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  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★★★½

    Michael Myers vs. The Shape

    John Carpenter is always the first to point out that he never set out to create some sort of mystique surrounding Michael Myers. The character is billed in the credits and the script as “The Shape”, rather than by its given name. This is a conscious decision by Carpenter and his co-writer Debra Hill to further imbue a sense of supernatural and pervasive evil that could not be matched by a flesh-and-blood human (as presented…

  • The Bride of Frankenstein

    The Bride of Frankenstein

    ★★★★★

    Dr. Pretorius or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Other

    In James Whale’s completely bonkers 1935 masterpiece Bride of Frankenstein, a story unfurls about the inborn desire of humans (or monsters) to seek out a mate with whom to share love. The nefarious Dr. Pretorius convinces the ever-so-slightly-less-nefarious Dr. Frankenstein to join forces with him in order to create the titular “Bride” as a companion to Frankenstein’s previous creation, whom I will call Lennie for the sake…

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  • Psycho II

    Psycho II

    ★★★★

    Anthony Perkins has got to be one of the most underrated performers there is. Though it'd be an overstatement to put this on the same qualitative pedestal as the (rightfully) legendary original, Perkins' performance in PSYCHO II is more than enough to elevate this to "great film" status.

    Tom Holland's twisty plotting, Richard Franklin's stellar direction, and some gnarly kills are just cherries on top. And what a cast: Robert Loggia, Dennis Franz, Vera Miles, and Meg Tilly all turn…

  • The Hills Have Eyes

    The Hills Have Eyes

    ★★★★

    Nuclear Family vs. nuclear family

    Having watched—and been pretty scarred by—Aja's remake when I was in high school, I had put off watching the original for quite awhile under the auspices that it somehow wouldn't stand up. How wrong I was.

    It isn't my favorite Craven by any stretch, but a bit of that go-for-broke exploitation of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is still running through the veins of this one. It's never as evident as the harrowing gut-punch of…

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  • Us

    Us

    ★★★★★

    Apocalyptic Duality.

    Jordan Peele is a master filmmaker, in every sense of the term. His writing is dense, filled to the gills with breadcrumbs and double entendre. Yet, somehow it's also light and always entertaining. His direction is steady, unrushed. Yet, his calculated pacing and knack for musical cues lend an air of almost Amblin-esque charm to everything he touches. I'm unsure of his exact technique for working with actors, but damned if every single performer we see isn't perfectly…

  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    ★★★½

    Though not quite the culturally omni-present sledgehammer its predecessor was, this timely sequel is more than inspired enough to command your attention for its runtime. Baron Cohen's antics are a bit less fun this time around, as the majority of people know him on sight. Thankfully, they've recruited a new star in Maria Bakalova; she gives the same type of star-making turn that Cohen did back when the first BORAT hit theaters.

    I'm glad this exists.