Vertical Entertainment

Movie Review: Ghost House (2017)

Gogo (Michael S. New, “Night Kill”), a wacky Bangkok taxi driver straight out of a “Hangover” sequel, picks up Jim (James Landry Hébert, “Gangster Squad”) and Julie (Scout Taylor-Compton, “Halloween”) from the airport. They’re a happy-go-lucky American couple who unfortunately haven’t seen the prologue for Ghost House, in which a homeless witch shoves her fist…

Movie Review: Golden Exits (2017)

I enjoyed writer/director Alex Ross Perry’s Golden Exits well enough at first. Yet as my chronological distance from the project increases, so too do my annoyances with its gender power dynamics. The film follows six very specific Brooklynites whose lives are vaguely intertwined and then thrown into further disarray when a young, beautiful Australian disrupts…

Movie Review: Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (2015)

Inspired by true events, Bilal: A New Breed of Hero tells the story of a real hero who earned his place in history after liberating himself and inspiring others to do likewise. This Arabic animated feature is intoxicating and beautifully drawn. The animation is textured and multidimensional, almost reminiscent of cutting-edge video game graphics. There…

Movie Review: Don’t Hang Up (2016)

Delivering this week’s cautionary social media commentary (there’s more to life than Likes, kids!) with the subtlety of an internet meme, here’s a wholly unoriginal horror about unlikeable idiots being tortured by a cookie-cutter movie maniac. There’s a reason why jock douchebags don’t tend to get the horror limelight, and Don’t Hang Up is the…

Movie Review: Under the Shadow (2016)

Oppression and fear stalk the environs of Babak Anvari’s superb Under the Shadow. Based on Anvari’s childhood experiences in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq War, Under the Shadow brings subjugation, menace and a palatable sense of dread to the screen, with a political element that is constant but never overbearing. The film’s focus is domestic, portraying…

Movie Review: Predestination (2014)

Whether or not space-time is an actual reality or simply an illusion, a convenient concept of the mind to get us through the day, is not relevant here. The Spierig Brothers (“Daybreakers”) mesmerizing film Predestination postulates that it is real, but that is only the starting point of a film that challenges us at every…

Movie Review: He Never Died (2015)

He Never Died was recently shown as part of the Spooky Movie International Film Festival, currently ongoing at the AFI Silver theater in Silver Spring, Maryland. In it, Henry Rollins plays a solitary grump who’s trying to escape from his past. That grump, Jack (Rollins, “Wrong Turn 2: Dead End”), lives in a beat-up apartment…

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