Slumber Party Massacre (2021)

Amy Holden Jones’ original 1982 “The Slumber Party Massacre” is considered one of the great trashy slasher classics of the 1980’s. It’s a movie that’s so irredeemably stupid but is still celebrated by many fans. I personally think the sequels are better, if infinitely stupider, but that’s neither here nor there. 2021’s “Slumber Party Massacre” is both a meta-satire and re-imagining that follows up on the original events of the premise of the original movie and turns it on its head.

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“I Know What You Did Last Summer” Is a Failure on Every Level [Digital]

After whatever that MTV reboot of “Scream” was, networks and companies seem to be learning all the wrong lessons from it. Rather than breathe new life in to a once solid slasher series, Amazon has botched it from out the gates. Instead of a tense, white knuckle slasher/murder mystery, Lois Duncan’s novel is adapted in to an erotic teen drama thriller. Think less “Slasher” and more “Riverdale.” It’s a glacially paced glorified drama with a horror tint that downplays the horror and slasher aspects of the aforementioned movie series in favor of gratuitous sex, pointless nudity, and droning dialogue.

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Potato Dreams of America (2021) [FilmOut San Diego 2021] 

A coming-of-age story about a young gay boy whose mother marries through the mail order bride system to an American to give them both a better life. Once in America, the boy grows up questioning himself and life until he finds his place among his peers. 

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In the Heights (2021) [Blu-Ray/Digital]

In a really crappy summer and a pretty hectic year in Hollywood, one of the bigger releases in 2021 was “In the Heights.” It’s a movie I’d been looking forward to for a long time, since Lin Manuel Miranda is one of my personal heroes. It’s finally brought to film by director Jon M. Chu after being in literal development hell since 2008. Jon M. Chu is no stranger to films involving dancing and urban settings, thankfully, and we’re given an absolutely dazzling, emotional, and energetic musical.

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The Last Thing Mary Saw (2021) [Fantasia Film Festival 2021]

Writer/director Edoardo Vitaletti’s debut feature, The Last Thing Mary Saw is a horror drama that promises to be one of the most polarizing films of the year. It’s a return to the rising resurgence of folk horror much in the vein of “The Witch” and “Midsommar” but explores the more relevant ideas about religious oppression, sexual oppression, and the perils of the love between two young girls, which becomes increasingly dangerous over the course of the narrative.

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Fear Street, Part 3: 1666 (2021)

Director Leigh Janiak’s creation of the “Fear Street” trilogy has to be one of the most impressive cinematic accomplishments this year. It’s tough to find a horror trilogy where every film feels different, but clicks together like a puzzle, so seamlessly. “Fear Street” had every chance of being a complete mess, especially with how it goes backward in time to fill in the gaps in its narrative. Not to mention the fact that it trusts audiences will return is ambitious and often impressive.

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Super Hot (2021)

I think it is possible that director Taylor King has created one of my favorite indie films of the year. I didn’t entirely know what to expect going in to “Super Hot” but it ends up being such a great horror comedy, despite some small flaws here and there. “Super Hot” has its inspirations close to its chest, combining “Booksmart” with “The Craft” to form this unusual amalgam that works shockingly well.

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