Review: Escape Room – Tournament of Champions

effects, snappy pacing and genuinely engaging characters you wanted to see survive. It was perhaps lost in discussions of recent horror successes under the fawning praise for the Jordan Peeles and Ari Asters of the world, but it definitely deserves more attention. It ends with an extremely blatant bit of sequel bait, something that – done poorly – can seem obnoxiously self-assured or if attached to a complete bomb that never gets a follow-up, accidentally hilarious (hello, Dark Universe). But this film’s sequel hook was exciting and made me earnestly look forward to a potential second entry. And after the slight disappointment that was “Spiral” earlier this year, it made me look forward to this puzzle-heavy serialized horror sequel all the more. And unlike that film, “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions” largely delivers on its promise.  Continue reading Review: Escape Room – Tournament of Champions

Review: Spiral

Year: 2021 Runtime: 93 minutes Director: Darren Lynn Bousman Writers: Josh Stolberg, Pete Goldfinger Actors: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, Dan Petronijevic, Richard Zeppieri By Caelyn O’Reilly I’m kind of a “Saw” fan. I don’t mean “kind of” in a self-deprecating “Oh I’m a superfan who knows every factoid but I don’t wanna brag” way. I mean, kind of a fan. Yeah I did own all … Continue reading Review: Spiral

The Silence of The Lambs – 30 Years Later

By Stephen Palmer In 1991, something rather amazing happened. A horror film swept the board at the Oscars. Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director.. and something that no other horror film has done.. it won Best Picture. At the time of writing, no horror film before or since has achieved Best Picture (“The Exorcist”, “Jaws”, “Get Out”, “Black Swan”, and “The Sixth … Continue reading The Silence of The Lambs – 30 Years Later

NIGHTSTREAM Review: Frank & Zed

Year: 2020 Runtime: 97 Minutes Director: Jesse Blanchard Writers: Jesse Blanchard Stars: Frank, Zed, Jerry Bell Jr., Aaron Booth,  Randolph F. Christen By Tom Moore Although horror comes in all different forms, there’re none like writer/director Jesse Blanchard’s sophomore feature “Frank & Zed” – a puppet horror film that’s a labour of love for the genre. The film is a simple gothic tale about a … Continue reading NIGHTSTREAM Review: Frank & Zed

NightStream Film Festival Review: Reunion

Emma Draper stars as Ellie, a university lecturer who has returned home to reunite with her estranged mother Ivy (Julia Ormond), who has been take care of her invalid husband Jack (John Bach). Despite being heavily pregnant, her state inspires little sympathy from Ivy and the two begin to pick up where they left off in their fractured relationship. Continue reading NightStream Film Festival Review: Reunion

NightStream Film Festival Review: Darkness

Just within its premise and opening moments, it’s easy to see that “Darkness” touches on some claustrophobic and paranoia filled fears that are mostly perfect for the current pandemic. The plastic all over the house, the daunting fear of what the harmful effects could be of walking into the outside world, and the way that Stella and her sisters are forced to find ways to entertain themselves while stuck inside is incredibly reminiscent to what’s happening now. It’s surely what people imagine as a “worst case scenario” in this time and it makes the dark and drab atmosphere so effective in making viewers uneasy. The only detractor of it is within it’s twist as the idea of the condition that the father describes not being accurate is what keeps me from saying that “Darkness” is the perfect film for the time. With the effects of coronavirus still being felt and thousands still being infected, it’s hard to recommend something like “Darkness” as it doesn’t fully fit the narrative of coronavirus being something that we should take seriously. Continue reading NightStream Film Festival Review: Darkness

Fantasia Festival Review: The Dark and the Wicked

Bertino goes into uncharted waters with his latest horror effort, “The Dark and the Wicked”. Bertino had made the film in his own farm and it promises something more psychological; exploring other levels of fear he has not worked on in his prior work.

The film stars Marin Ireland and Michael Abbott Jr. as Louise and Michael; siblings whom have just heard that their father is fatally ill. The two put their lives on hold and visit his farm to be with their father for his final hours as well as their mother for emotional support. While the time spent together brings up closeted skeletons in their past; the two begin to realize that their estrangement towards their parents seem to be the least of their problems as the farm shows signs of something sinister. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: The Dark and the Wicked

The Terror of TERFs Revealed in “Midsommar’s” Summertime Setting

The last scenes of Ari Aster’s premier horror masterpiece “Hereditary” (2018) take viewers through a winding middle-American manor, with dysfunctional family dynamics incarnated as demons in the eerie night-time environment. Aster abandons this classic horror imagery for a more subversive setting in “Midsommar” (2019), where his familiar formula of manifesting the characters’ resentments towards one another as violent retribution instead takes place in the long-lasting daylight of a secluded, Scandinavian commune. Continue reading The Terror of TERFs Revealed in “Midsommar’s” Summertime Setting

Friday the 13th: 40th Anniversary Piece

Being one of the first slasher films to break into the mainstream media, the “Friday the 13th” franchise has not only become one of the most iconic film franchises, but provided one of the most iconic slashers in all of pop-culture – Jason Vorhees. Yes, that hockey mask wearing, machete wielding slasher has been providing plenty of blood and entertainment for decade and has always been my personal favorite of the genre – with Freddy always being a close second. From rooting for him as an odd underdog in Freddy vs. Jason to even playing as the iconic slasher in IllFonic’s incredible gaming adaptation of the franchise, Jason has and will always have a special place in my heart. However, with the 1980 original’s 40th anniversary coming this May, it’s actually not fitting at all to talk about him. Continue reading Friday the 13th: 40th Anniversary Piece