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"Not McDonagh's best, but still pretty darn good."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "John Michael McDonagh has made a couple of downright terrific films in "The Guard" and "Calvary", and "War on Everyone" simply being pretty decent is enough to get one speculating as to whether he was being propped up by Brendan Gleeson or felt lost when the setting moved from Ireland to America. That, I think, is unfair; he’s made a funny movie, even if people don’t necessarily expect this particular sort of sharp wit in an American buddy cop thing." (more)
"I Woke Up Screaming"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "One of the great things about genre filmmaking—especially of the horror variety—is that as long as they remember to work in the requisite amounts of blood or bullets or whatever to satisfy the most basic of requirements, an enterprising director can utilize the familiar narrative tropes to comment and critique on real-world matters, often in more trenchant and insightful ways than a lot of the more overtly serious-minded movies being made at the same time. For example, when Tobe Hooper signed on to make a sequel to his horror classic “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” he and screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson took the opportunity to make a film that had all the chainsawing that one could possibly hope for but that also took aim at such targets as the greed-is-good mentality of the Eighties and gun culture in ways far smarter and funnier than anyone might have rightly expected from a movie entitled “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2.” Likewise, Joe Dante’s “Masters of Horror” episode “Homecoming” might have seemed like just another zombie-oriented tale on the surface but it displayed a righteous anger to the war in Iraq and the policymakers that led us smack dab into it that was sorely lacking in most of the straight-faced dramas on the subject. Alas, these days, few films are willing to mix things up in such a way for fear of potentially alienating scores of moviegoers but one that proudly goes against the grain in that respect is “Get Out,” a movie that works very well as a horror film but which works even better as a corrosive social satire that has more to say about many of the key issues regarding race and culture than practically all of the films currently vying for the Best Picture Oscar." (more)
"Christmas Eve isn't the only trick this home invasion has up its sleeves."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT MONSTER FEST 2016: Talking about something being fun when it comes to horror movies probably strikes non-fans as bizarre even at first glance, with trying to do so in specific terms raising the ante to alarming, and trying to do so without spoiling the surprises marking the speaker as completely insane. So, pardon me if this review of "Safe Neighborhood" makes me sound nuts, because my feeling conflicted on it being fun or not extends right down to the premise at its very core." (more)
"Well-heated Southern Pulp Gothic."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT MONSTER FEST 2016: The title of "My Father Die" may not be great in terms of English grammar, but in terms of describing the raw rage that drives the characters in this movie, it seems perfectly reasonable: The building blocks of what someone feels without all the formal niceties, ready for action (although I wonder if it’s close to how one might express an idea in American Sign Language). This movie gets overheated at times, but is committed enough to that temperature that it works out pretty well." (more)

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