|I Declare War - Unrated||March 11, 2014||N/A|
|My Little Eye - R||
MY LITTLE EYE (2012) UK/ independent
WRITTEN BY: David Hilton and James Watkins
DIRECTED BY: Marc Evans
FEATURING: Sean Cw Johnson, Kris Lemche, Stephen O'Reilly, Laura Regan, Jennifer Sky, Bradley Cooper, Nick Mennell
TAGS: thriller, mystery, horror
RATING: 7 PINTS OF BLOOD
PLOT: Five contestants live on a reality webcast in a remote mansion, but when everything starts to go horribly wrong, is it by accident or design?
COMMENTS: Wait! I know what you're thinking! This movie is actually quite good! It's not a stupid teen slasher or a reality show! OK, actually it's about a reality show -like the TV game show, Big Brother, in which contestants are confined to a specially designed house, cut off from the outside world as in Bio-Dome. In My Little Eye however, the house is a decrepit, Gothic country estate, and it's really way the hell out in the snow-bound middle of nowhere.
My Little Eye was shot way back in 2002, but it never made it to US screens. Viewer feedback indicates that Big Brother fans don't like this film. It doesn't depict a reality with which they're comfortable.
It does however, make for a pretty good horror movie. The appeal to My Little Eye is in our trying to guess a step ahead of the action. As in similar films which begin with the same basic premise - a group of people brought together by an outside entity for an unknown purpose -Cube (1998), Saw (2004), The Killing Room (2009), Exam (2010), Open Grave (2014 -reviewed last month) -tension builds as ensuing plot points suggest and then eliminate numerous macabre possibilities.
In My Little Eye, the obligatory five stereotypical characters enter a contest. The players are credible at least; and not too unlikable. They're the ditsy, Generation X types you expect. The contest? Spend 6 months together isolated in a country manor for 1 million dollars. If anyone gives up and leaves, nobody collects.
What are the odds that they will win?
(Turning down lights, holding flashlight under chin.) What are the odds that the producers are up to something?
The later proposition might indeed be correct, or at least, that's what we start to wonder. The film's effective, brief intro bypasses corny exposition, and after the first three minutes, the film picks up the story a couple of weeks from the show's conclusion. The contestants are now jaded, bored, and planning how to spend the money.
Then the heat goes out and the food deliveries cease. A saferoom which is supposed to be camera-free turns out to be fully wired for sight and sound. The weekly supply drop-off consists of booze and a loaded handgun. What could go wrong with that idea? We're about to find out as a cloud of suspicion and paranoia descends upon the group like a Baby Ruth candy bar sinking to the bottom of a punch bowl.
Who is watching this reality show? If we knew, we might be able to discern answers. In the meantime, the voyeuristic camera angles make us feel complicit. There's something sinister about these cameras which seem almost to stalk the inhabitants, capturing their most intimate moments in both light and dark, even in the bathrooms.
My Little Eye isn't one of those pieces which is presented on surveillance cam as a cheap gimmick. The film looks and flows like any good movie. The camera work is skillful, with creative use of fixed positions to suggest that what we see is only that which the web cameras see. This is enhanced by actual surveillance camera computer screens with green time stamps, zooming in, employing night vision, etc. Minimal use of these shots creates atmosphere without being distracting.
Due to the filmmakers' good sense of style, the effect is eerie rather than annoying. The feeling is that we witness what we would see if we were peeping in windows -which in effect we are, because we've become the audience of the broadcast. Or have we?
We behold a rapid breakdown of the show's arrangement into a treacherous bog of hostility with fatal undertones. There's no control or supervision from the outside world. The players are given no guidance for handling troubling developments.
To the contrary, the stage is set to encourage a total loss of the social contract. My Little Eye's suspense is centered in the fact that neither we nor the participants can glean where all this is going. What are the true intentions of the show's producers? Is there someone else on the property? Is the house haunted? There is something more going on than just the contest. The producers read our thoughts, acknowledging and dismissing each possibility in turn. What the devil then, is the point of all this?
If the reality show concept is familiar, then My Little Eye's story takes a novel twist. The devil is in the details. If the contestants are willing to be stripped of all privacy -essentially dehumanized and probed, in an increasingly threatening situation, then what kind of people are watching?
|February 27, 2014||N/A|
|Contracted - Unrated||
CONTRACTED (2013) independent
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Eric England
FEATURING: Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, Alice Macdonald, Katie Stegeman, Matt Mercer, Charley Koontz, Simon Barrett, Ruben Pla
TAGS: drama, sci-fi, cannibalism, rape
RATING: 6 PINTS OF BLOOD
PLOT:A young woman's already strained relationships are stressed to the max as recombinant DNA changes her into a monster.
COMMENTS: With credits such as Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear (2013), Madison County (2011), and Roadside (2013), filmmaker Eric England is fast establishing himself as a credible horror writer/director. Contracted is his latest effort and it's fresh, saucy, and provocative. Contracted will appeal to fans of films about troubled femme loners, such as May (2002), Alyce Kills (2011), and Neighbor (2009), as well as to aficionados of gruesome bodily transfiguration flicks such as The Fly (1986), and the 2002 French shocker, Dans ma peau.
In this stylish but unpretentious, straightforward horror thriller, Najarra Townsend plays Samantha, a troubled young woman with a sketchy past and an uncertain future. Sam has a thankless waitressing gig in a pretentious restaurant, and is trying to win a scholarship to a trade school. Her goals are complicated by personal strife.
Sam's girlfriend Nikki (Katie Stegeman) is dumping her, she has a tenuous home relationship with her mother (Caroline Williams), and an uneasy alliance with her acquaintances, who are more interested in using Sam than seeing her as a person. Worse, Samantha is a recovering drug addict, so when her life goes awry, those around her assume she's merely relapsed.
And boy do things go awry. After a controversial sexual encounter with a shadowy necrophiliac embalmer who drugs her at a party (David Gomez), Sam's body begins undergoing really weird changes. Bad weird.
Sam's malady starts with some nasty personal bleeding and progresses to uniquely alien changes in her irises. Sam begins a grotesque metamorphosis that smacks of recombinant DNA not of this Earth! Sam needs serious professional help, but it eludes her. She's unwilling to confess the dreadfully personal nature of her symptoms and their origin.
