I want to sue the people behind Nefarious for fraud. This is not because something in the trailer wasn’t in the movie. No, Nefarious is fraudulent because the advertising campaign behind it implies that it is a horror movie, and it is not. At least not in the literal sense. The movie is actually a Christian pro-life diatribe in the guise of a horror movie. Maybe people who fall into that category believe in their hearts and minds that the topics discussed in this movie are horrific. If that’s true, then I guess there will be plenty of opportunities for them to shout “alleluia” and “amen” while they watch this movie. If the intent of the filmmakers behind Nefarious was to convert the unwashed, it fails completely due to the disgusting shots it takes at the other side. I don’t know what appeal this movie would have to those who consider themselves righteous, since it basically preaches to the already enraptured choir. While Nefarious is a well-made movie that features decent acting, competent direction and realistic sets, the argument it makes is pure lunacy, at least in the viewpoint of this lapsed Catholic. As if that weren’t enough, the movie features a shocking cameo at the end of the movie by a fringe media figure that left my jaw agape with utter disbelief. (As much as I want to, I refuse to spoil it. I have movie critic principles to uphold.) Not Recommended. Unless you’re morbidly curious, then have at it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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The internet is a place where things that are strange, stupid or both thrive like weeds. In one corner you have TikTok, where members challenge themselves to do incredibly dangerous things like swallow a spoonful of cinnamon without drinking any water, punch unsuspecting people in the back of the head or construct a flamethrower from a lighter and an aerosol can. In another corner there is the website Creepy Pasta, where the stories and videos of a fictional being named the Slenderman influenced two teenage girls into murdering one of their friends. (Luckily, she survived.) We’re All Going to the World’s Fair considers what an intersection of those two worlds would look like, who would be interested in it, and what the ramifications would be.
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When you really need a doctor, who do you choose? The young, baby-faced one who’s only been a resident for a couple of years, or the older doctor who has fought countless battles with sickness and death and won most of them? Experience matters, so I take the older doctor whenever I can. Same would go for an exorcist. I don’t want the young whippersnapper, I want the grizzled veteran who cracks jokes while in the presence of a demon just because it pisses it off. That is exactly the kind of priest Father Amorth (Russell Crowe) is. He’s been involved in more possessions than he can count. He’s so savvy he can tell within a matter of minutes whether a man is actually possessed or faking it. And if the afflicted is faking it, then Amorth is happy to oblige with a little of his own.
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65 billion years ago, a spaceship piloted by Mills (Adam Driver) crash-lands on Earth after crossing paths with an unexpected group of asteroids. His cargo, twelve people in cryosleep, are all killed except one, a young girl named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt). Mills needs to get both of them to the remaining escape pod before the asteroids hit. Their journey is complicated by two problems. First, the two speak different languages. Mills’ home planet has managed to develop interplanetary space travel but not a universal translator. Second, the environment is filled with Cretaceous period dinosaurs who want to eat them. Over the next twenty-four hours, Mills and the only other remaining survivor Koa do their best to navigate all manner of dangerous beasties, big and small, in their desperate journey to their only means of escape before an extinction-level event happens.
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One fine day, a young girl named Wen collects grasshoppers in a sun-dappled forest near a cabin in the woods. She’s soon joined by Leonard (David Bautista), a hulk of a man with arms covered in tattoos. Despite his threatening appearance, Leonard is a gentle giant who helps Wen with her task. To her credit, Wen remains calm as Leonard’s enormous hands gently envelops a grasshopper. When he casually states that he and his friends will soon meet Wen’s parents, she notices several people emerging from the trees holding scary weapons. This finally triggers Wen’s “stranger danger” reflex and she runs to the cabin to alert her parents.
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Prey for the Devil answers the question we’ve all been asking. Why do hunky, smoldering priests get to have all the exorcism fun? While the movie does include a couple of those types, the story focuses on the sultry, platinum blond Sister Ann (Jacqueline Byers). After years of men lording over the Rite of Exorcism, finally there is progress!
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A young West Point cadet named Poe (Harry Melling) works with proto-detective Landor (Christian Bale) to solve a grisly murder. One of the best-looking Poe movies ever made. Bale is solid as the intense Landor, but the revelation is Melling’s Poe. Recommended. Continue reading The Pale Blue Eye (Netflix, 2022)
Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) is no average teenage girl. With her pallid complexion, black attire, matching pigtails and a personality overflowing with misanthropy, she’s every parent’s nightmare, except for Morticia and Gomez. They love their little viper, storm cloud, etc. and would do anything for her, including keeping her out of trouble when she exacts revenge on her brother Pugsley’s high school tormentors. When Morticia confronts her with the possibility of having attempted murder on her record, Wednesday replies, “Terrible. Everyone would know I failed to get the job done.” If you love droll humor, Wednesday (character and series) has plenty more where that’s coming.
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In the day’s twilight, a group of obnoxious super-rich types take a boat to a remote island for dinner. This isn’t just any dinner, though. It’s a $1,750 per head dining experience by Chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes). Among the guests are Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) and Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy), a couple that doesn’t quite fit. After they arrive, they are welcomed by hostess Elsa (Hong Chau), whose every smile and glance forebodes something devious is afoot. Then, when everyone is seated, Chef Slowik appears. With a firm clap and a voice tinged with growing condescension, he announces a progression of courses that bring delight and unease. Unlike the rest of the clueless patrons, Margot can tell something isn’t right. Each course, while immaculately prepared, brings recriminations from the Chef. Then, shockingly and unexpectedly, things turn violent. What does Chef Slowik have planned for everyone? Will they survive until the meal’s final course?
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In Halloween Kills (the previous entry in this series), Michael Myers escaped certain death when some unwitting firefighters rescued him from Laurie Strode’s burning home. He then proceeded to lay waste to the entire firefighter squad without breaking a sweat. While Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Deputy Frank (Will Patton) recovered from their injuries at the hospital, Michael made mincemeat out of a self-styled vigilante mob led by survivors of the original. Last but not least, Michael shockingly killed Laurie’s daughter Karen (Judy Greer). Ends picks up the story one year later. Michael has not been seen since the prior year, and the town has shifted back towards normalcy. (Sorry Haddonfield, IL, your town will never be “normal”.)
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