Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

When faced with the twelfth entry in a franchise that has been running for 43 years and in that time produced, if we are being spectacularly generous, four actually good entries (and I think it would be easier to defend the claim that only the very first one is actually good than that a whole […]

In a bleak age for big studio moviemaking, when not all that many directors seem to really love their job, and even viewer seem to love the medium, we are blessed to have someone like James Wan. The man palpably, overwhelmingly, desperately loves movies, and at their best, they’re so overripe and juicy with that […]

The weird thing about Candyman – second film of that exact title, and an explicit sequel to the first, which I get is like a “thing” we have now, but I sure don’t like it – is that the one thing it was supposed to be doing, it’s kind of very terrible at, and the […]

Intermittently throughout the 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 a major new release. This week: the myth of Candyman has been resurrected to remind us all of the nightmarish power of storytelling. It’s not the first […]

Intermittently throughout the 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 a major new release. This week: the myth of Candyman has been resurrected to remind us all of the nightmarish power of storytelling. It’s not the first […]

Freaky Friday the 13th is such an obviously good idea that the only remotely surprising thing is that it took until 2020 for somebody to make it. And while the film in question has been released under the truncated title of Freaky – as I understand it, Paramount’s lawyers raised a bigger stink about Friday […]

The release date might say that we’re in the bright and shiny new decade of the 1990s, but everything about Bloodmoon feels hungover from the ’80s in the most mortifying way. Not least of these things – indeed, arguably foremost among these things – it is a slasher film, plain and simple, and it took […]

The cumulative directorial career of New Zealand-born Tony Williams consists, near as I can tell, of one short film, seven made-for-TV documentary shorts, two narrative features, and (thirty years later than the rest), three documentary features. Of that entire list, the second feature, 1982’s Next of Kin, is the only thing that is even remotely […]

Given the way I’m framing this summer’s marathon of horror movies, it’s hard to resist the temptation to speculate about the “Australianness” of these films, how their peculiarities reveal something about the cultural character of that continent and its film production. The fact that I don’t really know all that much about Australian culture puts […]

With the new version of Black Christmas, directed and co-written (with April Wolfe) by Sophia Takal, I believe we have crossed an exciting new threshhold: the first classic slasher movie to receive a second remake. The first Black Christmas, from 1974, is one of the most unassailable classics of ’70s horror, beating both The Texas […]

Sequels that are really more like unrelated entries in an anthology series are nothing new at all, especially in the horror & thriller genres, so the fact that 47 Meters Down: Uncaged has absolutely not one blessed thing to do with 47 Meters Down, the banal shark film from 2017, is not surprising. That it […]

Remakes of 1980s horror movies have had something like a 0% success rate. If that’s not enough to give somebody pause before green-lighting a remake of the 1988 paranormal slasher movie Child’s Play, there are plenty of other red flags waving themselves. For one thing, the 31-year-old franchise is still going strong: series creator and […]