With the most unstable U.S. president to date having been sworn in today, I feel it more than apropos that I’m reviewing a story about a character who is, well, relatively unstable himself. But rather than serve as a political statement, M. Night Shyamalan’s Split is an immersion into a morbidly formidable world that will transport the viewer – for about two hours – notably away from our chaotic political climate and the imminent danger that our country may face, and into the world of a man with DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder –a man who has multiple personalities, including a few rogue personalities bent on causing harm and destruction. This review contains minor spoilers, but since the film is so new I won’t reveal the ending; as always, Shyamalan hits us with a barrage of surprises. Continue reading “Split Lives Up to Great Expectations”
I hadn’t realized the deficit until I saw the film, but it had been an astonishingly long while since I’d felt uneasy and mildly nauseated for almost two hours. You see, most American horror does wonders with jump scares and shock elements, but the Austrian-created Goodnight, Mommy starts by planting the bud of mild unease somewhere in your mind and in your gut, and then manages, assiduously throughout the film, to water and nourish that bud. By the end – at least, if you’re anything like me – you’re burying your head in your boyfriend’s shoulder (okay, a little pathetic, but in my defense, the film was very unsettling) and peeking up at the screen with a timid, wary eye. Continue reading “Goodnight Mommy: The Spoiler Free Review”
Despite being perhaps the least creatively named movie in the genre, The Boy is one of the more original plot lines I’ve seen in horror lately. Take It Follows – one of Hollywood’s most recent horror hits. The plot line of It Follows is compelling and unique, but the movie’s title is perfectly indicative of the events in the film: an unnamed “it” will follow you. (Let me emphasize again that I love It Follows and proudly proclaim my adoration here, but the film’s brilliance doesn’t lie in plot twists, and its title is perfectly indicative of the film’s central conflict.) The Boy is similar in that yes, in part, the movie is about a boy, but forecasting the plot twists in this film will be tricky for even the most seasoned horror veteran. Predicting plot lines isn’t much my forte, but Michael is exceptionally adept at doing so, and his prediction turned out to be mostly wrong. The Boy will surprise you, and at least for me, that surprise was welcomed and refreshing. Continue reading “Expect the Unusual with The Boy”
Not surprisingly, Poe mentions madness early in the story “The Black Cat.” It’s kind of his shtick. He starts where many horror writers start: at the end of the story, with a narrator recounting a tale of terror and travesty. But unlike narrators in other stories, this narrator is damned by the events of the tale, and perhaps seeks solace in his retelling. Also unlike narrators in other stories, he’s not sitting around a fireside, and so many horror stories (“The Monkey’s Paw,” “The Bodysnatchers,” “The Turn of the Screw,” to name a few) start by the fireside. Our narrator sits in a prison cell, but he does not expect your sympathy. He is honest about his previous callousness. Not only doesn’t he expect your sympathy; he doesn’t expect you to believe his story. He proclaims: “For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence.” Poe knows how to write an introduction. Are you intrigued yet? I was. Continue reading “Exploring Poe-tential Evil in “The Black Cat””
Alert: This article contains spoilers. It would be best to read this when you’re done with the movie.
Who doesn’t like a good M. Night twist? In that respect, The Visit surely delivers. Now here’s my dilemma: You see, on the one hand, I like the movie. The film sits comfortably in the realm of what I call “horror with heart”: genuinely scary movies that also have warm moments and likable characters. My boyfriend, who tracks the nightmares he gets after watching horror movies with me, didn’t lose any sleep – or experience any tumultuous sleep – over this one. Continue reading “Unsavory Stigmas in The Visit”