MovieCriticND's blog

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.

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.

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.

Cathryn held at gunpoint.

Split Costs

Judy is in Boston and needs to get to Amherst, 93 miles away, but does not have a car. Emma also needs to get from Boston to Amherst. If Emma drives an old Ford Focus with a cassette tape player and splits the cost of the gas with Judy, how long will it take for each of them to make a decision that could change their lives?

Judy and Emma on the road.


I wonder if Bill Oberst (Betrothed) would mind if I just followed his movies around and reviewed them all? That would keep me pretty busy, though it might also keep me from getting a good night's sleep ever again. Granted, I scare easily -- and yes, it is strange that I review so many horror movies despite that fact -- but it's also his fault because he's so good at being creepy.

The main characters have breakfast. Just an ordinary breakfast. Not.


The desert does strange things to people, it seems. Even in the short term it can mess you up, so just imagine what can happen if you actually live there, like many of the characters in Betrothed do. However bad you're thinking, it's worse.

Mama and the boys admire their latest abductee.

Tale of Tales

Once upon a time, Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone decided to make a movie in English. Not just any movie in English, though -- this one weaves together three Italian fairy tales that were collected by Giambattista Basile in a book called The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones. Basile was one of the people who inspired the Brothers Grimm to collect the folk tales of Germany before it was Germany.

The king and queen of Longtrellis. Because you need some fairy-tale royalty.

Judas Ghost

At some point in your life, you've probably been forced to sit through some sort of training film. No one wants to watch them and certainly no one wants to make them, but there's always someone who has to do one or the other, or both. There are probably training films about how to make training films. Even so, some such films are bound to be more exciting than others, like the ones made for trainee ghost hunters.

Jerry and Mark. Note that Jerry's shirt didn't start out that color.

Death in the Desert

Sometimes my habit of trying not to know too much about a movie before watching it backfires, since in this case it might have been nice to know going in that Death in the Desert was based on a true story -- on the book of the same name, in fact. A casino mogul named Ted Binion died of a drug overdose back in 1998, and his girlfriend and an employee of his were tried for the murder -- twice, actually, since an appeals court reopened the case after they were both convicted. Sounds like a decent story to turn into a movie, right?

Ray and Kim out shooting, while Kim wonders why he's wearing that shirt.

The Witch

Witches and Puritans -- they just go together, don't they? The average history lesson usually makes it seem like all the Puritans agreed on things like religious issues and the difficult problem of how to tell when someone's casting evil spells on your best milking cow, but really they probably disagreed on important matters at least as much as your average GOP presidential candidates.

Tomasin shrieking. When all else fails, scream. That always works, right?