[Review] ‘Family Blood’ Has Teeth, But Lacks a Strong Bite

Anyone who has dealt with the disease of addiction in their lives knows what an absolute nightmare it can be. Director Sonny Malhi’s second feature film, Family Blood, seeks to take its audience on a journey through that nightmare. The film follows Ellie (Vinessa Shaw), a divorced mother of two who has recently regained custody of her teenage children and moved to a “sketchy” neighborhood. Ellie happens to be a recovering pill addict who … [Read more...]

[Review] ‘Family Blood’ Has Teeth, But Lacks a Strong Bite

Anyone who has dealt with the disease of addiction in their lives knows what an absolute nightmare it can be. Director Sonny Malhi’s second feature film, Family Blood, seeks to take its audience on a journey through that nightmare. The film follows Ellie (Vinessa Shaw), a divorced mother of two who has recently regained custody of her teenage children and moved to a “sketchy” neighborhood. Ellie happens to be a recovering pill addict who … [Read more...]

[Review] ‘The Jurassic Games’ Is So Bad, It’s… Just Bad

We all love and need a good creature feature once in a while. Director Ryan Bellgardt’s The Jurassic Games is not that. As the title might suggest, this sci-fi B-movie is an interesting mash-up of Jurassic Park and The Hunger Games. The film follows 10 death row inmates, led by the possibly falsely accused Anthony Tucker (Adam Hampton), as they fight their ways through harsh terrains and take on man-eating dinosaurs along the way via virtual … [Read more...]

[What the Fest !? Review] ‘Blue My Mind’ is a Strange, Exceptional Debut with Elements of Body Horror

If you think you’ve seen everything the coming-of-age narrative style has to offer, you haven’t seen director Lisa Bruhlmann’s fantastical, surreal debut film, Blue My Mind, which premiered at IFC’s What the Fest!? tonight. The story follows Mia (Luna Wedler), a 15-year-old late-bloomer who is trying to make an impression on the cool girls at her new school. After a few fruitless attempts, Mia finally catches the attention of Gianna (Zoë Pastelle … [Read more...]

[Review] ‘Against the Night’ is a Generic Blunder Full of Tired Tropes

After a night of drinking and partying, a group of friends decide to pay a visit to nearby abandoned Holmesburg Prison, an enormous, decaying structure in Philadelphia, PA. The group’s prankster, Hank (Luke Persiani), is an entry level director who believes bringing his friends to the prison will be perfect material for a ghost-hunting show he’s filming. Naturally, once all nine friends are within the building’s walls, all hell breaks loose. … [Read more...]

[Review] ‘Still/Born’ Delivers the Scares, Christie Burke Is a Standout

The past decade or so has given us so many wonderful instant classics that the “most horror movies are terrible” myth is slowly, but surely, becoming a sentiment of the past. Although there have been so many excellent films over the last few years, the sheer number of movies available at any given moment sometimes makes it difficult to wade through the muck to get to the good stuff. This means just as much excitement is produced for a “hidden … [Read more...]

[Review] ‘Class of 1999’ Is a Punk Rock Cult Classic!

If you’re looking for a new cult classic to champion, search no further. Mark L. Lester’s Class of 1999 delivers all the action and off-the-wall weirdness you could want in a sci-fi exploitation flick. The film opens and a narrator explains that America was taken over by youth gangs in the early 90s. By 1999, major cities are in total chaos and decay. The school systems are unable to properly function amidst all the violence between gangs of … [Read more...]

[Review] ‘The Open House’ is a Deeply Frustrating, Clichéd Wreck

As Dylan Minnette’s character, Logan, points out in The Open House, the concept of “open houses” is a strange one. Logan notes that countless strangers wander around your home while you’re not there, the realtors too busy putting on a good face to monitor what each guest is doing, or, more horrifyingly, if each guest leaves once the showing is over for the day. This is exactly the terrifying situation which befalls Logan and his mother, Naomi … [Read more...]

[Review] ‘The Midnight Man’ is a Messy, Forgettable Film

If you’ve ever wondered what a cross between Ouija (2014), The Bye Bye Man (2017), and a heavy dose of Insidious (2010) would look like, search no further. Travis Zariwny’s latest, The Midnight Man, is just that – a watchable, yet unremarkable, amalgam of any number of the latest supernatural films. The film opens in a large, shadowy house set in 1953. Inside, a small group of children are gathered within a circle of salt, avoiding a … [Read more...]

[Review] ‘Desolation’ is a Timely, Bonkers Debut

David Moscow’s directorial debut, Desolation (not to be confused with Sam Patton’s 2017 feature-length debut of the same name), is not your typical tale of a small-town girl who falls for the handsome actor. Desolation tells the story of Katie (Dominik Garcia-Lorido), a sexual assault survivor coping with her trauma and subsequent suicide attempt. While working at a motel in Elmira, New York, she meets Jay (Brock Kelly), an aspiring … [Read more...]

[Review] ’78/52′ is a Must-See Love Letter to Hitchcock and Filmmaking

You would be hard-pressed to find a film lover who does not name Alfred Hitchcock as a favorite filmmaker. It would be harder still to find a horror fan who does not name Hitchcock’s Psycho as an all-time favorite. The legacy of his 1960 horror classic is boundless, living on in both mainstream and indie film circles, as well as in popular culture, all these years later. It was the infamous “shower scene,” wherein Janet Leigh’s character Marion … [Read more...]

[Review] ‘American Fable’ Is a Captivating Character Study

Gone are the archaic days of assuming “direct-to-video” is synonymous with “poor quality”. Interesting, unique, and stylized indie debuts are becoming increasingly common, and writer/director Anne Hamilton’s feature debut American Fable is no exception. American Fable is an ambitious film which tells the story of a lonely young girl named Gitty. Gitty’s family lives on a farm somewhere in rural America in the 80’s, and the 11-year-old spends … [Read more...]

[Review] ‘Skybound’ is Campy, Entertaining Fun

Sometimes, as a horror fan, you just need a palate cleanser. Gore, brutality, and sheer terror are fun, but a laugh is needed every once in a while, if only to fend off desensitization. For those who don’t like to stray too far from the horror genre, ostentatious natural disaster and survival movies are a natural go-to. Writer/director Alex Tavakoli’s debut film Skybound is about as garish and laugh-inducing a survival film as B-movies come. The … [Read more...]