Story & Directed By: Oz Rodriguez 

Written By: Blaise Hemingway 

Cinematography: Blake McClure 

Editor: Sara Shaw & Alex O’Flinn 

Cast: Jaden Michael, Gerald Jones III, George Diaz IV, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Coco Jones, Joel “The Kid Mero” Martinez, Sarah Gadon, Shia Whigham, Zoe Saldana, Judy Marte, Chris Redd, Jeremie Harris, Imani Lewis, Jordan Tyson, Torre Alexandre, Adam David Thompson 

A group of young friends from the Bronx fight to save their neighborhood from gentrification…and vampires.

The film manages to have an opening celebrity kill to try to throw you off and gives the film some star power and sets out the gauntlet to show that anyone can be a victim in this film. 

My love for this film might be because it so a film That is so recognizably New York and relatable to ave rain extent when you come to the neighborhood and the characters. An element that is disappearing in New York and not necessarily modernizing. 

This is a movie made by a New Yorker for New Yorkers. The title gives away the plot but also gives it a sheen that seems like a gimmick or an exploitation movie title. That actually has a lot of heart and surprisingly a coming of age tale partially. While keeping the genre elements.

The film is kind of a modern-day urban  LOST BOYS. Even mimicking a scene from in the latter half of the film. Or even the film THE MONSTER SQUAD only all with vampires instead of a choice of movie monsters  If looking more for mood, this film is a horror, but the appeal is more aimed at teens who are the protagonists and heroes though more humorous. Offering a film for a neglects audience with crossover appeal. 

As this is an Amblin type film. It’s never scary and while it does have violence. it never gets too gory.  Tying into the STRANGER THINGS audience a bit.

A flavorful offering slice of life with colorful characters of color with a natural presence, personalities that make them charismatic.

The film is constantly humorous, while also horror in a kind of old school classic horror way. It’s a film that is nurturing and wears it’s Inspirations while trying to create some and subvert some coming of age cliches. 

A good gentrification analogy making it look more like a species battle or battle of the living undead. Following in Jordan Peele’s and George Romero’s social commentary or socially conscious genre filmmaking. A genre movie that informs while being a solid genre specimen itself.

The film presents an urban neighborhood. Not in a bad light for once but as a colorful, cultural fin and supportive community. A film obviously made by a resident or insider to the neighborhood. As the film isn’t stereotypical nor does it talk down to the audience or characters. As it remains a self-contained adventure with supernatural elements.

Like they don’t have enough to worry about day to day. Now the supernatural who want them exterminated for access to what they were never concerned with or thought they were too good for. Again Europeans trying to take over land cultivated by the locals for decades. 

Nice to see a film about a community coming. Together.

Satirizing gentrification taking over urban neighborhoods and spaces with new stores and posters that seems to take over and work like subliminal messages and inside jokes. Similar to those in the movie THEY LIVE. Not necessarily a message movie but has a minor one.

It’s like reading a young adult book, not necessarily the audience for the film but get into it nonetheless. Easily could have gone the exaggerated route of slapstick sort of HOUSE PARTY 2.

It’s nice to see people of color in this type of film and be the main characters. As I am all for more people of color in horror films. Though less as victims or the first one killed. And usually the only one in the film, usually the provider of illegal substances or drugs. Still desire more representation even though it still counts but more equal. If the victims and protagonists are in the same number. 

It’s only main weakness might be that it is a little predictable. Though it ends up being a fun rollicking adventure with characters you rarely see in movies especially this type. 

Grade: B

3 FROM HELL (2019)

Written & Directed By: Rob Zombie

Cinematography: David Daniel

Editor: Glenn Garland

Cast: Sherri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, Sid Haig, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Richard Brake, Emilio Rivera, Dee Wallace, Dot Marie Jones, Lucinda Jenney, Richard Edson, Clint Howard, Sean Whalen, Sylvia Jeffries, Kevin Jackson, Pancho Moler, Daniel Roebuck, Wade Williams, Richard Riehle, Tracey A. Leigh, Steven Michael Quezada, Danny Trejo, 

After barely surviving prison, the demented Firefly clan goes on the run, unleashing a whole new wave of murder, madness, and mayhem.

