The Neon Demon Doesn’t Know When to Quit

A review of The Neon Demon, directed by Nicolas Winding RefnRemember Drive, the stylish 2011 film about a stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) who falls for a woman whose husband is in prison? Driven by a moody electronic score from composer Cliff Martinez, the 2011 film was moving but was also marked by outbursts of violence that weren’t easy to shake.Refn followed Drive two years later with another project starring Gosling. Provocatively titled Only God Forgives, it again played the Cannes Film F … [Read more...]

What’s past is prologue, and it’s probably better too! Reflections on a classic horror flick.

Review of The House of the Long Shadows, Directed by Pete WalkerSure, Wuthering Heights was fine for its day, but the modern novel has progressed beyond that. In fact, these days anyone with even a tiny bit of talent could sit down and crank out that sort of gothic tripe in less than a day! At least, so claims modernist writer Kenneth McGee—an author interested only in telling the truth and making money (not necessarily in that order). But when his publisher bets McGee that he can't write s … [Read more...]

This Week on Sleepy Hollow: Forgiveness, Freemasons, and Quaker Witches

Review of Sleepy Hollow, Episode 6[Spoiler alerts.] After a break for some reason or other (the Superbowl I think?), Sleepy Hollow is back and just as ridiculous as ever. This week, Ichabod Crane learns about baseball and our inherent right to shout at the ump ("I thought only horses slept standing up!?!"), and then gets kidnapped by Freemasons. In order to find him, Abbie has to work with her crazy sister to find the "sin eater", the one person who can use supernatural means to reveal … [Read more...]

Redbox Review: ‘Warm Bodies’—A feel-good zombie flick?

Review of Warm Bodies, Directed by Jonathan LevineR is dead. Which doesn't stop him from being hungry, eating people, and then feeling bad about being hungry and eating people. Nor does it stop him from feeling a good deal of existential angst over his lack of connection with other people, unlike the 'Boneys', skeletal monsters who feel no such angst and indeed delight in consuming anything and everything with a heartbeat. Is there any opportunity for escape from this lonely cycle of … [Read more...]

Halloween, Horror, and the Cross

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.—H.P. Lovecraft, "Supernatural Horror in Literature"H.P. Lovecraft, in case you've never heard of him, was one of New England's most talented and creative writers. For all his personal failings, the man had a way with words, and his stories are simply a delight to read. Consider the opening lines of Lovecraft's most famous story, "The Call of Cthulhu":The most merciful t … [Read more...]

This week on Sleepy Hollow: Demons, Germans, and Tin-Foil Hats

Review of Sleepy Hollow, Episode 4Sleepy Hollow continues to be both entertaining AND educational. This week, we learn that Boston Tea Party was actually a diversion planned by Ichabod Crane so that he could sneak aboard a British ship and steal one of their secret weapons: a grimoire known as the Lesser Key of Solomon. (Presumably not the one published by the charlatan Alisteir Crowley in the early 20th century.) This foul tome possesses the power to open a portal to some sort of hell … [Read more...]

The Evil Dead: “Please, God: Give Me a Break”

Review of Evil Dead, Directed by Fede AlvarezSome viewers like movies that leave them thinking about themes and ideas for weeks and months after they see them. Others want an experience at the cinema, a couple of hours that make them laugh, cry, scream or jump out of their seats. The pleasures of those films are in the moment, and the lingering impression they leave is one of the shared experience of chills and cringing, cowering fear—at least until the credits roll and the lights come u … [Read more...]

Good News/Bad News

Review of The Cabin in the Woods, Directed by Drew GoddardBy ALEXIS NEALFive college students—a stoner, a jock, a nerd, a (bottle) blonde, and a girl-next-door—head off to spend the weekend at a remote cabin (which, of course, always ends well). Meanwhile, technicians in some sort of high-tech facility prepare for an important operation of an unspecified nature. It’s not long, however, before we learn that the students are the operation, and their physical circumstances (and sometimes the … [Read more...]

The Whisperer in Darkness

Review of The Whisperer in Darkness, Directed by Sean BranneryBy COYLE NEALThe writings of H.P. Lovecraft are forgotten gems of American Literature. Despite the best efforts of his fans (including the good folks over at the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast), Lovecraft remains mostly known by gamers and devotees of alternative metal. So when a movie is made from a Lovecraft book, I generally get pretty excited about it, even if it’s as mediocre a movie as The Whisperer in Darkness. In s … [Read more...]