The Prodigy

the-prodigy

That Boy Ain’t Right

Let’s face it: some kids are just creepy.  If they weren’t, the bad-seed trope wouldn’t be such a workhorse of a horror premise, still bearing fruit eons after its inception.  The fear of our own offspring turning against us is disturbing on a primal, universal level, unconfined to any one culture or time period.  Speaking more generally, the perversion of innocence has always been an upsetting prospect, and what could possibly be more innocent than a child?  Truth be told, there’s not much left to do with the creepy-kid genre, but while The Prodigy doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it delivers an uncommonly solid execution of the formula. Continue reading

Velvet Buzzsaw

velvet buzzsaw

This Just Won’t Cut It

Velvet Buzzsaw is a movie I wanted to like – to love, even.  The last time Dan Gilroy and Jake Gyllenhaal teamed up we got 2014’s excellent Nightcrawler, and given the gonzo premise of their new collaboration, I thought I was in for a good time.  But the Netflix movie curse spares few; even up-and-coming directors and A-list actors cannot escape its grasp.  The streaming service’s marketing would have you believe Velvet Buzzsaw is first and foremost a horror film, but the truth is the horror is an afterthought.  So is everything else in the movie. Continue reading

The House That Jack Built

the house that jack built

Killer Pad

Among his other virtues, Lars Von Trier has always been something of a troll.  His movies often act as playful middle fingers to his harshest critics, gleefully confirming their accusations with a devil-may-care attitude.  The approach has a rebellious appeal, but it’s also overshadowed some of Von Trier’s lesser works, which have made the mistake of putting shock value above quality.  The House That Jack Built sees Von Trier’s devilish style at its best; it shamelessly aims to offend, but backs up its intentions with original, exciting filmmaking. Continue reading

Overlord

overlord

Overlord, with its high-concept hook of Nazi zombies, itself practically a subgenre at this point, is the kind of movie that could have gone either way.  It’s easy to see how it could have been all concept and no execution, the kind of movie with little to offer besides a catchy gimmick at its center.  Thankfully it turns out to be anything but, taking its gonzo premise and running with it to create a perfectly satisfying slice of B-Movie cheese. Continue reading