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Thriller
 

The Call

Because ‘Rescue 911’ was taken.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Watching The Call was fun, and I suspect it would be even if my 13-year-old daughter weren’t screaming from fright the entire time. It’s exactly the kind of preposterous nerve-jangler Hollywood pulls off pretty well, moving so fast that it hopes you don’t notice all the holes in the plot.
 
Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tower Block

England has a strange concept for rent control.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Quietly — too quietly — Shout! Factory has been supplementing its lineup of tried-and-true cult classics with quirky genre offerings from overseas, like South Korea’s Quick, Denmark’s ID:A and now, albeit to a lesser degree, the UK’s Tower Block.
 
Friday, June 21, 2013

6 Souls

And not one worth saving.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Three years widowed, Dr. Cara Harding (Julianne Moore, Game Change) is a psychiatrist who meets one hell of a patient (Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Albert Nobbs) in Adam. And David. And Wesley.
 
Friday, June 21, 2013

The Monk

I vow that it’s a gem.


Thriller

Rod Lott
For several years, I’ve intended to read Matthew G. Lewis' 1796 novel, The Monk. I even bought a snazzy trade-paperback edition with an introduction from Stephen King. Never got around to cracking it open.
 
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Terror on a Train

Choo-choo-choose something else.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Not to be confused with the ’80s slasher Terror Train — but, oh, how I wish it were! — 1952's Terror on a Train finds Glenn Ford (Superman: The Movie's Pa Kent) as Peter Lyncort, a bomb diffuser whose home life with his spouse (French actress Anne Vernon) is currently as explosive as his work life.
 
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cruising

To some people I know, this would be William Friedkin’s most frightening film.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Long out-of-print, William Friedkin’s Cruising is back on DVD, perhaps to coincide with the director’s new memoir, in which he spends many pages bemoaning the incredible amount of controversy his cop thriller generated upon an unsuccessful theatrical release in 1980.
 
Sunday, June 9, 2013

Snitch

The Rock’s roll continues.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Now that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has had three back-to-back hits this season in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Pain & Gain and, of course, Fast & Furious 6, it's time to catch up with the one film of his this year audiences ignored: Snitch.
 
Friday, June 7, 2013

The Numbers Station

Adds up to so few thrills.


Thriller

Rod Lott
What's going on with John Cusack? His last two films have gone straight to DVD: The Factory and now The Numbers Station.
 
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rolling Thunder

You'll be as hooked as he.


Thriller

Rod Lott
You can keep Coming Home, Forrest Gump and Born on the Fourth of July, multiple Oscar winners all. For my money, the seminal disabled-Vietnam-vet film is 1977's Rolling Thunder.
 
Monday, June 3, 2013

Nightfall

It’s no mystery: ‘Nightfall’ is a superlative thriller.


Thriller

Rod Lott
As Simon Lam gets older, he gets better. The veteran actor has appeared in such in seminal HK action films of the 1990s as Once Upon a Time in China (opposite Jet Li) and Bullet in the Head (directed by John Woo); in the aughts, he graced audience and critical favorites Election and Ip Man.
 
Monday, May 20, 2013

Die! Die! My Darling!

Watch! Watch! Hammer fans!


Thriller

Rod Lott
File 1965's Die! Die! My Darling! under that now-dead subgenre dubbed "Grande Dame Guignol." The Hammer Films production may lack the dueling duo of two twilight-era titans of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and the others, but truth be told, Tallulah Bankhead is fierce enough to provide all the fire it needs.
 
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ID:A

One tasty Danish.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Imagine waking up in a river with a nasty cut on your forehead, a gun, a bag full of millions in cash and no memory of who you are. For many, we call this Monday. For the purposes of this review, however, we call it ID:A.
 
Thursday, May 9, 2013

FBI Code 98

It's about a bomb, but isn't one.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Despite how Warner Archive has branded it, 1963’s FBI Code 98 is not — repeat: not — film noir. All film noir is crime, but not all crime is film noir. That vaulted subgenre requires darkness, whereas this feature is so light and breezy, it’s practically a recruiting tool for the federal agency. It even has its own marching music.
 
Monday, May 6, 2013

Easy Money

Cashes out with a big payoff.


Thriller

Rod Lott
It’s not difficult to see what Martin Scorsese saw in Easy Money to lend his name to it as presenter to American audiences: a lot of himself. The 2010 Swedish film is a crime epic cast in the mold of Goodfellas or Casino, yet still its own thing. A smash as Snabba Cash in its native land, where it’s already spawned two sequels, the movie now arrives on DVD.
 
Saturday, March 23, 2013

In Their Skin

There go the neighborhoods.


Thriller

Rod Lott
I like In Their Skin under its international title, Replicas. Even if that makes Jeremy Power Regimbal’s directorial debut sound too sci-fi, it’s more interesting and apt.
 
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
 
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