Tag Archives: review

AMAD-Horror Edition: Nomads

15 Oct

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cinemagrade bSo, this is the movie responsible for Predator, Die Hard and Hunt for Red October? In a way, yes it is. Those three films are all pinnacles of the action genre; peerless giants, and all three were directed by John McTiernan. Predator, in fact, would be made one year later and it’s this little supernatural thriller that nabbed John the job to helm that film. So, if you give it nothing else, give it that: it jumpstarted McTiernan’s career and got him a gig directing one of the seminal sci-fi action pics of our time. The good news is that Nomads is also a highly creepy, engaging thriller, well worth seeking out if you haven’t seen it. Continue reading

AMAD-Horror Edition: Infestation

15 Oct

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Oct 10th, 2009–

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 Infestation–2009 (R) 93 min. Written & Directed by: Kyle Rankin Starring: Diane Gaeta, Chris Marquette, Ray Wise, Brooke Nevin.   

 Kyle Rankin’s Infestation has a peculiar but refreshing distinction despite being little more than a low-budget creature feature distraction. It’s the best Sy-Fy Saturday night monster pic the network has ever debuted. That is of course faint praise indeed, but Infestation looms large over its fellow candidates in this category. It’s everything those movies aspire to and never quite arrive at: a silly, schlocky good time with characters we like and creatures that actually creep us out. Continue reading

AMAD-Horror Edition: The Changeling (1980)

13 Oct

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cinemagrade bGeorge C. Scott is not the most ideal mark if you are a troubled spectre looking to haunt someone. He isn’t going to scare very easily, and all of your dripping faucets, percussive banging, and Enya whispering are likely going to just tick him off; believe me, you don’t want George ticked off. But if you can get beyond the fact he’s probably going to get under your skin long before you get under his, he’s a great ally. Continue reading

AMAD-Horror Edition: Of Unknown Origin

12 Oct

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cinemagrade b+Let’s jump right into Of Unknown Origin. Made in 1983 in Montreal (which was doubling for New York on the screen), the film stars Peter Weller, Buckaroo Banzai himself, as an architect who has just finished renovating a brownstone townhouse for his family and finds a strange, persistent intruder threatening both his home and his ordered existence. The original trailer makes it look like a supernatural thriller along the lines of Poltergeist, with Weller fighting off some sort of demon inhabiting his home and trying to kill his family. That is not at all what is happening in the film. There isn’t a single supernatural element in the movie, although there are plenty of unnatural ones.

 Bart Hughes is a fastidious, up-tight architect who takes serious pride in his beautiful Brownstone apartment building: and why not, since he did all the renovation work himself? The home is gorgeous and indeed something to be proud of. Bart also sank a good deal of money into fixing it, and so he feels pressured to fight for promotion at the architectural firm where he works. Couple this with his ordered, work-obsessed mentality and it results in Bart focused so intently on his projects and office-relations that he isn’t even enjoying the fruits of his labor at home.  Continue reading

AMAD-Horror Edition: Buppah Rahtree: Curse of the Night Flower

12 Oct

 

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cinemagrade b+Thailand’s Buppah Rahtree: Curse of the Night Flower is exactly the kind of film that makes writing this column so much fun. It’s a pleasing genre mash-up of slapstick comedy, gut-wrenching drama and creeping dread. There are so many delightful twists and turns that I felt elated instead of jerked around. The movie comes from a country not really known for their compelling horror pictures and ends up trumping the entire lot of recent Asian ghost stories. However, instead of being a new release, Buppah was actually made in 2003; by this point, it already has a couple of sequels to its name. Continue reading

AMAD-Horror Edition: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

9 Oct

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Oct 9th, 2009–

cinemagrade b-Television movies were a far different beast in the 1970s than they are now. In fact, you don’t see the major networks wasting their time with them much anymore. Regular weekly programming has become far more popular and with so much content, there doesn’t even seem to be room in the network landscape. But some 30 years ago, that was quite different. There were larger spaces to fill, not as many shows being created, and the medium of the television movie was relatively new. So, filmmakers and producers were creating low budget fare–many times they were either human interest dramas or thrillers–for the t.v. screen. Continue reading

AMAD-Horror Edition: Sauna

6 Oct

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Oct 6th, 2009–

cinemagrade b A.J. Anila’s Sauna is an odd and challenging  film. The Finnish horror feature is the second for its director and like his first, Jade Warrior, it’s a melding of genres; supernatural horror, historical drama and existential mystery.  A grim, cold and foreboding movie, Sauna is really about the price of sin and the nature of guilt. I’ve watched it twice now over the past few days, and I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. Continue reading