Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Given the preposterously degraded state of the demonic possession movie, it doesn’t take much at all for The Possession of Hannah Grace to distinguish itself. And to be fair, it doesn’t do much at all, but it does it right at the start, and in so doing got on my good side so immediately that […]

Categories: exorcising, horror, thrillers

A film called Amityville Exorcism was just about inevitable, and the only surprise is that it took until January 2017 for somebody to release it. Time alone will tell how long we have to wait for Amityville Halloween and The Amityville Chainsaw Massacre – the heaving glut of microbudget Amitvyilles has slowed down at the […]

For six long years, the Amityville film series rested. And why shouldn’t it? Amityville 3-D was a big fat fucking flop in 1983, and the horror film marketplace started to soften right around the same time. But truly evil things, as we’ve learned from the movies, have a way of forcing themselves back into the […]

Amityville II: The Possession is coated in sleaze, filled with hokey bargain basement haunting effects, and it telegraphs its lack of inspiration on any level other than cashing in on a fad or two for a quick buck so intently, it feels almost like it must be proud of itself. It therefore should come as […]

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 […]

There are many horror movies that are good until the last act, when they turn into such complete shit that it’s frankly hard to remember what was good about everything up to that point. Many horror movies. The Last Exorcism, from 2010, is not necessarily distinct within that company; it does not start at the […]

In 2005 and 2006, a pair of movies were released, both broadly based on the same real-life story of Annaliese Michel, who died in 1976 at the age of 23, after an exorcism gone wrong. The latter film was Requiem, a German production that raised more questions than it answered, allowing for the possibility that […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: ghosts in a haunted house, demonic possession, it’s all fair game in The Conjuring, a giddy old ghost story […]

The Last Exorcism was a ramshackle old thing, with some very clear charms: it had more conceptual integrity than a lot of found-footage horror, and while it was hardly a powerhouse of complex themes, it was a least trying to raise questions rather than just rely on jump cuts and musical stings to keep the […]

The found footage horror movie, birthed by 1999’s The Blair Witch Project and thrust into the big time by 2008’s Cloverfield, burned itself out rather quickly, as will happen to a genre so cheap that you need neither a good idea nor talent to whip together something which enough damn fools will trudge out to […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/12 & 10/15World premiere: 19 May, 2012, Cannes Film Festival We do not dislike Beyond the Hills – this is as much an affirmation as a preemptive clarification. It would be quite impossible to dislike in which so much, for such a large part of the running time, is amazing. Nor do […]

There’s only one surprise involved with The Possession, the latest in the undying genre of exorcism movies, but it’s a doozy. As it turns out, shockingly, The Possession is almost a good movie, which for this particular subgenre is a real achievement. Not that I say “almost” a good movie, and not a good movie […]