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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Could have been darker & better
As a kind of anthology sort of feature, Scary Stories wasn't actually a bad movie but it didn't fulfill my expectations, specially in terms of scare factors. As a huge fan of André Øvredal (director of Trollhunter & Autopsy of Jane Doe), expected it bit more twisted & eerily creepy particularly around the different monster/entity encounters at different segments. Among the ghostly entities, The Jangly Man & The Pale Lady were the most interesting; and while they could have done more with The Pale Lady (looked like a creepy character from a Japanese manga), the intro to this character was kind of disappointing & somewhat same like Harold the Scarecrow. The Jangly Man was the most satisfactory one...wondering what James Wan would have do with it?! Speaking of Wan, at times it just came to my mind that considering the format & the stories...I think Wan or Mike Flanagan would have been a better choice for this film than Øvredal.

It got potential to be more darker, scarier & entertaining but PG-13 approach turned out to be a let down for me. Overall, found it kinda mediocre, though the effort was fairly decent.


Aja delivers again
It was a pure blast if you don't mind watching a killer shark or killer Crock film once in a while. Aja beautifully staged the super stormy, category 5 hurricane set up within a limited budget and a relatable father-daughter story on the backdrop. Though the central character, the high-achieving swimmer, Haley survived a hell lot of bites & attacks from those vicious alligators but from start to finish, it was a pretty well constructed & finely written survival horror flick that may get treated as 'One of the best of its kind' in coming days.

Annabelle Comes Home

A fine addition to the series
Played mostly with the anticipation level this time, took its time for the build up in more or less every eerie encounter rather than delivering the jump scares straightaway one after another...and that's actually a good thing for a movie like this that knows its limitations & capacity to grow or give focus in certain areas. Overall, nothing spectacular but surely a better installment than last year's THE NUN.

Surprised to know that it's been rated R for "horror, violence and terror", while I thought it should be a fine example for a decently entertaining PG-13 horror.

Dark Phoenix

Like an uninspired TV episode...
Not entirely bad but it felt more like a TV episode done with a moderate budget (even for a TV some extent!) and just for the sake of making another one as they had to. Slow, uninspired beginning mostly followed up by plenty of cliched & dull moments. Still they could have redeemed some portion of it if they could have added some better & exciting action set-pieces as a fan service at least; the final showdown in the running train was alright though.

Give it a watch only if you're a die hard X-Men fan and got nothing to do otherwise in a lonely, boring day.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

A great fan service!
After watching this today, I must say, by far KONG: SKULL ISLAND is the best movie in the franchise; it was the most 'perfectly balanced' addition to the series in terms of entertainment level, setting human characters into the story, monster screen time as well as constructing their each stages of fight. In the 2nd place, I'd put KOTM but it was mostly because of the awesome representation of the other big 3 of Kaiju realm...Rodan, Mothra & Ghidorah. Other than that, now it seems Gareth Edwards' 2014 GODZILLA at least did better than KOTM in terms of the Scale/size representation of the monsters, the momentum build up before their each appearance as well as treatments of the human characters(!). There's no short-lived, moving character like Bryan Cranston's Joe Brody this time; instead they introduced a kind of similar major character, Dr. Emma Russel (played by Vera Farmiga) but with questionable or at times laughable motivation & decision making level. Moreover, the way they put Millie Bobby Brown's 'Madison' into the midst of the epic finale also wasn't convincing at all, IMO. That being said, KOTM is still a great fan service for the Kaiju lovers. Monsters' brawls were quite epic from start to finish, specially Rodan & Mothra both were phenomenal and I wish they would have made a solo film for both of them in between of Skull Island & KOTM. Absolutely loved the way they introduced Ghidorah with distinctive personality for each of his head, he was totally the big badass of the story like the way he deserved to be in. Expected to see a little more diversified range of other monsters but overall Michael Dougherty & his team did a good job regarding the mythological aspects of the Titans.

Aside from the cheesy writings here & there, GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS is an absolute must see for fans of big G; a solid summer blockbuster. I'll give it another watch pretty soon.

Avengers: Endgame

What a moving homage to a decade old franchise!
Not every highly-anticipated movie lives up to the expectations but Avengers: Endgame is one of those few that delivered almost everything that's been promised or to some extent, even more. Not only this is the perfect follow up to INFINITY WAR (2018) but a remarkably done, moving homage to a 10 year long successful franchise consisting 21 films!

