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‘US’ a Superfly Flurry of Inventive Horror-Comedy World Building

Comedy and horror exist in harmonious marriage to one another. Even the grimmest horror exploits regularly squeeze uncomfortable laughs from packed crowds, too hopped up on their own nerves not to giggle with anticipation or great relief after a big scare. Screams and laughs are the wine and cheese of any good horror movie, a perfect pairing, and Jordan Peele’s uncompromisingly cool Us comes boasting a delicious vintage of both.  Read More

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Gaspar Noé Hosts World’s Worst Acid Dance Party in ‘CLIMAX’

Climax is a movie only Gaspar Noé could – and would – make. The French provocateur has long embedded hallucinatory imagery into his pictures – his 2009 feature Enter the Void is a literal out-of-body experience adopting the POV of a slain drug dealer – but takes his flirtation with on-screen drug use to new levels with his latest experimental feature, which follows an acid-dosed troop of dancers over the events of an increasingly unhinged night. The journey is a dark and delirious jaw-dropping mindfuck for sure, but one of horrifying technical marksmanship that is sure to burrow under your skin and peck at one’s brain. Like blood in the carpet, these psychological stains won’t wash out easily.  Read More

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The 100 Greatest Horror Films of the Decade

Love ’em or hate ’em, horror movies are more popular now than they have ever been. And for great reason. This decade has delivered a multitude of diverse horror options, smashing box office records, and even earning a slew of major awards nominations along the way. What’s more, the genre of late has taken a notable step forward out of the schlock, ceaseless sequels, and torture porn of the decade that preceded it and instead allowed fresh voices to give the genre a fresh coat of paint. Whether you prefer plain-ole slashers, psychological thrillers, sensual vampires, classic possessions, evil haunted houses, or even killer mermaids, the 2010s have delivered in spades. And then some. Read More

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Discombobulated ‘Serenity’ Nears ‘The Room’ Levels of Unintentional Hilarity

There are bad movies and there are bad movies, the distinction being that the one is purely torturous to watch whereas the other has the alchemic ability to actually bring us great pleasure. To transmute movie-making stool into movie-watching gold. It’s observed in the difference between Michael Bay’s Transformers movies and XXX: The Return of Xander Cage; the line in the sand dividing Yoga Hosers and The Snowman. They’re all bad but some are bad enough to double back and turn sour to sweet.  Read More

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Silver Screen Riot’s Top Ten Films Of 2018 

It’s that time of year again. The time to whittle down the 147 (as of writing) movies in 2018 I’ve seen into a somewhat arbitrary and totally non-definitive Top Ten list.  Each and every confounded year, us critics fold ourselves into pretzels to construct these things and year in and year out, usually end up regretting a number of the choices, particularly as time moves on. Hell, I’ll probably regret half this list once I hit the publish button.  I totally reserve the right to reverse these choices in the future so don’t hold my feet to the fire if my tastes have changed in 2021. Or 2020. Or January 4, 2019. But such is life and here we are, forced to complete arbitrary rankings in the hopes for improved SEO and reader’s delight. Read More

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‘ROMA’ a Dreamy, Gorgeous Slice-of-Life Historical Fiction

Life is what happens when we’re not paying attention. Small, routine moments mark our transition through the world, often going ignored or unnoticed. We live in them, with them. It is here that Alfonso Cuarón sets his story – in the seeming mundanity of the life of a 1970’s  Mexico City housekeeper named Cleo. Her story is quaint, upon first brush. She tends to a middle-class family, lighter in skin tone than she but suffering their own afflictions nonetheless, and we’re invited to drop in, given visitation rights to observe the lulling normalcy of this chaotic collection of lives.  Read More

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‘THE FAVOURITE’ is the Cattiest Movie of the Year in the Best Way Humanly Possible 

Vying for the sole affection of Queen Anne – and all the status that comes with it – two cousins from different stations stoke a bitter rivalry in Yorgos Lanthimos exquisitely-mounted The Favourite. Scrumptiously rancorous,  Lanthimos’ foray into costume drama is a series of verbal death matches, its characters clawing at one another’s reputation, the performances from its perfectly-cast stars provide each and every syllable of Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara’s wonderfully cutting script a searing eclipse of clever-wit, cunning undercuts and good-humor that never second-guesses going straight for the jugular.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘HALLOWEEN’

The slasher subculture saw its heyday in the 1980s, with franchises like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street accruing scores of harebrained sequels, spawning a pattern of rinse-repeat horror franchises that rarely held a candle to the greats in terms of turnover quality. Jason eventually went to outer space. Freddy Kruger broke the fourth wall. Michael Myers was revisioned as a force for utilitarian good, destined to kill all of Laurie’s family in order to save all of civilization. To say that these sequels haven’t always been so hot is quite the understatement. In 2018, director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) – of all people – has taken the governing principles of the slasher and given it new life through a winning combination of tasteful updates, tactful homage, and gleeful bloodletting and in doing so, he may have just perfected the slasher movie.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘THE SISTERS BROTHERS’

Manifest destiny makes no promises of prosperity. Those seeking riches in the wild, wild west were treated to the same pittance of dumb luck and social hierarchy that they were long familiar in the eastern shores. What distinguished the far reaches of the American West in the mid-1800s was the fierce cascade of violence that hung over the land like a raging conflagration and the profit one could seek by exacting that violence. Bounty hunters and criminals pocked the far-flung towns, trading human lives for riches. This is where we meet The Sisters BrothersRead More

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Out in Theaters: ‘MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT’

I have a confession to make. There’s this thing that happens to people who review movies on any kind of quasi-professional circuit. A kind of numbing of the enthusiasm gland by proxy of the inability to overlook a film’s shortcomings. The more movies one takes in, the more unavoidable it is to not diagnose lazy writing, poor story structure, bland acting, choppy VFX… The collection of pratfalls these XXL “turn your brain off” tentpole films tend to suffer. When you see 200 movies a year, the bar to dazzle becomes impossibly high. What works for general audiences who catch a movie every few months often feels flat and stale for the critic – just another coat of crisp digital paint lazily slathered on poorly recycled narrative – because we’ve already seen this exact story twice this year.  Read More