Miniseries Review: DEADWATER FELL

DEADWATER FELL Key Art | ©2020 Acorn TV

Stars: David Tennant, Cash Jumbo, Matthew McNulty, Anna Madeley, Maureen Beattie, Anneika Rose Writer: Daisy Coulam Director: Lynsey Miller Network (North America): Acorn TV Release Date: January 10, 2020 (U.K.); April 6, 2020 (North America) DEADWATER FELL premiered in the U.K. in January 2020, and is now available in North America on Acorn TV’s cable and streaming service. The four-episode miniseries, written by Daisy Coulam and directed by Lynsey Miller, is set in the present, in the charming-looking Scottish village of the title. Everybody knows everybody in Deadwater Fell, where modern amenities like cellphones exist in houses that open the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: RELIC

RELIC movie poster | ©2020 IFC Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin, Bella Heathcote Writers: Natalie Erika James and Christian White Director: Natalie Erika James Distributor: IFC Films Release Date: July 10, 2020 RELIC is a horror movie that deals with senile dementia. For a lot of people, this will be a form of gilding the lily. Dealing with a parent’s real-life cognitive decline is often so devastating that it’s hard to muster much added alarm about the possibility of a supernatural dimension to it. Director Natalie Erika James and her co-writer Christian White elicit some pathos, but in trying to mix tragedy with […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE BEACH HOUSE

THE BEACH HOUSE movie poster | ©2020 Shudder

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros, Steven Weber, Maryann Nagel Writer: Jeffrey A. Brown Director: Jeffrey A. Brown Release Date (Shudder stream): July 9, 2020 THE BEACH HOUSE, from both its title and its set-up, seems like it’s going to be one kind of horror movie. Emily (Liana Liberato) accompanies her boyfriend Randall (Noah Le Gros) to his family’s vacation home in coastal Massachusetts. It’s before “the season,” and apparently neighbors are few. Then another older couple, Mitchell (Steven Weber) and Jane (Maryann Nagel), turn out to already be in residence. Mitchell claims he’s an old friend […]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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Movie Review: JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE

JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE movie poster | ©2020 Magnolia Pictures

Stars: John Lewis Director: Dawn Porter Distributor: Magnolia Pictures Release Date: July 3, 2020 JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE is, as its title suggests, a biographical documentary about the Democratic Georgia congressman and civil rights activist who has served in the U.S. House since 1987. Director/producer Dawn Porter and her subject both exude cautious optimism in the face of current events. “Good trouble” is what Lewis urges people to get into, which he also refers to “necessary trouble.” This means standing up for one’s principles and being willing to face sometimes monumental consequences. Lewis has survived segregation, over forty arrests during […]Read On »

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Movie Review: FOUR KIDS AND IT

FOUR KIDS AND IT movie poster | ©2020 Lionsgate

Rating: PG Stars: Teddie Malleson-Allen, Ashleigh Aufderheide, Matthew Goode, Paula Patton, Billy Jenkins, Ellie-Mae Siame, Russell Brand, Michael Caine Writer: Simon Lewis, additional writing by Mark Oswin, based on the novel FOUR CHILDREN AND IT by Jacqueline Wilson, based on the novel FIVE CHILDREN AND IT by E. Nesbit Director: Andy de Emmony Distributor: Lionsgate Release Date: June 30, 2020 FOUR KIDS AND IT doesn’t hide its literary origins. Right up front, we see the E. Nesbit FIVE CHILDREN AND IT book as thirteen-year-old Ros (Teddie Malleson-Allen) obtains it at a bookstore. As this novel was originally published in 1902, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: FOLLOWED

FOLLOWED movie poster | ©2020 Global View Entertainment

Rating: R Stars: Matthew Solomon, Sam Valentine, Tim Drier, Caitlin Grace, Kelsey Griswold, John Savage Writer: Todd Klick Director: Antoine Le Distributor: Global View Entertainment Release Date: June 19, 2020 (release expands June 26, 2020) FOLLOWED is a better-than-average found-footage horror movie. What elevates FOLLOWED among its fellows? For one thing, it’s got a plot, which immediately helps. For another, it’s got characters who have understandable motivations. For a third, it’s got good, creepy mythology to go with its suitably ominous setting. However, those who cannot abide the found-footage subgenre should take heed at the outset. Michael (Matthew Solomon), who […]Read On »

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Movie Review: YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT movie poster | ©2020 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Kevin Bacon, Amanda Seyfried, Avery Essex, Colin Bluemenau Writer: David Koepp, based on the novella by Daniel Kehlmann Director: David Koepp Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: June 19, 2020 YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT borrows from several other iconic horror books-into-film adaptations. They won’t be named here, as that would give the game away, and most viewers will make those associations for themselves. Still, it’s a nicely creepy haunted-house story that mostly strikes a balance between serving its premise and not belaboring it, though the climax leaves something to be desired. Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) would seem to […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DRIVEN (2020)

DRIVEN Movie poster | ©2020 Uncork’d Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Richard Speight Jr., Casey Dillard Writer: Casey Dillard Director: Glenn Payne Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment Release Date: June 16, 2020  The new movie DRIVEN, being released on June 16, 2020, should not be confused with the 2018 Jason Sudeikis/Lee Pace starrer of the same name about John DeLorean, or the other 2018 DRIVEN, about an out-of-control race car driver who falls in love, or the other race car driver movie, also called DRIVEN, that starred Sylvester Stallone and was released in 2001, or the DRIVEN TV series from 2018, or … In other words, somebody should probably […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND

THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND movie poster | ©2020 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bel Powley, Bill Burr, Maude Apatow Writers: Judd Apatow & Pete Davidson & Dave Sirus Director: Judd Apatow Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: June 12, 2020 THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND is so targeted at a specific audience that it may be unfair for anybody who’s not in that demographic to review it. The movie is dedicated to star/co-writer’s Pete Davidson’s father, the late firefighter Scott Davidson, and it’s impossible not to respect the sincerity of the tribute. THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND has Davidson playing Scott Carlin, who at age twenty-four, is […]Read On »

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