Review: The Invisible

Is it wrong to start a review by saying “it didn’t suck?” I just wanted to get that out of the way right now. The Invisible was not a bad film. It could have been better, sure, but then, what couldn’t? I’m jumping the gun a bit, though, so let me back track. Continue reading “Review: The Invisible”

Review: Slow Burn

slow_burn_ver2There’s a way to make a movie where you don’t give away everything, but instead give away just enough so the audience is on the edge of their seat, waiting for the moment they know must come. Hitchcock said it best: “There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it.” And that’s the mistake made by filmmaker Wayne Beach in his delayed from 2005 Slow Burn. Even films like Usual Suspects, from which this draws heavily, knew enough to provide tension and drama, if not in situations, then certainly in character. Slow Burn has none of that. Continue reading “Review: Slow Burn”

Review: Disturbia

There’s something comforting about an old fashioned thriller. You know, the kind where there are few surprises but just enough tension to keep you going until the end? Disturbia is just that kind of movie. At no point does it ever get ahead of its viewers, but then, I don’t think that was ever the concern in this one. This is a flick aimed squarely at the high school set who are looking for something with the kind of vibe which will let them grab their dates with reckless abandon. Disturbia delivers. Continue reading “Review: Disturbia”

Review: Perfect Stranger

perfect_strangerI love roller coasters. My favorite part is that uphill climb. That long, slow pull, listening to the click of the chain, feeling the car jerk along. The anticipation. What makes that part of the ride the best is knowing that at the top of the hill, you’re gonna start down and you’re gonna start down fast. The climb is the opportunity to let all the fear invade your system, to let it take hold, to really start to get nervous, so when you finally crest at the top, you can breathe again and just enjoy the ride. You should be able to see a twist or turn or loop coming but still get surprised when it actually hits. And when you think the ride is over, just when you think you’re done, they slam on the brakes and give you one more, unexpected jolt before easing you back into the station. Continue reading “Review: Perfect Stranger”

Review: Grindhouse

Poster-grindhouse-862830_710_1000Back in the day (and by “day,” I mean the early to mid 70s) films (and by “films” I mean movies) were made on a shoestring and a prayer. Sure, there was art being made at the time, but the real developments were happening in the independent world with people like George Romero, Tom Savini, and John Landis. These were the guys who were getting images onto the screen at the local movie houses and drive-ins by sheer will power alone.

And these are the guys being paid homage in the new cinema spectacular Grindhouse from powerhouse directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Grindhouse takes its name from the old movie slums where two low budget, well worn fright fests and a handful of trailers for more of the same could be had for one low price and Tarantino and Rodriguez are doing their best to duplicate the experience, starting with the double feature. Continue reading “Review: Grindhouse”

Review: The Hoax

Nobody told me that Spring was officially the season of true-life stories about people perpetrating fraud on the American people. Seriously. We had Breach a few weeks ago and now we have The Hoax. Then again, maybe it’s not an official season. Maybe it’s just Hollywood reacting to injustices they see elsewhere and have no other method of expressing their displeasure? Either way, we benefit, especially with Lasse Hallström‘s new film. Continue reading “Review: The Hoax”