Murders in the Rue Morgue

by Robert Florey
Specifics
USA [1932] - 61 mins
Genre
Horror, Crime
More info on
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Murders in the Rue Morgue poster

Based on one of Edger Allan Poe's stories, which means the filmed was doomed from the get-go. The horror elements are incredibly dated, the comic relief is painful and the plot is dull, failing to support a film that only lasts 60 minutes. Some moody set kept me intrigued for a while, but that wasn't enough to enjoy this film.

Mae Bia

by M.L. Pundhevanop Dhewakul
Specifics
Thailand [2015] - 126 mins
Genre
Romance, Horror
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rating
1.5*/5.0*
Mae Bia poster

A weird mix of cheesy romance, horror folklore and cheap erotica. For some reason Dhewakul thought it was a good idea to try to make this into a stylish affair, but all his attempts were pretty much in vain, making it that much worse. With a bit more focus and some better horror elements, this could've been fun, but it wasn't meant to be.

Ab-normal Beauty

Also known as
Sei Mong Se Jun
Specifics
Hong Kong [2004] - 101 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Ab-normal Beauty poster

One of the weirder Oxide Pang projects. It's almost like watching two separate films, bound together by the main character's love for morbid beauty. Sharply edited, full of neat little camera tricks, bold use of color and some intruiging, dark scenes. Not the easiest film to categorize, but definitely recommended if you're looking for something different.

In the Shadow of the Moon

by Jim Mickle
Specifics
USA [2019] - 115 mins
Genre
Mystery, Thriller
More info on
rating
2.5*/5.0*
In the Shadow of the Moon poster

A couple of street cops stumble onto some creepy killings, what follows is a somewhat predictable and unimpressive film that at times feels like a TV series derivative. Mickle can't reach his regular level of quality and even though it's not a particularly bad or boring film, there are plenty of better options in this genre. Pretty forgettable.

Fractured

by Brad Anderson
Specifics
USA [2019] - 100 mins
Genre
Thriller
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Fractured poster

Brad Anderson doing what he does best: mindfuck thrillers. The way he plays with genre clichés here is exemplary, with very familiar elements he still manages to create a fun and entertaining little film. It's a core genre film though, so don't expect anything grand or exceptional, but for genre filler this is as solid as they come.

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

Specifics
France, USA [2018] - 114 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot poster

Gus van Sant needs another winner, because his career is slowly but surely slipping into mediocrity. This film does little to curve that trend, on the contrary. Tepid drama, gross overacting and a dreary story make this a real pain to sit through. In some instances van Sant's talent shines through, but they are few and far apart.

Like Me

by Robert Mockler
Specifics
USA [2017] - 80 mins
Genre
Mystery, Crime
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Like Me poster

An intruiging mystery that stands out because of its explicit styling. The editing is in your face and the use of color so bold that it largely defines the film. The backstory is a lot less interesting, the soundtrack could have been edgier and the detail of execution is a little lacking, but this film gets by on boldness alone. Very promising.

Son of the White Mare

by Marcell Jankovics
Also known as
Fehérlófia
Specifics
Hungary [1981] - 81 mins
Genre
Fantasy, Adventure, Animation
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Son of the White Mare poster

Film with an interesting art style, but not enough material to fill 80 minutes. The limited animation, the lack of detail, the one-note soundtrack and the somewhat uninteresting plot start to drag the film down once it passes the 30-minute mark. There are some interesting ideas here, but not enough appeal for a full-length feature.

Cabin Fever

by Travis Zariwny
Specifics
USA [2016] - 94 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Cabin Fever poster

An utterly pointless remake. The original Cabin Fever is hardly 15 years old, this remake adds nothing of interest and pretty much rehashes the story with a different set of actors. The direction is boring, the pacing a little slow and the horror lacks impact. At least the final 30 minutes were semi-decent, but it's not really worth it, unless you're desperate for a horror flick.

Vendetta

by Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Specifics
USA [2015] - 90 mins
Genre
Action, Thriller
More info on
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Vendetta poster

Clearly the Soska sisters aren't cut out for prison thrillers, even though genre standards are quite low to begin with. The actors are horrible, the action is pretty tame and the drama is hilarious. At least it's short and the fights are brutal, but that's not enough to save this film. It's a good thing this was just a one-off for them.

American Factory

by Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert
Specifics
USA [2019] - 115 mins
Genre
Documentary
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
American Factory poster

Rare doc that tries to document rather than push an opinion through. The clash of cultures forms the core of this film, but it's really the catch-22 situations of workers and factory owners that makes this such an interesting case study. Both sides have a point and there's no easy answer for the problem. A must-see and a benchmark for other docs.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

by Chad Stahelski
Specifics
USA [2019] - 131 mins
Genre
Action, Thriller
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum poster

Stahelski returns for the third part and that means very little changed. Reeves is still a miscast, the action is still subpar and the mythology is silly rather than mysterious. It's a shame, because the potential is definitely here and it's not like we're drowning in good action films nowadays, but apart from the colorful and lush styling this series has very little to offer.

Teketeke 2

Specifics
Japan [2009] - 73 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Teketeke 2 poster

A simple but effective sequel to the first film. Shiriashi loses himself a little in the police investigation, which needlessly slows the film down. Luckily the kills are still lots of fun and the monster is freaky enough, even though the CG doesn't do it justice. It's a short and amusing horror flick, nothing too out of the ordinary but good fun nonetheless.

Kaiju Mono

by Minoru Kawasaki
Also known as
Daikaijû Mono
Specifics
Japan [2016] - 94 mins
Genre
Comedy
More info on
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Kaiju Mono poster

If you're not familiar with the work of Minoru Kawasaki, this is probably not the best place to start. The Kaiju niche has been parodied before, and with better results too. Even so, Kawasaki's sense of humor is infectious and there are some memorable moments here. It's just that Kawasaki's low-budget approach works better with more original premises.

Gwen

by William McGregor
Specifics
UK [2018] - 84 mins
Genre
Mystery, Thriller
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Gwen poster

Dark, ominous and gloomy film that blends drama, horror, mystery and thriller elements to a strong and homogenous whole. Strong acting, nice visuals that make perfect use of their moody surroundings, a superb soundtrack and a mean but effective ending make this a film to look out for, at least if you can handle the slow pace and the lack of redemption.

Jo Pil-ho: The Dawning Rage

by Jeong-beom Lee
Specifics
South Korea [2019] - 127 mins
Genre
Action, Crime
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Jo Pil-ho: The Dawning Rage poster

A well-made cop thriller that ticks all the necessary boxes, but fails to excel at anything. It is nicely shot, it features a few decent action scenes and a solid finale, but the drama elements are too plentiful and the running time is too long. It's nice filler and it doesn't bore, but that's about the best of it.