While the first hour & so skillfully sets up the high-stakes, gradually reveals the remaining avengers in an utterly emotionally wounded & frustrated post Infinity War world, the film cleverly picks up the momentum right after that with lots of twists & turns backed up by little & big moments of excitements as well as tears of joy & heart-pounding loss at the end.

Kudos to the director-duo Russo brothers, the writers and everyone involved with this absolute epic conclusion of the saga that ultimately pulled off the most satisfying ending this whole story arc could have.

Can't figure at the moment how they or anyone will be able to top this one in coming years.

The Wind

Demon praying on the American frontier
This is a damn good psychological horror with a Western setting. Beautifully shot, edited and loaded with atmosphere, THE WIND sets the story on the American frontier, where a lonely wife, Lizzy living in a desolate cabin in the middle of nowhere begins to sense a sinister presence that seems to be borne of the land itself, an overwhelming dread that her husband dismisses as superstition. When a newlywed couple arrive at a nearby homestead, the whispering wind returns, setting a motion of eerie chain of events resulting violence & death.

With a well balanced non-linear narrative, THE WIND pay-offs more or less the same way THE BABADOOK did. Highly recommended.

Pet Sematary

Highly disappointing
Almost nothing worked in this very disappointing effort of an remake. The bonding between Jud & Louise was hilariously rushed, particularly when he told him about the ancient burial ground for the very first time, "Ellie loved Church and you love your daughter, so come with me...". Though I can't exactly recall the dialogue but was almost this much lame. And not only between Jud & Louise, the emotional attachment between the other characters also didn't work effectively most of the time. The character switch regarding the death of a child horribly failed. Gage was almost missing throughout the movie and personality I think they still could have worked with this kid as he almost looked & at times acted like 1989 Gage in whatever little amount of screentime they put him through in this film. The treatment for resurrected Ellie was so poorly done that they made her well aware of what actually happened to her & she started to acting like more of an evil child rather than a resurrected child possessed by something otherworldly evil or a demonic entity and the movie just completely lost me there. So needless to say, they failed to explore the whole idea of understanding DEATH & its lasting effects in an emotionally wounded family. The sudden horn from the trucks played a major role in the jump scares which they delivered routinely but didn't work so well either. Last but not the least, the take on the ancient burial ground looked like a stage set with heavy fog all over the place. It was quite cheap like a B-grade horror flick as there was no long distance shot of of the whole ground where you can get an idea about that mysterious & spooky place, while the original film captured it much better even in the broad daylight.

Expected more from the director duo of STARRY EYES (2014) which was a pretty decent film with an interesting original idea but this time it felt like they just did a hired job on request by the studio, not wasting much efforts of their own for this film.

If you are planning to give it a watch at the theater, then take my advice and save your valued ticket money for something big like "Avengers: Endgame" or "Godzilla: King of the Monsters". For the sake of being a Stephen King fan, wait for its online streaming or TV release instead.

Captain Marvel

A decent addtion to the MCU
While the teasers & trailers indicated a very routine & ordinary superhero flick with a cliched formula, the movie surprisingly turned out quite decent & fairly entertaining. Obviously it could have been better with a better script & director(s) who could have play with the story arc more creatively but overall it was a fine addition to the franchise. There are worse films than this already in MCU and at least it didn't feel like a tie-in episode like Ant-man & the Wasp. Expected more from Nick Fury's contribution here, other than mostly being a comic relief and surely his lost eye deserved a way better backstory. Goose the cat was a nice surprise though. Anyway, can't wait to see how Russo brothers going to treat her in the ENDGAME (particularly after that mid-credit scene)!

