Saint Maud

★★★☆ – (2019) – A young nurse with euphoric ties to God slowly unravels while overprotecting her newest patient. A slow and steady account of a character who walks a fine line between zealotry and insanity. The mystery, already gripping throughout, leads to a knock-out conclusion that holds a lasting impression.

 117 total views

VFW

★★☆☆ – (2019) – War veterans become trapped in a bar by a narcotics dealer and his drug-ravaged minions. The senior cast is a welcome sight, as is the plethora of gore, but the plot and characters are beyond thin. Grows repetitive in a hurry, but moves relatively fast through the many violent moments.

 89 total views

A.M.I.

★★½☆ – (2019) – A troubled young woman believes her dead mother is in her phone, and violently goes off the deep end. Won’t win awards for character depth, as only the lead actress is drawn, but there is some enjoyment thanks to a brisk pace and bloody instances. The conclusion, while preposterous, is somehow more bonkers than the set-up.

 222 total views

The Devil’s Advocate

★★☆☆ – (1997) – A defense lawyer from Florida is summoned to a New York City firm to take on high profile cases. Involving in the early-to-mid stages when blending the rise of success with the falling apart of a loved one, but once the religious plot is sorted out absurdities take over. The final half hour is packed with corny twists, and I doubt Al Pacino has ever been louder.

 505 total views

Emelie

★★☆☆ – (2015) – A seemingly kind babysitter is hired to watch three kids, but she gradually puts them through one disturbing situation after another. Becomes more involving the further it goes, and features a few twisted surprises. The finale is pitiful, however, as is the frustrating note that the villain’s motive is never revealed.

 205 total views

Woodshock

★★☆☆ – (2017) – A woman who recently lost her mother copes by smoking marijuana that alters her perceptions. Aims for a trippy vibe, but fails in that regard since nothing unusual or ordinary holds any weight. Moves too slow, has hardly any dialog, and means nothing.

 220 total views

The Lodge

★★☆☆ – (2019) – When two siblings stay at a lodge with their father’s new girlfriend, dysfunction slowly gives way to insanity. From start to finish there are some clever moments and surprises, but they’re sporadically placed amid an incredibly drawn out 108-minutes, which often feels like an eternity. A brisker pace might have amped-up suspense, but what remains is steady though not highly enjoyable.

 268 total views

The Black Cat (1966)

★★☆☆ – (1966) – A drunk who mutilates and tortures cats is eventually tormented by one. Rather sluggish overall, and the music grates nerves, but not all is lost. The plot, while thin, is sadistic, and serves as a good reason to include a great ax murder. The finale, meanwhile, is moderately effective.

 246 total views