It’s understandable that this is a franchise that is popular. So while after THE DEVIL’S REJECTS one would suspect there would be no sequel. Here we find out the characters somehow survived the last film. Proving the success of that movie but also leaving this film with some pretty big shoes to fill.

Now the characters are serving life and lose another popular character. The film telegraphs itself with a reference to the movie DESPERATE HOURS to clue you in where it is going. So the first half plays on a variation of that. One escaped prisoner and an accomplice hold the warden’s wife and another couple hostage for the warden to breakout another prisoner. 

There are more requisite killings and implied rape rather than showing, but halfway into the movie realized this plays as more of the same. Which one would expect but the first two films at least tried to distinguish themselves and seemed to have reasoned. This film just seems to be ugly and showcasing brutality for the hell of it. The film realizes this a bit towards the middle then becomes a road picture that ends up featuring a stand-off in Mexico. Not before the film decides to show off these killers skills and let the guys have fantasy sex with willing females.

Some could argue it goes for realism. As the film stays grimy from head to toe, but also makes the Characters even the victims. Evil in their own way with intention. One can understand them not being innocent but in one scene does the warden have to do drugs and be revealed to be having an affair before eventually meeting his doom? Is it to show that the so-called straight-laced moral majority are just as dirty as those they preach against only they do their acts behind closed doors? Ok but as you are playing to an audience that already believes that. The sting just isn’t as sharp. 

The film for the few times it shows style still seems stuck on just trying to justify and dress up the requisite kills. While staying low brown it offering cameos to recognizable character actors.

It also seems like as each film seems to have a style of the past this more touches on the 1980s

As the film keeps all the ugliness that writer/director Rob Zombie seems to revel in and he can be a good filmmaker. When he seems to have more of a  passion for his material. What he is working on as at least with most of his movies he here is at least one memorable trait that makes them memorable. Here it seems more inspired than his last film 31 but still a placeholder more than anything. As we are left to bask in the carnage. Noticeably lower budgeted than the previous films 

The Motley Crue of horror movies what once might have been shocking and seen as breaking the rules cinematic outlaws now just seems familiar and a little out of touch but you still give a chance to as hoping to rekindle a flame or at least take a look back at the memorable times 

They all seem to have new chest tattoos 

Just feels like a NATURAL BORN KILLERS riff of serial killers on the run but not going too far and being written in a film Sam Peckinpah might have made as it turns into a western with a last standoff again 

Turns the ruthless savages into the heroes we are made to root for 

Grade: C-


Directed By: Kenny Ortega

Written By: Mick Garris & Neil Cuthbert

Story by: Mick Garris & David Kirschner 

Cinematography: Hiro Narita 

Editor: Peter R. Berger 

Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vanessa Shaw, Larry Bagby, Doug Jones, Charles Rocket, Sean Murray, Kathleen Freeman 

A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.

This film has garnered a cult following over the years. Unfortunately, I am not one of that crowd. Even though when it came out I was really looking forward to seeing it. 

By all means, this is a film one should hate, but I don’t. It’s not good but it is cute. Perfect for kids who should love it as it fits in with what would seem to be their fantasy. Mildly scary but not violent and it also includes all the ghostly elements of monsters. Not to mention that is who the film is made for.

It also is a throwback to when movies came out aimed at them that were goofy and maybe simple but relied on stars and not so many special effects.

Another reason it’s not a total failure is that it’s almost like watching a bunch of adults playing dress-up. The three main antagonists Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as a coven of witches watching them. As the witches from the past getting acquainted with modern times and mindsets are silly.

One can admit to having a weakness for Bette Midler movies. Just as some people have a weakness for Barbara Streisand movies. She is just an amazing performer and even as ridiculous as this is. She puts her all into it and seems to be having fun. Her and the cast are the reasons I even watched the film in the first place.

