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  • Blade

    Blade

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    "You better wake up. The world you live in is just a sugar coated topping. There is another world beneath it, the real world. And if you want to learn to survive it, you better learn to pull the trigger."

    This speech precedes the release of The Matrix by about six months. Complain about the CGI, one-liners, and thin (though well-acted) villain all you like: Blade is gritty, bloody, and rife with class/race struggles all wrapped in the trappings of…

  • Alien: Covenant

    Alien: Covenant

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I somehow managed to avoid spoilers for this film in the wait for the Japanese release. I'm very confused as to the copious amount of negative reviews.

    Covenant achieves two things that Prometheus failed to do; first, to have characters making believable decisions, and second, to make the moviegoing experience uncomfortable for men once more. The first point is achieved in the fact there are no categorically ridiculous moments like Meredith Vickers not thinking to run a different direction.

    As…

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  • Warda

    Warda

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Good to know that men will do their absolute best to mansplain paranormal phenomenon no matter cultural, linguistic, and religious difference.

    Warda is a fairly flat found footage film with a few nice atmospheric moments. The majority of the film is expository without a high creep factor, attempting to interest us in some family drama and the return of a wayward son. None of this quite lands, and while I’m all for unanswered questions, most of the plot lines go nowhere. The ending is abrupt, even for a faux-documentary.

  • Welcome to Mercy

    Welcome to Mercy

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A beautifully-shot, tense, and unsettling film that actually takes demonic possession seriously. This isn't a flash-in-the-pan, someone starts suddenly contorting impossibly possession; no, Welcome to Mercy is whispers in the shadows, memory loss, buried secrets, and nightmarish pinpricks of gore. The film respects that reported cases of demonic possessions involve years of things being not-quite-right, family legacies, and no immediate fix even with great sacrifice. Demons don't play by our rules, after all.

    Everything plays out like a murky gothic novel, complete with nighttime wanderings bearing lanterns, secrets at a cloistered convent, and evil in disguise.

    Excellent screening choice for Easter.

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  • Hell House LLC

    Hell House LLC

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A found footage film that has two major things going for it: a believable premise for the format, and consistent privileging of creepiness over jump scares.

    Hell House LLC is another one of those "see what happens to people who leave NYC and dare to venture to other parts of the state" films that always entertains me as a Central New Yorker. Sara's early complaint that in NYC one can leave a creepy place and get a slice of pizza…

  • The Pact

    The Pact

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    This film works well for a variety of reasons, but mostly due to some deliberate pacing choices and cinematography that induce a constant sense of unease.

    It takes a lot to craft an effective haunted house film, especially one that successfully unfolds at a gradual pace. The Pact may not be for everyone, but despite some of the setbacks (especially plot holes), this is worth a watch.