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Holy Ghost People

Give 'Ghost' a chance.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
 
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Confession of Murder

It's pretty good, your honor.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
 
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Flu

Don't worry: It's not contagious.


Thriller

Rod Lott

In the near future — April, to be exact — a shipping container full of illegal immigrants — one of whom is sick — leaves Hong Kong and ends up in Seoul, Korea. So does the fatal virus the coughing guy carries, leading to a pandemic and eventual citywide quarantine. 

 
Friday, March 28, 2014

Machine Head

Spring break is broken.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Once saddled with the unimaginative-but-accurate title of Spring Break Killer, the indie thriller Machine Head has several things going for it: actual direction, a location with built-in production value, a solid handle on ambience, a terrific soundtrack and it's not based on the intolerable, same-named Bush song, so omnipresent on FM radio in the mid-'90s. 
 
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

In Fear

Fear itself.


Thriller

Rod Lott
In Fear is a British take on that hoary Hollywood premise of two 20-somethings menaced by a third. Although the film is largely improvised, viewers will notice only one new thing about it: The hipsters at its center are en route to a music festival. Had Anchor Bay Entertainment wished to exploit that fact for the Blu-ray release, it could have retitled the film Bonnarubes, Coach-hella or Glastonburied. 
 
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Postman Always Rings Twice

An argument against stamping out remakes.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Once upon a time — 1981, I believe — Jack Nicholson was considered a sex symbol and Jessica Lange, a joke. My, how times have changed, even if the film noir that put them together, The Postman Always Rings Twice, has not. The second screen telling of James M. Cain's potboiler novel, Postman finally has comes a-knockin' on Blu-ray.
 
Friday, January 31, 2014

Scorned

Hell hath ... aw, you know the rest.


Thriller

Rod Lott
For those who always have wanted to see Titanic cad Billy Zane have a lit cigar put out in his left ear, rejoice! Scorned is your movie.
 
Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Single Shot

A backwoods noir.


Thriller

Rod Lott
In the thriller A Single Shot, director David M. Rosenthal follows the path Sam Raimi set in the snow with 1998's A Simple Plan: one that leads blue-collar folk to misappropriated money and, ergo, evil deeds. File it under “When Bad Things Happen to Good Rednecks.”
 
Friday, January 10, 2014

The Seasoning House

The weak of heart will Balk.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Neither a chain of spice stores nor a Food Network program, The Seasoning House is a bleak-as-nuclear-winter thriller set during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. A deaf girl named Angel (Brit teen Rosie Day) is taken from her home by soldiers who shoot her mother dead. 
 
Monday, December 2, 2013

Breaking the Girls

Boring the audience.


Thriller

Rod Lott
We've already seen one female Strangers on a Train rip-off this year — or at least I have — in the direct-to-DVD Kill for Me. We didn't need another, but have one anyway in IFC Films' Breaking the Girls, somehow even less remarkable despite bearing a higher pedigree.
 
Friday, November 15, 2013

Passion

Dressed to swill.


Thriller

Rod Lott

I eagerly await Brian De Palma's comeback. A finely composed disappointment, Passion is not it.


 
Friday, November 8, 2013

A Hijacking

Again with the pirates?


Thriller

Rod Lott
As Tom Hanks sails toward the award season aboard Captain Phillips, do not overlook Denmark's A Hijacking, another (but different) true-life tale of Somali pirates and an unfortunate ship held hostage. The 2012 Danish film has been imported by Magnolia Pictures to Blu-ray.  
 
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Snuff

Sniff it out, brave among you.


Thriller

Rod Lott
No doubt, the story behind the 1976 film Snuff is more interesting than the story within it. (I suspect that'd be the case even if Snuff's filmmakers had bothered with plot at all.) 
 
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nightmare Honeymoon

Do not consummate.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Presented by Warner Archive in both theatrical and television versions, 1974's Nightmare Honeymoon carries the tagline "Thank heavens, it's only a movie!" — obviously inspired by The Last House on the Left's "To avoid fainting, keep repeating, it's only a movie" the year prior. Despite sharing a rape-revenge story, Nightmare Honeymoon is nothing like Last House. It's also not a horror film by any stretch of the imagination, of which it possesses none of its own.
 
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Static

Who's knocking at my door?


Thriller

Rod Lott
A knock at the door in the middle of the night? Never a good sign. Freshman director Todd Levin's Static sparks to life with one such nocturnal omen.
 
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
 
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