• Evil Dead II

    Evil Dead II

    ★★★★★

    I don't even know where to begin talking about how much I love Evil Dead II. From possessed people floating around the room wiggling their fingers to Bruce Campbell's contorted facial expressions, this film has everything. While the pacing in the previous Evil Dead was all over the place, this one jumps right into the action not two minutes after the opening credits. I also love how the very loose story of this film takes place as though the first…

  • The Evil Dead

    The Evil Dead

    ★★★★

    Oh the camp! The glorious camp! Sam Raimi's Evil Dead is one of those films that if you broke it down and judged it based solely on the criteria that make a good film a good film, it definitely wouldn't pass the test. It's ridiculously campy, while some of the effects are convincing, most look silly, the acting is terrible, and the pacing is all over the place. This being said, The Evil Dead is an absolutely fantastic movie. Because…

  • Spring Breakers

    Spring Breakers

    ★★★★★

    "Spring Break. Spring Break forever."

    Even though this film was marketed as just another cliche college party movies (which is a genre I generally hate), in actuality, it's much much deeper than than, and certainly much darker. Harmony Korine is a genius, and there's no two ways about it. He's definitely not for everyone, but he's a master at what he does, and Spring Breakers is an excellent example of that.

    One thing Harmony Korine does excellently is show juxtaposition…

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    ★★★½

    Robert Weine's Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is not only the foundation for the German Expressionist movement, but also is arguably the first horror film ever made. While it may not stand up to our definitions of horror films today, when it was released almost a century ago, it was undeniably a tale of psychological terror.

    While I wasn't particularly captivated by the storytelling or pacing, the set pieces and makeup are excellent. The surrealist style sets and chiaroscuro lighting typical…

  • American Movie

    American Movie

    ★★★★★

    My roommate showed me American Movie after we happened to see Mark Borchardt at a screening of Rosemary's Baby in the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Student Union. He was just kind of there, sitting in the back, watching the film and my roommate said, "Dude, I think that's Mark Borchardt," and I was like, "Who?" So when we got back, he put on American Movie and now I know who.

    It's probably one of the most simultaneously charming and inspirational…

  • Rosemary's Baby

    Rosemary's Baby

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    This is a really really great film. There's no other way around it. Rosemary's Baby is such an intricate film. Every little detail means something, and going back and thinking about certain things that seemed meaningless at the time, I now see how they fall into place. It could be as simple as John Cassavetes's facial expression when Rosemary tells Guy that she's pregnant, or the way a shot of Minnie is framed. Polanski pays attention to every single little…

  • The Descent

    The Descent

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I would venture to say that Neil Marshall's The Descent is one of the most effective horror films made in the last decade. It's agonizingly paced (in a good way), perfectly suspenseful, atmospheric, and pretty legitimately scary. However, it's much more than a creature film. It's a story about the unraveling of the human psyche and and friendships under a horrifying life or death situation. This film is incredibly well made. The claustrophobia builds the farther the characters descend, often…

  • The Rite

    The Rite

    ★★★½

    This film gets a lot of flak, and I'm just going to go ahead and make the unpopular statement that I really like this film, despite a few problems that it has. I'll start with its strengths though. First and foremost, it's got a great cast. Anthony Hopkins, Toby Jones, Rutger Hauer, and Alice Braga all deliver solid performances of a pretty decently written script. Anthony Hopkins absolutely steals the show, unsurprisingly, and he may be the sole reason that…

  • The Exorcist

    The Exorcist

    ★★★★½

    This is the film that set the standard for all exorcism movies made in the past 40 years. Unfortunately, a larger majority have failed to live up to what The Exorcist accomplished. It's deliberately paced, well written and acted, incredibly well scored, and very creepy, despite the years and subsequent desensitization to gore and disturbing images due to improvements in special effects. It's still delightfully disturbing to watch young Regan slowly have her body and mind taken over by the…

  • The Host

    The Host

    ★★★½

    The Host is a pretty solid film, overall. It's well made, it's got a great cast, and for the most part, it works on multiple levels, as a monster movie, comedy, drama, and a political commentary about the ineptitude of the Korean government and the unwelcome presence of the American military in South Korea. It has some problems as well, though. It has some pretty dramatic changes in tone throughout, and these transitions are not seamless, making certain scenes awkward,…

  • Pulp Fiction

    Pulp Fiction

    ★★★★★

    This is yet another one of my favorite films of all time. I love Quentin Tarantino, and I'll watch pretty much anything he puts out, but Pulp Fiction is his absolute masterpiece. I have so much that I love about this movie that I'm having a really hard time getting it all straight in my head and organizing it into a concise flow of consciousness. Pulp fiction is really the perfect film. It's got everything, from script, direction, cinematography, cast,…

  • Weekend

    Weekend

    ★★★★★

    Weekend is my second real exposure to Jean-Luc Godard and I loved this film. It's a darkly comedic, surrealist social commentary on class struggle and Godard executes incredibly well, with great levels of both tact and skill. There's a lot to take in with Weekend, and my first viewing left my mind running back and forth between all the little details, so my review probably isn't going to be too detailed. This is definitely a film that requires a couple…