‘Paranormal Activity’: Love it or Hate it, It’s a Seminal Film (review)

Katie (Katie Featherston) and her boyfriend Micah (Micah Sloat) are experiencing odd events in their home, like hearing footsteps and voices they can’t identify. Katie suspects that the demonic presence that’s been following her since she was eight has something to do with it. So she and Micah film themselves during the day and setContinue reading “‘Paranormal Activity’: Love it or Hate it, It’s a Seminal Film (review)”

James Wan’s ‘Insidious’: Effective Jump Scares and Eerie Sights (review)

Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) are a loving couple with three kids who were clearly named by an Australian scriptwriter: baby Cali and older sons Dalton and Foster. Dalton suddenly goes into a coma-like state that doctors can’t explain. The person who can explain it is family friend Elise (Lin Shaye); she saysContinue reading “James Wan’s ‘Insidious’: Effective Jump Scares and Eerie Sights (review)”

‘The Haunting’ (1999): I Enjoyed it More Than the Original–Come at Me! (review)

Dr. Marrow (Liam Neeson) is a psychologist conducting an experiment ostensibly about insomnia but actually about his desire to “investigate the dynamics of fear.” This equals taking naive Eleanor (Lili Taylor), sex kitten Theo (Catherine Zeta-Jones), and goofy Luke (Owen Wilson) and testing their reactions to a supposed haunting in the giant mansion they’re stayingContinue reading “‘The Haunting’ (1999): I Enjoyed it More Than the Original–Come at Me! (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)”

‘Gothika’: Slick High-Budget Horror with Actors You’ve Heard Of (review)

Halle Berry is Dr. Miranda, a prison psychiatrist. Among her many tasks is counseling Chloe (Penelope Cruz), who’s convinced the devil is raping her. Miranda’s smug sureness of who’s crazy and who’s not is challenged when after an encounter with a ghostly girl, she wakes up in a cell at her work, suspected of murderingContinue reading “‘Gothika’: Slick High-Budget Horror with Actors You’ve Heard Of (review)”

‘Dead Friend’: A Nifty Korean Ghost Story (review)

Korean movie, AKA The Ghost, AKA Ryeong. Ji-won is a college student with amnesia. She starts having visions of an angry spirit coming to get her, but doesn’t remember what she did to cause it. She’s approached by Yu-jung, one of her old friends from high school, who helps her gradually recall that she, Yu-jung, and their twoContinue reading “‘Dead Friend’: A Nifty Korean Ghost Story (review)”

‘Feardotcom’: A Lovely Series of Plot Holes (review)

Feardotcom(.com) is a website run by serial killer Alistair (Stephen Rea), who believes that “Reducing relationships to anonymous electronic impulses is a perversion.” His solution: kidnap young women and film himself torturing them until they beg to die, thus creating “intimacy with death.” Protagonist Mike (Stephen Dorff) is the detective who’s been hunting him forContinue reading “‘Feardotcom’: A Lovely Series of Plot Holes (review)”

‘Drag Me to Hell’ is Silly but Occasionally Eerie (review)

Christine (Alison Lohman) is a loan officer trying to move up in the world. She’s neck-and-neck for a promotion with her coworker Stu (Reggie Lee), who fights dirty. So when old Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) comes asking for an extension on her house payment, Christine turns her away. Unfortunately, the woman places a Gypsy curseContinue reading “‘Drag Me to Hell’ is Silly but Occasionally Eerie (review)”

‘Dark House’ (2009) is Repulsive, and Not in a Good Way (review)

Claire (Meghan Ory) is a college student with a dark past: when she was a young child, she witnessed local kid-hoarder Mrs. Darrode (Diane Salinger) kill her seven foster children. As an adult, Claire has to take medication; unfortunately, this cuts her off from her emotions, which disrupts her chosen profession of acting. Her therapistContinue reading “‘Dark House’ (2009) is Repulsive, and Not in a Good Way (review)”

‘Dead Silence’: Intense enough for ‘Saw’ Fans, but with Much Less Gore (review)

In the town of Raven’s Fair it’s a good idea not to scream, or one may lose one’s tongue to the ghost of Mary Shaw. Shaw was a ventriloquist who had the nasty habit of murdering local children who heckled her show. So the town rose up and killed her. However, she regularly returns fromContinue reading “‘Dead Silence’: Intense enough for ‘Saw’ Fans, but with Much Less Gore (review)”