Film Review: Zombieland Double Tap

There’s something about zombies that has captured our collective attention in this era of stark contrasts. Perhaps it’s that the zombies serve as a metaphor for the other, those people who don’t agree with you, who have starkly different and often abhorrent beliefs, values and lifestyles. Surely they can’t be thinking adults and believe what they’re espousing! Whatever the case, even 133 episodes of The Walking Dead hasn’t slowed down our undead shuffle to the…Read More

Film Review: Mary

While it’s possible to set a horror movie in a big, wide open space, the claustrophobic feeling of confinement is an important ingredient of many stories and films in the genre. If you can’t escape, how can you avoid the horrible fate that awaits you? Heck, there are horror films literally set inside a coffin where the protagonist wakes up and realizes they’re buried alive. Doesn’t get more confining than that! That’s also why I…Read More

Film Review: Gemini Man

Just to dispel any confusion up front, lead character Henry Brogan (Will Smith) is not a superhero in this film, drunk or otherwise. Though you wouldn’t know it given that director Ang Lee has offered up what can only be considered an homage to bad 80’s action films with a laughably indestructible protagonist. Brogan’s so tough, so single minded and so astonishingly good a sniper that a mysterious group affiliated with the Defense Intelligence Agency…Read More

Film Review: Joker

At one point or another, everyone has felt the anguish of being on the outside, has experienced the darkness of trying your best just to have the world laugh at your efforts. The traditional comic origin story for the Joker character in Batman’s Gotham City is that he was disfigured by a vat of industrial chemicals that turned him into an amoral wacko. The dark, intense and brilliant 2019 Joker film has a decidedly different…Read More

Film Review: The Fate of Lee Khan (1973)

Films like The Hateful Eight and Kill Bill wouldn’t exist without its predecessors to serve as inspiration, and director Quentin Tarantino has been very clear about the inspiration he’s drawn from classic martial arts movies. There’s a certain style to thesee “kung fu” films, basic morality plays interwoven with Chinese mythology, intimate set pieces that could be on a performing arts stage and, of course, those fantastic fight scenes. The industry has a name for…Read More

Film Review: Ad Astra

Before we go any further, let’s clear up the confusion around the name of this film: Ad Astra is Latin for To The Stars. Why they thought that was a good name is another discussion, but suffice to say, for a film set at least 100 years in the future where we travel into space, onto the moon, to Mars and then to the outer reaches of our solar system, To The Stars is entirely…Read More

Film Review: Investigation 13

There are so many tropes in the too-often formulaic horror genre that it’s impossible for these films not to veer into the cinematic cliché now and again. Urban legends? Paranormal investigators finding that yes, there really are supernatural entities? Abandoned and haunted insane asylums? Secondary characters with secrets to hide? It’s enough to get Scooby and the gang on the job! Fortunately, the indie horror film Investigation 13 doesn’t take itself too seriously as it…Read More

Film Review: Bunny Lake is Missing (1965)

It’s every parent’s nightmare: You go to pick up your child from school and they’re gone. But Bunny Lake isn’t just any little missing four year old because her mother Ann (Carol Lynley) might have some psychological issues and Bunny might only exist in her imagination. Is the preschool liable if no-one ever saw the girl on her first day at school? Did Bunny vanish because she went to visit the creepy and eccentric old…Read More

Film Review: D-Railed

There’s something inherently entertaining about yelling at the characters in a horror film. “Don’t open that door!” “Don’t pick up the phone!” “Don’t get on that darn train!” Is it the sign of a cheesy horror film, though? Probably. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a certain existential pleasure in smugly knowing that if you were in the same risky situation, you’d make better choices than the nitwits on screen. That’s just one of the…Read More

Film Review: Domino

Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as a tough cop in Denmark? With Melisandre (Carice van Houten) as his partner? If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones this sounds like a great pairing and a really interesting setting for a cop thriller. And, to some extent, that’s just what Domino is, and while this direct to video release doesn’t stint on talent or production, the fundamental story is pretty darn weak. Don’t be confused by the 2005 film…Read More

Film Review: Leo Da Vinci: Mission Mona Lisa

We all know Leonardo da Vinci as one of the great inventors of the Renaissance, a creative genius who was probably one of the smartest individuals to ever grace our planet. But what about when he was just a kid? Was he a fun-loving adventurer constantly fiddling with new ideas as he explored the hills of Vinci, his beloved Italian hometown? The family film Leo Da Vinci: Mission Mona Lisa offers a vision of how…Read More

Film Review: Apollo: Missions to the Moon

It’s hard to imagine that it was way back in 1969 that man first stepped foot on the moon and that our last mission to our lunar companion was in 1972. Since then the moon has just sat in the sky, untouched. Imagine how much technology has changed and improved in the intervening 47 years, and yet the most recent footprints on the lunar regolith are from NASA astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt. The…Read More

Film Review: Child’s Play

I’ve written before about how scary dolls can be – most notably my review of Dolls a week ago – and I’ll reiterate that there’s something inherently terrifying about animated an otherwise inanimate object. It can be played in a touching and amusing way, as the Toy Story franchise reminds us with the splendid 4th installment out this summer, but it can also be scary as heck, as Annabelle keeps trying to demonstrate. That gets…Read More

Film Review: Toy Story 4

By any measure Toy Story 4 is a splendid movie, full of heart, humor and with a strong and engaging story. In a summer of mostly bleh, predictable sequels it’s also that rare film that improves on its predecessors, delivering one of the best and most touching cinematic experiences of the year. But Toy Story 4 is a lot more, because it serves as a reminder to film makers – especially in our modern, visual…Read More

Film Review: Dolls

There’s something deep seated and primitive about the belief in the supernatural power of dolls. From voodoo dolls to the golem of Jewish mysticism to more recent evil dolls like William Goldman’s terrifying ventriloquist dummy in Magic to Chucky from Child’s Play and creepy Annabelle from the horror series of the same name. Evil dolls with malicious intent have become somewhat of a horror trope they’re so darn popular. Which is why the indie horror…Read More