Directed By: Shana Feste
Written By: Shana Feste, Kellee Terrell and Keith Josef Adkins 
Cinematography: Bartosz Nalazeek
Editor: Dominic Laperriere 

Cast: Ella Balinska, Pilou Asbaek, Clark Gregg, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dayo Okeniyi, Betsy Brandt, Amar Sotomayor, Amanda Jaros, Amy Doyle, Ava Grey 

After what seems to be an innocent date, Cherie now faces a night of terror when her date hunts her down and tries to kill her. She now must run for her life throughout the city and escape his grasp.

This is another blumhouse thriller production and like most production companies the film can go either way.

I really had some hopes for this film as it stars Ella Balinska who I remember from CHARLIES ANGELS and was impressed with her in that film. So I was looking forward to her playing the lead in this film.

Now coming from Blumhouse, I already expected a thriller or slasher or horror of some kind. This film went way over the top and instead of it being all the more impressive for it. It went the other direction and was more ridiculous.

It has a message and plenty of ideas and tries to show a woman overcoming oppression and the male gaze shown in examples but basically personified in one character. Who instead of being just one man who seems impossible to kill. Is not only the personification of misogyny but also supernatural. 

So In other words it’s impossible to kill no matter how hard she tries and he seems to be aided and abetted by various males around him. As he allows them to always stay ahead and keep their power over females. 

Though truthfully once she meets him And her being on her period she is dripping blood and he bends over to put his fingers in the drops on the floor. That should have been all she needed to know to avoid him.

The film is lower budgeted so there are some effects but a lot of telling and reacting but not exactly showing. Like when he takes on a gang of her friends we hear the fight but are only privy to the aftermath.

The film also has scenes where characters who would seem to be important to her and the story are killed pretty quickly and senselessly for shock value. Which seems to want to give the message that no one is sacred and that this film is willing to break rules and expectations. Unfortunately not in a good way.

The film overall just feels like a waste of time. A nice premise but definitely needed to be filled out a bit more or at least added some subtlety or even humor.

Grade: D


Written & Directed By: Joe Begos
Cinematography: Brian Sowell 
Editor: Josh Ethier 

Cast: Riley Dandy, Sam Delich, Jonah Ray, Dora Madison, Jeremy Gardner, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Abraham Benrubi, Graham Skipper, Kansas Bowling 

It’s Christmas Eve and Tori just wants to get drunk and party, but when a robotic Santa Claus at a nearby toy store goes haywire and begins a rampant killing spree through her small town, she’s forced into a battle for survival.

A punk rock trashy horror film, that indulges in all that is a naughty bit of violence and gore excessively. That plays as a slasher massacre for an hour.

While the first thirty minutes is what seems like an endless set-up of characters. As the reason for the killer, Santa Claus comes and goes so fast that it’s almost an afterthought. Then the film just goes forward with nary a hint of backstory.

It is obviously meant to be more of a love letter to 80’s horror films set during the holidays. Though it seems more like a quick exercise in excess.

A kind of anti-Christmas movie that does match the director Joe Begos’s style and interest. Which I am usually a fan of, but oddly doesn’t feel like it works this time all the way through. 

The Death scenes are more excessive than creative or too noteworthy. Luckily the film moves quickly and might remind the audience of a kind of rock n roll Rob Zombie horror film only without the more artistic flourishes and visions of grandeur. Though the director Begos does add slight sci-fi flavor or b-movie indulgence by making the killer Santa practically a more terrifying Terminator, only in a horror film. 

The film is modern but could be made in the 1980s trashy. So that it feels a bit retro. It seems like It’s going for fun at least in the first half of the film. As the first 20 minutes seem like exposition little of which ends up mattering. 

It seems an attempt to explore a friendship on the verge of becoming more. 

The film has low-budget action that keeps the audience interested with a high body count. That proves that no one is safe or sacred.

The film feels more like a film to watch to pass the time. A popcorn movie of sorts may be nice to play in the background. As it is easy to follow visually.

The film isn’t too inspired or inspiring. It actually feels like a quickie. It’s a movie, movie.  Nothing too deep is meant to be taken seriously. 

