‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ Only Got Better from 1956 to 1978 [Revenge of the Remakes]

We’re zapping into science fiction territory and back into “re-adaptation” conversations this month for Revenge of the Remakes. Don Siegel and Philip Kaufman bring vastly different approaches to their Invasion of the Body Snatchers films, uniformly citing Jack Finney’s 1954 novel “The Body Snatchers” as their source. Kaufman isn’t directly remaking Siegel’s film but acknowledges […]

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‘Livescreamers’ Review – Virtual Haunted House Movie Tackles the Perils of Online Content Creation

As Screenlife storytelling transitions into the livestream era, movies like Michelle Iannantuono’s Livescreamers have me most excited. Early Screenlife films like Unfriended and The Den read like one-takers but are computer-set events like someone recorded their computer monitor or laptop screen. What Livescreamers offers — or examples like Spree, Deadstream, and #chadgetstheaxe — is the […]

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‘Mind Body Spirit’ Review – A Knockout Found Footage Horror Movie for the Livestream Era

Filmmakers could spend the next decade highlighting the mounting horrors of influencer culture, especially with standout dissections like Alex Henes and Matthew Merenda’s Mind Body Spirit. The filmmaking duo organically recreates a hopeful celebrity vlogger’s downward spiral with the utmost Screenlife dedication. Henes and Merenda make tremendous use of a single-location California estate that never […]

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‘Do Not Watch’ Review – An Innovative Reinvention of the Found Footage Format

Justin Janowitz’s spellbinding feature debut, Do Not Watch, follows the tradition of cursed footage like 2018’s Antrum or 2022’s Incantation. Subliminal messages are baked into Ryan Toyama’s screenplay and imprinted onto the screen. Traditional barriers between screens and their audiences are shattered; characters plead with us to do what the title commends. Do Not Watch […]

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‘The Fog’ 19 Years Later: There’s a Reason You Don’t Remember This John Carpenter Remake

John Carpenter’s illustrious catalog of horror and non-horror classics has already seen three remakes (Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13, and this column’s focus), with at least one more kinda-sorta confirmed on the way (Escape from New York). If you consider 2011’s The Thing enough of a remake, notch another on the bedpost. It makes sense; […]

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‘Frogman’ Review – Found Footage Oddity Finds a Bizarre Monster and Delivers on Its Promises

It was only a matter of time before we got a found footage horror film about Ohio’s cryptid oddity, Loveland’s Frogman (that’s not sarcastic; I’ve seen far stranger indie horror concepts). Anthony Cousins’ search for a slimy urban legend (shot almost exclusively on HI-8), aptly titled Frogman, is a weirdo treat for fans of V/H/S/94‘s […]

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‘Camp Pleasant Lake’ Review – Micro-Budget Slasher Movie Offers a Dull Trip to Sleepaway Camp

The classless practice of traumatic profiteering is alive and well in Thomas Walton’s micro-budget slasher Camp Pleasant Lake. We’ve become a society obsessed with gnarly true crime documentaries and podcasts, lifting infamous serial killers to celebrity status. As superfans once wrote letters to Charles Manson in prison, studios now churn out streaming programs about despicable […]

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‘Rollerball’ Turned a 1970s Cult Classic into an Early 2000s Studio Disaster [Revenge of the Remakes]

In life, spewing hate comes easy; finding the good takes effort. That’s my mantra for “Revenge of the Remakes.” Get dirty and identify value where others hastily — maybe unfairly — laid harsh criticisms. Any remake, in any genre, faces biased outrage from peanut galleries who refuse to remove their nostalgia goggles. It’s easy to […]

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‘Alice in Terrorland’ Review – ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Horror Movie Isn’t Great But It’s Better Than Expected

Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” isn’t new to the “turn something innocent into a horror movie” fad. Brave gamers might remember diving into the twisted mind of American McGee’s Alice, or indie film diehards could have caught 2010’s Alice in Murderland. Writer and director Richard John Taylor explores forbidden but charted territory with his […]

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‘Departing Seniors’ Review – Middling Teen Slasher Can’t Slay Its Own Shortcomings

In the canon of high school-set slashers, Departing Seniors is a moderate achiever — the middle of the pack. Jose Nateras’ screenplay massages LGBTQ+ themes into an adorable-awkward-angsty teen romance threatened by deadly obstacles (outside cruel bigotry). It’s refreshingly genuine in terms of treating queer relationships with normalcy, but schoolyard slasher tension dulls without sharp […]

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‘Cube’ – Surviving the Canadian Original and Its Japanese Remake [Revenge of the Remakes]

I’m thirty-plus entries into Revenge of the Remakes and have finally reached an original/remake pair where neither is American. Vincenzo Natali’s Cube (1997) is a maple-scented product of Canada’s independent filmmaking scene, while Yasuhiko Shimizu’s 2021 remake hails from Japan. You’re free of rants about stale Americanizations and Hollywood’s sometimes shortsighted approach to horror remakes. […]

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‘Santa Isn’t Real’ Review – Latest Christmas Horror Movie Fails to Make the Season Bright

Between Thanksgiving and It’s a Wonderful Knife, it’s been an especially rewarding year for seasonal slasher fans, an esteemed group that Santa Isn’t Real does not join. Writer and director Zac Locke’s low-budget Christmas massacre barely has a pulse until the final few minutes, only thanks to a few teaspoons of gore. Performances are stiff, […]

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‘A Creature Was Stirring’ Review – Christmas Horror Movie Struggles to Execute Its Admirable Ideas

The differences between Damien LeVeck’s sophomore effort A Creature Was Stirring and his feature debut The Cleansing Hour are staggering. His instincts are ironclad in the cleanly polished and despicable exorcism thriller that stands as one of Shudder’s best original releases in 2020. Unfortunately, A Creature Was Stirring doesn’t replicate the same accomplished approach as […]

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Slasher Renaissance? A Closer Look at the Sub-Genre That Never Went Away

This holiday season’s release of Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving is cause for celebration amongst slasher fans. It’s been a hot minute since mainstream horror audiences have been able to watch a wide-release slasher that feels gruesomely throwback *and* is based on a wholly original concept. Thanksgiving is a contemporary reinterpretation of cheesy 80s midnighters about masked […]

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‘Don’t Suck’ Review – Vampire Horror-Comedy Is Soulless and Uninspired

It’s a shame Don’t Suck doesn’t take its own advice [comic rimshot]. Sorry, are you not a fan of plucking low-hanging fruit? Don’t expect anything more from RJ Collins’ soulless vampire standup horror comedy that tries to manufacture edginess with faceplant jokes about Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Jeffrey Epstein in the first however many […]

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