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  • The Curse of the Werewolf

    The Curse of the Werewolf

    ★★★★★

    Within a concise three-generational drama, this film plays its monster metaphor as a catalyst for the lived-in ramifications of social cast and conditioning. As in The Revenge of Frankenstein, this film's body horror angle wrings anxiety from the act of facing our own inhuman anteriority; and also like Revenge, Werewolf depicts societal enactments of those internal anxieties. It interrogates and ultimately tears down the myth of human exceptionalism, but it gleans no joy in doing so. Even in the midst…

  • The Revenge of Frankenstein

    The Revenge of Frankenstein

    ★★★★★

    "He burned his old body."

    Mind-Body Problem Horror. This is not conventional genre material so much as it is a set of philosophical premises taken to dreadful places. Rather than staging Enlightenment ideals in contrast to humankind's (terrifying) ancestrality, this film instead braids the outer reaches of scientific practice with the visualized destruction of the human subject. It's a deeply pessimistic film that locates fear not only within the body, but also within the unnervingly close proximity between what we…

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  • mother!

    mother!

    ½

    I think we need a term (say, "Bluff Cinema") for films that play at lofty allegory through muddled and opaque execution. A film that's built on this kind of contradiction is infuriating not because it's "challenging" in any meaningful sense, but because it attacks the audience while shielding itself from critique. Defenders can get away with claims that detractors "didn't get it," because the film's delivery is airy and vague enough to validate virtually any reading.

    As a piece of…

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ½

    At least it's a bit better than The Force Awakens?

    Read my full review in Bright Lights Film Journal