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    12 years


The Munsters

Intentionally bad movie is bad.
Say what you like about Zombie, he's got a 'voice' in cinema and I can appreciate that. Unfortunately, The Munsters is total cack.

Pantomime acting, terrible audio, cartoonish soundtrack, amateurish camerawork... all on purpose, sure, but nevertheless terribly executed.

It's two hours of primary colours being blasted into your eyes. I recommend crying as you watch it to blur the pain. I'm not gonna watch it in black and white to see if it's better. Nothing can fix this.

The script is an obituary of puns, double-entendres and... actually, that's all you get. Zombie is so devoted to the TV heritage that he forgot to make a movie. It's a boring slog through Herman's creation and courtship of Lily.

Most scenes are mundane and oddly stationary - characters just sit around a lot. The final product is weirdy regimented, uniform in its garishness and unbearably long. On a positive note, its easily forgettable.

Confess, Fletch

A very specific kind of comedy.
This is a dialogue comedy which sticks to its origins and delivers a fast, convoluted and confusing plot to create a sense of the absurd. Like most comedies, if you like this kind of humour, it works.

I'm not a fan myself (I find it too restrictive when a script dumps all of its comedy into nothing but quippy lines), but I didn't hate it because it is clearly dedicated to its niche and written/performed brilliantly.

The script constantly muddies the plot and refers to characters you haven't met (and some you will never meet) just to keep you baffled, with Fletch himself being absurdly magnetic to everyone around him for no particular reason other than he's the main character.

It's well shot, tightly edited and the production is excellent. As somebody who didn't particularly like the old Chase movies, I can say I was amused and appreciative of everyone's commitment to what could have been a huge disaster. It isn't. It's a solid comedy for fans of absurd, sardonic, line-based humour.

She Will

Pretentious twaddle about arthouse witches who mumble their way through a gender studies essay in lieu of a script.

The acting is somehow hammy and lifeless at the same time. Dialogue is overwritten and contorted beyond human recognition. Character development is absent. Themes are trite and cliche. Sound design is terrible (I had to mute the first ten minutes and watch subtitles due to the constant overloud drone of a train). Cinematography is stagey and oversaturated.

The costumes are nice. That's about it. It comes off like a smug theatre director having a go at making a horror movie because they think it'll be easy money. Judging by the fawning mainstream reviews I've read, it kinda worked.

I hope the director gets over herself and aims for entertainment rather than chin-rubs with her next project. If you liked the Suspiria remake, you might like this. It's the same kind of try-hard claptrap, only more boring.

Speak No Evil

No more heroes.
An uptight couple are invited to spend the weekend with another couple they befriended on holiday. As the movie's ominous score will let you know, things get weird.

Many have compared this to Michael Haneke's work, but it's no pale imitation. Shot composition, camera and lighting is all excellent. The sound design is superb - subtle and very detailed. Everyone acts well.

Apparently, some people dislike the film because there is no 'common sense' or whatever, but I saw a movie that uses plot contrivances to illustrate its meta-narrative points of parenthood, cowardice, selfishness and heroism.

I almost gave it an 8, but it could have gone even further with its cruelty and explored the themes more. There was stuff left to do.

If you want fun and thrills - avoid. It's slow, bleak and heartless. But if you want an intelligent, well-structured and thoughtful horror movie, it's a good 'un.

House of Darkness

Barely a movie, more like a play with one act.
Justin Long plays a dorky guy who drives the sassy Kate Bosworth home to maybe get frisky in her big old spooky house.

The rest of the movie is a real time (yes, really) conversation that drags on and on. The extensive dialogue is cluttered, swamped with umms and ahhs and throwaway lines that the cheapest editor on Fiverr would have jettisoned immediately.

The cinematography is poor. Actors often have their eyes in shadow which subtracts from their otherwise decent performances. There is only one location, a living room, and most of the time we can barely see it. They took the title literally, it seems. Don't expect the house to play any role. It doesn't.

It's a very basic movie, essentially a one act radio play. A cliched thirty second denouement is telegraphed hard and then it's over. I can't even tell you what this movie is about because it only has one idea and it would spoil the whole thing. As a five minutes short, it would be respectable. As a movie, it's a toothless waste of time.

