Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The winner of the latest round of voting in the poll to select what major 2020 release – such as there have been major 2020 releases – I should watch and review next. Vote in that and the other polls if you want to control my, and the website’s fate “What if we did a […]

If (as I proposed at the end of my review) 2005’s Wolf Creek is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre of 21st Century Australian horror – aggressively nihilistic, full of pointless violence without catharsis – I guess it would have to be the case that Wolf Creek 2 would therefore be the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 of […]

We can learn a great deal about the 2013 remake of the 1978 horror film Patrick simply by looking at where it came from. Director Mark Hartley was, by training, a documentary filmmaker, and the ’13 Patrick was his first narrative feature. That doesn’t tell us much by itself – lots of documentarians make the […]

So help me, I really do feel sorry for The New Mutants and the poor saps who made it. If all had gone according to plan, it would have slunk into theaters in April 2018, gotten bored reviews comparing it unfavorably to Logan as an example of trying to do a different genre than action-thriller […]

The late and quite unlamented (by me, anyway) horror subgenre of torture porn was, if it was anything, aggressively unpleasant. Watching extended scenes of human having miseries realistically inflicted upon them without the sweet release of death would sort of have to be; this is the difference between the torture films and other gore-driven subgenres, […]

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good “apartment-renting life is a noxious hole of atomisation and urban ennui” thriller, and 1BR , the first feature written and directed by David Marmor, does a fine job of filling that gap. The film has excellent bones: it’s a story about a young woman Sarah (Nicole […]

I hope I will not devalue Lake Mungo if I describe it as a film that feels absolutely perfect for 2008. That suggests, I am afraid, that it has very little to offer for those of us living later than 2008, and this is not at all the case. But I think the film would […]

Nobody who ended up in Director Jail has ever deserved it less than Joe Dante. Out of the first six features on which he received sole directorial credit – Piranha (1978), The Howling (1981), Gremlins (1984), Explorers (1985), Innerspace (1987), and The ‘Burbs (1989) – only Explorers lost money, and of the remaining five, Innerspace […]

Adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft are, all things considered, pretty rare; good adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft barely exist at all. So it’s maybe more inevitable than surprising that the two best Lovecraft-derived films come from precisely the same filmmaking team: director Stuart Gordon, producer Brian Yuzna, co-writer Dennis Paoli, working under the aegis of Charles Band’s […]

It’s enormously easy to imagine a version of the 2007 killer crocodile movie Black Water that’s considerably worse. That’s because it would basically be the 2003 killer shark movie Open Water, a much-hyped movie that wasn’t particularly good, but did create a model for ultra-low-budget thrillers set in one location with just a couple of […]

Also check out my review of the Italian cut It is a common observation and an accurate one that independent Pittsburgh-based director George A. Romero invented the modern zombie film more or less entirely out of thin air with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. But I think the reason that the zombie film turned […]

To claim that Re-Animator, a faultless hybrid of no-holds-barred splatterpunk horror and pitch-black comedy from 1985, is the best movie ever drawn from the writing of H.P. Lovecraft is to merely claim the offensively obvious. It doesn’t take very much at all to be one of the best Lovecraft adaptations (he’s a good candidate for […]