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero

BJS - The Hero we need, desperately in this part of the world!
This is the kind of a treatment that was long due for this particular sub-genre of movies in India that has been somewhat like a still-born genre as a result of some failed & laughable attempts previously made, lacking originality & relatable issues. But with BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO (2018), director Vikramaditya Motwane (maker of movies like UDAAN, TRAPPED and co-director of netflix series SACRED GAMES) offers quite a grounded superhero or vigilante crime fighting story that nicely fits into the common context of corrupted social structure & unethical political practices, visible in almost any countries of Indian sub-continent. The film takes its time to gradually develop the story & its major characters, points out the frustrations in efforts to bring changes as well as challenges of vigilante crime fighting in a relatable manner. Both the actors on the lead, portraying 'Bhavesh Joshi' did a fine job, IMO; particularly conveying the emotions as required in the scenes. May be we won't find a vigilante crime fighter like BJS in our bitter & cruel reality but still this kind of fictional stories sometime gives a spark of hope & helps to release some tensions for a while...may be who knows...this never ending frustrations of helplessness & submission to a manipulative system would eventually going to produce A or a Group of Bhavesh Joshis someday! Till then, kudos to V Motwane & his team for this superb effort & making such a class film like BJS that surely deserves more recognition from the media & movie-lovers.


A distrubingly melancholic mix of the grief & the supernatural
Quite an unpredictable & unsettling tale of a seemingly dysfunctional family where almost every member become torn apart inside by tragedy after tragedy. And what begins as an emotional roller-coaster about a family tearing apart with grief, eventually descends into madness and the supernatural that demands careful attention to almost every scene & dialog from the very beginning. In this remarkable debut feature, director Ari Aster keeps a wonderful balance between the elements of mainstream & art-house horror films through an unnerving experience till the end. The film had a lot to say about grief and trauma and the way it was put together & keeps a moving, yet an eerily melancholy tone all over is its strongest part. Particularly that heated arguments between the mother & the son at the dinner table was quite heart-wrenching and one of the most moving segments of the movie, IMO.

All four of the main cast shines in their respective roles, the highlight was the Oscar worthy, emotionally moving performance by Toni Collette. Throughout the movie, she expressed a fear of something shifting in her brain, beyond any control, inflecting her world with a terror, dread or uncertainty that she was unable to shape or contain or wake up from. One that just keeps unraveling and commands you to watch. The two younger actors respectively delivered some strong performances as well where they convincingly embodied the horrific nature of certain moments, while those scenes were disturbingly underscored with a desperate sense of dread & helplessness.

Though this should definitely regard as a modern masterpiece of Horror but not sure whether or not it'll become a fan-favorite in coming days for its slow burn nature & thought provoking elements, as nowadays even masterpieces like THE BABADOOK or IT FOLLOWS often gets panned by the genre-fans.

Chi o sû nendo

Weird, funny but kind of messy at the same time
It's been a while since I last saw a film this kind of weird & badly funny. Specially when it comes to weird, bizarre or super-unusual stuffs, then then the Japanese filmmakers have always been the front runner in this field who often offers something so over-the-top ridiculous that may eventually going to surprise you with shock & laughter! In his first feature-length horror flick VAMPIRE CLAY, Soichi Umezawa depicts a story about an evil pile of modeling clay that terrorizes a rural art school! read that right, it's about a demonic pile of clay that's got thirsts for blood & revenge. But to tell a story like this, its 'seriousness' becomes a problem for the film as it gradually turns into a convoluted & kind of mundanely treated funny weird piece.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

