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Chernobyl Diaries

Another reason not to visit Russia, if you needed it.


Horror

Rod Lott
Famously, tragedy plus time equals comedy. Do they also equal horror? Up to you, but Chernobyl Diaries goes for it anyway.
 
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Excision

A cut above the rest.


Horror

Rod Lott
If I thought of AnnaLynne McCord at all, it was as a rail-thin starlet known more for being a paparazzi magnet than for her role on Fox's ill-fated 90210 reboot. Now, after watching her in Excision, I won't be able to think of her without picturing the awkward, near-Neanderthal teenage misfit she plays so ably, willingly and impressively here.
 
Thursday, October 11, 2012

Back from Hell

'Hell' is hell.


Horror

Rod Lott
This being the Halloween season, odds are many a found-footage film will be watched over the next several weeks. How to choose between so many? Allow me to help ever so slightly: Steer clear of Back from Hell.
 
Monday, October 8, 2012

Hypothermia

Left me cold.


Horror

Rod Lott
There's a lot to be said for horror films that use their low budgets as a positive thing. Hypothermia, however, isn't one of them — a shame, because its producers have excelled elsewhere, with Stake Land, The House of the Devil and especially The Innkeepers.
 
Monday, October 8, 2012

The Barrens

Something in Jersey is more demonic than Snooki.


Horror

Rod Lott
In a post-Saw world, Darren Lynn Bousman quietly has been making a series of horror films more in line with scary movies of the 1970s than the torture-porn genre he helped usher in. Already this year, DVD has brought us his superlative Mother's Day remake and the low-key demonic pic 11-11-11, and now The Barrens. It's just too bad they've all been denied wide theatrical releases.
 
Monday, October 1, 2012

Hostel / Hostel: Part II

Hurt so good.


Horror

Rod Lott
Few critics are unable to see through the violence and admit there's a real artfulness at work in Eli Roth's pair of Hostel films, both now available in their unrated director's cuts on a single, budget-priced Blu-ray from Mill Creek Entertainment.
 
Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods


Horror

Rod Lott
Josh Whedon is partially responsible for arguably the most creative pictures of this year, and I don’t mean The Avengers. I’m talking about The Cabin in the Woods, the horror film reputed to be a game-changer in the genre. It’s not the end-all-be-all film as hyped, but it is undeniably clever.
 
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mother's Day

Mama knows be(a)st.


Horror

Rod Lott
Until now, I had never seen the 1980 horror film Mother's Day, but its poster art has stayed top-of-mind when I first stumbled upon the VHS box in the early '80s, when the Sound Warehouse at Northwest Expressway and Rockwell Avenue — may it rest in peace — started renting movies in addition to keepin' the metro rockin' with a wide selection of LPs and cassettes.
 
Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vile

Not for the weak — duh.


Horror

Rod Lott
With Vile, we may have a new cinematic achievement: the first torture-porn film to open with a quote from Gandhi. Take that with a grain of salt — or perhaps the box of kosher salt poured into the wounds of some sad bastard by some demented madman in the prologue.
 
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Zombie A-Hole

Yawn of the dead.


Horror

Rod Lott
Even if it sported a bland title, I still would've wanted to see Zombie A-Hole, for the simple fact that it's writer/director/producer/editor/animator/etc. Dustin Mills' follow-up to 2010's The Puppet Monster Massacre, one of the more fun films the cult world has yet to embrace, because not enough of its residents have seen it. That's my theory, anyway.
 
Thursday, August 30, 2012

Apartment 143 [Emergo]

This is why landlords require deposits.


Horror

Rod Lott
Cross Paranormal Activity with an "ALL BILLS PAID!" banner, and you have Apartment 143 [Emergo]. That's not to suggest the film is, er, low-rent.
 
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Piranha 3DD

Wetter be good to me.


Horror

Rod Lott
As the junky, jokey follow-up to 2010's Piranha 3D (a remake of the Roger Corman drive-in classic of 1978), Piranha 3DD takes place a year after the prehistoric killer fish laid waste to a popular lake during spring break.
 
Monday, August 27, 2012

Area 407

The found-footage film travels to Jurassic Park.


Horror

Rod Lott
Found-footage movies are no longer novel, but they're cheap to make, so expect to see many, many more shoot out Hollywood's pipeline. As long as concepts are tweaked, however, surprises like Chronicle can occur.
 
Friday, August 24, 2012

The Moth Diaries

Be drawn to its mild flame.


Horror

Rod Lott
Director Mary Harron's The Moth Diaries is a coming-as-age film in the same way her American Psycho was a Wall Street portrait.
 
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lovely Molly

Good golly, Miss 'Molly'!


Horror

Rod Lott
Another camcorder film? Only in part, but at least Lovely Molly comes from the mind of Eduardo Sánchez, who helped kick-start the craze back on a mainstream scale with 1999's The Blair Witch Project, which he co-wrote and co-directed. So there's that, not to mention this must be the only one scored by avant-garde indie instrumental act Tortoise.
 
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
 
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