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    “DARK SKIES” (Movie Review)

    The title of and ad campaign for DARK SKIES, not to mention an opening quotation from science-fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke, almost feel like miscalculations. The movie develops a decently teasing sense of mystery in its first half that can only be diluted by foreknowledge of what’s going on.

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    “WARM BODIES” (Movie Review)

    To address the most obvious question first: Yes, WARM BODIES is better than the TWILIGHT movies. For one thing, its undead hero has been conceived as a zombie first and a romantic hero second, not the other way around, though it does go on to spin the mythology in ways that benefit the latter.

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    “THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2: GHOSTS OF GEORGIA” (Movie Review)

    The most unwieldy sequel title in a while indicates that the movie is not really a sequel at all. While this and the original THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT are based on a pair of Discovery Channel documentary features, the new movie has nothing to do with Connecticut or the events that took place there—and the association is rather unfortunate, since in some ways GHOSTS OF GEORGIA is superior to its predecessor.

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    “STOKER” (Sundance Movie Review)

    In its cryptic opening scene, Park Chan-wook sets the tone of STOKER, his English-language debut, with a monologue and the sound of the world in which the film takes place. STOKER prides itself on not being a conventional genre picture by any means, but the hypnotic rhythm in which the film unfolds will undoubtedly keep any audience transfixed.

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    “THE FOLLOWING” (TV Review)

    THE FOLLOWING (premiering tonight at 9/8 Central on Fox) represents the latest attempt by a broadcast network to compete with the extremities and explicitness of cable TV. Or to put it another way, how ya gonna keep ’em watching your procedurals after they’ve been down on the farm with THE WALKING DEAD?

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    “GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2″ (MOVIE REVIEW)

    The 2011 found footage survivor flick GRAVE ENCOUNTERS was certainly a worthy entry in the shaky cam subgenre. Despite having some less than stellar CGI, the film felt real and put the characters in a fairly plausible situation, with suspenseful pacing, fun, campy performances and a solid directing debut from Collin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz, collectively known as The Vicious Brothers. That said, the follow-up picture, GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2  (currently enjoying a limited theatrical run in Canada), is more than a bit of a disappointment.

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    “HALLEY” (Rotterdam Movie Review)

    The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) is known throughout the world for its all-encompassing program: all genres, from all seven continents. Well, to be honest we haven’t heard anything from Antarctica for a while now, but they’ll be back, rest assured. As always the focus in this year’s 42nd edition rests on human interest, but as far as genre films are concerned, there’s enough to keep us interested. HALLEY, for example, is a very bleak Mexican horrordrama that will make you think twice about dreaming of life eternal.

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