An excellent follow-up of the ROGUE NATION that clearly lived up to the expectation.
In this 6th installment of the series, the business was as usual; The Apostles (a reformed version of The Syndicate), a terrorist group of rogue operators from different intelligence circuits tries to get hold of Plutonium Cores to build three portable nuclear weapons to destroy the "old-world-order" by a simultaneous nuclear attack on the Vatican, Jerusalem and Mecca. Ethan Hunt & his IMF team mates join forces with CIA assassin August Walker (Henry Cavill) to prevent this disaster of epic proportions but soon they find themselves in a desperate race against time before it's too late to stop the enemies. As the franchise's signature elements, the highlight of the movie was edge-of-your seat chase sequences & intense fight scenes but what actually still worked for this 22 year old long running series was the way they improvised those tricks & filmed them so remarkably believable way. Moreover, it was also highly appreciating that less use of over-the-top artificial techs and more to realistic stunts put the gadgets to rest this time, and that made it more grounded than ever. The entire motor bike chase in Paris as well as the helicopter pursuit in Kashmir may give you goosebumps thinking that this guy did it all by himself! Therefore, kudos to Mr. Tom Cruise & the director Christopher McQuarrie for pushing the envelope in some most daring ways possible and making a movie like M.I: FALLOUT that deserves its shining place in the history of Action movie genre. Another thing that I mostly liked about this movie was that one particular scene where Hunt's team confronts a female police-patrol officer in an awkward moment. The thing is that scene wasn't much an integral part of the story and they easily could have avoided it but I'm glad that they kept it in the final cut. It was very nicely handled and revealed a vulnerable Ethan Hunt who doesn't hesitate to draws the line & make the choices in some desperate moments that delicately uncovers the most humane attribute of a character like this. Rest of the cast was great in their respective roles. Benji & Luther proved themselves as little more matured & experienced member of the team this time. And for Rebecca ferguson's Ilsa Faust, only thing I'd like to say is, from ROGUE NATION to FALLOUT, whenever she appeared on screen, it just made me think of what a loss for the 007 franchise for not to ever signed her for a major Bond girl role! This Swedish beauty got the perfect look & talent to fit in any role of an espionage tale. On the other side, Cavill already showed his talent to become the next James Bond any day in Guy Ritchie's THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E (2015), so I knew he'd do great but at times it did kind of felt like his character didn't much get the total badass treatment throughout the movie that it deserved (except for the Toilet-Fight segment). I'd love to see some more daring & twisted elements in his character of a CIA assassin.

Without any use of hired stunts & CGI, this is another stunning accomplishment by Cruse, McQuarrie & the team. Personally I won't be surprised to see if Director Christopher McQuarrie become the next big target for the major superhero movie studios like MARVEL, WB or Fox and put them in a race to sign him for their next big-budget project.

The Tale

Deserve to be one of the front runners of 2018!
This is deeply moving & a remarkably honest explorations of a disturbing & heart-wrenching subject matter that we don't get to see in cinema often these days. Based on her own story, the director was amazingly brave enough to look back & shared it with such grace & smart narratives. The cast was spot on & delivered some great performances i.e. Laura Dern on the lead & her younger self portrayed by Isabelle Nélisse. Undoubtedly, one of the very best films of 2018 so far.

Avengers: Infinity War

THANOS Rules!!
Freaking amazing!!! I still can't gasp what I just was effectively moving & superbly action-packed that comes with a jaw dropping ending which may going to disappoint some moviegoers but I'm sure it'd really make sense to the true comicbook fans. Kudos to the MCU team for making it so bold & masterfully crafted. Some may find lack of concentration or character development for some of their favorite characters but as a whole it didn't bother me much, cause you can't expect each & every character of MCU to shine in their own way of glory in one single movie. Moreover, there's the sequel coming next year and that's where many possibilities lies, even changing the course of its reality! Btw, THANOS RULES!!! Awesome character building & surely going to be one of the best superhero movie villains of all time.

A Quiet Place

A Refreshing & Phenomenal achievement in genre film making
In an apocalyptic setting of near future, where most of Earth's human population has been almost wiped out by a race of sightless, vicious creatures of unknown origin. This creatures hunt their prey only by sound, as they got incredible hearing ability. And against this odd, the film starts with a family of 5 scavenging for daily supplies while communicating non-verbally through sign language. Within few minutes with an unexpected turn, you'll get to see what the consequence of making noise is, in this terrifying world of silence. John Krasinski's A QUIET PLACE is a refreshing, phenomenal achievement in genre film making where SOUND & SILENCE played like a character in their own right through creating a chilling atmosphere from start to finish. The cast delivered some amazing performances in their respective roles as their characters were forced to live life in a constant fear of making noise in the high possibility that seemingly unstoppable. Particularly, the stunning Emily Blunt shines in that 'water broke out' sequence remarkably. Kudos to her husband, the director & co-writer of this new masterpiece of Horror, John Krasinski for skillfully making such an effective narrative with rare moments of dialog. This is one of those kind of movies which proves that the great horror stories & films aren't always about guts & gore or jump scares, it's about the tale of human survival and the depth in its characters and the challenges in their relationship.

