Results tagged “Horror”

Us Blu-ray Review: A Stunning Second Effort by Jordan Peele

The writer/director crafts a horrifying portrait of humanity forced to look at itself, definite flaws and all.
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When comedy icon and new horror master Jordan Peele made his 2017 smash, Get Out, he created a new type of horror, a horror that reflects the social bleakness of the world we live in today, especially in terms of racism. With his fantastically scary 2019 follow-up, Us, he goes even deeper and darker to depict how we have totally lost our identities to excess and privilege. In this case, he gives us a glimpse of something far more sinister and personal underneath the false comfort we have subjected to. The film starts in 1986, where young Adelaide 'Addy' Thomas

Us Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway

Movie enthusiasts and horror fans alike can watch Us again and again to unravel its darkest secrets.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader an Us Blu-ray. Us is available on Digital now, and it will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand June 18. For those wanting to learn more, read Matt St. Clair's review of the movie and Dave Hollingsworth's review of the Blu-ray and the press release is below: Academy Award-winner Jordan Peele follows the success of his blockbuster hit, Get Out, with the masterfully executed and viscerally terrifying Us. Fans around the world can now untether the truth with more than

Starfish (2019) Movie Review: A Wonderfully Ambitious Sci-Fi Pic About Grief

Starfish has a jumbled narrative yet is wonderfully jumbled due to its inventiveness and focus on human emotion.
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Starfish is an ambitious piece of science fiction that manages to keep afloat despite its attempt to juggle two vastly different storylines. The film aims to be both a poignant demonstration of grief and a post-apocalyptic monster movie at once. While both stories don’t exactly blend together, Starfish still thrives thanks to its immense panache and a commanding performance from its leading actress. The storyline follows Aubrey (Virginia Gardner) who’s reeling from the death of her best friend, Grace (Christina Masterson). However, after spending time in Grace’s apartment, the world becomes invaded by monsters from another dimension and Aubrey becomes

Ma Movie Review: Octavia Spencer Elevates Campy Thriller

Despite Ma being merely serviceabile, Octavia Spencer is delightfully maniacal as the titular antagonist.
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Most horror films don’t always rely on star power with Ma being a rare exception. With the involvement of names like Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, Luke Evans, Juliette Lewis, and Missi Pyle, it seems like a possible indication of the film’s quality. The trailer makes it appear to be a standard stalker thriller but with actors like the ones above, could it something more? Well, sort of. Although Ma nearly succumbs to being a quasi-B-movie, there are moments of brilliance to be found. The picture’s greatest source of brilliance is easily Octavia Spencer as the title character. It shouldn’t

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires Blu-ray Review: The Genre Blending Works Well

"You got your horror on my martial arts!"
"You got your martial arts in my horror!"
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Released on Blu-ray from Scream Factory, The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires is the ninth and final entry in Hammer's Dracula film series and finds Hammer Film Productions teaming up with Shaw Brothers Studio to create a fun horror/martial arts mash-up. In the '70s, horror was on a down turn for Hammer but martial arts had become an international sensation thanks in part to the movies of Bruce Lee, so the blending made business sense. While Peter Cushing performs his fifth and final portrayal of Van Helsing for Hammer, Christopher Lee finally gave up the mantle of Dracula. Instead,

John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars Blu-ray Review: Sad Retread from a Master

This rote sci-fi horror thriller from a former master has some good ideas that it does nothing with.
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The hero of John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars is introduced asleep and handcuffed to a train. It seems like an apt metaphor for the entire film itself - tired, uninspired, and forced to move forward on a rail. Unsurprisingly, it was while making this film that John Carpenter decided he had better things to do than make movies he didn't like, and he mostly turned his back on the film industry since, with only three projects directed by him in the nine years following, and none since 2011's The Ward. John Carpenter's films have always had firm grasps on the

The Skin of the Teeth Movie Review: A Rare Queer Horror Flick Done with Effort and Intent

Despite from narrative flaws, The Skin of the Teeth is a terrifically inviting and rather progressive thriller.
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If there are any fallacies within the horror genre that people like to bring up, it’s the never-ending set of plot cliches. Ranging from characters making stupid decisions to knowing who will live or die, there are a fair amount of machinations that are constantly subjected to criticism. However, one thing that should be a point of criticism is its poor to near lack of queer representation. Usually, gay horror characters are either portrayed as psychosexual villains or are just completely nonexistent. The latest psychological thriller The Skin of the Teeth proves to be a rare exception, though. In addition,

