• The Gateway

    The Gateway

    ★★★★

    The Gateway is that much needed crime drama that we've been thirsty for, but doesn't seem to come that often. It works because it's teeth are firmly sunk into the characters, and more than capably led by the highly underrated Shea Whigham.

    The main character Parker (Whigham) works well because he's down on his luck; a washed up social worker trying to turn the tables and do something meaningful by protecting the most innocent, the children. Whigham handles the role wonderfully with seasoned chops.

    Olivia Munn makes a mark as well by delivering depth to a character that otherwise could come off as stock.

  • Malignant

    Malignant

    ★★★★

    It's cool when a director is a virtuoso and effortlessly blends genres so effectively. James Wan is arguably the reigning king of the modern spook, and with Malignant he only seems to be getting better. It's a nice blending of things (slasher, supernatural, even a giallo feel).

    There are shortcomings in the character dept, but the slasher kills and bloodshed are the stuff of pure spectacle.

  • Superhost

    Superhost

    ★★★★

    Everyone loves a good psychotic character right? It's a tough formula to pull off without seeming silly. Superhost's Rebecca is the answer to our psychotic prayers. She's funny, unpredictable, violent as hell, and completely insane. I guarantee you'll be begging for more.

    Superhost also makes the most out of a thrifty budget. Focusing on a one location premise in a modern setting (Youtube vloggers), and giving plenty of blood thirsty thrills to its audience.

  • Jakob's Wife

    Jakob's Wife

    ★★★★

    Everyone loves a good vampire flick right? There are so many different flavors to choose from. Jacob's wife manages to tackle a subject that can drag the tone down: marital woes.

    But somehow it all works thanks to the charm of the 2 leads (can you really go wrong with Crampton?). It REALLY shines in the blood and creativity dept with the vampire angle. Watching Barbara transform into a vamp is delicious fun.

  • Candyman

    Candyman

    ★★★★½

    Candyman 2021 builds on the lore of the legendary hook wielding bee whisperer while also firmly planting it's own modern foot. Nia Dacosta expertly steers the ship painting her own voice with visual panache and stark violence. Honestly it's a great companion to the original.

    Video Review: youtu.be/7ghkgPKHEyQ

  • Reminiscence

    Reminiscence

    ★½

    With the star power here and the dystopian setting Reminiscence should have been a sure fire home run, but I had my worries. The villains are completely one-dimensional. The story runs like a bad noir detective piece, with cheap romance and heavy melodrama laced throughout. Honestly it's so bad, it's kind of shocking.

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★★

    Shang-Chi was absolutely fantastic. Great world building. Next-level fight choreography. Epic spectacle (wait till you see the end....holy sh*t!!).

  • The Night House

    The Night House

    ★★★★½

    There is a chilling calm to The Night House that veils the horror beneath. Rebecca Hall gives a seasoned and nuanced performance channeling a woman reaching for the end after losing her husband.

    But what works so well here is how the story feels predictable at first but seems much more surprising and uncertain as it progresses. And the scares are never forced, or even front and center, which makes them more effective when they provoke.

  • Don't Breathe 2

    Don't Breathe 2

    ★★★½

    After the stellar 2016 release, and that "ew" inducing scene (you know the one) in the last act, how do you follow all that up...without Jane Levy?

    Luckily Don't Breathe offers a fresh perspective on the story. The Blind Man is still quite mysterious, and the story takes some unpredictable turns thanks to the help of an interesting family dynamic with his young sidekick. And there's plenty of gory, stealthy action along the way.

  • Aftermath

    Aftermath

    ★★

    Parts paranormal, home invasion, family drama. Whatever Aftermath is trying to be, it's bland. In every way. With a couple leaving a stained past behind to enter an even more troubled future, there's character stupidity at every turn. And buckle up for the worst twist endings in recent memory.

  • The Suicide Squad

    The Suicide Squad

    ★★★★½

    Troma baby.

    James Gunn has carved out his own niche and The Suicide Squad might enter him in with the greats (if he's not there already). Unlike the 2016 effort, this doesn't feel studio tainted in the slightest. It's 100% grade A choice Gunn. And bloody.

    Underneath all the mayhem are interesting and often eccentric characters (my favorite kind). Elba's 'Bloodsport' and 'Ratcatcher' (played by relatively unknown Daniela Melchior) steel the show and offer the most heart. Robbie's 'Harley Quinn' is expectedly chaotic but still fun as hell.

    But make no mistake, Gunn has resuscitated new life into whatever the DCEU has become at this point.

  • The Green Knight

    The Green Knight

    ★★★★

    The Green Knight....is an A24 film in almost every way. From the ambitious set design, constantly creative camera work, thought provoking scene structure, and hypnotic performances.

    And it's polarizing. All those aspects above can become alienating to mainstream audiences, but we need films like this to push boundaries and challenge norms. God bless you Green Knight!