Tiny Cinema

A respectable anthology that doesn't quite work.
Here be six comedy horror/thriller stories with an 'edgy humour' flavour, full of irritating characters. It's fairly well directed and the acting is decent. The lighting and production design is mostly good and the camerawork is ok, if bland. The sound mixing is very poor, heavily compressed, cluttered and amateurish. Dialogue is often difficult to make out.

The stories themselves are framed by our narrator Paul Ford, but he's just a generic host. A wasted opportunity. Some stories try too hard to be quirky and fail, but some are silly and fun. The ideas are fine, but they are in desperate need of better screenwriting. They're all about 15min long, so none of them outstay their welcome, though none of them shine either.

Overall, it's... 'immature' is probably the best word. The filmmakers have some growing up to do and many skills to refine. It's watchable because everyone seems to be putting in a lot of effort to entertain. It's well produced and shows real promise.

Where the Crawdads Sing

Pretty but dull.
It starts out strong with a solid murder-mystery set-up, shot beautifully and decently acted. After 10 minutes we cut to a stagey and overdramatized flashback for backstory. It goes on and on. This pattern repeats for the rest of the movie - a little bit of present-day courtroom stuff, followed by long boring sequences of flashback to pad out the main character. But it's not enough. She's just not very interesting. The whole thing gradually peters out towards a predictable ending.

The flashback structure can work in novels, but on screen it comes off as simplistic and repetitive. Very much a TV movie. I wish they'd found a better way of adapting this story. It displays little creativity and no sense of drama. Looks great, though.

Not Okay

If only this was a horror movie.
I liked the main character at the beginning, before her 'epiphany' to conform to the putrid world of dimwits all around her. Every supporting character is a grotesque idealogue, one detestable stereotype after another, constantly. I know it's intentional, but there is nobody to root for in the whole movie. If I was the main character in this world, I'd become serial killer in about 5 seconds. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen and instead the movie tells a boring story about a lie that gets out of control.

The soundtrack is embarrasing. Cinematography is by-the-book. Direction is sub-TV. The only saving grace is the acting chops of Deutch, who does the best she can with the braindead slop that serves as a script.

Any claim that this is parody or satire falls flat. There's no commentary here, it's nothing more than a loose collection of the writer/director's opinions disguised as endless virtue-signalling.

I Dream of a Psychopomp

Bottom-tier anthology.
A slow, meandering trio of art-house style horror dramas, none of which are interesting, all of them lacking horror and drama.

Thematically weak, visually overstylized and a bit boring. It goes for a more 'serious' tone than most anthologies, so if your looking for creative stories or risky cinema, look elsewhere. It's too try-hard in its attempts to be 'emotional' and 'dramatic', so ends up being bland with no engaging characters to care about. Anthologies are meant to be a bag of fun, but this is just a bag. I'll give each story one star because I feel sorry for the actors.

Notice, the 9 and 10 star reviewers have only ever rated one film. Yeah. Speaking of dreams...


This movie only wants to do one thing - make the audience feel they're really high up and could fall. It's brilliant at doing that, with excellent camerawork and direction that gives a proper sense of scale.

The plot is very linear, but who watches a film like this for the story? The first 20 minutes of set up could have been squeezed into a pre-credits scene because it's pointless timewasting. There are those who will complain that it's not a 'proper climbing movie' - well, duh. Look at the poster.

It's a bit long and would have been better as an 80 minute thrillride, but I have to give credit where it's due. It had one job and it did it well.


Blackbird has spoken.
The nearest screening to me was over twenty miles away, but I riverdanced the whole way there to show support and I don't regret a single broken bone.

If I was Michael Flatley, I would just stare into a mirror all day and bestow glory unto myself, but this film is the next best thing.

Lord Michael plays Victor Blackley, a sort of MI6-but-Irish super-spy thingy who retires for a quiet life of nightclubbing in the tropics. Unfortunately, he is pestered by beautiful women and bad men who want to hurt him because they're jealous. Imagine James Bond in Casablanca, only better. King Michael's acting puts 'movie stars' like Daniel Craig, Tom Cruise and Jaden Smith to shame. Nobody wears a hat like Flatley.

The cinematography is visible, the score is full of brand new notes and the script is bursting with the best words currently available. The costumes are beautifully ironed. I left the cinema exhilarated. The rest of the audience appeared to be unconscious, but this was likely due to swooning.

