Category: Mystery

The Souvenir Movie Review - 2019 Joanna Hogg Film

Joanna Hogg Directs a Dazzling Honor Swinton Byrne in ‘The Souvenir’

“‘The Souvenir’ is essential viewing for devoted cinephiles.”

Don't Look Now Movie Essay - 1973 Nicolas Roeg Film

The Diffusion of Giallo in Nicolas Roeg’s ‘Don’t Look Now’

“‘Don’t Look Now’ stands as one of the best iterations of the giallo film. It takes the best elements of the commercialized Italian psycho-thriller and presents them with a Hitchcockian flair.”

M Movie Film Peter Lorre

Peter Lorre: The Foundations of the Stranger

“Lorre brought to his strangers the psychological wounds carried by the exile.”

Ad Astra 2019 Movie - Film Review

Review: James Gray’s ‘Ad Astra’

“‘Ad Astra’ joins the likes of ‘Gravity’ and ‘Interstellar’ as one of Stanley Kubrick’s starchildren.”

The Box 2009 Movie - Film Essay

On the Capitalist Realism of ‘The Box’

“‘The Box’ elevates the daily minutiae of capitalist cruelty into the science fiction moral framework of a ‘Twilight Zone’ yarn.”

Come to Daddy Review - 2019 Movie

FrightFest Review: Ant Timpson’s ‘Come to Daddy’

“Although ‘Come to Daddy’ slightly loses while accelerating to its conclusion, the splatter of dark comedy and dysfunctional father-son dynamics is always engaging and frequently smart.”

Ham on Rye Movie Review - 2019 Film

Locarno Film Festival Review: Tyler Taormina’s ‘Ham on Rye’

“‘Ham on Rye’ has an inescapably student film-y vibe, a bit like a wannabe Richard Linklater joint but without any of the ambition, grit or intelligence.”

50s Hollywood Essay - Sunset Blvd.

Hollywood Confronts Itself: Cynicism and Self-Doubt in the 50s

“A sense of restlessness began to be addressed tentatively, and was confronted with increasing boldness as the decade progressed. Battles were being waged on multiple fronts of this unacknowledged war, claims were being sought from historically neglected constituents.”

Tigers Are Not Afraid 2017 Movie - Film Review

Review: Issa López’s ‘Tigers Are Not Afraid’

“What ‘Tigers Are Not Afraid’ doesn’t contain in terms of deep characters and real-world specificity, it makes up for with its supernatural elements, allowing its allegory to resonate.”

Luz 2018 Movie - Film Review

Review: Tilman Singer’s ‘Luz’

“‘Luz’ may be a distancing film, but it’s ultimately a fascinating and genuinely creepy one, forging as it does a bold new vision for the tired old demon possession movie, taking a cue from the demons of the subgenre and putting new life into its subject.”

The Hateful Eight Movie Essay - 2015 Quentin Tarantino Film

Once Upon a Time in Tarantinoland: ‘The Hateful Eight’ Is a Slog, But a Solid Thriller

“When looking at Tarantino’s filmography, ‘The Hateful Eight’ doesn’t hold a candle to works like ‘Pulp Fiction’ or ‘Kill Bill,’ but it’s an entertaining film nonetheless — if you don’t mind the runtime.”

Giallo Essay - The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion

The Voluptuous and Telling Pleasures of Obscure Gialli

Julia Bozzone on Quad Cinema’s Fresh Meat: Giallo Restorations, Part Two

Return of the Jedi - 1983 Star Wars Movie

A Long Time Ago, in Northern California: When David Lynch Met George Lucas

“Both Lucas and Lynch’s world views allow for the possibility of personal atonement, and for external peace emerging from inner peace.”

Ari Aster Essay - Midsommar

The “Happy” Endings of Ari Aster’s Cult Horror Duology

“If part of the horror genre’s mission is to elicit fear through the erosion of safety, then the endings of ‘Hereditary’ and ‘Midsommar’ are the ultimate expression of that mission.”

The Blair Witch Project 1999 Movie - Film Essay

‘The Blair Witch Project’ at 20: A Found Footage Classic That Spawned a Genre

“‘The Blair Witch Project’ isn’t a horror film experience on par with ‘The Exorcist’ or ‘The Shining,’ but that’s not a fair comparison. It’s an experience all its own.”

Midsommar Movie Review - 2019 Ari Aster Film

‘Midsommar’ Review: Superb Direction Can’t Make Up for Weak Storytelling

“‘Midsommar’ is all steak, no sizzle, and no real lessons are learned other than, maybe, ‘Screw your mansplaining boyfriend.’”

Francis Ford Coppola Movie Essay - Tetro Film

Looking Forward While Looking Back: The Recent Films of Francis Ford Coppola

“Coppola’s recent work is not a ‘return to form,’ whatever that means, but rather part of an ongoing exploration of what the form can do, showing an artist increasingly interested in only trying things he hasn’t done before.”

Happy Death Day 2U Movie Review - 2019 Christopher Landon Film

‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Drops the Scares, Doubles Down on Sci-Fi

“‘Happy Death Day 2U’ is a light sci-fi movie with the thinnest veneer of horror, and your enjoyment of the film will depend on your willingness to accept its geeky premise and nonexistent scare factor.”

The Souvenir Movie Review - 2019 Joanna Hogg Film

Berlinale 2019 Review: Joanna Hogg’s ‘The Souvenir’

“‘The Souvenir’ is an infuriating but ultimately rewarding experience set to inspire deep criticism and analysis.”

Velvet Buzzsaw Movie Review - 2019 Dan Gilroy Film

Dan Gilroy’s ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ Doesn’t Work as a Thriller or Satire

“‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ is nicer to look at than a urinal signed ‘R. Mutt,’ but like Duchamp’s ‘Fountain,’ I won’t be rushing to see it again anytime soon.”