ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES (1993)

Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld 
Written By: Paul Rudnick 
Characters Created By: Charles Addams 
Cinematography By: Donald Peterman 
Editor: Jim Miller & Arthur Schmidt 
Music By: Marc Shaiman 

Cast: Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, Christina Ricci, Christopher Lloyd, Joan Cusack, David Krumholtz, Carol Kane, Jimmy Workman, Christine Baranski, Peter MacNicol, Mercedes McNab, Sam McMurray, Dana Ivey, Nathan Lane, Harriet Sansom Harris, Charles Busch, Peter Graves, Cynthia Nixon, David Hyde Pierce, Monet Mazur

On any day of the week, you could expect a newborn baby to be nurtured and loved by his older sister. Except, of course, if it’s Wednesday. Pubert is the latest addition to the Addams family and, to prevent sibling rivalry escalating to fratricide, Wednesday and Pugsley are shipped off to summer camp and a nanny is hired. Debby Jellinsky is great with wrinkling baldies, which makes her the perfect nanny for Pubert and the unlikely wife of Uncle Fester. The question is…”Is she grave-digging or gold-digging?”


This is an underrated film. One of the rare sequels that excel over it’s original. Though here they seem to have more room to explore the world that the characters live in, but also the culture clashes.

The first film seemed to try to be more loyal to the fans of the television show. While trying to set a tone. Here the film is allowed to have its own personality, the actors also seemed more relaxed, laid back, and energetic. making the characters their own and not so much an imitation. Everyone seems to have found their groove.

Directed with flair and an intricate style that is assured.

The cast is superb. This I believe was the great Raul Julia’s final good role definitely better than M. Bison in the film STREET FIGHTER.

Christina Ricci deserved a best-supporting actress nomination for her work here. She steals the film. She makes Wednesday three dimensional, sadistic and quite witty.

This is also the first time I remember a Peter MacNicol performance and the prey time I remember seeing Christine Baranski as an actress.

The Addams family always struck me as strange of course the ultimate goths, by what were they? At least with THE MUNSTERS, you knew who or what they were supposed to be even though they came off as normal just happen to be monsters in appearance. With the Addams other than a cousin, it and thing and maybe lurch the butler, who appeared to be a zombie. The others appeared normal just macabre. I mean if you had I guess Fester was a mad scientist, Grandma was a witch Morticia dressed like a vampire, but could also be seen as a witch who just never cast spells. But Gomez was always a question mark. All you knew about him was that he was wealthy and energetic. More like a game show host mixed with a use car salesman and mortician.

because of films like these being so successful, it had the trend of films being made of old television shows and cartoons. This worked as it garnered a new generation of fans. While not being so far removed in years from the shows Initial popularity that there was still a sizable audience for it. Mistakes films like SPEED RACER made (while that film also had more of a cult following)

This film is a clever mixture of dark comedy, surrealism, slapstick, and satire. This is one of the films that made me realize why I truly embraced dark humor.

The only problem I have ever had with the first two Addams Family films is that the theme song for the updates was always tied into whatever pop star was popular at the time tieing in their hit songs style to fit the theme. Hence for this film whoop the Addams family there it is by tag team. Who’s hot the previous year was whoop there it is. This seemed to be common for tent pole franchise movies at the time. I still have frightening memories of the music video from hammer and the original movie theme the Addams family. Done in a more upbeat dancing style of music.

Michael Jackson was signed on to write and perform a song for the film’s soundtrack and to promote it with a video. Although he was able to finish the song, contractual difficulties coupled with the child molestation allegations made against Jackson resulted in the song being dropped from the soundtrack, and the video was never filmed. The song, “Is It Scary,” was later included on Jackson’s 1997 ‘Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix’ album and was also used in his short film Ghosts.

This film does everything right by bringing the Addams out more and exposing them to the public in daily life. Mixing with regular everyday citizens. Making it more of a culture clash comedy. That reaches it’s highlights at the Wednesday and Pugsley being forced to summer camp. (A genius idea) That ends with a classic comic set-piece celebrating thanksgiving.

