M3GAN (2023) – Living Doll

Released: 12th January
Seen: 19th January

In 2019, thanks to some wild legalese that still makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, MGM released the film Child’s Play which was a remake of the 80s classic of the same name. The big thing that made the new Child’s Play different (besides it being bad) was that the doll was actually a robot with advanced AI that had violence programmed into it… it was dumb and not good in many ways but the fact that it was a feature-length version of the “Someone switched this thing to evil” gag from Treehouse of Horror instead of the possession story that we loved was a big reason why. However, the idea of a child’s toy that kills due to faulty AI isn’t a half-bad idea, it just didn’t work with the Child’s Play franchise but if someone smart were to take that idea and make it original, fun, maybe a little campy and not stupid as fuck then maybe we might have something.

Pleased to report, M3GAN is original, fun, campy and not stupid as fuck, we absolutely have something here.

Continue reading “M3GAN (2023) – Living Doll”

The Invitation (2022) – RSVP-lease Stop Immediately

Released: 25th August
Seen: 9th December

The Invitation Info

It’s been said a few times that 2022 has just been a fantastic year for horror. It feels like every few weeks there’s another horror film coming out and a shocking amount of them have been absolutely incredible. From surprising microbudget hits like Terrifier 2 to major releases like Scream, horror this year has been on another level of quality the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time. However, even in a year full of fantastic horror films there will always be a few major duds and it’s fair to say that The Invitation might be the biggest horror dud of 2022.

Continue reading “The Invitation (2022) – RSVP-lease Stop Immediately”

The Menu (2022) – Eat Up

Released: 24th November
Seen: 27th November

When reading film criticism, one comparison you will often find is the critics comparing a piece of art to food. It’s so common that it’s basically a cliche, if you want to make fun of a critic you merely need to say something in a slightly upper-crust accent and compare whatever you’re talking about to a common item of food. For example “The painting’s colour palette is as vivacious as a freshly grown strawberry”, it means absolutely nothing but sounds just intellectual enough to work in most cases.

Continue reading “The Menu (2022) – Eat Up”

Smile (2022) – It’s Smile Time!

Released: 29th September
Seen: 16th November

2022 is turning out to be a fantastic year for horror, every month just seems to have another great horror flick for fans of the genre to enjoy. Not only has Horror as a genre been doing great, but the kind of horror that’s striking it big is so varied. Films like Terrifier 2, Barbarian, Scream, Hellraiser, Bodies Bodies Bodies, Nope and X are just a handful of horror titles that’ve come out this year and turned this into one of those years that horror fans will mark as a turning point for the genre. Smile is just another film to throw on the pile that we will point to in years to come when proclaiming 2022 to be one of the best years for horror in quite a long time.

Also, time to issue a content warning, this film deals heavily with ideas of suicide and mental illness and those will need to be discussed so consider this your trigger warning.

Continue reading “Smile (2022) – It’s Smile Time!”

Halloween Ends (2022) – One Last Scare

Released: 13th October
Seen: 12th October

In 1978, John Carpenter changed the world of horror films and indeed cinema as a whole when he released Halloween. A simple but intense slasher film, Carpenter’s film was not only a technological triumph, thanks to its use of what would become known as the Steadicam shot, but one of the most tension-filled horror films to ever exist. Naturally, it spawned sequels, some good and some god-awful before eventually being revitalised in 2018 with another film called Halloween that asked the simple question “What would Laurie be like in the aftermath of such a traumatic night” and it was a genuinely great re-entry to the franchise. 

Continue reading “Halloween Ends (2022) – One Last Scare”

Hellraiser (2022) – Raises Hell

Released: 8th October
Seen: 9th October

Hellraiser Image

The Hellraiser franchise is one of the weirder major entries in the horror genre. Built around the idea of mixing sexuality and torture long before the phrase ‘torture porn’ was created as a pejorative for the more extreme kinds of horror, Hellraiser was always a series that sat just on the edge of the mainstream. You certainly knew about it thanks to the iconic image of Pinhead but it’s such a wild set of movies that even some horror fans might have issues with it (and also it kind of infamously started sucking around the 4th-5th movie, depending on which fan you ask). It’s also been the major horror franchise that’s avoided being rebooted longer than pretty much everything else… until now. It also is on the shortlist of “80s horror reboots that don’t suck”, a prestigious list if ever there was one.

Continue reading “Hellraiser (2022) – Raises Hell”

Dual (2022) – Deadpan Double

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

One of the most fascinating kinds of film is the twin film, a movie where one actor is tasked with playing 2 or more roles. There’s always just something exciting about seeing one actor trying to give off performances that are distinct enough that we can tell who is who while also looking identical. This is the kind of thing that’s been done for years, like any time they revive The Parent Trap or in something as recent as this year’s Samaritan where there needed to be two versions of Stallone in order to pull off the dramatic twist in the final act. It’s a great tool that, if used well, can make for something genuinely amazing… or at very least it can be a great display for the actor taking on the multiple roles.

Continue reading “Dual (2022) – Deadpan Double”

Swallowed (2022) – Slimy Yet Satisfying

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Swallowed Info

When it comes to queer representation in cinema, we’ve come pretty far in recent years by having some pretty mainstream movies throw in some form of representation. Sure it’s been minimal, like the 3-second lesbian kiss in Lightyear that sent everyone insane for a month or when a rock monster was revealed to have two dads but still, it happened. It’s fun to see gay characters popping up and more queer storylines in general… even when they turn up in dark horror/thrillers about drug trafficking, still fun to see.

Continue reading “Swallowed (2022) – Slimy Yet Satisfying”

Cult Hero (2022) – Worshippable

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Cult Hero Info

The world of religion is a wild place even at the best of times, but when religion is at its worst you get a cult. Cults come in all shapes and sizes, from small things like Heaven’s Gate to seemingly large abusive groups like Scientology and they all just pull people into their web and ruin their lives in some way. Sometimes when someone is in a cult you might need to hire someone known as a deprogrammer who will do what they can to pull your loved one out of this toxic environment… and naturally a situation that’s this intense and fraught with danger is just perfect to be the foundation for a comedic action film.

Continue reading “Cult Hero (2022) – Worshippable”

Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) – Dead Funny

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Bodies Bodies Bodies Info

Every now and then, a horror film will come along and decide to basically just roast the current generation and all their eccentricities. Usually, it’ll do this by having a bunch of characters that are stereotypes from that specific era and then pick them off one by one, it’s effective and it works pretty well. The 90s were perfect for this, notably with films like Scream and Urban Legends that filled their films with irony poisoned teens and made fun of them while also giving us a high body count. It was only a matter of time before the current generation was going to get their own pointed ribbing by the horror genre and finally, Bodies Bodies Bodies delivers the ribbing that is well deserved with a side serving of… well, bodies.

Continue reading “Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) – Dead Funny”