Tribeca Film Festival 2019: 'In Fabric' is Terrifically Sewn Together

An atmospheric horror-comedy with classic schlock value.
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Pardon the pun, but In Fabric feels like it’s cut from the same cloth as classic giallo fare. The emphasis on color along with the euphoric sound design recall what feels like a forgotten era within the horror genre. Even the opening sequence makes watching the film in theaters seem like a retro screening. As a film, In Fabric isn’t entirely stitched together properly. However, it’s still applaudable thanks to its craftsmanship as well as its unorthodox premise. The story involves a dress that curses and leaves an imprint on anyone who tries it on. Its victims include a single

The Brain (1988) Blu-ray Review: Giant Brain Eats Man

A ridiculous, fun '80s horror sci-fi flick about a man-eating alien brain with hypnotic powers.
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There are levels to shlock. And inside many a terrible movie, there are seeds of interest and enjoyment. The Brain is, by most metrics, a terrible movie. Mediocre acting, a rather inert story, a screenplay that does not add up. But it has, at least for its first hour before it runs out of ideas, an assured craziness that makes it worth a watch. It is not a subtle film - we see the titular Brain in the first couple of shots, sitting in a vat of unidentifiable goo. Then we get the traditional horror movie opener: the shock death

The Wind Movie Review: A Traditional Psychological Thriller with Unsettling Flair

A promising feature-film debut that provides effective scares despite its loose structure.
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Loneliness can be killer. Living in a world of both physical and mental isolation can cause a whirlwind of despair and madness. The latest horror film The Wind is a well-orchestrated demonstration of the severe toll isolation takes. While the film may have a rather confusing start, as it progresses, it becomes an effective exercise in psychological terror. In addition, it proves that director Emma Tammi who makes her solo feature-film debut has a distinctive filmmaking voice. When Lizzie (Caitlin Gerard) is left alone in her cabin while her husband (Ashley Zukerman) runs some errands, she becomes haunted by possible

Monstrosity (1987) / Weirdo: The Beginning (1989) Blu-ray Reviews: Why? WHY?

Garagehouse Pictures releases a pair of awful horror obscurities which may either induce vomiting, blindness, or death, depending on how lucky you are.
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Just when I thought the world was starting to get over its nasty habit of not making a whole heck of a lot of sense, Garagehouse Pictures dropped a major bomb on me. Sure, on the surface, the HD offerings of two Los Angeles-made minor indie horror flicks from the late '80s may seem like good cause to rejoice. Alas, both 1987's Monstrosity and 1989's The Weirdo (or, Weirdo: The Beginning, as it is also called) stem from the sadistic and unimaginative world of the late Andy Milligan, so any and all signs of something amazing being found in these

Us Movie Review: Discomforting and Hauntingly Ambiguous

Jordan Peele's sophomore effort is another simplistic look at the dark parts of humanity.
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With his directorial debut Get Out, Jordan Peele presented us with a searing, satirical portrait of liberal racism in America. Now, with his sophomore effort Us, he takes another look into the darkest facets of people’s souls. Us may seem like a home-invasion thriller with effective jump scares. But at its core, it’s really about the beast within ourselves that we desperately try to keep hidden. When the Wilson family goes on vacation only for it to be disrupted by their doppelgangers, they must literally come face to face with manifestations of the darkness within them. It’s unclear what exactly

Kolobos Blu-ray Review: Terrible Name, Even Worse Movie

A '90s slasher has plenty of violence and little else.
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If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to cross MTV’s seminal reality TV series The Real World with a trapped house horror film on an extremely low budget and a totally late '90s aesthetic then look no further than Kolobos. It is all those things and more. Now with an Arrow Video release, you can see it in all its restored glory with plenty of extras to fill you in on all the behind the scenes trivia. Answering a classified ad, a group of attractive, young, obnoxious people show up at a house filled with video cameras to