Adding more than just makeup to the character, Morticia Addams is always lit separately from everyone else in a scene. Her lighting always consists of one beam of light across her eyes that gradually fades outward to add to her grim look.

The film reaches more comedy apex with the scenes involving Joan Cusack as a nanny out to seduce Fester. She is her regular brilliant comedic self as the homicidal gold digger.

When Fester announces his engagement, Morticia makes an overt reference to the ring worn by Debbie being the same one in which Fester’s grandmother was buried. Debbie slyly whips out a shovel, adding a literal component to her character’s “golddigger” status.

Carol Kane, who plays Grandmama, is almost a year younger than Anjelica Huston, who plays her daughter, Morticia Addams.

The reborn baby Pubert doesn’t work but needs to be there for Cusack’s character to enter the picture.

Some of the jokes are more of the moment and seem to make a stab more pop culture at the time. That brings a nostalgic feeling for those who remember the times. Though might be lost on others.

I can’t help but love this film and I really think it is a dark comedy the family can enjoy and have fun with. I remember seeing this film twice I. Theaters and even knowing all that would happen. This film still made me enjoy it as much as the first time.

Grade: B+

KISS OF THE DAMNED (2013)

Written & Directed By: Xan Cassavettes
Cinematography By: Tobias Datum
Editor: Taylor Gianotas & John F. Lyons

Cast: Josephine De La Baume, Milo Ventimiglia, Roxane Mesquida, Michael Rappaport, Anna Mouglalis, Riley Keough, Jonathan Caouette

The vampire Djuna resists the advances of Paolo, but soon gives in to their passion. When her trouble-making sister unexpectedly comes to visit, Djuna’s love is threatened, and the whole vampire community becomes endangered.


I went into this film semi-blind as all I knew was it was about a vampire. Which has been a bunch of films lately. Though I decided to give this own a try just because of the title really. I can admit I wasn’t disappointed and more impressed than anything.

The film has everything going for it. Except the story and script could have been stronger.

I will say this is one of the sexiest vampire films I have seen in a while. In fact one of the sexiest films I have seen recently. This is what I felt the Tony Scott film THE HUNGER should have been.

The way teenage girls lust over the TWILIGHT books and movies is how I felt watching the film.

It has a look, mood, and atmosphere. It’s editing is perfect and characters that all feel right. The cast is sexy, but it only approaches its greatness. It seems on the right path then stalls and goes elsewhere. When it could have been a classic.

It’s not as flashy as most modern vampire films seem to be. Which seem to involve more action, romanticism, violence, scares, and chills.

This film has some of those qualities but is more subtle. Finding it more of a homage to the films the main character watches. Classic Gothic horror films and European 70’s sexy films. Breaking boundaries of what is expected, but being more atmospheric. Lending itself to romanticism and maintenance of the relationships.

Updating the vampire legend and setting new rules for it. While exploring their place in modern society. Like a less campy TRUE BLOOD in a major city and not so many characters.

It’s a love story at heart with European flair and shows what talent can do and what is possible on a limited budget.

Josephine De La Baume is a revelation and truly makes you feel sorry for her tortured existence before having you fall in love with her as she is a romantic at heart who is lonely.

Roxane Mesquida is pitch-perfect as her sister. The temptress a perennial bad influence. As she gets everything started on a bad road. Initially, her being in the cast of this film is what helped me to watch the film in the first place.

Despite the film’s shortcomings. It still feels like something special and much credit is due to writer-director Xan Cassavettes.

I Believe this film seduced me, while I was looking

 Grade: B

THE BABYSITTER: KILLER QUEEN (2020)

Directed By: McG
Written by: Dan Laguna, McG, Brad Morris & Jimmy Warden
Based on characters created by: Brian Duffield
Cinematography: Scott Henriksen 
Editor: Martin Bernfield

Cast: Judah Lewis, Jenna Ortega, Emily Alyn Lind, Bella Thorne, Andrew Bachelor, Robbie Amell, Hana Mae Lee, Ken Marino, Chris Wylde, Leslie Bibb, Samara Weaving, 

Two years after Cole survived a satanic blood cult, he’s living another nightmare: high school. And the demons from his past? Still making his life hell.


