Bad Movie Monday: THE MCPHERSON TAPE (1989)

Most found footage films are pretty review-proof. Seriously, how could anyone dare criticize a movie like The McPherson Tape? It is the perfect example of a no-budget film made by people working with what they had and trying to make something interesting. Criticism in cases like this feels like a venial sin, worthy of the pillory. So obviously I am totally going to review it, but by now I like to consider myself an expert at this sort of thing. Don’t try this at home kids.
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Carrie (2013): Collector’s Edition [4K UHD/Blu-Ray]

Now Available from Scream Factory.

Was Kimberly Peirce’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “Carrie” entirely necessary? Not really. But while Brian DePalma did set the bar high with his adaptation of the novel in 1976, Kimberly Peirce’s modern interpretation of the titular novel holds up surprisingly well. It’s not by any means what I’d call a masterpiece, but in a world where we have the 2002 TV remake, Peirce’s version is not without its charms. It doesn’t garner exactly the big emotional punch of DePalma’s but there’s a very charming and interesting sincerity to this interpretation.

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Stephen King’s The Shining (1997) [Blu-Ray]

Now Available on Physical Media from Scream Factory while the Original Novel is Also Available.

It’s no surprise that Stephen King did not like Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 version of “The Shining.” He’s gone on about it. And on. And on. And on. I’m sure he even brings it up whenever someone uses the word hotel, or Jack Nicholson, or axe, or twins. In either case, in 1997 Stephen King teamed up with long time collaborator Mick Garris to deliver a faithful, more epic version of “The Shining” and well—it’s fine. It’s an okay movie. It’s not a gem like Kubrick’s version but it’s not boring. And it has its supporters, if anything. And it’s aged pretty well, all things considered.

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The Ring Collection [4K Ultra HD/Blu-Ray]

Available March 19th from Scream Factory.

In the age of analog horror and ARG’s, Hideo Nakata was so far ahead of his time, that it’s horrifying. His 1998 horror film “Ring” is a concept that, if realized today, would have probably been a hit series on Youtube. A cursed VHS tape featuring a dreaded short film with supernatural powers, a powerful demon sleeping within it, calling up those that view it, and giving them seven days to live. On the seventh day when the user fails to cut the curse or pass it on to someone else, they’re visited by an unfathomable terror. It’s the formula for a great horror film that sparked the huge J Horror boom of the early aughts that spawned a slew of Japanese Horror Films to either be imported to America, or remade in to hits in their own right.

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Late Night with the Devil (2024)

Coming to UK Cinemas on March 22nd.

Cameron Cairnes & Colin Cairnes’s “Late Night with the Devil” might prove to be one of the best horror movies of 2024 and one of the best movies, period. In a year that’s been tough on horror so far, in swoops what is a wonderful amalgam of found footage, analog horror, and possession cinema. “Late Night with the Devil” carries the torch from gems like “Ghostwatch” and “WNUF Halloween Special” as a truly stellar mock documentary that places a great emphasis on dread and a larger narrative rather than cheap scares and gimmick.

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Imaginary (2024)

Take a bit of “Insidious,” a dash of “Annabelle Comes Home” with a heaping spoonful of “Pinocchio’s Revenge” and you get what is another dull genre installment from Blumhouse Pictures. Once the beaming genre studio, Blumhouse seems to be contractually obligated to release at least two horror movies a year, no matter what, and “Imaginary” feels like more of an obligation than anything. It’s a convoluted, and often dull movie that seems to really want to be a cerebral tale about PTSD and mental illness.

But mid-way you can sense the producers intervene when the narrative suddenly veers off in to a more commercial dark pseudo-Gaiman horror fantasy involving magical beings, and a weird dimension for imaginary creatures.

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Madame Web (2024)

In Sony’s quest to maintain the Spider-Man trademark, they continue milking whatever character from his universe that they can, no matter how irrelevant or nonsensical they may be. In the now established “Don’t Say Spider-Man” Spider-Man Movieverse, S.J. Clarkson directs what is essentially “Donnie Darko” but with a heavy theme about Spiders. The writers do everything they can to allude to Spider-Man and Peter Parker but, I’m assuming because of contractual stipulations, not once do we ever get to see Peter Parker or Spider-man, nor do we ever hear his name uttered. Uncle Ben does play a big role, though, because he is not canon in the MCU.

It’s all so tricky.

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