Movie Review: THE VOID – successfully blends its many obvious influences into an entertaining piece of indie horror.

An old school friend of mine shares much the same interest in indie horror as me, so when he recommended The Void, I didn’t waste any time in requesting a copy.  As soon as I started watching it, I realized that I heard about this way back in the distant past of 2016, when it debuted to a strong critical reception at Fantastic Fest, the Texas film festival co-founded by Ain’t It Cool’s Harry Knowles.  The Canadian movie has already garnered a cult following, and it’s not hard to see why.

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Movie Review: KONG: SKULL ISLAND – mostly enjoyable franchise reboot, but lack of strong characters don’t do the fantastic visuals any favours

I don’t know exactly how old I was when I saw the original King Kong, but I couldn’t have been any older than five.  I recall with reasonable vividness sitting in front of our black and white TV in the Springburn neighbourhood of Glasgow, Scotland, absolutely enthralled by the sheer spectacle, the charm, of the 1933 production that heralded a new era of moviemaking.  There is likely nobody in the western world who doesn’t know King Kong – even if they have never seen the original, Kong exists among the pantheon of famous movie monsters, along with Godzilla, Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhees, Frankenstein, and Dracula, to name a few.  Kong has a place in our hearts because he reminds us as ourselves.  Possessed of a humanistic sense of justice and primal strength, Kong represents us – stripped of the daily bullshit and phoniness that we all succumb to, Kong is us laid bare, and mostly shat on by the kind of assholes we have to deal with now and then.  Too high and mighty an opinion for you?  Not a problem – Kong also works as a spectacle monster movie, even when the scripts are no good, the nature of the beast guarantees battles between colossal creatures to feed the eyes.

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Movie Review: THE GREAT WALL – Utterly forgettable, underwritten monsters-attack movie. Even Damon looks uncommitted.

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D’you remember last year when Matt (Jason Bourne)Damon had to defend himself from accusations of what is referred to as “cultural appropriation” after doing a press junket for his movie The Great Wall?  The accuser here was TV actress Constance Wu, who clearly only knew two things about the movie: that it was set in ancient China and starred white actor Matt Damon.  Of course, it had to be racist casting, right?  Trouble was, Wu had not read the screenplay and likely had not looked at the trades before jumping to her conclusions.  The Chinese influence behind the camera on this movie is significant, and Damon was hired specifically because of worldwide name recognition.  With a budget of $135 million on the line, it made sense to put someone like Damon in the lead role in order to guarantee a healthy global return.

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Movie Review: SIREN – scaled up from a V/H/S segment, this indie horror hits all the right buttons.

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I was totally prepared for Siren to be a duff movie, but with little time I figured it wouldn’t be a total waste of 82 minutes of my life.  Turns out to be a pretty good little movie that left me impressed.

Continue reading “Movie Review: SIREN – scaled up from a V/H/S segment, this indie horror hits all the right buttons.”

Movie Review: THE HALLOW

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I went into The Hallow (directed by Corin Hardy, written by Hardy and Felipe Marino) with no prior knowledge of the movie: like most people who want to form their own opinions, I generally avoid advance reviews, features, or cast and crew interviews.  All I had for this one was the movie poster and the fact that it won some kind of horror movie competition, beating out the likes of It Follows, a movie with a premise I loved, but felt was otherwise mediocre.  I’d never heard of Hardy before, and had no idea who was in it, so I was definitely flying blind.

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