Review: “The Rental”

You may think twice about booking that weekend at someone’s Airbnb after watching “The Rental,” the thriller that’s Dave Franco’s directorial debut.  The film, which is co-written by Franco and Joe Swanberg, follows two couples: Michelle (Alison Brie) and Charlie (Dan Stevens) and Charlie’s brother Josh (Jeremy Allen White) and his girlfriend Mina (Shelia Vand).  […]

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Review: “Relic”

The scariest aspect of “Relic” isn’t the unseen presence supposedly lurking in the rural Australian home of elderly Edna (Robyn Nevin).  Rather, it’s something that many people have experienced within their own families: watching dementia or an illness such as Alzheimer’s overtake an older relative until they no longer know who you are.  They’re still […]

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Review: “The Wretched”

“Fun” is not a word I’d use to describe a lot of modern horror movies.  But fun is exactly what “The Wretched,”—a new horror movie from IFC Midnight written and directed by brothers Brett and Drew T. Pierce—is.  “The Wretched” followed Ben (John-Paul Howard), a teenager grappling with his parents’ separation who goes to spend […]

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Review: “It Chapter 2”

2 out of 5 stars. There is such a thing as being too ambitious.  It’s a line that “It,” the 2017 film based on part of Stephen King’s classic horror novel, dances along but never fully crosses.  But the second half of the story, “It Chapter 2,” is a nearly three-hour long story that tries […]

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Review: “The Dead Don’t Die”

3 out of 5 stars. From the get-go, police officer Ronnie Peterson (played by Adam Driver), tells his colleagues—and the audience—that this story is going to end badly.  The journey to that ending, however, is a light-hearted romp through the zombie apocalypse, told with writer and director Jim Jarmusch’s signature brand of deadpan humor, with […]

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Review: “Midsommar”

3.5 out of 5 stars. In “Midsommar,” very few scenes are set in dark places.  The majority of the film takes place in the bright Swedish summer sunshine, as the members of a commune called the Hårga prepare to celebrate the midsummer solstice.  But writer and director Ari Aster (Hereditary) finds the terror in this […]

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Review: “Pet Sematary” (2019)

2 out of 5 stars. Buried somewhere within “Pet Sematary,” there’s an interesting commentary on dealing with death and the fear of dying.  But the film, which is based on the classic Stephen King novel and was adapted once before for film in 1989, doesn’t begin to unleash its full potential until the last 25 […]

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Review: “Us”

4 OUT OF 5 STARS. In his first feature film “Get Out,” writer and director Jordan Peele explored the horrific relationship between white America and black America.  In his second feature, “Us,” Peele holds that mirror up to society as a whole, using more of a traditional horror film approach to show how we repress […]

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Review: “Halloween” (2018)

3 out of 5 stars. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of John Carpenter’s “Halloween,” the slasher movie that reinvented the horror genre and made Michael Myers one of the scariest villains in film history.  It has also spawned a whopping seven sequels (not including a remake and a sequel to the […]

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