The Predator

predator

Unlike its counterpart and occasional crossover property the Alien series, each of the Predator movies has been essentially standalone, their only common thread the titular extraterrestrial.  While the Alien series’ best entries undoubtedly surpass those of the Predator franchise, it’s also stagnated thanks to uninspired diminishing returns after Aliens.  Meanwhile, Predator’s sequels have proven to be a more eclectic and interesting bunch, never content to self-plagiarize their celebrated predecessor.  After the jungle-bound antics of the first movie, Predator 2 moved the action to the city and expounded on the aliens’ lore, while Predators had a similar structure to the first film but flipped the script by dropping its band of warriors on predator turf. Continue reading

The Nun

the nun

The Nun has been enjoying a robust showing at the box office, and it’s easy to see why.  It’s backed by the sizable support of the ever-expanding The Conjuring franchise, and it was released with a savvy sense of timing; late enough into September to whet the seasonal appetite for horror, but early enough to get ahead of the incoming torrents of competitors.  But if the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that good marketing is not a substitute for quality, especially in a series as inconsistent as this one. Continue reading

Eighth Grade

eighth-grade-3

As an incurable horror movie fan, I have no problem watching torture, disembowelments, and all other manner of grotesqueries.  But no amount of gore could prepare me for the emotional meat grinder that is Eighth Grade.  Bo Burnham’s directorial debut is at times nothing less than an endurance test, and I mean that as the best of compliments. Continue reading

Searching

searching.jpg

Searching is the latest entry in the ever-growing subgenre of computer movies, that is, movies that consist entirely of screen-captured images of computer (or in this case, any digital device) screens.  Up until now computer movies had been dominated by horror outings like the surprisingly not-terrible Unfriended series, but Searching is a mystery-thriller through and through. Continue reading

Crazy Rich Asians

crazy rich asians

Hundreds of articles!  Overwhelming buzz!  93% on Rotten Tomatoes!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few months, you’ve no doubt heard the roar of the Crazy Rich Asians hype machine chugging away.  Like Get Out and Black Panther before it, it’s been dubbed the Movie of the Moment, receiving endless praise for revitalizing its genre and for its all-Asian cast.  But pull back the Eastern twist and you’re left with a generic, if competent, rom-com. Continue reading

American Animals

american-animals-movie.jpg

Were it not for the real-life event upon which American Animals is based, it could have easily been a typical college comedy.  Its deceptively simple setup – four in-over-their-heads students plan to rob their school – sounds more like a 2000s frat movie than the unique blend of genres it turns out to be.  I stress the word “blend,” because the movie is simultaneously a breezy college comedy, a heist movie, and a stranger-than-fiction docudrama. Continue reading