Wednesday, November 20, 2019

'The Animal People' Trailer: Check Out This Joaquin Phoenix-Produced Animal Rights Documentary

If you don’t know about the SHAC 7 or the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, you probably should. It set harrowing precedents about free speech, protest, governmental response to activism, and the rights of corporations as they exceed those of actual people. All of which has continued to fester and manifest in terrifying ways. All of that is on full display in The Animal People, a new documentary executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix. The film just held its world premiere, hits VOD soon after years of work, and there’s a new trailer. Take a look below.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Nicolas Cage To Play Nicolas Cage In The Most Nicolas Cage Movie Imaginable

Where to even begin with this one? So, Nicolas Cage may star in a movie called The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Now, it’s not the pretentious title that causes involuntary eye twitching, it’s the fact that he might play a version of himself, who talks to another version of himself from the past. And there’s also a drug cartel and the CIA. Yeah…

Thursday, November 14, 2019

'6 Underground' Trailer: Michael Bay And Ryan Reynolds Destroy Italy With Gleeful Abandon

There’s a segment of the filmgoing public who, with good reason, hates Michael Bay. I’m not one of them. (Outside of the Transformers movies, those movies are trash and their—now thankfully waning—popularity baffles me.) With his next film, 6 Underground, he’s bringing his Bayhem to Netflix and this new trailer is both amazing and terrible in the best possible ways. There’s also one of the most god-awful posters I’ve ever seen.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

'The Bygone' (2019) Movie Review

On the surface, The Bygone looks made for me. A sparse, gritty neo-western about clashing cultures, a disappearing way of life, hard-scrabble folk scraping to get by in a desolate land, all capped off with the potential for violence lurking just out of sight. The problem with the debut feature from brother co-director and co-writers Graham and Parker Phillips (Graham also stars) is that generally all it offers are surface elements, with little waiting below. In many ways, it’s a strong debut, in others, not so much.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

'The Shed' (2019) Movie Review

Sheds are where murder happens. That’s just a fact of life. If you go into a shed, you’re probably going to die a grisly death of one sort or another. Hey, I don’t make the rules. Writer/director Frank Sabatella’s The Shed makes excellent use of this backyard-lurking death trap, mixing monsters, gore, and coming of age drama into an effective, no-frills horror yarn.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Leigh Whannell's 'The Invisible Man' Trailer Torments Elisabeth Moss

elisabeth moss in the shower

Universal’s attempt to kick off a Dark Universe based on their classic monster movies didn’t exactly get off to the best start. The less we say about The Mummy, the better. But when has that ever stopped a studio from rehashing an IP in hopes of cashing in? Next up is a reworking of The Invisible Man from director Leigh Whannell and it looks…super rad. Check out the first trailer below.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

'Doctor Sleep' (2019) Movie Review

Despite critical pans on its initial release, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining became one of the most acclaimed horror movies of all time. Much to the chagrin of Stephen King, who wrote the novel the film adapts, and who famously hates the movie. In 2013, 36 years later, King published the sequel, Doctor Sleep. Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of the follow up attempts to reconcile the two conflicting sides and, with reverence for both Kubrick and King, mostly succeeds.

'Color Out Of Space' Trailer: Nicolas Cage, Richard Stanley, H.P. Lovecraft

Nicolas Cage. Richard Stanley. H.P. Lovecraft. I don’t need anything else to work myself up to frenzied levels of excitement for Color Out of Space. Then again, this first trailer doesn’t hurt things. And oh damn.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

This 'Bad Boys For Life' Trailer Reminds Will Smith He Isn't Batman

I’m an inveterate Bad Boys 2 stan. I maintain it’s the most quintessentially American movie ever made, for good and ill. That said, I’m rather ambivalent about the upcoming third chapter, Bad Boys for Life. I mean, I’m going to watch the living hell out of it, that much should be obvious, but I have little faith that the core duo’s banter has aged well. Anyway, there’s a new trailer full of quips and explosions and bang bangs and a familiar tune. Take a gander below.

