Saturday, December 26, 2015

#ArchiveDay: "+1 (Plus One)" (2013) - An Apocalypse of Self-Love

Theatrical poster for "+1" (2013)
Theatrical poster for "+1" (2013)

"+1" (NR (USA), IFC Midnight, 2013) is a science fiction thriller (with horror elements) that seems at first like a romantic drama, but soon turns ugly with the help of a malevolent force from outer space. Focusing on themes of youthful narcissism and hedonism, it sends a disturbing message about Millennials, while softening the blow with comic relief and well-done visuals and sound.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Worst Xmas Movie Ever: SANTA CLAUS (VS. THE DEVIL) (1959/60)

Still from SANTA CLAUS (VS. THE DEVIL) (1959/60)

Actually, it's only the 79th worst movie of all time (IMDb). But . . . a serious family film about Santa Claus that includes Lucifer, a demon from Hell, Merlin the Magician, and the Roman god Vulcan in the same storyline and which also has science fiction elements? Cheese. Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

THE CANAL (2014) - VOD Review

THE CANAL (NR, The Orchard, 2014) relies on a standard haunted-house horror story template, but writer-director Ivan Kavanagh customizes it in a way that makes it his own. While the well-seasoned horror fan can see the basics of the ending coming, there's nevertheless an enjoyably nerve-wracking ride to the finish and a somewhat disturbing coda in the denouement.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

WARM BODIES (2013): Reenvisioning the Zombie as "the Other"

Nicolas Hoult in WARM BODIES

Zombie movie fans:  Did you ever wonder what it would feel like to be a zombie? Seems like it could be boring and lonely, right?  And there's no way out, either. Kind of a hopeless situation -- or is it?

These are the types of questions that prompted author Isaac Marion to write a short story from the point-of-view of a young male zombie. After he posted the text on his website, he was surprised at the positive response from readers. He had been doubtful about the viability of the story idea.

Little did he know that the story would attract the attention of a producer who had just left a major production firm to start her own company. With her encouragement,  he expanded his story into a full-length novel, Warm Bodies. Shopped around the film industry, the story was considered so promising that Morton was able to sell the film option rights while the novel was still an unpublished manuscript. Jonathan Levine wrote and directed the resulting film adaptation, a genre-bending, horror romantic comedy: WARM BODIES (2013, PG-13, Summit Entertainment).

Friday, December 18, 2015

THE SIGNAL (2014): TFK's Alien Invasion Series, Episode 5

Laurence Fishburne in a scene from the finale of THE SIGNAL (2014)

We continue the Alien Invasion Series* started on TFK's Tumblr: THE SIGNAL (PG-13, 2014). The story seems to involve a very subtle invasion -- really "only" an apparent alien abduction -- until the big reveal at the end. This sci-fi film stars three young, up-and-coming actors alongside veteran actor Laurence Fishburne.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

HOUSEBOUND (2014): Horror Comedy VOD Review

 Morgana O'Reilly and Rima Te Wiata star in HOUSEBOUND (2014)
Morgana O'Reilly and Rima Te Wiata star in HOUSEBOUND (2014)

HOUSEBOUND (NR, XLrator Media [USA], 2014), writer-director Gerard Johnstone's directorial feature debut, is a rare find: a good horror comedy. While it is not without its flaws, the film is generally well done, which explains its good performance on the film festival circuit and positive reactions from both critics and moviegoers.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

UPSIDE DOWN (2012): An #ArchiveDay Repost

Theatrical Poster for UPSIDE DOWN - image source: Next Projection
Theatrical Poster for UPSIDE DOWN - image source: Next Projection

Editor's Note: TFK posted the following review on a now-defunct legacy blog in August 2013. It has been edited for reposting on Twitter's Saturday #ArchiveDay.

Billed as a "sci-fi romance," UPSIDE DOWN starts out looking like a futuristic dystopia. However, its incipient and potentially powerful social, economic, and political messages are overshadowed by its impressive special effects and its "boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back" storyline.