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  • Pyewacket

    Pyewacket

    ★★★½

    Understated, elegant horror film about a teenage girl who, in a fit of pique, brings black magic into her spiraling relationship with her mother. MacDonald is a real talent, compensating for a low budget with beautiful compositions and meticulous editing that makes this feel like a prestige picture. He also has a knack for productive withholding — the sequence that culminates in Leah’s friend locking herself in the car is one of the year’s scariest (I haven’t yet seen HEREDITARY)…

  • Escape Plan 2: Hades

    Escape Plan 2: Hades

    ★★

    So bizarre that I thought at first it had been retrofitted into an ESCAPE PLAN sequel after having begun life as something else, but the real answer appears to be a mix of moderate incompetence and a something-for-everyone approach to raising financing. What can we package with this cheap IP? Well, let's see. How about something for the Chinese market? Chinese star Huang Xiaoming is available. Doesn't really speak English? No problem, he can just sound out his dialogue. Dave…

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  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

    Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

    ★½

    Want to stab everybody.

  • Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus

    Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus

    ★★★★

    Michael Cera plays a legendary self-absorbed asshole, but the biggest accomplishment of his performance – and of the movie – is the way that his character transforms, without moving a muscle, from almost unwatchably insufferable to uncomfortably recognizable. The key is the dawning realization of how genuinely important the hunt for the hallucinogenic cactus is to this guy – not as some sort of brass ring or poseurish hipster status symbol, but as an experience that he truly wants to…