Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I find myself in the ridiculous position of having approached a made-for-Syfy killer crocodile movie, that’s also the fourth film in a franchise, with sufficiently high hopes that it was capable of disappointing me. This is, to be clear, entirely a me problem, and not much at all a problem with Lake Placid: The Final […]

I can think of no reason for Lake Placid 3, a made-for-Syfy movie from 2010, to be the best Lake Placid movie up to that point; I can think even less of a reason for it to any good at all. And yet. Now, is it really three-stars good, as I have indicated on yonder […]

1999’s Lake Placid does have its fans, and I’m certainly not going to try to take it away from them. Lord knows I don’t want it. That film was directed by slasher expert Steve Miner, but much more importantly, it was written by television auteur David E. Kelley, then at the absolute height of his […]

The powerful thirst of the Italian children’s movie marketplace for animated Titanic features was not slaked at one, nor even two. That is why, five years after the batshit crazy The Legend of the Titanic and four years after that film’s gruesome rip-off Titanic: The Legend Goes On…, the world finally received a proper sequel […]

First and most importantly: the title of A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon can be parsed as a meaning-carrying phrase in English, and is thus a substantial improvement on its 2015 predecessor, Shaun the Sheep Movie, whose title is a syntactically incoherent mash-up of nouns. This is, I’m a little sad the say, one of […]

If the whole point of a movie is that it follows the narrative logic of a video game, I wonder: does that mean that giving that film a “the same thing only with a few purely cosmetic tweaks” type of sequel actually counts as a strength? This question arrives on the back of Jumanji: The […]

There’s one main reason any film gets a sequel: because some producers got a bit of money, and want to get a bit more. And for the great majority of sequels, that’s where it stops, which is why so many of them are such joyless retreads, doing the same thing but bigger and louder (or, […]

House of 1000 Corpses is an energetic, lively movie, but it is also a substantially dysfunctional one, better-suited for demonstrating writer-director Rob Zombie’s all-encompassing love for the horror genre than for working as an audio-visual narrative object. It’s the kind of first feature that a filmmaker needs to get out of their system so they […]

We are now at the seventh film of the Conjuring Universe, and by this point, the films have established a formula as reliable and unyielding as a religious ceremony. They are not “stories” to be “told”; these movies are enacted. So how in God’s name is it that Annabelle Comes Home works so well – that […]

With John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski and his team at 87Eleven Productions have achieved one of the rarest and most impressive feats in Hollywood filmmaking: they’ve made a trilogy (for now) in which every film has improved upon the one preceding. And 2014’s John Wick wasn’t any kind of low bar […]

Nine years ago, How to Train Your Dragon became the first film to demonstrate that DreamWorks Animation could be more than The House That Shrek Built; the first film to eschew the lazy pop culture references, music cues and shticky jokes based on celebrity personae and just go out and make a rich-looking, emotionally resonant […]

Making one PG-13 slasher film that’s actually enjoyable to watch is impressive enough. Making two of them would probably require divine intervention. So it’s surely the right decision that, in crafting a follow-up to 2017’s startlingly fun and effective Happy Death Day, returning writer-director Christopher Landon would elect to use the slasher form more as […]