Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

There is simply no reason at all to have brought the Saw franchise back to life after all these happy, wonderful years, but things happen without reason all the time. And anyway, there was a reason: brand recognition. So here we are, seven Halloweens after the release of the film first released as Saw 3D […]

A review requested by Andy Stout, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. A film like Martyrs has to exist, and I’m glad it does. That is not the same thing as being glad I’ve personally seen it, and it sure as bloody hell isn’t the same thing as […]

The life story of Louis Zamperini is fascinating and wide-ranging, and it shouldn’t even be possible to condense it into a movie as all-around misguided as Unbroken. But that’s what happens when you throw an enormous non-fiction bestseller at talentless check-cashing hacks like Joel & Ethan Coen. Or something. I suspect that the story of […]

The Call is really two movies, and one of them is actually pretty good. It’s the first one, and somewhat the longer (the whole thing comes in at a blissfully contained 94 minutes), and it is about a setting that, to my knowledge, has never been used in a procedural thriller before, which is in […]

I promise, I’m not trying to be the flippant atheist. My intellectual cover is that David Edelstein, in the article where he invented the phrase “torture porn”, named-dropped our Good Friday subject, but truth be told I was already planning this essay before I recalled that fact. It’s not, of course, a horror movie in […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/14 & 10/15World premiere: 16 May, 2011, Cannes Film Festival It’s a kind of weird achievement that Snowtown, the debut of Australian director Justin Kurzel, starts off by promising to be one kind of incredibly distressing movie and turns into another kind of even more incredibly distressing movie entirely; sort of like […]

The Saw films and I are not buddies, to put it mildly. Though there is hiding within the first one a very good psychological “chamber horror” film, it is not itself a very good film, and the sequels have all in their way proven to be one diminishing return after another. And morally vicious! I […]

Though knee-jerk anti-remakism is not one of the most intellectually sound positions one can hold, it’s still the case that attempting to remake a film is a dangerous thing, and not to be done lightly. The classic argument is that you should only remake a film with a good premise that didn’t work very well […]

From among the Video Nasties Thus far into the great Summer of Blood ’10 Video Nasties Extravaganza, you could be forgiven for assuming that the Video Nasties list was pretty much a bunch of hot air, trumped-up charges of obscene violence levied against movies that were mostly innocuous and badly-made, guilty perhaps of extreme bad […]

The completion of what is threateningly being referred to as the “second trilogy” of Saw films, Saw VI is a triumph (a very relative triumph) for two reasons: first, it is not so bullshit confusing as Saw IV, and second, it is not so sleepy and wholly pointless as Saw V, and hehehe, I just […]

A review by request for reader Laurence C. from Canada. Admittedly, I’m stretching the definition of “classic” in this case beyond the beyond; even beyond the definition of “classic trash” that I’m indulging myself in for a few weeks. We’re talking about a film that came out in the summer of 2007, when this blog […]

How much easier life would be if one could argue in good faith that the Saw movies were being produced according to some sort of template; that except for the names these were all the same damn thing over and over again, like the Friday the 13th films. Ah, but excepting for the fact that […]