REVIEW: Midsommar (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – A24

The following is a review of Midsommar — Directed by Ari Aster.

As a Scandinavian, any film that revolves around Scandinavia or a specific part of Scandinavian culture, naturally, intrigues me greatly. So Midsommar already had my curiosity, but Ari Aster’s involvement pulled me in and seized my attention, as it were. Ari Aster is one of the most interesting new filmmakers. He is a gifted director whose first narrative feature — Hereditary — was one of the best and most disturbing horror films of the decade. With one of the decade’s best films in the genre under his belt already, his second feature film had a lot to live up to, and even though Midsommar isn’t quite as accessible as his directorial debut, Aster’s slow-burn second feature film showcases his distinct visual style, has thematical depth, and it proves that he is one of the most exciting new auteurs. Continue reading “REVIEW: Midsommar (2019)”

REVIEW: Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros. Pictures

The following is a review of Annabelle Comes Home — Directed by Gary Dauberman.

The lesson Hollywood first learned from the Marvel Cinematic Universe was to rush into these grand connected universes of films. The DC Cinematic Universe almost crashed and burned. The Godzilla-King Kong connected universe of films is currently struggling. Meanwhile, the Universal Monsters so-called ‘Dark Universe’ never really got off the ground. Surprisingly, the attempt to copy the highly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe that has worked the best has been the Ed and Lorraine Warren-inspired Conjuring Cinematic Universe. Continue reading “REVIEW: Annabelle Comes Home (2019)”

REVIEW: The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros. Pictures

The following is a review of The Curse of La Llorona — Directed by Michael Chaves.

Though the film’s marketing hasn’t done a good enough job of alerting audiences of this, The Curse of La Llorona is the latest film in the Conjuring-film universe made popular by James Wan. Unfortunately, much like the first Annabelle-film and The Nun, this, the third spin-off film in the film series, is another let-down, and, now, there are as many bad films in the connected horror film universe as there are good. Hence, the good no longer outweighs the bad.
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REVIEW: Hellboy (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Lionsgate

The following is a review of Hellboy (2019) — Directed by Neil Marshall.

In 2004 and 2008, Oscar-winning auteur Guillermo del Toro brought us two critically well-received comic book monster movies about Mike Mignola’s Dark Horse Comics creation ‘Hellboy,’ a red Nazi-summoned half-demon that fights for the human race against monsters and other dark forces. Even though del Toro is a beloved figure and his films are still held in high regard, del Toro’s request for a third film was denied. Instead, producers decided that it was time to replace the first two films’ auteur — del Toro, who had a real, recognizable love for his creatures — and its indispensable leading man, Ron Perlman — who was absolutely perfect in the role — in a new reboot of the franchise. Continue reading “REVIEW: Hellboy (2019)”

REVIEW: The Silence (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Silence — Directed by John R. Leonetti.

John R. Leonetti’s The Silence — not to be confused with Martin Scorsese’s Silence, which has a similar title, or John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place and Susanne Bier’s Bird Box, both of which have similar plots — follows a family during an apocalyptic event in which prehistoric bat-like creatures have come out of hiding to attack and feast on anything and anyone they hear. Stanley Tucci plays the family father, Miranda Otto his wife, and Kiernan Shipka plays one of his children — a deaf teenager. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Silence (2019)”

REVIEW: Pet Sematary (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Paramount Pictures

The following is a review of Pet Sematary — Directed by Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmeyer.

A couple of months ago, I decided to rewatch Mary Lambert’s 1989 adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. My father is a big fan of that film, but, I hadn’t seen it in years, and I barely remembered if I even liked it. Much to my father’s disappointment, I really didn’t enjoy rewatching Lambert’s film. This experience, I’ll be honest, actually made me more excited for this year’s remake. Perhaps I would now get the Pet Sematary film to ‘call my own.’ While I ultimately do, based on my first viewing, believe Kölsch and Widmeyer’s 2019-version is better and more effective than Lambert’s film, I was still very disappointed by what they gave us here. Continue reading “REVIEW: Pet Sematary (2019)”

REVIEW: Us (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Universal Pictures

The following is a review of Us — Directed by Jordan Peele.

No directorial debut this decade has made as much noise as Jordan Peele’s Get Out did. The social-horror film was made by a comedian from a popular two-man sketch comedy group who, as it turned out, had his finger on the pulse of America. Get Out is not just one of the most discussed films of the decade, it’s also one of the most interesting, one of the most rewatchable, and, arguably, one of the best. Though Us may not be as sharp, potent, or intelligent as Get Out, Peele here proves that he is no one-hit wonder. Get Out wasn’t a fluke, Jordan Peele knows exactly what he’s doing.
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REVIEW: Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Velvet Buzzsaw — Directed by Dan Gilroy.

In 2014, Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut — Nightcrawler — became a hit with critics and audiences alike. It gave us a brilliant and rivetingly unhinged performance from its leading man, Jake Gyllenhaal, and it showed us that Dan Gilroy was a supremely talented filmmaker.

With his second directorial effort, Roman J. Israel, Esq., Gilroy stumbled a bit, even though that film had another committed lead performance — this time from Denzel Washington. Now, Gilroy and Gyllenhaal have reteamed for a horror film about the art world with Netflix’s Velvet Buzzsaw, and, though it isn’t quite a return to form, it shows us that Gilroy is perfectly capable of having fun with his art. Continue reading “REVIEW: Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)”

REVIEW: Suspiria (2018)

Theatrical Release Poster – Amazon Studios

The following is a review of Suspiria — Directed by Luca Guadagnino.

The original Dario Argento Italian horror classic Suspiria is one of those films horror fanatics scream from the rooftops for you to watch. For the longest time, I was one of those who ignored that call. To prepare for Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 reimagining of the same name, I finally decided to sit down and watch Argento’s film, and while I didn’t love it as much as its disciples do, I recognized it as a stunning stylish classic with a frightening musical theme, but the dialogue and the acting left something to be desired. Continue reading “REVIEW: Suspiria (2018)”

REVIEW: Apostle (2018)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a short review of APOSTLE — Directed by Gareth Evans.

In 2011, Welsh director Gareth Evans rose to fame in the film community for his Indonesian action film The Raid: Redemption. After he had completed its sequel, Evans had become known for these elaborate and inventive action set-pieces. His latest film is not an adrenaline-fueled action film in the vein of his previous Indonesian efforts. Continue reading “REVIEW: Apostle (2018)”