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FrightFest 2016: The Love Witch review

8 hours ago

★★★★☆ Anna Biller's The Love Witch is a movie aesthetes of kitsch will embrace with open arms. Not that the film's distinct look is mere window-dressing or getting by on camp charm alone. A political work of true authorship if ever there was one, Biller not only directed, she wrote the screenplay, she's the film's editor, its set decorator, served as the costume and production designer, and also found time to compose the music. All of it a striking success.

Samantha Robinson (who looks like giallo icon Edwige Fenech) is Elaine, a narcissistic young witch. Her new aim in life is to cut out all the hard work in relationships and make them perfect, so she won't ever be rejected again. On the hunt for Mr. Right, her philosophical outlook is a melange of staunch feminism - she wants control (not an unfair demand) - but the methods are anti-feminist »

- CineVue

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FrightFest 2016: Abattoir review

9 hours ago

★★★☆☆ Home is where the Abattoir is, in Darren Lynn Bousman's film noir chiller. Swapping torture porn frolics - he helmed several sequels in the Saw franchise - for a more subdued approach, his latest work, arguably his strongest yet, is pitched as a ghost story with a nightmare twist. Based on an unpublished graphic novel serving as a prequel to events in the film (making its literally origins a bit of a cheat, because nobody's read it) Abattoir's visceral title is symbolic and reflected upon in a line of dialogue uttered by the film's Big Bad, Jebediah Crone (Dayton Callie), a creepy southern preacher recalling Julian Beck's insidious final role in Poltergeist II.

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- CineVue

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FrightFest 2016: Another Evil review

10 hours ago

★★★★☆ Ghosts from Our Past: Both Figuratively and Literally, the title of a controversial book co-authored by Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abbey Yates (Melissa McCarthy), in Paul Feig's Ghostbusters,  serves as a handy description of Carson Mell's superb horror comedy, Another Evil. Vacationing at his mountain cabin property, Dan (an abstract painter) and his family experience and witness ghostly events. Calling in a psychic medium, who tells them there's definitely a problem, the artist's friend recommends a guy he knows in the to exorcise the house of evil spirits. Big mistake.

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- CineVue

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Criterion Review: The Samurai Trilogy

10 hours ago

★★★★★ Sadly overlooked by western audiences, Hiroshi Inagaki's superlative Samurai Trilogy is the definitive on screen depiction of legendary 17th-century swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. 1954's Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto begins with Takezo (Toshiro Mifune) losing the battle of Sekigahara with his friend Matahachi (Rentarô Mikuni) and on the run as a fugitive. Both men are brash and inexperienced, but where Matahachi is cowardly and lecherous, Takezo is full of inner turmoil, horribly aware of his inadequacies and lashing out at Matahachi and the women who shelter them after Sekigahara.

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- CineVue

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FrightFest 2016: Red Christmas review

29 August 2016 12:00 AM, PDT

★★★☆☆ On the colour wheel, Craig Anderson's Red Christmas is more Bob Clark's Black Christmas than Michael Curtiz's White Christmas. While it's tempting to bring them together as a Yuletide triptych, a 'Three Colours Christmas' triple-bill (Krzysztof Kieślowski missed a trick with that one), Anderson's comic slasher doesn't quite earn its wings as a potential future classic, nevertheless it's very funny and another welcome indicator that antipodean genre cinema is where it's at right now.

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- CineVue

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