Monday, November 4, 2019

'Primal' (2019) Movie Review

Here’s everything you need to know to decide whether or not Primal is a movie you want to watch. It stars Nicolas Cage. He plays Frank Walsh, a hunter/illegal animal salesman who captures rare, fully CGI white jaguar he plans to sell for many dollars. Turns out, while transporting/smuggling said trophy on a ship, it’s not the only dangerous creature on board. The U.S. government, for a convoluted series of reasons, is also transporting notorious political assassin Richard Loffler (Kevin Durand) on the same vessel. If you guess they both escape and Frank has to hunt two of the world’s deadliest creatures while on a boat, you are correct. Also, Frank has a parrot sidekick that he hates.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Kimo Stamboel's 'The Queen Of Black Magic' Trailer Is Here To Freak You Out

It may sound like a good idea, like a unique, memorable experience, but never, ever vacation somewhere that doesn’t appear on a map. We’ve all seen enough movies to know this doesn’t end well. And here to illustrate that point, we have the trailer for Kimo Stamboel’s new horror film, The Queen of Black Magic.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

'Terminator: Dark Fate' (2019) Movie Review

Stop me if this sounds familiar. Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes, Running With the Devil) just wants to go to her job in a Mexico City car factory. It’s a normal day, arguing with her boss about being replaced by machines, when a shape-shifting killer robot from the future (Gabriel Luna, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) shows up at work to kill her only to be thwarted by a human soldier, Grace (Mackenzie Davis, Blade Runner 2049), also from the future. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

'The Mandalorian' Trailer Pumps Up The Werner Herzog

The first trailer for the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, was pretty damn great. You know what would make it better? Upping the Werner Herzog content, which is precisely what they did with this new trailer. Check it out below.

Monday, October 28, 2019

'The Grudge' Trailer: Nicolas Pesce Revisits The Supernatural Horror Franchise

Along with The Ring and others, 2004’s The Grudge, an American remake of the 2002 Japanese horror film Ju-on: The Grudge, was at the crest of Hollywood’s fascination with J-horror. (Fun fact, director Takashi Shimizu helmed both versions.) Since it’s been a few years, it’s time to dust off the familiar IP, this time with Nicolas Pesce in the big chair. He brought a great cast, his fascination with bathtubs, and now we have our first look. Check out the trailer for Sam Raimi-produced The Grudge below.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

'The Lighthouse' (2019) Movie Review

Where to begin with The Lighthouse? If you go in expecting the creeping Satanic dread of writer/director Robert Eggers last film, The Witch, you’ll be let down. That’s not to say there’s no creeping dread, because there’s plenty, it’s simply of a different sort. The film edges up to the supernatural, but is more concerned with what lurks inside, deep down, waiting to emerge. It’s also, as my notes taken during the screening attest, “weird as balls.” Somehow it works. I’m not always entirely certain how, but it does.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: 'Girl On The Third Floor' Movie Review

Renovating an old house is a major undertaking in the best of circumstances. And when the house in question is a haunted former house of ill-repute with a bad reputation around the neighborhood, it’s an even dicier proposition. But that’s not going to stop the intrepid Dan Koch (Phil “C.M. Punk” Brooks)—a disgraced businessman, adulterous husband to a pregnant wife (Trieste Kelly Dunn), and secret binge-drinker—from giving it the old college try in Girl on the Third Floor.

This 'Antlers' Trailer Has A Horrifying Secret

So, Antlers was already on my radar, vaguely as it’s a few months off. Still, a horror movie from director Scott Cooper (Hostiles, Out of the Furnace), producer Guillermo del Toro (The Devil’s Backbone), and starring Keri Russell (The Americans) and Jesse Plemons (Game Night) certainly warrants at least a modicum of attention. Better yet, it also has cannibals. But damn, this first trailer took the anticipation knob and cranked it to eleven.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker' Trailer Gives You One Last Look At Your Friends

UPDATED: Now with more poster!

ORIGINAL POST: Now that we’re getting a movie every year or so, plus the upcoming streaming shows and the glut of books and comics and other media, it’s a bit less special, but I will never not be excited for Star Wars movie. And the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits me in all the feelings places. Check it out for yourself below.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: 'Porno' Movie Review

This is an updated version of an earlier review.

If you lament the lack of graphic genital torture or exploded testicles in modern horror cinema, you’re in luck. First time director Keola Racela’s  Porno has the cure for what ails you. It also has demons, repressed religious nerds, an uptight straight edge kid, and more Encino Man references than one might initially expect. Gory, ridiculous, and often legitimately scary, it’s a perfect movie to watch late at night, preferably with a rowdy, intoxicant-lubricated crowd.

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: '1BR' Movie Review

Where would horror, as a genre, be without cults? Or new-to-town transplants with troubled pasts searching for and finding what appears to be the perfect new home? For his first feature, 1BR, writer/director David Marmor combines these two genre staples for an up and down affair that, while ultimately a mixed bag with some pacing issues, pays off with solid tense, thrilling creeps.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: 'Koko-Di Koko-Da' Movie Review

This is an updated version of an earlier review.

