Cinematic universes and film series with numerous spin-offs — in the vein of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — are all the rage these days. The primary example of this in the horror genre is the Conjuring film-universe, which, at this point in time, consists of eight films. This horror film cinematic universe was essentially launched by James Wan, who is probably one of the most influential horror filmmakers of the last ten years, and his films in the series — The Conjuring I and II — are, frankly, the best and most memorable films in the entire film series. For that reason, I was very nervous when I heard that he would step away from the franchise and let Michael Chaves, who directed The Curse of La Llorona (which I really did not like), continue, or potentially finish, the titular series of films in the Conjuring film-universe. After having now seen the third main-line Conjuring-film, I can say that even though it is nowhere near as good as Wan’s films, Chaves’ second film in this film universe is admittedly significantly better than his previous film.
Today, in honor of Friday the 13th, I want to showcase my ten favorite horror films of the 2010s. I’ll also preface this list by saying that I reserve the right to change this list for the remainder of 2019 in case something new is good enough to make it onto this list. Continue reading “Best of the 2010s: Top Ten Horror Films”→
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)”→
The following is a series review of When They See Us — Created by Ava DuVernay.
Before I saw Ava DuVernay’s incredibly important and overwhelmingly powerful mini-series When They See Us, I never knew anything about the Central Park jogger case or the so-called Central Park Five. At the end of the series, I felt out of breath. I needed some air. DuVernay’s series is another excellent 2019 limited series true story that is so very bleak and absolutely infuriating, but it is also just as gripping as it is tough to watch. Continue reading “REVIEW: When They See Us (2019 – Mini-Series)”→
The following is a review of Godzilla II: King of the Monsters — Directed by Michael Dougherty.
I can’t say that I’m a big Godzilla expert. I’m what you would call a casual fan of the kaiju films. And when it’ll come to King Kong versus Godzilla in a few years, I’ll probably be on the side of the iconic ape. But that’s neither here nor there. I remember watching Emmerich’s Godzilla from 1998 when I was a kid (I don’t think I’ve seen it since), and I remember watching Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla from 2014 in the theater with my mother and my sister. I have no problem admitting that I was one of those people who was frustrated greatly by Edwards’ film which did, admittedly, give us these amazing visuals, but which suffered from the eponymous monster’s disappointing screen-time. With King of the Monsters, the kaiju-titan focused ‘monster-verse’ is course-correcting their approach to Godzilla, but, in doing so, they’ve unfortunately saddled a spectacular monster movie with thinly written characters and poor dialogue. Continue reading “REVIEW: Godzilla II: King of the Monsters (2019)”→
The following is a review of The Nun — Directed by Corin Hardy.
A funny thing happened when I sat down in a local movie theater room to watch The Nun — the newest The Conjuring spin-off film (this one having been inspired by a demon from James Wan’s The Conjuring 2). It was a packed theater full of people of all ages, shapes, and sizes, and right behind me, three young men sat and talked with one another. When the film opened with a scene from The Conjuring 2, I could hear one of them say: “wait, is this a Conjuring-movie?” Then another one said with his mouth full of popcorn: “oh, I haven’t seen the second one yet.” Continue reading “REVIEW: The Nun (2018)”→
The following is a review of The Commuter — Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.
A couple of months ago, when I was getting ready to write about the box office potential of the January 2018-releases, I noted that I had grown tired of the endless supply of Liam Neeson action films. It isn’t that the films are egregiously bad, and they are in no way, shape, or form detrimental to the power of cinema — but each time Neeson has starred in another action film, it almost always felt like a tired retread of Taken. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Commuter (2018)”→
The following is a review of The Conjuring 2, a James Wan film.
I loved the first The Conjuring. James Wan had made another great horror franchise, and it pretty much came out of nowhere. It was magnificent, and it is now regarded as a new horror classic. Needless to say, there was a lot of pressure on the filmmakers to recreate the greatness of the first film. Now, while I don’t think it is as amazing as the original film, The Conjuring 2 is a pretty great horror sequel. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Conjuring 2 (2016)”→
The following is a quick review of The Conjuring, a James Wan film. The review was written on June 9th, 2016.
Right now, James Wan is the most promising horror movie director. He hasn’t really made a lot of wrong moves, or bad movies for that matter. I’ll be seeing the sequel to The Conjuring later today, so I can’t really evaluate The Conjuring 2 yet, but just look at what he has directed. He started the Saw-franchise, as well as the Insidious-franchises, extremely well.
The Conjuring is already a horror franchise, seeing as we already have the first spin-off (2014’s Annabelle) as well as a sequel. We can’t overlook Dead Silence, which has gotten a lot of negative reviews, but I know people that love that film too. James Wan is a terrific horror director, and The Conjuring is the closest thing he has gotten to a true masterpiece. It is terrific. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Conjuring (2013)”→
The following is a review of Special Correspondents, a Netflix Original Film.
Prior to the release of this film, Netflix had already released four original films – Beasts of No Nation; The Ridiculous 6; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny; Pee-wee’s Big Holiday – and not all of them had worked. In fact, I have to admit, I’ve been worried about these original films ever since I saw The Ridiculous 6, which I thought was absolutely awful. But I did like both Beasts of No Nation and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, so I had some hope for Ricky Gervais’ Special Correspondents. Sadly, Special Correspondents is a tedious disappointment. Continue reading “REVIEW: Special Correspondents (2016)”→