“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” on IMDB
Fantasy/Adventure/Family, 127 Minutes, 2016
Ransom Riggs’ best-selling debut novel seems tailor made for Tim Burton’s [IMDB] off-kilter sensibilities. Most children are normal, some are odd, some are gifted and some very few are peculiar. Peculiar children might be as strong as a dozen men, be lighter than air or able to start fires with their hands. Such children are cared for by the Ymbrynes, magical women who create isolated loops in time to protect their wards.
“The Babadook” on IMDB
Horror, 93 Minutes, 2014
Some children – let’s face it – truly deserve to be devoured by whatever monsters can be coaxed under their beds. Samuel (Noah Wiseman [IMDB]) may be one of these. He drives his poor mother, Amelia (Essie Davis [IMDB]), to the brink with his paranoia and the contraptions he concocts to defend himself. Alone, and never truly recovered from the tragic death of her husband, his mother simply cannot cope.
“Krampus” on IMDB
Horror/Fantasy, 98 Minutes, 2015
Some people get down around the holidays. The influx of annoying relatives is an inconvenience; an intrusion into their ordered lives. Some are simply jaded and can’t see why others get so excited; presents are nice and all, but do we need all the hoopla? This movie dares to declare: “Hey! If you don’t like Christmas, you and your family should be brutally murdered!”
“Warcraft” on IMDB
Fantasy/Adventure, 123 Minutes, 2016
Apparently, there’s this game that’s got like, dragons and swords and hobbits and stuff. You play with other people and you, like, kill all the stuff. Mr. T told me all about it. Anyway, this game is pretty old, but, like, people still play it, so they made a movie.
“Willow Creek” on IMDB
Horror, 77 Minutes, 2013
I’m a skeptic. In a general sense, yes, but also in the organized one. This movie is about Bigfoot, something for which the ridiculously poor evidence can’t even begin to defend as “a thing”. Sure, it’s kind of fun and kind of harmless, but it’s also annoying as hell to hear about the same old, debunked, evidence again and again. It’s also a found-footage movie and, damn, aren’t they getting old?
“Nailbiter” on IMDB
Horror/Thriller, 82 Minutes, 2013
This low-budget thriller ups the ante by focusing on a trapped mother and her three daughters. She was taking the teens to pick up their father, back from an extended tour of duty in the Middle East. They’re forced to seek shelter in the basement of a nearby farm house when a tornado forces them off the road. It’s only when they try to get out that they realize their safe harbor is actually a prison; one guarded by terrible, predatory creatures.
“John Dies at the End” on IMDB
Horror/Thriller, 99 Minutes, 2012
You know how you feel when you do a bunch of acid, then watch a sci-fi movie marathon while listening to Pixies albums hoping that something syncs up, then consider masturbating but do mescaline instead? Well, I don’t either, but I suspect David Wong [IMDB] might.
“Jug Face” on IMDB
Horror, 81 Minutes, 2013
I enjoy stories that focus on the fringes of society; those on the peripheral. Mountain folk, hillbillies, backwoods, whatever you want to call them: people that keep their own counsel, make their own (sometimes sinister) rules and live just outside our expectations.
“The Theater Bizarre” on IMDB
Horror, 114 Minutes, 2011
Anthologies are difficult. Almost by definition they’re a hit or miss affair with a vengeful bell-curve describing the quality of each segment. If you’re lucky, you’ll get one really effective piece. If you’re unlucky you’ll spiral into disappointment as you build up hope during each transition that this one will be the really effective piece. Low-budget anthologies tend to suffer a host of other issues as well.
“Godzilla” on IMDB
Sci-fi/Action, 123 Minutes, 2014
I had every intention of spending this entire review snarkily discussing the weird similarities this movie has with 1998’s universally riviled “Godzilla” [IMDB]. I had that intention all the way up until the moment that Cracked did it better, first. Bastards. Instead, I’ll take a different tack and discuss why so many of the things in this movie worked compared to the previous attempt. (There may be minor spoilers ahead.)