Ten billion out of ten.

Orphan: First Kill

Awful looking film.
The are two big problems. First, it's no fun. The story needed to be a lot sillier and a lot more daring. Not much happens and the ending is a cop out. Second, the colour grading is the worst I've seen in all my years on this planet. It is murky, desaturated and drowning in post-production filters. My eyes will never forgive me for making them endure such cinematic ugliness.

The director can't decide if it should be a tense thriller or a campy horror, so fails at both. The idea is fine, the cast does ok and the fact that Furhmann looks too old for a child is part of her lore, so I see no problem with that aspect. Unfortunately, nothing interesting happens at any point. There are a bunch of kills that simply lack creativity. The effects (CGI blood splatters, etc) look terrible and the score is generic.

Overall, safe and boring. If they're going to franchise this character, they need to loosen up and go haywire.


Bored to tears.
Daniel Kaluuya plays OJ, a personality-free horse wrangler that barely speaks. He starts seeing things in the sky above his ranch and responds by not saying much and staring into the distance.

This is an amazingly boring film in which so little happens it feels like Jordan Peele is trolling the audience.

Keke Palmer is watchable, but her thinly-drawn character only stands out because she is alone in a vacuum of entertainment. The cinematography is ok and gets it up to 2 stars. The narrative structure is amateurish. The sound design is appalling, relying on annoying bass tones and overloud diagetic effects. The dialogue is bland and miserable, poorly recorded, uneven and often unintelligible. The editing is lazy, constantly lingering on irrelevant shots and leaving in pointless things, like a car journey that we don't need to see and characters that walk from A to B without saying anything, but take ages in doing so.

A tedious, half-baked idea that is about an hour too long and fails to deliver either sci-fi or horror.


Technically competent, dramatically barren.
It's like throwing a match into a box of fireworks. Things go woosh and bang, but there's not much rhyme or reason to it. Baz constantly vomits a metric bumload of technicolor edits into your face, regardless of how minor the particular scene may be.

The music is incessant and heavily modernised (a trick that Baz has used so often it's become uttlerly hackneyed). Everything is turned up to 11 and subtlety is not on the menu.

Butler does fine as Elvis, but he's drowned by the riduculous pantomime around him. Hanks is mediocre as Parker, buried in a stupid fat suit with unconvincing prosthetics. It's a straightforward trek through Elvis's career, jammed up with unispired, cliche-ridden dialogue and hokey narration.

Baz is a stylish director. He works for fantastical movies like Moulin Rouge, where mashing historical elements with anachronistic nonsense works like a charm. But for a biopic, it is counterproductive. He ignores his subjects to focus on the surface and then slaps a generic theme of 'love' on top, rendering the whole thing kind of pointless.


Far too tame.
A single-location campside slasher is familiar territory, so you'd think the script would have to be something special to justify the budget and Bacon. Unfortunately, it plays out exactly like you think it will, but with a lot less horror than you might expect. No suspense, no surprises, no creative kills - it even does the cutaway thing whenever things get murdery, complete with stock orchestral stings.

The story is dull, the characters are one-dimensional and the ending is cringe-out-loud. Technically, the cinematography is by-the-book, the score is already forgotten and the costume/makeup is pedestrian.

Sadly, it's not even so bad it's good. It's just boring. There are lots of great horror movies out there that dare to take risks - give them your time. Not this.


Not bad, except for the script, and characters, and CGI, and...
A young wannabe-girlboss is training to be a hunter to prove that she's just as good as the boys, so we larp around with this weirdly romaticized/fetishized version of a Native American in 1719. Guess what? She's also really clever! Who'd have thought? And she's sad. Aww. But tough! Yay. Such exquisite writing.

But, just before you punch your own eyes out in frustration, the story gets on with it. A Predator lands and then a Predator movie happens. The action is actiony, the gore is gory and the sound design is sound designy. The CGI is uncreative - the same far-too-clean globocorpo style with wonky physics that Hollywood CGI farms regularly poop out of their industry-standard software holes. The 'tree lion' scene contains the most unconvincing animal ever rendered.

