Category: Review

Review: SAVE YOURSELF from seeing this movie

There’s a promotional quote in the trailer for Save Yourself attributed to Rue Morgue, a horror magazine that I admire and to which I was once a contributor a few years back. It comes at the 1:37 mark and reads “an eerie and elegiac ode to classic horror filmmaking.” Now, you can tell just by

Review: WHITE RAVEN delivers where it counts

There’s a compelling premise at the heart of White Raven: four friends, a cooler of beer and a pistol go camping. And for a good chunk of the film’s running time there’s a believable comradery among the four, as though the pals from Stand By Me reunited in middle-age to relive the adventure of finding

Review: The Final Girls is comedy catnip for slasher fans

I finally caught up with The Final Girls on VOD last night and was very pleasantly surprised. I’d heard it described as “all very meta,” and that didn’t fill me with confidence. But after a shaky start that had me rolling my eyes at the on-the-noseness of it all, it quickly settled into an enjoyable

TAD review: The Demolisher delivers a lo-fi Death Wish

The Demolisher. It’s the kind of title that would make Don Pendleton or Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir proud. Like their Executioner and Destroyer novels, it evokes testosterone-fuelled pulp excess: whoever the Demolisher is you can be sure he’ll whip the blindfold off ol’ Lady Justice and inflict maximum damage in th...

TAD review: Curse The Hexecutioners

If I were to suggest seeing a movie called The Hexecutioners, you’d probably expect some occult-themed horror-comedy about hitmen who kill with curses. Or something like that. At least that’s what I imagined. That, however, is not what I got. Written by Tony Burgess (Pontypool) and directed by Jesse Thomas Cook (Septic...

Review: Crimson Peak Hammers it Home

In Crimson Peak, Mia Wasikowska plays Edith Cushing. Given director Guillermo del Toro‘s professed love of Hammer Films and Sherlock Holmes, it’s obvious she’s named for Peter Cushing, who starred in such Hammer classics as The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula and The Hound of the Baskervilles, although Cushing is ...

TAD review: shorts in Space and Myrna the Monster

When it comes to short films, I tend to favour comedy over other genres. It’s the perfect medium to tell a joke and deliver a punchline—short of stand-up comedy—and it often doesn’t require complicated or expensive special effects. Take Movies In Space, for example, which is my favourite in this year’s Toronto After Da...

TAD review: Gridlocked gets stuck in traffic

Robbing a police evidence locker is not a new premise. It goes back at least as far as John Wayne’s McQ in 1974. Laying siege to a police station is also nothing new. John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13, for example, which was itself inspired by the John Wayne western Rio Bravo. And pairing a

TAD Review: A Christmas Horror Story delivers early gift

I love a good Christmas holiday horror movie. I’m even drinking a cup of eggnog as I’m writing this (yes, it’s already in grocery stores). My favourite is A Christmas Carol, the superior 1951 version with Alistair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. It’s essential holiday viewing; I watch it every Christmas Eve without fail (alon...

TAD review: Synchronicity and Lazer Team come up short

Like the first two games of the ALCS, Friday night’s sci-fi double feature of Synchronicity and Lazer Team at Toronto After Dark was a bust. Synchronicity is a convoluted and plodding effort about a caffeine-and-coked-out physicist’s attempts to manufacture a wormhole that bends space-time. Heavily influenced by ...