REVIEW: Pitch Black [2000]

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“Looks clear” People weren’t kidding when they used Chronicles of Riddick‘s expanded budget to blame for its box office demise. I always knew its predecessor was made with much tighter purse strings, but the level of ingenuity necessary to make it still look good surpassed any expectations I might have had. Not only does co-writer […]

REVIEW: Butter on the Latch [2014]

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“Because she sat on Pinocchio’s head” I’m going to run with this quote from director Josephine Decker: “I think an ending is much more exciting if even I don’t know what it ‘means’.” For all intents and purposes she’s giving permission for me to make of her fiction narrative feature debut Butter on the Latch […]

REVIEW: Berenice [2014]

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“I wanted it to hurt” One chapter from the horror anthology Creepers, Jeremiah Kipp‘s adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe‘s disturbing short story Berenice finds itself hindered by what I can only guess was a shoestring budget. A director who has excelled at creating stunning pitch-black tone with ambiguously delicious mystery in carefully composed thrillers, this […]

REVIEW: Tusk [2014]

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“I believe we’re all tea people” I want to dismiss Kevin Smith‘s second foray into horror as total bullshit. I really do. Not only was Tusk created on a lark because one of his and Scott Mosier‘s internet Smodcasts recorded them discussing a crazy Gumtree ad offering a room for rent if the lodger agreed […]

TIFF14 REVIEW: Spring [2015]

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“I’m not drunk enough to sleep in your mother’s deathbed” The first words in Colin Geddes’ TIFF description for Vanguard selection Spring are, “Before Sunrise gets a supernatural twist.” You read that as a cinephile and you push everything aside to check out what it could mean. A horror romance co-director Aaron Moorhead described in […]

REVIEW: Cam2Cam [2014]

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“r u alone?” This year’s most tonally out-of-place ending goes to Cam2Cam. A horror/thriller pitting the murderer of a young American in Bangkok against the victim’s sister for either vengeance or a smart getaway somehow finds itself culminating in a weirdly romantic vibe of lost loves sending gifts via post to remember the lovely time […]

REVIEW: Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan [2006]

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“This is definitely the wrong way to do this” Had I watched writer/director Mike Flanagan‘s short Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan when it was released in 2006, I might have found myself reacting much differently. Being eight years later and a world post Sinister and The Conjuring success, however, I can’t […]

FANTASIA14 REVIEW: Preservation [2014]

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“The bear went over the mountain” When Christopher Denham‘s Preservation shows recently discharged vet Sean Neary (Pablo Schreiber) telling sister-in-law Wit (Wrenn Schmidt) about how playing war as a kid allowed him to be killed and still find his way home when the game ended, I couldn’t help think of underrated Canadian film I Declare […]

FANTASIA14 REVIEW: Ejecta [2014]

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“Something came to me” Many might take my comparing Ejecta to The Fourth Kind as a slight, but I actually enjoy that film a lot. While Chad Archibald and Matt Wiele‘s science fiction horror doesn’t pretend it’s real, the crosscutting between time and styles similarly keeps us off-balance enough to buy into the escalating danger […]

FANTASIA14 REVIEW: The Harvest [2014]

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“God doesn’t think he’s a doctor” I can see why director John McNaughton chose Stephen Lancellotti‘s script The Harvest to be his first feature length film in thirteen years, but I’m not sure it was worth the effort. There are some cool aspects to the horror thriller that may have worked better if its 104-minute […]

REVIEW: The Purge: Anarchy [2014]

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“We’ve lost our souls to attain this peace” I enjoyed last year’s suspense horror The Purge a lot—despite high expectations for the premise actually going where it needed to prove more than another generic home invasion flick. Writer/director James DeMonaco gave us the graphic brutality its conceit promised through its claustrophobically bottled skirmish between malicious […]