Like Me (2024) [Chattanooga Film Festival 2024]

Watch These Films (WTF) Shorts Block

There are a growing number of short films surrounding the concept of social media and Ashley Thomas runs wild with the concept. “Like Me” doesn’t have a narrative or much of a whole structure behind it, but it at least makes up for it with a punch of a final scene emphasized with some excellent make up.

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Nu (2022) [Film Maudit 2.0]

I imagine Olivier Labonté Lemoyne’s is going to lend itself to all kinds of interpretations. Maybe it’s just abstract for the sake of being abstract? Who knows? In either case, “Nu” succeeds in being as oddly creepy as it does in being kind of silly, exploring the idea of fear vulnerability. The whole concept of beings that look like nudists plays on the whole nature of voyeurism and the reluctance by many to engage in it.

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Gunfighter Paradise (2024)

Recently selected to the 2024 RiverRun Film Festival. 

Like a Southern fried “Donnie Darko,” writer/director Jethro Waters’s darkly comic dissection of America and masculinity is truly one of the most unique and bizarre dark comedies to come out of the independent circuit. I don’t think audiences are ready for what someone like Waters has in store, placing America’s current social climate up to a big lens and lending some insight in to the lunacy of it all, and how the lunacy has become the new norm.

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Sting (2024)

Opens Wide in North American Theaters on April 12th.

 I’m glad that monster movies seem to be making more and more of a comeback in the last few years, and among them are director Kiah Roache-Turner’s “Sting.” Roache-Turner is an individual that’s delivered on very gritty, grindhouse flavored zombie films over the years (Any other “Wyrmwood” fans in the house?), and “Sting” is a big departure from what he typically offers the horror crowd. That’s a great thing because he proves that he can do more simplistic, stripped down and classic movie fare. “Sting” has a different aesthetic, one that’s darker, and more human based and relies a lot on the human characters to deliver on spooks and gruesome gore.

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Child’s Play (2019): Collector’s Edition [4K UHD/Blu-Ray]

Now Available from Scream Factory.

I will die on the hill that “Child’s Play” from Lars Klevberg isn’t just a good remake, but it’s also a great one. Sure, it’s a last ditch effort from the studio to keep the “Child’s Play” license, but it’s also a damn good re-imagining of the concept that fixes the entire premise in to more modern times. And while the original film did address complex ideas about mental illness and Andy’s inherent loneliness from being what used to be described as a “latch key kid,” Klevberg’s remake is all about genetics, and whether our violent natures can be by nature or nurture.

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Drive-Away Dolls (2024)

The big draw for “Drive-Away Dolls” will be the director Ethan Coen for film buffs, and I say that because Ethan Coen spends an inordinate amount of time directing a movie that feels very Coen brothers lite. It has this flavor of a misplaced dark comedy from 2000 that might have paired on basic cable with “Nurse Betty.” It has all the hallmarks of a Coen Brothers movie after all. There are the quirky dysfunctional heroes, the quirky albeit vicious villains, some kind of spiritual journey or awakening, and a premise that devolves into immense chaos.

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Lisa Frankenstein (2024)

Director Zelda Williams and Diablo Cody’s “Lisa Frankenstein” doesn’t just wear its influences on its sleeves, it bedazzles those influences and flashes its sleeves around proudly. “Lisa Frankenstein” watches as if Diablo Cody pitched: “Remember “Edward Scissorhands”? What if “Edward Scissorhands” but in the 80’s?” All the cards are set up from minute one, from the Gothic animated opening sequence, and the pastel photography, while Kathryn Newton and Cole Sprouse do their very best Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp impersonations.

Mix in “Heathers,” “My Boyfriend’s Back,” and “Warm Bodies” and we’re given what is essentially a ton of talent with no place to go.

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