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SilentDawn has written 74 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • Gangs of New York

    Gangs of New York

    ★★½

    47

    Proof that even a scene-stealing, showboating performance like DDL's can't support an entire movie.

  • Jesus Is King: A Kanye West Film

    Jesus Is King: A Kanye West Film

    ★★½

    44

    An overwhelming sonic experience that does little to build on what it offers. This is mostly shot in James Turrell's Roden Crater, known as a "gateway to observe light, time, and space", but it hardly constructs a spatial configuration of the streamlined relationship between the space and the natural elements co-existing within it. Even as Kanye yearns to signify the physical role in his relationship with god, it stumbles as a robotic facsimile of the real thing - complete…

  • Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire

    Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire

    ★★½

    43

    *wakes up to email notification*

    *gets out of coffin to check it*

  • Haunt

    Haunt

    ★★½

    49

    Middle-of-the-road Shudder/Fangoria type of stuff. Cheap, grisly, with some exceptional sequences lodged in the middle. I was sufficiently creeped-out, and the cast fits the bill for realistically acting scared. It's the poor ending that brings it down, along with a weak sub-plot relating to trauma and resilience, whether it's physical or emotional, that doesn't work. Still, it looks and sounds fantastic, and while 95% of VOD horror right now is made by and for convention fanatics, this one is easy enough to watch in spite of the fact that they definitely had more fun making it.

  • Revolutionary Road

    Revolutionary Road

    ★★½

    47

    As much as I appreciate Sam Mendes' approach to structure, and his commitment to the valleys and plateaus of marriage, especially in regards to the augments that feel like pillars to confront, one after another in a never-ending cycle - this movie doesn't really work. It might be due to the source, but it's probably because Mendes trusts in these actors to lift up every other element of the filmmaking. Some may call it stripped-down, or intimate, but it's…

  • Spooky Buddies

    Spooky Buddies

    ★★½

    45

    Absolutely horrendous and yet I laughed like a hyena and am probably buying it on Blu-ray. It reminds me of something a 1st grade teacher would show on Halloween when there's a half-day. Everyone is all excited but then there's that one kid absent because the parents looked up the parental guide online and it mentions 'warlock' and 'demon' in the movie so the kid can't watch it and it's the first time you realize that some people don't…

  • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

    Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

    ★★½

    48

    A failure as a Halloween installment and a triumph as a Jamie Lee Curtis showcase. She provides one of her best performances in a film that mostly fails to compliment her agency. Most of H20 is a reaction to Scream, Dawson's Creek and other media responses to a century of culture nearing its endpoint. And as strong as these elements are - Curtis and her mother, Janet Leigh, sharing a moving "happy halloween!" moment; the expert audience catch-up of…

  • Hellions

    Hellions

    ★★½

    43

    An intense and complex study of bodily ownership. Somewhat lesser due to its overt visual style and frantic editing, but much to appreciate in this one regardless.

  • The Prowler

    The Prowler

    ★★½

    44

    Bless Tom Savini, who brings the pain and aggression to the vicious kill sequences even when the film can't keep up. The Prowler fails by overcompensating on the build-up. First, it's atmospheric, then it's dull, then it teeters on the experimental due to its nonchalant exploration of space, and then it's just boring - in that order. What remains are a few exceptional explosions of early 80s primo-slasher violence in a snore-fest of cardboard characters, but not nearly enough to compensate.

  • The Even Stevens Movie

    The Even Stevens Movie

    ★★½

    43

    Tag yourself, I'm Beans, the boy who packs bacon and only bacon in his suitcase.

  • Monster House

    Monster House

    ★★½

    45

    Falls into tedium by the end, but fun enough, and balanced by the nostalgic Halloween flavor of its premise.

  • Goosebumps

    Goosebumps

    ★★½

    47

    Feels like a 2012 Disney channel original movie. I wish it was more like the 90s if only for a greater commitment to scaring the shit out of children.