The conversations feel like Twitter-type ones. Where the dialogue is supposed to be cool but it never does. Even with hip characters. 

These horror films are supposed to be Empowering for women. All these skilled so-called warrior men in horror films. Who can barely stop the monster or slasher, maybe not even cause a dent, but a so-called regular woman who uses her head ends up defeating them in the end. Becoming the final girl. 

That character used to be kept virginal to make them Saintly or sex but diluting thoughts or bloodstream as well as a duality that was special or made them different. Usually, a way to please religious rights or moral codes is by being exploitative but the one pure makes it to the end. Even after the trauma of losing friends and/or family with great losses. A weird extreme scared straight. Here the female is sexual 

In the end, this should be a fun dream fantasy project, but it’s bogged down in bad dialogue. To lead to some uneventful hookup and a long introduction for disposable Characters where only one truly lasts.

Grade: D+


Directed By: Christian Duguay
Written By: Dan O’Bannon & Miguel Tejada Flores
Based On the Short Story “SECOND VARIETY” By: Philip K. Dick 
Cinematography: Rodney Gibbons 
Editor: Yves Longlois 

Cast: Peter Weller, Jennifer Rubin, Roy Dupuis, Andy Lauer, Charles Powell

A military commander stationed off the planet during an interplanetary war travels through the devastated landscape to negotiate a peace treaty but discovers that the primitive robots they built to kill enemy combatants have gained sentience.

I remember seeing this trailer many times before movies in 1994 and when it finally came out. It barely gets a release. I didn’t even get to catch it at the discount theater. Once I managed to see it on cable. 

when it comes to Sci-Fi if the story fails you. You usually hope that the special effects will carry you through. Now when this film was made CGI was just beginning but even looking at this film in that context the effects are horrible. About the same quality of SyFy TV movies.

Watching the trailer the film looked a bit thrilling yet simplistic. I was intrigued over the years to finally watch this film as I have not always been a fan of sci-fi films. So I figured to give this one a chance, bad decision.

One of the things that lured me to watch the film was the stars. Peter Weller has a strong look with a mysterious presence. Yet a leading man charm. Who never got his chance in the spotlight and Jennifer Rubin. Who seemed more cast in b-movies whose career I have followed since the movie THE CRUSH. Followed her from career highs and the many lows of her career. This is one of them.

Their budget seems to have gone into bad special effects. Bad investments all around, as the locations seem to be three sets and the desert.

The acting is laughable other than the main two cast members, especially the villain of the film.

The twists and turns are predictable. The ending guarantees a shock but is not as big as the film thinks it does.

In between the action scenes, the film seems to be trying to be satirical and send a message that comes off as empty. This is a shame Since the film had Been more realized and had a major overhaul, especially behind the scenes. The film could have had a chance to be good or at least somewhat decent. Better than what it is now. Unintentionally laughable. A waste of time that actually leaves room for a sequel.

Scenes such as how Peter Weller character goes on and on about how much he loves his wife and family But seems easily tempted away

Grade: F

FLIGHT 7500 (2014)

Directed By: Takashi Shimizu
Written By: Craig Rosenberg 
Cinematography: David Tattersall
Editor: Sean Valla 

Cast: Ryan Kwanten, Amy Smart, Leslie Bibb, Jamie Chung, Scout Taylor-Compton, Jerry Ferrara, Christian Serratos, Johnathon Schaech, David Banner, Nicky Whelan 

Flight 7500 departs Los Angeles International Airport bound for Tokyo. As the overnight flight makes its way over the Pacific Ocean during its ten-hour course, the passengers encounter what appears to be a supernatural force in the cabin.

This is a movie that was filmed years ago and only is now getting released due to whatever reasons. This becomes obvious as the film goes along. 

This was a film I had my eye on over the years as the premise sounded interesting then the film seemed to disappear. 

The major problem with this film is that film is all built up almost like a prequel. Though seems to falter when it comes to an ending as it seems like the filmmakers were forced to change it or couldn’t come up with a satisfactory ending. 

As the ending seems to try to be profound, but then goes for a cliche cheap scare.

