By: Liam Parker Gripping, uncomfortable, and raw, Holy Spider is a captivating film that explores the moral pitfalls and conspiracies of the seedy underground of Iran.
By: Trevor Chartrand As far as unnecessary sequels are concerned, Fisherman’s Friends: One and All isn’t the worst thing ever made, but there’s not a whole lot of new material here, either. Fans will find this second film feels comfortably familiar, but lacking in some of the nuance and charm of its 2020 predecessor. But despite its shortcomings, this picture does deliver in the music department – with plenty of toe-tapping sea shanties to clap…
Falling for Christmas is Netflix’s kick-off for its seasonal programming and Lindsay Lohan’s return to headlining movies. It’s underwhelming on both counts.
Alex Phillips’ feature debut All Jacked Up and Full of Worms plays out like a never-ending string of hallucinations. It’s never clear what’s actually rooted in reality and the movie becomes so surreal, it’s impossible for it to return to normalcy.
By: Liam Parker Scary movies are supposed to keep us up at night. Things that go bump in the night and lurk beyond the shadows rob us of our ability for a good night’s sleep. John Farrelly’s The Sleep Experiment, however, has the opposite effect: it leaves you begging to close your eyes. But wait, the movie isn’t bad! You’ll feel the need to escape to slumberland in order to feel safe again.
By: Liam Parker Reminiscent of Jason Robert Brown’s hit musical The Last Five Years, The Swearing Jar takes the traditional tropes of a rocky relationship and turns them completely on its head. The Swearing Jar is a masterclass in storytelling. What begins as a beautifully sombre tale of love and heartache accented by musical interludes of haunting beauty, descends into a striking and refreshingly human tale of sorrow, loss, and grief.
Jordan Peele has quickly proven to be a filmmaker with a lot on his mind, which he then translates effortlessly to the screen. His intelligent writing for Get Out earned him an Oscar, and Us convinced audiences that Peele’s feature-length debut wasn’t just a fluke. Peele’s third film, Nope, allows the writer/director to expand his scope; both with his screenwriting and as a visual storyteller.
Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, Monkeybone, Coraline) is a gifted visionary. Even when his stop-motion animated movies become too outrageous or “out there”, it’s a pleasure watching him throw caution to the wind to create art. Selick has teamed up with Netflix and Academy Award winning screenwriter Jordan Peele (Get Out) for his latest stop-motion horror-fantasy Wendell & Wild, a freaky flick involving an orphan making a connection to the afterlife to make…
Toronto After Dark has been a great platform for short films to be showcased. Former Wylie Writes critic Shahbaz Khayambashi believed that the short selections were the festival’s strong suit and are sometimes better than the feature-length films – and I kinda agree with him.
If you’re looking for genuine scares, look no further. Evil Eye (Mal de Ojo in Spanish) is the real deal. Get ready for great special effects, maximum impact jump scares, and chills.