The First Omen (2024)

It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen a return to Richard Donner’s original supernatural series. The original “The Omen,” which was a response to the fame of “The Exorcist” has managed to live on as a horror gem in the ilk of “The Exorcist.” It’s ripe with storytelling potential and shockingly, “The First Omen” takes us back in to this world with near perfect success. If you had told me that “The First Omen” would be a weird, creepy, and memorable horror prequel a year ago, I’d have been as skeptical as ever. I doubted that “The Omen” really had anywhere left, especially after the painfully underrated “The Awakening” in 1991.

But Arkasha Stevenson’s debut is a brutally suspenseful unfolding of the origins of not just Damien, but the plot to conceive of the antichrist.

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The Peacock’s “Ted” Is Better Than the Movies

Now Streaming Exclusively on The Peacock. “Ted” The Movie is Now Available.

It’s probably not much of a surprise to discover that Seth McFarlane’s talents work much more when applied to serialized television than with feature length films. While “Ted” has gradually evolved in to a favorite of mine, and “Ted 2” is—well—good enough to pass the time, Seth McFarlane’s transplanting of his concept to the small screen is very good. Often times it’s great. This is also stunning considering Seth McFarlane’s earlier humor was often so dark and nasty. “Ted” actually manages to bring a lot of what we love about the humor from “American Dad” and “Family Guy” but also injects some actual heart and substance to McFarlane’s bizarre formula.

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Pet Sematary: Bloodlines (2023) [Fantastic Fest 2023]

This is the third adaptation of Stephen Kng’s “Pet Sematary” and we’re still not in that area where King’s story is remotely interesting or comprehensible. Never really confirming if “Bloodlines” is a prequel to the book or to the movie, Lindsey Anderson Beer’s is a confusing, lethargic and often grotesque horror drama that never has any idea what kind of movie it wants to be. It has eighty five minutes to unfold the narrative of Jud Crandall and despite the implications that Jud had seen a lot of horrifying disturbing imagery in his lifetime, we’re given a dull glorified remake of “Deathdream.”

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Van Helsing: The London Assignment (2004)

DRACULA WEEK

When we first see Gabriel Van Helsing in “Van Helsing,” he’s on the pursuit of Mr. Hyde, a hulk-ified version of Dr. Jekyll. While the Stephen Sommers movie was a bust, “The London Assignment” at least takes its best shot at filling in the gaps. “The London Assignment” is an okay attempt a prologue for Gabriel Van Helsing, where we follow him in his efforts to stop the vicious murder spree of Dr. Jekyll and his monstrous alter ego Mr. Hyde.

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Insidious: The Last Key (2018)

Elise Rainier has been one of the most fleshed out horror movie heroines of the modern era and I’ve enjoyed her quest throughout the “Insidious” series. After dying at the end of the first film, every subsequent film has backtracked to not only explore Elise more, but also give us a bigger wider bridge to the first film. “The Last Key” is perhaps the most personal quest featuring Elise as it does fit in to the general mythology of “The Further” but is more intimate and lower stakes. The movie can be seen more as a stand alone one shot featuring Elise in where she not only garnered full control of her powers, but also foresaw her fate in the first “Insidious.”

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Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023)

I’d like to believe that 2018’s “Bumblee” kind of rubbed off on the studios and it caused them to go in to another direction with their “Transformers” movie series. The “direction” being making their “Transformers” series watchable, entertaining, and coherent. Where as the previous films were all overlong, droning, loud, and obnoxious, “Rise of the Beasts” actually manages to be a very good time. And I say that as someone that’s been completely dismissing anything and everything about “Transformers” since the movies wound up being so god awful. “Bumblebee” being the exception, of course.

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“Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” is an Exciting Introduction to the Wider “Gremlins” Universe

It’s been almost thirty five years since we saw any semblance of “Gremlins” entertainment rear its scaley head. Now in the midst of reviving old IP’s HBO and Warner take a shot on reviving Joe Dante’s classic film series. “Secrets of the Mogwai” is thankfully built very much in the vein of the classic 1984 film, and less like “The New Batch.” It’s a dark fantasy (with charming animation obviously influenced by LAIKA Studios) with a lot of harrowing action and terror, but also revels in the inherent awe and wonder of Gizmo and the concept of the Gremlins, twisted as they may be.

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