Movie Review: THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER – as far as directorial debuts go, this is pretty striking, unfortunately, the reveal is a cheat.

Osgood (Oz) Perkins is a new name on the scene, but not an unfamiliar one.  He’s the son of Psycho star Anthony Perkins, so it’s fair to say that unlike other first time moviemakers a lifelong connection to the movie business ingrained within him some valuable moviemaking tips.  It shows here in his first movie, which is a taut, suspenseful indie horror, starring Emma Roberts (American Horror Story), with fine supporting work by Lucy Boynton and, in particular, Kiernan Shipka.  It’s well directed for sure, but the story itself depends on one particular conceit that doesn’t work,  It’s a giant black hole and for me, the entire movie collapsed into it.

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Movie Review: MOTHER! – Darren Aronofsky returns with a terrific, polarizing, dizzying, genre-confounding tale heavy on allegory that will command your full attention.

Three people told me the same thing about this movie.  It’s super weird, and I wouldn’t like it.  Now, I’m the guy who devoured the recent Twin Peaks and enjoy things like Bottom Of The World (though admittedly, Jena Malone was the main reason I watched it!), so weird … kinda my thing, right?  I could never get a straight answer to why, though.  The other thing they told me: you need to go and see it!  So I did, partly to recover from the system shock of Kingsman: The Golden Circle!

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Movie Review: A GHOST STORY – although it can be self indulgent at times, this arty, existential, minimalist movie about the afterlife is affecting and powerful

Here’s a question for you: what do Michael Bay’s Transformers movies have in common with A Ghost Story?  What element do they possess that ties them together?  On one hand, you have a multi-billion grossing kinetic action franchise full of all kinds of wanton destruction – on the other, David Lowery’s movie is small and quiet.  Where could the connection possibly be?  Simple: audience polarization.  The audience for both appears to be divided into two camps, one who enjoys the experience, one that dislikes it.

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Movie Review: LAVENDER – weary, and all too familiar, story about a haunted house and ghosts seeking justice.

You ever watch one of those movies that just feels like it never gets going?  That by the time you’re at the end, it still feels like that?  It’s the cumulative effect of the wrong people doing the wrong things at the same time.  By that, I’m not referring to the actors, who are the least at fault in most productions.  The ones to blame are those on the other side of the camera.  In this case, I’m talking about the mild supernatural drama Lavender, starring Abbie Cornish, Dermot Mulroney, and Justin Long.

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Movie Review: THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE – supernatural horror movie falters in places, but still delivers

the_autopsy_of_jane_doe

There are worse movie titles than The Autopsy of Jane Doe, I suppose, but it’s up there.  Having said that, it made me notice it enough to find out it was a horror movie starring Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch, which I found a little surprising.  Sure, it isn’t unheard of for name actors to be in horror movies (even B listers like Cox and Hirsch), but it’s rare – especially when the movie has no name talent attached behind the camera, something that generally signifies low budget and low smarts.  By this, I’m referring to the fodder you can see in Netflix’s horror lists – mostly a stream of shit that heads swiftly down the drain.

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Movie Review: BEYOND THE GATES – retro style horror movie just about works, but not enough Barbara Crampton.

beyond-the-gates

For me, and maybe some others, Beyond The Gates felt like a bait-and-switch.  By means of explanation, I’m a big Barbara Crampton fan.  Even though I haven’t seen her that much over the years, her memorable turns in the cult H.P. Lovecraft double bill of The Reanimator and From Beyond, made me a fan for life, and when I saw We Are Still Here earlier this year, I was ecstatic to see her return to the genre.  So yeah, when I saw her name attached to this movie, I kept an eye on the release date.  Unfortunately, while she plays a pivotal role in the plot, her scenes amount to headshots that might last about 5 minutes of screen time if run back to back.  Disappointing to say the least, but that’s coming from a fan.  She’s underused, and probably what the biggest chunk of the budget was spent on.  She’s also listed as a producer, but that could mean she was pivotal in securing funding or a distribution deal.

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Movie Review: JUG FACE

Jug Face

I totally avoided Jug Face when it was streaming on Netflix – neither the title, nor the poster appealed, and I read a bad review – but I took a chance with it tonight on the strength of a great performance by Lauren Ashley Carter in Darling, and I wasn’t let down this time either.  Indie horror is definitely hit or miss, but unlike Big Studio horror that’s only concerned with how many teens they can open with on Friday night, the indie scene is more concerned with telling stories, and often some real talents emerge.

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