Murders in the Rue Morgue
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.