One of the reasons she did this film supposedly is that she passed in the film SISTER ACT. Which revitalized Whoopi Goldberg’s career so she took this hoping for a smash hit. Unfortunately, it bombed and it’s been rare that she has really been on-screen since. Yet over the years, it has become a cult classic.

The film is dated and gaudy but good for children. As it is simple and colorful. If it was made now it would have been a film that would have been a Disney channel original movie.

definitely, a children’s film that tries to be a bigger feature and modernized but ultimately is more a fairy tale or bedtime stories strictly for kids. There is nothing wrong with that. So that it is perfect for it’s core audience.

Directed by Kenny Ortega the movie has certain rhythms which other than having Bette Midler as the star there is a bunch of scenes that revolve around singing or music or group scenes of dancing or crowds moving together.

This is pretty much a Disney original movie you would normally see on their channel. Only at the time when they still made these features for theaters and got big stars to headline. So much bigger-budgeted and higher expectations. So at least it offers a family Film

It has an innocence yet remains dark to a degree. It’s a fun film that never quite got it’s due but finally seems to gain an audience every year due to it being entertaining. You can’t be cynical or dark. Go into this movie or you will miss It’s appeal and nuances

It has a feckless teenage romance story in it that goes nowhere except to maybe appeal to that demographic. Who wouldn’t be going to see this film anyway unless forced to. In the end, the film is perfectly harmless. 

Wait for it on cable or even television, but even they don’t play it that much. But really it’s a movie where looking at the poster you know what you are getting yourself into.

Grade: C+


Directed By: Rick Rosenthal 
Written By: Larry Brand & Sean Hood 
Story By: Larry Brand 
(characters) – Debra Hill & John Carpenter 
Cinematography By: David Geedes 
Editor: Robert A. Ferretti 

Cast: Bianca Kajlich, Katee Sachoff, Ryan Merriman, Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Luke Kirby, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Billy Kay, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jamie Lee Curtis

Serial Killer Michael Myers is not finished with Laurie Strode, and their rivalry finally comes to an end. But is this the last we see of Myers? Freddie Harris and Nora Winston are reality programmers at DangerTainment and are planning to send a group of 6 thrill-seeking teenagers into the childhood home of Myers. Cameras are placed all over the house and no one can get out of the house… and then Michael arrives home!

Director Rick Rosenthal previously directed Halloween II. 21 years earlier.

Originally, the executives of Miramax wanted to continue the series by creating a whole new story of which didn’t have anything to do with Michael Myers after the last film, in a similar manner to Halloween III: Season of the Witch. However, poll results conducted throughout fan websites proved to the producers that fans wanted Michael Myers to return again.

This film is quite a shame. The last film in the series that this ended up being at least as far as the old regime, untitled was set up with a re-imagining by Writer-Director Rob Zombie, The last film of this series HALLOWEEN: H20 was supposed to be the final film, but as that film was a huge success for Dimension Films, of course, they decided to make another film. Now while the last film was Noteworthy for the return of original star Jamie Lee Curtis. Who seemed only to come back to end the series. This film has her return for the beginning of the film only to quickly dispatch her like it is nothing. luckily, This proved to be the nail in the coffin for the series.

Jamie Lee Curtis agreed to do her part, only to make sure her character, Laurie Strode (or herself) wouldn’t appear in another sequel. (At the time of the film’s initial release, executive producers Malek Akkad, and Moustapha Akkad tried to explain it by claiming Jamie Lee Curtis “was so impressed with the screenplay, that she wanted a large part in it”. She has publicly stated that was not the case, she was under contract to do it.)

This film is like a time capsule of it’s time as it’s cast is filled with up and comers and some celebrities of the time (Tyra Banks, Busta Rhymes) With the technology of having cameras strapped to the actors in what was supposed to be haunted house live on the internet. Inspired most likely buy shows like GHOSTHUNTERS and MTV’s FEAR. which are almost precursors of what would become Found Footage Horror films. As the film goes along it is shot like a regular film, but then will break up to have scenes that come from the security cameras and the P.O.V. of the cameras strapped to the actors. Then as this footage is being broadcast over the internet, We get to see the reactions of the people watching it thinking it is fake, then realizing it is real, though never explaining how their opinions changed. watching it we get to see their appalled reactions and cheers and boo’s as the action plays out. While one member of the party tries to advise the final girl of the film via text on how to survive and where to hide. Though the audience is supposed to in a way represent the reactions of hopefully the audience watching this actual film.It feels more like an audience watching a video game, With extreme reactions and the cheering. So in a way With all these elements, it was also ahead of its time. Though it feels like the film is just filled with fads that it feels like a fad one-off itself.