I was wasn’t expecting this but there was a part of me that was expecting this movie. Now while I enjoyed the first film in this franchise a lot more than expected. I didn’t know if it really had legs for more sequels.

This film is just as fun as the first film but a lot dumber than the first film. This film seems to know what type of film it is and goes full tilt with its own distractions and humor. No matter how stupid or illogical it could be.

If you are a fan of these types of films and want to have a good time and be entertained then this film is for you. As it seems to continue In Director McG’s wheelhouse of horror and sci-fi films for Netflix that have teenagers or preteens at the center of everything. Though this film and the first babysitter film feel more money he works or inspired by director Joseph Kahn(DETENTION)(BODIED) who has more of visual flair and quicker cuts when it comes to editing.

As this film seems to be missing a certain element. Maybe the dynamic of having Samara weaving on screen more made the film a little more believable and watchable if even just for her charisma in the role.

Here it is almost a repeat of the first film only at a different and bigger location and a twist in the story that seems there to make room for a new character and leading lady for the main character. Though we have the same characters returning from the dead to try to sacrifice the main character for a blood ritual that will make them Immortal.

This is an interesting premise, but as they return they are just as easy to kill as in the first film. So again they are dispatched in a similar manner only here more gruesome and grotesque.

The new main villain is just as close as the babysitter was int he first film and the film tries to also sex her up more in tight and revealing clothes which is the first amongst other clues in the film before the big reveal that they have become evil. What is interesting is that at least they kept the new leading lady Jenna Ortega cute but dressed normally and sarcastic but a hard ass. So she is the opposite of the villain though has the dirtier look.

We see How the original crew was recruited which offers a distraction. Visually but seems like they were recruited in the 1980s more even as the film and the last one was more modern. This just seems out there as a stylistic choice but then also disrupts the continuity of what we know from the original film, but then again this isn’t the type of film to take seriously.

Though most of the cast from the original returns. It is actually nice to see them and their characters. As they remain hilarious and it is nice to catch up with them and learn a little more about them and their pasts.

The film never takes itself seriously and doesn’t expect the audience to either. As the film constantly shows or uses inspiration from the past or other movies to power scenes and the soundtrack. 

This movie feels lien CRANK 2 where it takes all that was from the first film And cranks it up as more for a spectacle that while not going to make any cinematic elitist lists is a fun time and a proper guilty pleasure. That you wish was just a bit better though that might take away the charm. 

The film tries but doesn’t come close because it seems to kind of pander to what it believes the audience wants more of rather than have more of a clear plan and structure. 

So it becomes kind of what it is parodying. Where you can tell when someone is trying to be something or someone that they aren’t to try and impress and while it’s entertaining at first it becomes sad and obvious quickly. Whereas if maybe it was itself from the get-go the audience would come and get to k ow it and appreciate it for it’s sincerity and truths. Though if you are a fan of splatter and gore in your horror. You have come to the right place.

Samara weaving does return for this film in more of an extended cameo. The film needed more of her. As whenever she comes on screen she seems so smooth and takes over her scenes. That when she is gone it only exposes how hard others are trying to just be as good and memorable.

It seems like in most teen horror films I see Bella Thorne always has a death scene. It would be nice to see her survive in a horror film. As here yet again she seems typecast.

The title seems to imply there is a queen when in fact it just seems to have that title as either claiming Samara Weaving’s character is a queen of the kill or tied into the and Queen’s recent popularity or trying to imply that this film is full of campiness. While the film is full of humor, sarcasm, and cynicism. Nothing is truly campy in this film 

Grade: C

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (2014)

Written & Directed By: Jim Jarmusch 
Cinematography By: Yorick Le Saux 
Editor: Affonso Goncalves 

Cast: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Jeffrey Wright, Anton Yelchin, John Hurt

A depressed musician reunites with his lover, though their romance – which has already endured several centuries – is disrupted by the arrival of an uncontrollable younger sister.


