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Sick Review: Fantastic Fest 2022

No one questions the bonafides of Kevin Williamson when it comes to pop culture horror. He created the Scream franchise, after all, beloved by millions and now discovered by a new generation of horror fans with this year’s sequel. But outside of the Scream franchise, can Williamson still hold his own in the genre? If …

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Bones and All Review: Fantastic Fest 2022

Bones and All, the new film by director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name), wastes no time in establishing itself. Young Maren (Taylor Russell), at a sleepover, suddenly attacks her host, nearly biting off her finger, and escaping in the night. Maren feels a compulsion to consume human flesh. Whether this is a physical …

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Werewolf by Night Review: Fantastic Fest 2022

One of my favorite aspects of Marvel Studios’ output so far is that it feels like it’s starting to compartmentalize a bit. Want cosmic adventure? Here’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Want street-level action? Try some Daredevil. Espionage and intrigue? The Winter Soldier or Black Widow await you. Much like the comic books, there are tracks …

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Sosie Bacon and Parker Finn on Smile: Fantastic Fest 2022

While Smile is a horror film that plays for a crowd, and gives us jumps and intense moments, it’s also a story about trauma, and how our past can torment and haunt us just as much as any movie monster. At Fantastic Fest, I was fortunate to speak with director Parker Finn and star Sosie …

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The Banshees of Inisherin Review: Fantastic Fest 2022

Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges is a distinct kind of hitman movie, one with a lot on its mind, a moral clarity in a world of nefarious criminals, and with terrific performances by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. All three return for The Banshees of Inisherin, but while many of the components are the same, Banshees …

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Smile Review: Fantastic Fest 2022

There’s a trend going on in horror cinema that’s been happening for several years now – the exploration of past traumas and how they inform the present, often done metaphorically. That movie monster or thing that creeps the shadows of the room isn’t just a monster – it’s something horrific from the past that rears …

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Parasite Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

Conflict is the basis of drama, and there are few dramatic conflicts as powerful as the exploration of class. Everyone alive feels that conflict – the societal obligations for those who are not well off to rise above their status, while those who are already well off strive to keep their positions while, consciously or …

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Knives Out Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is an engine of perfect entertainment. From the opening moments, we are swept into the story and characters, and it feels completely confident and effortless. It’s old fashioned in all the best ways, but also has modern sensibilities and themes that give the film weight and substance. The murder mystery, as a …

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The Lighthouse Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

Robert Eggers’ The Witch (or The VVitch if you prefer) is a polarizing film. Now that we have a little distance from it, and now that we’ve seen something of the trends happening in the horror genre since then, that film is a moment in independent film – that there are stories to be told in …

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Dolemite Is My Name Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

Eddie Murphy is back. The best Eddie Murphy movies are those where it feels like he has something to prove. It’s been a few years since we’ve had a completely engaged Eddie. His strongest films have always been those when Eddie has a little glint in his eye, right before he lays his cards on …

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Memory: The Origins of Alien Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

I have been obsessed with Alien since I was nine years old, and my parents refused to take me to a movie theater to see it. For Christmas that year, they bought me a book full of shots from the film, and I closely examined every single frame I could, from the facehugger sequence to the …

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Color Out of Space Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

H. P. Lovecraft is a notoriously difficult author to adapt to film. There have been a thousand riffs off his work over the years, with varying degrees of success, but to directly bring his work to the screen can be problematic at best. Back when authors were paid for every word, during the era of …

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Jojo Rabbit Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

Young Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) is a good little Nazi. He worships Adolf Hitler – so much so that he imagines Adolf (Taika Waititi) giving him advice during times of difficulty. In Germany, during the waning days of World War II, Jojo and his mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) try to manage an existence together, …

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