• The 39 Steps

    The 39 Steps

    ★★★★

    Hitch’s measured direction (love those moody superimpositions that feel like a memory transmuted into a sort of warning transmission from the past) compliments the propulsive, twisty spy adventure plotting wonderfully, yes, but not many people note the sensuality this has. Hell, most movies today don’t even get to be half as erotic as that sequence where Madeleine Carroll takes off her stockings. Just another “the wrong man” Hitchcock banger.

  • The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

    The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

    ★★★

    Not my favorite Hitch but still a sturdy silent serial killer thriller with visually interesting, ominous superimposition flourishes and compositions. Something that I took away from it besides seeing how this seems to be where his fixation on blondes started is the sequence where the house owner listens from her bed to the lodger leaving the house in the middle of the night feels like Hitch eager to expand his suspense language with sound.

  • Scream 4

    Scream 4

    ★★★★

    Seen how some brush this off as Craven hating on kids these days but id say the movie is heavily burdened by its characters’ responses to the metatextual pain that they have been locked into; characters in a movie who are imitating movie characters embracing trauma through their media consumption. The beauty of it is that it is also simultaneously having grisly fun as the clever opening immediately showcases. Whole thing feels prescient in a way I don’t think that this series can ever be again, at least at of this moment.

  • Alison's Birthday

    Alison's Birthday

    ★★★

    Slow burn Aussie riff on psychological cult horror a la ROSEMARY’S BABY. Takes its time to get to get where it’s going but it builds an unassuming sense of fatalism in the process right from its first frame that culminates into one hell of an effective final shot that I found quite unsettling and surprising. Think it would pair well with NEXT OF KIN for a moody down-south double feature.

  • Ghost Ship

    Ghost Ship

    ★★★

    Obligatory 3 stars for the gruesome opening which about rivals the creativity and grisly efficiency of the Final Destination series’ Rube Goldberg death constructions.

  • His Motorbike, Her Island

    His Motorbike, Her Island

    ★★★★

    Nobuhiko ôbayashi’s unique visual style here manages to evoke a condensed sense of time achieving an idiosyncratic, beautiful visual lyricism which is at first a bit perplexing and off-kiltered and then ultimately comforting in all its romantic longing and soulful knowing regarding youth’s impermanence. Really special.

  • Scream 3

    Scream 3

    ★★★

    Has its problems but I really do like how it handles Sid’s arc (using the artifice of her bedroom set to relive her trauma is a brilliant sequence), the final image of the door left open, Sidney no longer paralyzed by the impulse to hide herself from the world, being a genuinely moving cap to the trilogy. That and its Hollywood critique sure hits different now what with everything that’s happened regarding who execute produced this.

  • Scream 2

    Scream 2

    ★★★★

    Undeniably missing that invigorating factor that the masterful structural integrity and overall new feeling of both irreverent and reverent self-referentiality that the original had, and the killer reveals here aren’t as strong as you’d hope but this is still Wes Craven having a meta, grisly ball featuring some of his very best set pieces. That sequence where Sid and Haillie attempt to escape from a crashed car that has a dead cop with a pole in his god damn face on the hood through the driver window with ghostface passed out in the front seat still makes me clutch my hands into fists from the tension.

  • Scream

    Scream

    ★★★★★

    “Movies don’t create psychos. Movies makes psychos more creative.”

    Pitch-perfect melding of Willimson’s self-referential screenplay and Craven’s stellar craftsmanship twisting, satirizing and ultimately celebrating the slasher canon. Seen this so many times as a teen that you would think this would play tired for me now but no, sequences and images like Craven’s simple tracking shots of Casey in her home during the vicious opening, the distorted edges of the frame when she’s on the phone really zeroing in on…

  • The Incredible Shrinking Man

    The Incredible Shrinking Man

    ★★★★★

    Incredible effects just as advertised (the combined efforts of perspective, split screen and rear projection trickery effectively sells this man shrinking in size visually more than ANT-MAN ever could), but I wasn’t prepared for how bleak and existentially horrifying this would get. That ending! Damn.

  • What's Up, Doc?

    What's Up, Doc?

    ★★★★

    Hits a crescendo a bit early on intersecting almost every single moving part the movie has set up which involves a single hotel room, fire, and the threat of infidelity that absolutely killed me. Whole movie contains some of the funniest visual gags out there.

  • Paper Moon

    Paper Moon

    ★★★★

    Love how emotionally rich this was without being overtly sentimental, the effortlessly natural con father and daughter duo dynamic simply flourishing as is under depression era economic strain was all that was needed to inform the heart of the movie. Just beautifully engrossing and charming and melancholic from start to finish. R.I.P. Peter Bogdanovich, a real one.