Sadako vs Kayako review

“Who would win in a fight?” is the great conversation starter. You yell about it on the playground. You debate the finer points in the bar. Who you back in a match-up between two fictional characters can sometimes say a lot about you and your tastes. Batman or Superman? Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees? Alien or predator?

And now we’ve reached peak versus with the arrival of Sadako vs Kayako, which pits the evil spirits from The Ring and The Grudge against each other in an absurd supernatural throwdown. In one corner, you have a longhaired young woman with a penchant for possessing outdated physical media. In the other, you have a broken-bodied, frog-throated demoness who really doesn’t like visitors. And when they do fight, will anyone care?

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The Eyes of My Mother Review

There’s a scene in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre where Leatherface, the deranged serial killer who wears the skin of his victims, runs to the window of his isolated farmhouse. He’s just made quick work of two teenagers who wandered onto his property one after another and he has no idea where they came from, what they wanted, and if more are on the way. Through that grotesque flesh-mask, we can see his eyes: confusion and fear and concern for what else this day may bring him. For a few seconds, this monstrous figure is so oddly…human.

The Eyes of the Mother is like a feature-length version of that shot.

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the handmaiden review

Park Chan-wook has spent much of his career being compared to the great Alfred Hitchock and The Handmaiden isn’t going to stop that. But there’s something to be said for a modern filmmaker being constantly placed side-by-side with one of the greatest directors of all time and there’s something more to be said when that director was known for his range and his willingness to take risks. Yes, Park’s films are Hitchockian in that they’re technically precise thrillers, but they’re also Hitchcockian because they muddle elements of horror and black comedy into the mix. And with The Handmaiden, Park proves that he can also match Mr. Hitchock in another category – he too is gloriously perverted.

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First 10 Minutes of Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Not only was What We Do In The Shadows one of my favorite films of 2015, it shocked us all by coming in at #2 on the list of the best movies of the year put together by all of us here at /Film. Right now the film’s director, Taika Waititi, is busy in Australia behind the camera for Thor: Ragnarok, the third film in the Marvel Studios franchise. But before he went into superhero territory, Waititi went back to New Zealand for an indie adventure comedy that debuted at Sundance this year and is now readily available for you to watch.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople arrives on Blu-ray and DVD next week, but you can actually buy it on Digital HD right now if you were so inclined. And honestly, it could be the best decision you make this month, or even next month. The film takes the character dynamic of Up and tosses it into the brush of New Zealand with adorable hilarity that only Taika Waititi can deliver. If you need any more convincing, you can watch the first 10 minutes of Hunt for the Wilderpeople after the jump. Read More »

Newtown Trailer

On December 14, 2012, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and shot 20 children aged between 6 and 7 years old, as well as six adult staff members. It’s the kind of horror that you hope one can’t even imagine, but it became a real life nightmare for the parents and families of the murdered children and school employees. Now a new documentary looks at how the small town is recovering a few short years later.

Newtown premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and was acquired this past summer for a release this fall. Now the first trailer for the documentary has arrived, profiling the parents who lost their children in the vicious act, as well as a surviving teacher, one of the emergency room doctors who took care of the victims, and even some of the survivors who witnessed this tragedy firsthand.

Watch the Newtown trailer after the jump. Read More »

Black Mirror Season 3 Review

It’s been nearly two years since the last episode of Black MirrorCharlie Brooker‘s tech dystopia anthology series, and over three years since the last proper full season aired. Naturally, then, news that Netflix had commissioned 12 more episodes was met with a combination of excitement and trepidation.

On the one hand, Black Mirror is second to none when it comes to chronicling the way humanity and technology intersect in 2016. On the other, we’ve seen tons of shows renewed after extended hiatuses, only to return as shells of their former selves. Could the third season of Black Mirror live up to the greatness of the first two? Based on the two episodes that screened at TIFF, “San Junipero” and “Nosedive,” the answer seems to be yes.  Read More »

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NOCTURNAL ANIMALS review

There’s a lot to admire about Nocturnal Animals, the second feature from Tom Ford. The narrative is actually two narratives, beautifully braided together by Ford and brought to life by Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s pretentious pulp, in a good way — engaging to watch and pretty to behold. But Nocturnal Animals seems to be aiming for profundity, and there it falls short. It’s trying to say something, but what isn’t exactly clear.  Read More »

La La Land Review

“They don’t make ’em like this anymore” is a frequent lament when it comes to movies, but it couldn’t be truer in the case of La La Land, an unabashedly old-fashioned musical directed by Whiplash‘s Damien Chazelle. Set in contemporary Los Angeles — with just enough modern-day flourishes to remind you that this is a movie made and set in the 2010s, not the 1950s — La La Land follows a struggling pianist and an aspiring actress who fall in love but find their separate dreams threatening to pull them apart. It’s a story as old as Hollywood and jazz, and Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone feel like a pairing for the ages.

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The Belko Experiment Review

James Gunn has been tied up with Marvel movies for the past couple of years, but somewhere in there, he found the time to write and produce The Belko Experiment. Greg McLean, the Aussie filmmaker behind the nasty Wolf Creek films, takes the helm, and the result is a simple, entertaining horror-thriller that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  Read More »