Double Feature – The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It and A Quiet Place Part II

Horror sequels are much maligned. Mostly, deservingly so! There’re plenty of reasons to dismiss an arm of exploitation cinema that typically undermines a genuinely original idea by running it into the ground. Witness, for instance, how Freddy Krueger’s oneiric menace was eroded into wisecracking mediocrity by a string of undercooked, underbudgeted imitators. And, yet, many…

Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead is billed as a ‘zombie heist’ film. Sign. Me. Up. The mind boggles with the genre-mashup possibilities and it starts ever so well with a classic Snyder opening montage that is both gorgeous and hilarious. It succinctly sets the scene: Las Vegas is ground zero for the zombie apocalypse, but the…

Spiral: From the Book of Saw

Spiral is a messy, gory film, incoherent in its characterisation and politics while relying heavily on twists telegraphed a mile out. In short: it’s a Saw sequel. With Darren Lynn Bousman – who directed the first through third sequels – at the helm it’s an archetypal Saw sequel in pretty much every respect. For me,…

Godzilla vs Kong

Godzilla vs Kong appears targeted at two audiences: those who love giant monsters punching each other, naturally, but also conspiracy theorists – or at least, those with an appreciation for conspiracy theories. Though the stars on show here are very much the aforementioned giant monsters, the smaller human cast is led by a pair of…

Boss Level

As you might have guessed, my triumphant return to ccpopculture hasn’t quite gone off as planned. There’s a lot I can attribute that to, but my main explanation is that the cinematic landscape as it stands isn’t particularly inviting to a COVID-inspired funk; big brainless blockbusters are perpetually delayed and I’m increasingly not in the…

Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman invents a new genre. Maybe that’s an overstatement – it might be clearer to say that it iterates a new genre. This is a modern-day rape revenge story, a reimagining of an archaic exploitation genre that’s since been relegated to DTV schlock (think the execrable I Spit On Your Grave remake franchise)…

Wonder Woman 1984

There are a few established Australian Boxing Day traditions. (For the unfamiliar, Boxing Day is the day immediately following Christmas Day.) An MCG test match. (For the unfamiliar…oh, you know what, nevermind.) Sales. Hangovers. Christmas leftovers. And, if you’re feeling especially motivated, perhaps you’ll brave the multiplex to see one of the half-dozen new releases…