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Because no one should watch these films alone!

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I love the noir formula, but about halfway through a noir I can admit to myself if it's a bit crummy. It took me a while to get there with 1947's Born to Kill, but the last 40% of the film slowly circled the drain and petered out, which was too damn bad.

This review contains minor spoilers. In this Netflix period drama, prodigal son and erstwhile missionary Thomas (Dan Stevens) returns home to find his father aging and addled, and his sister Jennifer kidnapped and secured on a mysterious (Welsh) island. The island is home to a new religious group, a commune that resists the King’s rule and actively expels spies who attempt to infiltrate. Hoping to hide among the new flock, Thomas embarks on a hazardous journey to mingle with the cult, find Jennifer (Elen Rhys), and hopefully bring her home alive. Upon arriving Thomas meets soi disant prophet Malcom (Michael Sheen) and his “brothers” Frank (Paul Higgins) and Quinn (Mark Lewis Jones). Between the three of them, they run the island – complete with robed goons, orderly work parties, and blood sacrifice rituals. Thomas makes goo-goo eyes at Malcom’s daughter Andrea (Lucy Boynton) and observes Frank’s son Jeremy (Bill Milner), who is having a clandestine relationship with Quinn’s daughter Ffion (Kristine Froseth). Thomas discovers that there is indeed a supernatural deity on the premises (Sharon Morgan), a goddess who for some reason has turned on the inhabitants; their crops are cursed and their livestock gives birth to mutated fetuses. Thomas soon discovers that his sister’s ransom is an entirely practical matter, as the commune risks starvation. He press-gangs Jeremy into his service, and soon Andrea’s in on the plot as well as they make increasingly strange and disgusting discoveries. The third act consists of a series of increasingly gory, disturbing,…

The first Halloween was a hard act to follow – as it’s an almost perfect horror film – but follow many films did. To date the franchise includes seven sequels (a few of them, non-sequiturs at best) and two remakes. These nine efforts have been considerably less well-regarded than the 1978 original. I watched the latest entry last night in a theater – like you should – and I believe it’s the second-best Halloween film and easily the best sequel. I don’t know what my expectations were going into this latest film; I succumbed to temptation and watched the trailer, which I regret as it gave away a couple good scares. Halloween (2018) ignores nine Halloween films, picking up forty-plus years after the events of the first. Michael Myers (Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney), murderer of five, is about to be transferred to another high security facility after his latest decades-long incarceration. His transfer is highly anticipated by the sole survivor of his rampage, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). Laurie still lives in hometown Haddonfield where she and her friends were attacked, and her life hasn’t been an easy one. She is semi-estranged from her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), son-in-law Ray (Toby Huss), and honor society granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). When the film opens, Laurie is struggling with PTSD as she anticipates Micheal’s transfer while trying to show up for her family (physically and emotionally). Her difficulties seem all the more heartbreaking as the rest of the world has all but forgotten…

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The Car is one of the more flagrant Jaws ripoffs (and everyone involved knew and owned this, at the time), although of course it takes place entirely in a land-locked, somewhere-out-West small town near a canyon. It might seem silly to think on all the…

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  Scottish siblings Angela and Jackson (Florence Pugh and Ben Lloyd-Hughes) helm a sophisticated ghost investigation scam operation to keep themselves afloat. Angela is a university student in Psychology half-assing her way through her studies, preferring to get high and occasionally see to her aging, alcoholic…

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At midnight of the centennial of sleepy coastal town Antonio Bay, a small but threatening series of paranormal disturbances trickle through the spring evening. A slow-moving, supernaturally-glowing fog rolls inland, and three men on a trawler are accosted by silent…

Christine Daaé (Mary Philbin), an ingénue with the Paris Opera House, has recently advanced as understudy to prima donna Carlotta (Virginia Pearson). Her admirer Vicomte Raoul de Chagny (Norman Kerry) and his brother Comte Phillipe (John St. Polis) frequent the venue to…

Four typical teen girls Hallie (Julia Goldani Telles), Wren (Joey King), Chloe (Jaz Sinclair), and Katie (Annalise Basso) find a website detailing the sketchy legend of Slender Man (Javier Botet) and instructions on how to summon him. Sounds like a…

Ghost stories today aren’t what they used to be, and as much as I enjoy gore and over-the-top carnage, there’s something to be said for a quietly effective thriller. The Uninvited is not only a great little mystery that stands…

The second Netflix Original from India (after the ambitious and thrilling Sacred Games), Ghoul is an effective short story given the perfect amount of runtime via a three-part installment. The series is set in a dystopian near future, where army…

A winter night fraternity hazing goes awry, finding young Alana (Jamie Lee Curtis) unwittingly party to initiate Kenny’s nervous breakdown (Derek MacKinnon). Flash forward a year later and Alana is still dating her jerk of a boyfriend Mo (Timothy Webber ),…

Aging, morose naturalist Russell Core (Jeffrey Wright) is summoned to a remote Alaskan village a few days after a woman’s young child is taken by wolves. The mother, Medora Sloane (Riley Keough) greets Core with long, whispered poetic soliloquies about…

I’m going to come right out and say that I loved “Sharp Objects”, based off Gillian Flynn’s 2006 debut novel, despite considerable flaws. I’ve described the series in shorthand as “True Detective” Season 1 – for ladies. Both programs center around…

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