REVIEW: Poison [1991]

poison01

“I’ve just captured the sex drive” Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Todd Haynes‘ directorial debut Poison is a wild, outside-the-box ride. It reminded me of David Lynch‘s Eraserhead with a surreally experimental aesthetic and odd relationships sparked between over-the-top and perhaps parodied “freaks” standing-in as metaphors for humanity’s intolerance towards the “different”. […]

REVIEW: Faust: Eine deutsche Volkssage [Faust] [1926]

faust01

“The greatest miracle of all is man’s freedom to choose between good and evil” Director F.W. Murnau left Germany with a bang thanks to his big budget visual masterpiece Faust. Adapted like so many other versions from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s classic take (Gerhart Hauptmann and Hans Kyser provide the titles), this rendition sets itself […]

REVIEW: Army of Darkness [1993]

armyofdarkness01

“Well hello, Mr. Fancy Pants” Only Sam Raimi knows how you travel from The Evil Dead‘s straight low-budget horror to the campy “ultimate experience of medieval horror” ten years later, but it’s obviously worked for him considering the series jump-started his promising career to the heights of Hollywood’s Spider-Man. Even so, that original trilogy is […]

REVIEW: Evil Dead II [1987]

evildead201

“Give me back my hand” Seven years after Sam Raimi’s low-budget horror The Evil Dead came onto the scene with ample scares and impressive special effects, its inevitable sequel released. I say inevitable because Raimi wasn’t initially interested, firmly in the belief that going back to the well wouldn’t be necessary once his latest proved […]

REVIEW: JeruZalem [2016]

jeruzalem01

“They say there are three gates to Hell and that night they found one of them” Is it coincidence that Google filed a new application to revive Google Glass on December 28th (despite halting production on the prototype in January) just weeks before Israeli-set horror film JeruZalem supplies a 90-minute adventure into Hell through those […]

REVIEW: Gremlins [1984]

gremlins01

“What’d you call this? The putrid stage?” There had been gremlins in existence before the diminutive green monsters screenwriter Chris Columbus, director Joe Dante, and creature creator Chris Walas imagined and yet theirs are the ones we immediately think about when the word is uttered. The design is a far cry from Bugs Bunny’s colorful […]

BIFF15 REVIEW: In the Dark [2015]

inthedark01

“Atheist searching for a miracle” There’s nothing like a good cold open to set the mood and David Spaltro‘s In the Dark gets out of the gate running. It introduces us to Joan (Catherine Cobb Ryan) and Bethany Mills (Grace Folsom)—a seemingly wholesome mother and daughter duo connected by love and respect. The former has […]

REVIEW: Ich seh, Ich seh [Goodnight Mommy] [2015]

goodnightmommy01

“She’s not our mom” It’s difficult to tell if Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz‘s Ich seh, Ich seh [Goodnight Mommy] fails at hiding its secret or if I’ve simply watched too many psychological thrillers to stop myself from breaking through their subterfuge for the truth. Either way, I knew what was happening about ten minutes […]

REVIEW: Crimson Peak [2015]

crimsonpeak01

“Beautiful things are fragile” If you truly want to know what to expect from Crimson Peak you should ignore the trailers—save their ability to highlight the gorgeous aesthetic—and instead read director Guillermo del Toro‘s mission statement. In it you’ll discover that this isn’t your usual horror story. Yes it has some jarringly gruesome visuals and […]

REVIEW: The Inhabitants [2015]

inhabitants01

“Sweaty dreams” When you’re setting your New England ghost story against the backdrop of a Salem Witch Trial past, it’s quite the coup to secure a locale as famous as the Noyes-Parris House built in 1669. Now owned by author Glenn Cooper (who serves as executive producer), its historical resonance as the home of Reverend […]

REVIEW: The Visit [2015]

visit01

“Swerve” It’s no secret that M. Night Shyamalan needed a winner after a string of box office and commercial failures. Firmly in the minority saying The Village and Lady in the Water are his two best—the former is one of my all-time favorites—my idea of his failings doesn’t necessarily coincide with the movie-going public, but […]