Sam receives little support from those nearest to her. They're all so self-engaged in their own insular scenes, that they view Sam as being someone to use or react to, rather than being someone to engage. Even Sam reacts rather than acts.
Like Sam herself, everyone around her is in a state of denial fueled by their own superficiality. Denial is a sub-theme of Contracted. Sam cringes from medical intervention, even though its unpleasantness pales in comparison to her symptoms. Disguising her disease under makeup and sunglasses, determined to lead a normal life despite her infirmity, she ignores her terrible transformation in favor of priorities centered around her job, failing relationships, and her desire to maintain her trendiness.
Sam's doctor, probably the most inept physician since the era of bodily humors, can't believe what's happening to Sam. Even the authorities realize something's up, but when they try to locate the subject who's spreading the disease, Sam's best friend Alice doesn't report Sam's encounter with him. Instead she rats Sam out to Sam's girlfriend, Nikki (Katie Stegeman) who's more disgusted with the fact that Sam had sex with a man, than she is alarmed by Sam's dreadfully degenerating condition. Even Sam's frustrated suitor (Chris Candy) is so anxious to have sex with her that Sam is able, with a bit of subterfuge, to keep him from noticing that her body is rotting. Throughout Sam's grisly decline, her naive mom just thinks Sam needs motivational intervention
Nobody listens to Sam, and in fact, she doesn't offer to tell them much in the first place. It seems absurd, but given the glib narcissism of the characters involved, it's clear that everyone's vapid obsessions with the superficial elements of their lives take priority over Sam's living death. Self-absorbed, destitute of humanism, they're all in for a big surprise. Sam can only take so much, and the disease within her is squirming like a toad, and swelling up like a sun-drenched cherry tomato bursting with ripeness.
Sam is set to explode and when she does everyone had better get out of the way.
|February 27, 2014||N/A|
|Jug Face - R||
JUG FACE (2013) Independent
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Chad Crawford Kinkle
FEATURING: Sean Bridgers, Lauren Ashley Carter, Kaitlin Cullum, Larry Fessenden, David Greathouse, Katie Groshong, Scott Hodges, Alex Maizus, Daniel Manche, Chip Ramsey
RATING: 8 PINTS OF BLOOD
PLOT: A young woman faces a moral dilemma when she is targeted by a mysterious, bloodthirsty entity
COMMENTS: With shadings of Pumpkinhead (1988), Rawhead Rex (1986), and Population 436 (2006), Jug Face is an updating of Shirley Jackson's short story, The Lottery. Creative nuances and good timing keep things interesting, giving it a unique feel.
Despite a colorful theme of human sacrifice, Jug Face is no camp-fest. While set in the Appalachian backwoods, the film is free of insulting clichés and cartoon stereotypes. Quick hints and flashes of carnage make the gruesome goings-on good and scary, instead of sophomorically transforming the story into a gory makeup effects smorgasbord.
Refreshingly for a horror film, there's no stilted exposition. Less is more, and enough information is conveyed by the characters' actions that we get the gist of the situation, which is all we need. Any extra would make the story silly and the filmmakers understand this.
And what is conveyed in Jug Face is that in the deep hills, there's a small cluster of inhabitants who maintain an insular, intact community since the time of their pioneer ancestors. Back in those days, a gurgling, blood-filled pit in the middle of the woods kept the crops from failing, healed their smallpox, and kept calamity at bay.
The locals have paid tribute to it ever since. Sadly, it's a hungry little pit. The spirit who inhabits it has developed a hankering for human flesh. These days the only calamity is the tantrum the pit throws if it doesn't get its fill, so the followers see that it does. When the pit entrances a local potter to make a jug with a particular resident's face on it, it's sacrifice time. The backwoodsmen hasten to bring the chosen neighbor to the chopping block so they can receive the pit's continued protection.
But what good is the protection if it means anyone can die, not from pox or famine, but from being sacrificed? Not much, according to young Ada (Lauren Ashley Carter) who decides to defy tradition upon discovering that she's the star of the latest blood-letting.
Her decision to resist however, causes all manner of mayhem as the hungry spirit in the pit reaches out for alternative flesh -abducting neighbors at random and dragging them kicking and screaming to its subterranean abode, leaving bloody trails of entrails and dismembered limbs along the way.
Jug Face is fun and fresh. There's no belabored dialogue, or melodrama in Jug Face. Every scene contributes to the whole and moves the story along
Jug Face doesn't offer any great revelations. There's no twist ending, but the denouement spares us a Tinseltown-mandated "happy" resolution. When the credits roll you'll realize you've enjoyed a simple and straightforward, but effective horror story.
|February 27, 2014||N/A|
|Open Grave - R||
OPEN GRAVE (2013) independent
WRITTEN BY: Chris Borey and Eddie Borey
DIRECTED BY: Gonzalo López-Gallego
FEATURING: Sharlto Copley, oseph Morgan, Thomas Kretschmann, Erin Richards, Josie Ho, Max Wrottesley, Kati Dombi
GENRE: HORROR THRILLER
TAGS: mystery, psychological thriller, sci-fi
RATING: 6 PINTS OF BLOOD
PLOT: Six strangers find themselves in a remote location, with a lot of dead bodies around, and no memory of who they are or how they got there.
COMMENTS: When a man, John, (Sharlto Copley) awakens in a deep concrete pit full of dead bodies, matters look grim, but a stranger throws him a rope enabling his escape. Wandering through the night, he locates a country manor, its occupants; the woman who rescued him, and four others. The tentative refuge offers a tenuous sanctuary at best.
Suspected of knowing more than he admits, John's greeting is hostile. The trouble is, John doesn't remember who he is -or even at this point, that his name is John. He's in kindred company in that regard. Everyone else is suffering from same acute memory loss. The quintet's members don't know who they are, where they are, or how they wound up in the house. Some reconnoitering uncovers deep trouble in the heavily wooded countryside. The entourage discovers bodies -a lot of them, a crazy woman chained in a shed, and the presence of surveillance cameras. Someone is watching them, but who, and why?
Inevitably, group paranoia descends upon the party, cloistering them like a clinging funeral shroud. The woman who rescued John knows something, but she's mute and doesn't understand English. Ties to the outside world are cut-off, and it's possible at least one member of the group is a conspirator.
