Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The crowd with whom I saw Insidious: The Last Key included at least three disconnected groups of apparently high-school aged viewers (5 or 6 per group) who spent too much of the movie talking in stage whispers. This is going somewhere, I promise. It matters that they were all stage whispering because I could hear […]

The 2010s have produced only a scant number of horror movies more top-to-bottom objectionable than 2014’s Annabelle, the flagrantly unnecessary prequel about an absurdly overdesigned haunted doll first seen in 2013’s The Conjuring. And given the repeated threats in the last couple of years that production companies Atomic Monster and New Line Cinema want to […]

One must be careful about using words like “nadir” to discuss a series when one has not seen all of the entries yet – especially when the series spent as much time in micro-budget direct-to-video hell as the loose-knit Amityville pictures have – but my God, if The Amityville Playhouse, AKA The Amityville Theater, isn’t […]

Not that The Amityville Asylum set out to prove that you can make a bunch of clichés seem marginally less tired if you blend them with a bunch of other clichés, but that’s kind of the net effect. The second in the suffocating wave of direct-to-video Amityville films that was inaugurated by The Amityville Haunting […]

The recap first: before we can know where we are, we must be very certain to know where we’ve been. Now, the notion that there is a thing called the “Amityville series” is a tricky, difficult claim to defend on the merits, but it’s at least the case that there are certain behind-the-scenes maneuverings that […]

Once upon a time, Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form co-founded a production company called Platinum Dunes, whose purpose was to remake old horror films, but shinier and worse. I mean, presumably the “worse” part wasn’t in the corporate statement of principles, and it just worked out that way. I think it’s entirely fair […]

The Amityville Curse wasn’t the worst Amityville film at the time it came out (no haunted lamp, no sale). But it was undoubtedly the most boring, and isn’t that really just as bad? At least Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes lets you gape at it with unreasoning bafflement that numerous intelligent people decided to make […]

In November of the year of our Lord 1983, the holy trinity was completed. That was when the third of the “Part 3-D” movies was released, an increasingly degraded attempt to cash in on the short-lived 3-D fad of the early 1980s before it reached its inevitable end, by slopping some cheap 3-D effects onto […]

Amityville II: The Possession is coated in sleaze, filled with hokey bargain basement haunting effects, and it telegraphs its lack of inspiration on any level other than cashing in on a fad or two for a quick buck so intently, it feels almost like it must be proud of itself. It therefore should come as […]

Here begins the 2017 Summer of Bl the 2017 Summer of Haunted New York Real Estate The thing about The Amityville Horror, the 1979 blockbuster film and the bestselling 1977 book it was based upon alike, is that it’s been solved, quite as thoroughly as any work of narrative fiction can be said to have […]

I would be very hard-pressed to explain why A Cure for Wellness is, in fact, “good”, for the simple reason that it kind of isn’t. For one thing, I don’t imagine that anyone could possibly be so in love with it (and I am, make no mistake, way the hell in love with it) that […]

From among the Video Nasties There will never come a time when the career of director Tobe Hooper isn’t sad: the fella makes one timeless all-American cinematic masterpiece in the form of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and then never comes within leagues of the same quality ever again. To be frank, most of his post-TCM […]