Directed By: Julius Avery
Starring: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Olivier, Pilou Asbæk, John Magaro, Iain de Caestecker, Bokeem Woodbine, Jacob Anderson, Dominic Applewhite, et.al.
Rating: R
Grade: B-

Shortly before D-Day in World War II, a group of American soldiers are sent on a mission in German-occupied France to destroy a Nazi radio tower set up in small town church. When their unit is ambushed and their captain is killed, the rest of the unit attempts to complete the mission. After convincing Chloe, a local French woman, to shelter them while they figure out how to access the radio tower. During a recon mission to figure out the best way to approach the destruction of the tower, Boyce, one of the soldiers, finds his way into the tower, where he discovers that the Germans have been experimenting on the locals. Freeing one of his captured unit members and stealing a vial of the serum being used, Boyce returns to Chloe’s house, where he’s forced to use the serum on one of his fellow soldiers, and sees firsthand the terrifying truth behind the Nazi occupation of the village. Realizing there’s more at stake then a simple radio tower, the remaining soldiers try to formulate a plan to destroy the lab, and everyone involved with it.

A good two-thirds of this movie plays out like a fairly standard war movie, to the point where the monster-movie plot almost seems like an afterthought. Once they reach that point, they seem to rush through the rest of the movie, relying mostly on jump scares and very little suspense. At certain times, it’s more suspenseful wondering if the soldiers will be found out by the Nazis than what’s going to happen with the zombie/vampire/super soldiers. In a way, the movie sort of works as an arthouse-ish thriller, however, the trailers wouldn’t have helped with the casual viewer looking for a standard horror film, as most of the footage was taken from the back third of the movie. So far as the acting is concerned, all of the actors do well with their roles, and anyone using an accent other than their own manages to do well with it.

The special effects are fairly decent in quality, though it looks like they tried to use practical effects for most of the monsters, and the background filler isn’t noticeable.

Diehard fans of JJ Abrams brand of monster movies (he’s a producer) should enjoy this, as well as anyone who doesn’t mind a slower burn to their horror/thrillers. Anyone else should keep in mind that it takes a little time to get past the war movie aspect to the action. Those considering showing this to someone on the younger side might want to watch it first to see if it’s going to alright for them.

Overlord is currently available free to stream through Amazon Prime and Hulu, and it can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line/digital retailer.

I’m always looking for new things to watch/read, so if you have a suggestion for me, just let me know!

Child’s Play (2019)


Directed By: Lars Klevberg
Starring: Tim Matheson, Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Mark Hamill, David Lewis, Brian Tyree Henry, Carlease Burke, Beatrice Kitsos, Ty Consiglio, et.al.
Rating: R
Grade: B-

When a customer returns a defective Buddi doll, struggling single mom Karen begs her boss to let her take it home for her lonely son, Andy. Shortly after the doll is activated by Andy and named Chucky, it begins to display strange, even violent behavior toward the people and things Andy dislikes, including the family cat and his mom’s boyfriend, Shane. When Shane is mysteriously murdered, Andy becomes suspicious of Chucky, and attempts to dispose of the doll. However, Chucky is determined to remain with his best friend, and goes on a violent rampage in an attempt to keep Andy as his, and only his, friend.

A remake of the 1988 movie of the same name, this version updates the plot for the modern era, and takes away the supernatural component of the original. Instead of a doll possessed by the soul of a killer, it’s manufactured with the safety protocols removed by a disgruntled employee of the factory where the dolls are made. The actors all do well with their roles, and Plaza and Bateman are believable as mother and son. Aside from some obvious jokes from Henry’s character about being a black person in a horror movie situation, the writing is decent, and Hammill had proven in the past to have the capability to sound menacing.

The special effects appear to be decent in quality, and any background filler isn’t noticeable.

Die-hard fans of the original may not like this version, but casual horror fans will probably enjoy it, though the scene involving implied violence toward the family cat may turn off animal lovers. The story is simple enough that you don’t need to play close attention, and interesting enough that it shouldn’t become too much of a bore if watched more than once.

Child’s Play (2019) is not currently available free to stream through providers, but it can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.


I’m always looking for new things to watch/read, so if you have a suggestion for me, just let me know!



Directed By: Jordan Peele
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Yahya Abul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, et.al.
Rating: R
Grade: B

While on a family vacation to Santa Cruz with their friends, Adelaide Wilson can’t shake a sense of foreboding stemming from an incident in her past when she wandered off while at the pier carnival with her parents. After spending some time catching up with their friends the Tylers, Adelaide loses sight of her son at the beach, and then urges her family to return to their vacation home. Shortly after they return, they lose power and soon find a group of people standing on their driveway. The Wilsons quickly learn that the people are their ‘tethered’ doubles, a handful of remnants from a long-abandon attempt to control humanity by using clones of people. After outwitting their doubles, the Wilsons attempt to find help, and also try to learn why people’s doubles have surfaced after so many years.

This movie, a second outing for writer-director Jordan Peele, is a better-than-average horror movie, though the ending lacks the shock that accompanied the first one. Though it’s possible I feel that way since the twist ending was spoiled for me long before I ever saw the movie. It’s still a well-told story, and the idea of there being millions, or even billions of doubles tied to people is unsettling, but it’s just not quite the stellar outing that many were hoping it would be. That said, the actors all have decent chemistry and work well together.

There doesn’t appear to many special effects used, and any background filler isn’t noticeable.

Fans of horror/thriller movies, including Peele’s first movie, Get Out, should enjoy this movie. There is a bit of an unsettling aura in the film that makes it interesting, and the movie itself is good enough that anyone who likes it will likely enjoy watching it more than once without it getting annoying.

