Reviews

Movie Review: THE VIGIL

THE VIGIL movie poster | ©2021 IFC Midnight

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Dave Davis, Menashe Lustig, Malky Goldman, Lynn Cohen, Fred Melamed, Ronald Cohen Writer: Keith Thomas Director: Keith Thomas Distributor: IFC Midnight Release Date: February 26, 2021 THE VIGIL, originally released theatrically in February, is now available on Hulu. Most religious horror films are based in Catholicism, Christianity, paganism, or Satanism. THE VIGIL is therefore comparatively uncommon, as it centers around Orthodox Judaism. Specifically, THE VIGIL focuses on the real-world tradition of having a Shomer, or watchman, sit with the corpse of a newly deceased person. The Shomer recites prayers intended to comfort the deceased’s soul and ward […]Read On »

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Movie Review: QUEEN OF SPADES

QUEEN OF SPADES movie poster | ©2021 Epic Pictures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Ava Preston, Kaelen Ohm, Jamie Bloch, Daniel Kash, Eric Osborne, Nabil Rajo, Krista Marchand Writers: Patrick White, John Ainsley, story by Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy Director: Patrick White Distributor: Dread Release Date: June 11, 2021 QUEEN OF SPADES is an entry in the subgenre of horror in which a demonic entity is summoned by chanting its name into a mirror. The Queen is a figure out of Russian folklore (as explained in the film), much like Bloody Mary is for Americans. This QUEEN OF SPADES is a new American remake of the 2015 Russian film QUEEN OF SPADES: THE […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT

THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT Movie Poster | ©2021 Warner Bros./New Line Cinema

Rating: R Stars: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, John Noble, Eugenie Bondurant, Shannon Kook, Keith Arthur Bolden, Ashley LeConte Campbell Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, story by James Wan & David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, based on characters created by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes Director: Michael Chaves Distributor: Warner Bros./New Line Cinema Release Date: June 4, 2021 THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT is the third film in the CONJURING franchise (if one doesn’t count the ANNABELLE movies, THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA, and whatever they’re doing next with THE NUN). Based on […]Read On »

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Movie Review: CHANGING THE GAME

CHANGING THE GAME poster | ©2021 Hulu

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Mack Beggs, Sarah Rose Huckman, Andraya Yearwood Writers: Michael Barnett, Amanda Griffin, Michael Mahaffie Director: Michael Barnett Distributor: Hulu Release Date: June 1, 2021 CHANGING THE GAME, a documentary, begins with a training session for a young man, Mack Beggs. Mack has a deep voice, facial hair – and is the state champion for female high school wrestling. In Texas, the law insists that students must compete as the gender listed on their birth certificate. This is profoundly frustrating to Mack, who wants to compete against other boys. It also causes a ton of verbal and […]Read On »

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BALLERINA BOYS: Directors Chana Gazit and Martie Barylick on new AMERICAN MASTERS documentary – Exclusive Interview

Trocks performing "Swan Lake" in AMERICAN MASTERS - BALLERINA BOYS | ©2021 PBS

BALLERINA BOYS, a documentary about the all-male comedy ballet troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, airs on AMERICAN MASTERS on PBS Friday, June 4. Founded in 1974, the Trocks, as they are affectionately known, put a humorous spin on classical ballets, with company members performing the female roles in drag. BALLERINA BOYS is directed and produced by Martie Barylick and Chana Gazit. Gazit has been a documentary filmmaker for thirty-five years. Among her multiple awards wins are Emmys for 2005’s SLAVERY AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA, THE PILL on PBS’s 1988 AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and 1991’s HONORABLE NATIONS. Barylick, who […]Read On »

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LES BALLETS TROCKADERO DE MONTE CARLO: Artistic Director Tory Dobrin on new documentary – Exclusive Interview

Dancer Duane Gosa in AMERICAN MASTERS - BALLERINA BOYS | ©2021 PBS

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, often just called the Trocks, have been entertaining audiences since 1974. The Trocks are an all-male dance troupe that performs classical ballets – SWAN LAKE, GISELLE, etc. – in drag, with a comedic attitude and exquisite technical skill. AMERICAN MASTERS on PBS is presenting a documentary about the Trocks, BALLERINA BOYS, on Friday, June 4. Tory Dobrin, the current artistic director of the Ballets Trockadero, previously danced with the company himself (his ballerina name was Margot Lowenoktaine) from 1980 through the mid-‘90s. A California native who moved to New York, Dobrin talks in an […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW movie poster | ©2021 Netflix

Rating: R Stars: Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore, Anthony Mackie, Fred Hechinger, Wyatt Russell, Brian Tyree Henry, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeanine Serralles, Mariah Bozeman, Tracy Letts Writer: Tracy Letts, based on the novel by A.J. Finn Director: Joe Wright Distributor: Netflix/20th Century Studios Release Date: May 14, 2021 THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW isn’t shy about referencing the film REAR WINDOW. There’s a clip from the latter at the beginning of the former. Our protagonist, Anna Fox (Amy Adams), is an old movie buff, among other things. Her viewing choices provide a few clues as to what’s going on. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ARMY OF THE DEAD

ARMY OF THE DEAD movie poster | ©2021 Netflix

Rating: R Stars: Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighofer, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Garret Dillahunt, Tig Notaro, Raul Castillo, Huma Qureshi, Samantha Win, Richard Cetrone, Athena Perample Writers: Zack Snyder & Shay Hatten and Joby Harold, story by Zack Snyder Director: Zack Snyder Distributor: Netflix Release Date: May 21, 2021 ARMY OF THE DEAD is something you don’t see every day. Sure, people are talking about the fact that the movie combines zombie horror with a casino heist plot. Others have also noted that it’s a zombie movie that clocks in at […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE RETREAT

THE RETREAT movie poster | ©2021 Quiver Distribution

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Tommie-Amber Pirrie, Sara Allen, Celina Sinden, Munro Chambers, Chad James Connell, Patrick Garrow, Joey Coleman, Aaron Ashmore, Rossif Sutherland Writer: Alyson M. Richards Director: Pat Mills Distributor: Quiver Distribution Release Date: May 21, 2021 THE RETREAT is billed as a “lesbian slasher.” This needs some clarification. Lesbians aren’t initiating any slashing (this film is all about LGBTQ people as heroes, not villains); moreover, most horror fans won’t consider this a slasher in the regular sense. There’s a cabin in the woods, where couple Connor (Chad Connell) and Scott (Munro Chambers) are optimistically moving in. Their first […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SÉANCE

SEANCE movie poster | ©2021 RLJE Films/Shudder

Rating: R Stars: Suki Waterhouse, Ella-Rae Smith, Madisen Beaty, Inanna Sarkis, Seamus Patterson, Stephanie Sy, Djouliet Amara, Jade Michael, Megan Best, Marina Stephenson Kerr Writer: Simon Barrett Director: Simon Barrett Distributor: RLJE Films/Shudder Release Date: May 21, 2021 SÉANCE is a twisty, fun horror film set at an all-girls prep school. At first, it seems to be dealing in one set of staples, then in another, and then – well, part of the enjoyment here is in guessing the explanations before they’re revealed. At the prestigious Edelvine Academy, everyone has heard the story of the Edelvine Ghost. Years earlier, a […]Read On »

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