Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In methodically carving one’s path through something like the Witchcraft series, it becomes important for the reviewer to keep himself amused by plucking at the tiniest little points of distinction, lest every single review turn into exactly the same series of despondent rants. So here is what I think is most interesting about Witchcraft IV: […]

The Witchcraft series has a reputation for being almost unwatchably terrible, but after 1988’s Witchcraft and 1989’s Witchcraft II: The Temptress, I wasn’t quite feeling that. They’re both awful movies, but there’s a certain grungy pep to The Temptress especially, a certain goofy energy that kept them from being the absolute dregs of cinema. From […]

The Exorcist is a masterpiece, but it certainly has a lot to answer for. The Devil Inside and Repossessed aside, it’s also responsible for the Catholicization of genre cinema for over 40 years. Any supernatural horror movie you see is all crucifixes and cassocks from wall to wall. It’s hard for any other religious or mythological tradition […]

Categories: horror

The Empty Man was shot in 2017 and had to wait for years to finally come out, caught in the net of 20th Century Fox being purchased by the Walt Disney Company and thus owned by a corporation that had absolutely no idea what in Hell’s name they were supposed to do with something this […]

There’s a certain slobbering, puppy-dog shamelessness to how desperately Psycho Goreman wants to be anointed a new cult favorite. The formula behind writer-director Steven Kosinski’s script is clear as a summer day: take the aesthetic of cheesy children’s television shows about people in very elaborate foam suits punching each other in the kind of spirited […]

There is really only one thing that we need to bother saying about Witchcraft II: The Temptress, which is that it’s a lot more fun to watch than its 1988 predecessor, Witchcraft. If we are being thoughtful about things and wish to treat the matter of evaluating cinema with all of the delicacy and care […]

Part of me thinks the best thing to do is just to point to the star rating and then tell you only exactly what I knew about Shadow in the Cloud before I sat down to watch it: it’s a World War II movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz as some manner of airwoman, it has […]

With The Reckoning, we arrive at the saddest point in the life-cycle of any once-promising film director: the point where we need to abandon hope. Almost a whole generation ago, Neil Marshall blew his way into the world with an extraordinary one-two punch of Dog Soldiers in 2003 and The Descent in 2005, a pair […]

Eight for Silver somehow manages to be two irreconcilable things simultaneously: a thorough re-imagining of the werewolf movie that’s also the most traditional, formulaic werewolf movie in years and years. At the level of plot, it’s completely straightforward and without any significant surprises or twists: a haughty landowner in either England, France, or Ireland (his […]

Ben Wheatley had, in my estimation, one of the most exciting early runs of any director in the last 20 years: a tonally aggressive feature debut with 2009’s Down Terrace, a genuinely visionary horror film with 2011’s Kill List, a surprising pivot to goofy dark comedy with 2012’s Sightseers, and then a psychedelic freak-out costume […]

Making homages to the gialli, Italy’s cultishly beloved violent, stylish thrillers from the 1970s, has become something of a cottage industry over the last few years, going from a fun celebration of a niche interest to a fairly lazy way to jazz up horror stories with bright colors and cryptic storytelling. It takes more than […]

I have noted many a time that it is a particular privilege of genre films to comment on society, politics, and humanity much more craftily than the blunt-force lecture of more traditional message movies, but there’s no reason they can’t be pretty damn blunt themselves. And so it is with La Llorona, a Guatemalan film […]