Sundance Film Festival 2019: Sweetheart is a Terrific Creature Feature

A simple yet effective throwback to classic monster movie fare.
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Despite Sweetheart being a pretty standard creature feature, it still proves to be quite effective. One reason is because it features a strong central leading performance from Kiersey Clemons. Another is because writer/director JD Dillard crafts such masterful suspense leading up to its climactic finale. The premise may be simple. It’s a survival horror film about a woman who survives a shipwreck and wakes up to find herself stranded on an island with a mysterious creature. Yet Dillard is able to craft it so innovatively. During the film’s first half, there is very little dialogue. It’s mostly the main character

Sundance Film Festival 2019: Wounds Is Indeed Rather Hurtful

Wounds starts off promising before slowly going off the rails with its overly ambiguous premise.
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One way to describe Wounds is that the experience of watching it doesn’t feel like self-inflicted pain. However, it does feel like a slight bruising in the end because it’s such a mindbender and it becomes hard to decipher how you feel about the film in general. The first half offers strong promise but things go off the rails as the film progresses to the point where you can’t comprehend what you just saw. The basic premise is as follows. Will (Armie Hammer), a bartender from New Orleans, is working a shift one night. But when a customer accidentally forgets

Suspiria (2018) Blu-ray Review: Wildly Reinvented, Massively Flawed

This remake of the 1977 horror classic completely reinvents the story, rarely for the better, and is very, very long.
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Suspiria is a strange film to remake, because most of what makes it an effective movie has nothing to do with the stuff that can be readily borrowed for a remake. The characters are mostly functional; the story is an excuse to string together episodes of suspense or horror. Everything good about the 1977 original comes from director Dario Argento's style, his mastery of tone. The lighting and the soundtrack are more central to its power than its story. So for a remake of Suspiria to be worth anyone's time, it would have to run in a very different direction

Sundance Film Festival 2019: Velvet Buzzsaw is Wonderfully Chaotic

Velvet Buzzsaw is incredibly off-kilter and grotesque yet brilliant.
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Writer/director Dan Gilroy has proven himself as a master of demonstrating the craving for more. Whether it’s more ratings or more money, the characters in his films have a desire for more than they possess or the best of what they seek. For instance, the sinister Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler is always on the hunt for the next juicy story and is willing to shed blood in order to get it. But in Velvet Buzzsaw, our main characters that are involved in the world of art dealing are always craving the most marketable paintings. They even go far enough to

The House That Would Not Die (1970) Blu-ray Review: A Clear Case of Repossession

Barbara Stanwyck's lackluster TV-movie debut is pulled out of the vault by Kino Lorber.
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Originally broadcast as an ABC Movie of the Week just four days before Halloween in 1970, The House That Would Not Die was one of umpteen-gazillion TV movies produced by the one and only Aaron Spelling. In this strange little blast from the past, former screen goddess Barbara Stanwyck ‒ one of many Hollywood stars who found much-needed work during the TV-movie heyday (in fact, she makes her debut in one here) ‒ stars as a silver-haired woman who has inherited a Revolutionary War-era home in Pennsylvania's Amish country. Yeah, it sounds positively terrifying already, I know. Moving into the

Halloween (2018) Blu-ray Review: A Pleasing Sequel

Eleven films into the franchise and Halloween is suddenly looking fresh again.
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Up front I’ve got to admit that out of the eleven films in the Halloween franchise, I’ve only seen John Carpetner’s original Halloween (1978), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, and Rob Zombie’s remake Halloween (2007). That means there are eight films in the franchise that I’m missing. I’m not an expert on the franchise. Which winds up being a good thing because this new film, Halloween (2018) - and can we talk just for a moment how there are now three films in this series simply named "Halloween"? I mean, come on guys, stop making everybody put dates behind your

Zombie: 40th Anniversary Limited Edition (1979) Blu-ray Review: A Real Eye-Opener

Blue Underground gives Lucio Fulci's groundbreaking "massacre-piece" a gorgeous new 4K restoration, and the results are even more shocking than ever.
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It's hard to keep a good zombie down, and the regular re-emergence of Lucio Fulci's seminal Dawn of the Dead rip-off onto home video is quite the indication it will never go out of style. One of the most quintessential Italian splatter flicks ever made, this epic bastard sequel to George A. Romero's masterpiece launched the horror movie career for director Fulci, whilst simultaneously leaving a noticeable boot print on the map for Italy itself. Known around the world by an oft-bizarre assortment of alternate titles ‒ including Zombi 2 (its original title, as christened to cash-in on the release
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