Movie Review: ALIVE

ALIVE movie poster | ©2023 Gravitas Ventures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Ellen Hillman, Neil Sheffield, Kian Pritchard, Gillian Broderick, Angus Kennedy, Stuart Matthews, Andrew May-Gohrey, Daniel May-Gohrey, Stuart Matthews, Simone McIntyre, Helen Coathup Writer: David Marantz Director: David Marantz Distributor: Gravitas Ventures Release Date: January 31, 2023 (digital) ALIVE is a mostly well-done and sober-minded (that is, non-comedic) zombie movie. It suffers not so much from anything that it’s doing wrong, but more from being something of a latecomer. Borrowing the idea of contagion, but not the extreme speed, from 28 DAYS LATER, ALIVE posits an epidemic that the English government downplays, even as the situation becomes increasingly […]Read On »


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Movie Review: THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE CHILDREN

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 »


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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 »


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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 »


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Movie Review: THE CHRISTMAS TAPES

THE CHRISTMAS TAPES Poster | ©2022 Terror Films

Rating: Not rated Stars: Dave Sheridan, Greg Sestero, Vernon Wells, Lori Richardson, Ian Rose, Ruby Setnick, Janice Burt, Todd Lubitsch Writers: Randy Nundlall Jr. & Robert Livings Directors: Randy Nundlall Jr. & Robert Livings Distributor: Terror Films Release Date: December 12, 2022 (digital) THE CHRISTMAS TAPES has something we just don’t see anymore. It’s set in 2022, but everybody in both the wraparound and individual segments uses full-sized VHS tapes. Indeed, would-be cinema professor/actual home invader Geoff (Greg Sestero) takes it for granted that the family he holds hostage will have a VHS player in their living room, and sure […]Read On »


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Movie Review: THE FRIENDSHIP GAME

THE FRIENDSHIP GAME | ©2022 RLJE Films

Rating: Not rated Stars: Peyton List, Brendan Meyer, Kelcey Mawema, Kaitlyn Santa Juana, Dylan Schombing, Miriam Smith Writer: Damien Ober Director: Scooter Corkle Distributor: RLJE Films Release Date: November 11, 2022 In THE FRIENDSHIP GAME, the title refers to both a pastime and an actual object. The latter is a bowling ball-sized device that looks like a cross between a huge twelve-sided dice and the Lament Configuration. Friends Zoosa (Peyton List) and Cotton (Kaitlyn Santa Juana), in the summer between high school and college, come across the Friendship Game at a lawn sale. They are mourning to prospect of separation […]Read On »


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Movie Review: TERRIFIER 2

TERRIFIER 2 movie poster | ©2022 Cinedigm

Rating: Not rated Stars: Lauren LaVera, David Howard Thornton, Elliott Fullam, Sarah Voigt, Kailey Hyman, Casey Hartnett, Charlie McElveen, Samantha Scaffidi, Chris Jericho, Amelie McLain Writer: Damien Leone Director: Damien Leone Distributor: Cinedigm (theatrical), Screambox (VOD), Bloody Disgusting (all media) Release Date: October 6, 2022 The original 2016 TERRIFIER is a brisk hour and twenty-five minutes. Its new sequel, TERRIFIER 2, is two hours and eighteen minutes long. Since most slasher horror films don’t run that long, this makes TERRIFIER 2 an immediate oddity. Both TERRIFIER and TERRIFIER 2 are the epitome of hardcore slashers. It’s understandable why neither one […]Read On »


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Movie Review: NOCEBO

NOCEBO movie poster | ©2022 RLJE Entertainment

Rating: Not rated Stars: Eva Green, Mark Strong, Chai Fonacier, Billie Gadson Writer: Garret Shanley Director: Lorcan Finnegan Distributor: RLJE Entertainment Release Date: November 4, 2022 (theatrical); November 22, 2022 (on demand and digital) NOCEBO is a remarkably good horror film that pulls off two difficult tasks. First, it successfully keeps us engrossed and in suspense as to exactly what will happen, even when we work out what’s happening and why. Second, it plays with our sympathies to a degree that is seldom achievable. When we meet Christine (Eva Green), she’s happy in everything. She’s in a loving marriage with […]Read On »


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Movie Review: GIRL AT THE WINDOW

GIRL AT THE WINDOW | ©2022 XYZ Films

Rating: R Stars: Radha Mitchell, Ella Newton, Vince Colosimo, Karis Oka, James Mackay, Andrew S. Gilbert, Sharon Johal, Lachie Millar, Jackson Gallagher Writers: Terrence Hammond and Nicolette Minster, story by Terrence Hammond Director: Mark Hartley Distributor: XYZ Films Release Date: November 4, 2022 Although there’s a maniac preying on young people in GIRL AT THE WINDOW, it’s not a slasher in the conventional sense. It’s more along the lines of a quasi-trapped young woman who knows there’s a serial killer next door, but can’t get anyone to believe her. The film begins strikingly, with adolescent Lian (Karis Oka). Lian is […]Read On »


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Movie Review: DEMONS AT DAWN

DEMONS AT DAWN movie poster | ©2022 Black Coppice Films Ltd.

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Ben Silver, Amber Doig-Thorne, Amanda Himsworth, Chris Sanders, Crystal J. Huang, Jimmy “The Bee” Bennett, Jon-Paul Gates, John Altman, Michael Della Pia Writer: Chris Sanders Director: Randy Kent Distributor: Black Coppice Films Ltd. Release Date: October 28, 2022 DEMONS AT DAWN bears a passing kinship with 2012’s THE KILL LIST. Both movies feature working-class English hit men who take on jobs that put them in some very strange – indeed, supernatural – situations. THE KILL LIST had terrifically naturalistic dialogue and performances, but let the audience get a little too far ahead of the plot. DEMONS […]Read On »


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