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Month: October 2019

MARIANNE is Everything I Wanted for Halloween

I have a deep affection for horror stories that can tackle serious emotional, historical and/or socio-political  topics with intelligence and thoughtfulness. I have all the love in the world for more nuanced, patient, and layered horror fiction. Recent stories like The Babadook or The Witch, or one of my personal favorite horror films, A Tale of Two Sisters, come to mind. I can watch those movies again and again throughout most of the year.

Not so much, however, when it’s Halloween season. READ MORE


I know I’m pretty late to the party on this, but allow me to be the latest person to confirm all the praise that has been heaped upon One Cut of the Dead. No, it’s not even a little bit scary, but yes, it’s incredibly entertaining. It’s the good-time bloody zombie movie of the decade; rivaled only by Zombieland, even though the movies end up being quite different. It’s a movie that even people like me, who are largely exhausted by even the thought of enduring yet another zombie story, can enjoy. READ MORE


I think the first film in the Hell House, LLC trilogy is a fairly remarkable achievement. It has a lot going against it as far as my personal peeves go. It features an overly obvious name (the town and haunted hotel are called “The Abaddon”), something I’ve railed against fairly recently here. The reasoning for its characters staying in the haunted hotel (and even continuing with the original plan to use it as a haunted house attraction) long after they’ve caught supernatural activity on film, or directly experienced it themselves, or have been confounded by the mysterious disappearance of someone they work with, is flat out foolish. It’s only implied in the first movie, but confirmed in the second; the characters stay behind strictly for financial reasons. Their business would fail if they abandon the project. READ MORE

Movie Review: STAGE FRIGHT (1987)

Perhaps my least favorite type of horror character–even more so than “obnoxiously precocious child” or “skeptic turned denier”–is the “irredeemable a-hole.” You might know the type: they’re specifically designed to be the person you’re really rooting to see killed, but personally, I’m usually rooting for them to not exist in the picture at all. I just find them too often overly predictable and uninteresting, whether their actions actually help drive the plot (think Yon-Suk in Train to Busan) or don’t serve any purpose at all other than to be loathed (think Carter from Final Destination, or Carter from The Final Destination). Occasionally, however, you run into a character that technically belongs to this category, but who’s either funny enough to at least be tolerable, or who crosses over into being redeemable. Think Steve and C.J. (respectively) from the Dawn of the Dead remake. READ MORE