What the film has in its favor are recognizable actors. Which gets you excited about their appearance. Though here the film gives them random character roles for no reason as none of it makes a difference in the film. Or gives us a reason to care. Even in the film’s direction, it chooses to focus on characters randomly. Not Even as victims. So that while it might seem more realistic if this was a slasher film. The film ends up being it seems just as less than everything else in the film. 

Strangely though the film manages early on to play up the suspense and even some thrilling aspects from time to time throughout then after a certain point it just runs out of steam. As it then just seems to go in the wrong direction.

As the film has some moments of horror and seems to go that way. Then it seems to want to work off of some strange conspiracy and enlightening moments like some unused plots of the TELEVISION show LOST 

It is strange as even on the DVD it has previews for films coming out this year as well as films like THE LAST EXORCISM 2.

In the end, the film is not worth it. 

Grade: D+


Directed By: David Bruckner 
Written By: Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski
Story By: Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski and David S. Goyer 
Based On The Book By: Clive Barker
Cinematography: Eli Born 
Editor: David Marks 

Cast: Odessa A’Zion, Jamie Clayton, Adam Faison, Drew Starkey, Brandon Flynn, Goran Visnijc, Hiam Abbass 

A take on Clive Barker’s 1987 horror classic where a young woman struggling with addiction comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon the Cenobites, a group of sadistic supernatural beings from another dimension.

The film is perfectly fine as a kind of reboot or sequel to the original series of films and certainly better than the more recent sequels. Though in certain ways it fails. 

Not entirely it’s its own fault. As the film for all the gore and new directions. It plays strictly modern and is hard to be as shocking or as disgusting as the original two films.

Those films were not only shocking but identifiable as at heart the story was a kind of pulp story with otherworldly elements. That seemed to bathe in the cruelty of the aspects. While showing a story of obsession and manipulation. Where truly the only innocent character survived. 

Then through it, all the special effects were revolutionary and revolting so much that you could feel the pain or wince as to what it was like. Sort of like when men hear stories of anything happening to genitals. 

Here the film tries not so much as the original did, but is left with something that while violent feels typical, and if this franchise needs updating they seem to be going in the right way. As they need a balance of lore, story, gore, and effects that balance each other out. As to not seem too exploitive which then has the film feeling lopsided.

Here the film is serviceable enough with the main character with a past and makes the storyline convoluted more than it needs to be. Seeming to want to have a detective story, but in the end little mystery and while cruel bit cruel enough. 

Jamie Clayton makes an interesting new pinhead. Though the chest design makeup in certain lighting reveals itself to be more of a made up than organic. Though that is a nitpick, she and the cenobite designs are on point.

What also hurts the film which is common in general is that we don’t care much for these characters. As they barely make their presence felt. The lead is ok because we spend the most time with her. When she loses her brother that is the only time the film seems to touch on something that approaches an actual emotion and is believable. The other characters you try to but could care less. Especially her boyfriend.

Give the film a try, but don’t expect to be blown away. As this is Hellraiser for a new generation but definitely won’t over-shine the original. Even today still feels shocking.

Grade: C+


Written, Directed & Edited By: Ti West  Cinematography: Eliot Rockett

Cast: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis, Brenda Cooney, Lena Dunham

During the final days at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, two employees determined to reveal the hotel’s haunted past begin to experience disturbing events as old guests check in for a stay.

This film has the classic feel of a ghost story. Which can be rare in a film set in modern times. Though this one about ghosts set in a dying hotel. Actually gives it a parallel throughout. 

The film has a few scares but like writer/Director Ti West’s previous film THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. He prefers to take his time to build tension and take it to its breaking point and then reveal things. Here he can’t be accused of phoning it in or trying the same formula. 

The film isn’t as exciting as you would think it would be and still leaves the audience with quite a few questions but still feels satisfying. 

As the film is small-scale and revealing as it goes along. Though not much happens in the film. It still manages to affect you. The cinematography is immaculate, especially in the tracking shots of such a small location. 

Though we follow Sara Paxton’s character. We never truly learn that much about her. Though once in a while we get some perks into her past. We superficially get to know her and her co-worker played by Pat Healy. 

