The first thing that stands out in Tilman Singer’s eerie, esoteric horror thriller Luz is the sound. It begins with oppressive, ominous notes, droning synth tones, creaking doors. At times over the course of a sparse 70-minute runtime, layered dialogue, a hypnotic prog-heavy score, and brooding pitched noise builds to a nightmarish, overwhelming cacophony.
Monday, July 15, 2019
During the credits of The Deeper You Dig the phrase, “An Adams Family Film” (not Addams Family) pops up on screen. And sure, it’s good for a chuckle, but it’s also an accurate representation of what you’re about to see. It’s nothing if not a family affair. Written and directed by John Adams and Toby Poser, the couple also star in two of the three main roles. The third? Filled by their daughter, Zelda Adams.
Friday, July 12, 2019
(C)2019 "Sadako" Film Partners
In 1998, with Ringu, Hideo Nakata helped kick off an American obsession with Japanese horror that continued to wield a heavy influence through the 2000s. Now, two decades, multiple sequels and remakes, and countless knock-offs down the line, the director returns to that well yet again. The latest chapter, Sadako, maintains the standard creepy, atmospheric vibe at the same time it updates the franchise mythology for a YouTube, anything-for-clicks generation. I mean, it’s hard to make a killer VHS tape scary in a day and age when no one even has a VCR, right?
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Home invasions are a staple of horror, and while it offers a largely paint-by-numbers approach, Trespassers delivers a passable, if familiar addition to the subgenre. It hits all the markers: dysfunctional couples, a remote setting, questionable decision making; drugs, booze, and assholery abound. There are major logical jumps and a few narratively convenient oversights, but mean-spirited carnage and strong female protagonists make it a compelling watch.
Saturday, July 6, 2019
For the first time I have the opportunity to cover the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal. Well, sort of. I’m covering it remotely, which is cool in one regard, because, comprised almost entirely of genre movies, it skews right into my wheelhouse. It’s one of the big film festivals I’ve most wanted to check out in my time on this beat, and while I won’t get to be there, boots on the ground, to hang out with a bunch of fine folks in person, I still have the chance to check out a ton of movies I’m rather jazzed to watch.
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
I’m definitely in the camp that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is great, and I love that long ago, far, far away galaxy. That said, I’m happy director Rian Johnson still takes the time to make twisty, clever, albeit smaller genre movies. Especially his upcoming murder mystery Knives Out. It’s one of my most-anticipated movies of the year, and this first trailer does nothing to dissuade my excitement.
Monday, July 1, 2019
Just a heads up: talking about Spider-Man: Far from Home necessitates discussion of key events from Avengers: Infinity War. So, be warned if you’re one of the five people on Earth who hasn’t watched that particular motion picture yet.
If Avengers: Endgame felt like an end, like the closing of a door, Spider-Man: Far from Home plays almost like an epilogue at the end of a novel. It finds characters dealing with the fallout and contending with previous events. Time has passed, but even from the opening scene, the specter of loss looms large over the entire film.