If you have finished watching the film The Shining (1980) and are looking for other movies like it, here is a list of options to consider.
Serve up this bizarre, oddly funny 80s slasher as part of your holiday entertainment feast this year.
Though Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s retro horror double feature Grindhouse met with audience indifference, the collection of fake movie trailers during its “intermission” became amusing pop culture ephemera. Of the four featured, Eli Roth’s “Thanksgiving” is probably the most fun to revisit, mostly because of its loving dedication to capturing the unique seediness of an 80s slasher film. There’s something so familiar about the murky film quality, the low budget special effects, the incoherent plot (it appears to be a trailer for two different, unfinished movies stuck together, as was the case for many 80s horror movies), the glimpses of T&A, and of course, that hilarious voiceover and excellent tagline, that it seems unbelievable that it hadn’t actually already been made.
Though it took over 15 years, Thanksgiving is finally a full-length feature, released to largely positive reviews just last weekend. It is not, however, as has been claimed elsewhere, the first Thanksgiving slasher film. Before that, there was 1987’s Blood Rage, a movie that leans into all the best and worst tropes of its genre, while also being deeply strange and often undeniably funny. Continue Reading →
Fair Play is all about the rules of engagement—in business, in bed, in relationships—and the chaos that ensues when someone who lives and dies by those rules suspects his partner is breaking them. However, it isn’t the fairness of the righteous or the just she’s violating. No, it is the unwritten rules he believes everyone should play the game by. Continue Reading →
A Haunting in Venice
The first two entries in director/actor Kenneth Branagh’s foray into Agatha Christie adaptation lost the magic of the English writer’s mysteries. With his third attempt, A Haunting in Venice, Branagh decides to make considerable changes to the story. Using the bones of Christie’s Hallowe’en Party, writer Michael Green changes the setting from a small town in the English countryside to a palazzo in Venice. Branagh emphasizes the gothic elements of Christie’s story, leaning on the horror of the location, the manic nature of the children’s Halloween party, and the gruesome moments before and after an unexpected death. Continue Reading →
Cade: The Tortured Crossing
Say what you will about independent film auteur Neil Breen: he has a vision. All of his movies have a common theme, in which a man with superhuman abilities (played by Neil Breen) directs those abilities toward vanquishing evil corporate and government entities. Many people die in the process, but in Breen’s vision it’s all in the name of world peace. What he’s trying to say isn’t all that hard to figure out: he thinks the world would be better off without corrupt CEOs and pass-the-buck lawmakers (and hey, I don’t disagree). Continue Reading →
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movies being covered here wouldn't exist. Continue Reading →
Talk to Me
Things have been very bad for much of the world for a very long time, and they won’t improve any time soon. I don’t mean to start things off on a bummer note, but to point out that from such dire circumstances comes one benefit: the horror movie renaissance that started in the late 2010s only seems to be getting better. Just this year we’ve gotten the low-fi nightmares Skinamarink and The Outwaters, horror comedy with M3GAN and Cocaine Bear, another mostly solid entry in the Scream franchise, too many indie horror films to list here (Bad Girl Boogey and Brooklyn 45 are but a couple), and the roaring return of the Evil Dead series. Even if there weren’t another release for the rest of the year, it’d still be a great year for horror. Continue Reading →
From Rosemary's Baby in 1968 to 2021's False Positive, Hollywood has long been interested in women's bodies and reproductive systems as a setpiece for horror: and writer-director Alexis Jacknow's Clock is no exception. From its humble beginnings as a short film, Jacknow's freshman feature has blossomed into a chilly, paranoia-ridden horror flick commanded by a captivating lead in Diana Agron. Though Clock's script is sometimes inelegant and clunky, it boasts enough personality, perspective, and ferocity to stand an exciting feature debut in the world of horror. Continue Reading →
The Black Phone
Gather around, children, and let Auntie Gena tell you a story about days gone by. Long ago, up till around 1984, kids used to run free in the streets from dawn till dusk, with virtually no adult supervision. Was it a better time? Not really, just different, and it all came to an end with the collective belief that bad things happen to children who aren’t carefully watched at all times. Now it’s swung so far in the other direction that allowing your children to walk themselves to school may result in a visit from child protective services. Scott Derrickson’s The Black Phone takes place in the time before, when parents didn’t worry about monsters until they were almost under their noses. Continue Reading →
About an hour into Ambulance, Michael Bay's latest symphony of steel and bullets and explosions, the two brothers-turned-robbers at the center of this tale (Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) take a moment of calm amidst their high-speed run through the alleys and freeways of LA. No, they don't stop driving; they've got a flood of cops on their tail. But the least they can do, with their lives on the line and a cop (Jackson White) bleeding out in the back of their stolen ambulance, is throw on some Airpods and sing along together to Christopher Cross' "Sailing." Continue Reading →
Fear Street: 1666
The final installment in the Fear Street trilogy takes things back. Way back. While the first two entries were set in the 1990s and 1970s, Fear Street Part 3: 1666, as the title implies, shifts the backdrop to 1666. Going this far backward allows the audience to discover the true story of Sarah Fier (Elizabeth Scopel), a local woman who was reportedly a witch and still curses the town of Shadyside. However, as you’d expect if you’ve seen anything ranging from ParaNorman to The VVitch, this origin yarn reveals that Fier was a much more complicated figure who was doomed due to society’s innate desire to punish women perceived as “different.” Continue Reading →
Like a modern Grimm’s fairy tale, The Djinn has some brutal lessons to teach. The most important may be to avoid reading ancient texts called "The Book of Shadows" if at all possible, but the other key takeaway is that talented artists can do a lot with very little. The second film from writer/directors David Charbonier and Justin Powell drives this home, thanks to some sharp, cost-effective horror directing, with only a few hiccups along the way. Continue Reading →