Hereditary

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There are horror films that are meant to f*ck you up, and then there is Hereditary — which, IMO, is in a category all on its own.

Artist Annie Graham (Toni Collette) has just lost her mom, and is dealing with a lot of complicated feelings around loss, grief, and a years-long estrangement from her mother that was only broken by a sense of duty once her mom’s health started failing.

Annie is also dealing with a tense relationship with her teenage son (Alex Wolff), disciplining an unusual daughter (newcomer Millie Shapiro, who is fantastic!), and trying to manage a husband (Gabriel Byrne) who is alternately protective of, and frustrated with, her actions. Plus, she’s got a huge gallery project due, and she falls apart a little more with each piece she finishes.

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Revenge

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HolyCRAP. I was not expecting Revenge to live up to its amazing hype, but it is absolutely worthy of every single bit of praise its getting from critics and fans.

Aspiring actress Jen (Matilda Lutz – who was great in the otherwise dreadful Rings, but is AMAZING here) arrives with her super-rich, married boyfriend at his lush desert estate for some weekend fun times just before he leaves on a hunting trip with his best bros. Unfortunately for Jen, said bros arrive early and immediately assume that because she’s down to party with bf, she’s down to party with ALL of them — especially since she engages in some sexy dance moves with bro #1.

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The Endless

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The Endless, which is the latest feature from film-making team Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead, is bound to draw comparisons to Lost. And while I think those comparisons are fair, I gotta say that I actually like the way this story plays out much better.

Since leaving what Justin calls “the Death Cult”, both he and his younger brother, Aaron (played by the Co-Directors) are living a less-than-fulfilling life. They exist by taking cleaning jobs, live in a shitty apartment they’re about to get evicted from, and can barely afford food. So when a dusty videotape shows up with a message from the cult and it’s clear the commune and the people in it are thriving, Aaron starts bugging Justin to go back and check it out — if only for one night.

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It {2017}

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{cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

Remember those heady, lazy days with your friends on summer break? The long, sunny bike rides, music blasting from your boombox, picnics by the lake … and that time an ancient soul-eating demon tried to pick you off one by one while masquerading as a terrifying circus clown?

It introduces us to “The Losers,” a group of misfit friends who band together to try and take down a many, many, many-toothed monster who emerges from the sewers underneath Derry, Maine every 27 years to chow down on a bunch of unsuspecting kids.

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RINGS

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{cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls

It’s been 12 years since The Ring 2 (TWELVE?!?! YEARS?!?!) so I suppose it was about time for Samara and her f’ed up psychic video feed to resurface, because we need something other than reality to terrify us in 2017 – amirite?

Terrify isn’t exactly the word I would use here, but Rings does have its moments — I just wish its moments had been closer together in say, a tighter 60 minute package instead of a looooooooong and slowly drawn out 1 hour and 45 minute one.

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Phantasm: Ravager – Reggie the ice cream man does not mess around

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{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

“I could really go for a Rocket Pop right now”

So begins the saga of Reggie in Phantasm: Ravager, the fifth — and apparently final — installment of the Phantasm universe. The pony-tailed ice cream truck driver has been on a journey to defeat The Tall Man and save his friends from otherworldly possession and freaky rabid Jawas (aka: Lurkers) since 1979, alternately kicking-ass, singing songs, and hooking up with random chicks while driving a sweet 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda.

In Ravager, Reg enters the scene wandering through the dessert in his dirty, torn, and familiar white ice cream man uniform wielding a custom-made shotgun. He’s in search of BFFs Mike & Jody, and also trying to find out who the hell had the balls to steal his car from its hiding place. Luckily, he finds it just as those flying killer spheres show up to cause him all kinds of trouble. But that’s just the beginning … Read the full post »

The Neon Demon

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{cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls} 

“I know how I look. What’s wrong with that?”

Last night I finally go to see Nicolas Winding Refn’s epic shock porn horror art piece, The Neon Demon, which many of the people at Cannes deemed as “trash,” and walked out of. A few people in the theater with me last night for the preview screening also walked out — however, thought Refn’s film was pretty brilliant both visually and in its hilarious skewering of a problematic industry I’ve never been able to understand or embrace.

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

I’m happy to report that the insanity that is Seth Grahame-Smith’s Jane Austen-zombie genre mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies translates way better to film then Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter { … < insert snoring sound here}.

Set in an alternate universe where a zombie plague has infected Regency-era England, PPZopens with a fantastic introduction to Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) via his method of detecting the zombification process: a vial of flies.

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The Funhouse Massacre

DSC_3008{cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

“It’s not like the Funhouse is creepily positioned in the middle of nowhere with only a broken-down asylum nearby, haunted by the ghosts of its dead, deranged inmates …what’s there to be afraid of? Come on!”

Except it’s totally like that. The Funhouse Massacre unleashes a posse of the most dangerous serial killers on the local haunted funhouse on Halloween night, supplying each of the murderers with an almost unlimited supply of victims—most of whom believe they’re just watching “part of the show.” Read the full post »

IT FOLLOWS

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{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

“It’s slow, but it’s not dumb.” ~ Hugh, IT FOLLOWS

Imagine going on a date with someone you really, really like, enjoying a romantic lakeside talk, cozying up in the car for some hot sex—then having that person drag you out into the middle of nowhere, tie you to a chair, and explain that by having sex they’ve infected you with something that will FOLLOW you. And you have to keep running from it, because it won’t stop until it catches up to you and kills you. Read the full post »