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Luke Y. Thompson

Credit: Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment

Bill Paxton's Offhand Mastery Powers On-the-Run Thriller Mean Dreams

Even if it were not for the fact that Mean Dreams has become Bill Paxton's penultimate picture, Nathan Morlando's thriller would be worth recommending entirely on its own merits. Start with cinematographer Steve Cosens (The Tracey Fragments), who uses sharp focus and the occasional faded Polaroid-style filter to lovingly caress......
Credit: Courtesy of STX Entertainment

Say Hello to The Bye Bye Man, a Not-Bad Twist on Candyman

Maybe it's a just a sign of the Blumhouse-era horror-movie world we find ourselves in, but there's something refreshing about a scare flick that (a) actually shows you its monster occasionally and (b) gives you a definite reason to be afraid of it. Hiding things in shadows to enhance audience......
Eggshells

Eggshells: the Texas Hippie Love-in

Before he started throwing hippies to crazed rednecks with chain saws, Tobe Hooper was actually celebrating the Peace and Love Generation, as seen in his long-unreleased and recently rediscovered first feature Eggshells, from 1969. Short on plot but heavy on experimentation, Hooper’s movie could easily serve as a prequel not......
The House of the Devil

Screamfest 2009: Scream and Scream Again

It may be a sign of trying times for horror that this year’s Screamfest Horror Film Festival includes a few selections that don’t really belong to the genre at all: The misbegotten Ed Wood parody Mutant Swinger From Mars is funny for all of 10 minutes, while the ponderous Bajo......
Haunted homeowner; Credit: Dale Robinette

Oren Peli: Ghost Writer-Director

Two years ago, as I was writing for the Weekly about the Screamfest Horror Film Festival, an unhyped, unknown movie without familiar names caught my eye. Simply shot with two lead actors and a single location, it was not only the most economical movie of that year but also the......
The Robert Altman of stop-motion animation; Credit: Kevin Scanlon

$9.99: Tatia Rosenthal’s Mighty Tenner

It’s been no small frustration for feature animation fans that, in a year which saw radical leaps and bounds for the form, from the French horror compilation Fear(s) of the Dark to the Israeli war memoir Waltz With Bashir, the Animated Feature Film Oscar went to the Pixar-produced, kid-friendly WALL-E,......

Bruce Campbell on Cult Stardom and Being His Own Director

Fandom is a tricky thing for Bruce Campbell. He’s been referred to as a “man-god” by Ain’t-It-Cool-News’ Harry Knowles, able to fill the halls at Comic-Con based on his iconic role as the slapstick, deadpan hero Ash in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy. Yet, as much as Campbell’s fans adore......
Splinter; Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Real-World Horror Trumps Escapist Fantasy at Screamfest '08

Horror movies are generally preferable when they deliver escapism and catharsis, substituting supernatural monsters for our real fears; but as the world outside grows ever scarier, the new generation of horror filmmakers isn’t so anxious to let us off the hook. At this year’s Screamfest, the villain in any given......

Downtown L.A. Film Fest: The Good, The Bad, and The Booze

This past Sunday marked the finale of the first Downtown LA Film Festival, closing five days of spectacular centerpieces, freely flowing booze, and the occasional glitch. As a coherent festival to be enjoyed as one large mega-event, it was hampered by the distances between venues (too far too walk, too......