• Blood Flower

    Blood Flower


    "Disjointed" seems to summarize the common impression around these parts, though sadly not based on Blood Flower's abundance of bodily contortions.

    Much like its fellow Shudder original Terrified, this movie operates best as a showcase of of ideas and effects but feels incomplete in other regards—like cutting a moist, seven layer cake off-center and at an odd angle, extracting two random layers, and then accidentally serving what's left with a small dollop of sour cream instead of whipped.

    From first…

  • It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

    It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This


    As serendipity would have it, my missing a timed festival premier of this fresh found footage flick would only lead to an even cooler first viewing experience.

    After realizing my extremely limited streaming window had long departed, I frantically reached out to the filmmakers to tease out any other screening plans for their Queer Fear Festival Audience Choice award winning movie. Turns out streaming is a major exception for their viewing intents, and they'd rather produce a pop-up screening, whether…

  • Live Pilgrimage in Madrid

    Live Pilgrimage in Madrid

    MONO's music is simply the best balm for the soul. Was glad to catch the Chicago premier of this part-concert, part-narrative art film that celebrates the cinematic nature of MONO's instrumental post-rock compositions by incorporating beautiful visual sequences that are mindful in intent yet open to interpretation.

  • When Evil Lurks

    When Evil Lurks


    My introduction to Demián Rugna's work began just last year with a pre-Halloween viewing of Terrified (Aterrados).

    While I loved the ideas and visual execution, I felt shorted by its choppy, tangled storytelling which left me wishing the rich ideas and characters were given room to breathe in a serialized format.

    Since my slight disappointment stemmed from simply not getting enough, I had a feeling whatever came next from Rugna's camp was sure to be big, and he 100% delivered…

  • Sinister



    Closed out HoopTober X with a movie that gets mentioned quite a bit for being ooky spooky, and this certainly lives up well to that expectation.

    It's easy to see many thematic building blocks on display here that made Derrickson and Cargill such apt choices to bring The Black Phone to screen almost a decade later.

    Happy Halloween, and happy end to HoopTober, to those who celebrate!

  • Something in the Dirt

    Something in the Dirt


    My second to last HoopTober X watch serendipitously aligns with Halloween, so my waiting feels ever more like fate having intervened.

    This one will require a rewatch or two, as it continues to prove Moorhead & Benson's shared penchant for impressively lean yet obtuse storytelling that I'm drawn to so much. This creative duo has me rapt with nearly everything they touch.

  • Calvaire



    File this under "uplifting" ... NOT! Love a good depraved downer every once and a while.

  • Sweet Home

    Sweet Home


    Sweet Home is quite the playful misnomer for Kiyoshi Kurosawa's twisted little haunted house jam. This thing is rife with fun 80's effects (a la Poltergeist), striking sequences, and good escalation that leads to a bonkers conclusion.

  • Kids vs. Aliens

    Kids vs. Aliens


    Frenetic, overly crass, and monotone all at once. Constant obnoxiousness is a far more repelling than engaging energy level.

  • Shaky Shivers

    Shaky Shivers

    Charming and funny if stretched a little thin, but the chemistry of the leads and solid production value keeps it entertaining.

  • Sanctuary



    Sanctuary injected some darkly humored psychosexual thrills into my HoopTober X challenge in a tight and consolidated way that makes it feel inspired by and yet surpasses the likes of Piercing.

  • Superstition



    My 28th HoopTober X watch is a mean little flick that asks what if a woman executed for witchcraft actually was a witch who left a vengeful curse on her sleepy little town.