Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

If there is one nice thing I can say about the threateningly-titled Spiral: From the Book of Saw – and I do think it is just the one thing – it’s that this represents a much braver attempt to haul the old Saw franchise back into the public eye than the last one. 2017’s Jigsaw was a […]

Intermittently throughout the 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 a major new release. This week: Netflix has commissioned a new zombie movie, Army of the Dead, from slow-motion enthusiast Zack Snyder. There could be no better […]

“Movies are so rarely great art,” Pauline Kael wrote in 1969, “that if we cannot appreciate great trash, we have very little reason to be interested in them.” I do not agree with much of what Kael had to say over the years, and in fact I do not even agree with large swaths of […]

I’m no purist. I don’t think there are all that many things you need to include in a film adaption of the long-running video game series Mortal Kombat. While the games have a fairly involved overarching story line, I don’t really think most players are that aware of what it is, and anyway it’s been […]

NB: there are spoilers for events in the second quarter of Nobody that not everybody might want to know in advance. For the record, I have left many splendid surprises in the second and third acts not merely un-discussed, but not even alluded to. The action thriller Nobody is, in the most literal sense, incoherent. […]

There’s a certain slobbering, puppy-dog shamelessness to how desperately Psycho Goreman wants to be anointed a new cult favorite. The formula behind writer-director Steven Kosinski’s script is clear as a summer day: take the aesthetic of cheesy children’s television shows about people in very elaborate foam suits punching each other in the kind of spirited […]

You may think that this is a straight rip-off of American Psycho, and in some ways you may be right. But this is a woman’s tale. We women are having a moment right now, and this is what we call in Hollywood, an “elevated story concept,” AKA, “the same, but different.” So shut the fuck […]

Let Him Go has benefited to an unusual degree from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic: it’s a film that almost certainly would have vanished without a ripple in any other circumstances other than being one of the handful of movies to get a large-sized theatrical release in the United States in the last four months of […]

Truth in advertising: The Dark and the Wicked is basically nothing else beyond the two adjectives promised by its title. The fourth film directed by Bryan Bertino (whose failure to generate a high-profile career after his 2008 debut The Strangers remains a bizarre mystery to me) is the latest entry in the blossoming genre of […]

If (as I proposed at the end of my review) 2005’s Wolf Creek is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre of 21st Century Australian horror – aggressively nihilistic, full of pointless violence without catharsis – I guess it would have to be the case that Wolf Creek 2 would therefore be the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 of […]

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 […]

Adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft are, all things considered, pretty rare; good adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft barely exist at all. So it’s maybe more inevitable than surprising that the two best Lovecraft-derived films come from precisely the same filmmaking team: director Stuart Gordon, producer Brian Yuzna, co-writer Dennis Paoli, working under the aegis of Charles Band’s […]