Reviews

Movie Review: A PLACE AMONG THE DEAD

A PLACE AMONG THE DEAD movie poster| ©2020 Modern Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Juliet Landau, Deverill Weekes, Amy Jennings, Meadow Williams, Seven McDonald, Charlaine Harris, Lance Henriksen, Tom Holland, Mariana Klaveno, Kim Newman, Gary Oldman, Robert Patrick, Ron Perlman, Anne Rice, Joss Whedon Writers: Juliet Landau & Deverill Weekes Director: Juliet Landau Distributor: Modern Films Release Date: December 14, 2020 A PLACE AMONG THE DEAD is a trippy, documentary-style horror drama. Directed by Juliet Landau, who co-wrote the film with her husband, cinematographer Deverill Weekes, the film viscerally (at times literally) explores the links between human predation and narcissism, and low self-esteem and being victimized. A PLACE AMONG THE DEAD […]Read On »

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Movie Review: COME PLAY

COME PLAY movie poster | ©2020 Focus Features

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Azhy Robertson, Gillian Jacobs, John Gallagher Jr. Writer: Jacob Chase Director: Jacob Chase Distributor: Focus Features Release Date: October 30, 2020 COME PLAY is produced by Amblin. This isn’t too surprising, as COME PLAY feels like something Amblin founder Steven Spielberg might have made in his younger years. COME PLAY also feels like a less scary riff on THE BABADOOK. As with that 2014 traumatizer, we have the elements of a special-needs young boy – here, Oliver, played by Azhy Robertson – and a creepy illustrated storybook. Instead of being pop-up, the text and pictures show up […]Read On »

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Movie Review: KINDRED

KINDRED movie poster | ©2020 IFC Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Tamara Lawrance, Jack Lowden, Edward Holcroft, Anton Lesser, Chloe Pirrie Writers: Joe Marcantonio & Jason McColgan Director: Joe Marcantonio Distributor: IFC Films Release Date: November 6, 2020 KINDRED is what might be termed modified modern Gothic, or somewhat less-than-grand Guignol. It harks back to certain kinds of old-fashioned thrillers. However, because it’s set in the present, and because the screenplay by director Joe Marcantonio and his cowriter Jason McColgan is an original rather than an adaptation, there are certain things that we expect and don’t get. This in itself is not a flaw. Goodness knows, we […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MORTAL

MORTAL movie poster | ©2020 Saban Films

Rating: R Stars: Nat Wolff, Iben Akerlie, Per Frisch, Priyanka Bose, Arthur Hakalahti, Per Egil Aske Writers: Andre Ovredal & Norman Lesperance & Geoff Bussetil, story by Andre Ovredal Director: Andre Ovredal Distributor: Saban Films Release Date: November 9, 2020 MORTAL begins with the definition of its title as “a human being.” We then meet Eric Bergland (Nat Wolff), a young man who certainly thinks of himself as a human being, though he may be in the process of becoming something a bit other. We see some gorgeous Norwegian mountain landscapes before zeroing in on Eric, who is camped out […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THEY REACH

THEY REACH movie poster | ©2020 Uncork’d Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Mary Madaline Roe, Eden Campbell, Morgan Chandler, Ash Calder, Frederick Floyd, Taylor Bartle, Steffanie Foster Gustafson, Elizabeth Rhoades Writers: Sylas Dall and Bry Troyer Director: Sylas Dall Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment Release Date: November 3, 2020 THEY REACH is an odd but rather sweet hybrid of bloody demonic horror and Spielbergian coming of age. The tones wind up dueling each other to a draw, resulting in a finale that, in most movies, would be frowned upon. Here, however, it may have been the best available solution. In a 1969 prologue, we see researcher Dr. Quinnley (Damian Vines) […]Read On »

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TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 15 – “Unity”

Alexander Calvert as Jack and Jensen Ackles as Dean in SUPERNATURAL - Season 15 - "Unity" | © 2020 The CW Network/Michael Courtney

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Alexander Calvert, Rob Benedict, Emily Swallow, Rachel Miner, Alessandro Juliani, Carmen Moore Writer: Meredith Glynn, series created by Eric Kripke Director: Catriona McKenzie Network: The CW, Thursdays @ 8 PM Original Airdate: October 29, 2020 You have to hand it to SUPERNATURAL. Sometimes, they actually do go off the rails. Because this happens, it’s especially easy for them to do some expert misdirection, and with “Unity,” they show how they’ve done it. You know how Team Winchester has spent the season trying to fight Chuck, aka God (Rob Benedict)? That one’s easy. Remember […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE CALL

THE CALL movie poster | ©2020 Cinedigm

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Lin Shaye, Tobin Bell, Chester Rushing, Erin Sanders, Mike C. Manning, Sloane Morgan-Siegel, Judd Lormand Writer: Patrick Stibbs Director: Timothy Woodward Jr. Distributor: Cinedigm Release Date: October 30, 2020 THE CALL is a generically-titled but otherwise solid horror movie. It has a decent premise, a good set-up that makes the right revelations at the right times, and smart casting in two key roles. We’re in 1987, either because the filmmakers didn’t want to deal with the Internet and smartphones, or they just like the styles. They certainly go with the ‘80s ethos of having actors who […]Read On »

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TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 15 – “Drag Me Away (From You)”

Christian Michael Cooper as Young Sam in SUPERNATURAL - Season 15 - "Drag Me Away (From You)" | © 2020 The CW Network/Colin Bentley

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Lisa Berry, Christian Michael Cooper, Paxton Singleton, Elle McKinnon, Liam Hughes, Kelsey Crane, Ryan Alexander McDonald Writer: Meghan Fitzmartin, series created by Eric Kripke Director: Amyn Kaderali Network: The CW, Thursdays @ 8 PM Original Airdate: October 22, 2020  With this being the fifth-to-last episode of SUPERNATURAL, the episode “Drag Me Away (From You)” naturally … goes back to 1993, where we see the guys as youngsters. This kinda/sorta informs the present, though not as much as it should, giving the timing. The bigger news here is that Dean (Jensen Ackles) is really doubling down […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SYNCHRONIC

SYNCHRONIC movie poster | ©2020 Well Go USA

Rating: R Stars: Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Katie Aselton, Ally Ioannides, Ramiz Monsef, Bill Oberst Jr. Writer: Justin Benson Directors: Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead Distributor: Well Go USA Release Date: October 23, 2020 SYNCHRONIC is a pleasingly thoughtful, atmospheric, character-driven film. It has time travel in it, but it is likely to remind viewers more of PRIMER than, say, BACK TO THE FUTURE. Something deeply odd is happening in the Garden District of New Orleans. People are taking a designer drug called Synchronic, having what we first take to be very strange visions, and then dying in definitely strange […]Read On »

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Movie Review: TO YOUR LAST DEATH

TO YOUR LAST DEATH movie poster | ©2020 Quiver Distribution

Rating: Not Rated Stars (voices): Morena Baccarin, William Shatner, Dani Lennon, Bill Moseley, Ray Wise, Mark Whitten, Benjamin Siemon, Florence Hartigan, Damien C. Haas Writers: Tanya Klein & Jim Cirile Director: Jason Axinn Distributor: Quiver Distribution Release Date: October 6, 2020 TO YOUR LAST DEATH bills itself as “the first-ever U.S.-made 2D animated horror movie.” Whether or not this is accurate, it’s an intriguing specimen. Imagine TALES FROM THE CRYPT meets TWILIGHT ZONE meets SAW meets Grand Guignol Greek tragedy played out as modern family psychodrama, played out in limited animation, and (if your head can stop spinning after this […]Read On »

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