Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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 […]

Making one PG-13 slasher film that’s actually enjoyable to watch is impressive enough. Making two of them would probably require divine intervention. So it’s surely the right decision that, in crafting a follow-up to 2017’s startlingly fun and effective Happy Death Day, returning writer-director Christopher Landon would elect to use the slasher form more as […]

Hammer Film Productions made its reputation on a series of violent (by the standards of the time) horror movies set in the latter half of the 19th Century. And while only a handful of them took place anywhere in the British Isles, they were all suffused with a certain distinctive Englishness. That would all make […]

There is probably no major franchise with a more gnarled line of continuity than the Halloween slasher movies, which despite the apparent cleanliness of their numbered progression, have no fewer than four different, irreconcilable universes, and that’s without bringing in Rob Zombie’s standalone remakes in the 2000s to muck it up. 1978’s Halloween begat one […]

Hell Fest isn’t much as a movie, but there’s one thing I like about it: it’s a good excuse to do some theorising about horror cinema. You know, that thing we all like to do in our spare time. I’ll get to the specifics of what I have in mind in a little bit, but […]

The Strangers! Now that was a real corker of a horror-thriller, a film that I would have happily predicted at the time – the time was 2008 – was going to establish itself as a small classic of the genre. This does not seem to have happened, and yet ten years later, the film did […]

There was a time once, and not so very long ago either, when a chainsaw-wielding psychopath in a Madea film would have been Madea herself, as was so memorably, dispiritingly seen in the character’s very first big-screen appearance, 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman. But times change, and with Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, […]

On paper, almost nothing is actually good about Happy Death Day. And yet, almost certainly, it gave me more pleasure to watch it than any other 2017 horror movie. On such paradoxes is a love of art founded. Although I’m being a bit dismissive. While most everything about Happy Death Day can be accurately predicted […]

There’s absolutely no reason to expect much of The Ice Cream Truck, and maybe it’s for that reason that I found it to be such a fetching affair. In at least two very noticeable respects, the film flagrantly boasts the limitations of its teeny-weeny budget: the dialogue, particularly in outdoor scenes, has the unmissable, overly […]

29 years ago, when Child’s Play was young, I would have laughed and laughed and laughed if you suggested that the movie would even be remembered in a decade, let alone three; and I would laughed all the harder if you suggested that there it was going to birth the strongest movie franchise of all […]

There aren’t too many slasher films as scattered as Curtains. When I put it that way, it sounds like it’s not even a compliment. And I suppose it probably isn’t a compliment, at that, given how much the movie at the end feels like a collection of scene ideas tacked to a board over the […]