Movie Review: FEAR

FEAR movie poster | ©2023 Hidden Empire

Rating: R Stars: Joseph Sikora, Andrew Bachelor, Annie Ilonzeh, Ruby Modine, Iddo Goldberg, Terrence Jenkins, Jessica Allain, Tip “Ti” Harris, Michele McCormick Writers: Deon Taylor and John Ferry Director: Deon Taylor Distributor: Hidden Empire Film Group Release Date: January 27, 2023 FEAR is one of those movies that arguably has a little too much happening. There are COVID tensions, myths, witch spells, books, religion, and a place that messes with people’s minds. Given all the plates that are spinning, director Deon Taylor and his co-writer John Ferry do a decent job of keeping things coherent. We see what looks like […]Read On »


Movie Review: ALICE, DARLING

ALICE DARLING movie poster | ©2023 Lionsgate

Rating: R Stars: Anna Kendrick, Wunmi Mosaku, Kaniehtiio Horn, Charlie Carrick Writer: Alanna Francis Director: Mary Nighy Distributor: Lionsgate Release Date: January 20, 2023 Part of the suspense in ALICE, DARLING is not just what will happen, but how much will happen. There are a lot of weapons around, and a lot of potential for interpersonal violence, and even for self-harm. But writer Alanna Francis and director Mary Nighy provide enough nuance and ambiguity to prevent us from being able to predict how this will all end. Alice (Anna Kendrick) is a thirtyish woman who lives with her successful artist […]Read On »



THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG Poster | @2023 Paramount Home Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Alisha Wainwright, Amanda Crew, Carlos Santos, Zach Gilford, Briela Guiza, David Mattle, Ramona Tyler Writers: T.J. Cimfel & Dave White Director: Roxanne Benjamin Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment Release Date: January 17, 2023 (digital/on demand); March 17, 2023 (MGM+) THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE CHILDREN announces its tone and intentions with, of all things, the type font of its opening credits. The Day-Glo green words look just like the font of ‘70s horror paperbacks. Director Roxanne Benjamin and writers T.J. Cimfel & Dave White proceed to deliver the goods. Given the recent box office success of M3GAN, […]Read On »


Movie Review: THE OFFERING

THE OFFERING Movie Poster | ©2023 Decel

Rating: R Stars: Nick Blood, Emm Wiseman, Allan Corduner, Paul Kaye, Daniel Ben Zanou, Anton Trendafilov, Sofia Weldon Writer: Hank Hoffman, story by Hank Hoffman and Jonathan Yunger Director: Oliver Park Distributor: Decal Release Date: January 13, 2023 THE OFFERING is stylish, atmospheric and has fine performances. These qualities compensate for some increasing confusion about what its central villain can and cannot do. An opening statement informs us of the myth of a female demon, “the taker of children,” described as early as the first century AD, across multiple languages and religions in Near East and Europe. However, THE OFFERING […]Read On »



HUMAN RESOURCES movie poster | ©2023 Deskpop

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Hugh McCrae Jr., Anthony Candell, Sarah José, Tim Mizuradze, Michael Kammerer, Angel Hilton, Calvin Devereaux, Rachel Rial Writers: Braden Swope & Eric Swope, additional story by CT Kelly Director: Braden Swope Distributor: Deskpop Entertainment Release Date: January 10, 2023 (VOD) HUMAN RESOURCES is one of those can-do low-budget horror films that deserves congratulations for a) getting completed and b) getting a distributor. As a bonus, it also has a good premise, but it tends to bog down in logic gaps and repetitive riffs. At Brooke’s Hardware Store, we see employee Keith (Angel Hilton) fearfully searching what […]Read On »


Movie Review: M3GAN

M3GAN movie poster | ©2023 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Amie Donald, Jenna Davis (voice), Ronny Chieng, Jen Van Epps, Brian Jordan Alvarez, Jack Cassidy Writer: Akela Cooper, story by Akela Cooper & James Wan Director: Gerard Johnstone Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: January 6, 2023 M3GAN gets the new movie year off to a good start. It’s ultimately a FRANKENSTEIN riff, insofar as it’s about a creator who has to come to terms with a creation that takes on a life of its own. In this case, however, the creation is a lifelike little girl doll with smart AI software, and the […]Read On »



THE PALE BLUE EYE movie poster | ©2022 Netflix

Rating: R Stars: Christian Bale, Harry Melling, Gillian Anderson, Lucy Boynton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Harry Lawtrey, Simon McBurney, Hadley Robinson, Timothy Spall, Robert Duvall Writer: Scott Cooper, based on the novel by Louis Bayard Director: Scott Cooper Distributor: Netflix Release Date: December 23, 2022 (theatrical), January 6, 2023 (Netflix) Sometimes, historical fiction writers like to pique reader/viewer interest by adding a real person to the mix. In the case of THE PALE BLUE EYE, that individual is Edgar Allan Poe, played here by Harry Melling. While he has a large and crucial supporting role, the unquestionable lead is Christian […]Read On »


Year in Review: TEN BEST FILMS OF 2022

SOFT & QUIET movie poster | ©2022 Momentum Pictures/Blumhouse/Shudder

Just as with snowflakes, it’s doubtful that any two Ten Best Films of 2022 lists are alike. This one has movies on it that some people hate, and others that were in limited release, which consequently many people never heard of, much less saw. This represents the opinions of one reviewer, and not of Assignment X as a whole, so take it for what it’s worth. SOFT & QUIET – Writer/director Beth de Araujo made the year’s moment-by-moment most terrifying and viscerally effective film because it’s all so devastatingly convincing, even though it is fiction. It achieves everything it sets […]Read On »


Movie Review: BABYLON

BABYLON Movie Poster | ©2022 Paramount Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, Jean Smart Writer: Damien Chazelle Director: Damien Chazelle Distributor: Paramount Pictures Release Date: December 23, 2022 BABYLON has some extraordinary spectacle at several intervals, and ends with a gorgeous montage chronicling the technological and narrative joys of movies, from their inception through the near-present. In between, over a three-hour-and-eight-minute running time, director/writer Damien Chazelle tries to cover too much and winds up stretching a lot of his ideas too thin. As BABYLON begins, it’s the Roaring ‘20s, and no beasts are louder than those prowling the upper reaches of Hollywood. Manny […]Read On »


Movie Review: JOYRIDE

JOYRIDE Movie Poster | ©2022 Magnolia Pictures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Olivia Colman, Charlie Reid, Lochlann O’Mearáin Writer: Ailbhe Keogan Director: Emer Reynolds Distributor: Magnolia Pictures Release Date: December 23, 2022 JOYRIDE feels like the one of those amiable indie message movies that used to pop up all the time in the U.S. Even if (like this reviewer) one isn’t wild about said message, it’s gentle enough to be relatively inoffensive. On the plus side, JOYRIDE has the terrific Olivia Colman and the very adept young Charlie Reid as its leads, plus beautiful Irish countryside. It also has the virtue of never hitting its jokes too hard. […]Read On »

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