Archive for the ‘Horror’ Category

RawRaw (aka Grave) represents the best elements of the London Film Festival. Not only did this neat, original, out-of-nowhere film about living zombies at a veterinary school play at the festival, it actually won the Sutherland Award, given to the first feature with “the most original and imaginative directorial debut.” Last year, the same award went to Robert Eggers for his outstanding maiden effort, The Witch. That’s two years in a row in which this prize has gone to horror films. London is at the forefront of the major festivals at showcasing and promoting excellence in genre films. It is part of what makes those 12 days in October in the UK capital so special for film fans. (more…)

autopsyofjanedoeIt is more than a shame that The Autopsy of Jane Doe is not being released this weekend. It’s bad business not to make this film available for audiences at Halloween. One can easily imagine a huge opening weekend for one of the best horror films of 2016, courtesy of teens and millennials keyed up for a good scare. Instead, the film will hit the cineplex on December 21, when it will try to find an audience on the one or two screens not showing Rogue One on a continuous loop. Talk about leaving money on the table… (more…)

Trash FireTrash Fire boasts a laugh-out-loud opening scene and a punch-to-the gut closing scene. The problem is what comes in between.

Writer/director Richard Bates Jr. third feature film occupies a strange limbo. Trash Fire is not conventional enough to generate empathy for its characters as they attempt to secure a viable future by coming to terms with past trauma. Nor is the movie outrageous enough to rank as a black comedy despite some genuinely funny moments. And while it can be identified as horror/comedy, each moment is one or the other or something closer to family drama. Genres here play like oil and water with no intermingling. (more…)

another evilIt turns out that 2016 actually saw the release of two new Ghostbusters. The better known of the two was, of course, the all-female lead version that was met by controversy and misogyny from the time the first trailer dropper. The movie itself was amusing; the cameos from the original cast were terrific; and no tender fanboy egos were harmed in the making of the film.

The other Ghostbusters has flown under the radar since its premiere at SXSW in March. It could be because the word “Ghostbusters” does not appear in its title or any of its promotional material. The movie has none of the original cast or crew and makes no effort whatsoever to align itself with the 1984 comedy classic. But don’t be fooled by this. The little indie gem Another Evil is a spiritual sequel to the beloved Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd et al romp. (more…)

The Eyes of My MotherEvery year, we invariably hear of one or more movies that “redefine” or “reinvent” the horror genre. Most times, careful viewings of the films in question reveal a slick repackaging of familiar conventions. Often, the redefining is a twist on a twist; the reinvention is a reversal of expectations. Horror fans take these slight alterations in style in stride, noting the degree of success by the extent of the imitations they spawn. The new becomes the old within a relatively short period of time, and the genre is reset. (more…)

The Greasy StranglerHow you feel about The Greasy Strangler coming out of the theater will be directly related to how you were feeling going into the theater. In other words, the more altered your perception of reality, the more likely you are to spend the 93 minutes giggling and gagging, while enjoying yourself immensely. The designated drivers among you will not be having the same experience. In the spirit of full disclosure, when seen at a 6:30 screening by a stone cold sober critic, The Greasy Strangler still provoked some laughter and absolutely no ill will. (more…)

The Disappointments RoomYes, I suppose we need to get the obligatory pun on the title of this awful movie out of the way.

Q: What’s a disappointments room? A: Any theater showing this mess of a would-be horror film.

While we can acknowledge the guts, foolhardiness, or disregard surrounding the decision to title a film The Disappointments Room, nothing else in the endeavor merits recognition, beyond the scope of the disaster and a vague desire for answers to inexplicable questions surrounding this production. Simply put, The Disappointments Room is one of the worst major releases (1554 screens) of 2016. How bad is it? After the first weekend, Rotten Tomatoes had a reading of 0% on its Tomatometer for this movie, meaning that even the hack critics who live to see their name in blurbs did not have the balls to give this a thumbs up. (more…)