The participants uncover clues as they scout their remote surroundings for answers, and a means of escape. Getting out proves impossible as it becomes apparent that there are much greater dangers at large. The rapid approach of an impending doom forces all involved to confront mounting indications that they are key players in calamity which has connected their pasts. Cryptic signs warn that something is coming -something huge and awful, and to survive it, they must pull together and discover the common denominator which holds the key to their deliverance.
With Open Grave, Apollo 18 director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego manages to deliver a well thought-out, tense thriller. The film begins with shadings of movies about people finding themselves trapped in enigmatic dilemmas, such as Saw (2004), Exam (2009), and Killing Room (2009), then becomes one in which the captives seem caught in some kind of morbid reality show, as in My Little Eye (2002), and Four Boxes (2008). Open Grave doesn't go in either of these directions.
As it evolves in its own unique direction, the premise naturally leads to rapid second guessing and speculation on both our part and that of the characters. Everyone's a suspect and their personalities clash amid fits of self doubt, misinterpretation of facts, and mutual suspicion. Continual, unexpected developments and twists keep us all off balance. While the plot's initial build-up promises something bigger than what we get, as the evidence gels, additional suspense is created by a race against time and the seeming hopelessness of the situation. There's enough complexity to keep things interesting, but not so much that the idea becomes silly, or bogged down in convolutions. Strong casting and the filmmakers' effective sense of timing carry the idea through and make Open Grave on of the better horror thrillers of 2013.
|February 27, 2014||N/A|
|Yellowbrickroad - R||
YELLOWBRICKROAD (2010) independent
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Jesse Holland, Andy Mitton
FEATURING: Cassidy Freeman, Anessa Ramsey, Laura Heisler, Lee Wilkof, Clark Freeman, Michael Laurino, Alex Draper, Tara Giordano, Sam Elmore
TAGS: mystery, puzzler, occult
PLOT: A small entourage of pseudo-anthropologists encounters disorientation, bedlam and horror on the trail of an historic mass disappearance.
COMMENTS: A fortnight ago I discussed the independent puzzler, Resolution (2012). It's plodding and pensive, but delivers on its clever high concept with a disturbing climax. Akin to Resolution, the glibly cyber-entitled Yellowbrickroad follows a like formula and offers a similar experience. It's enigmatic, and saves all of its open-ended answers for its lurid finale. While Yellowbrickroad has fewer puzzler paradoxes than Resolution, first time feature film writer-directors, Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton do a pretty good job considering their half mil micro-budget, incorporating intriguing and colorful elements of mystery, and a couple of relevantly mesmerizing characters.
In Yellowbrickroad, several young academics set out to re-chart a rural New England zone inexplicably reopened and declassified after an unsolved mass exodus emptied a nearby town 70 years in the past. And, you guessed, it, everyone disappeared in them thar hills. Except for their intestines, that is.
OK, not just their intestines. Other parts were found too, but not nearly enough to account for everyone. Some of the emigrants, intestines and all, just...well they just vanished, it we get the general idea.
Or do we?
Because except for several token nods to the 1939 classic, The Wizard Of Oz, Yellowbrickroad's enigma is so perplexing that we mostly forget to question several pretty far-fetched plot holes. Such as why people in the town where everyone disappeared a generation ago are so tight-lipped. If everyone left, presumably today's residents aren't the descendents, and so have no stake in the matter.
But that's OK, because something so unspeakable pervades the locale that just maybe it has a hold on everyone who is afraid to talk about it. One thing's for sure: when a group of 20-somethings venture into the spooky, spooky hills in search of a macabre mystery, we can predict that...well, let's just say, "we knew there'd be death!" A lot of it.
To its credit however, Yellowbrickroad avoids typical deep woods "Boo!" and splatter clichés, instead building on the wilderness atmosphere inherent in being disoriented in a labyrinthine forest. As the team's equipment fails, so do their minds, and the fact-seeking sleuths succumb to bedlam and violence. Time and space mean something different here, and all the while, period music from the era of the disappearance inexplicably wafts across the landscape. The trekkers can't determine it's source -or the way back. The path, nicknamed the "Yellow Brick Road" since its original followers departed from a local theater playing The Wizard Of Oz, held then, as today, some kind of symbolic "way out."
For the woods have swallowed our crew of intrepid explorers, their navigational aids won't work, and there seems to be no way off the trail. Reminiscent of an old fable about suicide, in which those who killed themselves were presumed to be dissatisfied with reality, and wound up sentenced to increasingly topsy-turvy, contrary worlds each time they attempted escape, the Yellow Brick Road in Yellowbrickroad obviously leads to some much weirder reality with the grim caveat of "be careful what you wish for."
Like the aforementioned Resolution, or the engrossing but talky, independent sci-fi thriller, Primer (2004), Yellowbrickroad is a niche film. It takes is dialogue-saturated time delivering us to the sensational payoff. All three vehicles would be more effective as half-hour shorts.
Yellowbrickroad offers some gruesome, blackly comedic skullduggery along the way, however and there's one forceful, enigmatic hint for what is to come: an unsettling sound effect that everyone will instantly recognize, but absolutely not be able to place. Until the ending that is, which slaps you with a sickening epitome of recognition, and of course, this adds to the shock value, making the journey worth the time, even if one has to hasten the hiking pace via judicious use of the Fast Forward button.
|February 27, 2014||N/A|
|Stoker - R||
WRITTEN BY: Wentworth Miller
DIRECTED BY: Chan-wook Park
FEATURING: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode
TAGS: psycho-thriller, mystery
RATING: 5 PINTS OF BLOOD
PLOT: Upon her father's untimely death, a morose teen forms an uneasy alliance with her enigmatically sinister uncle, who is at once adversarial, controlling, and incestuously supportive.
COMMENTS: A thriller about psychopaths and sick agendas, Stoker's title summons connotations of the Dracula author. With its Gothic romance novel visual design, a moody anti-heroine right out of the Twilight craze, and a shower masturbation montage borrowing visual cues from Psycho, Stoker presumes to deliver a power-punch of stormy atmosphere and unsettling, offbeat storytelling. Provocative and lurid, artfully photographed, that atmosphere is indeed present in Stoker, as is its departure from the beaten path of mainstream studio fare.
The picture pulls its knock-out upper-cut however, by betraying a derivative (though not over-worn) story and a not-so-novel revelation of its mystery. The plot is essentially Hitchcock's Shadow Of A Doubt (1943), but this is a good one, full of potential for delightful and interesting variations, such as the wickedly disturbing 1966 Let's Kill Uncle with Mary Badham of To Kill A Mockingbird fame.
