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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Departing Seniors (2024)

In Select Theaters & VOD/Digital on February 2nd.

Director Clare Cooney’s “Departing Seniors” is an ode to the classic giallo pictures of the seventies where someone is having psychic visions of a lurking masked killer. This masked killer though is lurking inside and around a high school, while the protagonist is a young man who is grappling with his own trauma involving his sexuality. While I give big respect to Joe Nateras for writing a movie that evokes the giallo pictures of the seventies, “Departing Seniors” misses on every other front. It’s a horror comedy that completely fails to keep its eye on the ball, centering so much more around teen drama and forgetting that it’s also supposed to be a horror movie.

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POV (2023)

Currently Screening in Various Festivals.

I believe it was Veruca Salt who said, and I paraphrase: I want a feature film version of “POV.” I want one, I don’t care how, but I want it now. “POV” is probably one of the very first horror based vigilante movies I’ve ever seen and it’s teeming with so much potential to build on this world and expand it in to something dark, twisted, and just downright bad ass. From director Brian K. Rosenthal (of “Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness”), “POV” is such a great film that has a pretty excellent concept behind it.

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Thanksgiving (2023)

Back in 2007 after the collaborative efforts of Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez known as “Grindhouse” flopped, one of the popular elements of the double feature that lingered on was the mock trailers during intermission. After delivering a very popular faux trailer with “Thanksgiving,” director Eli Roth finally gives us what we’ve been begging for almost twenty years later. Thankfully while the whole faux grindhouse aesthetic has fallen out of favor with mainstream cinema, “Thanksgiving” ends as a pretty great slasher film with its own merits to offer the horror genre.

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Five Movies to Prepare for Eli Roth’s “Thanksgiving”

After sixteen whole years Eli Roth finally got around to taking his fake trailer from 2007’s “Grindhouse” and transforming it in to an actual feature length slasher film. We’re not bereft of holiday themed horror movies, but we’re about due for a slasher revival, and if you’re in the mood for “Thanksgiving” be sure to visit (or re-visit) these five horror titles that influenced “Thanksgivng.” 

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Freddy’s Fridays (2023)

With great success of a blockbuster, there’s always bound to be a mockbuster that comes up from the rear to pull from the momentum. What with the shocking success of “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” we have the UK mockbuster known unsubtly as “Freddy’s Fridays.” From director Ben J. Williams (who gave us “Supernado,” and “Spiders on a Plane”) comes a pretty dull horror movie that is a hefty mixture of “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and “Hellraiser.” It’s a paper thin premise that probably took a paragraph to expound on on paper, and amounts to a barely eighty minute movie that works hard to stretch the run time with a ton of filler.

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10/31: Part III (2022)

Director and writer Michael Ballif’s anthology series “10/31” has been a mixed bag of mostly treats that’s done well in celebrating the Halloween season. It’s been way too overlooked in a barrage of indie horror films out on the market, and that’s a shame. “10/31” as a whole is a movie series that deserves a bigger audience, in spite of “Part III” never quite sticking the landing. I’d say it has a lot of good ideas, but never manages to be as good as the first two films, when all is said and done.

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