Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The script for what eventually became the simply awful comedy Holmes & Watson was first announced in 2008. After a couple of cast changes, the project was shot in 2017 and delayed twice before opening as one of the least-merry films that could possibly have opened on Christmas Day, 2018. That decade weighs heavily on […]

The surprise is not that Escape Room, a body count thriller released in January, isn’t good. The surprise is that it’s almost good, and the reasons it ends up going bad aren’t probably the ones you’d predict. There are not, at least, the ones I’d have predicted. The desire to retain a teen-friendly level of […]

Categories: mysteries, thrillers

Lee Chang-dong is by no means the most prolific of the many great South Korean directors to come to major prominence in the 21st Century: Burning, his sixth feature, comes to us after a long eight-year gap since his fifth, 2010’s lovely Poetry. But he does maybe put up a real fight to be considered […]

The Plague of the Zombies certainly isn’t the best horror film made by Hammer Film Productions: the climax features some really dodgy effects work, the sound mix needed another pass, there’s a hellaciously bad day-for-“night” sequence, and frankly only a very young person would have a terribly hard time getting out in front of the […]

As the late 1950s faded into the early 1960s, perhaps the two most interesting things happening anywhere in horror cinema (change “perhaps” to “absolutely” if we limit the conversation to the English-speaking world) were the heavy shift over to Gothic horror pictures made by Britain’s Hammer Film Productions, and the brief but intense and unbelievably […]

It is real kind of Hold the Dark, the fourth film directed by Jeremy Saulnier, to sum up all of its problems in one single shot. Or, I guess, a pair of shots. Late in the film, there’s a very long, extravagant gun battle (no spoiler: it is one of the only things anybody has […]

The question of how director Paul Feig was going to follow five consecutive feature comedies – four of them assembled through shaggy hang-out improvisation, often centered on Melissa McCarthy’s particular comic rhythms – with an adaptation of a nasty-minded beach-read thriller was so damn confusing that it even formed part of the ad campaign for […]

Categories: comedies, mysteries, thrillers

The first time, to my incomplete knowledge, that the gimmick of showing a horror movie entirely through the form of what happens on a computer screen was in the 2012 found footage anthology V/H/S, in the segment “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger”, and it has been a few times […]

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: the true story of how infamous war criminal Adolf Eichmann was captured by the Mossad is related in Operation […]

The Happytime Murders isn’t good, which is no surprise at all; but it is very close to being good, which is quite a surprise indeed. Basically, the problem is this: it’s poisonously unfunny. The film is an enthusiastic participant in the current wave of adults-only comedy, where cursing is funny, cursing in a sexualised manner […]

In a marvelous decade for low-budget indie sci-fi, the writing-directing team of [Aaron] Moorhead & [Justin] Benson still stand out for making some of the most offbeat genre films out there. They’ve gone-three-for-three now on films that start out as a low-key character dramas about two people who like each other a lot but are […]

From among the Video Nasties If you were to know only the title of the film Tenebrae, you might think- actually, you would probably have no clue. Before I saw it the first time, I think I had some vague sense that it might have something to do with the spinal column, because of -brae. […]