The Latest Movie Reviews
'Band Aid' Will Satisfy Your Quirky Indie Musical Comedy Cravings
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Chemistry: Comedy Factor: 
Zoe Lister-Jones is most recognizable from appearances on sitcoms like "New Girl," "Whitney," and "Life in Pieces," but she's done her time behind the camera as well, having written the indie flicks Consumed and Breaking Upwards. Now, Lister-Jones takes on a new challenge with her directorial debut, the rocking...

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'Wakefield' Is Disturbing, Unsettling, Unnerving...And Impossible To Not Watch
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Unlike some actors who need a rest coming off of hit television series, Bryan Cranston is showing no signs of slowing down after "Breaking Bad." Between Trumbo, Godzilla, and The Infiltrator, Cranston's post-Walter White career has included some interesting role decisions. The latest of these decisions is as...

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'The Mummy' Kicks Off Universal's Dark Universe With A Whimper
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After a handful of false starts with I, Frankenstein, Dracula Untold, and Victor Frankenstein, Universal Pictures is finally ready to officially launch their Dark Universe of monsters. And they have chosen The Mummy to be the film that breaks the ground. The Mummy stars Tom Cruise (Jack Reacher) as American...

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'It Comes At Night' Will Scare You With What It Doesn't Show
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Last year, indie filmmaker Trey Edward Shults hit the ground running with his feature debut Krisha, an interesting and affecting experiment about a recovering alcoholic who returns home to celebrate thanksgiving with her estranged family. The movie itself walked the line between drama and comedy, but the approach...

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'Wonder Woman' Is Here To Save The DC Cinematic Universe...Or At Least Get It Some Respect
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When it comes to last year's disappointing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, most fans agree that Wonder Woman stole the show. Some might even go a step further and say that the Amazon princess was the only thing about the movie that was worth watching, and audiences were left waiting with bated breath for...

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'Alien: Covenant' Connects Some - But Not All - Of The Dots Between 'Prometheus' And 'Alien'
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Action Sequences: Scary Factor: 
In 2012, director Ridley Scott's Alien prequel Prometheus was one of the most polarizing movies of the year. People either loved it or hated it, and those opinions tended to sway from one side to the other with subsequent viewings. Because of this, any review of the new Prometheus sequel/Alien prequel should...

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'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2' Brings The Merry Band Back Together
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Comedy Factor: 
When Guardians of the Galaxy was released back in 2014, it was a major risk for Marvel Studios. Sure, they had a nearly flawless record, but most of those hits were with well-known properties. Guardians of the Galaxy, on the other hand, was a relatively unknown comic series, led by familiar but unproven stars,...

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'The Shadow Effect' Spoils A Cool Premise With Its Stock Shoot-'Em-Up Approach
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, the Jason Bourne movies should really be flattered by The Shadow Effect. The Shadow Effect is about a young man named Gabriel Howarth (The Magnificent Seven's Cam Gigandet) who suffers from very violent, very real-seeming dreams. When he notices...

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'My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea' - Corny As Hell, But You'll Like It
Production: Animation: 
As a writer and illustrator, Dash Shaw has had several successful graphic novels. Now, following in the footsteps of Daniel Clowes and Frank Miller, Shaw has turned to feature filmmaking for his next challenge with the wildly entertaining My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea. The title of My Entire High...

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'Rupture' Starts With A Bang And Ends With A Fizzle
Production: Scary Factor: 
Fifteen years ago, director Steven Shainberg shocked the pre-Fifty Shades of Grey world with his BDSM tale Secretary. Now, he's back to try and shock again with Rupture. Rupture is about a single mother named Renee Morgan (Noomi Rapace from Prometheus) who gets a flat tire one morning. She is assisted by a...

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Ben Wheatley's 'Free Fire' Is Ten Characters, One Warehouse, And A Whole Bunch Of Bullets
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
There's a common thread to the movies of Ben Wheatley, the director of indie gems like High-Rise, Kill List and Down Terrace. They're aesthetically beautiful, yet narratively lacking, and they tend to overstay their welcome for a bit before they eventually conclude. Free Fire fits right into the Wheatley mold. Set...