As with most Jim Jarmusch films. Though it seems singular. The film is very open especially when it comes to mood. It’s subtle, but on-screen in each film are ideas. Not grand blockbuster dreams, but a working intellectual imagination. You watch and soak in the rich surroundings cascading all over you so that you never want to leave as they feel like nourishment that you have been deprived of for way too long. Making decadence look full and grand. Finding beauty in a certain run-down ruin.

Setting up a universe full of history, interests, and obsessions. Strangely the film feels timeless and luminous. Philosophical as always, two survivors surveying the world. Seeing the changes and not sure if they necessarily still belong, but keep going. Fueled by the memories of each other’s company.

This might be the most romantic film I have seen in a while. A visual poet. The film feels like it has a texture of rich ambiance like chocolate. But admirable this is the first of his recent films drawn to more than usual. It’s not as penetrating as I hoped it would be. Not as wild, nor luckily not as subdued as I feared also.

Tom Hiddleston proves as an actor he is more than Loki and his likable performance was more than a fluke. This is a relief as I believe Michael Fassbender was in talks to play the role.

The film feels personal like a thinly disguised opinion piece as all humans are referred to as zombies mindless and unenlightened. Vampires as geniuses are seen as tortured, punished and persecuted though they’re obsessive, artistic students of time and the world and work for the better. As they study and have a singular nature. Don’t worry as much about impressing and fitting in. The eternal outsider.

There was some action in the film at first. But when Jarmusch was asked to add more he instead removed all of it.

One of the attractions of the film is Tilda Swinton’s voluminous hair. It seems a valentine to her. Maybe a thinly disguised one. As she has collaborated with Jarmusch before, Here she finally gets a leading role in his film and is the stronger character of the two leads. More of the take charge and sees to wear the pants, more the caretaker. Whereas Adam you can tell cares and loves but seems self-destructive, Selfish, and indulgent. Though he seems to be a poet only with music and has plenty of fans who worship him and will be remembered as eternal as his art lives on. Though he wants to personally be left alone and disappear.

The word “vampire” is never used throughout the film.

Saving the world as an antique from itself. As time passes vampires seem to just witness the evolution as time passes and there is no real end. As when you talk to them they can only tell you what they miss from before. The vampire’s point of view seems to go back to the original. Back to the original beings with its characters named Adam and Eve.

In the first draft, Eve was 2000 years old and the druid of a matriarchal Celtic tribe. Adam was 5-600 years old. Jarmusch decided that Adam and Eve would be aware of each other’s true age so he argued they have no reason to state it in the film.

The film makes you wish you could stay a bystander be a witness in their world. Framed with luminous handpicked classic tunes that carry the film’s flow making it move through the air like a vapor.

Although Jim Jarmusch wanted to shoot this movie on film and has a general distaste for digital cinematography, he had to use the Arri Alexa for budgetary reasons. He managed to work with low lighting and specific lenses in order to come up with a look he found acceptable enough to work for him

One of the books that Eve packs for her trip to Detroit is a catalog of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work. Jeffrey Wright played the title character of the movie BASQUIAT.

Mia Wasikowska brings a youthful energy tad eve’s bratty younger sister. Who acts an feels like an adopted undisciplined child to the couple more than anything else. She also seems to represent the more youthful, young easily bored constantly in motion. Modern-day sensibility versus old school classic.

It seems with vampire films as of late to include a younger dangerous wild sibling (KISS OF THE DAMNED, BYZANTIUM ) just to ad complications or an adversary. An old soul companion it feels like this film will become a cult film. Found on the shelf of college-aged film aficionados and hipsters looking to spout enlightenment and feel deeply.

The film feels like a white stripes/Jack White album. Soulful, romantic, powerful, classic abstract yet rambunctious. Hypnotic watching it the film is like being under a spell.

