REVIEW: Getting to know ‘Pearl’ is amusing and frightening

The beginning of Pearl’s path from sweet farm girl to the woman she became in the film “X” is on full, technicolor display in this prequel.

Taking place in 1918, “Pearl” follows the titular character, played by Mia Goth, as she descends into madness. There are a few factors pushing her there, but the main one is her mother, Ruth (Tandi Wright).

Ruth is a domineering woman, never showing compassion to her daughter and instead deriding her for wanting something beyond the farm life. That something is a career in dance, but as time gets closer to an audition that could give Pearl an escape, things begin to happen that awaken a darkness in the character.

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REVIEW: ‘Barbarian’ successfully brings horror to the Airbnb scene

Ah, Detroit. Home of the Red Wings, thick square pizza and, according to this movie, cavernous, dungeon-like basements.

Tess (Georgina Campbell) is in Detroit for a job interview and, rather than rent a hotel room, she decided to stay at an Airbnb. She successfully arrives at the location, but, to her surprise, it’s already occupied by another individual, Keith (Bill Skarsgard).

As it turns out, both Tess and Keith managed to rent the same property through different websites. With a storm raging outside and few vacancies around, Keith suggests Tess stay at the house and they work things out the next day. Tess agrees, but right from the start, she notices strange things about the home.

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REVIEW: Toss this ‘Invitation,’ the event isn’t worth going

“The Invitation” is a film with a rather entertaining finale. It’s just a shame an audience has to sit through a whole lot of nothing to get there.

Nathalie Emmanuel stars as Evie in this supposed horror picture. The film picks up with the aspiring artist and catering server learning more about her ancestry, and, as it turns out, she is related to a wealthy family in England and decides to meet-up with her newly discovered cousin, Oliver (Hugh Skinner).

Oliver extends an invitation to Evie to meet more of her relatives at a wedding event being held at an estate belonging to Walter (Thomas Doherty), a longtime family friend. While a bit nervous about all the new developments, Evie decides to travel to England for the wedding. However, just as she starts to settle in, Evie begins noticing some creepy things.

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REVIEW: Nobody needs to see ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’

Not sure I would really classify this movie as a horror film. Although, the thought of watching it again is horrifying.

“Bodies Bodies Bodies” picks up with the character Bee (Maria Bakalova) accompanying her girlfriend Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) to a weekend get together. The event is taking place at the home of David (Pete Davidson), Sophia’s longtime friend.

Sophie’s arrival is a bit awkward, though, as she hasn’t seen David, or her other friends, in quite some time.To help lighten the mood, they decide to play a murder mystery game called “Bodies Bodies Bodies.” However, things take a drastic turn when someone actually ends up dead.

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REVIEW: While thought provoking, “Nope” is rarely gripping

“Nope” is a UFO movie. I’m resistant to using the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena term, UFO just sounds better.

In writer/director Jordan Peele’s newest film, Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer star as O.J. and Em Haywood, respectively. The brother-sister duo inherited a ranch from their father where horses were raised and trained to be used in the entertainment industry.

The business is struggling lately, though, and to generate revenue, O.J. has been selling off the horses to Jupe Park (Steven Yeun), the owner of a nearby cowboy-inspired theme park. As time goes on, the family’s financial situation becomes a lesser issue, with strange and disturbing events beginning to happen, with a potential UFO in the area.

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REVIEW: ‘The Black Phone’ is a frightening delight

Hauntings are fairly common in horror films but “The Black Phone,” thankfully, puts a new twist on the concept.

The movie follows middle school student Finney (Mason Thames), a kid who lives in mid-size Colorado city with his sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) and father Terrence (Jeremy Davies). The community where Finney resides has been in a state of terror lately as several children have gone missing in recent weeks.

The suspect is only known as the Grabber (Ethan Hawke), and eventually, Finney becomes a target. Now kidnapped and locked in a basement, Finney has to try to survive, and ends up getting help from the spirits of the Grabber’s other victims, who speak with the protagonist through a disconnected black phone.

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REVIEW: ‘Crimes of the Future’ is a fascinating sci-fi creation

In the “Crimes of the Future” world, there are two separate, yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime, and an organ registry office to track human evolution.

These are their stories.

In the future portrayed in this film, humanity has evolved to the point where people no longer experience pain and are immune to infectious diseases. Evolution hasn’t stopped there, though, with some humans having bodies that create additional organs with no function, and others having a digestive system that can dissolve plastic.

Both evolutionary traits have gotten the attention of government agencies. Thanks to a man named Saul (Viggo Mortenson), the former trait has also gotten attention in cultural circles. He has made the removal of these organs into a show, as he allows an audience to watch these surgeries, which are conducted by an artist named Caprice (Lea Seydoux).

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REVIEW: Alex Garland’s “Men” is ambitious but frustrating

I have a feeling this film will have some guys shouting “not all men!”

This film from director Alex Garland from the company A24 stars Jessie Buckley as Harper, a woman who’s gone to stay at a cottage in the country after a personal tragedy. The rental is in a nice enough small town and all seems well, but issues with her past continue to trouble her.

It’s made only worse as she has to deal with some rather bothersome figures in town, from a prying priest to a creepy schoolboy. These men only make her mental state worse.

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REVIEW: ‘Firestarter’ is a faulty King adaptation

Stephen King is an iconic writer but the adaptations of his work have a tendency to be hit or miss. This new “Firestarter” movie is definitely one of the latter.

Zac Efron and Sydney Lemmon play parents of a daughter with a unique ability in the film. Their child, Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), has the ability to spontaneously create fire with her mind, although she can’t manage to fully control the power.

While her power is unique, though, her having an ability isn’t, as both her parents are also able to control things with their mind. This has put a target on the family by an organization set on controlling people with special powers. With Charlie’s powers more based on high emotions, it puts her family in a dangerous position, as their cover of being normal residents may be blown.

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REVIEW: New horror ‘X’ delivers mix of old and new thrills

What happens when you cross “It Follows” with “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre?” It’s probably something like this movie, “X.”

Set during the late 70s in rural Texas, “X” follows a group of six characters who’re working on an adult film. To shoot the production, the filmmakers have rented themselves a small cabin on the property of a secluded farmer.

The group gets to work and things start off fine. However, when the property owners learn what kind of work is going on, they take great offense to the actions and the situation escalates to a deadly level.

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