We never get to know them deeply. So when everything starts going down. Though we are scared and scared for them as human beings. We feel nothing truly. As we might feel for leads in most horror films that we have a connection with. 

I will admit to not being the biggest fan of ghost stories or haunted places films. Which tends to feel like you are just waiting around for things to happen a lot of times. Followed by a scene or two where it finally does and that is about it. This one managed to keep my interest.

Grade: C+


Written & Directed By: Declan O’Brien 
Based on characters created by: Alan McElroy
Cinematography: Michael Marshall 
Editor: Stein Myhrstad 

Cast: Jenny Pudavick, Tenika Davis, Kaitlyn Wong, Terra Vnesa, Sean Skene, Blane Cypurda, Dan Skene 

A group of college students gets lost in a storm during their snowmobiling trip and takes shelter in an abandoned sanitarium which, unbeknown to them, is home to three deformed cannibals.

While I enjoyed the first three films of this franchise. The first was a grisly run-of-the-mill horror film that felt like a B movie. The second one was more fun and had a sense of humor about itself. It Rarely took itself seriously and was more exploitive. The third tried to put a twisty action noir tale into the horror fold. Which was an interesting mash-up yet felt very dirty.

This is why this film is kind of a disappointment. Instead of going in a more creative direction. This film feels like it ran out of ideas before it even got started. Even though this film is a prequel to the first three. Which maybe should have stopped as a trilogy. 

The only new part of the film is that it is set in a huge seemingly abandoned hospital and in the snow. So there is less terrain to deal with and a single location. Most things about this film are bad, even the ending which one has seen before in the film 2000 MANIACS (The Remake) so it comes off derivative.

This film tends to focus more on the gore and torture aspect to a disgusting degree. That feels unnecessary knowing that the film doesn’t have much going for it in the form of the story. As it plays out like the storyline of the previous films only different in single locations as everyone is slowly hunted down. They even have two graphic sex scenes that while erotic and titillating feels out of place and unnecessary. Here again more bringing an exploitive sheen to the film. It truly is the only noteworthy part of the film.

The deaths while gory the effects at least seem to work. Whereas the Villains’ makeup looks like makeup and like they are just wearing masks.

Not that I’m complaining but making the human fondue. Just goes on too long. Making it distasteful as the whole film is the kills and sex scenes are just gratuitous. I understand you want things to stand out but it just seems too much. Not that I mind it but it advances nothing and makes you wonder how often lesbian characters need to have sex all the time. Sure it’s sexy but unnecessary

Trust me,  just skip it 

Grade: F


Directed By: Joe Lynch
Written By: Al Septien & Turi Meyer
Based On Characters Created By: Alan McElroy
Cinematography: Robin Loewan 
Editor: Ed Marx

Cast: Erica Leerhsen, Henry Rollins, Texas Battle, Aleska Palladino, Daniella Alonso, Crystal Lowe, Ken Krizinger, Steve Braun, Kimberly Caldwell

A group of reality show contestants find themselves fighting for survival against a family of hideously deformed inbred cannibals who plan to ruthlessly butcher them all.

This is a straight-to-DVD sequel and just like the original no matter how gruesome the action and violence get you can’t take this film too seriously.

This sequel seems to revel more in everything the first one couldn’t show you. Here you get to see the full mutants a lot and often. You get to see a mutant birth, a mutant baby, and mutant sex. So here it is almost like mutant porn. As there is even a graphic oral sex scene between humans. Which was itself very shocking. In fact, it’s the most shocking thing in this whole movie. Which is one of the main reasons the movie might be unrated.

This film also seems to have fun with killing off people we would normally assume would survive. It also tries to be a satire on reality television. Even the. Had been done to death, especially with HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION coming out around the same time.

The special effects are disappointing even with this film having a lower budget than the first. You can see the effects looking poor, but they still give it the old college try. Like the little engine that could the film rolls on with an I think I can attitude.

The film offers no performances of note. Other than following movies like SCREAM and having a star die in the opening moments. Who could have easily been a star of the film. To throw you off guard but you kind of expect it. As it allows their haters in the audience a sort of sick death wish and offers a cruel shock to that person’s fans.