The camera is not sticking around. The camera can be still and roaming at the same time as we journey through the Decadent graveyard of Detroit, taking place at night. See their obscure beliefs being themselves without others to obscure it. As they roam like two enlightened functioning junkies.

Though the film mostly stays interior. The film manages to be worldly and international. As like the leads, this film feels like it’s a collector picking up artifacts along the way to represent memories.

The film performs like a muse stunning in it’s beauty and fills you with an almost obsessive passion that you can’t describe. Yet gives you a feeling that will always make you remember as it makes it’s an impression, Though always feeling natural like it belongs.

We all have to go on for our own survival in the end. so we save ourselves as the old living off of the youth to stay alive. If you are a fan of Jarmusch’s Films this is a definite must-see. It might even work as an introduction to his films for those who have managed to miss his previous films. Either way, it’s a nice addition to his library and your home library. As for once though a love story, it also shows a sense of history and revels in ideas.

 Grade: B+

IT: CHAPTER 2 (2019)

Directed by: Andy Muschietti

Written by: Gary Dauberman

Based on the novel “IT” by: Stephen King Cinematography: Checco Varese

Editor: Jason Ballentine

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, James Mcavoy, Jay Ryan, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone, Bill Skarsgard, Jack Dylan Glazer, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lilis, Jaeden Martell, Xavier Dolan, Jess Weixler, Peter Bogdanovich 

Defeated by members of the Losers’ Club, the evil clown Pennywise returns 27 years later to terrorize the town of Derry, Maine, once again. Now adults, the childhood friends have long since gone their separate ways. But when people start disappearing, Mike Hanlon calls the others home for one final stand. Damaged by scars from the past, the united Losers must conquer their deepest fears to destroy the shape-shifting Pennywise — now more powerful than ever.


While the film is certainly entertaining. This is barely a film as it does love up to it’s Title. As it feels more a continuation or Second half. Rather then a movie of It‘s Own merits that could stand up without part one. 

As there is information to let us know about the characters and their motivations. It really more helps if you have seen the previous films

The film feels repetitive. As each of the characters faces their defeats or are terrorized individually. They each go through a horrifying adventure. Then the film moves onto the next character and this takes up a good amount of running time.

It also seems to still treat the character of like who stayed in town and is the only African American character with short change. He gets them all to come back and has theories but has little else to do. As he is haunted but we barely see him or what exactly he is haunted by as much. 

The stars are all here to play the Adult characters. They all do good with the characters though Bill Hader is the one who stands out the most and gives off the strongest impression. As well as a kind of unrequited love story and a deeply held secret that it seems no one else knows nor is really revealed to any of them.

While certain aspects are left out of the film from the book that serves as motivation stronger in the book but not in the movie. Bill’s wife is majorly Absent from the film and she plays a big part in the finale of the book. Though she seems Removed to give more romantic tension between the characters of Ben and Beverly

Though it is funny when the movie is filled with all these stars and one of the lesser-known acting leads played by Jay Ryan is actually the one who has the more traditional movie star looks and is supposed to be the grown-up version of the overweight character.

The film is more scary and terrifying then violent though the few times there is violence it is shocking especially when towards children who are dispatched in rather shocking yet similar ways.

The opening scene of the movie seems random And unneeded though does give the film. A certain ugly reality and informs us of it feeding off of fear, anger, and hatred. Though it still makes the opening hard to watch.

Director Andy Muschetti is certainly able and good with visuals but while the film feels rich but seems to lack a proper structure. So that whole it feels freewheeling and random and sticks to a story. It allows itself to jump around. Which is convenient but might confuse the audience.

There is no three-act structure and even when absent that this film tries to get off on atmosphere which gives a scary vibe that quickly becomes repetitive and even if it has art film Aspirations it would generally be about something. This film is supposed to be about endings. Though it stretches them out until it seems more about making cheap thrills then General quality entertainment. It feels like entertainment that tries to seek itself overwhelmingly towards agreeability and worse feels somewhat manipulative trying to make the audience get forget the points it is skipping. Instead of trying to make them even feel constantly in a challenge or a game. Forgetting This is a film and we are supposed to be watching a story.

