Saturday, April 17

Tag: Horror

Review: Saint Maud (2021)
Movie Review

Review: Saint Maud (2021)

Having failed to save the life of a patient under the care, Katie (Morfydd Clark) succumbs into a dreadful stage of depression. She resorts to Roman Catholicism as a means of coping and begins to call herself Maud in the process. As she becomes a pious believer, she starts to find her confidence back and enrolls in a palliative nurse care program where she's tasked to look after a terminally ill patient, Amanda (Jennifer Ehle)—an atheist choreographer from the US. That's where Saint Maud takes a sharp turn from an observation of faith and depression into a hybrid of body horror with psychological thriller answering to some hurtful stigma about depressions. (more…)
Review: Affliction / Pulang (2021)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Affliction / Pulang (2021)

Seasoned Indonesian director, Teddy Soeriaatmadja (helming the Trilogy of Intimacy, consisting Lovely Man, Something in the Way, and About a Woman) returns with something that feels odd and out of place to his repertoire with Netflix bound movie, Affliction (also titled Pulang). Unlike his previous films that emphasize grounded, intimate drama with careful pacing and subtle yet moving performance from the lead, the director, also writing the script, now experiments with a new narrative drive: horror. By casting his own wife, Raihaanun (27 Steps of May) whose on-screen presence always illuminates, in the process, the film might have a shade or two of the director's signature prowess, but the end-result feels nothing like it. (more…)
Review: Extra Ordinary (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Extra Ordinary (2019)

To simply classify Enda Loughman and Mike Ahern's full-feature debut, Extra Ordinary, as a banal, non-specified, ordinary horror comedy might be an understatement through and through. There are ghosts in it, but not in a horror mood; there are jokes in it, but not of some straight gross-out mode. In fact, a woman—Maeve Higgins—stars, leads, and co-writes hearty yet ghastly comedy that isn't a product of try-hard. It's an oddball, tongue-to-cheek movie with lots of ghost and lots of heart at the same time, finding a consensus with a troublesome midlife crisis in the background. (more…)
Review: Run (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Run (2020)

After the sleeper hit, Searching (2018), everyone seems to look forward to what Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian bring for their next story. The highly anticipated follow-up, Run—starring Sarah Paulson—was announced immediately after the release of Chaganty's debut for a Mother's Day release in May 2020. After some schedule amendment, this thriller eventually streams directly on Hulu. Look closely and you will find just how close Run thematically is with Searching, in which both exudes borderless parental love in nasty thrillers that could have gone out of hand in a matter of minutes. (more…)
Review: Roh / Soul (2019)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review: Roh / Soul (2019)

Unlike most horrors from the regions, Malaysia's submission for the 93rd Academy Awards, Roh (a.k.a. Soul), is a kind of horror that favor creeping atmosphere and a storm of uncertainty to deliver the scare. It's only the second film by Kuman Pictures—an indie studio focusing on low-budget horror—and the directorial debut for Emir Ezwan (previously known as visual effect supervisor for One Two Jaga). However, this folk horror shows prominent composure and confidence in delivering an unlikely horror story that effectively works on several layers at once. (more…)
Review: Little Joe (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Little Joe (2019)

Jessica Hausner (Lourdes, Amour Fou) delivers a high-concept sci-fi horror that could have been a decent prequel/spin-off of M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening. With premise that sounds closely grounded to the reality—about commodification of plants to produce new breeds that defy the ordinary, Little Joe offers a grounded approach to the storytelling as well. There's no spectacle nor explicit horror on the go, but the tension is real, built only by raising suspicions. (more…)
Review: She Dies Tomorrow (2020)
Movie Review

Review: She Dies Tomorrow (2020)

Amy Seimetz's new visionary story, She Dies Tomorrow, is nothing less enigmatic than her previous foray, Sun Don't Shine (2012). The baffling narrative comes together as if she's still co-starring in Shane Carruth's similarly mystifying feature, Upstream Color—an anxiety inducing sci-fi that feels like a psychotic dream. It is a film that focuses on an unknown fear which immediately crawls upon your skin and never lets you go as it becomes more baffling as it goes. With this, Seimetz showcases her bold and original storytelling prowess almost mercilessly. (more…)
Review: Color Out of Space (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Color Out of Space (2019)