We’ve seen the Groundhog-Day-as-horror conceit before, most recently with the Happy Death Day movies. But in Swedish oddity Koko-di Koko-da, writer/director Johannes Nyholm takes the concept to straight-up psychological nightmare territory. (This is also one of two films at the North Bend Film Festival to use this approach.) Twisted and terrifying, it offers a time-loop of grief, death, and adorable animated shadow puppet bunnies and birds, which he also manages to turn scary and unnerving as all hell. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: 'The Swerve' Movie Review

High school English teacher Holly (Azura Skye), the protagonist of writer/director Dean Kapsalis’ debut feature The Swerve, is harried, ignored, and unappreciated in every facet of her life. Her husband (Bryce Pinkham) is self-involved, her sons are brats, her students can’t be bothered, her alcoholic sister (Ashley Bell) mocks her, and even her own mother (Deborah Hedwall) berates her and puts her down. 

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: 'This Is Our Home' Movie Review

UPDATED: The first 60 minutes of This is Our Home are a solid exercise in escalating tension, the deterioration of a relationship, and creeping psychological dread. For a movie that’s only 73 minutes, with credits, those don’t seem like bad odds. But damn does director Omri Dorani’s film hit a wall at that point. You can practically hear the screech of tires as all forward momentum comes to a sudden halt.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

'The Bygone' Trailer: This Grim Modern Western Should Have Left When It Had The Chance

A violent, gritty neo-western, you say? I’m an easy mark, you have my full attention. And the trailer for Graham and Parker Phillips’ new movie, The Bygone, certainly piques my interest. Check it out below.

Monday, October 14, 2019

10 Movies To See At Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2019

It’s the spookiest month of the year, what better time for a horror film festival? And on that front, the fourth annual Brooklyn Horror Film Festival has you covered. It kicks off this week, runs through the weekend, and wraps up next week. In the meantime, it delivers a nice slate of genre goodies and horrific treats to gore up your October.

'Daniel Isn't Real' Trailer: Imaginary Friends Are Jerks

What if Drop Dead Fred but evil? That seems to be the general premise behind Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Daniel Isn’t Real. A troubled young man’s former imaginary friend returns to wreak havoc on his life, but in a much darker, more psychedelic way than in the 1991 Phoebe Cates comedy. (Though, to be fair, that movie is pretty damn weird.) Check out the latest trailer below.

Friday, October 11, 2019

HBO Orders 'Maniac Cop' Series From Nicolas Winding Refn And John Hyams

Nicolas Winding Refn has been talking about a Maniac Cop remake for years. Back in 2015 it was as a movie he would produce from Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning director John Hyams. Even then, he’d been talking about that since 2012. That version never materialized and despite periodic rumblings, we all assumed it was one of the many, many potential projects he expounds on that would never happen—it’s a regular occurrence. But here we are, in the year of our lord 2019, and there’s news that HBO is going to let Refn turn Maniac Cop into a series. And the world sucks a little bit less for the moment.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

'Gemini Man' (2019) Movie Review

It’s going to be weird to talk about Gemini Man, Ang Lee’s new Old-Will-Smith-versus-Young-Will-Smith action movie. Not because of the plot or acting or story or any of the usual suspects—though there is, as always, much to discus in those arenas—but because of the technology used to make it. By its very nature, this is going to create multiple different viewing experiences, even more so than the usual 3D, IMAX, etc. format choices, and potentially have more of an impact.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

'Eli' Trailer: Ciaran Foy Teams With Netflix For A Spooky Medical Haunted House

Director Ciaran Foy’s feature debut, Citadel, was one of my favorite movies of 2012, horror or otherwise. I think it’s criminally overlooked when we discuss the best horror films of the last decade. That said, his follow up, Sinister 2, wasn’t great. Still, I’m excited for his latest, Eli, which made my most anticipated movies of 2019 list, even if it has been delayed for some time. It drops on Netflix in a couple weeks and to drum up interest, there’s this creepy new trailer and poster.