In Stoker, troubled India (Mia Wasikowska) reminds us of Wednesday from The Addam's Family. Wealthy, privileged, doted on, but misfit, morbid, and sporting a damningly annoying overbearing of sophisticated, anti-social charm, India is grudgingly and minimally cooperative. She's resentful, and seething with some inner grievances, but we're never made privy to what they are. There's a good and evil struggle within her, offset by a chronic, clear desire to be elsewhere. But rather than take action to affect change, she grumpily goes through the motions, while internally swimming against the current.
In East Of Eden, Cal Trask (James Dean) beguiles us by revealing an inner turmoil and a jagged chasm of obviously anguished, and likely twisted emotions. The feelings never have to be explained. It's sufficient that Cal's facial expressions betray them. Our imaginations run wild to fill in the rest. Similarly in Stoker, with her obviously charred soul, India is virtually a plot element unto herself, and the most intriguing one in the film. As with the old inmates' adage, family expectations and social constraints may imprison her, but in her mind she's free, and "they" can't take that away from her.
Or can they? India is stewing in repressed passions but we don't know what they are. Nor will we, for while we eventually receive simple explanation for the root cause of her condition, Stoker never explores the deep, murky waters of that bottomless pool personality behind India's ink-well black eyes.
There's a lot of masquerade in Stoker. While there's obviously more to India than we can fathom, and we want to know all about her, there's also more to her uncanny, disingenuous paternal Uncle Charles (Matthew Goode), and upon meeting him, neither we, nor India, are so sure we want to take a sounding. Charles makes the scene following the funeral for India's father whose very untimely death occurred in an equally unlikely accident.
Despite being extroverted and ingratiating, there's something just not right about Uncle Charley. He exudes a facade of Mormon-esque, overly enthused, positive cheer which nearly overshadows a subtle undercurrent of ruthless self-service. But maybe that's just India's cynical outlook rubbing off on us. Either way, Uncle Charley's here to stay, and after inviting himself as permanent house guest, he begins brazenly courting India's bereaved, yet bored and impulsive, emotionally vulnerable mother (Nicole Kidman). Vanquishing from the household all who might oppose him, such as the loyal housekeeper (Peg Allen) and India's suspicious great aunt (Jacki Weaver), we can only assume he's after the family fortune, but disturbingly, he seems to have deeper designs. These include India's very corpus corporis and mens mentis, as she openly defies Uncle Charley's attempts at domination until he discovers a way to manipulate India's, um, unusual susceptibilities.
At first resentful of Charles's intrusion. and put in an adversarial relationship with her mother who seems to be completely malleable to his will, India becomes jealous, but soon begins to bond with Charles. India's a gloomy, stifled little sexpot and she secretly craves the attention. The trio form a dangerous triangle, which sweeps them in a churning cat-and-mouse-play set of rapids toward the tumultuous falls of total bedlam. This is where Stoker shows its potential to become something original, to reveal fascinating, horrible things, to surprise us, and make us wonder, to keep us guessing on the edges of our seats.
What could be a captivating web of competing, ulterior motives and petulant scheming never materializes. What could be an engrossing character portrait of India slams flat. We never get that coveted insight into India's motivations, how she sees the world or why she sees it that way. India is simply toxic and contrary with little explanation until the end, at which point she defies her own cunning nature and selects, in lieu of more interesting, profitable, and clever options, an irrational, self-destructive course of action.
Even so, Stoker is still pretty good. It's a satisfying change of pace from the patronizingly conventional and downright silly horror releases lately issuing from Tinseltown like effluent from a landfill, and most Gothic thriller fans will want to see it.
South Korean director Chan-wook Park is best known to fans of the weird for his bizarre, gory cult movies such as Oldboy from The Vengeance Trilogy. With Stoker, he makes his mainstream, US debut. To do so requires that he "sell-out" a little to the conventions of Hollywood marketing, and I suspect this is why he didn't tamper with co-producer, Wentworth Miller's script, even though its deficiencies beg to be tweaked. Stoker more or less works for non-discriminating audiences who can be dazzled by a bit of flash without being driven to look deeper. Park's penchant for the absurd and the gory is still subtly evident. Importantly, Stoker demonstrates Park's trustworthiness to competently direct conventional cinema. With Nicole Kidman on board, and an appeal to the current Twilight-style popular trend, Stoker will, we hope, allow the director to establish himself on the big-budget launching pad from which we anticipate more intriguing work to soar off in the future.
