Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The winner of the latest round of voting in the poll to select what major 2020 release – such as there have been major 2020 releases – I should watch and review next. Vote in that and the other polls if you want to control my, and the website’s fate “What if we did a […]

Forgive me if start talking about Tenet, the eleventh feature directed by Christopher Nolan (and, I am tempted to say, the most Nolan-ish of them all), by simply quoting what I had to say ten years ago about Inception, the seventh Nolan feature: “What some critics have praise/assailed as ‘confusing’ in [Tenet] is really just […]

One should be careful in going overboard with praise for director Stuart Gordon, who was a fallible mortal like the rest of us – I have seen both Robot Jox and Fortress, I am well aware that the man could fuck up. But still, listen to this fun fact and tell me the man wasn’t […]

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good “apartment-renting life is a noxious hole of atomisation and urban ennui” thriller, and 1BR , the first feature written and directed by David Marmor, does a fine job of filling that gap. The film has excellent bones: it’s a story about a young woman Sarah (Nicole […]

It’s enormously easy to imagine a version of the 2007 killer crocodile movie Black Water that’s considerably worse. That’s because it would basically be the 2003 killer shark movie Open Water, a much-hyped movie that wasn’t particularly good, but did create a model for ultra-low-budget thrillers set in one location with just a couple of […]

Also check out my review of the Italian cut It is a common observation and an accurate one that independent Pittsburgh-based director George A. Romero invented the modern zombie film more or less entirely out of thin air with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. But I think the reason that the zombie film turned […]

1992’s live-action/animation hybrid Cool World is the most juvenile kind of edgy Nineties nonsense, the kind that takes something wholesome and something sordid and self-consciously mashes them together just for the same of having done it. In this case, it is a movie whose animating principle (as it were) is to ask the question, and […]

It only took nineteen years, but with Lake Placid: Legacy, a 2018 made-for-Syfy thriller that could be retitled and made a standalone project at the expense of absolutely nothing other than two lines of dialogue, the franchise quit beating the odds. This is every bit the piece of inane dogshit that one would expect from […]

1950’s This Can’t Happen Here (first released in English under the much less meaningful title High Tension) is certainly not the only film directed by Ingmar Bergman that he would later describe in unflattering terms as an artistic failure. But it is the only one of his films that he hated so much that, for […]

It’s almost certainly just random noise and not real evidence of a greater trend, but as I spend these weeks diving into the thrillers and horror films of the Australian film industry, I’m finding a lot more dead children than I’d expect to see in a similarly arbitrary sampling of Hollywood horror films. And with […]

To begin with, the title of the 2015 made-for-Syfy epic Lake Placid vs. Anaconda gets the hierarchy exactly right: this is very much a Lake Placid sequel in which an Anaconda sequel makes a substantial guest appearance, not the other way around. Given the uniform superiority of the first three Lake Placid sequels to the […]

Of all the deadly animals on the Australian continent, none of them is more impressively terrifying than the massive saltwater crocodile, 20 feet of territorial ambush predator honed by nature to have the primordial look of some ancient devouring evil. And here we have what is, to the best of my knowledge, the earliest Australian […]