• Malignant

    Malignant

    ★★★★

    Malignant won't be everyone's cup of tea - but it wouldn't be as good if it were. For mainstream horror, this is pretty deranged, and it's admirable how unapologetically campy and silly it gets. James Wan has made a souped-up 90s DTV horror flick that looks stylish but still retains a playfully trashy spirit under the surface. There are a few flaws that are hard to overlook, mostly whenever the film unironically leans into any of the "emotional" material between…

  • Candyman

    Candyman

    ★★★

    Once again, this is why you should keep other people’s names outta ya mouth 🐝

  • The Night House

    The Night House

    ★★½

    Disappointing - for all the good here, chiefly Rebecca Hall's multilayered portrait of a woman strangled by grief and confusion, it's just not a very compelling horror film. Not helping is the fact the film doesn't know how to be scary, relying on turning the volume up and punctuating scenes with ill-placed jump scares. One of those "oh, it's a metaphor" type of stories, but I wasn't particularly enthralled with the conclusion, nor did it feel like the film explored anything by the end. A shame because Hall's clearly game, and the film has some great, creative cinematography and an effectively unsettling score.

  • Housebound

    Housebound

    ★★★★

    Unexpectedly good. The cocktail of ingredients here, which mixes haunted house chills with a deadpan sense of humor, probably shouldn't work together. But director Gerard Johnstone toes the line pretty well, never letting one genre overpower or undermine the other. It helps that the film avoids cynical satire and instead doubles down on toying with the expectations we bring into these types of narratives. And the plot never stops twisting - I was kept guessing right up until the end and never felt cheated by the reveals. Great cast, too. Didn’t love the final scene.

    I hope the American remake never happens.

  • Black Widow

    Black Widow

    ★★

    So that's what teen spirit smells like?

  • The Tomorrow War

    The Tomorrow War

    Edge of Tomorrow, sweetie, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry that an ugly ass bitch like this would even try to be like you.

  • Fear Street: 1994

    Fear Street: 1994

    ★★

    It feels absolutely nothing like the simple junk food pleasures gleaned from those cheap paperback novellas R.L. Stine would crank out at an alarming rate. Further proof that executives see any tie to intellectual property as inherently better than originality, even at the expense of fidelity to the source material.

    And while it might be trying to spin or comment on the structures and formulas of 90s slashers, it feels too much like a modern horror film with its overly…

  • No Sudden Move

    No Sudden Move

    It's hard to be objective with this one - I've spent the better part of this year working on another feature with a lot of the people who worked on this, and I consider many of them to be friends now. So to see that they were able to make this nearly at the height of the pandemic and see how good it turned out is immensely gratifying for me. It could've been terrible, and I think I would've still…

  • Speed Racer

    Speed Racer

    Somehow both the critics and the audience got this one wrong back in 2008. I’m not sure what everyone expected from a live-action Speed Racer adaptation anyway. Years later, and Speed Racer’s highly stylized, extremely idiosyncratic pop art pleasures are sorely missed at the megaplex these days. What I wouldn't give to have more summer blockbuster moviemaking of this caliber.

    This is probably the most successful live-action adaptation of an anime, capturing both the look and feel, especially in the…

  • Doctor Who: The Snowmen

    Doctor Who: The Snowmen

    ★★★★

    Aha - a great rebound from the last Christmas special! Moffat abandons the Christmas-ness of the past stories for a Yuletide tale that’s much more sinister, featuring carnivorous snowmen and an evil frozen governess who’s seemingly come back to haunt her former wards. The focus is more on plot than the holidays, and it’s a great story, a Victorian-era romp with a great sense of theatrical menace thanks to guest actors Richard E. Grant and Ian McKellan as the Great Intelligence. And Jenna Coleman really impresses here, keeping up with Matt Smith’s boundless energy and enthusiasm.

  • Doctor Who: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe

    Doctor Who: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe

    ★★★

    Call it the sophomore slump - whereas Christmas Carol was a great sci-fi adaption of the source material, this one only marginally catches what makes C.S. Lewis’ story perfect Christmastime material. Even Steven Moffat seems to recognize the story’s thin, so he compensates with an eagerness that’s not exactly insincere but doesn’t always work. Matt Smith works hard to give it some life, even if this isn’t his finest hour.

  • Earwig and the Witch

    Earwig and the Witch

    Hayao, come get your kid....