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  • The House with Laughing Windows

    The House with Laughing Windows

    ★★½

    The first Italian movie of Octoblur 2018's "Foreign Horror Week" is Pupi Avati's well-regarded giallo THE HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS. Perhaps one of the reasons this movie is so highly regarded is that it's low on the overwrought nonsense that was a hallmark of European genre movies from this era. It's probably not irrelevant that director Pupi Avati did not stick solely to horror and related sensationalist genres, but has been a versatile and award-winning filmmaker of serious dramas; prior…

  • Don't Deliver Us from Evil

    Don't Deliver Us from Evil

    ★★★½

    The third movie of Octoblur 2018's "Foreign Horror Week" is the 1971 French teen drama DON'T DELIVER US FROM EVIL (MAIS NE NOUS DELIVREZ PAS DU MAL), which is part of one my favorite exploitation movie subgenres, "Kids Running Amok."

    A pre-cursor to Peter Jackson's HEAVENLY CREATURES, DON'T DELIVER US FROM EVIL depicts two profoundly bonded catholic school girls who spend their summer vacation pledging their souls to Satan and engaging in increasingly malicious prankery, which, depending on how you…

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  • Birdman

    Birdman

    ★★

    I simply didn't care. Great acting, particularly by Ed Norton and Emma Stone. Early on Stone's character lets loose with an eviscerating speech that summed up my feelings exactly. Then it kept going for over an hour.

  • Krampus

    Krampus

    ★★★½

    After hearing and reading in review after review that Krampus was a fun '80s-ish horror romp not unlike Gremlins, I was not expecting something this unremittingly dark and bleak. Still, I far prefer Daugherty's eclectic and unnerving brand of visual creepiness to the canned horror of James Wan and Blumhouse, and Krampus serves up a quality parade of Christmassy ghoulishness. It just isn't an experience you're likely to be smiling about afterward, and at several points I questioned my choice to invite my 12-year-old daughter to watch it with me. And she's been watching Gremlins since she was six.