'Devil's Revenge' (2019) Movie Review

Devil’s Revenge is horror movie about “a down-on-his-luck archaeologist who returns from a cave expedition that contains a cursed relic that’s also a portal to Hell. He discovers that the only way to stop the curse on his family is to go back to the cave and destroy the relic.” It also stars Star Trek alums William Shatner and Jeri Ryan and is precisely the movie you expect from the title, description, cast, and general low-budget horror schlock. YMMV.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Latest 'Parasite' Trailer Sings Bong Joon-Ho's Praises

When people toss around the word “masterpiece,” I usually tune out, especially when it comes to new movies—that’s a term that, to truly apply, I feel needs sit and simmer and have some perspective and distance. That said, when I hear it applied to a Bong Joon-ho movie, while I have to see it for myself, it gets me all revved up because the South Korean filmmaker is a non-stop hit machine. As you might imagine, I’m rather excited for his latest, Parasite, which has been collecting rave reviews, is almost here, and dropped this new trailer.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Harley Quinn Is The One They Should Be Afraid Of In The First 'Birds Of Prey' Trailer

Suicide Squad may have been a mess, with a million cuts and major studio interference, but one thing was clear, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was a breakout character. If there’s anything worth watching in that movie, it’s her. And now she’s back, and she’s bringing some friends. Check out the first trailer for Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn. Yes, that’s the full title, but we’ll just call it Birds of Prey because we’re not masochists.

Monday, September 30, 2019

'Little Monsters' (2019) Movie Review

I love about a third of Abe Forsythe’s zombie comedy Little Monsters. The middle act, from roughly the 25-minute mark to just shy of 60, blends horror and humor, heart and gore, in a way many movies that attempt such a synthesis fail to accomplish. It’s fun and gooey and delightful. While maybe not the freshest take on the undead, the image of Lupita Nyong’o in a bright yellow dress, beheading walking corpses with a shovel is enough to fill me with glee.

Friday, September 27, 2019

'Primal' Trailer: Nicolas Cage Hunts A Jaguar And An Assassin On A Boat, Because Of Course

“Take it easy with my CAT,” screams Nicolas Cage in the way only he can. So begins the trailer for his latest random, weird-as-hell, straight-to-VOD, probably terrible opus, Primal. And though short, this tells us all we need to know: Nic Cage, on a boat, hunting both a rare jaguar and an international assassin. Because of course. But don’t take my word for it, watch for yourself after the jump.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

'First Love' (2019) Movie Review

If you didn’t know you were watching a Takashi Miike movie, the severed head rolling down the street, coming to a stop, and blinking at you with an opened-mouthed silent scream less than three minutes into First Love should be a tip off. True to form, and the uber-prolific Japanese director works in maybe his truest form here, First Love is down and dirty, violent, and weird as all hell. Wouldn’t have a Takashi Miike movie any other way. But he also delivers his version of a dark, twisted, mean-spirited romantic comedy. Which means, of course, it’s the most badass rom-com you’ve ever seen.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

'The Death Of Dick Long' (2019) Movie Review

I’m not going to write a full review of The Death of Dick Long. To talk too much about it is to ruin the fun. Just know it’s easily the best movie about an Alabama-based Nickelback cover band I’ve ever seen. From director Daniel Scheinert (co-director of Swiss Army Man), this startling comedy is not the movie you expect. But it’s hilarious and twisted, unexpected and shocking, and legitimately moving and introspective.

'Uncut Gems' Trailer: The Safdie Brothers, Adam Sandler, And Stress

After the manic, propulsive mayhem that is Good Time, I’m down to ride with the Safdie Brothers anytime, anywhere. And for their next act, they take Adam Sandler, he of late-era Netflix poop joke, and put him in a serious, nerve jangling crime movie. The buzz on Uncut Gems has been through the roof after a festival run, and just watching this first trailer stresses me the hell out. 

Check out the trailer and a new posters below.

Friday, September 20, 2019

'Running With The Devil' (2019) Movie Review

There’s a lot going on in Running With the Devil, but also somehow absolutely nothing at all. It jumbles together too many storylines, drug movie clichés, flat characters, and an epic cast of B-movie all stars.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

'Villains' (2019) Movie Review

Mickey (Bill Skarsgård, It) and Jules (Maika Monroe, The Guest, It Follows) are a wannabe Bonnie and Clyde. Drug addled, wild, and in love, they plan to rob their way to Florida, with an overly idyllic dream of selling sea shells on the sea shore. Until they break into the wrong house. When circumstances dictate they invade the home of George (Jeffrey Donovan, Burn Notice) and Gloria (Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer), a stuffy, seemingly uptight couple, they get so much more than they bargained for and we find out who the real bad guys are. So goes Villains, the new horror-comedy from writer/directors Dan Berk and Robert Olsen (Stake Land 2). 