It’s a continuation. It doesn’t feel like a film of it’s own. That can be enjoyed and understood independently. It needs the previous film to be a whole. So even as a sequel, it can’t stand up on it’s own two feet. So while entertaining it is never it’s own entity. No matter how it’s Presented or forced to be

In the end, this is a fun horror film to watch that whole gruesome still feels more mainstream, but luckily has stars to distrAct but also achieves the mood and scares it tries for.

Grade: B-

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK (2019)

Directed by: Andre Ovredal
Written by: Dan Hageman & Kevin Hageman
Screen story by: Guillermo Del Toro, Marcus Dunstan & Patrick Melton
Based on the series of stories by: Alvin Schwartz 
Cinematography: Roman Osin
Editor: Patrick Larsgaard

Cast: Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Abrams, Austin Zajur, Natalie Gamzharn, Dean Norris, Lorraine Toussaint, Gil Bellows 

On Halloween 1968, Stella and her two friends meet a mysterious drifter, Ramón, and uncover a sinister notebook of stories.


I remember reading this book when I was young and the book is a children’s classic and finding out that they were making it into a film

Seems more like a decision that would excite many generations and bring them nostalgia. As the film finds a way to include certain stories that then become part of an overall narrative.

What might be a little problematic for the film is that it plays more to a younger audience as that is who will generally be scared, but for others who might be of a certain older age. They may find the film a bit dull and too nostalgic. As the film is made with great grandiosity and set in the 1960’s 

Most of the protagonists are teenagers and while there are adults around them very few become the center of the story or that important to it. Even Dean Norris’s character seems here more as a symbol. Though doesn’t have much to do.

Though it feels more like what the Goosebumps movie should have been. Don’t get me wrong the film is macabre for a film. More set for children, but it also comes off as almost feeling like a light version of a Stephen kind adaptation. As the material feels rich but the way it is presented feels a bit juvenile. Where it can’t make up it’s mind who it would rather serve.

The editing also gets a little too annoying at times with it’s Rapid cuts that aren’t Needed especially in early dialogue scenes.  The film rarely shows a death or any real violence but does show or hint at gruesome fates for certain characters.

The film itself is entertaining but considering Guillermo del Toro produced the film you might expect more then what is offered. As again the film offers a certain richness and even good special effects. It even knows how to build tension but maybe as some of us grew up on it. It also feels too familiar to really feel different or too original. This is a minor problem whereas it is perfectly fine it feels like it could have been better. 

The film sets itself Up for a sequel that sadly doesn’t seem Like it is ever coming but could be an effective television series. Even if not it has a nice ending that leaves just enough wonder and sympathy as well as satisfaction at a story well told.

Grade: C+

DOLLS (1987)

A group of people stop by a mansion during a storm and discover two magical toy makers and their haunted collection of dolls.

Directed By: Stuart Gordon
Written By: Ed Naha
Cinematography By: Mac Ahlberg
Editor: Lee Percy

Cast: Ian Patrick Williams, Stephen Lee, Guy Rolfe


This is a sick film. That keeps a creepy tone by showing disgusting graphic violence but keeping a child-like mood and innocence while it is happening. From the score to the colors of the background it is an achievement and scary at the same time. Which is why I openly admire this film.

I remember first hearing about this movie on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT at 10 years old. They showed an infamous scene, Where a character who is dead with no eyeballs holds up doll’s eyes as they’re own. A true show stopper in the film. It was shown on E.T. as a story about over the top violence in films. Which made me want to see it in the first place. I got my wish 5 years later when I first saw this film at first on television in a censored version and became so fascinated by it I hunted it down to see the full Uncut theatrical version. Watching it I was horrified but happy

It’s a very macabre film but for horror aficionados definitely a must-see.

