MovieCriticND's blog

Play Violet for Me

Every night Violet and her sister Lyla (both played by Najarra Townsend) are at their usual bar, as are their admirers Foley (Matt Mercer) and Remy (John Paul Romeo). Violet is the sister who attracts all eyes; Lyla is less showy but just as attractive in her way. These facts are clear enough in the noir short Play Violet for Me, but beyond that you're left guessing based on the fascinating, tantalizing clues the movie slowly gives you.

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Foley and Violet.  Or is it Lyla?

Consumption

One crisp winter's day, four friends decide to head up to the mountains of Utah for a vacation. The family of one friend, Seth (David Lautman) has a condo there, and it's a great place to get away from it all and relax. And they all seem like they really need to relax. Sounds like a good plan, right? Don't let it fool you.

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This is Mallory. She's not having the best of days.

Sloven

Steve (Baker Chase Powell) has roommate problems. You see, Brian (Scott Aschenbrenner) is something of a slob -- a sloven, as the title says -- and Steve is tired of cleaning up after him, especially when Steve is busy trying to get ready for a Halloween party. There certainly is a lot of cleaning up to do, so I don't blame Steve for being annoyed. It seems as though Brian uses more plastic cups in a shorter time than any human being should. And Brian is so disorganized he can't even remember to bring his costume to the party.

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Steve drinks to forget how messy his apartment is.

Man Underground

Thanks to sites like YouTube, anyone with a little basic equipment can post videos to get their message out there. Also thanks to sites like YouTube, it's ridiculously easy to get lost in a sea of videos, both helpful and not, entertaining or just plain alarming. In Man Underground, Willem Koda (George Basil) has exactly this problem -- he keeps trying to let others know The Truth, but he's hardly getting any hits. I think most of us can relate to the frustration of that last part.

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Willem and Todd at Flossie's audition. They're all figuring this out as they go.

Feed the Black

I was told this would be a tough thing to review, and now I know why. Feed the Black is rather like a music video might have looked if they had been made back in the days when 'music' meant live performers and 'video' was whatever you happened to be looking at.

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Maurice wakes from a nice nap. Or possibly death.

The Laughing Mask

The city is being terrorized by a mysterious killer known only as The Laughing Mask. The death toll is rising, but the murderer leaves no clues and the police are stymied. But one man, who has lost his wife and child to this evildoer, is determined to find his own brand of justice!

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The Mask with a Jack in the Box. You don't want to know what he does with that.

Delusion

It's rough moving on after the death of a loved one... especially when you're hallucinating that deceased loved one, among other things. Frank (David Graziano) lost his wife Isabella (Carlyne Fournier) three years ago and has been struggling ever since. His nephew Tommy (Justin Thibault) has been helping him out, but Frank is still taking medication to cope. Then he mysteriously receives a letter from his wife urging him to try to live his life again and, hesitantly, Frank starts to follow that advice.

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The mysterious Mary. There's a lot of chain smoking in this movie.

Girl in Woods

Grace Walker (Juliet Reeves) hasn't had the greatest life so far. She still has nightmares about having seen her father (Lee Perkins) shoot himself in the head when she was seven, and no wonder. The medicine she's taking doesn't seem to be much help with that. Luckily, now she has her boyfriend Jim (Jeremy London) who doesn't mind that she wakes up screaming every night, and sometimes even during the day when she nods off while riding in the car.

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Grace and friends. Three's a crowd.

Mark of the Witch

Everyone has wished for a different family at least once. How can you not, when every Thanksgiving Uncle Harry tells the same tired jokes and your cousins won't stop fighting over the best way to cook brussels sprouts? (Hint: There isn't one.) Or you might have the opposite problem, like Jordyn (Paulie Rojas) does in Mark of the Witch, where it's just her and her strict aunt Ruth (Nancy Wolfe), and Jordyn can only wish that someday she might find her real parents.

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Jordyn with blood on her face. She's having one of those days.

Lurking Fear

Adapting an H.P. Lovecraft story into a film is always a tricky business. When I was a kid, I used to scare myself on a regular basis reading his stories, but the main reason the stories were so scary was because there was so much in them that couldn't be explained and that sometimes even the characters couldn't see. The second anyone starts trying to make such a story visible, you've lost the best way there is to frighten the audience. Luckily, Lurking Fear doesn't worry about this kind of problem one bit.

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Cathryn held at gunpoint.