Author: Becky Belzile

Annabelle: Creation is Engaging and Spooky

Overview: 12 years after the loss of their child, a couple turn their haunted farmhouse into an orphanage. 2017; Warner Bros.; Rated R; 109 minutes The Switch: Is it too early to coin the term “Flanaganed”? Last year, Ouija: Origin of Evil won our hearts as the Most Improved Horror Franchise thanks to a surprisingly strong followup to its dead on arrival predecessor, Ouija. This was largely due to director Mike Flanagan, who took the dismal story and, by creating a prequel, salvaged the ideas that were muddled and lost in the first. It may seem unfair to bring...

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Nightmother’s Unholy Matrimony – August 2017

Welcome back! Let’s eat. Something Old: Dolls (1987) Slow days at work mean I get to trawl the horror section to watch whatever lies at the bottom of the genre barrel – or, more usually, hidden gems that sit in my blind spot. I peeked at the cover of Dolls a few weeks ago on a slow day at work – “They walk, they talk, they kill.” – and put it on in the background. Whenever my I glanced at the screen, something wacky caught my eye. The moment I saw a child’s teddy bear come to life and...

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Death Becomes Her 25 Years Later

There was a time, if you came over to my house, when I forced you to watch Death Becomes Her. I taped it off television on an old VHS with a ripped label, my childhood print scrawling the title across. I took great pride in my perfect timing, nearly eliminating all traces of commercial breaks. The tape was almost ruined with my watches and re-watches and rewinding re-watches; it was my favourite movie, and I wanted everyone I knew to see it. My twelve-year-old brain posited that if they didn’t love it, they probably couldn’t love me. After all,...

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Atomic Blonde Offers A Much Needed Character, Great Fight Scenes, And An OK Film

Overview: A spy is sent to Berlin in 1989 to investigate a murder and retrieve a potentially-incriminating list. Focus Features.; 2017; Rated R; 115 minutes. Rolemodel: I said it the first time I saw a clip from Atomic Blonde and I stand by it now – I’ve never wanted to be anyone more than I want to be Lorraine Broughton. It was time to see a badass female fighter who could really hold her own, whose bloody teeth and left hook were believable and fearsome. A woman who could kill a man with her bare hands or her fiery,...

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Lupita Nyong’o Goes Undercover at SDCC

Look! A spark of joy! It’s no secret Lupita Nyong’o  was at SDCC this year promoting Black Panther. But she also secretly blessed fans with her presence at San Diego Comic-Con in a fabulously sparkly pink Power Ranger disguise/cosplay. She danced her way through the crowd, chatting and posing with unknowing patrons and just generally had an amazing time, as everybody should at Comic-Con. This amateur cosplayer wholeheartedly approves, and also wonders, who else has been hiding right under our noses dressed as Stormtroopers or Spiderman? Today she revealed her secret in a tweet, along with a montage of...

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Open The Vault with James Franco and Taryn Manning in New Trailer

Some of the best horror involves being trapped in a space where you might not be alone (Recently, remember The Void, Baskin, Autopsy of Jane Doe, or even Last Shift?) Besides being easy on the budget, tight-space thrillers force creativity and a quality of performance that stretches everyone involved. Only some are up to the challenge. The Vault is opening in Select Theaters & On Demand on Friday, September 1 and is directed by Dan Bush, who you might know from his previous film, The Signal. Taryn Manning (good ol’ Pennsatucky) and Francesca Eastwood (Final Girl) play badass sisters...

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Killing Ground is Just Plain Mean

Overview: A couple going camping come across an unsettling scene and find themselves fighting for their lives. IFC Midnight; 2017; Not Rated; 88 minutes. Uneven Ground: Australian movies are usually great. Their brutality is unmatched, and the matter-of-fact way they handle violence is astonishing (remember Hounds of Love?). But they also usually contain a hefty dose of social commentary or an artistry that balances the depravity. If they don’t, then some are full-blown Ozploitation films that carry more charm than they should be allowed. Killing Ground doesn’t seem to fall into either camp and ends up becoming a sort...