Glad to seen it in its first day-first show here in an almost empty theater where even the audience was like afraid to make a noise while watching the movie.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The pain underneath the rage
No parent in this world deserve to loss a child by an unspeakable tragedy or a brutal crime but when they does, not every tragedy teaches us tolerance and not everyone can get to channel their grief & anger through an unorthodox way like Frances McDormand's Mildred did in this emotionally moving dramedy. And as we know the world is far more complex & unpleasant place than most celluloid projections but it takes a remarkable storyteller & filmmaker to convey that in a convincing manner and Martin McDonagh did this wonder in his latest and this year's one of the best films here. When the little town almost starts to forget about the vicious rape & murder of her young daughter, the aggrieved mother Mildred Hayes rents the three abandoned billboards near her home to protest over the lack of progress in the investigation. This leads to pressure on the townsfolk's favorite chief (beautifully played by our favorite Woody Harrelson), resulting anger from his loyal officers, and so on down the line. This is a darkly funny, yet a very profound film where most of the major characters were flawed by their decisions or actions, torn apart inside by grief or frustrations and that made it so grounded & compelling. Almost every actor in their assigned role did justice to the solid & neatly written scripts where the character developments turned out one of the most strongest elements of this movie. McDormand on the lead delivered clearly an Oscar worthy performance, she was so great with her character's internal language...time to time slowly revealing the pain underneath the rage was something so stunning & compelling to watch that I haven't seen in most of the acclaimed & major films of recent years. Sam Rockwell just nailed his supporting role of Dixon, a small town racist police officer, the development & along the way the changes in his character were another striking part of the film. Not just being a fan of McDonagh's IN BRUGES (2008), I think this is the best film of the year that really deserve some major recognition in coming award season.

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi

Not bad but expected a lot better
Just came out from the some mixed feelings. It was more of like a connecting film between TFA and the one(s) that will come next. Not so much as a standalone episode. Felt like they weren't sure enough on what to do with Kylo Ren/BenSolo. I understand his torments and past but Johnson kinda played with him, resulting some sort of inconsistency. First half was quite flat but liked the 2nd half, particularly the finale though. Overall, not a bad film at all but expected a lot more twisted & entertaining. Among this new line of films (JJ Abrams era), here's my ranking: 1. Rogue One 2. The Force Awakens 3. The Last Jedi

Crooked House

The Queen of Crime's CROOKED HOUSE - 1st film Adaptation
Agatha Christie's this detective fiction first published in 1949 and this is its first film adaptation. Haven't read the original novel yet, so can't tell how well they have adapted it here but found it pretty entertaining with great production value and great cast including Christina Hendricks, Gillian Anderson (couldn't recognize her first!), Glenn Close, Terence Stamp and Julian Sands. May be because it wasn't one of her popular Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple stories, there wasn't much charms of solving the mystery with clue by clue. Still it was enjoyable as it also offered one of her signature & most engaging mystery format...a gorgeous mansion of a wealthy Britt family and the house full of suspicious characters who each may got his/her own motive for the murder(s) and of course, with a nice surprise at the final revelation; particularly this story came with a real shocker!

Loving Vincent

A visually stunning look into how he suffered for his sanity
Focusing the last days of Vincent Van Gogh & his life briefly, this visually striking film actually looked like a continuous series of live oil paintings of VVG that somehow came to life with words! This tremendous achievement for live action animation genre surely is a treat to watch not only for the fans of the Father of modern art but also whoever is fond of different sort of animated films & art. Purely influenced by the works that Van Gogh had painted & using his same painting technique, each of the frame of the film (in total 65K!) is actually an oil painting on canvas, created by a team of more than 100 painters (source: The Making of Loving Vincent video & wiki)! The film also heavily revolves around the mystery surrounding the suicidal death of this troubled genius and that gave it kind of a feel of a mystery movie also. Not in a first person perspective, rather as point of view from the others who were somewhat close to him or observed him more or less closely, the film tries to captures the tragic life of a bullied & struggling Vincent, considered a madman and a failure, had a very unpleasant relationship with fame & fate during his lifetime as they never collided till long after his death. But the way the basic narrative was set in the film, it won't be as much appealing if they made it only as a live action film without this unique style of animation. So Vincent's own style of art, contributed by more than hundred of modern classical-painters saved this film and made it something very special. And last but not the least, a film about Vincent Vang Gogh would never be complete without Don McLean's one of the most moving & best songs ever...Vincent (Starry Starry Night). Though they should have added the original version but glad at least they added a cover version of it at the end credits.