It should come as no surprise that the film is bad, it’s nice it tried to have some ideas or something new, Though that isn’t good enough. Sort of like one of the more recent HELLRAISER films that tried to modernize the series by making the film a found footage film. This film lends itself more to the new technology, but it feels like a quick Cash-in that isn’t well thought out and just includes the necessary elements needed for the film. Truthfully it doesn’t even matter that it’s Michael Myers. It could be any slasher and the film would still play out the same way. Though in addition to the updates of the film. This film also seems to add definition to the mask of Michael Myers, but strangely it doesn’t truly feel like the character in his movements and demeanor which is truly the only way you could really tell anything about the character.

The film also tries to have a knowing sense of humor about itself, that is cute, but doesn’t really work. As well as references to things of the time that fall flat now, unless you were around and in the know at that time.

Some of the elements of the film are downright embarrassing, The Deaths are largely bloodless, Busta Rhymes at one point gets stabbed twice in the shoulder and looks like he dies that quick that instead of shocking or suspenseful actually comes off as hilarious. Also, one character’s death is off-screen and only is acknowledged as more of a shock popping out of nowhere. that seems to have been an afterthought, cut out of the film in the first place or couldn’t get the actor to come back.

Tyra Banks’ character’s death is possibly a deliberate reference to the head nurse’s death in Halloween II, with the pool of blood dripping onto the garage floor.

Several new endings were written during production and the cast was never sure how the film was actually going to end. Four different endings were filmed, and the director wanted the studio to ship a different ending to each theater, a technique used before during the theatrical release of CLUE. However, the studio disagreed and the endings now appear on the DVD and the Internet.

This film is a good starter film for those younger viewers who have always been scared of the more excessive horror films, or secretly want to build up their stamina for violence in films. As this film has all the typical cliches of a horror film. The fake scares the Just when you think you are safe surprise and the violence that is so light it could almost run on television and not have to make any cuts. It also includes just a hint of sex in the film that is flirted with but never follows through with and never becomes graphic.

In the end, the film never comes alive. It just feels plain and simple. No pizzazz that could have played as a straight to DVD title except that the series at the time still had some juice and was recognizable as a brand. Of course, as was common at the time the film is made more to appeal for teens and was more interested in scares more than violence and style.



Directed By: Steve Miner 
Written By: Robert Zappia & Matt Greenberg 
Story By: Robert Zappia 
Based on Characters Created By: John Carpenter & Debra Hill
Cinematograpy By: Daryn Okada 
Editor: Patrick Lussier 

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Harnett, Michelle Williams, Jodi Lyn O’keefe, Adam Arkin, LL Cool J, Adam Hann Byrd, Janet Leigh, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Branden Williams

On Halloween in 1963, Michael Myers murdered his sister, Judith. In 1978, he broke out to kill his other sister, Laurie Strode. He killed all of her friends, but she escaped. A few years later, she faked her death so he couldn’t find her. But now, in 1998, Michael has returned and found all the papers he needs to find her. He tracks her down to a private school where she has gone under a new name with her son, John. And now, Laurie must do what she should have done a long time ago and finally decided to hunt down the evil one last time. 

The film tries to write a check that it can’t cash. The film seems to try to say this is the Halloween sequel you have been waiting for. We even get Jamie Lee Curtis coming back to reprise her historic role. IT is worth it to see her again. They even brought in the hot screenwriter at the time of SCREAM to write it. Unfortunately, it oddly feels watered down or weak considering what the original 2 films were. 

