VAMPIRES VS. THE BRONX (2020)

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-

HOCUS POCUS (1993)

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+

HALLOWEEN: H20 – 20 YEARS LATER (1998)

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.

GRADE: C

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?

GRADE: B

LAKE BODOM (2016)

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-

THE BATTERY (2012)

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 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

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+