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  • The Hills Have Eyes

    The Hills Have Eyes

    ★★★½

    A typical all-American family from Cleveland takes a detour on their cross-country trip to Los Angeles and has to fight for their lives against a troglodytic clan of mutant cannibals in Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes. Craven’s supplied subtext should be apparent already, and it’s just as shoddy and exploitative as the film’s form, direction, acting performances and production values. To (sub)textualize: a white middle-class nuclear family, blinded by the comforts of their own domestic privilege, briefly leave the…

  • Mill of the Stone Women

    Mill of the Stone Women

    ★★★

    Mill of the Stone Women’s success stems not from its adherence to seasoned plot points or genre signs, but because it uses an unusual backdrop to stimulate its otherwise traditional proceedings. Instead of a castle or mansion, the film’s haunted house—that is, the access point for outsiders into the dark history and trouble psyches of its family residents—is its titular windmill, located in a rural Flemish village. The mill also contains a ghoulish carousel exhibition with statues that depict deaths…

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  • Child's Play 3

    Child's Play 3

    ★½

    Child’s Play 3's first act suggests the series may overcome its stylistic and narrative restraints, but effective opening credits, moodier music and lighting, and a prologue centered around callous company men who only consider the bottom line cannot keep this movie from being where the Chucky franchise hits its nadir. This installment continues the franchise's incompetence, as the film undermines itself with a clumsy script that barely engages it challenge to established codes of upbringing, and poor direction that lacks…

  • Dracula

    Dracula

    ★★★

    Horror of Dracula is a superficial recycling of Bram Stoker’s novel for the broad, sumptuous strokes of the Technicolor feature film, and the results are a successful and slight charmer of a horror production. While Fisher’s film avoids Stoker’s use of the Count’s threat to examine various Victorian era anxieties, this is still the world Stoker created, only with characters, symbols and lore repurposed to sacrifice thematic depth for lavish sets and an impeccable Gothic atmosphere. Christopher Lee’s Dracula is…