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items tagged with horror movies

Child Labor: “Orphan” and “The Ugly Truth”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-07-27 15:37:15

Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, and Vera Farmiga in OrphanORPHAN

Director Jaume Collet-Serra's Orphan features that most indestructible and, oftentimes, luridly enjoyable of horror-flick staples - the psychopathic prepubescent - and would probably be a lot of fun if it wasn't so relentlessly unpleasant and stupid. Those of us who've been known to get a kick out of these Omen-esque outings will probably give the movie the benefit of the doubt for far longer than it deserves. But for all of its effective jolts and expert acting, Orphan is so frustratingly illogical that it trashes whatever goodwill you extend toward it, and the experience is too unremittingly dour and punishing to be any kind of not-so-guilty pleasure. (One of the friends I saw the film with left the auditorium saying, "I need a shower now." Get in line, pal.)


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Mobile Home: “Up” and “Drag Me to Hell”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-06-02 18:34:55

Up's Carl FredricksenDirected and co-written by Pete Docter, Pixar's Up -- the studio's 10th full-length animated feature -- is so funny, touching, and inventive that I felt like a bit of an ingrate, if not a complete jerk, for wishing it were just a little bit better.


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Me and You and a Blob of Blue: "Monsters Vs. Aliens" and "The Haunting in Connecticut"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-03-29 23:28:25

Monsters vs. Aliens' monsters

MONSTERS VS. ALIENS

After a quick, manic prelude that effectively sets the tone for this quick, manic movie, Dreamworks' animated Monsters Vs. Aliens offers what is doubtless the most promising opening credit of the year, wrapping up its recognition of voice-over actors with: " ... and Stephen Colbert as the President." All right!, you think. Success at last!


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Apocalypse Nigh: "Knowing," "Waltz with Bashir," and "Brain Dead"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-03-23 12:41:57

Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne in Knowing

KNOWING

Knowing, director Alex Proyas' new portents-of-doom thriller starring Nicolas Cage, has an intriguing premise and some enjoyably nightmarish effects. Yet it's still such a shallow and deeply silly piece of work that, even though the movie explores numerology, determinism, and the eternal mysteries of the universe, somehow you just know it's all going to climax with Cage pointing a gun at someone and screaming, "I want my son! Now!!!" The film isn't really a disappointment - lord knows its previews made Knowing look much worse than it is - but its disconcerting blend of high drama and low camp tends to get you giggling at the exact moments you should be taking it the most seriously.


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The Family That Slays Together... : "The Last House on the Left," "Miss March," and "Race to Witch Mountain"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-03-16 12:49:10

Martha MacIsaac in The Last House on the Left

THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT

Seven weeks into its release, the ludicrous, laughable Taken is still in the top five at the box office, and it wasn't until seeing The Last House on the Left that I had a theory as to why: One should never underestimate the cinematic appeal of watching Daddy beat the crap out of his kid's assailants. It's doubtful that director Dennis Iliadis' remake of Wes Craven's grimy 1972 horror show will attract Taken-size crowds, but it, too, frames its nightmare around a brutalized teenage girl whose survival depends on the ass-kicking resourcefulness of her vengeful father (with her mother lending a hand, and a knife, for good measure). The difference between the movies, though, is that The Last House on the Left is actually a pretty good one.


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