Director Jason Axinn’s animated gore fest is “Funny Games,” meets “Saw” meets Twilight Zone’s “The Masks” wrapped up in one sick sadistic mutant. It’s gory, and vicious and mean spirited and occasionally baffling, but damned if I didn’t have a good time with it. There’s just something about watching the wealthy tear each other apart that hits a nerve, and “To Your Last Death” is a movie that has fun with its own concept. Not only does Jason Axinn break the conventional narrative, but he uses it as a means of bringing the ugliest sides out of his characters.
As a rogue wolf prowls around their home in the wilderness, a family works as best they can to survive winter. When the father has to go hunt the wolf, the mother and daughter are left to deal with what is there for them, waiting and preying.
It’s hard to re-imagine or re-think the zombie movie, especially in the times where just about everyone has thought of everything. Director Il Cho’s “#Alive” is basically the sequel that “Train to Busan,” should have been, “#Alive” is such a great mix of “28 Days Later,” “The Night Eats the World,” and “Dawn of the Dead ’04.” While it doesn’t re-invent the wheel it manages to offer a fun, exciting, and creepy movie about the pros and cons of modern technology and the value of human contact.
Scott Beck and Bryan Woods’ horror film is like one big Halloween treat that comes at just the right time. It’s a novelty, it’s occasionally silly, but it’s also extra creepy in that it takes much of its menace from the inherent dangers of Halloween that lurk in every corner of the holiday. “Haunt” isn’t particularly original, but when you get down to the meat and potatoes, it’s surely a lot of fun and garners shockingly empathetic protagonists, all of whom are never let off the hook from the moment they enter the danger of this enigmatic haunt.
With the fate of the movie series still up in the air, the likelihood of “Friday the 13th” fans getting a new film within the next three years seems like pipe dreams. The fan community has managed to keep the franchise alive, though, including Vincente DiSanti. After his incredibly popular 2017 fan film “Never Hike Alone,” DiSanti continues his take on the series, this time giving fans what we’ve been asking for, since “The New Blood”: Jason Voorhees slashing his way through the snowy terrain of Crystal Lake.
2020 has been filled with a ton of surprises for movie fans, and one of the better ones was the sudden introduction of the Deluxe “Friday the 13th Collection” from Scream Factory. While there have been a ton of re-releases since the initial DVD set in 2004, Scream Factory has never been prone to just re-packaging the same movies in to “new” sets, so it was no shock when the Deluxe Collection for “Friday the 13th” was announced, fans crashed Scream Factory’s site to order the set. Suffice to say, Scream Factory simply hasn’t failed horror buffs and Jason Voorhees fanatics. What began as a means of ripping off “Halloween” in 1979, Sean Cunningham and screenwriter Victor Miller’s summer camp slasher film became an iconic pop culture sensation and long running franchise.
The problem with Vincenzo Natali’s “In the Tall Grass” is that it sets up so many questions and ideas, but never executes them well enough. “In the Tall Grass” feels very much in the vein of Stephen King’s “Children of the Corn” where a massive field of innocuous grass becomes the sight of a supernatural gathering. King and Joe Hill are very good about creating terror out of domesticity, and for the first thirty minutes Vincenzo Natali’s film had me hooked. Then it just about runs out of steam with too many undercooked concepts and never quite won me back.