‘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”

‘The Tokoloshe’ is Absolutely Devastating

South African movie, in English and Zulu, by Black filmmaker Jerome Pikwane. Busi (it’s pronounced Boo-see–I’ve seen the movie, and I’m still reading it as Busy and I’m getting pissed at myself) (Petronella Tshuma) is living in abject poverty; her apartment building is condemned and she’s getting by on scraps. She vows to scrape upContinue reading “‘The Tokoloshe’ is Absolutely Devastating”

‘Three…Extremes’: Quality Stuff (review)

Three short films by acclaimed Asian directors. “Dumplings” by Fruit Chan concerns an aging actress who finds a disturbing way to look more youthful. Park Chan-Wook’s “Cut” shows a director taken hostage in his own home; he’s given the option to either choke a child to death or watch as his wife’s fingers are beingContinue reading “‘Three…Extremes’: Quality Stuff (review)”

1982’s ‘The Thing’: Please No More Remakes–We Have Reached Perfection (review)

John Carpenter’s remake of 1951’s The Thing from Another World. A group of people at the National Science Institute Station in Antarctica are menaced by a shape shifting alien that can pass itself off as a myriad of seemingly harmless things, from a dog to a fellow colleague. Since the being could rapidly infect theContinue reading “1982’s ‘The Thing’: Please No More Remakes–We Have Reached Perfection (review)”

‘The Tommyknockers’: Hostile Aliens, Corny Gadgets, and Gratuitous Sex Scenes (review)

Bobbi (Marg Helgenberger) is a writer living out in the Maine woods who (literally) stumbles onto a spaceship. Deciding it would be a good idea to dig it up, she and soon the whole town feel the effects of the aliens inside: they “become,” which involves having a ton of energy and being inspired toContinue reading “‘The Tommyknockers’: Hostile Aliens, Corny Gadgets, and Gratuitous Sex Scenes (review)”

‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’: Worth Watching, Even if You’re Not a Fan of the Show (review)

Remakes of episodes of The Twilight Zone, organized into four stories. Segment 1 involves angry, racist white man Bill (Vic Morrow) being suddenly transported back in time; he finds himself in the shoes of oppressed members of society, namely a Jewish man in Nazi Germany, a Black man being hunted by the KKK, and aContinue reading “‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’: Worth Watching, Even if You’re Not a Fan of the Show (review)”

‘3 from Hell’ is Well-Made, but Still Crushingly Disappointing (review)

Three from Hell is Rob Zombie’s newest film in the series documenting the Firefly/Driftwood/Spaulding family, following 2003’s House of a 1000 Corpses and 2005’s The Devil’s Rejects. The end of the latter shows the remaining family members riding sorely unmatched into a shootout with the police, so I’m guessing the 14-year lapse had at least partly to do withContinue reading “‘3 from Hell’ is Well-Made, but Still Crushingly Disappointing (review)”

3 Bellezas (3 Beauties): Naughty, Fun, and Dark *No Spoilers (review)

Venezuelan movie. Perla (Diana Peñalver) is a former pageant “miss” who is living through her daughters Carolina (Fabiola Arace) and Estefania (Josette Vidal). She pushes them to compete against each other, with Carolina as her favorite. Meanwhile, her son Salvador (Fabián Moreno) is neglected. The sibling rivalry continues into adulthood when Carolina and Estefania competeContinue reading “3 Bellezas (3 Beauties): Naughty, Fun, and Dark *No Spoilers (review)”

‘The Taking of Deborah Logan’: Demon Possession as an Allegory for Alzheimer’s (review)

Deborah (Jill Larson) is an older woman suffering from Alzheimer’s. Because they need the money, her daughter Sarah (Anne Ramsay) talks her into being the subject of a PhD candidate’s student film. The filmmakers Mia (Michelle Ang), Luis (Jeremy DeCarlos), and Gavin (Brett Gentile) stay in her house and watch her every move. Deb’s oddContinue reading “‘The Taking of Deborah Logan’: Demon Possession as an Allegory for Alzheimer’s (review)”

‘They’: A Little Uneven, but Solid Creepiness (review)

Julia (Laura Regan) is a psychology student working through childhood memories of night terrors. Her friend Billy (Jon Abrahams), who had a similar issue, kills himself in front of her, claiming the monsters they dreamed about have come back to get him. She becomes acquainted with Billy’s friends Terry (Dagmara Dominczyk) and Sam (Ethan Embry);Continue reading “‘They’: A Little Uneven, but Solid Creepiness (review)”