This feels more like a homage that is more teen-friendly. I like the fact that it plays more on scares though only with one victim do we see the chase and the slaughter as most scenes are the chases or surprise appearance then we go to another scene and the discovery of the butchered body. The film does keep the promise of the series with a stark opening. It matched SCREAM with the killing of a star in the opening. The studio sold this film to the audience who never read the fine print. It is directed by Steve Miner director of films such as FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 & 3-. No great horror opuses. 

The film was started as and idea by Jamie Lee Curtis who wanted to return to the role and work with director John Carpenter again. Carpenter declined but Curtis was still interested in doing the film. Originally the film was supposed to be in continuity with parts 4 -6. Scenes were filmed that acknowledged it until it was better to be a continuation of the original film and its sequel. Kevin Williamson the star screenwriter at the time of Scream and Scream 2 wrote a very detailed treatment that the screenwriters followed the details of closely. It was rumored he actually completed a draft of the screenplay in close collaboration with Jamie lee Curtis. That included a detective role that was to be played by Charles S. Dutton who filmed some scenes but were ultimately cut out of the film. 

Janet Leigh makes a return to the silver screen for the first time in 18 years. I’m sure it helped to convince her to return to the screen having her daughter star in the film. This was the first Halloween movie to not involve Dr. Loomis What follows throughout this movie is a sanitized version of a horror movie. With violence only when the film is in danger of getting boring. 

This is like a starter horror film for the squeamish. It has plenty of winks and nods to the audience. Jokes without being an intentional comedy or actually funny. The film has plenty of false scares and the relentless Michael Myers pursuit hiding in the shadows. He even displays a bit of carnage. but the film seems more pinpointed. Not really for teenagers, but preteens with some objectionable material. This is also one of the movies that unleashed Josh Hartnett onto an unsuspecting public. 

I saw this film in a movie theater on opening night and the woman who was sitting next to me had never seen a horror film before and screamed at even the little stuff. That was scarier than anything in the film. The only reason this movie works is Jamie Lee Curtis’s realistic performance. 

 I have read the original script and treatment for this film. It could have been worse and Mrs. Curtis decided to do this film supposedly to help end the series. She filmed the ending here and another end which ended up being the beginning of the next film of the series. I believe she just wanted out once and for all. Either way Her killing of him, or him killing her. It’s a shame at the end of an iconic female character.

I like that at times the film tries to go more psychologically by having Curtis’s character have visions of him that she doesn’t know if they are from her drinking or just hallucinating from the time of year around Halloween which she seems to still constantly have. 

They set the location at a school but have everyone go away on a trip so that there are only a few people around left to be slaughtered. Instead of a grand blood bath. The confrontation scene between the two is pretty big and monumental as a fan of the films. Too bad the film falters and doesn’t support it. 

The film seems like a studio tried to mix everything that was successful in the films at that point and put it into this film. Even if it had no reason to be there just mash it up. Of course, they advertised this as the final film. They lied. 

So it feels like an insult even though we all suspected it. In this series of movies we all know that they are more supernatural than anything else with this maniacal killer who can’t die, but then to supposedly kill the character off so easily in the end and make us believe it is insulting as is the sequel which takes twists and turns when all along the series has seemed to be focused on Michael Myers going after and killing his family members and murdering anyone who gets in his way.

Though no answer is given to what happens after he achieves the goal or why. It is assumed he will be at peace. I just wonder then will he kill himself or go after distant relatives. Does he do investigations like a detective though his appearance will be sure to scare those in places where he can get paperwork and he has no interview technique to get testimonies. Does he have like a spidey sense to know where all his relatives are.


MOON (2009)

Directed & Story By: Duncan Jones 
Written By: Nathan Parker 
Cinematography By: Gary Shaw 
Editor: Nicolas Gaster 

 Cast: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Benedict Wong, Kaya Scodalario

Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet’s power problems.

Amazing for a Directorial Debut

This movie is all about subtlety, which is nice for a change. Not an action spectacle with a cast of hundreds. Instead, here there is a subdued mood that manages to amaze and shock at times while grappling at bigger issues.

