Review: “John and the Hole”

“John and the Hole” may be billed as a psychological thriller, but it is above all else a fable. The film’s title card isn’t revealed until half an hour into the movie, by which time we’ve met 13-year-old John (Charlie Shotwell) and his family, but have also just been introduced to a unique framing device. […]

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Review: “Settlers”

The western and science fiction genres share several similar themes, particularly when the subject of the latter is exploration into the unknown, essentially transporting the frontier from the American West to the edges of outer space. It can be exciting and fascinating and introspective when done right. Unfortunately, writer and director Wyatt Rockefeller’s film “Settlers” […]

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Review: “Werewolves Within”

“Werewolves Within” isn’t like any video game adaptation I’ve ever seen. In fact, I wasn’t even aware that it was based on a video game until delving into its production after watching it. The 2016 VR game from Red Storm Entertainment and Ubisoft is set in a medieval town, where the user has to figure […]

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Review: “Undine”

Writer/director Christian Petzold’s “Undine” opens with a conversation, the kind of conversation that most viewers will immediately recognize, and the kind that the titular protagonist (played by Paula Beer) clearly dreads. Undine is sitting across from her boyfriend, Johannes (Jacob Matschenz), at an outdoor café, and he is breaking up with her. He’s met someone […]

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Review: “Kindred”

“Kindred” is a horror movie that isn’t scary in a very obvious way. Rather, there’s a feeling of unease that permeates the film and gets under your skin, staying there long after the credits roll. Director and co-writer Joe Marcantonio’s debut feature may draw comparisons to other films such as “Rosemary’s Baby,” but he takes […]

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Review: “Dear Santa”

Every year, thousands upon thousands of children write letters to Santa Claus, asking for him to make his Christmas wishes come true. But where do all those letters go? One might call to mind the climactic courtroom scene at the end of “Miracle on 34th Street,” when postal workers deliver huge bags of letters addressed […]

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Review: “A Call to Spy”

“A Call to Spy” contains many of the typical hallmarks of a World War II movie.  We follow the heroes through action, espionage, struggle, and sacrifice, all performed on behalf of their country.  But these movies usually follow male heroes, whether they be soldiers on the front lines, spies trying to covertly gather intelligence against […]

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Review: “The Nest”

A move across the ocean uncovers dysfunction in a marriage in “The Nest,” writer and director Sean Durkin’s first feature film since his 2011 film festival darling “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”  Drawing on his own experiences growing up in both England and America, Durkin explores changes in relationships that occur with a change in location […]

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Review: “Rent-A-Pal”

Navigating online relationships safely is a topic that many of us are familiar with nowadays.  But writer and director Jon Stevenson explores a different kind of virtual relationship in his debut feature “Rent-A-Pal,” a thoroughly weird but impressive throwback/horror/drama/comedy commentary on loneliness. Set in 1990, “Rent-A-Pal” follows David (Brian Landis Folkins), a 40-year-old single man […]

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