Currently browsing the "Horror" category.

Review: La Llorona

This political horror film takes its title from a Meso-American folkloric legend about the ghost of a woman who roams waterfront areas mourning her drowned children. In the film La Llorona comes into the lives of a powerful family as they’re sequestered in their house and slowing pulls the patriarch’s very dark past to the surface. Set in Guatemala, the film centers on Enrique (Julio Diaz), a retired general who has been tried and convicted for the genocide of the country’s Mayan-Ixil population during the civil war there. Just after his conviction though, a higher court overturns the it, but the public is up in arms. And Enrique and his family become prisoners in their own home. All the indigenous servants except one quit, fearing for their safety. And then a young woman shows up at the door, the new maid. But who is she really?

Review: Koko-di Koko-da

Just in time for the holidays comes a truly creepy flick from Sweden about a couple grieving the loss of their young daughter and their crumbling marriage who go on a camping trip and get caught in a Groundhog Day loop of a murderous fairy tale. Every night Elin (Ylva Gallon) wakes Tobias (Leif Edlund Johansson) to say she needs to go outside the tent and pee, and every night a trio of monsters is outside just waiting to prey on her and him. But night after night Tobias awakens with a bit more information and a plan to get away from the horrors inflicted on them the nights before. It’s all allegory of their grief and their broken relationship and as the violent cycle continues they’re ultimately able to find their way back to each other. It’s a very odd film, definitely not for mainstream moviegoers, and frustratingly slow.

Cinema Clash Podcast Reviews: Holidate, Come Play, The True Adventures of Wolfboy

Happy Halloween and Pre-Election Day Weekend! On this quaranstream edition of the Cinema Clash, I chat about Holidate, the bawdy holiday romcom now on Netflix, Charlie talks about the horror movie Come Play (which I opted to skip ’cause it’s really not my genre of choice), and we both weigh in on a quirky coming of age indie called The True Adventures of Wolfboy.  Tune in!

Quickie Review: Antebellum

Antebellum could have been a seminal film for the times – if the story made any sense. It aims high, but gets bogged down in a metaphorical morass about past and present issues relating to race, class and gender. The film is billed as a high-concept psychological thriller/horror movie from the producers of the Jordan Peele gems Get Out and Us. But it fails to measure up, and the ending is far from satisfying. Fortunately, it was under two hours so the time did not feel like a total waste. More like a disappointment.

Quickie Review: The Rental

The setup is all there for your usual thriller, with a few of the standard horror tropes thrown in. A couple of couples rent a house for the weekend in a very remote, yet gorgeous seaside location. There’s a caretaker who immediately comes off as kind of creepy and racist, but they just shrug it off and get on with their fun getaway, star gazing, doing a bit of ecstasy, hanging in the hot tub, hiking. But when a late night hookup with the wrong partner is about to be exposed by someone who filmed it with some cameras hidden around the house, everything spins out of control. And people start dying.

Review: Deerskin (Le daim)

This has to be one of the oddest movies I’ve seen in a long while! It’s from Quentin Dupieux the writer/director who brought us Rubber. In case you missed that one, it was about a tire named Robert that terrorizes a desert community. This time it all starts with the purchase of a deerskin fringe jacket. And it’s an equally absurd premise that somehow sustains itself for just over an hour, thanks in large part to the central character Georges being played by the marvelous Jean Dujardin (The Artist.)

Review: Extra Ordinary

This seems like the perfect time for a horror romcom and this light little film from Ireland will surely transport you away from the world of campaigns and viruses for 93 minutes. The plot revolves around sweet Rose (Maeve Higgins) who’s a driving instructor trying her best to ignore her supernatural ability to see ghosts. But when she’s asked to help a family exorcize the wife/mother who’s making them crazy, she meets handsome widower Martin Martin (Barry Ward). Unfortunately, his daughter is kidnapped shortly afterwards by a satanist who needs a virgin sacrifice, and so Rose and Martin team up to save her from the evil clutches of one-hit-wonder and Satan’s disciple Christian Winter (SNL’s Will Forte) who’s only doing the evil deed because he wants another number one hit. It’s all very silly and a fun ride.

Review: Underwater

The most shocking thing to me about Underwater is that some critics are actually calling it entertaining and fast-moving. That may be true for the first half-hour of the 95-minute subterranean Alien-ripoff. But after that… it sinks into a murky morass devoid of any real plot, character development or geographic orientation. The film opens with electrical engineer Norah (Kristen Stewart, Charlie’s Angels, Twilight) brushing her teeth in the communal bathroom of an underwater laboratory and waxing poetic via voiceover about her angsty, cynical existence. Then something rocks the lab. It appears to be an earthquake (but we never find out for sure). Whatever the cause, it forces Norah to run for safety as water starts to infiltrate the lab, compromising the infrastructure. If there’s one thing you’ll learn off the bat, it’s that skimpy underwear may seem like a poor choice during an earthquake, but it comes in handy if you need to slip into a bulky pressurized suit to trek across the ocean floor.

Review: IT Chapter Two

And so – barring any future studio or literary shenanigans – IT ends.

IT Chapter Two is the creepy, edge-of-your-seat follow-up to the creepy, edge-of-your-seat horror film that hit the big screen in 2017. If you’ve read the book it’s based on (Stephen King’s second-longest, at 1138 pages), then you’re not only a glutton for punishment, you have a pretty good idea how it all plays out. I went in without a clue. I emerged a tad worse for wear psychologically, but generally satisfied with the film – and its ending.

Review: Ready or Not

I wasn’t exactly ready for Ready or Not. Horror movies are not my thing. But with IT Chapter Two waiting in the wings, I thought it best to ease into the horror with a bit of camp. And that’s what Ready or Not is: a quirky, campy horror flick that is bloody entertaining, in an off-the-chain Grimm Fairytales sort of way. It’s about a new bride who gets roped into playing a deadly game of Hide and Seek with her rich and eccentric new in-laws immediately following her wedding on the grounds of the family’s creepy mansion. Aint love grand?