Strange Nature poster

Strange Nature

by James Ojala
Specifics
USA [2018] - 100 mins
Genre
Horror
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1.5

Pretty cheap eco-horror flick. Ojala has worked on the special effects teams for some pretty high-profile projects, but his own film looks rather drab. Fans of traditional effects will appreciate the lack of CG, but that's about it really. A lame plot, bad actors and cheesy effects make this a dull horror. Ojala just isn't a very good director I'm afraid.

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers poster

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers

by Michael A. Simpson
Specifics
USA [1988] - 80 mins
Genre
Horror
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1.5

Jolly sequel that's a lot more self-conscious than the first film. There's no major twist here, just Angela going on another killing spree. Bad acting, poor kills and some hilariously bad dialogues get in the way of this being a decent horror, at the same time they provide some decent entertainment value. Not good, but you can get a couple of laughs out of it.

Sleepaway Camp poster

Sleepaway Camp

by Robert Hiltzik
Specifics
USA [1983] - 84 mins
Genre
Horror
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1.5

Cheap 80s slasher that spawned its fair share of sequels, no doubt because of the hilarious twist ending. The rest of the film is rather dull and uneventful. The kills are boring, the actors horrendous and the lack of suspense is disappointing. At least the fashion is good for a few laughs and the ending does live up to the hype, but that's not enough to save this mess.

Countdown poster

Countdown

by Justin Dec
Specifics
USA [2019] - 90 mins
Genre
Horror
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2.5

Pretty basic horror flick that feels a little cheap and shallow at first, but is saved by some effective scares. It's a little predictable, never reaches any notable heights and it's hard to recommend this one unless you're looking for simple filler, but it's not a terrible film and if you're short on things to watch, there are worse choices you could make.

Zombieland: Double Tap poster

Zombieland: Double Tap

by Ruben Fleischer
Specifics
USA [2019] - 93 mins
Genre
Comedy, Horror
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3.5

Good sequel, but a little too self-aware at times. The first one was a great blend of comedy and horror, this second one really is just a comedy with some horror bits thrown in because zombies. It's a still a pretty funny and amusing film, but when all the gore is just for laughs the film just feels a little worse for it.

Doctor Sleep poster

Doctor Sleep

by Mike Flanagan
Specifics
USA [2019] - 152 mins
Genre
Horror
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3.5

A nice sequel to The Shining. Different enough to stand on its own, connected enough to feel related. A great cast, fine cinematography and a pretty impressive ending make this a worthy successor. Flanagan's direction is strong but also a little safe, which is about the only negative thing I can say about this one. Great film, but lacks the spark to make it superb.

Deep Red poster

Deep Red

by Craig R. Baxley
Specifics
USA [1994] - 86 mins
Genre
Sci-fi, Thriller
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1.5

Cheesy and cheap 90s genre flick. Some sci-fi elements are supposed to spruce up the plot, but the execution is drab and unexciting. The acting is poor, the action quite cheap and the plot is predictable. What remains is some minor genre appeal and a limited running time, but that's hardly enough to recommend this film.

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.1 - Crime and Punishment poster

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.1 - Crime and Punishment

by Naoyoshi Shiotani
Also known as
Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.1 - Tsumi to Bachi
Specifics
Japan [2019] - 60 mins
Genre
Sci-fi, Animation
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2.5

First entry in Psycho-Pass' Sinners of the System film series. The animation quality is high, the art style is solid and the setting is intriguing, but this franchise is still struggling to free itself from Ghost in the Shell's legacy and the strong focus on plot makes it a little duller than need be. Not terrible, but there's a lot of unfulfilled potential here.

Black Christmas poster

Black Christmas

by Bob Clark
Specifics
Canada [1974] - 98 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
3.0

Very early slasher flick that feels like a clear predecessor to both Halloween and Scream. A creepy and mysterious killer, fine camera work and the perfect ending provide the necessary quality injections. Poor acting, a somewhat duller middle part and lame kills keep it from reaching an even higher standard. Still, a must-see for horror fans this one.

