A title like “Nightmare Alley” may inspire thoughts that this film is about fantastical monsters.
But director Guillermo del Toro’s latest film is about how ordinary men can be just as monstrous as fabled beasts.
Bradley Cooper stars as Stanton in the film, a man who’s clearly on the run from his past at the start of the movie. As the film takes place during the later years of the depression and Stanton needing work, he ends up taking an offer to work at a carnival.
There, he meets a husband and wife duo who have an act where they perform as a pair of psychics, although, their mind games are actually just coded words to make it appear that they have powers. Still, Stanton sees an opportunity for himself and decides he would like to do such an act, but his efforts to do so leads to dangers and conundrums.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Take a stroll in ‘Nightmare Alley’ for quality noir”
“Titane” is the French term for “titanium,” one of the strongest metals on Earth.
With that in consideration, the title “Titane” makes sense, as metal and strength are often tied to masculinity, which plays a major role in this feature.
The main character of the movie is Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), a young woman who works as an exotic dancer at a car show. Alexia seems mostly closed off, and has been so since she was a young girl, when a serious car accident resulted in her needing metal plates inserted.
As the first act reveals, though, Alexia has a dark hobby outside of her main dancing, job. This aspect of her life, as well as a sexual encounter she has one night after work, forces her to make a major change in her life, to the point where she has to assume a different identity. However, this action only leads to more complications.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Quality is clear in ‘Titane’ but enjoyment can be modest”
Soho looks like a pretty fun place to visit in London, but if the main character in this movie is around, things might get a little to intense.
This film, directed and co-written by Edgar Wright, stars Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise. The young woman has recently moved from the country-side to a section of London to earn a degree in fashion. Immediately, Eloise finds herself fed up with her partying dorm roommate and decides to move into an apartment at an older building.
While it seems perfect at first, Eloise soon finds herself having visions of another young woman, named Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), who lived in the same apartment and wanted to be a lounge singer during the 1960s. While the visions start off fascinating, they soon unveil a dark mystery from the past.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Last Night in Soho’ sadly falters after strong start”
It’s almost deer season in Minnesota, but those expecting a movie about hunting with “Antlers” should look elsewhere.
Instead this film is a horror about a mythical beast known as a Wendigo. The main character in “Antlers” is Julia (Keri Russell), an elementary school teacher who recently moved back to a rural Oregon town, where her brother is the sheriff.
Early on in the movie, Julia notices one of her students, Lucas (Jeremy Thomas) has been rather troubled. It turns out Lucas is having issues because his father was attacked in an abandoned factory recently by a shadowed figure and now appears to be changing into something monstrous.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Antlers’ succeeds as a horror but let down by drama”
This edition of Adventures in B-Movie Horrors offers some throwbacks. On top of them being decades old, they also all feature things of a time gone by.
One of them takes inspiration from the classic “Frankenstein” story, another is a callback to 50s monster flicks and the third includes horror retellings of old fairy tales.
Continue reading “Halloween Adventures in B-Movie Horror 2021, Part 2”
Lightning struck in 2018, with that year’s “Halloween” feature, as it was a return to form for the long-running franchise.
Unfortunately, it appears to have been just a lightning in a bottle scenario.
The movie picks up just minutes after the end of the 2018 picture. Despite the efforts of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her family, the killer Michael Myers survived the trap set for him and is back on the loose.
As Myers emerges from the fire started in the first picture, reports of his actions begin spreading throughout the town. Many of those who learn of Michael’s actions had run ins with the killer when he first attacked in 1978. Intending to bring an end to Myers, they decide to take the law into their own hands, causing even more chaos in the city of Haddonfield.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Halloween Kills’ crushes momentum from 2018 installment”
“Malignant” may not be the scariest movie of the year, or of the past few years, but what it leads up to certainly makes it a memorable horror experience.
The flick follows the story of Madison (Annabelle Walis), a woman with an unclear past who lives in Seattle with her Husband. It’s clear from the get-go that their marriage is strained and the film opens with them having a fight.
That night, Madison’s husband is murdered and she has a vision of it happening. From that day on, more murders begin taking place and each time Madison has horrible visions of it taking place. As this happens, Madison begins to dig more into her past to see what the connection is.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Maniacal third act makes ‘Malignant’ worth watching”
There are some movies where the execution of an ending can be so integral that it can make or break the feature.
That’s the case with “The Night House,” and not in a good way.
Rebecca Hall plays Beth in this thriller, a high school teacher who recently lost her husband to suicide. Beth is trying to move on from the tragedy, but she continues to reside at the home her husband, Owen (Evan Jonigkeit), built on the lake, which leaves her with constant reminders.
Those reminders begin to manifest as visions for Beth, who begins to see frightening things related to her late husband in the midnight hours. Because of what she sees in the night, she begins looking into whether her husband had a secret life or not.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Poor ending negates potential of ‘Night House’”
Sometimes, modern horror sequels to older properties can be massive disappointments, such as 2013’s “Texas Chainsaw.”
Fortunately, that’s not the case with the new “Candyman,” penned by Jordan Peele.
This film serves as a sequel to the original “Candyman” from 1992. This time around, the protagonist is Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), an artist living in Chicago with his girlfriend Brianna (Teyonah Parris). Finding himself in artist block territory lately, McCoy decides to visit a northern Chicago housing project for inspiration.
While there, he meets a local named William (Colman Domingo), who tells McCoy the legend of the Candyman spirit. The legend ends up being a spark for McCoy who begins making art based on Candyman. However, his spark of creativity ends up reigniting the old Candyman spirit itself.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Compelling and creepy ‘Candyman’ is a success”
M. Night Shyamalan is back with another thriller, this time based on a graphic novel.
“Old” is Shyamalan’s adaptation of the novel “Sandcastle.” The film follows several people who’re together on a private beach owned by a resort on a tropical island.
While the cast is large, the movie mainly centers on one family, consisting of Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal), his wife Prisca (Vicky Krieps), and their children Trent (Alex Wolff) and Maddox (Thomasin McKenzie). At first, it seems to be a relaxing getaway, but things turn south fast. After a series of events, the group learns that the area they’re at makes people age at an accelerated rate.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Old’ is a middling Shyamalan offering”