Favorite films

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  • Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge

    ★★

  • Violent Night

    ★★★½

  • Orphan

    ★★★

  • Anna and the Apocalypse

    ★★★

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  • Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge

    Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge

    ★★

    Scare Package II is ostensibly an anthology, although unlike other anthologies there's about as much time devoted to the overall framing device as there is to the individual shorts. Like its previous entry, the general vibe is horror comedy with extreme emphasis on comedy.

    The elevator pitch is basically "What if V/H/S by way of the Wayans' Scary Movie Franchise?" It's a horror comedy *about* horror, which means it is indulgently meta and self-aware (though one gets the sense it…

  • Violent Night

    Violent Night

    ★★★½

    It's always nice when one of these edgy Christmas movies is actually good. It's easy for this genre to tip over too far into bleak nihilism or grindhouse exploitation that look at the Christmas setting as either a marketing gimmick or something to be deconstructed in bad faith (I feel this way about Bad Santa and by all accounts this is where the Mel Gibson swing at similar material, Fatman, ended up). But Violent Night is very much a traditional…

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  • Werewolf by Night

    Werewolf by Night

    ★★★

    Werewolf By Night at once shows the breadth and limits of the MCU's particular brand of filmmaking.

    On one hand, it's a bold departure from standard cape and cowl superheroics: Werewolf by Night is a black and white ode to Hammer films and Universal Classic Monsters. Deaths in this short shower the scenery in blood. There are monster busts of beasts and demons felled by hunters, and every implication is that the MCU is - unbeknownst to The Avengers -…

  • Malignant

    Malignant

    ★★★½

    It's hard to talk about films that I feel are important and that I liked but are decidedly not "for me." And Malignant definitely falls into that category.

    The film feels like it's James Wan trying to create his own unique aesthetic of horror/action/comedy in the vein of Sam Rami. That is to say: He's not aping Rami's style, here (there's no POV shots or snap zooms or three stooges comedy cast against a horrific backdrop for absurdism). Instead, Wan…