|February 12, 2014||N/A|
|American Mary - R||AMERICAN MARY (2012) WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Jen and Sylvia Soska FEATURING: Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, David Lovgren, Paula Lindberg, Clay St. Thomas GENRE: Non-Supernatural HORROR, THRILLER TAGS: rape, gore RATING: 5 PINTS OF BLOOD PLOT: A disenfranchised med student embarks on an underground body modification business, encountering an appalling succession of deviants along the way, and exacting revenge on her faculty mentor as well as all who try to stop her. COMMENTS: Here's a bit of mildly creative cinema that doesn't fit the "general audience" mold, from Jen and Sylvia, the Soska Twins, who have brought us Dead Hooker In A Trunk (2009) and some memorable shorts. With American Mary, they release a simple but serious effort that's entertaining, doesn't insult your intelligence, and is suitably macabre, disturbing, and grisly for the horror genre. Blood-soaked and dripping with sardonic acumen, American Mary establishes a tenebrous mood, thick and dark as mercurial orange surgical goo smeared on skin marked for incision. In American Mary, the dour, two-dimensional, yet charismatic namesake is aptly portrayed by well-cast, Canadian horror movie icon Katherine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) a competent, perhaps talented actress who despite a plethora of television roles is disappointingly underrepresented in cinema. Its a joy to see her on the big screen again. Isabelle's performance is engrossing enough to maintain our attention despite the fact that American Mary's plot, while fun, is so simplistic as to border on being a morbid ballad. Isabelle plays a medical student whose financial obstacles prove to be a serious distraction to her studies, despite her natural talent for surgery. After an appalling incident which finds her at the mercy of depraved faculty wielding complete control over her student in good standing status, Mary drops out. An accidental encounter while exploring alternate income options in "adult venues," draws Mary into the seamy underworld of off-the-record doctoring -the kind that wanted criminals require. Her work is so competent that it leads to a questionably distinctive career in performing radically unconscionable procedures for extreme body modification enthusiasts, the sort whose abjectly perverted requests cannot be met by even the most unscrupulously "legitimate" medical practitioners. As Mary's clandestine business attracts a parade of increasingly insane clients from a secret Internet community, she finds herself inexorably drawn into a maelstrom of decadent criminality. She matches wits with an annoyingly persistent detective and metes out surgical retribution against her one-time faculty mentor, as well as those on the trail of his mysterious disappearance. American Mary doesn't cover innovative new ground. It can't be accused of being overly pensive, nor will it plague us with deep brooding over abstract concepts when we exit the theater. The writers take a bit of artistic license with the factual realities of surgery, yet the film avoids becoming a mindless splatter-fest. American Mary non-judgmentally lampoons our thriving cultural craze for ghastly plastic surgery and self-mutilation. In the film, the fad indicts itself in a way that's eerily funny and entertaining. Isabelle's presentation of Mary's taciturn yet articulate, wry, blackly comedic personality combines with an uncanny succession of bizarre social-fringe characters, darkly colorful settings, and some shocking story points, to produce a viewable and entertaining horror encounter. The film is a cult-worthy effort for all the right reasons. It's offbeat and refreshingly free of the sort of corny camp characteristic of movies which try too hard to realize the distinction. While American Mary proffers up a lot of black humor, its comic side is subtle and unpretentiously droll. This preserves its sinister atmosphere in a way that keeps the story genuine and credible, in turn, setting up American Mary's abruptly unexpected ending in its proper context.||February 12, 2014||N/A|
|Nymphomaniac: Volume I - Unrated||Slurp!||February 4, 2014||N/A|
|Nymphomaniac: Volume II - Unrated||February 4, 2014||N/A|
|The Slender Man - Unrated||amateurish "found footage" horse crap.||February 2, 2014||N/A|
|Her - R||January 30, 2014||N/A|
|La Mort en direct (Death Watch) (Death in Full View) - PG||January 28, 2014||N/A|
|Resolution - Unrated||
RESOLUTION (2012) independent
WRITTEN BY: Justin Benson
DIRECTED BY: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
FEATURING: Peter Cilella, Vinny Curran, Zahn McClarnon, Bill Oberst Jr., Kurt David Anderson, Emily Montague
GENRE: PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER
TAGS: genre-bender; puzzler, drama, mystery, occult, horror
PLOT: In this tense micro-budget thriller, a young man tries to bring his friend back to reality, only to find that "reality" is not just open to interpretation, but malleable and ever-changing. In fact, the pair's reality might not even be their own.
COMMENTS: In spite of some worn cliches -mysterious found footage, missing researchers, and a mystic medicine cabin obligatorily set on an Indian reservation, with Resolution, independent writer/director Justin Benson brings us a breath of fresh air. The film is technically adept on its small budget, and presents a real genre-bender of a plot. Resolution builds slowly as a crime drama, becomes a psychological suspension, then morphs into a puzzler riddled with paradoxes. It releases in a brief climax of occult horror.
In the story, yuppie Michael (Peter Cilella) travels to a remote squatters' shack, where his addict friend Chris (Vinny Curran), bristling with firearms and contraband, has holed up, resolved to kill himself with drugs. Michael restrains Chris, and forces him to withdraw "cold-turkey" over the course of a week.
A progression of weirdos make the scene. Chris's low-life cohorts (Kurt David Anderson and Kyler Meacham) drop in, demanding drugs. A tightly-wired Native American property owner (Zahn McClarnon) and his menacing gang show up to evict the occupants. A scheming real estate developer (Josh Higgins) creeps in, mistaking Michael and Chris for the deed-holders, and a doomsday religious cult is engaging in shenanigans a little too nearby for comfort.
Michael strives to maintain control over the situation to buy enough time to get Chris straightened out, and back to civilization and rehab. Despite the threat posed by oddball interlopers, the real tension is yet to come.
Someone...or some THING is watching -and recording everything Michael and Chris do. But how? The surveillance indicates a presence that looms closer and closer, yet Michael can't detect the observer.
Looking for clues, Micheal discovers strange footage shot by a missing anthropology team, then locates a laconic neighbor, Bryon (Bill Oberst Jr.), with an uncomfortably unorthodox existential philosophy. From here the story plunges into perplexing paradoxes. Chris's sleazy drug buddies and the landowner converge for a showdown. Mind-bending events knock Mike and Chris away from objective reality and any sense of control over their destinies.
Resolution is talky, but intriguing. The long-winded plot is better suited for an hour short. Aside from establishing an initial setting and circumstances, the first half of the film doesn't bear vital relation to the engaging concepts of the second. It's still pretty good. Unsettling developments keep us watching. Plot twists reveal a honeycomb of passages down which to venture. Rather than choose one of them and proceed, the filmmakers offer a twisted experience based on the fact that these alternate routes exist.
Part of the fun of Resolution is thinking about the various possibilities and what they mean. In our minds, we DO pursue them, trying to predict the outcome, but just when we think we know what's going to happen, Resolution throws us a new twist. Throughout it all ripples a nerve-jarring undercurrent of menace, indeterminate, and incipient. Mike and Chris's safe return to the outside world is increasingly unfeasible.
There's some subtle cinematic artistry in Resolution which reinforces the exposition. In the scene in which Michael is conversing with Byron, Byron discusses his views about narrative and story. As he explains to Michael, Byron holds a mirror. At first, the mirror is angled so that Micheal's reflection blends with Byron's face. The effect is to project Byron and Micheal as melded together, depicting a dual entity. But Michael cannot see it. Only we can see it.
Byron angles the mirror so that we see another mirror on the wall behind Michael, producing the illusion of endless repetition. It illustrates the concept of how a painter records a scene. There is the scene, and the painter painting it. But there is a larger scene. For us to see the painter painting the scene, there must be another painter, painting the painter painting the scene... and so on to infinity. This is a pivotal moment in the film. Resolution carries distinct, though not fully developed sub-themes about the evolution and structure of folklore, myth and story, and these are tied into the paradoxes.
