Reviews

Movie Review: THE MARVELS

THE_MARVELS movie poster | © 2023 Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Studios

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Samuel L. Jackson, Zawe Ashton, Gary Lewis, Park Seo-joon, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh Writers: Nia DaCosta and Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik, based on the Marvel Comics Director: Nia DaCosta Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Studios Release Date: November 10, 2023 THE MARVELS, the latest feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, isn’t marvelous, but it’s agreeable. It feels a lot like spending time with old and new friends, if you all had to save the universe. That’s okay, you’ve all done it before. While not strictly necessary, it is […]Read On »


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Movie Review: IT’S A WONDERFUL KNIFE

IT'S A WONDERFUL KNIFE movie poster | ©2023 RLJE Films/Shudder

Rating: R Stars: Jane Widdop, Jess McLeod, Joel McHale, Katharine Isabelle, William B. Davis, Justin Long, Aiden Howard, Erin Boyes, Sean Depner, Zenia Marshall, Jason Fernandes, Hana Huggins, Cassandra Naud Writer: Michael Kennedy Director: Tyler MacIntyre Distributor: RLJE Films/Shudder Release Date: November 10, 2023 (theatrical) What if the celebrated 1946 Christmas film IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE were also SCREAM? That’s not as impossible a mashup as it perhaps sounds. IT’S A WONDERFUL KNIFE proves the point. In IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (for those who need a refresher), despondent Bedford Falls resident George Bailey (James Stewart) wishes he’d never been born. […]Read On »


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Movie Review: PROJECT Z (PROSJECT Z)

PROJECT Z (PROSJECT Z) movie poster | ©2023 Dark Sky Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Eili Harboe, Regina Myra Tucker, Jonis Josef, Vebjørn Enger, Iben Akerlie, Arthur Berning, Dennis Storhøi, Alexandra Gjerpen, Thea Sofie Loch Næss, Ole Christoffer Ertvaag, Laila Goody Writer: Henrik M. Dahlsbakken Director: Henrik M. Dahlsbakken Distributor: Dark Star Pictures Release Date: November 3, 2023 Making movies about making movies is a tricky proposition. Examples of the highs that can be reached when this is done right include THIS IS SPINAL TAP and THE FABELMANS. Examples of what happens when such highs are not reached include PROJECT Z (PROSJECT Z). To be clear, PROJECT Z is far from […]Read On »


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Movie Review: HELL HOUSE LLC ORIGINS: THE CARMICHAEL MANOR

HELL HOUSE LLC ORIGINS: THE CARMICHAEL MANOR | ©2023 Shudder / Terror Releasing

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Bridget Rose Perrotta, Destiny Brown, James Liddell, Gideon Berger, Cayla Berejikian, Victoria Andrunik, Darren F. Earl II, Searra Sawka Writer: Stephen Cognetti Director: Stephen Cognetti Distributor: Shudder/Terror Releasing Release Date: October 31, 2023 HELL HOUSE LLC ORIGINS: THE CARMICHAEL MANOR is the fourth film in writer/director Stephen Cognetti’s found-footage horror HELL HOUSE franchise. For those (like this reviewer) coming into a HELL HOUSE for the first time (excluding the unrelated 1972 THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE), there are enough references to previous entries to suggest we’re missing some plot points. The good news is that CARMICHAEL […]Read On »


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Movie Review: FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S

FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S | ©2023 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail, Piper Rubio, Mary Stuart Masterson, Matthew Lillard Writers: Scott Cawthon and Seth Cuddeback & Emma Tammi, screen story by Scott Cawthon and Chris Lee Hill & Tyler MacIntyre based on the video game FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S by Scott Cawthon Director: Emma Tammi Distributor: Universal Pictures/Peacock Release Date: October 27, 2023 (theatrical and Peacock streaming) FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S is adapted from the horror videogame of the same name. There is not a drawback in itself. There are readily identifiable good scary movies adapted from videogames (see the original RESIDENT EVIL, for starters). […]Read On »


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Movie Review: SUITABLE FLESH

