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  • Lizzie

    Lizzie

    ★★½

    KNICK KNACK DADDY WHACK

    Director Craig William Macneill’s Gilded Age true-crime thriller 'Lizzie' assumes the stance common to most mainstream historical accounts and dramatic depictions of Lizzie Borden. Namely, it takes as a given that Lizzie hacked to death with a hatchet both father Andrew Borden and stepmother Abby Borden (née Gray) at the family’s Fall River, Mass., home on the morning of Aug. 4, 1892. Macneill and screenwriter Bryce Kass don’t offer some convoluted alternative theory of the crime,…

  • The Little Stranger

    The Little Stranger

    ★★★

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

    Just adding a follow-up to my earlier review: Having now read the Sarah Waters novel on which this is based, I think my estimation of the film has bumped up a bit. The novel is unquestionably superior, in the sense that the medium of the novel -- and the particular, first-person, anecdote-heavy form that Waters employs -- is better suited to the story's insidious ambiguity. That said, I want to re-assert that Abrahamson and screenwriter Cozon do a splendid job…

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  • Mandy

    Mandy

    ★★★½

    Um. Okay.

    Possibly the most metal horror film ever made.

    'Last House on the Left ' plus 'Fantastic Planet' plus 'Point Blank' plus 'Hellraiser' plus 'The Holy Mountain' plus... fuck, honestly, there's really nothing to compare this to.

    At one point, Nic Cage takes a time-out in his roaring rampage of revenge to forge a giant Klingon battle axe. Because reasons.

    The rating might be higher at a later date. I need time to process what this film did to me.

  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★★★½

    MOMMY DEAREST

    Every cinematic experience is inherently subjective, but the horror genre presents a particularly vivid illustration of just how personal responses to films can be. Fear is a primeval emotion – perhaps *the* primeval emotion – and as such it’s tremendously challenging to parse exactly why a feature might elicit shrieks of terror from one viewer and an indifferent shrug from another. A critic can describe whether a horror picture “works” from a storytelling standpoint, or why the elements…