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: 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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Movie Review: POSSESSOR

POSSESSOR Movie Poster | ©2020 Neon

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Rossif Sutherland, Tuppence Middleton, Sean Bean, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gage Graham-Arbuthnot, Raoul Bhaneja, Gabrielle Graham Writer: Brandon Cronenberg Director: Brandon Cronenberg Distributor: Neon Release Date: October 9, 2020 POSSESSOR is classic Cronenberg. Normally, one wants to take any filmmaker on their own terms, but in the case of POSSESSOR writer/director Brandon Cronenberg, he’s created a work that could easily be taken for one made by his father, David Cronenberg, during the ‘70s or ‘80s. This is because POSSESSOR has many themes that the elder Cronenberg explored: body horror, alienation from the self, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ANTEBELLUM

ANTEBELLUM movie poster | ©2020 Lionsgate

Rating: R Stars: Janelle Monae, Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe, Marque Richardson, Robert Aramayo, Lily Cowles, Tongayi Chirisa, London Boyce Writers: Gerard Bush & Christopher Renz Directors: Gerard Bush & Christopher Renz Distributor: Lionsgate Release Date: September 18, 2020 If ANTEBELLUM were a script pitch, the response might be, “You can’t do that.” In fact, writers/directors Gerard Bush & Christopher Renz clearly could and did do it, because their film exists. Now the questions are 1) what are they trying to say, 2) did they actually succeed in saying it, and 3) whether they should […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SPIRAL

SPIRAL movie poster | ©2020 Shudder

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman, Ari Cohen, Jennifer Leporte, Ty Wood, Lochlyn Munro, Chandra West Writers: Colin Minihan & John Poliquin Director: Kurtis David Harder Distributor: Shudder Release Date: September 17, 2020 (Shudder stream) SPIRAL keeps us guessing for a good portion of its length as to whether its horror is sociological, psychological, or supernatural. We generally know the drill: new family moves to small town, the neighbors are a little odd, and weird stuff begins to happen. It’s the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. We can tell from the tech: Polaroid cameras, square computer monitors, and not a cellphone […]Read On »

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Movie Review: TEENAGE BADASS

TEENAGE BADASS poster | ©2020 Freestyle Digital Media

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Mcabe Gregg, Evan Ultra, Madelyn Deutch, Dillon Lane, Elsie Hewitt, Tucker Audie, Brandon “crsh.” White, Karsen Liotta, Julie Ann Emery, Kevin Corrigan Writers: Grant McCord & Matthew D. Dho Director: Grant McCord Distributor: Freestyle Digital Media Release Date: September 18, 2020 TEENAGE BADASS is an odd title for what is essentially an amiable indie rock story. We’re in Phoenix, AZ. The year is 2006, presumably to explain why inexpensive home recording equipment isn’t a thing yet. Our hero is Brad Jaffe (Mcabe Gregg), a seventeen-year-old whose two passions are playing drums and smoking weed. He lives […]Read On »

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Movie Review: RENT-A-PAL

RENT-A-PAL movie poster | ©2020 IFC

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Brian Landis Folkins, Kathleen Brady, Amy Rutledge, Wil Wheaton Writer: Jon Stevenson Director: Jon Stevenson Distributor: IFC Films Release Date: September 11, 2020 RENT-A-PAL is one of those movies that’s hard to evaluate. It seems to be the movie that writer/director Jon Stevenson set out to make, it’s well-acted, and it works up some tension. However, it raises a lot of intriguing questions and then doesn’t answer them. It winds up not being any of the movies the setup leads us to hope we’re going to watch. We’re in 1990 Denver, Colorado. Forty-year-old David (Brian Landis […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MULAN

MULAN movie poster | ©2020 Walt Disney Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao Writers: Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin; animated screenplay by Rita Hsaio, Christopher Sanders, Philip Lazebnik, Raymond Singer & Eugenia Bostwick-Singer, story by Robert D. San Souci, based on the legend of Mulan Director: Niki Caro Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Release Date (on Disney+): September 4, 2020 MULAN tells the story of a young woman in ancient China who disguises herself as a young man. It was previously adapted for the screen as an animated […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE OWNERS

THE OWNERS movie poster |©2020 RLJE Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Maisie Williams, Sylvester McCoy, Rita Tushingham, Andrew Ellis, Jake Curran, Ian Kenny Writers: Mathieu Gompel & Julius Berg, with the participation of Geoff Cox, based on the comic book UNE NIGHT DE PLEINE LUNE by Yves H. and Hermann Director: Julius Berg Distributor: RLJE Films Release Date: September 4, 2020 THE OWNERS is one of those horror thrillers where much of the suspense comes from figuring out exactly what is going on here. We start out amid rolling green hills in England, with nary a soul in sight. Then we focus on a beaten-up car, parked […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE FACELESS MAN

THE FACELESS MAN movie poster | ©2020 Freedom Cinema:

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Sophie Thurling, Pittaway, Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Facciolo, Martin Astifo, Lorin Kauffeld, Sunny S. Walia, Andy McPhee, Roger Ward, Brendan Bacon, Albert Goikhman, Daniel Reader Writer: James Di Martino Director: James Di Martino Distributor: Freedom Cinema Release Date: August 28, 2020  THE FACELESS MAN keeps us guessing as to what it actually is for a good while. Will it turn out to be a movie about gangsters getting revenge on a bunch of clueless twentysomethings, a WOLF CREEK-style slaughter, or supernatural horror? Is Emily (Sophie Thurling) being stalked by a terrifying entity, or just having a terrible […]Read On »

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