Review: “Men”

The Edenic imagery that propels writer and director Alex Garland’s latest feature film, “Men,” forward shows up early on. Having just arrived at the lavish country home she booked a stay at in order to rest and heal from the death of her husband, Harper (Jessie Buckley) strolls into the estate’s lush garden, plucks an […]

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Review: “X”

If overt promiscuity is one of the most obvious markers of a potential victim in a horror movie, then you can probably assume the fates of the protagonists in “X,” a group of filmmakers and actors who travel to a small Texas town circa the late 1970s to make an adult film. But while “X” […]

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Sundance Review: “Fresh”

Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is around halfway through her first date with Steve (Sebastian Stan) when she tells him that she hates “this”—“this” meaning dating. “FRESH” opens with a portrait of just how Noa’s love life is going, and it isn’t going well. She aimlessly swipes through dating apps, and a date she goes on with […]

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Review: ”Scream” (2022)

The new “Scream” movie opens with a scene that feels as familiar as the title it shares with the 1996 film that kickstarted the slasher franchise. A teenager, Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), is home alone, in her kitchen, texting with her friend Amber (Mikey Madison) on her cell phone. But the Carpenters turn out to […]

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Review: “Halloween Kills”

If 2018’s “Halloween”— the first installment in a new trilogy that continues the events of the classic 1978 slasher— was about Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her family facing the pain of the past, its sequel, “Halloween Kills,” is about how weaponizing that pain can turn us as evil as the entity we are […]

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Nashville Film Festival Reviews: “The Beta Test,” “The Murder Podcast”

Today from the Nashville Film Festival, I’m covering two films that are playing as part of the festival’s Graveyard Shift Films program, and horror fans in particular will want to seek them out. Jim Cummings’ “The Beta Test,” which he directed, wrote, and starred in along with PJ McCabe, is a thrilling and funny skewering […]

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Nashville Film Festival Reviews: “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” “Faye”

Today from the Nashville Film Festival (which starts September 30 and runs through October 6), I have reviews of two surreal films screening there. “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” which premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, examines isolation through a lonely teenager’s internet interactions and the online challenge she engages […]

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Review: “Malignant”

Unlike a lot of movies, “Malignant” doesn’t take its time to slowly build up the story, characters, and tension before diving into the grisly details. Rather, it starts off at a sprint and doesn’t stop—if anything, it just runs faster and faster as it progresses. Director James Wan cut his teeth on the horror genre, […]

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Review: “Candyman” (2021)

Sometime last year, in the early throes of quarantine, I watched the 1992 film “Candyman” for the first time, in preparation for Nia DaCosta’s new take on the story, which was delayed multiple times from its original June 2020 release date due to the pandemic. I pressed play sometime after midnight, which was a mistake—something […]

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Review: “The Night House”

In “The Night House,” fear stems less from supernatural occurrences and things that go bump in the night, and more from a less tangible sense of dread. The grief that consumes Beth (Rebecca Hall) in the wake of her husband Owen’s sudden suicide results in her starting to have strange dreams— dreams that bleed into […]

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