Artsploitation Films

Movie Review: Welcome to the Circle (2020)

Welcome to the Circle, a cult in the middle of a remote forest. Blessings on you! Good tidings and all that! When a father and his daughter are attacked in the woods by a bear (maybe?), they find themselves rescued by The Circle, a small group consisting of lovely females and a bald leader who…

Movie Review: Dead Dicks (2019)

The juxtaposition of comedy, tragedy and horror is a tricky thing to pull off. Lean too hard one way and the comedy can be inappropriate or just lame and unfunny. Lean another way and the tragedy can be unintentionally comical or painful. And lean the third way and the horror can be silly. Those films…

Movie Review: We (2018)

The bold debut, We (Wij), from Dutch director Rene Eller uses various unreliable narrators and a fractured chronology to create an intricate and arresting new spin on coming-of-age tropes. The ostensible setup is a typical teen movie: A group of friends find a shack in the woods and use it as a base for their…

Movie Review: Blood Paradise (2018)

Hot on the wicker heels of Ari Aster’s “Midsommar” is Blood Paradise, another chiller about uninitiated Americans travelling to a Swedish rural retreat. This time the victim is horror author Robin Richards (Andréa Winter, also co-writing with co-star and director Patrick von Barkenberg), whose last novel, “Return to Blood Paradise,” was a critical and commercial…

Movie Review: Firstborn (2017)

Finally getting a release in English-language regions is Latvian director Aik Karapetian’s follow-up to his grisly “The Man in the Orange Jacket,” Firstborn. Latvia sits between Scandinavia and Russia, so it’s perhaps apt that this stylish, moody thriller evokes some of the black-comic absurdity of the former and the miserablist austereness of the latter. From…

Movie Review: Christmas Blood (2017)

Christmas Blood is rather a bland title. Perhaps in translating from the native Norwegian — the snappier “Juleblod” — they could have jumped to the unused moniker of “Silent Night, Deadly Night”: “Slayride.” Reinert Kiil’s film is very much in the same ballpark as the 1984 seasonal “classic” (there aren’t that many slasher flicks where…

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,…

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