Black Ransom poster

Black Ransom

by Kwok-Man Keung
Also known as
See Piu Fung Wan
Specifics
Hong Kong [2010] - 93 mins
Genre
Action, Thriller
More info on
3.0

Simple but decent police thriller. It's another PTU-clone that doesn't come close to To's work, but has enough genre appeal to keep fans pleased. Fast-paced, some decent action scenes and Simon Yam as lead actor. The plot is pretty basic and there aren't many surprises, but that doesn't stand in the way of this being decent filler.

Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko Mine's Lie poster

Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko Mine's Lie

by Takeshi Koike
Also known as
Lupin the IIIrd: Mine Fujiko no Uso
Specifics
Japan [2019] - 58 mins
Genre
Adventure, Crime
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3.5

Third entry in the Koike-directed Lupin series. The quality of this film series is pretty consistent, Koike adds something valuable to the Lupin franchise, while sadly the Lupin franchise takes some shine away from Koike's work. This third part is fun, amusing and a little darker than you'd expect from a Lupin film, but it's not quite the masterpiece you'd hope to see.

Blue Steel poster

Blue Steel

by Kathryn Bigelow
Specifics
USA [1990] - 102 mins
Genre
Thriller, Crime
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2.5

There are some semi-successful attempts to turn this into a dark and moody film, but in the end it's little more than a cheesy 90s cop thriller. Mediocre acting and a silly plot let this film down, a decent soundtrack and persistent rain make it bearable. Not the worst film in its genre, but clearly not a stand-out entry either. Just decent filler.

A Love of Blueness poster

A Love of Blueness

by Jianqi Huo
Also known as
Lan Se Ai Qing
Specifics
China [2001] - 99 mins
Genre
Romance
More info on
3.0

A Love of Blueness fits in perfectly with a select number of films that illustrate the shift from China's 6th generation rural drama to more contemporary (genre) cinema. A stylish, urban romance with solid acting, some beautiful camera work and a decent plot. Not quite up there with the best (think Suzhou River), but worth a watch if you're interested in the recent rise of Chinese cinema.

One Point O poster

One Point O

by Jeff Renfroe, Marteinn Thorsson
Specifics
USA, Romania [2004] - 92 mins
Genre
Mystery, Sci-fi
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4.0

Eerie and effective little mindfuck. One Point O is one of those forgotten early 00 cult films that puts all its money on atmosphere. An attractive retro-futuristic setting, moody lighting, sharp editing and superb sound design all add up to a film that crawls under your skin and doesn't let go until the end credits hit the screen.

The Dead Center poster

The Dead Center

by Billy Senese
Specifics
USA [2018] - 92 mins
Genre
Horror, Mystery
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3.5

Dark, haunting and rather down to earth horror film. The Dead Center takes a while to get going, but the mystery is gripping and it's nice to see that Carruth is still around, even when he's not behind the camera. The final 30 minutes are effective and creepy, although the ending is a slight cop-out. Recommended if you're looking for alternative horror cinema.

Detroit poster

Detroit

by Kathryn Bigelow
Specifics
USA [2017] - 143 mins
Genre
Drama, Thriller
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2.5

A decent but somewhat overwrought drama about police brutality against blacks in the 60s. Bigelow's attempts to give the audience a feeling of unease are rather ineffective and the courtroom drama that follows the events drags the film down, but decent acting and a few stand-out moments still make this worth a watch.

If.... poster

If....

by Lindsay Anderson
Specifics
UK [1968] - 111 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
2.0

A rather absurd drama peeking behind the doors of a British boarding school. The film tries its best to come off edgy and rebellious, but the impact isn't really there. The second half is definitely more amusing than the first one and McDowell was doing a nice test run for his part in A Clockwork Orange, but in the end this film lacks punch.