The Long Halloween: Some quick movie reviews

The House at the End of Time: Twisty Venezuelan family/haunted-house horror about an older woman coming out of prison and sorting through what happened on the fateful night when her husband died and her son disappeared. A compassionate priest assigned to visit her (she's sort of in house arrest in the haunted house) helps her unravel the mystery--and the final twist about the priest's own history is genuinely moving. This is an emotionally-sincere, spooky film, and its climax is an extended … [Read more...]

Beauty Is the Beast: Melinda Selmys’s Horror Anthology

A vampire, in the depths of the Soviet Lubyanka prison, knows he will live when Stalin's empire is in the ash heap of history. Two nervous philosophers argue about whether the zombies gathering outside have a valid alternative deathstyle. A melodramatic nihilist decides to revolt against Nature itself--and wins, and learns what lies beyond Nature. Supernatural totalitarians try to co-opt an artist.Melinda Selmys has a gift for the startling, illuminating idea. Against Nature, her … [Read more...]

An Actual Zombie Jamboree! And Other Movie Notes

What I've been watching.The Gallows. Out now. To call it "bog standard" would be an insult to God's honest bog. This is a haunted-school/revenge-of-the-past flick. Lead actor is handsome and appears able to act. The sets for the school play are terrific, very spooky and effective. Otherwise this feels padded at an hour and a half. Tons of yipping exposition and repetitive arguments from shrill teens; the girls are damsels in distress. Found-footage, which at this point, if you're just going … [Read more...]

Quick and Cheap Reviews of Quick and Cheap Movies

Or, a quick fix of slick flicks.Devil's Pass: Found-footage Dyatlov Pass Incident investigation. Some fun Russian scenery; very nice twist at the end.Kill List: An aging contract killer goes in for One Last Job and things predictably go haywire. An unexpectedly emotional film; you can feel the regret and confusion of the characters, and their relationships are sharply-drawn. Also very twisty in the back half, with the final twist an especially nasty one. Much better than it had to be, … [Read more...]

Man, Last Night Was Apocalyptic!: “The World’s End”

A group of grown-up, respectable friends who have drifted apart are reunited by their very much not grown-up, not-respectable ringmaster to relive an epic pub crawl which marked the high point of their misspent youth. Also, the world ends.I loved "Shaun of the Dead" (haven't yet seen "Hot Fuzz," although I want to) so I was super-excited for this new movie from the same director/writer?/acting team of Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg. I can tell you for sure that you should go see it if the … [Read more...]