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  • Captain America

    Captain America

    ★★★

    #52FilmsByPOC 2019 pt. 11.

    I sometimes get nostalgic for the days when comic-book movies were slightly stigmatized bottom-barrel trash and not prestige trillion-dollar Oscar bait. This one is by Albert Pyun and boy is it Pyuny; from the downbeat opening to the soft-rock montage as the thawed Cap seeks his now-aged childhood sweetheart to the scene-chewing eeeeevil of Scott Paulin as Red Skull, I enjoyed the hell out of this decidedly un-MCU take on the superhero-movie-as-espionage-thriller. It, and others like…

  • The Field Guide to Evil

    The Field Guide to Evil

    ★★★½

    #52FilmsByWomen 2019 pt. 11.

    Since the themed horror anthology format been in a renaissance since V/H/S, it was only a matter of time until we got one focused on global art-horror from the directors of films like Goodnight Mommy, Baskin, The Lure, and more. The stated theme is folklore from the different countries in question, but I can't help but wonder if more coordination than that took place, given the recurrence of certain elements like 17th-century wooded settings, cannibalism, water,…

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  • The Toolbox Murders

    The Toolbox Murders

    ★★★★★

    The film that opened my eyes to Tobe Hooper's brilliance was neither The Texas Chain Saw Massacre nor Poltergeist (though I had previously seen both) but rather Toolbox Murders. I was 18 years old, living with my parents and unemployed, having withdrawn from college after a disastrous first semester. It was the beginning of a four-year spiral of depression, isolation and substance abuse: the darkest period of my life thus far.

    I rented Toolbox Murders from my local Hollywood Video…

  • Ouija: Origin of Evil

    Ouija: Origin of Evil

    ★★★★½

    God bless Mike Flanagan. Hush was, as I suspected, more of an experiment/trifle than a sincere piece of work, and now he's back with another gem that deals in true auteuristic style with his pet obsessions: how we process grief and loss, the unseen forces that surround us, how the past infects the present. And it's impeccably made; somebody needs to grab whoever directed Annabelle and say. "THIS is how you make a horror film set in the '60s!"

    In…