Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In deference to the very vocal minority of internet cinephile types who have decided to use the new film Old to declare that M. Night Shyamalan has Actually Always Been Good, I will say this: the directing certain is not lazy. Shyamalan has quite a remarkable number of tricks laid out to make what’s very […]

If there is one nice thing I can say about the threateningly-titled Spiral: From the Book of Saw – and I do think it is just the one thing – it’s that this represents a much braver attempt to haul the old Saw franchise back into the public eye than the last one. 2017’s Jigsaw was a […]

Whatever one things of the seven films to date that make up the Conjuring Universe – I admire their guileless commitment to the “jump out and say boo!” qualities of a good cheesy ghost story, and the thick mountains of period atmosphere they wrap that commitment in – surely we must all agree that the […]

When confronted with a story as vigorously trashy as the one underlying The Woman in the Window – adapted from the 2018 novel by A.J. Finn, the pen name of Daniel Mallory, a book editor who very openly described how the book came about as a compendium of every trope in popular post-Gone Girl crime […]

The worst thing we can say about Oxygen is that it is a very gimmicky thriller based on an overfamiliar gimmick, but done by a director with a skill set extremely well-positioned to make the most of that gimmick, and starring an actor who wrings everything she possibly out of basically only three elements (her […]

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 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 […]

The Father is the most miraculous kind of film adaptation of a theater piece: one that’s almost impossible to imagine being staged live. In principle, sure, one can ponder how this exact screenplay might be fitted into a theatrical space, and how it could use stagecraft to get at the same sense of slithery, unstable […]

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 […]

John Lee Hancock wrote the first draft of the script for The Little Things in 1993 (for Steven Spielberg, an unbelievably counterintuitive choice for this grim, gloomy crime thriller), and it’s a great pity that we’ll never know what exactly went into that first draft, or what the finished film would have been like if […]

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 […]

The Vast of Night, Andrew Patterson’s first feature as a director and one of the most transparent “look what I can do! Hire me for a Star Wars!” efforts to get this high-profile of a release in ages, is like an episode of The Twilight Zone. In case you miss this (which you would not […]