Vloggers often seek out decidedly dangerous thrills in the constant chase for views. Some perform stunts on skyscrapers, others stage elaborate ploys. Backpacking adventurer Laurel Rhodes (Abigail Wilson) finds her own special draw in going on hidden trails alone.
Trouble is eventual, and happen it does when she takes a wrong turn and ends up in a derelict cabin. Strange markings on the wall tease a malefic ritual in the making. But in face of the cold rain outside, Laurel chooses to take the risk of staying.
Directed by Dan Robinette (Tethered, Nervous Breakdown), Psycho Path promises more than just a madman in wait. The twist remains effective in his hands, even if dedicated horror connoisseurs might have an inking towards the ritual in question.
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The Dead Don’t Die (dir. Jim Jarmusch, 2019) – Zombies rise in the quiet town of Centerville, pitting its citizens against an unexpected apocalypse.
Auteur Jim Jarmusch lets none of his dark wit obscure what his latest film truly is – a tragic ode to the quiet death of humanity.
Calamity befalls the once peaceful Centerville, where farmer Miller (Steve Buscemi) has reported his poultry missing. Police trio Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray), Ronnie Petersen (Adam Driver), and Mindy Morrison (Chloë Sevigny) soon discover two mutilated corpses at the town’s diner, then two open graves at the cemetery.
“This is all gonna end badly,” Petersen mutters as he identifies the responsible culprits in no time – zombies. He repeats the words, convinced that the town’s destruction is but inevitable.
Consider his mantra a big, pessimistic hint at what Jim Jarmusch may just be saying with his latest elegiac work. Indeed, The Dead Don’t Die is far from the typical cautionary tale. It is an irate, bitter rebuke against the hordes of us, responsible for the mess that is the world today.
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The Perfection (dir. Richard Shepard, 2019) – Strange events unfold when musical prodigy Lizzie encounters the former star pupil of her school.
A deceptively simple thriller slips in slick blood across genres. Avoid trailers at all costs.
Art demands perfection and thrives on competition. This endless pressure to be the best can manifest dangerous demands. In Whiplash, it coerces hurtful abuse out of two musicians in their strive for the ideal.
Borrowing the same note, The Perfection sees the same ghost haunt cello prodigy Charlotte (Allison Williams), whose promising career was cut short upon her mother’s illness. When she meets the new star pupil of her former school Lizzie (Logan Browning), she is driven to violent jealousy… or so we are led to believe.
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Brightburn (dir. David Yarovesky, 2019) – A ship crash-lands on Earth, bringing with it a child who proves to be something far more sinister.
Brandishing the violence that Superman is capable of, the reimagined mythos however squanders the more interesting questions of the ‘why’ and ‘how’.
Kal-El, an all-powerful hero who can as easily save humanity as he can, destroy. Thank Krypton for Jor-El, who shares his faith in humanity with his son, just as his foster parents Jonathan and Martha Kent showed him every reason to use his powers for good.
His family pushed him upon the path of good, believing that Man deserves salvation and hope. But what if he had chosen different?
Away from Kent Farm in Brightburn is the very antithesis of the Superman we know. Finding out who he truly is, Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn) sees himself as superior to mankind, and ravages the planet that he believes to be weak.
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Pet Sematary (dir. Mary Lambert, 1989 / Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, 2019) – In rural Maine, Dr. Louis Creed and his family discover the secrets of an old pet cemetery in the woods near their new home.
While Mary Lambert’s adaptation of King’s grotesque terror has long left an indelible mark, the new Pet Sematary cuts commendably deeper into the subject of grief.
Acceptance never comes easy for the bereaved. When the grieving are loath to let go, they become haunted by their guilt and regrets. Proclaiming that dead is sometimes better, Mary Lambert’s film adaptation of Pet Sematary brings these inner demons across the barrier in literal terms.
In rural Maine, Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) learns of a burial ground beyond the pet cemetery. He goes against warning of its dark magic and buries his family cat Church after its passing, only to witness its return. Tragedy soon strikes and takes three-year-old Gage Creed (Miko Hughes). But this time, Louis knows that he no longer has to deal with grief.
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It has been seventeen years since Robert Schwentke’s Tattoo, and due time that we had another proper ink-inspired horror. Clocking in at just under two minutes, The Tattooist fills the void and makes every second count.
Despite a narrative that suffers from the nature of short films, director Michael Wong designs every flash of a moment with brilliant intent and stunning precision. The experimental work sees a woman going prone for ink in ordinary tattoo parlour. Upbeat jazz puts up an inviting façade that soon takes a sharp turn into disquieting orchestration.
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