Escape Room

Movie Review: Escape Room (2019) - Room Escape Artist

Escape Room. Just to clarify, this is a review for Escape Room, not Escape Room, or the other Escape Room. Got it? Good.

That’s right, three movies all released essentially within a year of one another, all of them with a similar premise, all of them confusingly called Escape Room. Why couldn’t the producers have had a conversation and decided which would be called Escape Room, which would be Escape The Room, and which would be Escape? I’ve typed ‘Escape’ so many times now that I’m not sure I’m even spelling it correctly any more, and the Laptop is making a Sticky Keys noise at me.

I devised my own system for remembering which is which – there’s the big budget one which made it to Cinemas on a wide release (and has had a sequel which I’m now calling Escape 2room), there’s the one with Skeet Ulrich, and there’s the other one. This is the big budget one. Having watched all of them, I imagine I’ll get around to reviewing the others at some point. But this is the biggest, and probably the best.

The film starts with our six several characters being given a mysterious puzzle box which, once solved, presents them with an invitation to an Escape Room for the chance to win a big sack of cash. Any right thinking person would begin tingling at this point – spidey sense tingling – and move to another country because this is at best some cultish pyramid scheme and at worst the opening to the latest Saw movie. However, the people are intrigued and enticed by the promise of sudden wealth and meet each other in an anonymous office block. Almost immediately, the game begins but unbeknownst to the players, it’s a game of life or death. They must work together to solve a variety of rooms while possibly discovering why they were brought together, and who is doing this to them.

While the Saw comparisons are apt, and while the film gleefully recalls similar properties such as Cube, it’s a less visceral film. While there are plenty of inventive deaths, it doesn’t approach torture porn and is a much more mainstream type of horror. In many cases these films fall apart or hold together based on how likeable the characters are and how believable the story is. The characters are varied enough and have enough in built conflict to be engaging – there’s the scarred veteran, the gamer nerd, the Wall Street type, the innocent, the normie, the old guy – and while the story is ridiculous the script has the nous to keep everything fairly grounded. Putting aside the wealth and planning involved to develop such a scheme, the story relies less on contrivances than the Saw series. Unlike many films of this ilk, the film continues after the games end as we begin expanding the lore and posing more questions while giving snippets of answers. It’s clear that we’re being set up for a franchise, but like Alice In Borderland and Squid Game if the lore and questions are interesting then I’m happy to see more.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Escape Room!

The Lure

Review: The Lure - Slant Magazine

I’m no fan of musicals; it’s not that I have an inherent dislike for the genre, it’s more that they fail to live up to my expectation of what a musical should be. First and foremost – it’s still a film and should still tell an interesting story – most musicals are too trope reliant and have unconvincing and theatrical performances. Secondly, if music and song are key components of your genre, then I expect both to be good. In most musicals, the music and the songs are garbage. Finally – dancing. I don’t give a fuck about dancing. Like prayer, dancing should be something done in private, quietly, far away from me. Yet every so often, a musical comes along which seems to be made just for me – so much so that even the three criteria above can be ignored – The Blues Brothers, Disney’s Animated Features, The Happiness Of The Katakuris…. and there are probably others. When I learned that there was a Polish, explicit, sexually charged horror movie about mermaids which just so happened to be a musical, you’d better believe my brain, ears, and shlong were standing to attention.

The film begins promisingly; a rock band are chilling at night on a beach, drinking, singing, doing rock band things. A mermaid, or perhaps more accurately, a siren appears from the waves entranced by the music. Rather than pulling the men into the water and ripping them apart like the legends of yore, the siren and her sister reveal themselves to the band and decide to spend some time as land-lubbers. The sisters, named Silver and Gold, begin performing with the band and dancers and singers with the agreement that they won’t eat any band member. This works out well as the girls bring in approving crowds and the girls get to perform and perhaps fuck and kill random groupies and people they don’t like. Unfortunately, eating people isn’t a good look and the band members are kind of dicks. It seems this fairy tale is only going to end one way.

