be. Perched somewhere between the art house and gore lore, the film is an ideal genre entry in film festivals that will worm its way under the weathered skin of film snobs and genre aficionados alike. It’s not an easy horror ride, but an enjoyable one worth taking, especially for those with a longstanding fear of goats.

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  • “THE CURSE OF DOWNERS GROVE” (Film Review)

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    Bret Easton Ellis is such a curious case when it comes to his art, especially considering his admirable consistency when it comes to his content. Ellis is an expert purveyor of brilliant trash, most of which exist somewhere between questionably tasteful melodrama and flat-out misanthropic exploitation. But Ellis, even through his peaks and valleys, remains steadfast in his refusal to compromise his envelope-pushing work, even if it were for his own good, such as in the case of Derick Martini’s THE CURSE OF DOWNERS GROVE.

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  • “THE EDITOR” (Blu-ray Review)

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    A fan favorite among the indie filmmakers in the Canadian horror scene, the irreverent, retro-friendly guys at Astron-6 know their audience just as well as they know their influences. Following their transgressive, splattery work on MANBORG and FATHER’S DAY, many were excited to hear that they’d be taking on the giallo subgenre for their next film. However, even as absurd and insane as the Astron-6 guys have been in the past, the filmmaking collective has surprisingly turned out a slightly more mature and narratively constructed effort with THE EDITOR, even if the film maintains their trademark ultraviolence, excessive nudity and hysterical world-building.

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  • “CONTRACTED: PHASE II” (Film Review)

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    When it comes to sequels, there’s always an inherent concern about the film’s relationship to its predecessor. Sometimes, we worry if it’s going to be too familiar, whether there are too many wedged-in winks-and-nods or if the film is simply just a rehash of the original. Other times, we worry if it’s simply going to be radically undermining its predecessor, offering something that ultimately goes against what made the first film work at all or hastily rewrites the first film’s canon for its own purposes. And then there’s the overall concern that the film will be faithful to the first film and different enough in its own way, but be just a poor example of filmmaking.

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  • “PIXU: THE MARK OF EVIL” (Comic Book Review)

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    Slow burning comics aren’t very common in our world of Disney-owned Marvel and re-hashed ’80s franchises. Demands for bigger, better, and faster works often times force story build up to fall on the way side, leaving a flashy but ultimately forgettable comic (though with the price of comic books, who can blame them?). Of course, that’s what the indie and creator-owned comic market is for. While PIXU: THE MARK OF EVIL is not necessarily an independent work, it delves deep in the well of small press creativity, crafting a work that is more focused on atmosphere than chucking ideas on a wall and seeing what sticks. What it accomplishes is a heavy, dark work about the evils that lurk in us all and houses that are forced to watch.

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  • “BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS” (Film Review)

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    While horror and comedy seemingly can go hand-in-hand with relative ease, the truth is that making the two genres work together is a bit more difficult than one might expect. After all, audiences are accustomed to having comic relief in a horror movie or absurd pitch black situations in a comedy film, but mostly in small doses whereas a flat-out “horror comedy” is much more of a tonal balancing act. In a worst case scenario, you either wind up with a horror movie with desperate, tone-deaf comedy or a comedy that is equally as desperate by firmly grounding itself in spoof territory. However, in better cases, such as BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS, both the tones work by serving both the horror and comedy as honestly as possible.

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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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