It would be pointless to recreate the hypermasculinity of the original (see Shane Black's abominable effort), so this movie tries a different method with similar ingredients; lots of trees and an alien. Thankfully, despite the juvenile screenplay and characters ripped from The Big Book Of Studio Approval, it gets out of its own way long enough to deliver some mild entertainment. It's worth watching, but never amazing - it can't overcome the fact that there's nothing new to learn about these creatures.


Gloriously Odd
It's a modern fable about a young girl who hatches a strange egg and deals with what emerges. The plot is simple, used as a framework to deliver satire, humour and a bit of body horror along the way.

I liked it because it wasn't afraid to go weird places. The puppetry and effects are charming rather than scary. It deals with lots of things in its subtext; puberty, family resentment, social media, jealousy, coming-of-age, self-improvement, self-hatred and the pressure to fit in.

It does not explore any of these themes particularly deeply, but the fact it gets so much done through the main character (Siiri Solalinna who is bloody marvellous) is good enough for me. The sets and colour palette are nice to look at. The camerawork and lighting is okay but uncreative - the director plays it far too safe, visually. It's also paced too slowly (even at 86mins) and needed a ruthless editor.

Overall, great if you enjoy films that try to be their own thing. It doesn't reach the heights it could have, but it was entertaining and had lots of moments I enjoyed.


This is strictly in the folk horror sub-genre, so don't go in expecting a slash-em-up. It takes a novelistic approach with a handful of characters who make unusual discoveries in a nearby peat bog. It's about 'digging' around for the secrets of the past and the consequences they have for Sallie Harmsen and her family.

Harmsen carries the whole movie and does a fantastic job. Give her more roles! The rest of the cast is good too, my only criticism being Alexandre Willaume's character being a bit boring and unecessary. If you cut his role out of the film entirely, not much would change. The cinematography is excellent and goes for lots of warm colours and coziness which I found refreshing.

The story unfolds slowly and as a result feels a little overlong, but it's a solid tale. It's dual language, which I enjoyed but some people don't like that (up to you). It's classic horror, much more M R James than James Wan. Thrilling? No. Scary? Not really. It's thoughtful and a bit sad. I liked it because it's an actual folk horror that isn't treated like a theme-park ride.


Straight-ahead movie with a silly ending.
The plot is VERY light, with almost zero development until the last five minutes, whereupon it nose-dives into a bucket of stupid.

However, the rest of the movie is a solid three-hander with decent performances from likeable actors. It proceeds like a stage play and the tone is very casual. It attempts to deconstruct the personality of a billionaire business magnate, but does so in a juvenile way. Plemons' character is basically Scrooge McDuck. Rich people, amarite?

To its credit, the movie is equally unsympathetic to Jason Segel's 'dispirited' robber, but this character makes zero sense. What does he even represent? If he was a dumb criminal motivated by greed then there would have been a lot more drama and hypocrisy to play with, but he's presented as an intelligent man doing a naughty crime because the "world isn't fair" and other teenage reasons that hack writers spaff out when they can't be bothered to do any research into psychopathy or desperation.

On stage, this could be really engaging. On film, it does not hold up to scrutiny. I'd be lying if I said I hated it, but I'd only recommend it if (like me) you find Plemons and Segel engaging actors and are happy to watch them in anything. Collins does ok, but her character is a trainwreck of bad writing, which can't be discussed without spoilers.

True Things

Banal fling.
Ruth Wilson plays an isolated single woman with low self-esteem who hooks up with a 'bad boy' and that's the whole story. It plays out in slow, miserable, unsuprising ways. Plot development? Never heard of it. This a deeply uninteresting look at boring characters going nowhere. Think Mike Leigh, but without composition, character or compassion.

The trouble is, Ruth Wilson is a good actress and manages to make this dishwater script seem more engaging than it really is, so well done Ruth. Tom Burke is fine, but his character suffers the same problem - he's bland, badly written (if written at all) and has all the complexity of a child's stick drawing.

It's self-indulgent, patience-testing guff which leaves its actors to do all the work but, ultimately, they don't have enough work to do.

This Much I Know to Be True

Lovely glazes.
This is a documentary that follows a man called Nick who is an amateur ceramicist. It's wonderful that forgotten hobbies like ceramics are finally getting mainstream attention. I am a big fan of arts and crafts. I used to make erotic art out of egg cartons, but these days I mainly focus on sellotaping bins together.

