‘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”

‘Mary’: More Like ‘Meh-ry’

We open with a title card about a witch coming to steal kids at sea, and move on to Sarah (Emily Mortimer) being held by the police, who speculate “God only knows what happened out there.” Sarah is dehydrated and bruised, and her husband David (Gary Oldman) is conspicuously absent, though their daughters Lindsey (StefanieContinue reading “‘Mary’: More Like ‘Meh-ry’”

‘Polaroid’ is an Average but Amusing Teen-Centered Romp

Bird (Kathryn Prescott) is your typical vanilla final girl whose friend Tyler (Davi Santos) gives her an old Polaroid camera from a yard sale. Unfortunately it’s a haunted camera–that’s bad. But it comes with film–that’s good! It also dooms everyone who has their picture taken–that’s bad. Can Bird solve the riddle of why the cameraContinue reading “‘Polaroid’ is an Average but Amusing Teen-Centered Romp”

‘The Gallows Act II’: Fun and Occasionally Creepy, Especially for the Under-18 Crowd

Loosely following the plot of the first movie (if you need a refresher you can read an exhaustive synopsis here, or if you’ve never seen it and want a quick spoiler-free plot outline, here are some), it opens with a rainbow of doomed teenagers (’cause it’s okay to bother casting a racially diverse group ofContinue reading “‘The Gallows Act II’: Fun and Occasionally Creepy, Especially for the Under-18 Crowd”

‘YellowBrickRoad’ is Disturbing, Engaging, and Creative (review)

1940. Friar, New Hampshire. The entire population, obsessed with The Wizard of Oz, walks off into the woods. Some are found frozen, some are murdered in grisly fashion, but most vanish entirely. A lone survivor is recorded, terrified and nonsensical. Cut to 2008. An intrepid band of explorers set out on a book-writing expedition: writers TeddyContinue reading “‘YellowBrickRoad’ is Disturbing, Engaging, and Creative (review)”

‘The Messengers’: Meh (review)

American movie directed by the Pang brothers (The Eye, Bangkok Dangerous). Jess (Kristen Stewart) is a teenage girl getting a fresh start on a South Dakota farm with her family: little brother Ben (Evan and Theodore Turner), mother Denise (Penelope Ann Miller), and father Roy (Dylan McDermott). She’s at odds with her parents for anContinue reading “‘The Messengers’: Meh (review)”

‘Ouija’–‘Origin of Evil’ is Better, but This One’s Grown on Me (review)

Laine (Olivia Cooke) has just lost her friend Debbie (Shelley Hennig), who has seemingly killed herself. She longs to find out what happened, and decides that she, her sister Sarah (Ana Coto), their friend Isabelle (Bianca A. Santos), her boyfriend Trevor (Daren Kagasoff), and Debbie’s boyfriend Pete (Douglas Smith) should try to reach her withContinue reading “‘Ouija’–‘Origin of Evil’ is Better, but This One’s Grown on Me (review)”

‘Ju On: The Grudge’–I Wuvs! (review)

Japanese movie, directed by Takashi Shimizu. This is the film the American remake (also directed by Shimizu) draws the most from–there are two, and I’m not counting the Japanese sequel. A woman named Kayako (Takako Fuji) and her son Toshio (Yuya Ozeki) are killed by her husband Takeo (Takashi Matsuyama), and their angry, cursed ghostsContinue reading “‘Ju On: The Grudge’–I Wuvs! (review)”

2009’s ‘Don’t Look Up’: A Classic Ghost Story in an Exotic Locale (review)

Marcus (Reshad Strik) is a director yearning for a chance to make a comeback in the film industry. He’s also prone to having visions of ghosts, which leads him to a haunted movie set in Romania. It seems that in the 1920s, a director (Eli Roth, really playing against type here) was trying to makeContinue reading “2009’s ‘Don’t Look Up’: A Classic Ghost Story in an Exotic Locale (review)”