‘Insidious’ – Revisiting James Wan’s Haunted Funhouse

“It’s not the house that’s haunted, it’s your son.”

Boy, do I love a subversive spin.

In the wealth of modern horror movies, a film like Insidious seems rather tame especially when stacked against director James Wan’s far superior movie, The Conjuring. But Insidious remains a unique gem because the horror genre at the time was, to put it bluntly, pretty fucking WEAK. Continue reading

Past & Present Colliding in ‘The Haunting of Hill House’

“You know it’s funny, Nellie was always trying to get all of us together in one place,” Shirley says the night before her little sister’s funeral.

It’s the blunt and bitter truth, isn’t it? As families we get together for birthdays, for weddings and anniversaries. We reunite for funerals, too. Cruelly. Painfully. Celebratory milestones have a way of bringing disparate people together, as does heartrending tragedy. Continue reading

Can ‘The Outsider’ Stick The Landing?

I have been watching HBO’s The Outsider with cautious optimism. Because while the series is gloriously dark, moody, often chilling, and garnering praise as 2020’s first great TV show, frankly we’ve been here before. Last year’s True Detective Season 3 kicked off 2019 to a similarly strong start before it went out with a solid, if otherwise slow conclusion. The Outsider has nothing to prove as a debut miniseries boasting impressive viewership. But with one episode left in the chamber, can The Outsider succeed where True Detective S3 did not? (Light spoilers below.) Continue reading

Favorite Summer Movies

There used to be a time when I craved the summer movie. The fun, the sun, the pure escapism. I hate to say it, but I’ve grown increasingly underwhelmed by the recent summer movie crop. I’m wondering if this is a consequence of a superhero landscape that turns months like February, March, even November into prime blockbuster slates, or if this is indicative of a booming streaming culture where most of us are apt to skip the theater altogether. It might even be a case of  poorly chosen IPs recycled to cash-in on existing fanbases.

To renew my faith, I’d like to reflect on a cherished theater-going staple by cobbling together a list of my absolute favorite summer movies, ones I had the privilege of seeing while the going was spectacular. Whether summer movie season is at an end or suffering through a morally bankrupt slump, I’d like to key in on the films that made the whole craze worthwhile. Continue reading