Oliver has written 13 reviews for films rated ★★½ during 2022.

  • Terrifier 2

    Terrifier 2

    ★★½

    Art is back for more comical, sadistic carnage; the gory violence is notched up to some of the gnarliest and most savage to hit the silver screen; and we have another heroine this time that manages to earn the title of the final girl, but the film is paced to hell, especially with one dream sequence that seems to go on forever, and the plot is quite repetitive with its endless succession of drawn-out murder scenes.

  • All Hallows' Eve

    All Hallows' Eve

    ★★½

    Despite its distractingly amateurish execution and scattershot pacing that drags the film on for longer than necessary, Damien Leone shows promise behind the camera, and Art the Clown is as deliciously sadistic, charming, and demonic as you could hope for a killer clown to be—most certainly a horror icon in the making.

  • Crimes of the Future

    Crimes of the Future

    ★★½

    The master of body horror himself returns to his roots with a socio-political vengeance, but despite a sturdy commitment to maintaining its strange tone and an atmosphere as hypnotic and mysterious as it is grimy and off-putting, the undercooked premise and uninspiring plot devoid of tension and exposition make this a Cronenbore.

  • X

    X

    ★★½

    The stylish direction and editing and a clear homage to 70s exploitation B-movies, pornos, and most obviously The Texas Chain Saw Massacre are not done any service by the ham-fisted and pretentious delivery of a thin but drawn out plot with dumb jump scares, irritating characters, silly death scenes, and ridiculous villains—which (spoilers-ish) consist of a sexually frustrated old hag and her rotten husband who’s afraid getting it on with her will give him a heart attack but is perfectly fine with killing innocent people.

  • Thor: Love and Thunder

    Thor: Love and Thunder

    ★★½

    Its heart is in the right place, but it seems all accountability was checked at the door when it comes to the script.

  • Red Eye

    Red Eye

    ★★½

    A taut, economically paced albeit silly & forgettable thriller that seems like it was made for TV but benefits from Craven’s sharp direction & feels like a star vehicle for its leads more than anything. Brian Cox does a great job sitting on his ass, doing nothing; Rachel McAdams proves she’s not just a mean girl but actually a very nice & sociable Canadian (who’s still tough when she needs to be); & Cillian Murphy utilizes his creepy eyes & psychopathic charm to the best of his abilities.

  • The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    ★★½

    Oscar Isaac is magnetic and compelling as usual, but a sense of lethargy leaks into the writing and direction (not just his character), and as Schrader continues exploring troubled men trying to find purpose in their lives, we can see the futility in watering a dead flower for so long before it proves itself just that.

  • The Power of the Dog

    The Power of the Dog

    ★★½

    Benedict Cattlerach gives a memorable performance, and there is some intriguing subtext underneath the dullness of the plot, but the plot is just that: dull, and the film itself doesn’t cover enough ground to amount to much in the end.

  • C'mon C'mon

    C'mon C'mon

    ★★½

    In another instance of a shaggy-haired boy in a troubled family, this time we’re dragged into a tedious and bleak parenting/therapy session with a student film in humanities on the side and an oppressive lack of color that can only be alleviated by Joaquin Phoenix’s presence.

  • Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho

    ★★½

    We can see Wright attempt to pull off a giallo aesthetic with his vivid neon colors, phantasmagoric ghouls, and red-soaked scenery, but his sterile direction doesn’t seem to suit this too well, and he doesn’t manage to follow through on the themes at play or give enough attention to the protagonist either and instead throws us a ridiculous, ham-fisted twist in the final act that makes everything that came before feel like one big tedious setup for a disappointing payoff.

  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

    Spider-Man: No Way Home

    ★★½

    While I was occasionally taken aback by the spectacle, and I admire the bold move to reveal the ramifications of exposing Spider-Man’s true identity to the public, that decision ended up backfiring by leading the film down the laborious route of multiple universes, and I could not help but feel this was a soulless cash grab made to pander to hardcore Spidey fans and the lowest common denominator—with its tiresome references to past Spider-Man films; forced cameos that turn characters…

  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★½

    A striking and visceral Cronenbergian drama that dabbles through themes of parenthood, trauma, and mental illness but loses touch with the audience in an all too strange story that seems to be missing a point.