The Lure is full of ambition and humour and weirdness. It doesn’t all work, it doesn’t all gel together, and it doesn’t live up to its promise or hype. However, there aren’t many films of this ilk out there and it does about as well with its concept as you could reasonably expect it to. It isn’t overly bloody or gratuitous and it’s more likely the offbeat tone which will put people off. There’s only a fraction of a movie-watching audience who would choose to watch something like this, and a small percentage of that fraction who would enjoy it. I’m included in those metrics, and while I wish it was a little more tight, I applaud its existence. Both Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszanska are excellent as the sisters, the make-up and effects are very good, and the Eurotrash humour made me giggle plenty of times. The music is forgettable in most cases, but works well alongside the story, while the rest of the cast and the director are knowingly making something unique and ridiculous. Without going too deep, the themes of exploitation and coming of age are clear but can easily be ignored if you’re just in it for the weirdness. If you’re going to watch a movie about killer mermaids – it’s gotta be this one.

Let us know what you think of The Lure in the comments!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1982

Why Silver Shamrock Didn't Return After Halloween III


It should go without saying at this point, but for those at the back I’ll say it again; I don’t like Musicals. Outside of your Disney animated features, there are only a handful of Musicals I can say that I truly enjoy, and a few more I can tolerate. In general, the genre does little for me. When you throw in a central child character, or several of those, it makes matters even less enjoyable for me. Still, those aren’t the main reasons why Annie is on my list. No, there’s a little story behind this one. It’s not very interesting, but read on anyway.

In Primary School, every so often we would get to watch a movie. Typically towards the end of a term. The whole class, or the whole year would be cramped into one of the non-classroom rooms, made to sit cross-legged on the floor, and we would wait with feverish anticipation for the old 22inc TV to be wheeled into the room. There was a few films we would be forced to watch over and over, but that was fine because anything was better than actual work (unless they made us watch old re-runs of Geordie Racer). On one occasion, the teacher in charge whipped out a copy of The Witches. Yes! Finally, we would get to watch something with a bit of guts, something maybe a little scary even, something with an edge – plus, I was a Roald Dahl fan and I hadn’t seen the thing yet. We watched – I loved it – that is until we reached the infamous transformation scene. Some of the girls in the room got a little, shall we say, upset by what was on screen and the VHS was immediately popped out. WTF is this, I probably exclaimed. I watched in horror as a new VHS appeared in the teacher’s hand, one adorned with an overly grinning redhead child. It was in that moment that I vowed to become a serial killer, slaughtering anyone who dared to replace a horror movie with a musical. Or something. I didn’t like the movie, get it?

Friday The 13th Part 3

I don’t have much against this film – it’s just that by this point in the series it had already run out of ideas. I’m not a huge fan of the franchise, but the selling point here is the 3D. It’s hilarious spotting all of the crafted for 3D shots and how bizarre and obvious they look in 2D. It’s an 80s slasher, so beyond the technical shenanigans it does nothing original and what it does have, it does more or less adequately.

Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch

Before anyone goes off on me – yes, I KNOW the original plan for the Halloween franchise was to have a self-contained story in each entry, and I KNOW that people complained that this one was unrelated to the others and so they centred every other entry on Myers. I don’t care that this movie doesn’t have Myers – in fact, this was the first Halloween movie I ever saw. It’s on my list because it’s shite. It’s always been shite. I enjoyed it as a kid – the whole countdown jingle, the Seasonal vibe, even some of the cast and gore. But it’s just a poorly made, poorly acted film which I can’t help but notice its flaws the older I get and the more I watch. It’s a curio to be sure, and I don’t hate it, but it’s easily the worst in the franchise even if it does get points for trying something different.

Honkytonk Man

I could have populated this entire list with musicals this year, but in truth I don’t really hate any of them. I don’t particularly about any of them. This makes the list because there isn’t a lot I dislike in 1982, only making the cut because when I see Directed By Clint Eastwood and Starring Clint Eastwood, the only things I want are guns and snarling grimaces. This would be a much more enjoyable movie for me if it was anything other than Country music.

Grease 2

It’s Grease 2. It’s like the first, but rubbish.

Let us know your least favourite movies of 1982 in the comments!

Nightman’s Updated Favourite Films Of 1982!

10: Q (US)

I love me a good monster movie, and this was one of my favourites while growing up. Anything with dinosaurs or mythological creatures or stop motion beasties – sign me up. This has the added bonus of Michael Moriarty skipping about the place, you’ve got Shaft doing his thing, and you’ve got Bill from Kill Bill killing stuff. It’s great.

9: The Wall (UK)

The Wall is one of the few albums that tells a coherent story and which you can easily visualize playing out in your own mind. My head canon version looks nothing like the official version, with its walking hammers and grotesquely, monstrous obese types. It’s a great album but a hard listen. This is a great movie, but a hard watch.

