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: 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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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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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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Movie Review: THE WITCHES

Rating: PG Stars: Jahzir Bruno, Octavia Spencer, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth (voice), Codie-Lei Eastick, Chris Rock (voice) Writers: Robert Zemeckis & Kenya Barris and Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by Roald Dahl Director: Robert Zemeckis Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: October 22, 2020 THE WITCHES, now on HBO Max, is what is sometimes known as a “family film.” This is not in the literal sense, as in actually being suitable for family members of all ages. Rather, it’s made for children, with parents, older siblings and other folks seeing the possibilities and wishing it was better. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: LOVE AND MONSTERS

LOVE AND MONSTERS movie poster | ©2020 Paramount Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker, Dan Ewing, Ariana Greenblatt Writers: Brian Duffield and Matthew Robinson, story by Brian Duffield Director: Michael Matthews Distributor: Paramount Pictures Release Date: October 16, 2020  LOVE AND MONSTERS has a slightly misleading title. In the filmmakers’ defense, it’s easy to see where they felt that something a little more on target, like GOOD-HEARTEDNESS AND MONSTERS, wasn’t quite as catchy. They are absolutely not kidding about the MONSTERS part of the title. As our main character/narrator Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brien) informs us, we’re seven years into a post-apocalypse, when Earth was threatened […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DON’T LOOK BACK

DON'T LOOK BACK movie poster | ©2020 Gravitas Ventures/Kamikaze Dogfight

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Kourtney Bell, Skyler Hart, Will Stout, Jaqueline Fleming, Damon Lipari, Amanda Grace Benitez, Han Soto, Stephen Twardokus, Dean J. West, Bryan Batt, Jeremy Holm, Rainn Wilson, Orlando Eric Street Writer: Jeffrey Reddick Director: Jeffrey Reddick Distributor: Gravitas Ventures/Kamikaze Dogfight Release Date: October 16, 2020 DON’T LOOK BACK shares a pedigree with FINAL DESTINATION. Both films were written by Jeffrey Reddick, who makes his feature directing debut here. Moreover, both are horror films that center around the concept of a group of people who share a traumatic experience, and are later haunted by it. The film begins […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW

THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW movie poster | ©2020 Orion Classics

Rating: R Stars: Jim Cummings, Riki Lindhome, Chloe East, Robert Forster, Jimmy Tatro, Anna Sward Writer: Jim Cummings Director: Jim Cummings Distributor: Orion Classics Release Date: October 9, 2020 THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW is not, as the title might suggest, a Christmas animal movie or a story about a voracious financial titan in a small community. Instead, directed and written by Jim Cummings, the film lands somewhere between horror, quirky, and occasionally sincere. To say that it feels like an attempt to do a Coen Brothers version of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS overstates things a bit, but that’s […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ETERNAL BEAUTY

ETERNAL BEAUTY Movie Poster | ©2020 Samuel Goldwyn Films

Rating: R Stars: Sally Hawkins, Alice Lowe, Billie Piper, Robert Pugh, Morfydd Clark, Paul Hilton, Boyd Clack, Elysia Welch, Penelope Wilton, David Thewlis, Spencer Deere Writer: Craig Roberts Director: Craig Roberts Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films Release Date: October 2, 2020 ETERNAL BEAUTY is actually a good movie, but one that’s hard to recommend. Director/writer Craig Roberts has made a slightly impressionistic film about mental illness and toxic family relationships. It’s not that we don’t believe what we see, it’s that it is depressing without being illuminating. Sally Hawkins plays Jane, who is being treated with both talk therapy and medication […]Read On »

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