Us is currently available free to stream if you have HBO, and it can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.
I’m always looking for new things to watch/read, so if you have a suggestion for me, just let me know!

My Soul To Take


Directed By: Wes Craven
Starring: Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Denzel Whitaker, Zena Grey, Nick Lashaway, Paulina Olsynski, Jeremy Chu, Emily Meage, Frank Grillo, Danai Gurira, et.al.
Rating: R
Grade: D+

Sixteen years ago in the town of Riverton, on the same night a local serial killer called the Riverton Ripper died, seven children were born, several of who weren’t due for weeks or even months. Years later, those children have been raised with the rumors that they are the reincarnations of the various personalities the killer had. However, as teens are killed one by one, people begin to believe that the Ripper didn’t actually die, and that he’s attempting to seek vengeance by killing the children born the night he supposedly died.

There’s really no use in trying to mince words. This movie is not good. The characters are underdeveloped, the plot moves too quickly, there are characters and bits of plot that aren’t fully explored, and side stories that are entirely unnecessary, which considering the nearly 2-hour run time, is somewhat surprising. It honestly would have benefitted from the extra 15 or 20 minutes in order to make a more coherent movie. One of the few bright spots of the movie is Max Thieriot, who plays one of the only characters to get some kind of development.

What few special effects used appear to be decent, and the background filler isn’t really noticeable.

While I wouldn’t recommend the movie, anyone wanting a lesson in how not to make a horror/thriller should use this as their prime example. If you’re a desperate fan of Wes Craven or one of the actors involved, proceed at your own risk. This is one of the few instances in which I felt like my time had been wasted by the movie I was watching, and it’s ridiculous how easily entertained I am.

My Soul to Take is currently only available free to stream if you have HBO, but it can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.

Escape Room


Directed By: Adam Robitel
Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Jay Ellis, Tyler Labine, Deborah Ann Woll, Nick Dodani, et.al.
Rating: PG-13
Grade: A-

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, student Zoey, grocery store stocker Ben, and stockbroker Jason are mysteriously presented with a gift of a black puzzle box from someone they know. After solving the puzzle, they find an invitation to an escape room challenge, which holds a prize of $10,000 to anyone who can escape it. After their arrival at the company site for the room, they meet three others who also received the puzzle boxes, war vet Amanda, trucker Mike, and gaming enthusiast Danny. When the escape room mechanisms are triggered, they group quickly learn that the game isn’t what they first thought, and they all fight to stay alive against a system designed to kill them.

This movie was surprisingly good. I was entirely unaware of the escape room phenomenon before seeing this, so the concept seemed to be a fairly original take on a locked room mystery. Though only three of the characters get proper introductions before the action starts, they, for the most part, get some decent background instead of just being used as blank cannon fodder to increase tensions. The actors all do well with their characters, and they all have a fair amount of chemistry with each other. The puzzles themselves are all interesting, and aren’t obvious about the solutions or the potential dangers.

The special effects are fairly well done, and the background filler isn’t noticeable.

Fans of the horror/thriller genre should enjoy this movie. While there’s very little gore, it’s actually a pretty good thriller, and while it does open with a bit of a spoiler as to who survives, there are a few decent twists along the way. Anyone wanting to watch this shouldn’t be disappointed if they have to spend money on a rental, and it’s something that can be viewed multiple times without getting too boring.

Escape Room is currently only available free to stream if you have Starz, but can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.

Happy Death Day 2U


Directed By: Christopher Landon
Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Suraj Sharma, Sarah Yarkin, Rachel Matthews, Ruby Modine, Steve Zissis, Charles Aitken, et.al.
Rating: PG-13
Grade: B+

After surviving the events of a time loop which made her repeat her birthday over and over again until she’s murdered by a mysterious figure in a baby mask, Tree Gelbman is ready to start living her best life with her boyfriend, Carter. However, her happiness is short-lived when Carter’s dorm mate, Ryan, shows up in their shared room freaking out and talking about how he thinks he may have already lived through the day. Intrigued, Tree asks Ryan to walk her and Carter through the events that happened the previous ‘day,’ and discovers not only why Ryan reset, but why she was affected in a similar manner the day before, however, when a school official interrupts a test of the machine responsible for the time loops, Tree is thrown into a parallel universe where most things are the same, but a few, small, important details have changed. Tasked with trying to figure out what went wrong, Tree soon has to decide whether she wants to go back to her own universe, or stay in the one she landed in.

While marketed as a horror movie, this sequel to 2017’s surprisingly enjoyable slasher flick is more science fiction than horror. While there are still people being murdered, it’s no longer Tree’s life that’s in constant danger, though she does go through a sequence of increasingly outlandish ways to commit suicide, and the main plot is trying to fix the device that sent her into a parallel universe. That aside, this movie is also quite enjoyable. The small changes between the two universes Tree experiences helps her gain further closure with plot points from the first movie, and lets her have experiences she wouldn’t have been able to have.

A couple of the effects used are noticeable, but most aren’t, and the background filler isn’t noticeable.

If you enjoyed the first movie, then you’ll probably like this one as well, and with the lack of gore, anyone who’s not a fan of horror movies should also like it. There’s a small recap at the beginning of the movie, which means people new to the franchise don’t necessarily need to watch the first installment. It’s also enjoyable enough that one should be able to rewatch it without getting bored too easily.

Happy Death Day 2U is currently unavailable free to stream anywhere at the moment, but can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.