8: Poltergeist (US)

While I’m by no means the biggest Poltergeist guy on the planet, it’s such an effective little shocker that its iconic status is well merited. It has some great scares and is one of those films which always seems to hold up with every new generation.

7: Creepshow (US)

The next batch of five films on my list are all equally beloved as massive favourites, but they’re not quite on par with my top two. Creepshow takes a bunch of my favourite things – Horror, Comedy, Comics, Anthologies, Icky Stuff, Stephen King, and George Romero, and shoves it all together in a wonderful little gruesome package. Lots of little stories, self-contained and with their own casts, each with a little Grimm’s Fairy Tales style moralizing, and they’re all lovely. Watch it.

6: 48 Hours (US)

Possibly the best buddy cop comedy movie of them all – though Lethal Weapon usually takes the credit.

5: Blade Runner (US)

It’s Blade Runner – you know it, and if you don’t, you’re probably on the wrong site.

4: Rocky 3 (US)

The third Rocky, is maybe the weakest until part 5, but is still damn good.

3: First Blood (US)

Peak Stallone, all stealthy in the woods.

2: The Thing (US)

Covered in my Top Movies Of The Decade post

1: Conan The Barbarian (US)

Covered in my Top Movies Of The Decade post

Let us know your favourites in the comments!

Essential Movies – 1965

Greetings, Glancers! Welcome back to my half-assed destruction of so call Essential movies as we look at which ones can truly be given such a moniker. Check out my explanation post for more info, and have a look at my 1965 Oscars posts if you have additional time to waste. Onwards!


Why Is It Considered Essential: Jean Luc Godard. Influential.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: Old. Black and White. Foreign. Weird.

What I Think: Has a great look and is a good introduction to Godard’s style. Only Godard fans, Critics, Wannabees should consider it Essential, though Film Nerds will want to see what’s up.

Cat Ballou

Why Is It Considered Essential: Jane Fonda. Lee Marvin. 5 Oscar Nominations, 1 win. Top 10 Grossing film.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: Westerns are typically tough men movies for tough men. Musicals are not. Musical Westerns? That’s a tough sell.

What I Think: It’s enough of a curiosity to bring in fans of both genres. Film Nerds will want to see what the fuss is about, but not Essential for anyone else. I actively dislike Musicals, and Westerns as a whole are not my thing. This manages to have a certain charm and Marvin and Fonda are strong.


Why Is It Considered Essential: Top 20 Grossing. Nominated for 5 Oscars, won 3. John Schlesinger. Julie Christie. Dirk Bogarde. Laurence Harvey.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: Old, Black and White, doesn’t feature one of the true big stars of the era which modern audiences would know.

What I Think: I love how groundbreaking it is at looking at certain lifestyles and human relationships, and there’s no doubting the talent involved. Is there enough to make it essential for a modern viewer? Wannabees will get to it due to the Oscar success, fans of the cast should see it, I doubt anyone beyond that will.

Dr Zhivago

Why Is It Considered Essential: 2nd Highest Grossing movie of the year and one of most successful ever. Nominated for 10 Oscars, won 5. Julie Christie. Omar Sharif. David Lean. Alec Guinness.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: It’s over three hours. It’s incredibly dense, though basically a romance.

What I Think: It’s one of those movies I tend to avoid – sprawling historical epics based on literary epics based on real world events – feels too much like school than Cinema. You’re sucked in though by the visuals and as a technical feat there are fewer filmmakers more essential than David Lean. Essential for Critics, Wannabees, Film Nerds, Fans should see it once, but likely overlong for anyone else.

Faster Pussycat Kill Kill

Why Is It Considered Essential: I’m not sure it actually is considered Essential, but in the annals of Cult Movies it’s definitely one of the most Essential. Influential to many later artists on many fronts and peppered with quotable dialogue. If you watch one Russ Meyer movie – it’s this.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: Old, Black and white, cheap, tacky, violent. It was a box office failure even though it’s budget was under 50K.

What I Think: If you like Cult Movies or Exploitation Film, it’s a must. Modern critics note it for its gender politics and influence. Essential down to Film Nerds, Film Fans should give it a try, and any Casuals who enjoy action, violence, and boobs will enjoy it.


Why Is It Considered Essential: Beatles. Top 20 Grossing.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: Not as good as A Hard Day’s Night so if you’re only going to watch one Beatles movie, it won’t be Help!