The film Stars the very likable Stephen Lee. The film is about a little girl and her abominable Father and stepmother who get stranded on a trip and end up staying overnight at a bed & Breakfast until they can get they’re car fixed in the morning, As the night goes on another driver and two punk-rock British hitchhikers end up stranded there too. The elderly couple who run the place have a collection of antique dolls that the little girl adores, But the doll creeps everyone else out as do the elderly couple and as the night goes on, They’re fears come true as not everyone survives the night.

The film was actually filmed after RE-ANIMATOR but before FROM BEYOND and used the same sets but it came out one year after FROM BEYOND because the Doll Special Effects took so long to master that once it was done it was decided to keep it on the shelf for another year. The producers wanted more gore in the film and were actually filmed but the footage was thrown out once all agreed that it really didn’t fit the tone of the film. At one point Stuart Gordon considered making a sequel but unfortunately abandoned that idea as he thought this film spoke well enough for itself. Though he did really like the characters and felt a need to see what they were up to after all these years.

I find it funny that the films Screenwriter wrote not only other horror films such as C.H.U.D. II and TROLL but then went on to write Disney Films Such as HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KID and now writes biblical films. He did at least stay within that fantasy and Fairly tale world.

One of the reasons this film is enjoyable is it feels like a dark fairy tale. It takes a premise you have seen before and injects it with some originality. This is for the most part an unpredictable film. It’s not like similar films that followed in it’s wake such as CHILD’S PLAY and PUPPET MASTER. Both of these are fine films but in a totally different way as those films are more literally one line movie plots Killer toys. Whereas this film takes you into an otherworldly universe.

This is a film that deserves to be part of your film library.

GRADE: B+

THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS (2014)

strangecolor

Written & Directed By: Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani
Cinematography By: Manuel Dacosse
Editor: Bernard Beets 

Cast: Klaus Tange, Ursula Bedena, Joe Koener

Following the disappearance of his wife, a man finds himself on a dark and twisted trail of discovery through the labyrinthine halls of his apartment building. Led on a wild goose chase by cryptic messages from his mysterious neighbours, he becomes entangled in a hellish nightmare as he unlocks their strange fantasies of sensuality and bloodshed.

Continue reading “THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS (2014)”

CHILD’S PLAY (2019)

Directed by: Lars Klevberg
Written by: Tyler Burton Smith 
Based on the screenplay “CHILD’S PLAY” by: Don Mancini, John Lafia & Tom Holland
Based on the “CHILD’S PLAY” Story By: Don Mancini
Cinematography: Brendan Uegama
Editor: Julia Wong & Tom Elkins

Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry, Tim Matheson, Gabriel Bateman, Beatrice Kitsos, Ty Consiglio, Carlease Burke, Mark Hamill

After moving to a new city, young Andy Barclay receives a special present from his mother. a seemingly innocent Buddi doll that becomes his best friend. When the doll suddenly takes on a life of its own, Andy unites with other neighborhood children to stop the sinister toy from wreaking bloody havoc.


This film is still as ridiculous as the series but more like the later films rather than the originals where it was far fetched but still more of a thriller.

This time Chucky isn’t possessed by a devil-worshipping serial killer. Instead, he just is a doll that has artificial intelligence and has his safety protocols turned off due to a disgruntled factory worker. So the dolls friendly nature is taken to obsessive extremes here.

The ridiculous nature of the film actually works for the tone of the movie. As it never truly seems to know what it wants to be more of a horror or comedy or more a kind of horrific am lin film with young teens as the heroes of sorts 

Chucky uses tech more as his murder weapon or his control over it. That is his weapon of choice most times or as his accomplice, though he still does good old blades also especially when in doubt.

Chucky here is more obsessed with Andy as his best friend. As he and his mom just moved there and he has no friends and his mother is dating a jerk. Once Andy becomes more popular and Chucky is dumped to a certain degree, more because of his behavior. He chooses to frame Andy while simultaneously exterminating all close to him with a believable case against him.

