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  • Magic Magic

    Magic Magic

    ★★★★

    Though it has its own angle, this reminded me a lot of Queen of Earth, but personally succeeded where that film fell short in striking the balance of making some characters dislikeable, but believable. There is an awkwardness to being surrounded by people you don't know, in an unfamiliar place, where actions can be read in different ways, and personalities can clash. Of course there is no denying that some of these actions are shitty, but the justification for the…

  • Depraved

    Depraved

    ★★★½

    I enjoyed most of this Frankenstein tale; written, directed, and edited by indie Horror icon Larry Fessenden. It's a carefully paced bit of character study, applying a fresh, modern spin to the relationship between the creator and creation (for a while anyway). The editing and hallucinatory overlay effects create some really stellar moments, and I found the core cast to be plenty engaging. Sadly, the last act simply did not come through for me. The big climax feels stilted, while…

  • Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead

    Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead

    ★★★

    I thought this was going to be a comedy, but then it got really serious, but then it turned back into a comedy. It's pretty uneven and sometimes kind of drags despite being pretty short, but when it leans into the over the top action angle, it's fairly fun.

  • Guilty of Romance

    Guilty of Romance

    ★★★½

    Has the feel of a modern Giallo, though a bit more in on the character drama than the mystery element. It felt overlong and repetitive to me, but there are a few strong scenes, and largely good performances. The colorful lighting is nice, as is the largely classical score, with an undercurrent of more primal drumming that permeates the last act. As one would expect with Sono, it dives into some dark themes and ideas. I liked it, but didn't quite love it.

  • Little Monsters

    Little Monsters

    ★★½

    Nyong'o is charming, and the makeup effects are pretty good, but the humor was completely ineffective for me, and the story really nothing interesting. The rest of the characters were flat out annoying as well. It's brief and toothless enough to be inoffensive, but I don't have much more to say about it.

  • Bloodline

    Bloodline

    ★★★★

    Finally a win after a long stretch of underwhelming watches for me. Fantastically shot with a lot of split focus sequences that look great, and really click with the sort of 70s-80s aesthetic in the camerawork, plus the killer synth score. The kills are brutal, and the performances are solid, delivering a slow burning tale that teeters on the edge of catastrophe. A great directorial debut for Jacobson, and a neat change of tone for Scott.

  • The Furies

    The Furies

    ★★½

    Not too long and awesome gore effects. The rest is kind of meh, nothing too out of the ordinary, even with the tweak they make to the Most Dangerous Game scenario. Thin characters, a mixed bag of acting that only peaks at okay. Of course they've got to cram that generic sequel setup in too though. It's hardly awful, but a kill highlight reel would work just as well, or better.

  • No One Lives

    No One Lives

    ★★½

    I was on the cusp of just turning this off kind of early one. Awful dialogue, awful acting, just...oof. It eventually gets into the real meat of the film though, which is just long series of outrageous action and gory kills. It's downright stupid and gratuitous, but I can see how it has entertainment appeal if you know what you're getting into, and can sit through the setup.

  • Deep Red

    Deep Red

    ★★★★

    Sometimes I Can't Believe It's Not Hooptober Comes Back!

    Got to see this in the theater with Goblin performing the score live. Fantastic show for an awesome movie, the only real complaint about which is that I think it runs a bit long, a full 30 minutes longer than Suspiria. It has a solid mystery though, a great reveal, and of course, a killer score. Goblin played a full set after the movie, doing the themes for Suspiria, Tenebre, Mother of Tears, Phenomena, and some cuts from their Dawn of the Dead score. What more could you ask for?

  • The Ring

    The Ring

    ★★★★

    Sometimes I Can't Believe It's Not Hooptober Comes Back!

    I think this will be rounding out the J-Horror portion of our seasonal viewing, which has been a fun trip down memory lane. I think The Ring is the strongest of the American adaptations that came from the boom in the subgenre's popularity. It's very faithful to the original, but add its own flourish to scenes, instead of taking the shot for shot route. The pretty meaty budget permitted a lot…

  • The Cabin in the Woods

    The Cabin in the Woods

    ★★★★★

    Sometimes I Can't Believe It's Not Hooptober Comes Back!

    I saw this twice in theaters when it came out, and it's still the absolute delight now that it was then.

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★★½

    Enjoyed a fair bit about this, especially Phoenix's performance, but had some hangups here and there too (particularly towards the end). So not a masterpiece, but a good film I think.