SUITABLE FLESH movie poster | ©2023 RLJE Films/Shudder

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Heather Graham, Judah Lewis, Bruce Davison, Johnathon Schaech, Barbara Crampton, Hunter Womack Writer: Dennis Paoli, based on the story “The Thing on the Doorstep” by H.P. Lovecraft Director: Joe Lynch Distributor: RLJE Films/Shudder Release Date: October 27, 2023 SUITABLE FLESH is body-swap horror based on the story “The Thing on the Doorstep” by H.P. Lovecraft. If the film doesn’t feel especially Lovecraftian, it’s worth it to check out the original, at least after viewing. This shows us how nimbly screenwriter Dennis Paoli (a stalwart collaborator of the late Lovecraftian filmmaker Stuart Gordon) has retained the tale’s […]Read On »


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Movie Review: HERD

HERD movie poster | ©2023 Dark Sky Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Ellen Adair, Mitzi Akaha, Jeremy Holm, Timothy V. Murphy, Corbin Bernsen, Amanda Fuller, Ronan Starns Writers: James Allerdyce & Steven Pierce Director: Steven Pierce Distributor: Dark Sky Films Release Date: October 13, 2023 (theatrical and digital) Often, “this movie doesn’t know what it wants to be” is code for “this is a genre mashup that doesn’t work.” HERD is a genre mashup that does know what it wants to be, even if all of its elements don’t fully mesh. On a macro level, HERD has a message about the dangers of overreaction. More immediately, it’s that […]Read On »


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Movie Review: DEAR DAVID

DEAR DAVID movie poster | ©2023 Lionsgate

Rating: R Stars: Augustus Prew, Andrea Bang, René Escobar Jr., Cameron Nicoll, Justin Long Writer: Mike van Waes, story by Mike van Waes & Evan Turner Director: John McPhail Distributor: Lionsgate Release Date: October 13, 2023 DEAR DAVID opens with a supertitle: “In 2017 Adam Ellis began documenting a series of strange experiences that were happening in his apartment. He posted them on Twitter and these ‘Dear David’ posts became a viral sensation. The following is based on those true events.” The thread, with Ellis’s illustrations (which appear in the film), was published in the online magazine Buzzfeed (one of […]Read On »


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Movie Review: CREEPY CRAWLY (aka THE ONE HUNDRED)

CREEPY CRAWLY movie poster | ©2023 Well Go USA Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Mike Angelo, Chanya McClory, Benjamin Joseph Varney, Kulteera Yordchang Writers: Charoen Kathitisuwan & Pakphum Wongjinda & Chalit Krileadmongkon Directors: Pakphum Wongjinda & Chalit Krileadmongkon Distributor: Well Go USA Entertainment Release Date: October 3, 2023 (digital, home video) Fun fact: Southeast Asia has some of the largest venomous centipedes on the planet. These hundred-legged, segmented critters can grow to be more than half a foot long. But that’s just the jumping-off point for directors Pakphum Wongjinda & Chalit Krileadmongkon, who co-wrote the screenplay for CREEPY CRAWLY (aka THE ONE HUNDRED) with Charoen Kathitisuwan. They delve back into […]Read On »


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Movie Review: V/H/S/85

V/H/S/85 movie poster | ©2023 Shudder

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Evie Blair, Florencia Rios, Ari Gallegos, James Ransone, Freddy Rodriguez, Dashiell Derrickson, Kelli Garner, Jordan Belfi, Chuck McCollum Writers: Mike P. Nelson (“No Wake/Ambrosia”), Gigi Saul Guerrero (“God of Death”), Zoe Cooper (“TKNOGD,” story by Zoe Cooper & Natasha Kermani), Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill (“Dreamkill”), Evan Dickson (“Total Copy,” story by David Bruckner & Evan Dickson) Directors: Mike P. Nelson (“No Wake/Ambrosia”), Gigi Saul Guerrero (“God of Death”), Natasha Kermani (“TKNOGD”), Scott Derrickson (“Dreamkill”), David Bruckner (“Total Copy”) Distributor: Shudder Release Date: October 6, 2023 (Shudder) V/H/S/85 is the latest in the horror anthology […]Read On »


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