Director Brian K. Rosenthal’s “Fever” is a short but sweet spooky tale that uses a parent’s anxiety against them. He accentuates the anxiety with the introduction of a spooky creature, one that has absolute feature length potential. Fingers crossed. “Fever” does what most spooky stories do by taking a real world anxiety and completely elevates it in to a horrifying tale.
One thing that I had a problem with “Old” on is that M. Night Shyamalan sets up a lot of plot elements to his mystery that he doesn’t seem prepared to answer. Deep down, “Old” is a great concept and amounts to a pretty eerie movie. But the end result of “Old” is a great idea on paper that results in a clunky and occasionally silly movie that never quite knows how to close its narrative competently. “Old” seems to aspire toward cosmic horror, though it can never quite stick the landing when it comes to the Lovecraftian themes.
Whatever you feel about horror or cosmic horror, you can never realty accuse director Zach Donohue of being unambitious. “The Unknowable” is a richly constructed horror film that takes influence from sub-genres like lo-fi horror and true crime documentaries for one of the more unnerving horror films I’ve seen in a while. Its H.P. Lovecraft meets Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, with a touch of David Cronenberg for good measure.
February 3rd, M. Night Shyamalan offers up another potentially great genre film with “Knock at the Cabin.” The film, based on the novel by Paul G. Tremblay, is a thriller that’s been kept mostly a mystery by its studio. There’s not a lot that’s known about it, but with the cast and dire tone, I’m optimistic Shyamalan will deliver. Being a long time Shyamalan fan, I thought I’d rank the list of films that he’s directed, from worst to best. These are, of course, only films he’s directed.
Do you have a favorite M. Night Shyamalan film? Let us know!
There’s a realty good film desperate to break free tom “Sorry About the Demon.” While it’s not what I’d call a bad movie, it’s a movie that director Emily Hagins kind of loses grip over in its final half. It’s overlong for such a paper thin premise, and most times it feels like the movie can never decide if it’s horror rom-com or rom-com with a touch of horror. It’s a shame because the ingredients are there, but “Sorry About the Demon” never adds up to much of a genre film.
It’s not often anymore that we get horror movies about the horrors of domesticity. Films like “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Stepford Wives” turned the idea of domestic bliss in to an absolute nightmare, and “There’s Something Wrong with the Children” carries on that fine tradition. It’s a very creepy evil children flick that also works as a deeply embedded allegory for impending parenthood that sparks a slick sense of humor about itself. Director Roxanne Benjamin’s film is another one of the more intelligent horror entries of 2023 so far, as it uses the idea of impending parenthood as an absolute waking nightmare.
One of the things I loved about “Love and Thunder” is that Taika Waititi holds true to the message that Stan Lee held for his heroes. Anyone can be Spider-Man. Anyone can be an X-Men, and in “Love and Thunder” anyone can be a mythic hero. While it does in a sense take away value from the concept of Mjölnir, the concept behind “Love and Thunder” is a wholesome one, one that celebrates its audience of children and inspires heroism in the vein of virtue and morality and less on revenge or malice.
I think we can all agree that the marketing for Parker Finn’s “Smile” has been pretty genius. It’s a movie that has built enough clout to attract an audience that’s been big enough to continue a large swell of even more horror films coming in to theaters. It’s good because now we can start to see more movies as immensely disturbing as “Smile,” one hopes. While it’s often compared to “It Follows,” I’d say “Smile” is more in the vein of “The Babadook.”