horror films

‘Don’t Look at the Demon’ Delivers Fine Acting, Impressive Special Effects

Ben Friedman

A seasoned screen queen, Dourif is well cast within the role.  A physical performer, her facial expressions and ticks create a sense of dread that feels genuine. As her screen partner, Dickinson has a good on-screen chemistry with Dourif and overcomes the burden of having to deliver much of the film’s exposition monologues and does so with ease. The film features some great visual flairs and excellent use of jump scares. Lee achieves impressively scary special effects despite the low-budget nature of the film.

Great Halloween Films for People Who Hate Horror

Ben Friedman

The following five films embrace the Halloween spirit while offering an alternative to traditional horror films. Think of these as “horror adjacent” films. They have the aesthetics of horror, mixed with other more palatable genres, laughs, and familiar storytelling that lessen the blow of the horror on screen. The list is ranked by the pleasantness of the viewing experiences, to offer non-horror fans a chance to test their comfort within the genre. All these films are available to stream and should make for an enjoyable and hopefully not too scary Halloween experience.

‘Barbarian' Is Surprising, and One of the Best Movies of the Year

Ulises Duenas

The film begins with a young woman named Tess arriving at her Airbnb to find out that it’s already occupied by a man named Keith. She ends up agreeing, begrudgingly,  to stay in the house for the night and starts to hear strange noises. In the morning she discovers that the rest of the neighborhood is completely run down except for the house she’s staying in. The movie does a good job of building tension while keeping the viewer wondering in which direction things are going.

‘Scream’ 2022 Is Frightfully Funny

Garrett Hartman

Gore can a powerful visual tool when employed properly. While I wouldn’t say its use of gore is great, Scream 2022 employs its violence competently – especially, for the typical horror film. Overall, Scream 2022 is a fun time, and a joy for pop culture aficionados. I wouldn’t say the film is brilliant, but it does have wit and charm in spades, and serves as an excellent critique of a subgenre that has only just started, and is already being overdone.

‘Love and Monsters’ Is Frightfully Fun

Forrest Hartman

Love and Monsters may not become a classic, but it’s a truly great time. It’s scary enough to work as a Halloween film, romantic and funny enough to transcend the horror genre, and written with both an edge and wit. Writers Brian Duffield and Matthew Robinson deserve significant credit because – while genre-crossing films are sought after – they don’t always work. But Love and Monsters succeeds exceptionally well.

The Complex Constructs of Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’

Christopher Karr

Us is murkier and messier and more ambitious. You could intuit as much from the perplexing extended teaser that gave a splashing glance at the evocative, nightmarish imagery. Indeed, Peele’s focus as a visual storyteller has sharpened. He amplifies the more stunning frames in Us with a pulsating score that signals foreboding, menace, and misery. Even a shot as conceptually simple as a blood-red candy apple dropping into the sand sparks waves of meaning. He stages an agonizingly slow zoom-out of countless rabbits in cages so powerfully and confidently that you feel overwhelmed by the palpable dread of unspoken sadism. 

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