What I Think: The music is better than A Hard Day’s Night, at least to me, but the film isn’t as strong. Still, it’s The Beatles and as cultural icons go they don’t come bigger. Essential all the way down to Casuals, and anyone should give it a try.

The Ipcress File

Why Is It Considered Essential: Cemented Michael Caine’s place on the map. One of the most successful and highly regarded British movies ever. Interesting counterpoint to 007. Also scored by John Barry. 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: Given the choice between this and a Bond movie, most will go with Bond. More quintessentially English, which may distance viewers.

What I Think: A great film as worthy of watching as any Bond. Casual British viewers of a certain age should enjoy it and Essential for anyone higher on the scale.

A Patch Of Blue

Why Is It Considered Essential: Top 20 Grossing. 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nominated for 5 Oscars, won one. Sidney Poitier. Shelly Winters. Breaking down racial boundaries.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: Dated, old.

What I Think: Yeah, it’s dated but still relevant, and must have been shocking at the time with all the stuff about prostitution, rape, and mixed race fun. Fans of cast should see it, not sure if it’s Essential for Film Nerds, and Wannabees will get to it and some point.


Why Is It Considered Essential: Polanski. Deneuve. 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: Old, Black and White. Weird.

What I Think: One of the finest horror movies of the era, one of the best psychological horror movies ever. Due to its expressionist nature it’s not one you can simply dip into, so likely not Essential for Casuals or below. Essential for everyone above.

The Sound Of Music

Why Is It Considered Essential: Highest grossing movie of year and one of most successful films ever. Nominated for 10 Oscars, won 5. If you ask people to name a Musical, this will be one of the top 5 answers.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: It’s a Musical. There’s too much smiling and singing and all of the other stuff I can’t stand about the genre. Sickly, simple, silly, showy.

What I Think: As much as I’m not a fan of the genre, there’s no getting away from the cultural impact. The film looks incredible, the songs are part of Western life. I think everyone has to see this at some point, right?

For A Few Dollars More

Why Is It Considered Essential: Top 15 Grossing film. Clint. Leone. Van Cleef. Morricone.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: Too violent. Some people don’t like Spaghetti Westerns.

What I Think: A strong entry in the best Western Trilogy ever. If you watch one Spaghetti Western though, it’s not going to be this. Essential for Wannabees, Nerds, Western Fans.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

Why Is It Considered Essential: Top 15 Grossing Film. Huge cast. Jesus? Nominated for 5 Oscars.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: Well over 4 hours long. Massive commercial flop. Not critically well received.

What I Think: If you’re going to watch one Biblical epic, it may as well be this one. It’s not good, but for the sheer number of Stars it’s interesting. Wannabees should get to it. Nerds will want to see what it’s all about. Essential for Christian types?


Why Is It Considered Essential: 3rd Highest Grossing Film of year. Bond.

Why Could It Not Be Considered Essential: As Bond films go, as Connery films go – it’s a lesser entry. Most people will go with Dr. No or Goldfinger. 

What I Think: I consider the Bond franchise as a whole essential viewing – there’s much for critics to think through, and general movie fans continue to gobble them up. Thunderball isn’t a personal favourite and if you don’t care for the series then I’d consider skipping it.

Which films of 1965 would you consider Essential, and who do you break down that categorization?

Mortal Kombat

Jax Briggs Delivers a Gory Fatality in This New Clip from 'Mortal Kombat'!  - Bloody Disgusting

Every gamer has that one game, that one series, which truly sucked you into the hobby. Most of us end up having quite a few of these – those games which took over your life for a time and which felt like more than just another thing to play. For me, as someone who has been gaming since the Spectrum days, I have a tonne of formative favourites but Mortal Kombat is one of those which went beyond purely gaming. I was obsessed with games 1-3, learning the moves and fatalities for each character, reading the lore and imagining each character’s lives beyond the games. I loved the first movie and bought the VHS, I was excited for and disappointed by its sequel, and I even enjoyed the short lived TV show. Somewhere along the way I moved on to other things, the games rarely came to my console of choice, but I still hoped for more movies and shows based on the franchise.

