Movie Review: IN THE EARTH

IN THE EARTH Poster | ©2021 Neon

Rating: R Stars: Joel Fry, Reece Sheersmith, Hayley Squires, Ellora Torchia, Mark Monero, John Hollingworth Writer: Ben Wheatley Director: Ben Wheatley Distributor: Neon Release Date: April 16, 2021 IN THE EARTH is set in a world where there’s a pandemic going on. Lest anyone be put off by this story element, its point seems mainly to explain why there aren’t more people around. After the first few scenes, it becomes an afterthought. However, anyone who has problems with strobe lights and flashing images should be warned in advance. Dr. Martin Lowry (Joel Fry) walks up a woodland path to a […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSE

THE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSE | ©2020 4Digital Media

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Mhairi Calvey, Waleed Elgadi, Makenna Guyler, Kevin Leslie, Emma Spurgin Hussey, Jo Price Writer: Wolf-Peter Arand, story by Juliane Block & Wolf-Peter Arand Director: Juliane Block Distributor: 4Digital Media Release Date: December 15, 2020 THE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSE begins with an elaborate narrated prologue, voiced over still artwork illustrations. It’s a bit confusing, at first, because we hear about a “great war” with big explosions, but this turns out not to be the Great War, i.e., World War I. Instead, it’s a pre-history event in what is now England. An evil king called Dormant kills […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ANYTHING FOR JACKSON

ANYTHING FOR JACKSON movie poster | ©2020 Shudder/Vortex Media

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Sheila McCarthy, Julian Richings, Konstantina Mantelos, Josh Cruddas, Yannick Bisson, Lanette Ware, Daxton William Lund Writer: Keith Cooper Director: Justin G. Dyck Distributor: Shudder/Vortex Media Release Date: December 3, 2020 ANYTHING FOR JACKSON is described in its publicity materials as a “reverse exorcism” story. That’s broadly true, although not quite what we might envision. Older couple Audrey (Sheila McCarthy) and Henry Walsh (Julian Richings) are Satanists, but they’re not trying to find a vessel for their Dark Lord or any of his minions. They just want to bring their little grandson Jackson (Daxton William Lund) back […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BEAST MODE

BEAST MODE movie poster | ©2020 Devilworks

Rating: Not Rated Stars: C. Thomas Howell, James Duval, Carrie Finklea, Spain Willingham, Leslie Easterbrook, Robert Costanzo, Daz Crawford, Teddy Margas, James Hong, Ray Wise, Aliana Matheis, Douglas Bennett Writers: Chris W. Freeman & Spain Willingham & Drew Fortune Directors: Chris W. Freeman & Spain Willingham Distributor: Devilworks Release Date: December 1, 2020 To paraphrase a famous quote, dying is easy, comedy is hard, parodying Hollywood and trying to do horror at the same time on a low budget is super-hard. Credit BEAST MODE for giving it a go, even if it doesn’t hit the mark much of the time. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: HOSTS

HOSTS movie poster | ©2020 Dark Sky Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Neal Ward, Samantha Loxley, Frank Jakeman, Nadia Lamin, Lee Hunter, Jennifer Preston, Buddy Skelton Writer: Adam Leader, story by Adam Leader & Richard Oakes Directors: Adam Leader & Richard Oakes Distributor: Dark Sky Films Release Date: October 2, 2020 HOSTS, not to be confused with the July 2020 release HOST (or Bong Joon-ho’s THE HOST, or any of the other more than 450 films with similar titles) is a low-budget British horror film. The title is actually clever, as HOSTS refers both to the Henderson family, who’ve invited their neighbors over for Christmas supper, and the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE

RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE movie poster | ©2020 Shudder/Elevation Pictures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Jesse Williams, Jordana Brewster, Jay Baruchel, Simon Northwood, Niamh Wilson, Clark Backo Writers: Jay Baruchel & Jesse Chabot, based on the graphic novel written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, illustrated by Giancarlo Caracuzzo Director: Jay Baruchel Distributor: Elevation Pictures (Canada); Shudder (U.S.) Release Date: July 18, 2020 (Canada); August 20, 2020 (U.S., U.K., Ireland)  RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE, based on the graphic novel written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, and illustrated by Giancarlo Caracuzzo, has a lot on its mind. Directed by Jay Baruchel from a screenplay by Baruchel & Jesse Chabot, the movie […]Read On »

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Movie Review: AMULET

AMULET movie poster | ©2020 Magnolia Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Carla Juri, Alec Secareanu, Angeliki Papoulia, Imelda Staunton, Anah Ruddin Writer: Romola Garai Director: Romola Garai Distributor: Magnolia Pictures Release Date: July 24, 2020 AMULET is a stylish, satisfying writing/directing feature debut from Romola Garai. Garai, a topnotch English actress (THE HOUR, SUFFRAGETTE) who does not appear here, demonstrates that she can get fine work from performers, and that she knows how to create an atmosphere that glides from dreamlike to nightmarish. We follow Tomaz (Alec Secareanu) in two timelines. In one, he is a young wartime guard at an Eastern European border crossing deep in the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: A DEADLY LEGEND

A DEADLY LEGEND | ©2020 Gravitas Ventures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Kristen Anne Ferraro, Andee Buccheri, John Pope, Judd Hirsch, Corbin Bernsen, Daniella DeCaro, Eric Wolf, Jean Tree, Lori Petty Writer: Eric Wolf Director: Pamela Moriarty Distributor: Gravitas Ventures Release Date: July 24, 2020 A DEADLY LEGEND is a deceptively generic title for a horror movie that has impressively complex mythology. Unfortunately, the narrative ambitions exceed the grasp of director Pamela Moriarty and writer Eric Wolf, but their efforts to do something new are admirable. In fact, the storytelling is so dense that it’s a bit surprising to find that A DEADLY LEGEND is not based on […]Read On »

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Movie Review: GHOSTS OF WAR

GHOSTS OF WAR movie poster | ©2020 Vertical Entertainment

Rating: R Stars: Brenton Thwaites, Theo Rossi, Skylar Astin, Kyle Gallner, Alan Ritchson Writer: Eric Bress Director: Eric Bress Distributor: Vertical Entertainment Release Date: July 17, 2020 GHOSTS OF WAR is largely a haunted house story set in 1944 Nazi-occupied France. That’s how the setting is identified in the opening crawl. We’re with a squad of five young American soldiers. Our first introduction is to Chris (Brenton Thwaites), who awakens in a dark clearing, with his comrades sleeping nearby. He either sees or hallucinates something in the surrounding forest. In daylight, we meet the rest of the group. Kirk (Theo […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BELZEBUTH

BELZEBUTH movie poster | ©2020 RLJE Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Tobin Bell, Tate Ellington, Joaquin Cosio, Yunuen Pardo, Liam Villa, Jose Sefami Writers: Luis Carlos Fuentes & Emilio Portes Director: Emilio Portes Distributor: RLJE Films Release Date (U.S. DVD, Blu-ray, Digital): July 7, 2020 BELZEBUTH is the name of a demon wreaking havoc in an unnamed town in Mexico. It’s also a pretty good horror movie, in Spanish and English, although it’s got almost zero sense of humor. This may be a necessity, because unlike a lot of tales of demonic possession, about halfway through, a character explains exactly why this is happening here. The exposition […]Read On »

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