Buried alive in snowy, small-town Massachusetts, Eileen Dunlop (Thomasin McKenzie) is a sputtering cherry bomb ready to pop. At age 20-something, she's employed as an office paper-pusher at a local juvie lockup for wayward boys, where she entertains carnal thoughts about certain of the guards and inmates, and at night drives out to park in the...Read more
Horror comedies are tricky. The quest for laughs in these pictures tends to destabilize the scary stuff. Like, has anyone ever wished there were a couple more chuckles in "Alien," or a fart joke in "Frankenstein"? Once humor becomes a pressing concern in a fright flick, the familiar pleasures of terror become technical exercises.
There's ...Read more
The new HBO documentary "Albert Brooks: Defending My Life" is of course a journey into the world of the quietly brilliant comedy giant of the title. Starting out, we see Brooks doing one of his early bits on some back-in-the-day TV show -- Carson, Leno, Merv Griffin, one of those; Albert played them all in the days when he still did stand-up. ...Read more
Three years ago, a Connecticut college student named Taylor Klein received a DM from a friend. "I'm really sorry," it said, "but I think you need to see this." Attached was a link to a Pornhub page -- an odd thing to send to a straight-arrow engineering major like Klein. Opening it, she saw a video of a young woman having sex -- a young woman ...Read more
The new David Fincher movie "The Killer" is an exercise in hard-boiled style. The story, drawn from a French graphic novel, is perfunctory and the peripatetic location-hopping (Paris, New Orleans, the Dominican Republic) is a familiar emblem of action-flick filmmaking. What makes the picture work to the extent that it does are Fincher's virtuoso...Read more
"Killers of the Flower Moon" is a Martin Scorsese movie with little in the way of classic Scorsese signifiers -- no snarling New York gangsters, no steaming Manhattan hellscapes. No New York at all, in fact. The picture is based on David Grann's 2017 book about a wave of murders of Native Americans in Oklahoma's Osage Nation in the 1920s, and ...Read more
"Cat Person" is a horror movie in which the source of the horror is never quite clear. The lead characters -- Margot (Emilia Jones, of "CODA"), a 20-year-old college student, and Robert ("Succession's" Nicholas Braun), an enigmatic older man -- are drawn to each other but can never quite come together. An opening on-screen quote, attributed to ...Read more
The most mysterious thing about "A Haunting in Venice," Kenneth Branagh's latest Agatha Christie adaptation, is how such a beautifully made movie could also be such a weary and unengaging disappointment. Like Branagh's two previous Christie films -- "Murder on the Orient Express" (2017) and "Death on the Nile" (2022), both of which he also ...Read more
Talk about nonbinary. The protagonist of "My Animal," a horror-romance by first-time feature director Jacqueline Castel, is not just preoccupied with her blossoming lesbian nature, but also, at regular, moon-triggered intervals, her inner werewolf as well.
This girl's name is Heather (Bobbi Salvor Menuez) and she lives a dull, chilly life in ...Read more