‘Fear Street Part Two: 1978’ Review – Bloody Summer Camp Fun

I’ve been to one summer camp in my life. I was 13. It was a Christian retreat called New Beginnings and it was a near death the worst experience of my life. My cousins and I were due for confirmation – the next step above being baptized. We had two choices: attend church classes in the Fall during school or go to summer camp. We went to summer camp.

It was Jesus-themed everything. We sang songs during every meal (there was always a motherfucker with an acoustic guitar), chaperones routinely gave sermons about our lord and savior, and every night we joined hands and praised to the Almighty for another day on this blessed Earth. I promise I will write this horror movie one day.

I guess in the end I’ve got nothing to complain about because at least I survived.

Fear Street Part Two: 1978 is the nightmare summer retreat to kill the very concept of summer camps. Part One: 1994 was the 90s slasher resurgent. Part Two is Friday the 13th meets Wet Hot American Summer. It’s both funny and gruesome, sunny yet grim. Part One is my favorite of the Fear Street movies so far, but Part Two is its own replayable horror gem, rough edges and all.

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‘Fear Street Part One: 1994’ Review – A Love Letter to Slasher Horror

Summer and horror go together like a psycho with a kitchen knife. It’s hot, warm bodies are out, and the urge is KILLER— and Netflix is taking advantage of the season by giving us a whole Fear Street TRILOGY doled out in a matter of WEEKS. (Not yelling at anyone, just typing it out to make sure this is real.) Netflix boldly billed its three-part Fear Street as the “movie event of the summer.” And you know what? They’re goddamn right about the hype.

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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

‘Extraction’ Review – A Fun and Forgettable Netflix Actioner

At one point in Extraction, Chris Hemsworth presses a dude’s face into an upturned rake. Hemsworth should’ve capitalized on the moment like the most glorious of all character introductions, stating coolly: “Rake. The name’s Tyler… Rake.” Extraction is the kind of B-movie actioner tailor-made for our current stay-at-home viewing impulses, and a particular kind of Marvel-actor brand slowly carving out a genre space in Netflix’s domain. Some of us might crave something with a little more substance, but in the listless routine of our quarantine days, a quick adrenaline fix can go a long way. Continue reading

Dave Chappelle’s ‘Sticks & Stones’ Won’t Break Bones, Or Any New Ground Either

Few comedians are as enduring or headline-worthy as Dave Chappelle. Many can nab themselves TV or movie deals thus prolonging their shelf-life i.e. Kevin Hart, Kumail Nanjiani, Michelle Wolf, Bo Burnham. But the return to the mic isn’t always seamless i.e. Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Daniel Tosh (and, depending on who you ask, Ricky Gervais). Dave Chappelle is the rare comedian who came back with a renewed comic lens and a welcome socio-political incisiveness that made his return such a sigh of relief. But if his last two standups Age of Spin and Equanimity suggested a pseudo-renaissance, then Sticks & Stones is an unfortunate stumbling block that otherwise slows the breakneck pace of his resurgence. Continue reading