I was thoroughly surprised with 2017’s “Happy Death Day.” The more I’ve thought about it and re-watched it, I’ve come to like it more and more as a horror reworking of “Groundhog’s Day.” It’s a fun and creepy character piece about a despicable young woman who realizes that maybe the way to keep herself from dying and end the cycle of re-living the same day over and over, is to think about other people in her life. “Happy Death Day 2U” is that same concept, but a wholly different movie. It’s a sequel that brings us a new angle of the narrative, expands on the concept of the original film, while also continuing to explore the character of Tree Gelbman.
There’s no better statement on romance than the idea that sometimes the ones that we love the most aren’t always the best thing for us. With “Elephants” director-writer Alexander Hanno constructs a truly good romance dramedy based around how nostalgia can often leave us stagnant and stuck in one place. “Elephants” is a very sad movie about two people so in love that they automatically hurt each other’s prospects at success in life, but also about getting stuck in remembering the past, and not accepting that we have to move forward and look ahead.
Despite generally loving movies about the supernatural, and in spite of “The Plague of the Zombies” being very much ahead of its time in its implementing of voodoo as a means of our villain enacting his devious plan, I was indifferent toward “The Plague of the Zombies.” I can’t say that I completely hated it, but while it packs in some tension and great mood set pieces, I wasn’t too sad when it finally drew to a close.
Take the unabashed violence of the eighties action films where all that stood between peace and war was one guy with a gun, throw in a slasher film, and you have what is one of my absolute childhood favorites. “Cobra” brings me back to a time where I’d watch Marion Cobretti bring down a thug with the cold hard steel of his Colt .45 and still have time to go home and unwind with some left over pizza. Thankfully “Cobra” still pretty much holds up today as a mixing of two very popular genres from the decade, and it works for the most part.
Most of the time we get such a backlog of short films and feature length indie films that we work hard to take them all on and review them before the year is up. In “Shorts Round Up of the Week” we review a round up of short films of varying quality.
If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.
This week we have a trio of shorts from Chris McInroy, a psychotic tattoo artist, and the tale of a walking baby.
A man returns to his family’s Vermont cabin with his longtime girlfriend to try and remember what happened on his tenth birthday that caused him to have a black hole in his memory. Once there, things start to make sense and connect with the help of a stranger.
Director/Star Bradley Cooper’s “A Star is Born” will likely go down in history as one of the greatest remakes of all time. Cooper doesn’t try so much to remake a story that’s been already remade, but rethink it for a modern culture. In the end “A Star is Born” excels because it doesn’t lose sight of what it wants to convey as an epic romance, and a tale about identity, and stardom. It’s a beautiful and often soul shattering drama that Cooper directs with immense humility and is able to derive wonderful performances all around.
“Horror Noire” is the film you have to see right now. If you fancy yourself a horror aficionado, a film buff, or just a lover of history, “Horror Noire” is essential viewing that is long overdue. For a long time we’ve garnered some amazing documentaries that have covered a lot of overlooked chapters in horror cinema, and “Horror Noire” touches upon the most important era, exploring the history of African Americans in horror cinema, and how they evolved from being demonized, to becoming props, right up to becoming genuine heroes.