This is science fiction that just happens to deal with science and technology. Whereas the film’s main emphasis is on character and mood. It also deals with the nature of identity.

Since we are dealing with a man on a mission. Mining on the moon as his mission is to spend 3 years Alone solitary except for a robotic companion. The film sets the deck early with the robot who has a sad monotone voice of Kevin Spacey. For people who are familiar with 2001: A SPACE ODESSEY. Might suspect where the story is going. It wants us To suspect him. So that we are expecting a HAL type of situation. Though that might just be a red herring

I went into this film virtually blind, so I didn’t entirely know what to expect. So the things that happen took me by surprise. Though if you see the trailer they kind of spoil it.

The film is a mind-bender. Not in a thriller way or continuous twists way, but in a more cerebral way. It asks you to imagine what if you were in the same situation.

For as much praise as I can give to director Duncan Jones. An equal amount must be given to actor Sam Rockwell too. This film is a virtual one-man show and Mr. Rockwell carries it well. He is always captivating never boring. The same can be said about the film.

The film makes several references to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODESSEY. GERTY looks and sounds similar to HAL 9000. They also have a similar dot: HAL’s is red and GERTY’s is blue. This film choreographs scenes in space to classical music, just as Stanley Kubrick did.

The reason i didn’t rate this film higher. I do feel this film is a modern classic. Though You have To be in the right mood to really enjoy and appreciate it.

This is definitely a film that is better seen on the big screen, unfortunately, I saw it on the small screen also at times it sucks being a film fanatic because you read high praise for the film and your friends go to see it and you expect so much from it and if it falls short of your expectations. It feels like a failure.

While this film is far from one. It wasn’t what I expected, but if you are a true film fan you will love it. The four harvesters are nicknamed Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – corresponding with the first four books of the New Testament in the Bible. Screenwriter Nathan Parker said that he just needed four names; no particular symbolism was intended.

It is certainly better and more influential than 80% of what else is actually out there. The film has a simple premise and very few sets. Most of the effects are actually models, but it’s ideas and scope are huge.

This is the type of film-making that has been missing from Sci-Fi really since the 70’s Duncan Jones is a major talent and I can’t wait to see his future films (he is also David bowie’s son)

Sam Rockwell gives a star-making performance as usual. I have been predicting greatness from Him. Since GALAXY QUEST and he has never let me down. Why he is not a star? I have no idea.

I like that this is the type of film you can go to blind and while you spend the movie trying to figure out what would happen next. You are having fun while watching the film and your thoughts luckily are not distracting you and you are willing to follow the film wherever it may lead. 

Grade: B+

YUMMY (2020)

Directed by: Lars Damoiseaux Written by: Lars Damoiseaux & Eveline Hagenbeek Cinematography: Dean Nieuwenhuits Editor: Pieter Smet

Cast: Maaike Neuville, Bart Hollanders, Clara Cleymens, Annick Christaens, Eric Gordon

Yummy is an orgy of blood, violence and fun in which a young couple travel to a shabby Eastern European hospital for plastic surgery. The young woman wants a breast reduction. Her mother comes along for yet another face-lift. Wandering through an abandoned ward the boyfriend stumbles upon a young woman, gagged and strapped to an operating table; she is the result of an experimental rejuvenation treatment. He frees her, but does not realize he just caused the outbreak of a virus that will change doctors, patients and his mother-in-law into bloodthirsty zombies.

It’s a fun little horror film that has gore galore.

The film is more explosive with it but isn’t an exploitation movie. Though it has the freewheeling sport of one. Where almost at any moment anything goes. As that is the unpredictable nature of the film. 

Though the film stays excessively violent it is also silly and nothing you haven’t really seen before. As the humor stays more on the juvenile side.

The film has good scares and starts it’s action pretty quickly and is over before you even realize time has passed. It stays that consistently entertaining. Even though after a while it just feels like an onslaught of violence. 

This is essentially a zombie movie that takes place in a plastic surgery clinic with a European flavor. That deals with infections and diseases that are timely for our current crisis and might not a little too close to home for some. 

