Tag Archives: 2020 film reviews

(NIGHTSTREAM 2020) FILM REVIEW: AN UNQUIET GRAVE is a haunting meditation of how unchecked grief can turn you into a monster.

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Director Terence Krey’s film is built on two compelling standout performances that anchor this story of grief gone too far. Grief is one of the most powerful forces that one experiences in their lifetime. It can destroy the foundations of

FILM REVIEW: EVIL EYE embraces its cultural roots to tell a relatable tale with a strong Indian influence.

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Elan and Rajeev Dassani direct this unique Hindi-influenced supernatural horror from playwright Madhuri Shekar It’s a very difficult struggle for filmmakers to make genre films about different cultures that will appeal to either the original culture the subject matter hails

FILM REVIEW: NOCTURNE is a welcome call-back to the madness of the performance artist horror subgenre.

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NOCTURNE invokes films like Suspiria, The Perfection, and Black Swan in this tale of how far an ugly duckling pianist will go to outshine her gifted fraternal twin in this engaging horror film. I’m a big fan of the artist-driven

(NIGHTSTREAM 2020) FILM REVIEW: SURVIVAL SKILLS is a surreal and absurdist VHS-tinged mind trip.

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Director Quinn Armstrong presents a darkly satirical look at how social constructs like the pilce fail people in the form of a forgotten 1980s police training video. I’m a big fan of absurdist comedy. From Adult Swim’s Too Many Cooks,

(NIGHTSTREAM 2020) FILM REVIEW: In ANYTHING FOR JACKSON, beware hitchhiking ghosts in this darkly humorous family exorcism drama.

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Director Justin G. Dyck scares up a unique premise in this genre entry showing what lengths a privileged family will go to make their desires come true. Exorcism horror tends to be one of my least favorite modern horror subgenres.

(NIGHTSTREAM 2020) FILM REVIEW: THE DOORMAN channels the spirit of Die Hard to deliver an action packed heist film with a solid emotional core.

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DOORMAN

Ruby Rose plays an ex-soldier with a tortured past looking to reconnect with her family when a small cadre of art thieves takes over the high rise where she is starting her life over. The everyman hero is a staple

(NIGHTSTREAM 2020) FILM REVIEW: BLOCKS is a darkly comedic take on the often thankless tasks of motherhood.

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Director Bridget Maloney and star Claire Coffee impress in this tale of a mother losing and regaining her agency and the walls of building blocks in between those states. Motherhood is oftentimes a thankless task. Watching young children and tending

(NIGHTSTREAM 2020) Don’t Sleep on These Selections at NIGHTSTREAM FEST this weekend!

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While the inaugural NIGHTSTREAM Film Festival kicks off this weekend, here are some picks from Cult Following you shouldn’t let fly under your radar Film festivals are tough, there are SO MANY good movies to watch, cool panels and so

(NIGHTSTREAM 2020) FILM REVIEW: SHOCK VALUE: THE MOVIE — HOW DAN O’BANNON & SOME USC OUTSIDERS HELPED INVENT MODERN HORROR argues the blueprint of the slasher can be found in the masters’ student work, but needs some curatorial intent.

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While it is a useful exercise to revisit these early student films from John Carpenter & Dan O’ Bannon amongst others, USC archivist Dino Everett needed to exert some editorial & curatorial voice in making his argument in this collection.

FILM REVIEW: BLACK BOX channels GET OUT by way of FRANKENSTEIN in this sci-fi take on identity theft.

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The inaugural entry in Amazon’s new WELCOME TO THE BLUMHOUSE series channels themes from some of the studio’s past films in this intriguing Black Mirror-like take on identity theft. The best science fiction and genre tales are those that work

FILM REVIEW: THE LIE is a powerful meditation on the extremes we can be driven to for those that we love.

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Writer/director Veena Sud delivers a downcast look at a family broken by divorce and how committing to a lie to try and save that unit ultimately destroys it. Upon watching THE LIE, one of two feature-length films dropped by genre

FILM REVIEW: SPONTANEOUS is one of the year’s best genre mashups with engaging performances, clever writing, and compelling characters.

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Writer Brian Duffield (Underwater, The Babysitter) makes his feature directing debut in this well-acted timely ensemble genre piece with echoes of Heathers and Donnie Darko. It goes without saying that 2020 has been an off-year for all of us, not

FILM REVIEW: THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW serves up a compelling premise & setting but drags in the execution.

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Writer/director Thomas Robert Lee serves up some scary atmosphere that seems to setup an intriguing premise worth exploring, but THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW delivers a supernatural revenge horror that seems to lose focus in the execution. A slow-burn supernaturally

(BEYOND FEST 2020) FILM REVIEW: POSSESSOR transcends the body horror genre to be one of 2020’s best films.

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Aided by tremendous performances throughout, writer/director Brandon Cronenberg’s science fiction take on the future of high priced assassination is a tragic character study on the loss of self-identity. Human beings define ourselves through our experiences and life choices. It’s the

FILM REVIEW: ANTEBELLUM strives to be GET OUT, but the cosplay comes up short.

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Despite hosting a commanding screen presence from Janelle Monae, the feature debut from writer/directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz doesn’t really say anything much about race & prejudice except give us a greatest hits melody of its horrors minus any

FILM REVIEW: THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY sets up a great premise for rom-com gold, but strikes out.

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Despite a pair of charismatic leads in Geraldine Viswanathan and Dacre Montgomery, THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY delivers fluff instead of feeling. There’s something to watching a really good romantic comedy. You need an interesting premise and compelling leads. It’s crucial

FILM REVIEW: NAIL IN THE COFFIN: The Fall and Rise of Vampiro covers the highs and lows of balancing a life as a career professional wrestler with fatherhood

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Director Michael Paszt chronicles the crazy rock and roll luchador life of Ian Hodgkinson, a man who became an international wrestling icon known as Vampiro in his youth, but now struggles with injuries from his glory days and a frayed

(FANTASIA 2020) FILM REVIEW: DOPPELBANGER is an interesting vignette on the value of human interaction set in the world of sex work.

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Writer/director Sofian Khan’s black and white stylized short serves up a potential future where the gig economy leads to people using their robotic clones as sex workers and the consequences that entail. If the year 2020 has taught human beings

FILM REVIEW: Christopher Nolan’s TENET: The hype is real.

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Christopher Nolan’s high-concept science-fiction spy thriller delivers on all cylinders with exemplary performances from John David Washington and Kenneth Branagh that anchor the heady epic. There are very few modern filmmakers who can command the title of film auteur; a

(FANTASIA 2020) FILM REVIEW: HAIL TO THE DEADITES is a love letter about the positive aspects of fandom.

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Director Steve Villeneuve’s documentary examines the fan culture and appreciation for the Sam Raimi EVIL DEAD film series but finds a lot of heart in appreciation for the gore-soaked horror classics. I think most people have a favorite film. A