Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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 […]

A finalist from the latest round of voting in the poll to select what 2020 streaming exclusive I should watch and review next. Vote in that and the other polls if you want to control my, and the website’s fate There are so god-damned many film and television incarnations of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle’s […]

For what would prove to be the final film of his self-imposed exile in West Germany, Ingmar Bergman wanted to finally honor the cinema of his host country, rather than keep making quasi-Swedish chamber dramas as if nothing had changed but the address of his studio. And indeed, that is very much what he ended […]

Sometimes, consensus has it so spot-on that it’s downright gratifying to agree with what everybody else has already said on the matter. To wit: yes indeed, 1977’s The Serpent’s Egg is the worst movie Ingmar Bergman ever directed, finally toppling his 1950 make-work misfire This Can’t Happen Here from its 27-year reign of terror, if […]

1974 is awfully damn late to be indulging in William Castle-style carnival barker tactics to sell a movie – that belongs to an age of cheesy B-movies, not an age of grim, violent grind house fodder. But that is, nonetheless, exactly what The Beast Must Die gets up to, over the vehement objections of its […]

The filmmaking duo of Aaron Moorhead & Justin Benson has hit upon a very reliable schema – I will not call it a formula, because it’s not really the same thing every time. But in every one of their films, we see a quiet story about the relationship between two people filtered through a mash-up […]

The soullessly glossy new version of Rebecca, paid for and distributed by the soulless gloss specialists at Netflix, lives in the shadows of ghosts. There is the ghost of Daphne Du Maurier’s beloved 1938 novel, one of the pinnacles of inter-war Gothic fiction, still a widely-read classic. And there is the ghost of the 1940 […]

When people speak of Amicus Productions, what they’re really speaking of, I think, is the set of films beginning with our present subject, 1971’s The House That Dripped Blood. Between 1962 and 1970, Amicus produced 15 films on a variety of subjects, and only six of them were horror films (a number that already has […]