Richard Stanley is no strange figure for mind-bending B-movies inspired by classic sci-fi literature. His last tenure, the beleaguered The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)—in which troubled productions got him fired by New Line Cinema—is an adaptation of H.G. Wells' early classic sci-fi horror of the same title. It took him at least 20 years for him to bounce back from that disastrous experience before he began conceiving another classic sci-fi horror, The Color Out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft. With panache reminiscing his early works in Hardware and Dust Devil as well as Nicolas Cage's newly-found B-movie charisma, Color Out of Space gives Stanley the well-deserved come-back. (more…)
Review: His House (2020)
Movie Review

Review: His House (2020)

In His House, Sudanese refugee couple flee their war-torn home country and, against all odds, manage to cross the sea—leaving the past nightmare behind. Upon reaching the UK as asylum seekers, they are granted a house as a means of a fresh start, a new beginning. However, when a malicious force lurking inside the house tells them otherwise, they are torn between clinging to the past or moving on to the new life. (more…)
Review: Nocturne (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Nocturne (2020)

A unfairly fate-rigged sibling rivalry has forced twin sisters, Juliet (Sydney Sweeney from The Handmaid's Tale and Sharp Object) and Vivian (Madison Iseman from the new Jumanji franchise and Annabelle Comes Home), into an unhealthy sisterhood. Living almost exclusively under her sister's shadow for her entire life, the former is driven into the brink of sanity. In a desperate time, desperate measure, she discovers an unlikely help—a force larger and darker than her ambition. (more…)
Review: Pelukis Hantu (2020)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Pelukis Hantu (2020)

Back in the mid 2000s, supernatural TV shows suddenly ruptured and became nationwide phenomena, with almost every national channel having one of it. Now that the trend dwindles, there's one gimmick that apparently survives —the ghost painter, a psychic who possesses the ability to paint metaphysical beings behind closed eyes, albeit generic, to visualize the ghosts to audiences. That profession, for whatever it is, is the epicenter of Arie Kriting's directorial debut, Pelukis Hantu (Ghost Painter). (more…)
Review: Evil Eye (2020)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review: Evil Eye (2020)

Sarita Choudhury (from the arthouse hit, Mississippi Masala) and Sunita Mani (supporting star in the recently cancelled GLOW) star in a hybrid of South Asian and Hollywood horror, Evil Eye. Based on Madhuri Shekar's Audible original of the same title, the story chronicles the harsh conflict between a first generation Indian immigrant in America and the American-born second generation within a horror frame. In between superstition, cultural clash, and past trauma, the intercontinental horror has just enough odds to be heavily misguiding for unfamiliar audiences. Related Post: Review: The Lie (2020) We've seen it before and we've seen it again; the problem with American-born immigrants from Eastern culture has always been with the cultural clash. The older generation, however liberal,...
Review: The Lie (2020)
Movie Review

Review: The Lie (2020)

Remade from the 2015 German thriller, We Monster, Veena Sud's The Lie premiered in the 2018 TIFF before Blumhouse took it under 'Welcome to the Blumhouse' anthology for Amazon. The story, as the title suggests, is built upon the titular lie; but, as you might have known, a lie does not stop on the first count. There has to be another lie and another to follow and cover up. In no time, the lies had spinned out of control; and, that's basically what the movie is all about. (more…)
Review: Black Box (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Black Box (2020)

In Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr.'s full-feature directorial debut, Black Box, a visionary doctor stores human's memories, consciousness, and soul as brain waves in a device that works like an airplane's black box. The neuro-tech experiment comes into use when a braindead patient arrives at the hospital after a fateful car accident that kills his wife and wipes his memory. In a hope of restoring his memory, the patient agrees to sign up for the experiment. Unbeknownst to everyone, what initially appears as a hopeful sci-fi drama takes a sinister turn into a Black Mirror-esque tech-horror passage. Related Post: Get Out (2017) - Review Mamoudou Athie (The Get Down) portrays the patient, Nolan, excellently. His portrayal of a blank-slate man is enticing; he helps making audiences question h...
Review: The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)
Movie Review

Review: The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

The Babysitter: Killer Queen, the follow-up to Netflix's 2017 sleeper hit—The Babysitter, brings almost every single element of the first movie in for a supposedly victory lap. Judah Lewis, portraying the protagonist, Cole, has naturally grown into a fully bloom teenager; so does Emily Alyn Lind (Doctor Sleep), who portrays his neighbor. The all-spectacular Samara Weaving does not get into immediate actions as the titular sinister babysitter, Bee; but her presence is felt throughout the movie—fuels the narrative and literally takes the steering wheel. (more…)

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