“American Pie” hit the right chords in the right time, it caught lightning in a bottle, and I was there when it became a pop culture phenomenon. It made the development of the digital age a fun comedic prop, as our protagonist Jim is caught on the world wide web of dozens of people prematurely ejaculating, and dancing. It struck the iron at just the right point and for a while was a massive hit. Hell, it even invented the term “Milf” (Thus an entire popular porn sub-genre was born!) But watching it so many years later, it’s clear that “American Pie” is just not a very good movie. Maybe it’s because seventeen years later pop culture has redefined what’s raunchy about a thousand times over, but when you cut away at the sexual humor, what you have a pretty mediocre teen comedy.
Disney’s 1951 adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” is perhaps one of their most iconic animated productions. And yet it’s one of my least favorite Disney films of all time. More so than “Hunchback of Notre Dame” even. Alice, as played by Kathryn Beaumont, is a restless British girl who falls down a rabbit hole when she attempts to chase a talking rabbit who is insistent on reaching an appointment. After falling down a rabbit hole, she enters in to Wonderland where nothing is ever what it quite seems in her world. Up is down, big is small, and everything garners some sense of sentience that makes her exploration of this world even more menacing and baffling than she imagined.
Todd Nunes takes “Black Christmas” and wraps it in the Santa slashing madness “Silent Night, Deadly Night” for what is a pretty wonky slasher film. I appreciated the humor and inherent mean spiritedness of it all, as Todd Nunes definitely has a love for slasher films. He and his crew even seem dead set on creating their own iconic slasher with our silver faced Santa who has a knack for mutilating his victims with garden sheers. There’s also his habit for turning his male victims in to eunuchs, which is of shocking importance once the finale rolls around. I really like that Todd Nunes stuffs the film with more Latin and Hispanic actors, providing a very welcome diverse cast.
After a traumatic event, Alena is forced to change school and ends up under the watch of a therapist at an all-girl private school. Here she attempts to make friends, love, and move on with her life as her past clings to her. As she tries to live her life and be happy, ghosts of her past haunt her. The film is based on a graphic novel by Kim W. Andersson and is adapted for the screen by Kerstin Gezelius, Alexander Onofri, and Daniel di Grado with di Grado directing. The characters are strong, well developed people, mainly female given the all-girl school setting, and varied.
Julia, an investigative reporter, starts looking into the disappearance of complete rooms from houses where violent deaths have occurred. As she gets closer to the truth, things and people get weirder. Her investigation puts her life in danger as she gets too close and discovers more about the rooms and herself.
Brazil, 1932, during the coffee crisis, Laura takes a job for a rich man to go to his coffee plantation and be in charge of his niece and nephew and to take care of their education. While attempting to take full control of the situation at the plantation, Laura starts hearing and seeing things no one else is, things she may be imagining or simply the only one who can hear and see them.
Smalltown, USA. The local party girl and recreational drug-user by excellence finds herself afflicted with an odd illness after a particularly crazy party. Little does she know, she seems to be pregnant with a parasitic being growing at a high rate and affecting all facets of her life.
An artist, his wife, and their son are spending some time in their vacation home when ghosts visit them. They decide to reach out to a specialist who doesn’t do much that helps. After this, another specialist is hired as recommended by a friend. As this new exorcist works on ridding them of the spirits, the wife and son go back to the city. At their vacation home, things take a turn for the weird, supernaturally and otherwise. Written and directed by Carson D. Mell, the film is more about the “industrial-grade exorcist” who comes into the house and brings his personal demons along.