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Criterion Discovery: The Phantom Carriage

Background: In 1921, Swedish director Victor Sjöström created The Phantom Carriage (Spine #579) one of the most important works in Swedish cinema, and the one that heavily impacted Ingmar Bergman’s decision to enter the world of filmmaking. As if that isn’t enough, Charlie Chaplin repeatedly called it the best film ever made. Based on the novel Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness! by Selma Lagerlöf (the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature) this silent film tells a dark and foreboding story. Story: Legend says that he who dies at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve is condemned to...

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Nightmother Unholy Matrimony, July 2017

Hey, remember this? It’s back. Need to catch up on how this union works? Check out the first post here. For the rest of you, welcome back, please close your eyes and open your mouth. Something Old: Lunacy (2005) There is no anniversary or notable callback to Jan Svankmajer’s Lunacy, but it’s this month’s Something Old because I said so, which seems like a very Nightmotherly thing to say. “What you are about to see is a horror film,” Svankmajer’s introduction begins, a moment of clarity to hold onto as the rest of the movie unwinds quite fittingly to...

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The Big Sick is Exactly What We Need

Overview: A new couple is challenged by familial, cultural, and medical issues. 2017; Apatow Productions; Rated R; 119 minutes. Some Background: Before getting into the movie as a whole, it’s important to talk about how Kumail and Emily got to where they are today. Back in the early days of podcasting, I met the couple through The Indoor Kids, a podcast where the couple and a guest played and talked about video games and the culture that surrounds them. When I watched The X-Files for the first time last year, it was Kumail Nanjiani who was my point of...

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The Beguiled’s Beauty is Skin Deep

Overview: During the Civil War, an injured yankee soldier in Virginia is taken in by a group of women who begin to fall for him and conspire to ensure he never leaves. 2017; Focus Features; Rated R; 93 minutes. A Pretty Picture: At its best, The Beguiled is an aesthetically pleasing movie. Dimly lit, even hazy at times, we are surrounded by delicate florals, long sweeping willow trees and beautiful women serenaded by the natural sounds of Virginia. Each moment is a painting that begs you to pause and admire it, but you’re given little time to do so....

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The Untamed Teases out Our Primal Desires; See the Trailer Here

Just in time for the sticky sweet heat of July, Amat Escalante’s new drama-horror jam The Untamed is peeking from its mysterious depths. Simone Bucio plays the alluring Verónica who leads a troubled couple to a cave promising something inside that “only gives pleasure.” Hints of family drama and societal commentary about sexuality abound in this one. Personally, I don’t need to know much more than that to be ready to party, and The Untamed just shot to the top of my summer list.  Check out the gorgeous trailer: The Untamed hits theatres July 17. Featured Image: Adomeit...

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FSR’s Love Letter to The Man of a Thousand Faces

Meg Shields over at Film School Rejects has put together an almost-love-letter tribute to Lon Chaney (and his son, Lon Chaney, Jr.) of the silent film era. For those unfamiliar with his work, it’s an excellent primer to his multi-faceted contributions ranging from The Phantom of the Opera and beyond. For those who are, it’s a veritable treasure chest of historical gems and tie-ins to today’s themes in horror. Most interestingly, she cultivates an appreciation for Chaney’s deep understanding of humanity and the grotesque. “Chaney advocated for a space that collapsed the distance between horror and heartbreak. “Virg, make...

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Cinema Saint: Nicole Kidman- A Career’s Worth of Receipts

It turns out Nicole Kidman is the star we took for granted. She’s always been there on the peripherals of our adoring Hollywood gaze, but lately she’s been front and center thanks to her four projects screened recently at Cannes (The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, and Top of the Lake) where she won the 70th Anniversary award. But we should have kept her front and center from the start. With the recent Kidman Renaissance seemingly underway, it seemed time to look back at her career and cultivate an appreciation...

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Midnighters Trailer Gets Away With Murder

Alex Essoe is back! Since her role in Starry Eyes, Essoe has been at the top of my list of who to keep an eye on as her career expands (and hopefully explodes.) In Julius Ramsay’s directorial debut Midnighters, she plays Lindsay Pittman, one half of a failing marriage that’s about to be marred by secrets and lies. It’s New Year’s Eve, the start of a new year and a new life, until the couple run into someone in the road who becomes added heavy baggage to their already struggling marriage. Everyone in this trailer seems almost too intense,...

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