Archives for In Theaters

IT: CHAPTER TWO, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Float Down Here

As a massive Stephen King fan for most of my life, I understood Bill Skarsgård as Derry’s most infamous citizen when he lamented to the Loser’s Club that for 27 years, It dreamt of them; It missed them; It craved them. I get it. Ever since seeing the lackluster 1990 TV miniseries, I craved an adaption worthy of King’s magnum opus, something that captured the true weirdness of his prose and the cosmic scale of the novel. I dreamt of it. In 2017, we received Andy Muschietti’s IT, and finally, I saw, on the big screen, the characters I’d known
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PET SEMATARY (2019) Fails to Capture The Book’s Stony Heart

One of the most contested ideas within modern horror, among fans at least, is the remake. For some, these forays into nostalgia are sacrilege, failing often to honor the spirit of the original they are recreating. For others, they are evidence of how precious even degenerates like us, the horror community, can be about our memories; some succeed, some fail, but remakes in and of themselves are of no intrinsic value or fault. Honestly, there is truth in both ideas. Some remakes really do improve upon the original, or if not improve, try something new and different that adds something
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Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo On His Score For the Hypnotically Repulsive RELAXER

Writer/director Joel Potrykus’ new film, Relaxer, is simultaneously hypnotic and repulsive. It all takes place in one room — on one couch, really — where Abbie (Joshua Burge) is attempting to beat 256 levels of Pac-Man, because he’s not allowed to get up until he does so. If this movie had a smell, it would be sweat on a vinyl couch, with a faint whiff of sour milk somewhere in the background. Y2K’s on the horizon, and a sense of mild panic is palpable. If The Greasy Strangler left you uncomfortable, Relaxer will have you cringing. And, yet, the film
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How CAPTAIN MARVEL Pulled Off That Third Act Twist

This article contains full spoilers for Captain Marvel.   There’s a particular trick we see in a lot of Disney or Disney-affiliated movies these days, going back to the early Aughts, when Pixar was becoming the name of the game when it came to mainstream, “all-ages entertainment that is actually good for all ages” films and their playbook began being widely disseminated throughout the movie industry. I’m sure there’s a proper name for this particular trick, but I’ll refer to them here as Trapdoor Villains. A trapdoor villain is a bad guy who is presented to us as a benevolent, upstanding
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REVIEW: AQUAMAN Not Quite a Sea Change, But Definitely a Course Correction

Aquaman (dir. James Wan) is perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the year. For one thing, the DC superhero movie franchise — or DCEU, or Worlds of DC, or whatever you want to call it — has been at best inconsistent with audiences and critics. (Frankly I like a lot of those movies better than most, but that’s a discussion for another time.) Add that to the fact that Aquaman as a character has, fairly or not, mostly been a punchline for the last several decades, and it is understandable why some might be eager to write off a
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REVIEW: OVERLORD Offers a Fresh Take on War and the Undead

“The thousand-year Reich needs thousand-year soldiers.” Cinematic retellings of World War II have reached a recent caliber with bilingual revenge in Inglourious Basterds, tank hellfire in Fury and the beach evacuations of Dunkirk. The opening of Overlord lulls the audience into a sense of expectation with the nervous banter of soldiers, trading jokes and insults as they huddle in their transports, only for the scene to explode into claustrophobic chaos. The real sense of dread begins with the centering of Jovan Adepo as the film’s lead, crawling out of the mud and ashes of the explosive opening. The isolation surrounding Private
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Liam & Nick go on a HEAVY TRIP

Heavy Trip, the debut feature from directors Jukka Vidgren and Juuso Laatio — who co-wrote the film with Aleksi Puranen and Jari Olavi Ranta — might be the first film to really show the lives and friendships of metalheads without also layering in occult or supernatural elements. The story of Impaled Rektum, who play “Symphonic Postapocalyptic Reindeer-Grinding Christ-Abusing Extreme War Pagan Fennoscandian Metal,’ manages to be touching and hilarious, with an absolutely brutal soundtrack: “In this offbeat comedy from Finland, Turo is stuck in a small village where the best thing in his life is being the lead vocalist for
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REVIEW: The Brutal, Messy Beauty of WHAT KEEPS YOU ALIVE

This review contains mild spoilers.   Is it possible to ever fully know a person?  Sure, we can attempt to form relationships, approximate a kind of understanding and familiarity. Maybe even really love somebody unconditionally. But short of tearing into flesh and muscle, pulling away the literal surface of a person to truly get to grips with who they are on the inside, can we ever really know what they harbor in their heart? You might think so. What happens if you’re wrong? What happens when the person you think you know most intimately isn’t who they say they are?
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Purgin’ It, or How THE FIRST PURGE Gives Us What We Need

There’s an old talking point that says when Republicans are in office, we get better horror films. It’s not entirely inaccurate, either; a quick look at the horror boom in the early 1980s probably provides the easiest and best evidence of this idea, considering what was happening not only stateside but in the world. Some of you may be too young to remember the Cold War (I’m old, and I barely do), but with Ronald Reagan’s masterful “Bear in the Woods” tactics tricking America into thinking doom and demise were around the corner, the social climate was set up perfectly
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Commodore Gilgamesh of Everything Is Terrible! on ‘The Great Satan’ & Video Mixtape Madness

Over the last ten years, Everything Is Terrible! has reinterpreted our shared memory into 3,000+ daily web videos, collected 15,000 Jerry Maguire VHS tapes, and forever altered the collective consciousness of like-minded movie weirdos. Now – in partnership with their longtime collaborator, Lucifer – Everything Is Terrible! has ingested over 2,000 Satanic Panic, religious kook, and D-horror VHS tapes, and re-contextualized them into a narrative feature. The film, titled The Great Satan, reminds us all who we are, why we are here, and what we should be doing with our paltry time on this dumb planet. It’s a whirlwind of imagery,
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