Night of the Bastard (2023)

Erik Boccio’s horror survival thriller is a film that sets its foot firmly in the Satanic cult sub-genre. It’s “Straw Dogs” meets “Race with the Devil” but with none of the charm or creativity of the aforementioned. It’s not to say that “Night of the Bastard” isn’t a spirited effort, but the movie spends so much time propping up plot points that it never quite answers, and can also never quite get past the shaky performances and silly dialogue.

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Sick (2023)

I think soon enough we’ll be at a point where the new generation of filmmakers will be making movies that reflect on the COVID pandemic and how it traumatized the world. The team of John Hyams, Kevin Williamson, and Katelyn Crab concoct what is easily one of the most clever slasher movies of the year, and yet another genre gem in what promises to be a year full of them. “Sick” is a movie that reflects on a COVID ravaged society that also explores ideas about self responsibility and how actions can have dire consequences.

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Fall (2022)

There are two types of survival films: One where our characters are in a situation where despite their best efforts, are screwed. The second type is where common sense evades moronic protagonists who dig themselves in to a hole from minute one. Scott Mann’s “Fall” is the second type. Despite being acrophobic’s nightmare (that is about all “Fall” has going for it) it’s basically a how to, of what not to do when honoring a loved one.

DO spread their ashes if you want; it’s trite but sweet.

DON’T climb to the top of a humongous, unstable radio tower to do it.

What ever happened to lakes, oceans, or stable cliffs?

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Virus :32 (2022)

In the age of COVID there’s a re-emergence of virus horror films (like it or lump it), and “Virus :32” is one of the many that’s unique. It’s unique in that it really wants to be considered a part of the “28 Days Later” canon, even lifting bars from the score track “In the House.” It’s not to say that “Virus :32” is a bad movie. It’s actually a very solid survival horror drama if you’re hungry for a good zombie picture and have nothing else at hand to watch.

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