promising young woman trailer

In the grand tradition of movies that are hard to write about without spoiling, this one comes out a frontrunner. Trust me when I say you do yourself a disservice to ask too many questions before seeing the film. Go in as blind as possible, dear reader, and pay close attention to your response.

Promising Young Woman isn’t what you’d expect. Depending on who you are, it’s a taut psychological thriller, a searing satirical analysis of contemporary culture, or a terrifying horror movie rooted in real-life tragedy. But its impact, as with Get Out before it, depends entirely on the viewer and their lived experience. Many will argue Promising Young Woman is anything but a horror movie. I would argue it’s intended to terrify both men and women but for vastly different reasons. The end result is an undeniably provocative film that will intrigue, horrify, or infuriate anyone who watches it. Depending on your vantage point. 

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Kindred Review

The terrors of pregnancy and horror make fine bedfellows. The genre lends itself beautifully to exploring our deepest and most vulnerable fears, digging into the parts of our collective lives that we would feel uncomfortable discussing in public. Rosemary’s Baby is, of course, the benchmark against which all others continue to be measured. But where that iconic film explored the fear of conspiracy to control the pregnant body alongside the paranoia of giving birth to something unnatural, Kindred instead takes a more realistic approach, shedding light on the horrors of pregnancy itself without the influence of cults or the Devil. 

A beautiful and elegiac film about the trauma of pregnancy, Kindred is better in theory than in execution. Though it’s full of compelling imagery and atmosphere befitting a Brontë novel, the plot, particularly in its final moments, feels thin and a little disappointing after such an evocative buildup.

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hunters review

When Hunters was first announced, I remember feeling invigorated by its concept. I didn’t really look into it too much beyond series creator and co-showrunner David Weil, and felt at ease knowing there would be a Jewish person of my generation helming the project. The knowledge that Jordan Peele was on board as a producer meant it would likely be subversive and challenging. Then we got the first trailer and I was all-in.

However, nothing could prepare me for how this series would reflect my personal experience as a Jewish woman living in North America today. What Weil and his team have accomplished is remarkable; they’ve created a series that straddles the trauma of our most recent past alongside the threat of our imminent future, while lovingly and angrily embodying the very essence of the contemporary Jewish experience. 

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Nightmare Before Christmas Queer Reading

(Welcome to Queering the Scene, a series that explores LGBTQ themes and content in films of all kinds…especially where you least expect it.) 

The Nightmare Before Christmas has been the source of great debate and contention for decades. In the 26 years since its release, it’s ruined friendships, torn families asunder, and stoked the flames of sibling rivalries across the globe over this one conundrum: is it a Christmas or Halloween film? 

I know. I’m sure you remember the very first fight you had about this exact issue. Both sides battling one over the other. Eventually, the wars would subside, both sides lamentably agreeing that it could be both, I guess. And so, on this auspicious occasion, as we celebrate one of the two holidays this film is decidedly about, I thought I’d throw a wrench into the whole machine and postulate the following: 

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a perfect allegory for the struggle bisexual, pansexual, and queer people feel while straddling two worlds, or several, depending on how you interact with the gender pantheon.

Yup, that’s right folks. In this edition of Queering The Scene, Jack Skellington is queer AF, and his journey is more than just an experiment with different holidays – it’s an experiment in sexuality and expanding his consciousness beyond the exnominated factor of heteronormativity.  

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Gay Villains in Hollywood

(Welcome to Queering the Scene, a series that explores LGBTQ themes and content in films of all kinds…especially where you least expect it.) 

Queer representation in cinema has often been problematic. As a result of queer coding, the LGBTQ+ community was often portrayed as violent, threatening, and abhorrent, an active threat to civilized heteronormative society. But queer coding isn’t a new concept. In fact, its roots lay deep within film history. 

Those roots will eventually take us to Mission: Impossible II of all things. But first, we need to look back. Far back.

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(Welcome to Queering the Scene, a series that explores LGBTQ themes and content in films of all kinds…especially where you least expect it.) 

One of the most sexualized subgenres of horror, the slasher film lives in a voyeuristic place where the male gaze is king, and women are but tidy little morsels to be hacked up and consumed. It started with films like Peeping Tom (1960), whose name itself is a dead giveaway to the appetites and predilections we’d come to know and love. John Carpenter and Debra Hill swear they never intended to portray sex as a punishable offense in Halloween, but the imagery was nevertheless embedded in the cultural zeitgeist forever. From then on, the slasher would always be associated with a kind of heteronormative, puritanical reckoning from the male gaze, leaving nothing in its wake but blood, guts, and a final girl.  

That is until Slumber Party Massacre II offered something … different.

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