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  • The Being

    The Being

    ★★½

    If you’ve got an hankering for some low budget, rubber monster action, The Being will certainly scratch that itch for you. Anything outside of that though is going to be asking too much. Admittedly there is a bit of charm to be found as a sorta time-and-place curio, plus Martin Landau and Ruth Buzzi are somehow inexplicably hangin around, but unfortunately no amount of jiggling green jello can save this from being standard schlock in just about every way.

  • It's Alive III: Island of the Alive

    It's Alive III: Island of the Alive

    ★★★

    Well, after It Lives Again I said I wanted something kookier, and uhh, what even is this thing? It seems like there are at least two or three screenplays jammed together and it’s all so erratic. But as it stridently zigzags from place to place, Michael Moriarty remains the one constant to which the movie is anchored and he does his absolute best to sell the insanity... and maybe even a few pairs of shoes while he’s at it.

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  • It's Alive

    It's Alive

    ★★★★

    The success of It’s Alive lies in how deeply it digs its claws into the familial drama. It dredges up fears about parenthood as well as the anxieties that come with raising and maintaining a family. Cohen deftly establishes an endearing family structure in the film’s opening, which makes it all the harder to watch when it slowly begins to crumble as they all grow... so... tired. It’s emotionally gripping stuff that smartly hooks you first as a schlocky creature feature, but ends up delivering much more than that in the end.

  • The Strangers: Prey at Night

    The Strangers: Prey at Night

    ★★★½

    Trades in the dusty ‘70s Americana vibe of the original for a decidedly neon ‘80s pop aesthetic that sorta works and sorta doesn’t. It tweaks the concept slightly, rubbing itself up against a more traditional slasher structure, allowing itself to fall prey (heh) to tropes before flipping the script right when it counts. My interest waned a bit towards the climax, but a truly brilliant poolside sequence followed by nods to both Christine and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre pulled me right back in.