“Deer Camp ‘86”

6.9

Living in Northern Michigan, I hadn’t been this excited for a hunting movie since “Escanaba in da Moonlight.” My excitement was rewarded with a thoroughly ridiculous, entertaining, funny, sometimes terrifying tale of our band of merry misfits in a Bronco here. I’m pretty sure I’ve met a version of every one of these guys, probably in the past month.

Technically speaking, this film felt very “Evil Dead” for me. Some fantastic camera work, and use of the surroundings in building tension and upping the creep factor. Just enough special effects to add to the experience, without getting silly. A well balanced horror film!

A perfect movie for the Shudder family, and I hope to be able to rewatch it on streaming soon. Shout-out to the Vogue Theater in Manistee for bringing this to the public, and for their film slate always having variety. Can’t wait for special event screenings to make a full comeback!

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

7.8

Have you ever lost a friend? Not that they died, just, didn’t want to be friends any longer? That’s the premise of this whole movie. But it’s as brilliant as the countryside wide shots in this film are breathtaking.

Our two main characters get in a “Grumpy Old Men” style bickering match when one is confronted with his mortality, and they are set on diverging paths. One believing friendships and the impact we have directly on people is our lasting legacy, while the other is insistent that the work we do and the things we create are our lasting legacy. With those set as our corners, let the shenanigans begin!

“The Menu”

7.7

It’s “Midsommar” meets “Chef.” And yes, that’s just as strange of a combination as it sounds.

First and foremost, Anya Taylor-Joy ❤️. I will watch anything she’s in. So naturally, my butt was in a seat. Then, they pit her against Voldemort himself, Ralph Fiennes. Fireworks. A masterclass in mysterious contention and connection. The kinship bordering on villainy is something truly special on the silver screen.

Warning – you’ll find yourself laughing more than expected. The comedy tag here isn’t by mistake.

“The Escort”

7.9

After reminding me of “The Girl Next Door,” this film really blew me away with how insightfully deep it was! I expected a romantic comedy of sorts, but was instead treated to a tale of being lost, finding direction, losing direction to the tides of life, and finding home in unlikely spaces and people.

Lyndsy Fonseca brings it all together and takes it over the top with her portrayal of Natalie the escort. Her performance shines as it brings out fuller performances from the other cast members. Her likability really brings the character to life in a way that gave the movie a much deeper meaning than it otherwise could have had.

“The Good House”

7.4

A much more complex film than I was anticipating as I sat down in the theater. A family drama, character study, romance novel, and a business whodunnit, all wrapped into one film. At times, the narrative became as messy as the characters, but in the end, this film drove home the importance of connection, and more importantly, the importance of working on ourselves to make the connections that build the life we deserve for ourselves.

The entire cast was as divine as the wine Hildy and Rebecca down as the gab about the town gossip. A definite feel good after it makes you face uncomfortable wisdoms film.