Alex Payne

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Favorite films

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  • Belladonna of Sadness

    ★★★★

  • The Beasts

    ★★★★

  • Tales of Ordinary Madness

  • The Equalizer 3

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  • Smile

    Smile

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The Talkspace Horror

    Pastiche, aping in particular *The Ring*.

    Great sound.

    A few SFX and scenes that are meant to scare but come off goofy. Keep your faces on, please.

    The ending is bleak but instructional, a quality I appreciate in horror. Rose doomed herself when she opted to isolate as a means of beating the curse. She tries to battle her trauma in her head, alone, and loses. To the extent this flick has anything coherent to say about trauma and mental health, "don't try to go it alone" is a fine takeaway.

  • Hellraiser

    Hellraiser

    ★★

    Cirque du Soleil ass cenobites ain’t raising nothin but a skeptical eyebrow

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  • Hell House LLC

    Hell House LLC

    ★★

    “The Bro Witch Project”

    If you like haunted houses, it has its moments.

  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch

    ★★★½

    A tray of filmic macarons prepared to the taste of anyone who grew up precociously perusing their parents’ copies of The New Yorker. I can only eat two, maybe three macarons in a sitting, myself, so this was about right for me.

    When it started dragging in the third act—that is, when Jeffrey Wright wasn’t on screen—I found myself thinking, “damn, there’s just so many sets”. Then in the credits there’s like an entire screen of carpenters. Lotta work went into these sweet treats.