Category: Horror/Thriller

“Gretel & Hansel”

5.9

… and they thought changing the title was going to trick us. Well, that was an hour and a half of my life I can never get back. A cross between “Dr. Strange” and “The Witch,” or just watching “The Witch” on acid. Dark cinematography, unexplained creepiness, and almost nothing going on the whole time. Had it not been for the girl in the back row of the theater trying to cough up a lung, I almost fell asleep. Swing and a miss.

“The Turning”

7.3

Seriously?!?!?! That’s how we’re going to leave this thing?!?

Get ready to be genuinely unsettled for two hours, and be left hanging in the end (in my opinion). Just as intense and jarring as the trailer, just when you think you have this film figured out, it takes a turn and keeps you guessing and off balance. Checks so many boxes… Open ended, old lady warning of bad things while also creeping everyone out, jump scares, ghosts, and the little girl with an imaginary friend(s). Imaginary friends are never good news in these things. Solid directing. Builds tension better than most these days. Jump scares and the natural mystique of the scenery used cleverly and sparingly, making them all the more effective.

Seeing as this film is based off the same source material, I’m excited to see what’s in store for “Haunting of Hill House: Season 2.”

“The Grudge” (2020)

6.9

A great by the numbers studio horror film! Well crafted tension, terror, and jump scares. A tight story. Only downside being that the story is told in 4 different time periods that the film jumps between, so it can be a little hard to keep track of if you’re not paying attention. The characters were pretty one-dimensional, but it’s a horror movie, so there’s a pretty low bar for that going in. As with most films in the genre, the final 20-25 minutes ties it all together nicely. One of my favorite endings in a while, as well!

“Eli”

6.2

So… that happened. Pretty run of the mill horror movie set in a haunted medical facility of some sort. Jump scares, demons, religious ritual gone wrong, this one checks all the boxes. It’s no “haunting on hill house”… if there’s nothing else on, you can maybe consider turning it on in the background? Not Netflix’s best. Or MTV Films’ best, for that matter.

“Black Christmas”

0.5

If I could give negative stars, I would. Yikes. There’s almost 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back… not only was the dialogue just a collection of bad hot takes from cable news, but the acting was terrible, and the characters were as one dimensional as they come. The film also had an undeniable crisis of identity that left it constantly contradicting itself and taking all of the power out of its messages. Never a good sign when you’re rooting for the characters to die faster so the movie will be over sooner.