Favorite films

  • It Follows
  • The Witch in the Window
  • The Empty Man
  • The Night House

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  • The Godfather

    ★★★★

  • Here Before

    ★★½

  • Friday the 13th

    ★★★

  • Nine Behind

Pinned reviews

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  • Premature

    Premature

    ★★★½

    Only a month ago that I saw this and I couldn't tell you much about how it ended. So there's limits on how memorable an experience it will give you, in terms of plot, but as a movie with vivid characters and a strong atmosphere this one is aces. It's all about Zora Howard, a talented young playwright who is also an incredibly powerful performer — she co-wrote the movie with director Rashaad Ernesto Greene and also plays Ayanna, the…

  • The Inhabitant

    The Inhabitant

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Scary Movies XI.

    Very deliberately putting this review behind the spoiler veil.

    There are potential triggers in this movie that viewers would ideally be aware of beforehand; unfortunately, to forewarn the viewer is also to spoil the movie. Christian theology and Roman Catholic iconography are a big part of the movie's second half; there are also onscreen (though brief, and not especially graphic) depictions of sexual assault against children. And of course sexual assault with overtones of spiritual abuse (where…

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  • Here Before

    Here Before

    ★★½

    Women in Horror M.

    Not a horror film. Not a psychological thriller. It touches on the eerie and unsettling, but there's a tricky zone where a movie that generates some creepiness without fully taking shape as a horror film or thriller feels like a tease. Here Before landed right in there for me. The director (Stacey Gregg) calls it a "psychological drama" but also acknowledges that it has some "hybrid genre" elements. That's fair, but I'll add the caveat that…

  • Friday the 13th

    Friday the 13th

    ★★★

    Eli was just about willing to humor me by watching one of these. I would have liked to return to the first one, for the sake of respecting the ancestors — I've just started reading Adam Rockoff's Going to Pieces, so that's where my head is right now, back in the late 1970s, thinking about the beginnings. But Eli was like "I'm hoping it will be nasty" and I just thought a movie from the 1980s wasn't going to cut…

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  • Collateral

    Collateral

    ★★★★★

    Subgenres of the thriller genre:

    1. the thriller as art film, where the artist cannot stoop to actually thrilling his audience

    2. the thriller as philosophical rubbernecking, where we are invited to meditate upon the nature of evil — as severed heads roll our way

    3. the thriller as pastiche of esoteric pop-culture references

    4. the redundant thriller, either a remake of a good thriller or adaptation of a good novel, or both

    My highest praise of Collateral is that…

  • No Reservations

    No Reservations

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    It's probably a mediocre movie in the final analysis, but it contains one scene that is priceless to me, and part of its immeasurable worth, for me, is that it provides a kind of iconography for the notion of a masculinity that's healthy and potentially healing.

    Aaron Eckhart plays a man who is really good at what he does but has retained all the spontaneity and even goofiness of a boy. He doesn’t fade into the scenery and he projects…