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  • Martha Marcy May Marlene

    Martha Marcy May Marlene

    ★★★★

    Great performances, and a beautifully dark film. Loved the ending as well. There are a few moments and parts of the script that didn't totally click with me, but this is a strong slice of drama with an ever looming sense of dread.

  • I Am a Hero

    I Am a Hero

    ★★★★

    I followed the manga for a while and really enjoyed it, so this has been on my radar for some time. While it loses some of the small charms that I loved about the manga, it still captures a lot of the spirit, and makes for a great example of exciting zombie media in an era where it's largely been done to death. The outrageously grotesque effects work really goes a long way to making them feel fresh again.

  • Lesson of the Evil

    Lesson of the Evil

    ★★★½

    Solid lead performance and a memorably catastrophic finale make this worth the watch, but I also found it to be too long and directionless through the first 3/4 of the film. Never really bad or uninteresting, just sort of unfocused.

  • The Incident

    The Incident

    ★★★

    The Incident AKA Asylum Blackout (the title I prefer I think) got on my radar thanks to Zahler's writing credit. It's interesting to go back to some of his earlier work and see where he came from, and you can feel a bit of where he would go from here in this script. The writing and performances are largely good, and there are some suitably gruesome bits of gore and violence once things start to enter the end game. I…

  • Shadow People

    Shadow People

    ★★★½

    Saw this film mentioned on one of many end of decade top lists I was browsing recently, which was a surprise since I hadn't heard of or about the film at all prior to that. It's a neat little mockumentary, which sets itself apart from many such films by having a pretty full scale "reenactment" film at its heart, with the documentary framework showing up in interviews with the "real" people side by side in certain sequences, plus various other…

  • The Voices

    The Voices

    ★★★★

    Manages to strike a remarkable balance between the comedy and the darkness, touching on moments both sweet and tragic. Reynolds is as endearing as ever, and I love that he provides all the animal voices as well. The small town is delightfully realized, and there are some moments of genuine beauty captured in a few shots; over a body in the woods, of a bowling alley against the night sky. It does run a bit too long, and feels uncertain in its trajectory towards the end, but thankfully it finds some footing in the delightfully surreal finale.

  • Cat Sick Blues

    Cat Sick Blues

    ★★

    Hard to approach this one; I'm a bit surprised to see as many very positive reviews as I have for it. I will say there are a lot of good aspects of the film making; the lead performances are strong (the supporting cast maybe not so much), the gore effects are excellent, and the score is enjoyable. I was primed to enjoy an odd and original slasher film after the opening sequence, and technically it is that, but my amusement…

  • Helter Skelter

    Helter Skelter

    ★★★½

    Packed with gorgeous visuals and a bombastic score, this can be a very engrossing aesthetic experience, but the structure and runtime lend to a lot of montage type sequences that led to the narrative feeling a bit aimless at times for me. Most of the concepts are delivered in melodramatic monologues that don't really connect me to the character's decline as effectively as other methods may have. Enjoyable nonetheless.

  • Paradise Hills

    Paradise Hills

    ★★★

    With the weird boarding school setting, the elaborate costumes, and Emma Roberts' pink hair, I got some real Revolutionary Girl Utena vibes going into this. Unfortunately, no one transforms into a car in this, but that doesn't mean it isn't just as strange in its own way.

    I didn't know that Nacho Vigalondo had co-written this until I started it, but it does make sense as the film navigates some twists and turns that aren't exactly hard see coming, but…

  • Antrum

    Antrum

    ★★★½

    I mentioned in my review of Fury of the Demon that I'm a sucker for these cursed media stories; there's just something about the idea that appeals to me. I think it's the way it hold the potential to blur the line between reality and the fantastical horror of film. As a lover of the genre, I suppose there is some part of me that secretly wishes to have that true horror experience, and seeking out some cursed film is…

  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★½

    I'm away from home for work for a while, so my schedule might get a bit weird (meaning I'll probably spend a lot of time in my hotel room binging movies), but I am in a bigger city than usual, so I also get access to some theater showings that I'd normally have to go out of my way for. I was very pleased to get a chance to revisit this in the theater and show that extra support for it. A thoroughly fantastic film, and easily one of the best of the year.

  • Dry Blood

    Dry Blood

    ★★★

    Tough one to rate. The writing and acting are mixed, sometimes very stiff, and at best usually just passable. It's not to hard to see where things are going either, but there are some genuinely creepy moments spread throughout the film's quick runtime that keep it interesting. Surreal images, and solid makeup work, leading into a finale that is packed with surprisingly intense gore. So I'd say it's worthwhile for a look at least for the effects, which are nicely executed for the budget.