Filmed in a half-completed lodge under construction, illuminated by hook lamps, and without background music, intimate camerawork increases a sense of realism, almost like seeing a documentary. The technique is effective because Resolution turns out to be all about deconstruction and the plastic nature of reality. By the time we realize this, we've accepted the actuality of what's transpired, only to have the drop sheet yanked out from under our feet.
|January 2, 2014||N/A|
|Alyce Kills - Unrated||
ALYCE KILLS (2011) independent
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Jay Lee
FEATURING: Jade Dornfeld, Tamara Feldman, James Duval, Eddie Rouse, Larry Cedar
GENRE: THRILLER, NON-SUPERNATURAL HORROR
TAGS: rape, dismemberment
PLOT: In this pointless, yet engaging psycho-thriller, a young woman unintentionally destroys her best friend while on drugs, then spirals into anti-social behavior, dragging her acquaintances into the dark morass of her twisted psyche.
COMMENTS: With a cursory acknowledgment of the Lewis Carrol tale, Alyce is as much an entry-level clerical answer to the Fortune 500 American Psycho (2000), as it is a morbid odyssey of self discov- uh, make that self-destruction. Like a high-speed bullet train to Hell, Alyce Kills is novel, slick, and exciting, but it doesn't take us where we want to go.
Young, pert Alyce (Jade Dornfeld) toils away in a depressing corporate cubicle for a shrewish boss at a thankless job. After work she trudges home to her cramped apartment to freshen up before some much needed steam-venting at dingy nightclubs. It's not much of a life, but Alyce has her friend Danielle (Rena Owen), an alpha female who provides Alyce with a framework of guidance upon which follower Alyce proves to be reliant.
When Alyce and Danielle take the Generation X drug "ecstasy," Danielle sexually leads on Alyce. It comes out that Alyce has a crush on Danielle who then rejects her.
Is it an accident then when Alyce "accidentally" pushes her off the roof a short while later? It's not clear whether Alyce is vindictive and a little crazy, or merely reckless, and irresponsible. Danielle stands on the ledge, tempting fate, Alyce mock-pushes her. Alyce is playing a game and behaves as if she doesn't intend the result -Danielle's dive to the pavement. But Alyce definitely intends to make contact, and under the circumstances it's no surprise when Danielle plunges to her doom.
Despite that it led to tragedy, Alyce decides she likes ecstasy and trades sex for the drug from a repulsive dealer. Under the influence of the psychedelic, Alyce locks herself in her apartment for marathon-length trips during which she perpetually masturbates to violent videos. Conniving to obfuscate her complicity in Danielle's misfortune leads Alyce to take increasing risks until she pulls out all the stops. Traipsing across an urban landscape of bizarre characters, settings and situations, Alyce taunts the family of her victim, and eventually conspires bloody murder against those who annoy and inconvenience her.
Having now lost Danielle's boundary-defining structure, Alyce's fragile veneer of sanity falls away like an uncoupled caboose from a speeding express. Her locomotive throttle is wide open and there's no engineer in the cab. Alyce resolves to take charge of her own life, but her brand of self-assertive, feminist "empowerment" is to embark upon a self-indulgent journey of risky behavior. Yet it's more like a spree, and it degenerates into a maelstrom of self destruction, dragging those closest to her along for a hell-ride on her crazy train.
The theme of women scheming against men has been around at least since ancient Greece. From Aristophanes' Lysistrata, to the Biblical Eve convincing Adam to bite the proverbial apple, we've seen versions of the femme fatale in various literary incarnations through the ages. A few include Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth, and Cleopatra, Daniel Defoe's opportunistic Moll Flanders, Oliver Goldsmith's lighthearted, scheming, Katie Hardcastle in his 1773 play, She Stoops To Conquer, the conniving Matilda in Matthew Gregory's 1796 supernatural Gothic novel The Monk: A Romance, and the malevolent man-hater, Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.
Whereas these feminine plotters employed cunning and sexual manipulation to achieve their aims, their modern counterparts resort to brute force. The concept of the fairer sex outwitting men has evolved into the myth of womens' domination over men, and convoluted orchestrations have given way to the karate kicks and machine guns used by characters such as secret agent Emma Peel (Diana Rigg; Uma Thurman in the 1998 film version) in BBC's The Avengers, to Max Guevera (Jessica Alba) in TV's Dark Angel, and La Femme Nikita (Anne Parillaud; Bridget Fonda in the US remake). The latest trend has dark-psyched vixens engaging in just plain psychopathic killing sprees.
Alyce's quirky, but undeveloped character may be inspired by the leads in May (2002), and Neighbor (2009), two similar stories about loner hellcats who indulge their necrophilic and cannibalistic urges through acts of violence. Yet May (Angela Bettis), the film's namesake, commits her violence via a misguided search for an similarly misfit mate. In Neighbor, "The Girl," (America Olivo) thrill-kills for the sheer sadistic pleasure of it, making a living by robbing her victims and using their homes like motels.
Alyce however, lacks any sensible or even cognizant motivation at all. Her deeds defy logic, her methods are unsound, and Alyce's lack of planning is sure to bring her only more trouble. We're not sure if even she understands her actions. This makes her singularly one dimensional.
It's a profound disappointment, too. What's engrossing about Alyce's sexy character is not what she does, but the wry way she does it with her distinctively iconoclastic demeanor. It's not the revulsion inherent to her wanton acts of sex and violence that catches our attention, but the manner in which her smug, witty bearing holds out the promise of a satisfying payoff. We keep waiting to tumble into an epiphany of insight into her disturbed psyche, or at least some commentary about human nature or revenge. It never happens, and we're left feeling like the lone passenger on a runaway train with no destination in sight, and no emergency pull-cord to stop the projector.
|January 2, 2014||N/A|
|Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (Nightmare) - Unrated||
DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (1973 and 2010)
WRITTEN BY: Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins (2010), from, the 1973 script by Nigel McKeand
DIRECTED BY: John Newland (1973); Troy Nixey (2010)
FEATURING: Kim Darby, Tamara De Treaux, William Demarest, Pedro Armendariz Jr., Robert Cleaves (1973)
Bailee Madison, Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, Jack Thompson, Garry McDonald, Alan Dale, Julia Blake (2010)
TAGS: mystery, haunted house, demons
RATING (2010 version): 5 PINTS OF BLOOD
RATING (1973 version): 8 PINTS OF BLOOD
PLOT: Upon the breaking of a seal in a long disused basement, tiny devils escape and seek to murder the house occupants.
