CANDYMAN furthers the folklore of the original film with a thought-provoking conceit about the fury of racism. It’s beautifully dark, well-crafted, features a strong cast, plenty of bloodshed & imaginative horror scenes, including a gorgeous illustrated puppet sequence that redefines the flashback. The rushed ending feels muddled but still manages an impressive finish.
MALIGNANT is a confident film so brazen in style & concept that any imperfection seems irrelevant. This is a thrilling & inventive love letter to well-versed horror fans and it will cause a great divide. There are many references, so if you get it, you get the brilliance but if not, it still works as a bizarre piece of entertainment. Gorgeous Giallo-inspired shots, a good amount of gore, an intense mystery with over-the-top reveals, and even a few scares keep it bounding madly forward. Also noteworthy is the stellar voice acting and body movement for the big bad.
DEMONIC has many interesting facets that could each merit their own movie, yet nothing is expanded upon or satisfying. Instead the film focuses on the dull story of a highly unlikable daughter and her estranged (digital) mother with nary an emotional moment between them. For a horror film, it lacks tension, suspense or scares, and the demon looks like an out-of-the-bag Spirit Halloween costume. If you are going to title the film generically, I suppose a generic demon is in order. And yes, I get that its an ultra indie with limited budget but you put the money into the monster suit instead of game-like simulations that look terrible, take you out of the moment, and just don’t work.
THE NIGHT HOUSE puts the amazing Rebecca Hall in an odd position. Is her dead husband haunting their house, or is it his mysterious secret life keeping her up at night? Unable to mourn or move on, she’s stuck in a brooding dream state as the film’s familiar narrative foundation begins to crumble. The screenplay introduces an interesting occult angle but it never fully materializes the meaning. But the horror that ensues is captivating with well-executed scares, unsettling visuals, and a fascinating and unique use of architecture as a horror element. Life’s greatest mystery won’t be solved here but it will obsessively circle in your mind, filling you with dread.