Move Review: THE CONJURING 2 – great production design, but few scares to be found here.

conjuring-2

When it comes to supernatural claims, I’m both a skeptic and a cynic.  I’ve never experienced anything weird that can’t be explained by natural phenomenon, and I firmly believe that as widespread as claims of the supernatural are, the fact that science hasn’t found one shred of evidence to back any of them up says it all for me, but there are plenty proven examples of fraud and deception.  The cynical side of me is all too ready to dismiss a claim of having seen a ghost as nothing more than attention-seeking lies.  While doing some research for this review of The Conjuring 2, my position on the above remained intact.

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Movie Review: THE INVITATION

invitation

About 20 minutes into The Invitation, I considered shutting it off and picking something else to watch – which would have been an error on my part.  By means of explanation, I’ll say that even up to that point, the movie wasn’t bad at all.  It opened well, with a nicely defining moment for the protagonist, Will (played by Prometheus’s Logan Marshall-Green), as he and his girlfriend drive through an LA canyon, responding to a dinner party invitation.  There’s a palpable layer of tension in this movie from the outset, and it never lets up.  Continue reading “Movie Review: THE INVITATION”

Movie Review: THE HOUSE ON PINE STREET

House in Pine Street

I admit, I gave up watching Ben Wheatley’s A Field In England about half an hour in (I’ll return to it, though), but because I still wanted to watch a movie, I went with The House On Pine Street, a 2015 independent horror movie summarized as “a woman with an unwanted pregnancy moves into a haunted house”.  Seemed pretty decent from that brief logline.  And that’s pretty much how I would rate it. Continue reading “Movie Review: THE HOUSE ON PINE STREET”

Movie Review: THE WITCH

the witch

As someone with a deep attachment to the horror genre I consistently find myself thrilled or disappointed by it – there’s rarely a middle ground for me.  Being a purist, that limits my options even more.  I have no patience for schlock horror, and over reliance on gore is a real turn off for me too, mostly because it eschews the need for strong writing.  I don’t shy away from sub genres, though.  It’s just that the piece itself needs to contain strong characters and a sense of internal logic – once those two boxes are ticked, I’m largely good. Continue reading “Movie Review: THE WITCH”

Movie Review: IT FOLLOWS – terrific horror concept, but the execution doesn’t do it justice

It Follows

I decided to finally watch It Follows after reading someone’s “best of” list of recent horror movies. It wasn’t someone I knew, just a clickbait title. It was pretty high on the list too – maybe the top slot – and it made me recall similarly high praise elsewhere when it was released, so I took the plunge. My immediate reaction was similar to the befuddlement I experienced after watching Mad Max: Fury Road: a good movie, but nothing remotely deserving of the insane hype surrounding it. [weird factoid: although I had no reason to think so, I went into the movie believing it to be a British independent movie, so the opening was a bit jarring].

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Movie Review: MAGGIE – a different kind of zombie, and Ahnuld, movie, but mostly underwhelming

Maggie

Maggie, the most unusual Arnold Schwarzenegger movie since, well, ever, is something I’d strongly anticipated for the better part of a year, since first hearing about it. It’s kind of like Cop Land, that “serious” movie that Sylvester Stallone made back in 1997 – a decent try that never really did much to break him away from the action genre. Now, I don’t think that Schwarzenegger took this movie to try to carve out a new stage of his career (considering he then made Terminator: Genisys), but the end result is pretty much the same – Maggie isn’t going to give him any new credibility. Continue reading “Movie Review: MAGGIE – a different kind of zombie, and Ahnuld, movie, but mostly underwhelming”