'In The Tall Grass' Trailer: A Stephen King Field Is A Very Scary Field

And the Stephen King cinematic renaissance continues. In our new quest to adapt every last iota of the horror master’s work, here comes In the Tall Grass, based on a novella by King and his son, Joe Hill, who is a badass horror writer in his own right. Written and directed by Vincenzo Natali (Splice), Netflix dropped the first trailer. True to form, it’s creepy and strange and everything is not as it initially appears. Check it out below. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

'Haunt' (2019) Movie Review

Haunt, the new movie written and directed by A Quiet Place writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, delivers precisely what the concept promises. For better or worse, your mileage may vary, some people may like it, and all that claptrap.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

'Monos' (2019) Movie Review

eight teen soldiers on a mountaintop

This is an updated version of an earlier review.

High atop a remote mountain, a cadre of eight teenagers with names like Rambo, Smurf, Boom Boom, and Swede, armed with automatic weapons, guard a prisoner and keep watch over a milk cow. A faction of a mysterious group known only as The Organization, this adolescent guerilla squad, left to their own devices, breaks down as loyalties shift and allegiances falter, and their crumbling structure and sanity build towards violence.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

'Freaks' (2018) Movie Review

With the glut of big-budget superhero blockbusters, there’s been a bit of a reactionary trend, a wave of smaller “superhero, but…” movies. Most recently think Brightburn, with its “Superman, but evil” concept. We can throw Glass, Fast Color, and more into this category of films that take common superhero tropes and tics, look at them from a different perspective, and filter them through an indie lens, usually grounding them in more reality-based circumstances. 

Pre-Order 'Hitchhiking Through Fire' By Brent McKnight Now

UPDATED: I’d say I like to keep personal news out of these posts for the most part. But if you’ve read anything I’ve ever written on here, you know that’s a crock and know more about my life than I should probably reveal to strangers on the internet. Whatever. I do, however, have some personal/professional news that’s both exciting and, I hope, relevant to your interests. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

'Riot Girls' (2019) Movie Review

An alternate 1995 where a mysterious disease kills off all the adults and warring gangs of kids—the poor kids from the East Side of Potter’s Bluff and the preppy jocks from the West Side—battle for turf and survival. With that logline, it’s no wonder Jovanka Vuckovic’s Riot Girls made my top 50 most-anticipated movies of 2019 list. 

'Desolation Center' (2019) Movie Review

This is an updated version of an earlier review.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to go on a punk rock field trip, like pile into school buses with a bunch of like-minded outsiders who are into the same kind of music as you, Stuart Swezey’s new documentary, Desolation Center, has you covered. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

'Depraved' (2019) Movie Review

david call looking nervous

This is an updated version of an earlier review.

The Frankenstein story has been adapted, tweaked, and tinkered with countless times across every medium. With Depraved legendary filmmaker Larry Fessenden gives the tale a lo-fi indie horror spin, though it’s more concerned with Brooklyn hipsters dealing with trauma than typical genre trappings.

'The Lighthouse' Trailer: It's Robert Pattinson Vs. Willem Dafoe

Over the weekend, The Lighthouse, the latest from The Witch director Robert Eggers, played at the Toronto International Film Festival. I try to avoid early reactions for movies I’m excited about, like this one, and I don’t put much stock in the reactions I do see come out of film festivals. But this one appears to have broken some brains, and I count that as a win. To mark the occasion, A24 released a new trailer, and I’m still not sure what we’re about to witness.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

'Tigers Are Not Afraid' (2017) Movie Review

Though I usually wind up liking but not loving his movies as much as many other people, Guillermo del Toro has an infectious love and enthusiasm for film. Especially horror. In 2018, the same year he won a Best Picture Oscar for The Shape of Water, he declared Issa Lopez’ Tigers are Not Afraid one of his favorite films of the year. And it’s easy to see why he approves, as it bears a heavy influence of films like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone, while maintaining its own identity. Though it’s taken its sweet time, Tigers has finally hit theaters and is one of the best films, in any genre, you’re likely to find.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

'Satanic Panic' (2019) Movie Review

“Death to the weak, wealth to the strong.” Poverty is cyclical, a vicious circle from which it’s almost impossible to escape. The rich exploit the poor to stay rich and accumulate more, feeding on the lower class, using them as tools to amass more and more. This feeding usually happens in a metaphorical sense. In Chelsea Stardust’s Satanic Panic, we’re talking literal class warfare and consumption, graphic horror style.