‘The Curse of Buckout Road’: Great Performances Make up for a Garbled Plot

Buckout Road, Westchester County, New York: “The most haunted road in America.” It’s a topic of study for Professor Hancock (Mayko Nguyen) and three of her students, Cleo (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), Erik (Kyle Mac), and Derek (Jim Watson), who are doing a presentation on creation and destruction of modern myth. Their quest to disprove the legendsContinue reading “‘The Curse of Buckout Road’: Great Performances Make up for a Garbled Plot”

Richard Stanley’s ‘Color Out of Space’: Stick with it Until the Halfway Point–It’s Worth the Wait

Nate (Nicolas Cage), his wife Theresa (Joely Richardson), and their three kids, young Jack (Julian Hilliard) and teens Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur) and Benny (Brendan Meyer) have moved to Nate’s late father’s farm. To raise alpacas and grow tomatoes and peaches. Yeah, good thing Theresa has some kind of consulting job that involves talking to clientsContinue reading “Richard Stanley’s ‘Color Out of Space’: Stick with it Until the Halfway Point–It’s Worth the Wait”

‘The Curse of La Llorona’: The Scariest Thing About it is the Poster Art

America, 1973: mother Patricia (Patricia Velasquez) has issues with alcoholism, which isn’t helped by angry spirit La Llorona targeting her two sons. When her well-meaning social worker Anna (Linda Cardellini) takes the kids away (Patricia had been hiding them in a closet), La Llorona gets them, which makes Patricia less than pleased. In fact, sheContinue reading “‘The Curse of La Llorona’: The Scariest Thing About it is the Poster Art”

Child’s Play (2019) is Surprisingly Likable (review)

The original Child’s Play was released in 1988, and concerned a serial killer named Chucky (Brad Dourif) who, with his dying breath, transfers his soul to a mass-produced doll. He then torments his six-year-old owner, Andy. The reboot, 21 years later, features a disgruntled Vietnamese sweat shop employee (still less racist than the voodoo practice in theContinue reading “Child’s Play (2019) is Surprisingly Likable (review)”

1997’s ‘Campfire Tales’ is Fun and a Little Scary, but Kinda Predictable (review)

Anthology-style movie. The wraparound story is of four teens (Christine Taylor, Chris Masterson, Kim Murphy, and Jay R. Ferguson) who are stranded in the woods after a car crash, and they’re telling each other stories to pass the time, as one does. “The Hook” concerns a pair of young folks (Amy Smart and James Marsden)Continue reading “1997’s ‘Campfire Tales’ is Fun and a Little Scary, but Kinda Predictable (review)”

‘The Changeling’ is a Classy, Atmospheric Film (review)

Not to be confused with the Angelina Jolie movie Changeling. George C. Scott is John, a recently widowed music professor now living in a mansion that “doesn’t want people.” After noticing odd occurrences like pipes banging every night at the same time, doors opening, faucets running, and his piano playing all seemingly of their ownContinue reading “‘The Changeling’ is a Classy, Atmospheric Film (review)”

‘The Crow’: Maybe it’s Nostalgia Talking, but the Film is Haunting and Memorable (review)

Metal singer Eric (Brandon Lee) and his fiancée Shelly are brutally murdered in their home by a gang of thugs. But, as legend goes, “when someone dies a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with them and the soulContinue reading “‘The Crow’: Maybe it’s Nostalgia Talking, but the Film is Haunting and Memorable (review)”

‘Coraline’: Stop-Motion is Just About Guaranteed to be Unsettling (review)

Stop-motion film, directed by Harry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas). Coraline (Dakota Fanning) has just moved into a new apartment building, and is perpetually bored. Her workaholic parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) have no time for her, and are generally annoyed at her presence. She discovers a new world inside a wall, a whimsicalContinue reading “‘Coraline’: Stop-Motion is Just About Guaranteed to be Unsettling (review)”

‘Club Dread’ is a Sly Slasher Spoof (review)

Sun. Sand. Fruity drinks. Murder! Pleasure Island, Costa Rica, is home to Coconut Pete’s Coconut Beach Resort, which is dedicated to decadence. Unfortunately, someone is running around killing off the staff. Further unfortunately, there are no boats, phones, or radios, so everyone is trapped. It’s up masseur Lars (co-writer Kevin Heffernan), aerobics instructor Jenny (BrittanyContinue reading “‘Club Dread’ is a Sly Slasher Spoof (review)”

‘Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh’: You Could Do Worse as far as Sequels Go (review)

The second movie in the series. It picks up not too long after the first one left off, with the officious Purcell lecturing on the history of Candyman (Tony Todd returns). He’s approached by Ethan (William O’Leary), whose father was killed by Candyman. After Purcell is killed (also by Candyman), Ethan confesses to the murderContinue reading “‘Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh’: You Could Do Worse as far as Sequels Go (review)”