‘Jacob’s Ladder’ (2019) is Not Without its Charms

Jacob (Michael Ealy) is a former Afghanistan war medic who suffers from PTSD, which is exacerbated by the fact that he saw his brother Isaac (Jesse Williams), also a soldier, die on his operating table. In his current job at a veteran hospital, he bumps into guys who are on HDA, also known as “theContinue reading “‘Jacob’s Ladder’ (2019) is Not Without its Charms”

‘Dreamkatcher’: No Surprises Here

2020 movie, not to be confused with the 2003 Stephen King adaptation, which I have reviewed here. Also, dreamkatchers are not to be confused with dreamcatchers–here’s the difference, according to a title card: a dreamkatcher is “a misshapen wooden hoop asymmetrically looped with blackened string, decorated with feathers and beads, believed to hold evil. ItsContinue reading “‘Dreamkatcher’: No Surprises Here”

‘The Lodge’ is Just Painful–In a Good Way?

Richard (Richard Armitage), his wife Laura (Alicia Silverstone), and their kids Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) are going through a rough patch. Richard has decided that he’s in love with Grace (Riley Keough), one of the subjects of a book he wrote about cults: Grace’s father was a Jim Jones-style leader of aContinue reading “‘The Lodge’ is Just Painful–In a Good Way?”

‘Gretel and Hansel’ is Creepy and Weird

In the style of the Grim fairy tale, the land of long ago is in serious famine. At the home of Gretel (Sophia Lillis), who for the sake of the movie is a teenager, and Hansel (Samuel Leakey), their mother (Fiona O’Shaughnessy) is losing her shit after the patriarch has gone on to his reward.Continue reading “‘Gretel and Hansel’ is Creepy and Weird”

‘The Platform’ Asks Some Disturbing Questions

Spanish movie, AKA El Hoyo. Goreng (Ivan Massagu√©) is a principled man who applies to be sent to “The Hole”, a prison, in order to quit smoking and read a lengthy book. At the end of six months, he will have earned an accredited diploma. The Hole involves 333 floors, with two people per level.Continue reading “‘The Platform’ Asks Some Disturbing Questions”

‘The Turning’: You’ll Be Turning it Off

Loosely based on the Henry James novel The Turn of the Screw. It’s 1994, and Kate (Mackenzie Davis) is a perky schoolteacher who is hired on to be a nanny for young orphan Flora (Brooklynn Prince), who lives in a giant, giant house with only her maid, Mrs. Grose (Barbara Marten). The previous au pair,Continue reading “‘The Turning’: You’ll Be Turning it Off”

‘Underwater’: In the Mariana Trench, No One Can Hear You Scream

Norah (Kristen Stewart) is onboard the world’s deepest sub-aqueous drill. After a sudden pressure breach kills most of the crew, she and five other survivors, Captain Lucien (Vincent Cassel), Rodrigo (Mamoudou Athie), Paul (T.J. Miller), Emily (Jessica Henwick), and Smith (John Gallagher Jr.) set out to hoof it through the ocean to the nearest vessel,Continue reading “‘Underwater’: In the Mariana Trench, No One Can Hear You Scream”

‘Haunt’ (2019): Don’t Stick Your Arm in Mystery Holes!

Not to be confused with the 2014 film of the same name, which I already reviewed here. It’s Halloween, and our six main characters are looking for a haunted house. We have final girl Harper (Katie Stevens), her love interest Nathan (Will Brittain), her roommate Bailey (Lauren Alisa McClain), and her friends, token woman ofContinue reading “‘Haunt’ (2019): Don’t Stick Your Arm in Mystery Holes!”

‘The Shed’: A Decidedly Un-Sparkly Teen Vampire Dramedy

Stan (Jay Jay Warren) is living with his grandfather Ellis (Timothy Bottoms) on the edge of the woods. When neighbor Bane (Frank Whaley) is bitten by a vampire while hunting, he decides to snooze the day away in Ellis’s shed. This brings nothing but problems for Stan, as Bane tends to munch on anything thatContinue reading “‘The Shed’: A Decidedly Un-Sparkly Teen Vampire Dramedy”

‘In Fabric’: What In the Hell was That? (In a Good Way)

English movie, made by A24. London, sometime in the ’80s. Shoppers are highly enthused about the newly opened Dentley and Soper’s Trusted Department Store. The place is characterized both by reasonable prices and odd-speaking, Victorian-looking personnel. The majority of the movie concerns Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), a single mum looking for love (though more than halfwayContinue reading “‘In Fabric’: What In the Hell was That? (In a Good Way)”