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'The Fate Of The Furious' Shows That The Franchise Has Run Out Of Gas
Production: Action Sequences: 
Although the Fast and the Furious franchise has never been one to abide by common logic or even coherent narrative, it has done well thanks to popcorn entertainment and some star power. At some point, though, the series was going to run out of gas, and if any of the nonsensical previous entries didn't do it for...

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Nacho Vigalondo's 'Colossal' Bends Genre With Giant Monsters And Anne Hathaway
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Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo has been one of the horror world's best kept secrets. Fright flick fans know him well from his features Timecrimes and Open Windows as well as from his short segments in The ABCs of Death and V/H/S Viral, but he's remained relatively unknown to general audiences. That's about...

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'The Dark Tapes' Is Everything That's Wrong With Found Footage Movies
Production: Scary Factor: 
The found footage trend has been both a blessing and a curse for horror fans. On the one hand, moviemaking has become so cheap that anyone can do it. And on the other hand, moviemaking has become so cheap that anyone can do it. When done right, found footage can be very effective. When done wrong, it's hard...

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It's Been A Long Wait, But 'The Blackcoat's Daughter' Lives Up To The Hype
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It's been a couple of years since February, the creepy thriller from writer/director Oz Perkins (son of the legendary Anthony Perkins), began getting rave reviews from critics and festival goers alike. The film was snatched up by indie superheroes A24...then promptly put into a seemingly endless distribution...

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'T2 Trainspotting' Is The Sequel That Trainspotting Fans Have Wanted, And The One That They Deserve
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Directing: 
There are two things that a sequel to Trainspotting needed to get right in order to be effective. First, the soundtrack had to be kicking. And second, it had to not ignore the events that took place at the end of the first movie. T2 Trainspotting checks off both boxes. When we last saw the Trainspotting boys,...

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'Life' Beats 'Alien: Covenant' To The Punch
Production: Cinematography: 
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There's been a fun little fan theory going around that Life, the new sci-fi horror movie from Sony, is a prequel to another recently announced Sony movie, the Spider-Man spinoff Venom. True or not, it's good publicity for a movie that, frankly, should be seen. Life is about a team of scientists aboard the International...

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'Raw' Dares The Viewer To Watch Its Purposeful Tastelessness
Production: Scary Factor: 
Ever since it had its premiere at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, the French cannibalism film Raw has been one of the most anticipated horror movies on the schedule. After a long festival run that was highlighted by screenings at Sundance, TIFF, and Fantastic Fest, Raw is finally hitting wide release. Raw is...

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Ape-pocalypse Now! 'Kong: Skull Island' Delivers The Monster-Fighting Goods
Production: Special Effects: 
Set at the tail end of the Vietnam War, Kong: Skull Island stars John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane) as Bill Randa, a nutty researcher who has used satellite photos to discover an uncharted island. Using competition from the Russians as leverage ("they've got a satellite passing over in three days, do you want...

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Frame Of Mind

The UnseenLast week, Stephen Furst passed away at the age of 62 from complications related to type 2 diabetes.  Furst was one of those actors with a face more famous than his name, his most instantly recognizable role being that of Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in Animal House.  Although his early career saw him in mostly comedic roles, he also worked in drama, action, and, yep, you guessed it, horror.  In 1980, just a couple of short years after he made Animal House, Furst played the “title” role in The Unseen.

One Dark NightGeek culture lost one of its biggest icons this past weekend when Adam West passed away at the age of 88.  West was easily most well-known and loved for fighting crime on television in the sixties as “Batman” (the Pow! Zap! Bam! era), but he also won over millennial audiences by playing a cartoon version of himself, Adam West, the mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island, on the animated series “Family Guy.”  But West had a plentiful and prolific career on both the big and small screens, even venturing into horror a few times with movies like Zombie Nightmare, Curse of the Moon Child, and the subject of this week’s Cinema Fearité: the 1982 supernatural thriller One Dark Night.

Empire of the AntsBritish science fiction writer H.G. Wells was one of the most inventive and prolific writers of the late nineteenth/early twentieth centuries, and it seems as if every one of his stories has been turned into a movie.  Of course, there are the popular big name films, like The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man, but a deeper examination of the adaptations of Wells’ bibliography will bring up awesome fright flicks like the subject of this week’s Cinema Fearité: Empire of the Ants.

