The vampire movie renaissance, of which Let Me In was the high point and Priest may have been the low point, appeared to be drawing to a close. Then in late 2013, Director Jim Jarmusch (Coffee and Cigarettes) came out with Only Lovers Left Alive. This moody, atmospheric, bohemian tale pleased both critics and fans alike, especially the built-in fanbases of its leads, Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston. However, underneath the dark rock-guitar score, the musings about art, and the familiar vampire lore, there’s something more going on. Only Lovers Left Alive is, at its heart, a movie about marriage.
Cover art for horror films these days can be very misleading. That could be said for every genre but I think horror is the one that stands out the most since it’s the one I’m way more passionate about. The cover of The Midnight Game is one of those covers you most certainly would look past at a rental store or Wal-Mart. It is generic and doesn’t grab you at all, even giving off a little torture porn vibe because it looks like a pentagram is carved into a woman’s back. These types of things make me want to pass but still, I will watch anything. I’ve been misled by covers before and I was definitely misled by this one.
Found footage films are getting more eyerolls every year, it seems. I’m a huge fan of this subgenre but I will be the first to admit there are some films out there that are not that great. Also, the ones that are not that great are the more popular ones for some reason and that I just don’t get.
Vinegar Syndrome has been going off the rails with the films that they have recently released. I freaking love what they are picking up. Now, they’ve unleashed a somewhat lost film called Runaway Nightmare. This is by far one of the most bizarre films that Vinegar Syndrome has released so far and one of the better ones as well. I can’t even begin to tell you what you are in for with this movie.
These days when we see Nicolas Cage’s name pop up in a title we all giggle. He is like that annoying uncle that we love. Personally, I still like Nicolas Cage but I dislike most of the films he is in these days. When I was younger I dug him quite a bit; Con-Air, Face/Off, Gone In 60 Seconds, and many more of his films from the ’80s and ’90s still remain some of my favorites.
Viking and medieval indie films have it worse than horror and drama these days. These films are harder to make than sci-fi flicks. Between sets, set dressings, and costumes, your budget could skyrocket in no time at all. The sad part is that most of these films are kind of boring. Every once in a while there will be something worthwhile but not enough to make us want more films like this. Back in 2011 Jonathan English did a film called Ironclad that was pretty good. The cast and special effects were good along with the costumes and sets. The film was also moderately successful and did well on the video market. Now the director is back with a sequel and it seems like Ironclad: Battle For Blood might have used a quarter of the budget of the first one.
The 1983 Canadian tax write-off known as Curtains has long been out of print, except for deplorable VHS and DVD transfers. In the 30 years since its theatrical release, it’s become an iconic cult horror film, particularly because of its uniquely chilling ice skating murder sequence. Now, Synapse Films has restored the film from its original negative and released it on Blu-Ray. So, does Curtains hold up?
I feel compelled to tell the people who are reading this that a couple years ago I wrote a review for a film called Bloody Homecoming. If you pay attention to my writing and you know anything about me you know that I don’t trash films in reviews. Well, I didn’t trash Bloody Homecoming but I did speak my mind about the film. Bottom line: It wasn’t good and the review was much on the negative side.
There are many elements to making a decent sci-fi/horror/apocalyptic independent film. Money is the biggest evil when it comes to this type of thing. For one, you need good effects. You need money for that. Well, if that doesn’t play in your favor you need to make up for it through other means. Since you don’t have money you can’t have A-listers so you need to find the best of the best in the indie community. Secondly, since you can’t have tons of locations you need to have a badass screenplay with a fresh story as well. Many other things follow suit in this equation like well-written characters and all that.
Made In America is a small documentary made by Ron Howard about a very diverse concert put together by Jay-Z. Pearl Jam, RUN DMC, Skrillex, and many more deliver a wonderful concert but a subpar documentary.