Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

A review requested by Rob Graham, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. I’m tempted to say that Messiah of Evil is good, but only by accident. Or good, but notΒ  on purpose. These are silly thoughts, of course: other than a very few heavily ironic examples, nobody starts […]

We can talk about how bad it is in a minute (spoiler alert: very bad), but first, I think we should pay full respect to the title of The Bye Bye Man. It is just spectacularly the worst thing ever. I would prefer, as a dignified adult filmgoer, to loudly ask the ticket seller for […]

“This movie is too long” is something I complain about to the point of self-parody, but seriously, The Love Witch is too long to a degree that makes most “too long” movies seem painfully efficient. It’s a pastiche – a pastiche so good that it feels like we need some other word to describe how […]

The Eyes of My Mother fwins, by my count, two superlatives for itself among recent American horror films. It is, on the one hand, the most beautiful such movie in an inordinately long time – long enough that I gave up trying to figure out when. That’s selling it a bit short, actually: it’s also […]

I shall simply cut to the chase: The Wailing is all that I could possibly ask of a horror movie. The Korean import isn’t perfect, of course, particularly with an ending that goes through at least one too many switchbacks (though the concluding pair of scenes are exquisite), and a distinct over-reliance on “scary dream […]

It’s not very hard to imagine a different version of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – only a slightly different version, even – that’s a wonderfully imaginative and full of no end of cinematic marvels. For a film that could be described, in fact very nearly demands to be described as “Harry Potter meets […]

Like many another film lucky enough to share a series with a real piece of crap, the 1956 sci-fi/horror film The Creature Walks Among Us had a nice, easy, eminently surmountable bar to clear. That being, in this case, to be better than 1955’s Revenge of the Creature, an endlessly tedious film about which I […]

Sequels are always an artistically dubious risk, horror sequels not least of all. It’s still hard to process just how much worse 1955’s Revenge of the Creature is than its remarkable predecessor. Creature from the Black Lagoon is, if nothing else, one of the truly great B-horror pictures of the 1950s, and with both producer […]

A third review requested by Sara L, with thanks for contributing three times to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. I expect that some of my loyal readers will be surprised to learn that it is only now, in the year 2016, that I’ve finally seen The Ring. There are reasons for this: […]

The iconic, literally genre-defining run of horror films produced by Universal Pictures in the almost 15 years between 1931’s Dracula and 1945’s House of Dracula was largely founded on five pillars: the vampire Count Dracula, the hideous animated corpse created by the mad Dr. Frankenstein, a self-loathing Welsh werewolf, the ancient Egyptian mummies Imhotep and […]

Over the 62 years of its existence, Godzilla has been anything and everything: metaphor for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, dangerous animal, force of nature, warrior for the environment, psychic hangover from of WWII, friend to all children, giant hermaphroditic iguana. There’s no such thing, really as a “normal” Godzilla or a normal Godzilla picture, and that’s […]

Let us not mince words: when the director of Drive makes his version of a Dario Argento movie that abruptly turns into his version of a Lucio Fulci movie, the question was never if I was going to like it, but if I’d be able to choke down my enthusiasm enough to admit that, objectively, […]