Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Though Isle of the Dead was the second horror film released by Val Lewton’s RKO production unit in 1945, it was the first one started; it was beset by backstage difficulties, and The Body Snatcher was made during a gap in production as Isle‘s cast was impossible to gather back together. It was also the […]

At the very least, Hotel Transylvania, the years-in-Development-Hell cartoon about classic movie monsters all gathered together in a remote castle built by Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) to shelter them from the probing eyes and torch-wielding fists of humans, has pretty fun character design. This I take to be characteristic of director Genndy Tartakovsky’s work, consisting […]

Calling Dark Shadows a return to form for director Tim Burton would be a damnable lie. It is, however, the first Tim Burton film in ages and ages that suggest that a return to form might even be possible. If I were looking for a pithy one-liner to describe the film, it would end up […]

Every Sunday this summer – and between the Year of Blood and a nightmarish stretch of shaky internet, I wasn’t able to get this in on Sunday, but let’s make believe – we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor […]

Sometimes, we compare movies to fast food: usually McDonald’s and usually in the context, “Some entertainment is like McDonald’s – no damn good, but it’s comforting to know what you’re getting”. This is a lazy comparison, but it has the benefit of being a really poppy image that anybody who’s ever eaten at a McDonald’s, […]

It’s precisely three shots into The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 that Taylor Lautner takes his shirt off, and in all honesty I don’t suppose that there can possibly be a more legitimate justification for seeing the movie. Actually, the shocking thing about Breaking Dawn 1 is that, after three years and four […]

Insofar as remaking any given 1980s horror film can be rightly said to make sense, it still doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense to remake 1985’s Fright Night, a self-conscious throwback whose charms are largely a function of its position in history: it is an attempt to make an old-fashioned, embarrassingly so, […]

When last we saw director Scott Stewart and actor Paul Bettany collaborating, it was on a religious-themed action/horror hybrid that had virtually nothing to do with anything resembling coherent real-world theology, and it involved undead monsters that were a damn sight cooler than the insipid movie they found themselves inhabiting; it was called Legion. Now […]

Every Sunday this 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 one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: it’s the nature of vampires, being that they are creatures of evil, that they must be hunted by warriors […]

Let Me In is the best English-language vampire movie in ages. Ages. That must not be denied (though with competition like Twilight, we must ask ourselves: is it that big of an achievement). If it suffers, it is only because of 2008’s Let the Right One In, the best vampire film, irrespective of language (it’s […]

Vampires Suck, according to the MPAA’s notes, has been rated PG-13 for, among other things, crude sexual content. As is typical of that organisation, they’ve gotten it wrong: I disagree in the strongest terms with the implication that this film has anything resembling content. The film is a spoof of the Twilight franchise, written and […]

The latest entry in Summit Entertainment’s multi-year attempt to bore the art of filmmaking to death, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has been warily described in certain corners as “better” than 2008’s Twilight or last autumn’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Which takes quite a lot of fine parsing, and for what possible reason: At the […]