REVIEW: There’s Something in the Barn

Tradition dictates that Christmas is a time of peace and goodwill for all men. European folklore would tend to disagree, usually violently.

There’s Something in the Barn is a festive horror-comedy that follows in the bloodied, snowy footprints of Krampus, in which an oblivious American family fall prey to a very different sort of Christmas spirit.…

REVIEW: Dream Scenario, Butcher’s Crossing, and The Retirement Plan [Nicolas Cage Triple Bill]

Dream Scenario

Butcher’s Crossing

The Retirement Plan

Only three of the six Nicolas Cage films released this year, not counting his cameo in The Flash, Dream Scenario, Butcher’s Crossing, and The Retirement Plan showcase the variety and inconsistency of his output.…

REVIEW: Waiting for the Light to Change

Winner of the Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance 2023, Waiting for the Light to Change is remarkably, well, non-narrative.

The directorial debut of Linh Tran, the film observes a group of five twenty-somethings – Alex (Erik Barrientos), Lin (Qun Chi), Kim (Joyce Ha), Amy (Jin Park), Jay (Sam Straley) – as they spend a week at a Michigan lake-house.…

RETROSPECTIVE: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai [Blu-ray]

“The Way of the Samurai is found in death.”

With Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai, it seems like Jim Jamursch set out to make the coolest movie ever.

An RZA-soundtracked crime-drama in which a cornrow-wearing Samurai-hitman played by Forest Whitaker must take on the Italian Mafia?…

REVIEW: Poor Things [London Film Festival 2023]

A mashup Victorian melodrama with a sting in the tale, Poor Things’ greatest trick is hiding the seams.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ first film since 2018’s The Favourite, Poor Things is a female Bildungsroman in which a still-developing young woman goes into the world to find herself.…

BFI London Film Festival 2023: The best of the rest

Capsule reviews for all the rest of films I’ve seen during this year’s LFF, usually via the Press & Industry Digital Viewing Library.

Apolonia, Apolonia

Apolonia, Apolonia is a portrait of the artist as a young woman. Filmmaker Léa Glob first met Apolonia Sokol as a 21-year-old aspiring painter.…

REVIEW: The Zone of Interest [London Film Festival 2023]

With The Zone of Interest, his first film since 2013’s Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer has created another masterpiece, a monstrously mundane meditation on the banality of evil.

Based on the novel by Martin Amis, the film focuses on the Höss family, Rudolph (Christian Friedel), Hedwig (Sandra Hüller), and their children.…

REVIEW: Foe [London Film Festival 2023]

There is perhaps no genre as primed for grand explorations of the human condition as science fiction.

Not constrained by the limits of the world as it is, it’s free to pose questions and imagine scenarios by which we might better understand ourselves.…