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Horror

Reviews

The Assent

The possession horror sub-genre has become a formula.  A normal family suddenly starts experiencing disturbing behaviour (usually from a child) that can only be described as otherworldly, cueing a priest or a similar follower of the good word to go through with an exorcism.  It’s the job of the production to rise above this predictability to offer audiences individual strengths (creepy imagery and atmospheric scares, sometimes a scene-stealing performance like Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s in The…

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True Fiction

What role does the precarity of labour play in young people choosing to take on dangerous jobs?  In the #MeToo era, how does one go about separating an artist’s actions from their work?  Is anonymity possible in the 21st century?  What is the difference between violence and a simulation of violence?  If unethical acts lead to brilliant art, is it ethical to consume the art?  What do these questions have in common?  Well, for one, they…

Reviews

The Lodge

The Lodge thinks its rooted in gothic horror when its misery might actually be post-emo.  Suicide is predominant in this macabre thriller from Austrian filmmakers Severin Fiala and Veronica Franz (Goodnight Mommy) and while it seems to be a topic used to explore the mourning identities of the film’s characters, it’s mostly in existence to add moody atmospheric chills.  Surface-level stuff, but very effective.

Reviews

Come to Daddy

Most movies build towards a crescendo, yet the first act of Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy is the climax.  But then, instead of gradually hitting new heights, Timpson’s film simmers to a tepid temperature.  Despite the outrageous feedback you may have heard about the movie’s wild qualities, Come to Daddy is actually family tame (if you’re used to off-the-wall genre pieces).

Reviews

Countdown

Make no bones about it: writer/director Justin Dec’s contemporary cyber horror Countdown has been influenced by the Final Destination series, a franchise that toyed with ideas of existentialism and then devolved into outrageous collections of gruesome spectacles.

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Little Monsters

Little Monsters is a common zombie movie that’s been inspired by contemporary horror comedies (especially Shaun of the Dead’s slacker humour).  The reason it doesn’t fall into obscurity among the wash of other copycats is because the film stays light and merry while balancing morbid laughs.

Reviews

Wrinkles the Clown

When I hear the names “Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker” attached to a project, I drop everything I’m doing.  These two filmmakers are showcasing outstanding work in the documentary genre.  Their doc Welcome to Leith, about white supremacists targeting and flipping a small town into their own personal basecamp, was a terrifying look at the escalation of evil.  At first glance, their latest film Wrinkles the Clown looks to be as scary.  Their…

Reviews

The Lighthouse

After wowing audiences with his feature-length debut The Witch, writer/director Robert Eggers takes a big swing with The Lighthouse – a film with more specifications and fewer actors.  His latest film connected with many (our own Shahbaz Khayambashi loved it at TIFF), but it didn’t work for me.  I can appreciate the dedication of Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe (which translates into their memorable performances), but the actors are wasted on a movie that’s too muddled…