Black Lake Director’s Cut: Renegade Film Festival 2023 Review

Year: 2023 Running Time: 90 minutes Written and Directed by K/XI By Brian Skutle Director’s Cuts are always a dicey situation for a film. Sometimes, they can help correct films that had studio interference, like “Blade Runner” (1982), “Dark City” (1998) or “Justice League” (2017), and sometimes, they are able to allow the director to give a fuller representation of their initial vision, like the … Continue reading Black Lake Director’s Cut: Renegade Film Festival 2023 Review

Review: Fall

Year: 2022 Runtime: 107 minutes Director: Scott Mann Writers: Jonathan Frank, Scott Mann Actors: Grace Caroline Currey, Virginia Gardner, Mason Gooding, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jasper Cole, Darrell Dennis, Bamm Ericsen, Julia Pace Mitchell By Caelyn O’Reilly When I first saw the trailer for “Fall” I got so excited to see the latest entry in my favourite hyper-specific genre of film; thrillers about extremely competent women … Continue reading Review: Fall

Portland Horror Film Festival: La Ciguapa Siempre

Year: 2021n Runtime: 13 minutes Director/Writer: Monica Moore-Suriyage Actors: Cheyenne Washington, Michael Bonini, Jillian Kinsey, Lotus Lain By Joan Amenn A Ciguapa is a mythical creature from Dominican folklore. It appears to be an attractive woman and is sometimes referred to as a “mermaid of the woods” because they typically can be found in forested areas. They are also said to be capable of being … Continue reading Portland Horror Film Festival: La Ciguapa Siempre

Women of Summer Retrospective: The Mummy

Year: 1999 Runtime: 124 minutes Director: Stephen Sommers Writers: Stephen Sommers, Lloyd Forvielle, Kevin Jarre Cast: Rachel Weisz, Brendan Fraser, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Jonathan Hyde, Oded Fehr, Kevin J. O’Connor, Patricia Velasquez, Bernard Fox By Joan Amenn “I am proud of what I am…I am a Librarian!” -Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz) In the 1990’s Universal Studios explored the idea of rebooting their perennially popular … Continue reading Women of Summer Retrospective: The Mummy

Supernatural Beauty and its Cost: Cinema Witchcraft Over the Decades

The family Halloween flick “Hocus Pocus” (1993) became a cult hit due to its iconic New England aesthetics and the flamboyant performance of Hollywood veteran Bette Midler, but didn’t charm a huge audience at the time of its release. Moviegoing youths of the 1990s were more primed for darker materials, snatching up tickets to see a teenage coven of goths rock the dark arts in “The Craft” (1996). Both films have stood the test of time, and make great autumnal rewatches; But how drastically do their spellbinding stars differ in terms of feminist appeal? And have our pop culture perceptions of witchcraft changed much since the turn of the century? Continue reading Supernatural Beauty and its Cost: Cinema Witchcraft Over the Decades

It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus: A Love Letter to my Favorite Witches

Every year, for as long as I can remember, from September to November I look forward to the lighting of the Black Flame candle (by a virgin of course!) so you can return from the dead. As a child, my sister and I would sit down in front of the television to take note of the days on the calendar that “Hocus Pocus” would air (on ABC Family, of course) so we could plan our schedule accordingly. I could always count on 24-hours worth of you on a loop on Halloween day. How could I count on this you wonder? Well, that is because you are the best Halloween movie witches to ever exist. Continue reading It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus: A Love Letter to my Favorite Witches

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

Review: Relic

“Relic” argues that the winter of one’s life isn’t just sad and lonely; it’s absolutely fucking terrifying. Not just for the person in question, of course, but for everyone around them. Watching one’s parent age is both an honor, and a great source of stress; a reminder of how lucky you are to continue seeing them, and just how finite life ultimately is. In this directorial debut, Natalia Erika James presents a horror film which centers around this particular sentiment. I just wish she’d dedicated a bit more time to sustaining the pace and, ultimately, the scares. Continue reading Review: Relic

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

Review: Blood on her Name

This is a lean, mean, deadly beast of an indie film–at times it is unbearably tense and unlike anything I’ve seen from this genre. Elevated by a star-making performance from Bethany Anne Lind (whose IMDB page I’ve checked; I must say that I am appalled that it has taken this long for her to be seen!). It is a southern crime-thriller that is thematically and structurally reminiscent of films like “Blue Ruin”; yet it is made instantly more fresh with the decision to center the story on a complex woman. Continue reading Review: Blood on her Name