Jesse_Wroe has written 45 reviews for films rated ★★★½ during 2018.

  • Just Before Dawn

    Just Before Dawn

    ★★★½

    This backwoods murder-thriller/quasi-slasher is pretty good. It'll appeal to genre hounds and casual viewers alike, for it has the right kind of violent thrills and horror chills.

    It represents the tried and true formulas of "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Deliverance," with a touch of "Friday the 13th." A group of friends go to a mountain region where one of them holds the deed of some property. A forest ranger, played by George Kennedy, gives the campers the requisite vague…

  • Let the Corpses Tan

    Let the Corpses Tan

    ★★★½

    When style is the substance. All'italiana!

    Anti-cop rhetoric is cool.

    This duo should try shorter films and serials.

    I love the opening credits. The original title and corresponding english subtitle make a conflict of syntax: "Laissez (Let) bronzer (the) les (Corpses) cadavres (Tan)."

  • She Killed in Ecstasy

    She Killed in Ecstasy

    ★★★½

    An opening credit sequence that mixes the sound of funky dance rock with images of fetuses preserved in jars is guaranteed to keep my interest. Then the beautiful locations of southeast Spain excite my eyes—as does actress Soledad Miranda. What I see is a more upbeat though no less morbid vision by Jesús Franco, an improvement compared to his trashier output that determines much of the appraisal of his career and filmography.

    There’s something endearing about a woman who seeks…

  • The Gore Gore Girls

    The Gore Gore Girls

    ★★★½

    After you see an ass get smashed by a meat tenderizer, you'll never be the same.

  • Sorry to Bother You

    Sorry to Bother You

    ★★★½

    I hope my girlfriend wears earrings that say "Murder, Murder, Murder" for one ear and "Kill, Kill, Kill" for the other.

    "Sorry to Bother You" is willfully absurd, so over-the-top and in on the joke that you feel OK accepting most of it. It's often very funny and the style is engaging. The story and dialog are topical and incisive and even unpredictable. Lakeith Stanfield was really good as the protagonist. So good that I hope to see more of…

  • Feed

    Feed

    ★★★½

    "Feed" is a unique mix of mediocrity and shocking distinctiveness.

    It's founded on the familiar idea of the corrupt cop and an intelligent killer. This juxtaposition paints law enforcement as problematic yet possibly justified, while the suspect is questionably criminal yet intellectually intriguing. Social order and radical liberation go head-to-head: Can "gainers" experience expansive pleasurable by having their gluttony administered by "feeders," with the risk of overeating til they die? Are beauty standards worse for denying the realness of overweight…

  • Messiah of Evil

    Messiah of Evil

    ★★★½

    Like "Carnival of Souls" done by Michelangelo Antonioni. Ghouls in an art studio. A very strange cult horror film that's light on plot and narrative clarity, but heavy with weirdness, odd characters, and a pervasive dark mood.

  • The Thing from Another World

    The Thing from Another World

    ★★★½

    I finally watched the "original" to my favorite "remake" and Top 5 film ever.

    Needless to say, a lethal super carrot isn't as scary as an amorphous mass of species-shifting gore. Still, this is an enjoyable 1950s sci-fi film and it's fun to see how it influenced John Carpenter's best film (and Alien). I like the set design too. It's very consistent with the remake.

    The attack scenes are actually pretty good. Most of the film has a fairly light…

  • The Boys Next Door

    The Boys Next Door

    ★★★½

    Beavis and Butthead kill Los Angeles

  • The Executioner

    The Executioner

    ★★★½

    My ideological bias requires me to appreciate films that depict government intrusion as the awful thing that it is. But these films need energy, an immersive element beyond the details, no matter how often they try to be humorous.

    "The Executioner" feels a bit flat, which is odd given the sheer amount of absurdity and all the points of sympathy for characters stuck by social stigma, poverty, and all-encompassing bureaucracy. These folk can't get a break from a signatory culture.…

  • The Quiet Earth

    The Quiet Earth

    ★★★½

    This film makes an intellectual sin that I despise in many "sci-fi" films, including the work of Andrei Tarkovsky: Having characters bicker about scientists playing God.

    "You tinkered with the Universe without knowing what you were doing?"

    Hell yes. That's the scientific method. Going into the unknown, taking a risk, embracing ignorance in the search for knowledge. This is the only path to achieve all varieties of progress. What kind of world would this be if there was nothing to…

  • The Pyjama Girl Case

    The Pyjama Girl Case

    ★★★½

    Some gialli are good for the ways in which they deviate from the standard tropes and narrative formats most admirers are used to, particularly those inspired by Dario Argento's "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage" throughout the 1970s. The giallo is a broader term than most cinephiles—usually horror nerds—want to accept. It really is the Italian murder mystery/thriller in all its variety.

    "The Pajama Girl Case" is a neat example of a kind of deviation. First off, the setting is…