Tagged frightfest

Movie Review: The Reckoning (2020)

Neil Marshall has had a patchy career. From his riotous debut “Dog Soldiers” (re-issued in 2020) to his claustrophobic caving classic “The Descent,” his filmography sunk (or descended) into the highly derivative and uneven “Centurion” and “Doomsday,” before he applied his talents to television with “Game of Thrones” and “Hannibal,” among others. After the disastrous…

Movie Review: Heckle (2019)

The slasher film and stand-up comedy have some commonalities. Both rely on suspense and release, in one case the release being laughter and in the other, fear. Both can build up suspense with short sequences, be that a feedline/punchline structure or a jump scare; both can also escalate tension with a long form story leading…

Movie Review: The Color Rose (2020)

Cinema can have a suffusive effect. Through a particular combination of image and sound, a film can feel as though it is breathing out and enveloping you with its influence. This can be the case with dreamy romances, where you are brought into the (potentially cloying) environment of overpowering love. It can also work for…

Movie Review: The Banishing (2020)

Christopher Smith is a modern-day horror maestro. From his feature debut “Creep” through “Severance” and “Black Death,” with forays into other genres, he has demonstrated his ability to make effective genre films. The Banishing is a very fine horror: A slow burn, drip feed delivery of menace and dread that also explores issues of repression…

Movie Review: Relic (2020)

Relic could be reductively described as “Hereditary” meets “Dark Water” with traces of “The Babadook.” The last reference might be due to this being a dour Australian horror involving an old-style house and maternal issues, but it’s a fine connection, nonetheless. While it also features small and sinister objects as well as strained family relationships,…

Movie Review: Spiral (2019)

Like the more prominent “It: Chapter Two,” Spiral opens with a homophobic attack, one that is shown in all its distressing viciousness. From there, events spiral (sorry) into an eerie, menacing folk horror of cult, prejudice and scapegoating, in a manner that combines the best elements of “Get Out” and “Hereditary.” The film exposes prejudice…

Movie Review: Ready or Not (2019)

Ready or Not was one of the highlights of London’s horror film festival FrightFest. Wonderful in its balance of scares and laughs, it brings together a fine cast with a viciously vibrant script and highly inventive direction. Much of the film’s genius comes from its central device of games, a device that structures both the…

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