All in Film

It's Complicated; or, Why I Never Formally Reviewed It and Chapter Two

No matter what version of It you look at, It is a narrative driven by irrational fears. For example, I fear ever picking up a Stephen King novel that runs more than 800 pages again. It, the novel, is one of those texts that turned me into a fan of Stephen King’s short stories. Contained to a single story in a small format, King limits his ideas and cast of characters into twisted vignettes of life and anxiety defined by past trauma. In a meandering long form novel, he just keeps introducing more characters and more ideas that start to contradict each other until nothing makes sense.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Review (Film, 2019)

Director André Øvredal broke out in the horror scene almost 10 years ago with Trollhunter. A masterpiece of monster horror, Trollhunter tells the story of a group of young people researching a series of bear murders in the woods. The truth is far more unbelievable: ancient trolls are real and a genuine deadly threat to any human who spots them. Part ensemble comedy, part effects showcase, Øvredal crafts a monster movie driven by believable characters and suggestive use of special effects to make the giant monsters seem real.

Midsommar Review (Film, 2019)

Content Warning: Midsommar features graphic images of suicide and focuses heavily on clinical depression.

Horror can be a challenging genre to write about. I’ve spent my career as a writer trying to elevate the level of discourse surrounding an often neglected genre. I’m not the only critic working this way, and there are wonderful writers all around the web and in print who have taken this style further than I ever could. Yet, as someone known for writing about horror in a thoughtful way, the challenge comes when a cultural touchstone film rubs me the wrong way.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu Review (Film, 2019)

Pokemon Detective Pikachu poses an interesting challenge when it comes to a review. The film is incredibly well produced, but the actual bones of the film are not good. Even for a children’s film, the plot is pure nonsense. I enjoyed the film for what it was while also realizing the…creative limitations of the film.

Unicorn Store Review (Film, 2019)

Kit is not happy. She fails out of art school, moves back in with her overly protective parents, and winds up taking on a temp job just to reclaim any sense of respect in the world. Her dreams have always been considered unrealistic but no one bothered to tell her until she faced her first big failure. Yet somehow, the oldest dream she ever had is returning in a big way. Kit receives an invitation to a place called The Store that only sells one item: unicorns.

Us Review (Film, 2019)

I’m going to be forthright in this review. Us is great. Horror fans will find a lot of value in the film. While I will do my best to avoid spoilers for this film, I know from my own experience that I think the film is better enjoyed knowing as little as possible going in. Nothing beyond the initial concept is discussed in this review.