Ryan Johnson

Film fan and theatre/arts critic for Austin Arts Watch and Austin Film Watch, lover of arthouse and foreign fare.

Favorite films

  • In the Mood for Love
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Clue
  • Ginger Snaps

Recent activity

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  • In the Mouth of Madness

    ★★★★

  • Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

    ★★★★

  • Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone

    ★★★½

  • Spookies

    ★★★

Recent reviews

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  • In the Mouth of Madness

    In the Mouth of Madness

    ★★★★

    I reaalllly don't know how to feel about this movie. In some way it lacks a certain vein of subtlety, while on the other its a pitch-perfect journey down a twisted rabbit hole into some really unique territory. Kent is wildly unlikable for large stretches, but then again when is a Lovecraft protagonist (or a King protagonist, for that matter) all that likable to begin with. Plus that ending is a HELL of a gut punch.

  • Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

    Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

    ★★★★

    That's the stuff. Anno cuts the fat to make what feels like a less compromised vision, upping the emotional stakes while sanding down some of the rougher edges (though still adding a like too much flab to the proceedings). Some shocking stuff here, on the whole a more visceral experience than the series.

Popular reviews

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  • The Masque of the Red Death

    The Masque of the Red Death

    ★★★½

    God I love these corny Corman-Price pictures. The colors, the grandeur, the nonsense, it makes the season for me, as much as Bava's gothic gonzoness or Zulawski's intensity. Sure, the Hop-Frog stuff feels tacked on. Sure, it has one dream ballet too many. But all this doesn't matter in the face of this beautiful nonsense.

  • After Blue (Dirty Paradise)

    After Blue (Dirty Paradise)

    ★★★★

    "Kate Bush! Come show me your crybaby t*ts!"

    I like weird. Originality is something that will elevate an otherwise mediocre film to something special, and one of the reasons I love Fantastic Fest. Where else would you see this bizarre tale of a mother and daughter hunting down a killer witch (maybe?) by the name of Kate Bush? It hardly ever makes any sense logically (it is based in something called the Incoherence Doctrine, after all), but if you're willing…