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Hunt for the Wilderpeople – Movie Review

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a pleasant comedy propelled almost exclusively by dry, character-driven humor. That’s a refreshing characteristic in a summer landscape bloated with contrived, action-heavy blockbusters and gross-out comedies led by men and women alike. Writer-director Taika Waititi is a creative force that will be increasingly nitpicked, considering his next film is Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok; independent filmmaking… Read more »

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The Witch – Movie Review

After seeing The Witch for a second time, I’m certain it’ll be talked about for decades to come as a horror classic. It had been 13 months since I initially saw the film at its widely hyped premiere at the Sundance Film Festival (my initial thoughts can be found here), where I was left with an indelible… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 19, Bear Reviews Edition: Ringu

Note: The following contains spoilers. Imagine the scene. You’ve just returned home after vandalizing a woman’s resting place and climbing wells and thinking about ghosts and curses for many-a-nights and you sit down and the television turns out. Standing there is a bear on a unicycle and it slowly, menacingly unicycles towards the camera. You… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 18: Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood

Note: The following contains spoilers. In some ways I appreciate The New Blood more than most Friday the 13th movies. It at times manages to hit the “fun” tone that Jason Lives wanted to hit with better results, but the decision to have Jason face a telepath is probably an interesting one that was just… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 17: The Cabin in the Woods

Note: The following contains spoilers. Early on in The Cabin in the Woods, our group of college kids visits an old gas station and gets warned about their doom from the station owner. The crotchety old fella is a cliché in every sense of the word, but while watching the scene I couldn’t help but… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 16: Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives

Note: The following contains spoilers. I thought that I may have hit the nadir of the Friday the 13th franchise with A New Beginning, in which, just to remind everybody, a faux-Jason spends the movie slaughtering kids at a halfway house. But then I watched Jason Lives and found something even worse than the killing… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 15: Scream 2

Note: The following contains spoilers. I have conflicted feelings on Scream 2. While I really like the way they played with the villains’ motivations being responses to the common reasons people gave for violent behavior around the time the movie was released, the villains themselves didn’t quite come together for me, and they felt more… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 14: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

Note: The following contains spoilers. Much of the bad word-of-mouth around A New Beginning stems from the fact that it doesn’t have Jason in it. Despite what people may say, this isn’t an inherent problem (the original film didn’t have Jason as the killer either, and we don’t even hear Jason’s name until the film… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 13: REC 2

Note: The following contains spoilers. REC 2 starts out very much as the Aliens to REC’s Alien. Meaning that the original was a group of ordinary people shoved into extraordinary circumstances that they have no real hope of overcoming and they get picked off one-by-one, while the sequel starts with an armed, highly-trained group (in… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 12: The Descent

Note: The following contains spoilers. One of the cave-dwelling monsters in The Descent attacks and scares the main group 56 minutes into a 96-minute movie. It’s a long time for the “villains” of the movie to not be active in terrorizing the main characters, but Neil Marshall masterfully builds tension throughout the first hour, and… Read more »

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    Halloween-A-Thon Day 11, Bear Reviews Edition: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

    Note: The following review contains spoilers. Did Jason machete any bears in this fourth entry in the Friday the 13th series? Of course not! Jason may be a supernatural and/or feral man in a hockey mask, but even he would be no match for the behemoth of a mammal we call the bear. But what… Read more »

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    Halloween-A-Thon Day 10: Ginger Snaps

    Note: The following contains spoilers. Ginger Snaps is just a phenomenal coming of age tale with a fantastic sister dynamic. I love how as Ginger physically ages and becomes more “mature,” it’s Bridget who actually starts acting as adult as one can when dealing with werewolves. I love how in one of the final scenes… Read more »

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    Halloween-A-Thon Day 9: King Kong vs Godzilla

    Note: The following contains spoilers. Old Godzilla movies can look kind of silly to a modern audience. If you’re used to the constant CGI barrages that blockbuster movies often are nowadays, the cheesy man-in-the-rubber-suit look of a movie such as King Kong vs Godzilla might just make you roll your eyes and put on a… Read more »

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    Halloween-A-Thon Day 8: Zombeavers

    Note: The following contains spoilers. There’s nothing wrong with slasher movies being sort of light on plot. Halloween is one of the greatest films of all time, and it doesn’t have particularly deep characters with complicated back stories, yet the film still works and then some. However, “conventional” wisdom would tell you that if a… Read more »

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    Halloween-A-Thon Day 7: Friday the 13th Part 3

    Note: The following contains spoilers. Ugh. I’ve been dreading rewatching this one. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the first four Friday the 13th movies, but if there’s one thing I remember clear as day from when I first watched them, it’s that while I was watching Part 3 I kept saying to myself… Read more »

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    Halloween-A-Thon Day 6, Bear Reviews Edition: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    Note: The following contains spoilers, but it does not contain bears. Can you blame a 1920s German Expressionism film for not having a bear in it? The answer to that riddle is yes and I will, because for all of the twisted geometry and painted streaks of light, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is lacking… Read more »

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    Halloween-A-Thon Day 5: The Fly (1958)

    Note: The following contains spoilers. On October 5th, 2014 I watched David Cronenberg’s The Fly, so it only made sense that a year later I would watch the original Vincent Price version and compare the two of them. This turned out to be quite easy as they are very different films. The original is more of… Read more »

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    Halloween-A-Thon Day 4: Friday the 13th Part 2

    Warning: The following contains spoilers. I haven’t yet watched any of the Friday the 13th movies after the fourth one, but I know the basics of how supernatural they get with regards to Jason’s origin and the source of his “powers” in later entries. With that knowledge, it’s interesting to contrast just how grounded they… Read more »

  • Halloween-A-Thon Day 3: John Dies at the End

    Note: The following contains spoilers. The mythology of John Dies at the End is often either explained poorly or not at all, which is often to the film’s detriment. But there is one running bit from the first half of the film that is so clever that it got me so excited for potential conflicts… Read more »

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    Halloween-A-Thon Day 2: Sleepaway Camp

    NOTE: The following contains spoilers. While it is tempting to spend the entirety of this review talking about Sleepaway Camp’s twist (and why recent events may lead it to be less effective than it was on release), I want to highlight some of the delightfully surreal bits of the movie, starting with Aunt Martha. She’s… Read more »