Festival of the Living Dead (2024)

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The Soska Sisters hit absolute rock bottom with what is possibly one of the dumbest zombie movies released in the last few years. It’s dumb, and when you think it can’t, it finds new ways to get dumber and dumber. The Soska sisters are usually a very talented pair of directors, but with “Festival of the Living Dead,” everything wreaks of pure amateurism, but exploiting “Night of the Living Dead” for fan appeal, to the painfully stupid script, and just downright terrible acting. To make things worse, the premise and concept takes such leaps and bounds to connect to the universe of “Night of the Living Dead.”

And it’s only “Night of the Living Dead” since that’s the only movie in the series in the public domain.

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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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The Barn Part II (2022)

If Justin M. Seaman’s “The Barn” was “Ghoulies,” then “The Barn Part II” is the “Ghoulies II” of his horror movie series. His Halloween centric horror movie series has managed to deliver in surprises and good old fashioned vintage scares and I’ve enjoyed a lot of the mythos that Seaman and co. have created. “The Bart Part II” is superior to the first film in every way, as while the original is a very good small scale Halloween movie, this follow up doubles up on every aspect. There’s double the gore, double the body count, double the T&A and even larger scale monsters.

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Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 3 (2022)

In 2020’s “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2,” heroine Addison spent a lot of her arc trying to figure out if she was perhaps the “Great Alpha” werewolf. When that was a bust, we were left on a cliffhanger as Addison was left pondering on her origins. And we were given a clue—from outer space. The idea of Addison perhaps being an alien makes a ton of sense considering the character guidelines the movies follow, and with the final movie in Disney’s “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S,” Disney works fast to seal up any and all lingering questions about Addison and Zed.

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Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2 (2020)

The follow up to the surprise 2018 hit musical is a superior movie in every way possible. Although there didn’t seem to be much that they could do with a follow up, “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2” does a darn good job in amplifying what was so great about the first one; the writers are great at adding on to the whole mythos of the town of Seabrook offering even more characters, more potential for more monsters, and give cheerleader Addison her own arc. While in the original she sought to fit in with the zombies, now she’s looking for her own group, unsure of where she really belongs after her experiences with Zed and Zombietown.

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Z-O-M-B-I-E-S (2018)

It’s an allegory for class divide. That’s basically all “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S” is. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie, but once you can get past the clumsy symbolism of the way the zombies are supposed to be the more impoverished individuals, while the humans are meant to be the upper echelon, “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S” is actually kind of a fun horror comedy musical. You wouldn’t think that they could really pull off a zombie horror comedy for kids, but Disney and director Paul Hoen do a pretty darn good job of it. Even if 2013’s “Bunks” is better.

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Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

It’s surprising that “Welcome to Raccoon City” wasn’t very well received in 2021, as I think it’s about as good a movie as I’d have expected for a “Resident Evil” feature film. Surely, it’s by no means a perfect adaptation but I had a great time with it, and enjoyed it so much more than what Paul WS Anderson served up in the aughts. Johannes Roberts injects a lot of life in to this feature film visit to Raccoon City, and his reboot is filled with some great scares, genuinely good zombie carnage, and classic mystery on par with the video games.

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