COMMENTS: If you're looking for scary movies to watch on Halloween, the Screaming Room has two for you this week which fit the bill very nicely! Guillermo del Torro (CRONOS ; MIMIC ; SPLICE ) has written an update of DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, a 1970's horror movie which achieved cult status. It's well-produced, bold, loud, visually spectacular, and worth seeing, although it loses some of the essence of what made the original so good. For purists, the first version is also available, newly digitally remastered. The two films nicely compliment each other.
The late 1960's and early 1970's brought a number of high quality, made for TV network horror pictures, especially those produced for ABC Movie Of The Week. Considering they were made for television and aired during family hour, these efforts are original and imaginative. What's more, they're actually scary. The movies had a lot of atmosphere, the characters died awfully, and the stories didn't always have the happy endings so requisite today.
Examples include films such as PICTURE MOMMY DEAD (1966), DAUGHTER OF THE MIND (1969), HOW AWFUL ABOUT ALLEN (1970), SEE NO EVIL (1971), THE STONE TAPE ( 1972), THE EYES OF CHARLES SAND (1972), ALL THE KIND STRANGERS (1974), and DON'T GO TO SLEEP (1982). Asserting what a profound impression it made on him, filmmaker Guillermo del Torro felt compelled to reinterpret the 1973 TV movie DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK. .
In the original, DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, Kim Darby (Mattie in the first TRUE GRIT ) plays yuppie homemaker Sally Farnham, who's plagued by demons she unwittingly unleashes from an ash pit underneath a sealed-up basement fireplace. With major plot elements repeated a year later in The Exorcist, and makeup characterizations which reappeared in the PUPPET MASTER films, DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK provides chills and Freudian undertones unexpected in a family hour TV movie of the time period.
As the goblins' maliciousness becomes increasingly aggressive, Sally's behavior grows correspondingly erratic; her friends and power-attorney husband are convinced she's gone mad. The little ones want Sally body and soul. After assaulting a naked Sally in the shower with a straight razor, they ineptly kill her decorator by mistake, leaving Sally as the suspect. When her distracted husband leaves town on business, Sally's left alone with her demons -literally. She finds herself in a bind when the demented Lilliputians tie her up Gulliver style, and drag her short-skirted, quivering, moaning form to the cellar for God-knows-what.
Artfully filmed in shadow and light, the premise works better than you might think. It's one that must be handled skillfully lest it become funny for the wrong reasons, with a silliness akin to the Evil Monkey hiding in Chris Griffin's closet in the animated TV sitcom, Family Guy. Writer Nigel McKeand (in whose McKnight-Hill style Victorian home DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK was filmed) and director John Newland pull it off almost as frighteningly as Stephen Spielberg executed a nearly identical premise a year earlier in the chilling and shocking 1972 made-for-television, SOMETHING EVIL.
In the 2010 DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, as would be expected in anything authored by Guillermo del Torro, the elements are enhanced and grotesquely larger than life. The manor is huge and Gothic, the small amount of violence is bloody, and the pit under the basement fireplace becomes a bottomless chasm to hell. The film begins with a backstory which is only alluded to in the original. Sadly, del Torro drops the ball later in the film by trying to explain too much with his characteristic love of mixing myth with "history." The haunted mansion's original patriarch is enslaved to the goblins, and our first encounter with him has him yanking out his maid's molars and feeding them to subterranean demons as an offering.
Despite it's R rating (there's no nudity), DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (2010) is a kid's movie. In this new version, Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison) is a taciturn, pouting little girl who moves to a mammoth country estate with her recently divorced dad (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes). Imposing sets and dreamlike cinematography are right out of a demented Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. This child's eye view technique is typical of del Torro. The optical footprint of DON'T BE AFRAID is what most distinguishes it. It's overdone, but visually spectacular in exactly the sort of way you would expect a big budget haunted house yarn for kids to be.
There's artistic use of visual continuity. The elaborate latticework of Sally's headboard compliments the brass screens of the air vents and the artfully carved antique benches on the manor's grounds. With camera angles such as one in which Sally finds herself standing in a ring of toadstools, and another in which her face is framed by a tangle of vines, the implication is clear: Sally is webbed in.
Like the perpetually foreboding and gloomy skies overheard, the mansion's cathedral-sized interiors are almost always cast in shadow. Akin to catacombs, duct work entwines its way through the walls. Creaking and groaning like a giant bellows with its myriad of ornamental grated heat ducts leading to an abysmal, possessed basement incinerator, the very edifice itself seems complicit in what is to transpire.
And what transpires is that Sally is either very naughty, or has the IQ of a stringbean, because after the demons in the sealed-up basement incinerator whisper some very nasty, sick things to her in their hoarse croaks, she of course unbolts the damn thing and lets them out. Slowly, sardonically, all hell breaks loose in the Hurst household.
Sally's phantasms embark on a malevolent series of destructive endeavors, for which Sally gets the blame, widening an already tense divide between Sally and her elders. As a result, Sally perversely attempts to bond with the goblins out of frustration. The plan backfires, and a child psychologist makes the scene as the situation spirals horribly out of control. The little entities really want to kill Sally. She's trapped in the mansion with them, and nobody will believe her. Sally will have to scheme her own salvation.
You'll see some stock conventions in this 2010 version which will remind you of frivolous, campy movies which were likely inspired by the 1973 original: Greminlins, Ghoulies, Beasties, The Puppet Master franchise, etc. The plethora of films about tiny hellraisers in our collective memory tames the fright factor in Guillermo del Torro's version. That's a shame because there's nothing lighthearted about the DON'T BE AFRAID movies. They're deathly serious and the premise works.
In the re-make, thanks to 21st century technology, the demons are impressive and scary, They get a lot more camera time than in the original. Sometimes less is more however. The goblin chill factor in the second film contrasts with the way the original cultivated our fear. In that one we caught for the most part, only fleeting glances out of the corners of our eyes, of the darting poltergeists. The known is never as frightening as the unknown.
Which version of this story is the best? Both have their merits. The 2010 release has a contemporary feel and it's family-friendly. It's a big-screen extravaganza. The 1973 DON'T BE AFRAID is more intimate and is aimed at grown-ups. Despite the impressive special effects in the remake, the 1973 film's economy of sensation makes it the more sophisticated effort.