What up’s the ante a bit is that while the initial survivors are getting picked off one by one. half of the characters are pretty much untrustworthy so while trying to survive some are not above sacrificing others and sabotaging some. So that they can either get away or to make sure if they survive nothing can happen. So there are quite a few double-crosses throughout.

One of the main male characters has to gain back his masculinity. Like every time he tries to show it something goes wrong or he is thwarted in his attempts to. He proves to be a klutz to the very end.

The film is creative but doesn’t offer too much most fans of the genre haven’t already seen. Though it does offer plenty of nudity including The penis scene is a standout of humor and bad taste. Which also seems to show the audience that no one passes out from immense pain. 

The film even has a Ryan Gosling lookalike seeming hero. Who takes a wrong turn at each juncture to be a hero.

Though The film ends up offering as many laughs as it does scares. The film has a very nihilistic ending that takes all the fun out of what came before or showering in a meaner tone. Asking to survive are we willing to forsake all others or condone them just for a bit more time of survival?



Directed by: Taneli Mustonen

Written by: Taneli Mustonen & Aleski Hyvarinen

Cinematography: Mheiajn Brooks, Daniel Lindholm, Callie Mcgregor & Dakota Saliwi Editor: Alexis Raij

Cast: Nelly-Hirst-Gee, Mimosa Williamo, Mikael Gabriel, Santeri Helinheimo mantyu 

Every camper’s worst nightmare came true at Lake Bodom in 1960 when four teenagers were stabbed to death while sleeping in their tent.

This is one of those movies that is ok, but there is so much potential for greatness that it possesses except for a few missteps that totally bold it back.

This is a Familiar horror film based on a true story of murders that happened in Finland. Only in the film the location is the same and it doesn’t say this is what happened back then, but the story is modern-day set and might have some ties to that case.

What works here is that the film keeps offering new twists that reshape the material. Some of these twists might feel a little familiar from other films, but it is still used wisely here. In fact, one wishes there were a few more.

The beginning of the film Feels typical and a little dull. Though luckily as the film goes along certain relationships between the characters are explained and how Their pasts intermingle. This more happens as an explanation for certain actions and acts. Though the actions seem like overkill. As does some of the logic of the characters but as this is a horror film. It seems like it is needed to move one element to the other.

The film is 60 percent perfect except for the beginning and the end. The end works in that it becomes a different type of film that foils any plans but then the film becomes the type of film you expected from the beginning which then makes it feel basic and erases all the exciting elements that came before it.

Which also leads to a more ambiguous ending. That the film doesn’t necessarily feel like it deserves or has earned. So that you have a film that tries to show a depth it doesn’t possess. Which is supposed to be similar to the teenage characters within it?

The film will be familiar to those who have seen HIGH TENSION or ALL THE BOYS LOVE  MANDY LANE. Which might be a spoiler itself, but at least here the enjoyment of the film doesn’t hinge on those surprises. Nor does it make you question the plausibility of what has been presented.

The violence isn’t particularly inspired. Nor is the film very gratuitous in it’s action or content.

The film isn’t a total waste. It just falls short of what it could have been. As it is pretty much a slasher with interesting twists and character histories. 

Grade: B-


Written & Directed By: Jeremy Gardenr 

Cinematography By: Christian Stella 

Editor: Michael Katzman & Alicia Stella 

Cast: Jeremy Gardner, Adam Cronheim, Niels Bolle, Alana O’Brein, Larry Fessenden

Two former baseball players, Ben and Mickey, cut an aimless path across a desolate New England. They stick to the back roads and forests to steer clear of the shambling corpses that patrol the once bustling cities and towns. In order to survive, they must overcome the stark differences in each other’s personalities. Ben embraces an increasingly feral, lawless, and nomadic lifestyle while Mickey is unable to accept the harsh realities of the new world and longs for the creature comforts he once took for granted. A bed, a girl, and a safe place to live. When the men intercept a radio transmission from a seemingly thriving, protected community, Mickey will stop at nothing to find it, even though it is made perfectly clear that he is not welcome.

