Horror

Movie Review: Ugly Sweater Party (2018)

There is a certain tension when it comes to reviewing comedy-horror. Criticize its more risible aspects and there’s an inherent get-out-of-jail-free card in the fact that it’s spoofing that which we usually take seriously. Therefore, what use is serious criticism? And serious Ugly Sweater Party is not. The blooper reel at the end of Aaron…

Movie Review: The Isle (2019)

A spooky seaman’s tale, The Isle screened at Norwich Film Festival in 2018 with an introduction from co-writer and director Matthew Butler-Hart. Butler-Hart describes the film as influenced by slow-burn horror of the 1970s, and he also spoke about the inspiration for the story — Eilean Shona, an island off the coast of Scotland that…

Movie Review: Dead Squad: Temple of the Undead (2018)

Dead Squad: Temple of the Undead is a full-fledged assault on your brain, particularly the pleasure center parts that produce serotonin and dopamine. If you have the endurance to stick it out to its conclusions, your only happiness will be derived from the arrival of the end credits. I know it seems like I’m hedging…

Movie Review: Luciferina (2018)

Sperm swimming toward an egg and the sounds of satanic incantations. From the opening shot, Gonzalo Calzada’s film, Luciferina, is unambiguously concerned with demonic possession and motherhood. That it sticks to its themes must be applauded — but in the actual experience of watching the movie there is less to applaud. Natalia’s (Sofía Del Tuffo,…

Movie Review: The Black Shuck (2018)

From North America to Scandinavia, from southern Europe to the Middle East, from the Himalayas to Australia, local myths are a common cultural feature. From the Jersey Devil to the Loch Ness Monster, from the Bunyip to the Yeti, people in particular areas perpetuate tales of mysterious creatures that appear and disappear. While never fully…

Movie Review: Overlord (2018)

Let’s get this out of the way immediately. Overlord isn’t another “Cloverfield” film. Not even a secret one. No twist in the third act, no Easter eggs, no post-credits scene. Much as I like the whole “Twilight Zone” mystery box thing the franchise has going for it, “The Cloverfield Paradox” was a major fumble and…

Movie Review: Butterfly Kisses (2018)

There are many levels to Erik Kristopher Myers’ deeply satisfying horror film Butterfly Kisses, which is more an exploration of authorship and authenticity than it is a straightforward found footage flick. To be honest, the horror element is probably its weakest — bluntly effective jump scares are all we get. But then, visceral thrills are…

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