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  • Requiem

    Requiem

    ★★★★

    One of the best films about possession ever made, German director Hans-Christian Schmid's psychological horror film is in the tradition of Ingmar Bergman's "Through a Glass Darkly” and Roman Polaski's “Repulsion" as a realist horror film that doesn't provide easy answers. An epileptic and the daughter of conservative Christians, Michaela (Sandra Hüller) struggles to break free of her parents' restraining grasp just to attend college. Once she gets away to university, she's timid and shy, but like Stephen King's Carrie…

  • Abby

    Abby

    ★★★

    “Abby” has a reputation for being the blaxploitation version of “The Exorcist,” which makes it sound a lot more riotous than it actually is. In the film, Abby (Carol Speed), the wife of a minister and the daughter-in-law of a minister/archaeologist, seemingly becomes possessed by the West African trickster spirit Eshu. Warner Bros. sued the filmmakers because the plot was too similar to “The Exorcist,” and while it’s better than a mere rip-off cash-grab, it’s marred by its muddled sexual…

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  • Tetsuo: The Iron Man

    Tetsuo: The Iron Man

    ★★★★

    An impressively deranged and frenzied fusion of "Eraserhead's" surreal industrial dread and David Cronenberg's body horror. A "metal fetishist" attempts to put a piece of rebar in his leg and then, seeing the wound infected with maggots, runs into the street, where he's hit by a car. The metal fetishist avenges himself by causing the offending driver to grotesquely grow metal from his body, before returning as a kind of supervillain. Director Shinya Tsukamoto touches upon themes of dehumanization and…

  • Knight of Cups

    Knight of Cups

    ★★★★

    I can really understand if, with "Knight of Cups," people feel Malick's style is ossifying, that he made a pretentious perfume ad, and that he filled the film with inexplicable cameos (Nick Offerman, Nick Kroll, Thomas Lennon, Joe Lo Truglio, Dan Harmon, Kevin Corrigan, Erin McGathy - it's a comedy nerd's fever dream!).

    But, for me, "Knight of Cups" was an immersive, visually ravishing depiction of one man's spiritual and emotional wrangling in an artificial world, and his Pilgrim's Progress toward, if not enlightenment, than at least contentment. It's beautiful and visceral visual poetry.