Mortal Kombat is the latest in the long line of franchise reboots. Given the enduring popularity of the videogames, and a recent resurgence in its popularity, a reboot seemed inevitable. What’s interesting and commendable about the reboot, is the lack of a big name cast. Outside of Hiroyuki Sanada and Tadanobu Asano, the cast are lesser known stalwarts of TV and Cinema and convincing in their martial arts abilities. Several of the guys have a history in martial arts which helps the film feel less Hollywood and more authentic. The level of gore isn’t quite on terms with the ridiculous nature of the games, but there are plenty of visceral kills and moments which are apt given the game’s history, and not the sort of thing you tend to see much in a mainstream release these days. In terms of being authentic to the games, we have a roster of familiar characters to prop up the new character of Cole Young – essentially your Build A Character guy. It’s expectedly cheesy when people say things like ‘flawless victory’ and ‘get over here’, but that’s the nature of the beast.

With a world so messy and involved as this, it’s difficult to pick a single strand and run with it, while avoiding too much exposition. The writers know that most of the people watching this will have a background in the lore, but just in case, they have to do a little back story and world building. Opening with a fairly brutal scene set in rural Japan a number of centuries ago, a famous fighter’s home is attacked by a group of warriors. His family is slain and he has a final showdown with the group’s leader. It’s a bloody battle, but the fighter is killed. One infant was stashed away in an attempt to secure his bloodline. Flash forward to present day and we learn that one of the fighter’s descendants is an American, down on his luck MMA type. He also happens to have a birthmark which, we later learn, is mystical in nature and highlights him as one of Earth’s warrior champions. Every generation there is an intergalactic martial arts tournament known as Mortal Kombat, in which the best fighters from every realm, fight to the death, for glory, and for the protection of their worlds. Earth is on a 9 tournament losing streak, and if they lose a tenth, then all of the evil of the worlds beyond will have free reign on Earth and likely turn humanity into slaves.

This is one of the points at which the film fragments a little. The entire film, unlike the original, is set pre-tournament. Shang Tsung, the leader of the bad guys, decides to take out Earth Realms champions before they get a chance to compete, thereby giving the bad guys a drastic advantage. It’s a little like The Terminator, and is an idea which would have been cool to truly delve into. If they had focused on Cole and a smaller group of fighters, with no knowledge of why they are being hunting down by these supernatural warriors, I could have got behind that idea. Instead, Sonja and Jax already suspect Mortal Kombat and have been researching for years, Liu Kang and Kung Lao are veterans, and some of the good guys even know the bad guys. It feels like the writers wanted to tell a story, but knew they had to keep the fandom happy by throwing as many game characters on the screen. Kano is fully fleshed out and is a lot of fun, but the likes of Kabal, Mileena, Reiko, Nitara, are mostly there for fighting and killing purposes. Cole is a family man too, which I understand and lends him an emotional connection to the audience and to Scorpion, but if we were following the Terminator idea, it would have suited the plot better to simply have Cole as a seemingly random guy thrown into this world of stretchy mouthed woman and stalactite botherers.

The more crucial point, for me, is why Shang Tsung even goes through with any of this. If I was on a nine tournament streak, I’d be pretty confident that I was going to win the next one. The best of Earth’s warriors have clearly been beaten for many generations, so why would I assume they would be so tough this time? I get that there’s this prophecy about Scorpion’s offspring preventing the bad guys from winning, but if you’re aware of this prophecy, why not simply go full T2 and kill them when they’re kids? It feels a little clunky, and I think they could have introduced the world and characters without having to go down this route. I’d maybe have preferred the story to simply follow Scorpion’s journey without having the character of Cole whatsoever. In addition, the film almost ends feeling unfinished with Shang Tsung promising he’ll be back with armies. The final fights are good, but feel somewhat anti-climactic, and clearly prepped for a host of sequels.

It’s likely fair to say that most people are not coming to Mortal Kombat for the story. Most people will want the peripherals, a few familiar names, and then let them behead, punch, kick, stab, and uppercut each other into spike pits. As mentioned, there is plenty of gore which evokes some of the series fatalities and the fights feel swift and visceral, and are more akin to the Eastern action movies such as The Raid rather than a Marvel movie. Even with the fantastical elements, it still feels grounded in using your body and your physical ability to overcome your enemy. In that respect, it’s a very traditional martial arts film which just happens to include four-armed monsters, thunder gods, and resurrected fire ninjas.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Mortal Kombat!

Christmas At Castle Hart

Christmas at Castle Hart (TV Movie 2021) - IMDb

Top of the morning to ya, and other things us Irish folk don’t actually say. Who knows, maybe those weirdos down South of the border do, but up here you’re more likely to get a side-eyed glance followed by a rapid fire WHATABOUTYEBIGLAWDWHATAREYAAFTER? Yes, you are correct; Lacey Chabert has finally brought her Hallmark movies to Ireland!

