Uncaged



Deathwatch

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In which we debate Kevin Bacon's hair coloring choices. 

Horror movies with a crisis of identity tend to be the most frustrating of experiences. Such is the case of Padraig Reynolds’ Rites of Spring- a kidnapping caper disguised as a ritualistic sacrifice flick, with elements of a creature feature….but it’s also a slasher. Confused? You’re not alone. Sadly the lack of genre focus is the least of the movie’s problems. 

Five shorts from a Disney-alum animator, based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe, narrated by some of the most iconic horror movie icons of all time - if there has ever been a can’t lose premise for a horror anthology, this is the one. Raul Garcia’s Extraordinary Tales zips along with enough variety and serves up so many treats for lovers of both horror and animation that even when it falters, there’s another spooky delight just around the corner.

John Cusak and Ray Liotta in Identity

In 2003’s absorbing psychological thriller Identity, a dark and violently stormy night traps ten travelers at a back roads motel. Apparently, in addition to the usual travel necessities, many of these folks packed some sizable secrets for their respective trips. One-by-one the members of the group begin to die, victims of an unseen killer. As their numbers dwindle and their secrets come to light, it becomes clear their arrival at the motel may not have been a coincidence.

Fede Alvarez has been a little quiet since he made a big splash with 2013's Evil Dead remake. Since then there's been rumblings of sequel and some TV work, but most have been waiting for what was next for the director on the big screen. The answer is what looks to be a tense home invasion thriller, Don't Breathe, in which three kleptos (Daniel Zovatto, Dylan Minnette, and Jane Levy) break into the home of a blind war vet (Stephen Lang). Before long what was supposed to be an easy score turns into a fight for survival.

Dementia

The valhalla of felled horror villains is littered with psychopaths with bizarre, even non-existent, motivations: from Annie Wilkes to Patrick Bateman, Alex Forrest to Hannibal Lecter, the cultural standard for evil-doers dictates a preference for savage over-reacters, psychotic obsessives, or irredeemably broken reflections of our ugliest selves. Origin stories are useless psychobabble, fodder for cash grab prequels or fanfic, and only spoil the fun.

Incarnate Trailer

WWE Studios and the juggernaut known as Blumhouse have joined forces to bring yet another story about possession to the big screen in the form of Incarnate. While it doesn't seem that there will be any actual wrasslin' going on, the film does boast Aaron Eckhart's prodigious chin.

Shutter is a movie that launched a thousand remakes. Well, more like three remakes to be precise, one in America, and two in India . Released right around the wave of J Horror films that would also find themselves endlessly remade and built upon (Ringu, Ju-On) this Thai film follows a similar general story arc and aesthetic despite its different country of origin.

Brace yourself. Ben Wheately produced films are coming; and for good reason. After the emergence of both High-Rise and Kill List as critical darlings the man’s name is quickly becoming synonymous with a certain level of artistic quality and gravitas that makes genre fans salivate. However, just because the production company is betting on a Pavlovian response doesn’t mean this isn’t going to be a film worth watching.

Scene from Return to Nuke 'Em High Vol. 1

Full disclosure: Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1 is this reviewer’s first foray in the exuberantly offensive world of Troma Films. It may seem an odd time to jump in – three films deep in the Nuke ‘Em High franchise and 40 years into Troma’s legacy of no-budget, schlocky exploitation. Considering Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1, features an extended sequence where a girl uses her gigantic, mutated penis to assault a glee club member, odd is relative.         

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