A pregnant young woman decides to make the trek from her home in Mexico to the US to try and get a better life for herself and her unborn child. The trip and arrival are rough to say the least and what she finds once across the border is not quite as expected.
We don’t have nearly enough horror movies about the aftermath and fall out of bullying and how often times bullies can destroy us. We’ve had “Slaughter High” in the past, but we’ve come around to sharp thrillers like “The Gift” and “The Final” which depict the victim less as insane, and more as broken people. “Ma” is kind of that film that approaches the very themes, but never quite knows what to make of its titular villain. “Ma” is a sharp thriller with a killer performance from Octavia Spencer that manages to rise above a narrative that’s very confused about what it’s trying to say.
At the very least, “Cannibal Holocaust” had something to say about humanity and the cruelty of alleged civilized societies. It also had a lot to say about xenophobia and white privilege. Even “Cannibal Ferox” had something interesting to say. “The Green Inferno” is peak Eli Roth where it has no idea what it wants to say and it bathes itself in disgusting, sadistic, unpleasant, garbage that it never quite rebounds from. Whether it’s stoned cannibals eating a guy, to a prisoner masturbating to calm himself down, “The Green Inferno” is the bottom of the barrel sophomoric nonsense that Eli Roth puts on to film with pride.
Its season three for one of the most bizarre but very entertaining crime thrillers TNT has ever brought to the small screen. After season two falling in with the Russian mafia, and surviving a deadly marriage, the season closed with an assassination attempt on Desna’s life. Virginia sadly suffered the bullet meant for her sister in law. “Claws” returns taking off immediately from the last scene from season two and it takes off like a rocket. It’s the same lunacy as always for “Claws” with bizarre fantasy sequences, some genuinely darkly funny comedy, and a brand new pair of villains that might just be the undoing of Desna and her crew if she isn’t careful.
Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games” has tested even the most devoted cineaste, and split audiences down in two thanks to its polarizing premise and concept. Going in to Haneke’s “Funny Games,” I frankly didn’t know what to expect, but what I did know was that it’d test every fiber of patience I had in me as a horror fanatic. Lo and behold, it did. Admittedly, I was shocked to see that I admired every single aspect of what it attempted to pull off as a narrative that acknowledges the audience and asks us if we want to turn away… or see what hideous violence unfolds.
I love the idea of indie filmmakers taking their various horror short films and turning them in to anthologies, especially now with the horror anthology hotter than ever with audiences. “Blood Clots” has a lot of great intentions, but in the end it’s just an okay anthology with seven pretty okay horror shorts. I was never blown over by anything I saw here, but I appreciated the effort, and I liked the variety, overall. There are zombies, mutants, monsters, and werewolves, and that’s basically the only overarching theme for audiences.
Adam Mason’s “I’m Just Fucking With You” is about business as usual for Hulu’s “Into the Dark,” the anthology horror series that’s given viewers a new episode every month. Like all episodes before this April entry, there’s a slow build up, a very good hour, and a final twenty minutes that drag in to a luke warm climax. All in all it’s another mediocre episode that never quite recovers once the second act is introduced. I think it’s time worth spent, don’t get me wrong, as one of the fun things about anthology films is the ability of the authors to convey social commentary. “Into the Dark” has covered social commentary in droves, whether it’s rabid consumerism (“Pooka!”) or the Me Too movement (“The Treehouse”), they’ve covered some interesting bases for the modern generation.
For this week’s edition of “Shorts Round Up of the Week” I check out some rich dramas, a few ambitious fantasy films one of which involves bullying, and a pitch black revenge movie co-starring M. Emmet Walsh.
If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.