Category: Horror/Thriller

“X”

8.4

Ah… A return to the classic slasher. From A24, of all studios!

This one thankfully lived up to the hype, and then some. It’s just the right amount of story to hold it all together and just enough sex to justify the killing. A glorious return to the tried and true formula of the classic “Friday the 13th” franchise, among many others. Much better than the recent “Texas Chainsaw” installment. Just because they’re old doesn’t mean they can’t inflict some severe damage. The couple who owns the farm me flashbacks to “The Visit” from years ago.

All in all, the casting was pretty perfect. Speaking of perfect, I will never see “Pitch Perfect” the same after this one. Brittany Snow kills it as the co-lead, alongside wannabe Matthey McConaughey Martin Henderson.

The kills are beautifully directed and, as a result, incredibly impactful and effective. I especially loved a particular scene that turns progressively red as the blood is spilled. The lighting and resulting effect were unexpectedly brilliant.

I highly recommend this one, but caution those with a weak stomach.

“The Cursed”

8.5

“As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the LORD; I have poured out my wrath upon you.” – Ezekiel 22:22

This one blew me away, I’m not going to lie. I came out thoroughly impressed by how far and above this one hurdled my expectations. Biblical/religion-based horror at the height of its powers. Pulled off by a fantastic cast of mostly new faces. This is a masterclass in horror filmmaking, from directing to cinematography.

Lessons to be learned :

  1. Don’t mess with the gypsy women.
  2. If someone threatens you with a curse on your family, don’t dismiss it.
  3. Silver bullets come in handy. Always have a few handy.
  4. For the love of all that is holy… DON’T GO INTO THE OMINOUS FOG ALONE!!!

I spent the majority of the runtime a clenched ball of nerves and still have a kink in my neck from turning away from a couple of well-executed jump scares. This one caught me off guard in the best way, and I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of the genre. It’s up there with the A24 stable of unsettling colonial horror.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)

6.5

Was this a confusing take on the franchise? Yes.

Was this the best “Texas Chainsaw” film? No.

Was this the worst “Texas Chainsaw” film? Also no.

As the credits roll, you realize that Netflix may have been out past its skis on this one. This one is towards the bottom in a sea of phenomenal horror reboots. And Netflix can handle making great horror films and series. That part puzzled me quite a bit. If you’re here for the story or to see the franchise branch out and bloom, you’re going to be disappointed. However, if you want to see Leatherface mow down a sea of hipsters threatening him with being canceled as they record their untimely demise on their smartphones, then this is the movie for you. By far some of the most violent and creative kills in the entire series. Following in the footsteps of the other recent horror reboots, this movie gets very creative in the death department.

If you can make it past the first 20-25 minutes of one of the more clunky liftoffs I’ve seen on the screen in a LONG time… You won’t hate it.

“Blood Fest”

6.9

This would have been a great one to see at the drive-in. B-Horror movie perfection.

Regardless of whether or not you connect with the numerous nods to the classics in this one, even the casual viewer will find enjoyment in this tight hour and a half run time. It’s just meta enough to pique one’s interest and sufficiently serious without taking itself too seriously. It threads the needle perfectly to leave you thoroughly entertained. It’s definitely one of my better finds in the depths of Amazon Prime lately. I’d put it alongside “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse,” genre-wise. Definitely out there but pulls it off nicely.

“Scream” (2022)

8.4

*Chef’s Kiss*

This film is a masterclass in self-aware, fourth-wall-breaking horror-comedy filmmaking.

New technology and horror tropes to play with. Incredibly well directed suspenseful violence. The perfect balance of nostalgia and newfound room to grow into a second renaissance. Wes Craven would be proud.

A fantastically fun two hours in the theater. I highly recommend it.