4 Best Releases From MRC Studio

The Spool Staff



Local filmmakers, horror & desire are all given the spotlight at the Chicago International Film Festival's shorts program. This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Without the labor of the actors currently on strike, the work being covered here wouldn't exist. Continue Reading →


With her first film, Promising Young Woman, writer-director Emerald Fennell took a storyline that was essentially a cloddish-but-glossy retread of such female-driven revenge sagas as Ms .45 and I Spit on Your Grave, infused it with insights regarding gender issues that would barely have passed muster in a 100-level college class and somehow rode it to inexplicable praise and an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Continue Reading →

Fair Play

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 →

The Blackening

The Blackening is a horror-satire based on a popular 2018 short film of the same name. It mercilessly skewered the genre conceit that the Black character is always the first to die—a notion so familiar that this year saw the publication of an examination of Black-related horror films entitled The Black Guy Dies First. To do so, it presented a scenario in which all the potential victims are Black. They argue about who among them is truly the Blackest while downplaying their own ethnicity to survive. (“I qualified for the Winter Olympics.”) Continue Reading →