Shorts Round Up of the Week – 3/4/19

For the March 4th edition of “Shorts Round Up of the Week” we have a drug drama, an animated romance, and a few very good horror thrillers.

If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.

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Into the Dark: Treehouse

I’m surprised “Treehouse” ends up being the best episode of Blumhouse and Hulu’s ambitious anthology “Into the Dark,” yet. I have to admit that I hated James Roday’s “Gravy,” so to see him approach “Treehouse” with a very relevant message, an inherent tone of terror, and some darkly comic undertones, was a welcome surprise. “Into the Dark” has been more hit than miss since its introduction in October, but with “Treehouse” it hits right out of the park as an ode to spring that explores hell having no fury like a woman scorned.

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The Craft (1996): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

Just in time for “Women in Horror Month,” Andrew Fleming’s “The Craft” is one of those movies that’s gained some heavy cult momentum over the years, and for good reason. Even with the nineties aesthetic, “The Craft” has aged quite well offering up a mature genre picture that begins as a coming of age supernatural drama and gradually transforms in to a horror film. There just aren’t films like “The Craft” anymore, and that’s a shame, since Andrew Fleming offers up a unique tale of good and evil, and power corrupting absolutely.

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Suspiria (2018)

There really is no one on Earth that can top the combined forces of Dario Argento and Goblin’s excellent “Suspiria,” so Luca Guadagnino doesn’t even try. Instead, this new version of “Suspiria” is less a remake and more of a new tale in the same universe, or a spiritual sequel if you really want to get technical. Luca Guadagnino definitely approaches his spin on “Suspiria” with about as much ambition and enthusiasm he can muster up and what results is a wonky, surreal, bizarre, and yet overstuffed six act horror film that never quite knows when to call it quits. That said, “Suspiria” will most definitely acquire a fan base and I assume years from now fans will debate on whether this or Argento’s original is the superior film.

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The Witch Files (2018) (DVD)

A group of teenage girls get together following a stint in detention where one of them shows an interesting power that they all want to harness to their own ends.

Written by Larry Blamire and Kyle Rankin with the latter also directing, The Witch Files is a coming-of-age story for pre-teens and teens with a penchant for the dark side. The film takes an approach a la The Craft but lite as it has a few more girls who are younger and who don’t turn quite as dark as the original teen coven of the 90s. The writing is decent here and the direction does well for the story. However, it does feel its budget throughout the film as it is definitely limiting the scope of things, or at least it feels like such. Within this scope however, the film is somewhat entertaining and will most likely hit the right notes with tween and teen girls.

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Casper Meets Wendy (1998)

Well if anything “Casper Meets Wendy” is much better than “A Spirited Beginning” despite offering no big surprises. Unless you consider that the only cast member that’s been in most “Casper” movies so far is Pauly Shore. In the former film he played a bad ghost, and here he plays a fortune telling magical mirror. As with most of these movies, there is a whole cast of D list celebrities, and the adaptation of Harvey Comics’ “Wendy The Good Little Witch” is an excuse to introduce future teen star Hilary Duff. To her credit Duff is adorable.

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Suspiria (1977): Two Disc Special Edition [Blu-Ray]

Dario Argento’s horror film “Suspiria” is an immaculate production, one that almost commands you watch it with unbreaking attention. While many have argued it lacks a narrative and often times feels aimless, Argento vies more for a cinematic experience than something that relies heavily on narrative. “Suspiria” feels like one long fever dream, and Argento paints every scene like its being influenced by pure evil. While Suzy herself is being influenced by witches and witchcraft, the audience itself also seems to be pulled in to the same seat, watching every bit of setting being altered in to this realm.

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