Lacey and her sister work together as (I want to say…) waitresses, but are fired for making fun of their boss while their boss is standing behind them. Christmas is coming, the girls have nothing better to do, so they decide to fly off to a small village in Ireland to look into their family routes. It’s all very charming and quaint and the locals take the girls Americanisms with good spirits, and before long they’re snooping around the local Castle. Screwball misunderstandings occur, and Lacey and her sister finds themselves pretending to be high class event planners so that they can help the local Earl (Stuart Townsend) run a Christmas party at the Castle. As the girls plan for Christmas, they become more entangled in the myth they’ve created, become closer to the men and women of the town, start developing romantic feelings for some of them, and grown guilty about living this lie.

It’s standard Hallmark fair – festive, light romance, pretty people, a harmless plot and cast, gentle humour, and it is all wrapped up neatly with a bow for a heart-warming ending. The positives are Lacey and the rest of the cast, the novelty of having the film somewhat close to me, and having the film set outside one of the major US cities. It’s something which these kinds of movies have been doing ore of recently – taking familiar stories and giving them a very slight cultural twist by situating them in another Country and showing off some of the scenery. This being Ireland… we don’t get a lot of snow, so it was amusing seeing the fake frosting and snow covering the streets and houses on screen, and most of the Irishisms which are made are done are responded to in a withering fashion by others in the cast. These films never feel super-Christmasy, but they have become a festive tradition in themselves and gives me and the missus a break from the usual Die Hards and Rare Exports.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Christmas At Castle Hart!

I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House

31 Days of Horror #18 – I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016) – The Main Damie

Oz Perkins has four features to his name so far, this his second effort after the generally well received The Blackcoat’s Daughter. While I appreciated the atmosphere and look and idea of that film, I felt that it lacks scares, direction, and it failed to have the impact on me that it did on others. In I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House, I can essentially copy and paste those exact comments and be done with the review. I write more than is necessary though, so here we go.

The film has something of a dual narrative, but mostly follows the experiences of a live-in nurse who stays in a grand old house to attend to the palliative care of an elderly horror writer suffering from dementia. The nurse, Lily, is an odd one; prone to flights of fancy, talking to herself, and with an aversion to anything spooky. In haunted house fashion, strange things start happening. In horror movie fashion, the protagonist does nothing about it.

Meanwhile we learn that Iris, the writer, wrote a story about a man who murders his wife and buries her in the walls of the house. So far, so Poe. Iris refers to Lily by the name of the murdered wife, Lily begins to notice mould on one of the walls of the house, and… well, you see where this is going.

I’ve no idea if the movie was supposed to be so telegraphed or if the ending was intended to be a surprise. In any case, none of what happens is a surprise, even as details are drip-fed and we crawl backwards at the inevitable conclusion. I didn’t have issues with the glacial pace, but the lack of scares, of tension, and the abundance of emptiness suggests that the film would have been much more suited to being part of an anthology or a TV episode rather than a feature. It’s a story which will be familiar to every horror fan, and if it’s horror fans that the movie is targeted at then the lack of scares and pacing will likely frustrate.

As interesting as it was to see Paula Prentiss back on screen, Ruth Wilson is horribly miscast, the incessant mumbling and whispering becomes irritating very quickly, and by the time the 30 minute mark ticks around and you’ve worked out both the tricks and the conclusion of the story, you’ll spend the remaining time clock-watching. The initial gloss and beauty of the film is rotted by the director’s pretensions, the atmosphere set up for a tension between threat and loss acquiesces into monotony, and the early promise of an interesting setting and hope for a modern take on an old-fashioned ghost story fades as quickly as my interest in whatever Perkins does next.

Let us know in the comments what you think of I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House.

I’m Not A Serial Killer

I Am Not a Serial Killer' Has a Refreshing Moral Center | Cinema Faith

A delightful little movie which came from nowhere and remains underseen and under valued even six years after its release, I’m Not A Serial Killer is an adaptation of the first book in the John Cleaver series by Dan Wells, and follows a teenager with sociopathic tendencies who is self-aware enough to understand that he holds many of the same traits of the serial killers he is obsessed with as he battles his own demons and investigates a series of murders in his hometown. It’s like Dexter, if Dexter was interesting.