Sporadically through the film, Nick entertains us with a bit of karaoke. He has quite a good voice! Not sure if he'll ever make it as a singer, but it's lovely to see him have fun with his pals. To be honest, these musical bits take up quite a lot of the runtime and the main focus of ceramics seems to get lost along the way. Still, it's an interesting portrait of a burgeoning artist with a lovely soundtrack to boot.


Pick a number.
There are a few ways of interpreting this movie:

1) Ermergerrrd! Men bad. Patriarchy or something. Wxmen feel threatened because we live in a society, etc etc. This film is perfect. 10/10.

2) Akshully, Harper realises her anxiety of 'all men' is simply an expression of trauma and, akshully, my big brain understands that, akshully, Harper is flawed and it's not 'all men' you see. I was bored silly. Now back to Reddit. 8/10

3) The green man is in it. It's like pagan stuff or folk horror or whatever. I don't know, I don't read books. I saw it on Wikipedia. It's about fertility and symbols and things and it's to do with rebirth and spring and stuff. Isn't that interesting? Where are you going? 6/10

4) Looks and sounds really nice. Weird. Bit stupid. Well acted. 4/10

5) Pfft. Hollywood agenda. Men bad? Suck my metaphor. 1/10

The film is a (beautiful) mess that I wish Garland had taken to another genre. Horror already does 'toxic masculinity' (or whatever you want to call it) really well, and has done for decades. This film drags the genre down. I'm somewhere between 4 and 5. I suppose it's a 3/10 then.

Crimes of the Future

Nice idea barely explored.
Some people in the future muck about with their saucy organs and that's about it. Some of the effects and prosthetics are creative, but some of them are bobbins.

The drama is mundane. There's no suspense, tension or stakes. If all the movie had is a premise, then the body horror needed to be bonkers to give the audience a bit of fun. But it's all too serious. The philosophical aspect is brought to the fore, which is the least interesting thing about it. I like that it's trying something different, but it comes at the cost of good storytelling. A simple thriller element would have balanced the movie nicely. Unfortunately, the plot is too thin to hold any weight.

The sets and cinematography are good. The acting is clunky and the dialogue is waffling, when it's audible. Cronenberg has fallen victim to the trend of dialogue being whispered, mumbled, fried or delivered in an accent so outrageous that it's hard to decipher what anybody's banging on about.

A meandering, middle-of-the-road sci-fi.

All My Friends Hate Me

An interesting journey to nowhere.
80% of the movie I really enjoyed. Our main lad catches up with old chums in a country estate, but they seem to be behaving oddly towards him, or maybe he's reading too much into it. It's all perfectly innocent until it isn't. The script is excellent at ramping up this kind of social anxiety and building mystery.

The payoff didn't work for me at all, but some people might dig it. I wanted something much more complex. At least it made sense, so I can't declare it a waste of time.

The side characters are well acted but thinly drawn, orbiting around our hapless hero without much to say about themselves, so it never really impresses as an ensemble piece. However, this is the price of 'mystery', so again, it's not a massive problem.

It's not a horror or thriller. It's an amusing study of paranoia and anxiety. Worth a watch if that sounds interesting to you.

The Lost City of Z

An ambitious film that forgets to entertain.
A ponderous, boring, overlong attempt at a serious work that desperately needs a crocodile fight.

It drags at the start, taking a whole ten minutes before the expedition is even proposed. There's not much at stake and progress is plodding. I'm not expecting Jumanji here, but come on. Stick a bit of dramatic licence in the plotting. None of the characters seem to have any charm or leadership abilities. It's just a bunch of gruff grumps grumping gruffly.

The production design and costumes are wonderful. Lighting and camerawork are very good, but unfortunately dulled by the washed-out filters slapped on everything. The emerald green of the jungle has never looked so jaded.

For me, the worst thing was the sound. It's ugly on the ears from start to finish. Dialogue is poorly recorded, veering from booming to barely audible. The ADR sounds like it was done in a box. It has a dull, rumbling sountrack, stereo issues, editing mistakes and diagetic sound effects which are thunderously loud for no reason and mixed with far too much bass. I had to use an audio compressor and eq just to make it tolerable. It wasn't worth the bother.

Imagine going on an exotic journey with people who can only communicate by mumbling or crying. It's that.

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