More of an odd couple in a zombie landscape. Watching how the two characters survive, the situations they find themselves in while trying to find food and safe shelter along the way. Not real direction to a location.

The film also shows the forming of the relationship of friendship between the lead characters whose personalities constantly clash.

The film is darkly humorous at times and stark. It casts a spell on you with charm and depending on how you feel about the characters. Is probably how you will feel about the film.

The film feels like THE WALKING DEAD only focusing on two characters and leaves a lot of questions unanswered. More like a character study mixed in a zombie apocalypse film. Even though the zombie market is over-saturated on all kinds of the media market. It’s nice To see other views and stories to tell. It’s up to you to decide if they are worth watching and pursuing.

Its limited budget makes the lesser amenities on display give the film a realistic pallor and impresses with what is achieved with so little funding. Creating a vision and world. Director Jeremy Gardner raised the $6,000 budget for this movie by asking ten different friends for six hundred dollars each.

I really enjoyed this film. Even with it’s more modest kind of hipster touches that dips into Mumblecore a bit, but quickly redeems itself with its own identity and creating a cult character worth rooting for.

There are really only two characters though there are lots of scenes that have no dialogue though provide a catchy fun soundtrack of score that sets the scenes and mood.

Composer Ryan Winford used such unconventional instruments as a toaster and a beer bottle for the score.

What the film does effectively creates a world that you want to see more of, but cleverly does it on such a small scale it keeps you off guard to the rules and boundaries of it.

The film keeps managing to surprise as it’s tone turns from light comical to surprisingly dark with unexpected problems and resolutions. That feels more realistic than fantasy. Since it leaves you slightly off base.

Is it is only a coincidence that the four main characters are unintentionally named after famous mice. Ben (from Willard), Mickey, Jerry (from Tom & Jerry), Annie (from the Annie Mouse books)?

The film also leaves you with questions and ends with a kind of mystery that leaves it open for more or with a quaint ending that leaves more to explore and a knowledge that people still Inhabit it.

It leaves room for either a sequel or to further explore the world it is set in.

Grade: B-

THE LODGE (2020)

Directed By: Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala Written by: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala & Sergio Casci  Cinematography: Thimios Bakatakis  Editor: Michael Palm

Cast: Riley Keough, Alicia Silverstone, Jaeden Martell, Lia Mchugh, Richard Armitage 

A soon-to-be stepmom is snowed in with her fiancé’s two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations begin to thaw between the trio, some strange and frightening events take place.

The film’s Style is what becomes more memorable. As it seems set by the directors. The style and story feel similar to their first feature GOODBYE MOMMY. As this also is a slow burn thriller that seems to have an adult and two children secluded in close quarters with one another and seemingly needing each other to survive.

While one is up for a good slow burn in a thriller especially if it has a worthy pay off. This film comes off as dull. As it has many twists and turns that are shocking but also once we get to the end. You wonder why and the reasoning for the twists and turns make no sense and depends on the audience’s suspension of disbelief or the old adage kids will be kids. 

Though when dealing with a character who survived a horrific incident even before we are introduced to them. First of all, you wonder why the father would bring someone they were dating and knew had mental problems around their children who are already traumatized but then also leave them with her alone.

Sort of like the opening scene where we see the familiar face of Alicia Silverstone dripping ehr kids off to their father who tells her he wants to go through with the divorce and she just immediately locks herself in a room and Killa herself with little to no explanation. We in the audience are just left to assume she has problems with such an extreme act 

This film tries to be THE OTHERS only in reverse it feels. 

The film isn’t bad as Riley Keough again. Gives a shattering good performance. The rest fit eh cast do what they are supposed to do and the direction is on point but the script needs a bit of work. 

As the script seems made to fit the direction more than the story here. As it feels more conceptualized then lived in. This leaves the audience wanting more or at least to show the worm in supporting the film’s plot points. As the film comes off too vague then just ends.

Where as by the end. One can’t help what they enjoy or are entertained but here it feels like this film’s praise is more for style over substance. Even if in the end if for all the ingredients that work. It comes off as a letdown. 

Grade: C