Max Records is fantastic in the lead role of John, an atypical disaffected youth who lives with his mother in a funeral home which he uses to both live out and restrain himself from his growing urges. After witnessing some weird shit at a murder scene and learning about an identical murder shortly after, John suspects the town is housing a serial killer and believes this killer to be his elderly neighbour Bill Crowley, played with relish by Christopher Lloyd. As John becomes more obsessed he begins to infiltrate Crowley’s life more, and the line between killer and hunter is blurred.

There’s a lot to enjoy and unpack in I’m Not A Serial Killer, beyond its performances and central idea. The film takes on an unexpected supernatural slant early on which some people may be put off by, but while it may be unnecessary it personally enhanced an already gripping premise. It’s a film which chews on its contradictions and doesn’t mind where your allegiances lie. Both John and Crowley are fascinating characters and you get the impression that their story could just as effectively been developed over the course of a six episode series as in a sub 2 hour movie. It’s self aware, funny, and suitably tense and grim. It doesn’t take the subject matter lightly, yet doesn’t treat things as anything other than thought-provoking entertainment. It’s a shame the film hasn’t done as well as it deserves, it’s a shame that it did not grow into a series considering the number of books there are, and it’s a shame that Max Records gives a star-making performance but hasn’t made another film since.

Let us know in the comments what you think of I’m Not A Serial Killer!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1987!

Original 1987 Documentary from Masters of the Universe - He-Man World

Greetings, Glancers! You may know that 1987 is my favourite year for movies. If you look at my favourite movies of that year list, you’ll see how much love I have for the year. Like any year, there are still duds, movies I didn’t enjoy, and movies I actively hate.

Baby Boom

Most of the films I’ve chosen for this list are not bad films – they are simply the films which always seemed to be on every Sunday evening of afternoon when I was hoping for an Indiana Jones or 007 movie, and as such they come with negative associations. Baby Boom however, is one of those random movies which was forced on me and seemed to have no redeeming features to a young boy who wanted guns, monsters, and action, and watching again as an adult it’s simply another in the long line of vapid Diane Keaton vehicles – worse, it was one of the precursors to what is now an unfortunate sub-genre of its own, the ‘high-powered career woman’ realises that babies are cute/men are cute/other things are more important’. It’s an idea which is still saturated in media today, and one which has neither matured or progressed a single degree in the last few decades.

Batteries Not Included

When I wanted Goonies, I would get this. It’s fine, but doesn’t have the action, the humour, the thrills of what I look for in a Sci Fi movie

Fatal Attraction

A soft-core porn movie with no sex, a thriller with no thrills, and just a scorned lady with a thing against lupines. Doubling down on the populace’s need for salacious scandal and titillation, Fatal Attraction is a well-acted but failure of a thriller which Basic Instinct would later surpass.

Harry And The Hendersons

This was one of those movies that I always wanted to be more. It’s too light and fuzzy – the laughs are neither frequent nor funny enough, the action is uneventful, and the heart is sub-Hallmark. Good costume, good Lithgow, but I prefer my Lithgow completely off the rails.

Jaws The Revenge

The only truly bad movie on the list, this is such a departure from the first two movies that it’s ultimately disrespectful that it carries the same name. As awful as the third movie is, at least it as some shark action. This is nothing, and even the memes and the so bad it’s good moments are not enough to save it – one of the worst movies of all time.


A Rom-com, so I’m halfway out the door before it begins, but it does have a good central premise. The 80s at least were good for doing something different with the genre every so often – though this is a slighter twist on Splash. It’s fine, but again it was on when I wanted Back To The Future. 

Masters Of The Universe

I was a huge fan of the He-Man cartoon in the 80s – it was essential viewing. When we learned there was a movie, my brother and I quickly demanded a trip to the video shop to see what was sure to be the most important Cinematic moment of the century. What we got was a pre-Skeletor Courtney Cox teaming up with a monotone Dolph Lundgren to save earth from a variety of furries and baddies, with the help of other furries and goodies. It.. has some visual appeal, and Skeletor looks genuinely scary – Lundgren looks the part too, but when anyone opens their mouth or anything happens… it’s embarrassing when a children’s cartoon created to sell toys has a smarter script, more engaging action, and stronger ideas than a full blown Hollywood thing.


It’s Steve Martin with a funny nose.

Let us know in the comments what your least favourite movies of 1987 are!