We’re at the middle of an all out Stephen King renaissance where, once again, he is a hot item in Hollywood. Many of his short stories and novels are being adapted in to big, acclaimed projects, and we’re even getting second stabs at “The Stand” and a third stab at “Salem’s Lot.” With “Doctor Sleep” on the way, and Hollywood opening the scope of King’s writing for films or television, there is an inevitable remake of “The Shining” coming. But until then, fans of Kubrick’s loose cinematic adaptation can now invest in the 4K edition of the horror masterpiece.
Thirteen years later, Guillermo Del Toro’s period dark fantasy is a masterpiece of the genre telling a tale of loss of innocence and good versus evil that’s touching, gripping and a bit spooky in its way. Del Toro’s film is one that warrants repeated viewing and continued analyses as it’s a fairy tale that masterfully mixes “Alice in Wonderland,” the Brothers Grimm, “Wizard of Oz,” along with classic folklore.
Friends coming back for a hiking and camping trip find a body in the trunk of their car. Due to one of them having a past that could complicate things, they start debating what to do with the body until their friendship gets truly tested.
After spending years out of print, it’s good to see Fred Dekker’s eighties horror classics finally being given the special treatment that they deserve. For fans of the 1986 “Night of the Creeps,” they’ll be happy to know that Dekker’s zombie comedy hasn’t aged much at all. While it’s very much of its time, it still allows for an accessible and very interesting mix of horror, science fiction, coming of age, and romance that’s tough to beat. Plus, there’s Tom Atkins who is just downright fun in the role of detective Ray Cameron.
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.
Billy Blanks was one of the archetypal straight to video action stars of the nineties, he was one of those men with a ton of charisma and appeal who never quite found his niche in American cinema. He managed to be pushed in to the gallery of people like Jeff Speakman, Roddy Piper, and Don “The Dragon” Wilson (no disrespect to those gentlemen), but always deserved so much more. He was relegated to a ton of straight to video action and genre titles eventually becoming a fitness guru for his Tae Bo program. It’s a shame because Blanks does have a very good on screen presence and could have likely launched in to the blockbuster fold alongside contemporaries like Wesley Snipes.