This film again is more macabre fun than anything. Especially if you are a fan of horror with its nod to many classic and cult horror films it knows it will never be as good as. That tries to deepen the myth of these mutants and show more of their survival.

The film is obviously an homage to 1980’s horror films and sequels. 

Just like most sequels, it offers more of the same, only more extensive and more often. Sacrificing set-up as you know what is going to or supposed to happen and characters. As no characters ever really return for the sequels even if they survive.

 Grade: C


Directed By: Michael Cohn 
Written By: Tom Szollosi & Deborah Serra
Based on the story “SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS” By: Jacob Grimm & Wilhelm Grimm 
Cinematography: Mike Southon 
Editor: Ian Crafford 

Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Sam Neill, Monica Keena, Gil Bellows, David Conrad, Brian Glover, Anthony Brophy

In this dark take on the fairy tale, the growing hatred of a noblewoman, secretly a practitioner of the dark arts, for her stepdaughter, and the witch’s horrifying attempts to kill her.

Interesting telling and reversal of the well-known fairy tale. Here it is much darker.

Though made on a low budget makes it appears to be an affordable production of the tale. Where much of the budget seems to have gone into costumes and set design.

Sigourney Weaver is the only truly interesting performance in the film. They give her character an exciting arc. She blames Snow White for the deterioration of her wedding To her new husband by acting like a brat. Then causing the death of her unborn child. So she takes all of her rages out on Snow White. Getting revenge so that Snow White must flee to survive. She even seduces Snow white, intended..

It would have been interesting if the director decided to pull the film into a genre. Such as horror, action or even just plain old thriller, but he decides to keep it dramatic. 

Making the film seem more theatrical only on location. This brings no thrills to the film at all and ends up making it rather dull than anything else. 

Considering most of the audience knows the story. It would have been wise to add something surprising other than a fuller backstory for a character’s motivations. 

The film is in desperate need to entertain the audience and throw them off guard. As it seems to attempt that then gives up after that one twist. 



Written, Directed & Edited By: Jane Schornbrun

Cinematography: Patrick Carbone

Cast: Anna Cobb, Michael J. Rogers, Holly Anne Frink

Alone in her attic bedroom, teenager Casey becomes immersed in an online role-playing horror game, wherein she begins to document the changes that may or may not be happening to her.

The experience of watching this film is like being on The internet and following a person or story randomly at times but more focused. Watching this on an actual computer or laptop one can imagine would only enhance it and make you feel more immersed.

The film uses what you know already to help tell the story. How loneliness feels and an obsession can take over. The desperation in making a connection. Changing your identity to fill A role. 

The film remains creepy throughout. Making the simple so scary and disturbing. Keeping an alienating mood. Yet feeling so personal. 

You keep waiting for something worse to happen. That is the atmosphere of the film. Which is powered by your imagination and fear. In a good way not as a cheap ploy commonly used in subpar PG-13 studio horror films.

Where not only do the trailers offer the sin of giving too much away in the preview but also the feeling it might as well have gone full rated R. So it doesn’t feel so restrained. Not to mention would make the film somewhat memorable if even just for the more naughty parts and probably would have made as much money either way. Which still wouldn’t have been enough but I guess the studios hope teens who are sneaking into other films will buy tickets or who want to see more mature movies but can’t get tickets to a rated R movie settle for Disturbing and intense more mentally even though it is framed as a game. As we are offered clues and details in the background that only a few are acknowledged and come into play. 

It might remind some of the early 2000s indie cinema.  Where once in a while really felt creative and innovative. While seeming more like a more mainstream shell. 

Told through the camera. Not necessarily through complete scenes.

It’s the intention of what we are used to from traditional narratives. It tries to subvert the ordinary and flow. Even watching the videos of one character strangely feel opened to more than just the character 

Though most of the images and material are minimal. Yet the film sets your mind a blaze as to what could happen.

Hard to exactly explain the film other than to say it is more cerebral and for the adventurous. As it is definitely not for everyone 

Grade: A-