One particular standout is when one character who throughout the movie is a victim ends up being killed multiple times. Mainly because he seems to be not that moral. 

One murder feels personal and mean. Even though also provides laughs. Though it kind of ruins the whole mood of the movie seems to put in there for that reason. To signal a mood change and for not all the victims to be bad people.

Aubrey plaza is given a more normal role here though is still left with little to do. Her sarcastic humor works here but is barely used. It is also hard to believe that she would be so gullible throughout. Yet her character stays always fetching.

The violence feels wackier. It seems like it’s there more to either be excessive and funny the more ridiculous the better,  it then wants us to treat it seriously or be shocking after a certain point.

The film lacks the original spirit of the first film whereas this goes more form comedy and Learning. About friendship with plenty of violence. That it feels more like a studio driven film

Where they try so hard to modernize it and update it that it is missing its own identity. Clearly made for more. This is why this is not a sequel and the creators of the other series of CHILD’S PLAY movies are continuing their own on television. While allowing this to be Its own separate entity.

Grade: C

HELLBOY (2019)

Directed By: Neil Marshall
Written by: Andrew Cosby 
Based on the dark horse comic book “HELLBOY” created by: Mike Mignola
Cinematography: Lorenzo Senatore
Editor: Martin Bernfield

Cast: David Harbour, Sasha Lane, Milla Jovovich, Daniel Dae Kim, Ian McShane, Sophie Okonedo, Kristina Klebe, Thomas Haden Church

Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.


This feels like a dumbed-down version of the story. Though might be more In tune with the original comics.

I am not a fan of the first original HELLBOY movie but can say it was more artistic and beautiful then this film. Even if at the time it played as typical as far as the story went. HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY was better nearly a masterpiece in my eyes.

I at least respected it as it felt lacking a strong villain and instead offered an introduction of characters. 

One of the nice things I can say about this film Is at least it’s Violent and it feels more epic than the original that might end because it actually has more Locations then the original. It also jams in so many creatures that it feels stuffed and cross-referenced many times. Though at least while the Guillermo Del toro version of the first film was more mystical and beautiful even if it lacked a compelling story. This one is more Action oriented and full of story and mythology.

Like many would have preferred a sequel with the original filmmakers but the studio decided to try to modernize it instead and reboot it. Unfortunately with the departure of Ron Perlman in the title role and the director/writer Guillermo Del Toro this comes Off as a desperate copy that is never sharp.

Ron Perlman’s portrayal of the title character felt more lived-in and impressive. David Harbour’s performance seems more laid back.

The reason I eventually watched this was to see Sasha Lane’s interpretation of Alice. She adds to the culture and atmosphere of the film

The film definitely feels otherworldly and is best to watch on a big screen.

This film makes you appreciate the original and it’s more practical special effects. As this is CGI overload that does feel more like a comic book. Though without the texture and depth. So that this comes off more commercial.

Director Neil Marshall supposedly had a hard time making the film and the producers took it over after his initial cut. You can tell as the story gets short-sighted for more Action and effects. Leading to it at times being hard to follow or distracted itself.

The film has a strong mystical fantasy story with a bunch of exposition. That makes it feel overstuffed and too long with stretches of little to no excitement.

The performances throughout are spotty. Considering all the people involved in this movie expected it to be a bit better.

I enjoy Milla jovovich as an actress but with her casting, this feels more like another disposable special effect fantasy horror film

She usually appears in and frankly not as inventive. Though she gives one of the better performances. 

This film already had an audience against it as the original al is so memorable and iconic and this reboot coming so soon that it feels like a dumbe down version and even when it was released

it wasn’t heavily advertised as much as movies like this usually are more In theater advertisements then public ones. I didn’t even know it’s Release date until the week before it actually came out 

Though based on original material this feels like an amalgam Of many fantasy tales and movies out there though al the action, special effects, and horror. It still manages to be boring.

It feels like an animated film come to life or amusement park inspired meant to impress a younger audience. But too harsh for them. 

Grade: C-