Fade to BlackIn the mid-nineties, horror got very self-referential.  Movies like Scream and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare gave audiences a peek into a cinematic world that as aware of itself, a meta-universe that, sometimes hammily, winked and nodded at its influences and predecessors.  This wasn’t invented in 1994, though.  In 1980, an all-but-forgotten gem called Fade to Black did it first.

GorgoIt’s been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Well then, in 1961, Great Britain flattered the hell out of Japan by making a little Godzilla homage called Gorgo.

The EvictorsLast week, the talented character actor Michael Parks passed away at the age of 77.  Parks was one of those actors whose name might not be instantly recognizable, but whose face is known by every cinemaniac.  He was a regular in films by both Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, and Kevin Smith has gone on record saying that he wrote Red State and Tusk specifically for Parks.  Like so many other cult favorite actors, Parks did his share of horror movies, schlock with titles like The Savage Bees, Nightmare Beach...and the subject of this week’s Cinema Fearité – The Evictors.

ObitIn the rapidly declining world of print journalism, newspapers are known for their different sections.  There’s the news and politics section, the funny papers, the sports page…and the obituary column.  Obit takes a good look at the surprisingly lively writers who are responsible for producing the content for that last section.

The BabysitterIn the seventies, a whole subgenre of horror popped up that revolved around the profession of babysitting.  Led by movies such as Halloween and When A Stranger Calls, horror films made young girls everywhere think twice about childcare as a moneymaking venture.  In 1980, a television movie, simply called The Babysitter, flipped the script on the stalked kinder-care motif by making the sitter the hunter instead of the prey.

The StranglerHorror filmmakers and fans alike have always had a morbid fascination with real-life serial killers.  Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and The Zodiac Killer have all inspired horror movies - even the legendary Jack the Ripper got a speculative thriller.  Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein alone has been the basis for dozens of films, everything from film classics like Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to cult standards such as Deranged and Motel Hell.  In 1964, just a few short months after he claimed his last victim, The Boston Strangler (aka Albert DeSalvo) got his movie – the simply titled The Strangler.

Galaxy of TerrorA piece of pop culture history was lost this past weekend when Erin Moran, best known as the little sister Joanie on the long-running sitcom “Happy Days” (and carrying the role over to the spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi”), died of cancer complications at the young age of 56.  “Happy Days” made Moran a household name in the seventies, but she was already a child star at that point, and went on to have a humble television career after.  Of course, because this is Cinema Fearité, we’re going to take a look at Moran’s one and only horror movie, the 1981 Roger Corman-produced sci-fi schlockfest Galaxy of Terror.

Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter TribeDocumentaries about subcultures are usually fun because they give the viewer a glimpse into a world that they might otherwise have never even known existed.  The new film from Jon Manning, Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe does just that, and does it in a way that is both informative and entertaining.

The Day AfterThis week’s Cinema Fearité is going to be a little different.  With Donald Trump sending warships to North Korea and their leader, Kim Jung-un, constantly developing and testing his country’s nuclear capabilities, the world hasn’t been this close to nuclear war since the Reagan era more than thirty years ago.  It’s time to revisit the 1983 television movie The Day After.

Killer's KissThere’s little doubt that Stanley Kubrick is one of the most influential directors in modern cinema.  He revolutionized the science fiction genre with 2001: A Space Odyssey, the dystopian nightmare with A Clockwork Orange, the horror movie with The Shining, and the war film with Full Metal Jacket.  He even invented the political satire with Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.  But he wasn’t always so...Kubrickian.  Like most filmmakers (see David Cronenberg’s Stereo), Kubrick started his career making cheap and simple films.  His second feature, made way back in 1955, was the tidy little noir thriller Killer’s Kiss.

HobgoblinsFollowing the success of Gremlins in 1984, the film industry decided that the next big thing would be tiny creature movies.  The ghoulies in Ghoulies led to the troll in Cat’s Eye and the critters in Critters led to the demons in The Gate.  But all of that was just prepping the world for 1988’s Hobgoblins.

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