Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist (2020) – Possessed by Potential

Released: 19th November
Seen: 20th November

Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist Info

So, fun fact, I was meant to see a film very similar to this about a year ago. When I went to the Sydney Underground Film Festival one of the films that I was meant to see was called Friedkin Uncut, a documentary about the director of The Exorcist. For some reason the film was pulled a few days before the screening and I never got to see it. At the time I could’ve gone to another film that was screening at the same time but instead I chose to just skip it and go to my next film of the day (since that day I had four other films to see).

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In Search Of Darkness II (2020) – Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Released: 18th November
Seen: 18th November

In Search of Darkness Part 2 Info

Back in March I talked about a little documentary called In Search Of Darkness, a four-hour long love letter to the 80’s horror film. In short, I felt it was a genuinely great film that was easily digestible, gave a good overview of the genre at the time but had the bad habit of using a lot of films from the same franchise which made it repetitive and robbed the audience of getting to hear about a wider array of films from the decade. So when I found out that they were planning a sequel I had high hopes, even bought it ahead of time, thinking if they could be a little less repetitive with the movies they picked then it could be great…. Sometimes, getting your hopes up can actually end well.

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The Spongebob Movie Sponge on the Run Header

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020) – Run, Sponge… RUN!

Released: 5th November
Seen: 17th November

The SpongeBob Movie Sponge On The Run Info

On the first of May 1999, the first episode of SpongeBob SquarePants was aired and it was an almost instant phenomenon and became one of the longest running animated series in history. It spawned multiple video games, a Broadway play and several movies. The first two films were fairly big hits and it’s fair to say that this one would’ve been too but, you know the drill, the world decided to end and all the potentially good movies either got pulled out of cinemas until 2021 or they got thrown onto VOD. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run is one of the latter kind of films and honestly, I feel like VOD is the right place to put this film.

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Zeroville (2020) – Zero Fun

Released: 2nd November
Seen: 11th November

Zeroville Info

Sometimes a film is filled with subtext meant to make the audience think as they leave the cinema. Sometimes a film is working on layers that can be unravelled for decades to reveal new ideas and meanings with every viewing… and then there are films that are pretentious self-fellatio giving trainwrecks that want you to study them and find out what they mean when in reality they don’t mean a single goddamn thing, but the director threw in enough strange and weird shots that you could believe that there is something deeper there… welcome to Zeroville, a film that discovered it likes the smell of its own farts and wants you to know just how awesome that odour is.

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Honest Thief (2020) – Honestly? Not Great

Released: 22nd October
Seen: 11th November

Honest Thief Info

Can we, as a society, just admit that Liam Neeson action films have become repetitive and stale? Is that a thing that we can collectively do? Hell, let’s be honest, they were getting stale roughly around the third time he played a character who had a member of his family taken. It’s now to the point where you could write a Liam Neeson action film using a madlib form, they all have the same basic plot and only change the minor superficial details. It’s always the same and every time it gets a little bit less interesting and Honest Thief is just another one for the pile.

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Freaky (2020) – Freakishly Fun

Released: 12th November
Seen: 12th November

Freaky Info

In 2017 Christopher Landon brought us the movie Happy Death Day, a movie that asked the very simple question “What if Groundhog Day was a horror film?”. The result was one of the most fun slasher films in recent memory, which was followed up by Happy Death Day 2U which was also a lot of fun. This filmmaker has stumbled upon a great little mini-genre that he is clearly going to milk for all it’s worth… take a classic comedy with a mystical element and turn it into a horror movie. Proof that this works? The joyfully fun film Freaky.

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Stage Mother (2020) – Life Is A Drag

Released: 23rd October
Seen: 2nd November

Stage Mother Info

Drag has been given something of a resurgence lately thanks to the phenomenon of RuPaul’s Drag Race. While Drag has always been around, recently it’s exploded in the mainstream with the hit reality series. Now, not only do we have Drag Race, there’s the horror equivalent in Dragula, a campy queen version on YouTube in Camp Wanakiki and probably a half dozen others for various kinds of queens.

From TV shows like AJ and the Queen (which should’ve had more than one season and I will die mad upon that hill) to movies like Cherry Pop or the Hurricane Bianca series, we’ve seen a huge uptick in entertainment focussed around drag queens. Well, Stage Mother is another one of those, it doesn’t exactly do anything new but I can’t think of a better way to introduce the topic than to point out that this movie probably wouldn’t exist without that explosion in drag.

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The Empty Man (2020) – Yep, Empty

Released: 23rd October
Seen: 31st October

The Empty Man Info

The Bye Bye Man
The Snowman
The Slenderman

Movies that begin with The and end in Man in the horror genre have lately filled me with dread lately. With the exception of The Invisible Man, I can’t think of a good film with this combination of words in the title so imagine how I felt seeing the poster for The Empty Man. If you thought I was prepared for a long slow boring film that tried far too hard to be smarter than it was, then you know me far too well… and you also just described the film to a T.

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The Craft: Legacy (2020) – Wicked Witchcraft

Released: 28th October
Seen: 29th October

The Craft Info

In 1996 there was a low budget horror film called The Craft. The Craft came out early in the horror resurgence of the 90s, as in it was released about 6 months before the monster hit Scream completely revived the genre. It was a story of four social outcasts who bonded over a shared love of magic and how their usage of it for personal gain and revenge ended up backfiring on them horribly. It’s perhaps best remembered for the completely mental and brilliant performance by Fairuza Balk, a performance that’s so iconic it basically defined her entire career from that point onward. The Craft became somewhat of a cult hit, even influencing the monster hit series Charmed (the theme song from that series was used in this movie, plus the writer-director claimed to have pitched the series and had his idea stolen) so it has quite a legacy… enough that 24 years later we’d finally get a sequel, and not a good one.

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#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump (2020) – He’s Nuts

Released: 28th August
Seen: 26th October

Unfit Info

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I do not like Donald Trump. Even back in the days when he had his little reality show I didn’t like him. I watched a little bit of Celebrity Apprentice because Penn Jillette, Lisa Lampanelli and Gilbert Gottfried were on there and I thought it’d be funny to see just what they would do. I also watched his Comedy Central Roast, mostly because I’ve watched every Comedy Central Roast and the idea of people tearing the shit out of that blowhard for an hour just delighted me. I never liked him even before he became president and revealed himself, in my opinion, to be evil. I state this now because this documentary specifically involves Donald Trump and his mental health, a behavioural analysis of the man. I’m going to do my best to be objective about this film, but I want you to know ahead of time that in terms of subject matter, this film was preaching to the choir when it came to me.

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