Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In discussing any long-running series that doesn’t exactly swing from pole to pole, qualitywise, one of the trickiest parts in reviewing the individual entries can be figuring out where to start: what specifically makes this film different from all of those films? Happily, then, Witchcraft X: Mistress of the Craft – which premiered in 1998 […]

With Witchcraft IX: Bitter Flesh, we hit an exceptionally exciting milestone: the back half of the franchise. At the time of writing, anyway; the series came back after one nine-year hiatus, I am not in any way optimistic enough to assume it will not do so again. But for now, we celebrate. It’s a milestone […]

It took six entries – not six-hundred and sixty-six, though I can see where it feels like that many – for the Witchcraft franchise to arrive at a point that I honestly expected to show up a lot sooner: a film entirely devoid of merit about which I despair of finding anything to say. I […]

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 […]

Ah, Witchcraft! Perhaps the only series of movies I have ever encountered where “the first super-porny one” and “thank God the acting is at least better this time” can be used to refer to one and the same entry. In this case, I am looking at 1993’s Witchcraft V: Dance with the Devil, which finds […]

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 […]

To the Devil… a Daughter was one of the biggest hits Hammer Film Productions had enjoyed in years at the time of its 1976 release. Paradoxically, it’s also more or less the film that finally killed Hammer off. The studio hung around in a tattered way for a few years before disappearing: it managed to […]

A review requested by Rob Graham, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. I’m tempted to say that Messiah of Evil is good, but only by accident. Or good, but notΒ  on purpose. These are silly thoughts, of course: other than a very few heavily ironic examples, nobody starts […]

We’re so far along the hype/anti-hype/counter-anti-hype path in regards to The Witch, a year and more after it was the toast of Sundance 2015, that I really don’t know what we’re “meant” to think about it at this point. I am merely content to therefore claim that I really liked it, anyway. And I do […]

There is an exact line of descent, and it curls around the spine of the early ’70s Zeitgeist like smoke coiling over a burning log. First there was Rosemary’s Baby, the book, and it got people talking, and then it begat Rosemary’s Baby the movie, and it was an explosive moment. The story of a […]

1968, the bright dividing line between contemporary and classic horror – in the autumn of that year, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead brought terrifyingly explicit violence and gore to the genre and things change forever. But that groundbreaking horror classic was beat to theaters by a few months by a film whose […]

There have been a fair number of reviewers comparing Devil’s Due with Rosemary’s Baby, which is fair on the grounds that none of the glut of “pregnant with Satan’s baby” movies made in the intervening 46 years have penetrated remotely as far into the cultural consciousness; but subgenre is absolutely the only the thing that […]