♪ Now I understand What you tried to say to me And how you suffered for your sanity And how you tried to set them free They would not listen, they did not know how Perhaps they'll listen now ♪ ♫

Justice League

Whedon saved it! Flawed but entertaining.
JUSTICE LEAGUE isn't a perfect superhero movie. One dimensional-weak villain, rush in the story line, almost zero emphasis on how's the world dealing with the events...there are issues to get critical about it. But does that really means it's another entertaining mess of a DC film?! I definitely wouldn't call it a mess but yeah..still it was damn entertaining!! It's basically a superhero movie mostly about the superheros, from character introductions to all the fun & actions, JL was a triumph of DC's supreme superheros. The entertainment level was so high that all those critical issues didn't actually bothered me much; the heroes steals the show entirely, the villain & the crisis felt like minor issues or an excuse to bringing them all together. All the actors shines in their respective roles; Miller surprised me as Barry Allen, Jason Momoa was great & badass as Aquaman, even Ray Fisher as Cyborg was pretty adequately fits into the group. WW & Batsy have grown with their characters and man...Sup returned as the best of them, one of the versions of Superman that we've been waiting for. If you are familiar with the style & execution of Snyder & Whedon's filmmaking then I'm sure you'll see the difference here, the style of 2 different directors were somewhat quite visible throughout the movie but in a good way. In Justice League, we have somewhat got the best of both of them. I'm glad Whedon stepped in & saved the movie from being another Snyder's signature entertaining mess. His light & full of life & fun touches were noticeable and made this such an enjoyable ride from start to finish despite having several issues.

DCEU still alive and I'm looking forward to see further installments.

Thor: Ragnarok

A total entertainer!
It was delightfully funny indeed but didn't find over the top kind of funny at all, especially after reading such comments or reviews like total comedic trash etc. Even GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY vol. 1 & 2 were way more comedic than this one. Though bit under used but Blanchett still shines as a badass, sexy Marvel villain. Glad to see Loki & Hulk got a good deal of screen time than I anticipated. Overall, a total entertainer and found this even better than Spider-man: Homecoming (2017) and the 3rd best superhero film of the year after LOGAN & WONDER WOMAN so far.

Creep 2

The Charming psychopath returns!
Directed & co-written by Patrick Brice, in 2014 movie CREEP, we saw a videographer, Aaron (played by the director himself) takes a one-day job in a remote mountain town through a Craigslist ad where he meets an interested weirdo, Josef (played by Mark Duplass). And from their very first meeting, Aaron started to wonder about what kind of mess he has actually stumbled into! Duplass' performance as a very much likable but a totally unpredictable psychopathic killer was an absolute blast. But the thing is CREEP (2014) was that kind of a fun & intriguing psycho-thriller that relies & succeeds heavily on its uncertain turn of events & the unfolding nature of mysteries & doubts behind its characters as well as a final twisted, satisfactory payoff at the end. The original CREEP succeeded that on many level and become 2014's one of the finest genre offerings. Now, to do a sequel to a movie like that is always challenging & risky venture as the target audiences already got the idea behind its mysterious antagonist in the very first movie. In order to recreate the first film's unease aura of uncertainty and unpredictable flavor of the story, the filmmakers need almost a miracle to work that again for a sequel. After three years, the same writer-director duo is now back with that seemingly impossible task to awe the viewers again. And surprisingly they have still somehow managed to pull off a good & entertaining follow up here in CREEP 2. This time it's about Sara, an online video blogger who runs a web series called Encounters…where she meets estranged, weird men to document a glimpse in their lifestyle. But as nowadays our activities in the virtual world gets "define" by the amount of responses where like, share or no. of views somehow matters at the end of the day, it turns out that Sara is no different than any person we know who is looking for a big breakthrough but frustrated on her current low key status. Before call it quits, she decides to do one more episode and then she finds "Aaron" on Craigslist. Yes, 'Josef' from the original CREEP is now introducing himself in the name of his infamous victim of the first film. The chemistry between Aaron's unsettling but charming killer-instinct and quite calm & bold Sara was the real workforce for CREEP 2 and it worked beautifully for the performances that the respected actors showcased till the end. One of the most crucial & challenging parts for this sequel was its ending and as I still can't come up with a better one in my mind, so it won't be right to get much critical about it from my side as a viewer. Kudos to Duplass and Brice for creating almost an equally entertaining sequel where you may think you know the guy & his game but as a sequel it succeeds in every turn as it still able to baffles you on thinking 'what he or she going to do next?!'