In the 2010 film, Del Torro does a clever job of expounding upon the plot elements and story essence of its predecessor, making it bolder and more colorful. While this second DON'T BE AFRAID is solidly in the horror genre, with lots of loud, malevolent action, the first film is more subtle, features some genuine chills, and achieves its horror agenda by building an atmosphere of slowly mounting dread. The 1973 DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK has just been digitally remastered on DVD.
Both DON'T BE AFRAID movies make a good Halloween package, but if you're trying to decide between one or the other, here's a final thought: When the studios redo a solid film, they often rearrange some of the details, such as who does what, and what happens to whom. This keeps the updated version from being a predictable duplicate. It also tends to weaken the story. The writers usually got it right the first time.
|January 2, 2014||N/A|
|New Year - Unrated||December 31, 2013||N/A|
|Movie 43 - R||
Good clean fun for the entire family
|December 28, 2013||N/A|
|The House Without a Christmas Tree - Unrated||
THE HOUSE WITHOUT A CHRISTMAS TREE (TV- 1972)
WRITTEN BY: Eleanor Perry based upon the novel by Gail Rock
DIRECTED BY: Paul Bogart
FEATURING: Jason Robards, Mildred Natwick, Lisa Lucas, Kathryn Walker, Alexa Kenin
NOTES: this was a Hallmark Hall Of Fame, CBS Production
PLOT: In 1946, a sharp-witted, selfless schoolgirl summons all of her resources to navigate her miserly father's conflicted psyche when a gifted Yule tree stirs a cascade of repressed family issues. Poignant, well-written, and free of cheap clichés and sappiness, it's better than it sounds.
The House Without A Christmas Tree is about the complexity of relationships and the evolution of personal character. Too slow for today's kids, and too somber for merrymakers, this forgotten gem of a film is holiday-suitable for serious drama enthusiasts only.
This CBS shot-on-video production won a Peabody Award, screenwriter Perry won an Emmy based on the script, and Director Bogart was nominated for a Director's Guild award. After decades in VHS limbo, The House Without A Christmas Tree has finally been released on DVD. The book, one of several by Gaill Rock about her experiences growing up in rustic Nebraska is still in print through Scholastic Press.
COMMENTS: Christmas, at least in its secular context, should be a time reserved for joy, happiness, and letting go of those bugaboos which worry one's conscience the rest of the year. Yet some people just insist on making themselves feel morose for the occasion. Case in point, the popularity of a sappy, cheaply emotionally manipulative Christmas song called "Dear Mr. Jesus," about a little girl who is beaten nearly to death by her abusive foster parents.
This corny, musically saccharin, structurally gimmicky trailer-trash classic, sung by then nine-year old Sharon Batt, a Beale Street-urchin who couldn't carry a tune in a shopping bag, remarkably made the rounds of nearly every US small-market country-music radio station during the late 1980's. Years later, it still rears its ugly head during the Christmas season and is clung to by all those who want to shed a tear while the rest of us rejoice
Why do people want to wallow in the sordidness of a maudlin song about a vile tragedy when they could be celebrating the most joyous occasion of the year? For God's sake, whatever happened to jubilant, rum soaked revelers engaging in good cheer over hot toddies on Christmas, while belting out heartfelt renditions of high-spirited ditties such as "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen?"
So it is with great reservation that I recommend the following film. It's a different kind of Christmas movie, with a touching, sometimes sad, poignant chronology, but importantly, it's not maudlin, nor does it make cheap ploys to manipulate our emotions or spark phony sentiment.
What redeems its somewhat somber tone is that the story is so darn well put together and genuine. In fact, it's one of the best Christmas movies I've seen, even though it isn't overflowing with stunts and boisterous good times. This is a thinking person's Christmas story and features believable actors, credible dialogue, and a basic but worthwhile plot that offers a message without an agenda.
The House Without A Christmas Tree is a relic from the early 1970's when a significant number of made-for-television movies still contained elements of real artistry, and had meaningful storylines. The networks were not yet completely afraid to be experimental or to challenge their audiences. The House Without A Christmas Tree is a good example. It's a general-consumption, family-friendly film, yet it also has real depth and offers quality, substantial performances. There's a significant rapport between the superbly well-cast principal actors that is all too absent from today's television productions.
Pensive, sincere, simply but thoughtfully structured, The House Without A Christmas tree is about a little girl in a small Nebraska town in 1946. Ten year old Addie (Lucas) desperately wants a Christmas tree, but her parsimonious, emotionally absent father James (Robards) is a real scrooge about the holidays.
Bitter, stubborn, and perpetually grieving over the untimely death of Addie's mother years before, Addie's daddy doesn't have much enthusiasm for finding or spreading Christmas joy. Worse, he's a dreadful miser, having barely survived the Great Depression. Not only does James have difficulty showing Addie affection, but he has even more trouble opening the purse strings for the holidays. Frugal to the point of night-sweats, James sees a Christmas tree as being merely a frivolous and unnecessary expense.
But when Addie wins a Yule tree in a school contest, she excitedly brings it home to try and sway her father's lack of Christmas spirit. Addie soon learns however that her father's scorn for Christmas is not related to his miserliness after all. The tree turns out to be symbolic of some pretty heavy, repressed emotions regarding Addie's long dead mother. Addie's' relationship with her laconic, seemingly unsentimental father is far more emotionally charged than we -or they ever realized. Put to her ultimate test, will resourceful Addie find a way to help her bah!-humbug! father come to terms with his charred soul in order to save Christmas Future?
Truly solid character development and a well-developed plot distinguish The House Without A Christmas Tree. Despite its heavy focus on childhood, this is not a kid's movie. It's for adults who enjoy films which remind them of what it was like to be a kid. Moreover, the picture's Great Plains setting, as well as its strong essence of family, home and hearth, redemption, and emotional growth make it a prime and nostalgic pick for fans of the similarly-themed and popular Little House On The Prairie books and long-running '70's television series.
|December 24, 2013||N/A|
|Cellar Dweller - R||December 20, 2013||N/A|
|Blue Is The Warmest Color - NC-17||December 13, 2013||N/A|
|The Haunting (No-Do) (Nodo)(The Beckoning) - R||December 7, 2013||N/A|
|Utu - R||December 7, 2013||N/A|
|Occupant - R||December 7, 2013||N/A|
|The File on Thelma Jordon - Unrated||December 7, 2013||N/A|