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  • Carrie

    Carrie

    ★★★★★

    Maximum utilization of the possible situations surrounding a single event — prom — imbuing it with maximum tension and suspense. No wonder Tarantino is such a fan of this.

    I was waiting for that last jumpscare and it still got me. I still think this film has probably the greatest payoff in any movie, ever.

    It’s famous in part because it’s a story defined by its end, meaning you tell the whole thing when you talk about it. It’s a…

  • Psycho

    Psycho

    ★★★★★

    Van Sant’s camp recreation of Psycho is commonly criticized for not adding anything to Hitchcock’s film. But this criticism glosses over the fact that we must be knowing audience members for it to be true, which is a fact Van Sant readily anticipates. To me, this always felt more like a camp recreation of Psycho than a remake, despite its fidelity to the source. I would argue it works entirely because we know Hitchcock’s film inside and out; it’s clear…

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  • From Beyond

    From Beyond

    ★★★★½

    It wouldn’t be an 80s Lovecraft adaptation if Barbara Crampton wasn’t menaced by a silicone special effects menace who looks like BBQ ribs. Even more suffocatingly minimalist than Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon and company’s followup swaps grisly medical violence for a genuinely compelling body horror mystery largely confined to a single house. Serious proto-Kathe Koja vibes (feels like a Cronenberg rendition of The Cipher). The aforementioned Crampton really steals the show with a totally unhinged performance as a psychiatrist who is…

  • Badge of Faith

    Badge of Faith

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A running joke in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is that everyone is amazed that Dewey is able to overcome not having a sense of smell and become a successful musician anyway. Here, we’re meant to be impressed protagonist Bryan is able to become a cop despite having dyslexia. (But…) Bryan is supposed to be a good guy who says things like “Cheese and crackers!” and drives a cruiser with a plate that inexplicably reads “JON-0316.” Bryan isn’t respected…

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  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The theater was rowdy. Everyone was clearly on the same page as me that this movie was just super boring if taken at face value. The highlight of the experience came from the big moment when the daughter gets decapitated — not because the moment was particularly affecting, but because while her head was still in motion, a man sitting behind us remarked, “Charlie done got her head knocked off!” and the entire theater erupted into laughter. After that it…

  • Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood

    Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood

    ★★★★★

    Watching this during a thunderstorm at 4 a.m. is truly an unreal experience. Now I write this with flickering power. I can only imagine how much Malatesta would have messed me up had I seen it during its original southern drive-in run in the seventies. I wanted to see this again because I’ve been on the search for freaked out carnival vibes and I couldn’t remember much about this film — for good reason, I realized. This is a do-it-yourself…