The Mephisto Waltz

An under-appreciated gem with one of the rarest bold endings for a studio horror film
Based on Fred Mustard Stewart's novel of the same name and directed by Paul Wendkos, THE MEPHISTO WALTZ was an under-appreciated early 70s gem that got lost into the shadow of other greater & renowned masterpieces of the same era. By the time Twentieth Century Fox gave it a theatrical release under the Quinn Martin Production, the audience already seen Roman Polanski's ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968); and mostly because of both the movies shared a familiar theme in the story that set around a satanic cult ran by a large group of high society people, THE MEPHISTO WALTZ criminally received negative responses from the critics & the moviegoers "for being just another Rosemary's Baby-wannabe". But other than having the devil worshipers into the story, this movie actually delivers quite a different & superbly twisted tale of its own. This time the devil offers a different deal for his followers than physically invading the world in a human form i.e. Rosemary's Baby or THE OMEN. Although it wasn't as flawless as those popular horror classics were but still Mephisto Waltz was like many other Bava inspired late 60s & early 70s horror movies that's strikingly colorful, yet able to make the atmosphere effectively work as the story progress frame by frame. There was this weird New Year's Eve party at the earlier phase of the movie where someone was walking around with a dog with an eerily accurate and realistic human head mask of William Shatner, that later worn by Michael Myers in the original, John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN (1978) (info source: IMDb trivia). And not only that, the bizarre rituals and some psychedelic visuals at the nightmare sequences with chilling scores done by Jerry Goldsmith made it a fantastic experience that may remind you of some Fulci & Argento classics as well. Like I said already, it wasn't entirely flawless…Alan Alda's performance was criticized as at times he indeed kind of felt like 'not so quite in there' mode in compare to admirable performances coming from the other end. Jacqueline Bisset on the lead carried the story as beautifully as she looked throughout the whole movie. Her stunning, gorgeous looks & the way she smartly portrayed the character made me think of she could be a great Bond girl for that memorable 007 era when it was shifting over from Sean Connery's legacy to Roger Moore's decades; even the wealthy pianist played by Curt Jergens later appeared as the main Bond villain for THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977). I think mainly because of the running time issue, the film noticeably rushed over a significant segment in the middle where the Clarkson couple losses a very important family member; their reactions regarding the loss & grief were downright questionable & kinda funny also. But the strongest segment of this underrated occult, horror-thriller was its climax. The finale was a real shocker and went into an area that I didn't see coming. All I can say without spoiling anything that you'd never see an ending like this today in a studio horror film for sure ;) It's an ending that may initially make you think why or how the hell he/she could make that choice but if you take a quick look back into the story then you'll surely find plenty of hints that surprisingly somehow makes everything sense and made it work in a weird way.

I think a remake by Darren Aronofsky would be interesting with Ben Affleck portraying Alan Alda's role, Emily Blunt reprising Paula (Jacqueline Bisset's character), Bill Nighy as Duncan Ely and Rosamund Pike as his daughter Roxanne.


Thomas Jane's one of the finest performances!
Based on Stephen King's novella of the same name, 1922 is like Stephen King's own version of Allen Poe's timeless classic THE TELL-TALE HEART story that set around here Wilfred James, a Nebraska farmer with a bitter wife named Arlette and a loyal son named Henry. This hardworking but not-too-successful farmer finds himself under increasing pressure from his wife when she clearly started to express her frustrations living in the country and wants to sell her all of the 100 acres of land that she got inheritably and move to the big city. Through their disagreements, when Arlette threatens to divorce him, taking the son with her, Wilfred plots to murder her and methodically persuades his son to become his partner in crime. This is beautifully done, an effectively slow-burn horror-drama directed by Zak Hilditch and like the way Carla Gugino turned GERALD'S GAME into her own showcase of versatile acting talent, this time almost an unrecognizable Thomas Jane delivered one of his best performances in career, IMO. His deeply sincere & committed performance as an early 1920s manipulative, desperate farmer with a slowly rotten psyche…was not only an absolute treat but surely this year's one the best so far that deserve some recognition in the coming award season.

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