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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Movie Review: THE BOY

boy

The Boy, starring Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead’s Maggie) is a rickety movie built upon a tottering premise that completely self destructs in Act 3 … but I won’t lie, for the most part, I enjoyed it.  Cohan plays a young American woman who applies for the job of nanny to the child of an elderly couple – trouble is, they live alone in a Gothic castle that looks straight out of The Woman in Black … and their child is … a doll with a porcelain head.  Continue reading “Movie Review: THE BOY”

Movie Review: MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

midnight special

I kicked myself for missing this back when it was first released in March – I’d heard good stuff about it, and just the simple plotline I’d heard from a colleague intrigued me.  But I left it too late – it was gone within two weeks.  Fortunately, as I was browsing for something to review, I stumbled upon it last night, and was happy I did. Continue reading “Movie Review: MIDNIGHT SPECIAL”

Movie Review: CRIMSON PEAK – Del Toro’s Gothic tale unconvincingly lightweight, overly reliant on CGI.

Crimson Peak

I always approach Guillermo Del Toro’s movies with some hesitation. In my opinion he’s made two absolutely terrific movies in The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, but he’s also made mediocre fare like Mimic and Hellboy, and flat out garbage like Pacific Rim and Hellboy 2. The trailers for Crimson Peak didn’t exactly set my heart fluttering either. A lot of greenscreen CGI work in a haunted house movie is an almost guarantee of bullshit, and then there’s Tom Hiddleston.
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