Sunday, December 24, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- The Apology (2022)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the final night, I am posting the 2022 isolation horror thriller The Apology. 

The Apology (2022)

The holidays can be one of the loneliest times, especially for those who have suffered a loss they are still troubled by. It is twenty years after the disappearance of her daughter, and a woman named Darlene does her best to manage this loss while planning a family holiday dinner. With so much weighing on her, she has a great friend and neighbor who has helped her manage this tragedy and as well as fighting to keep sober. A visit from her ex-brother-in-law surprises her, and while he offers her a gift her daughter left with him, he also has a secret he wants to share. The Apology is a 2022 psychological thriller directed and written by Alison Locke and starring Anna Gunn, Linus Roche, and Janeane Garofalo. The heavy subject matter in The Apology would trouble any family who has suffered the loss of a child, and the portrayal by Ms. Gunn showcases her talent and ability to display a range of emotions. While not a horror movie in the traditional sense, The Apology utilizes an isolated wintery setting to create a sense of dread as Darlene has to confront someone she trusted in the past and fight to survive when her ex-brother-in-law's true intentions are shown. The Apology is a real-life horror story that most of us hope never to encounter, and Ms. Locke has directed a terrifying tale with Ms. Gunn portraying a woman who finds a strength in her she never knew she had.    

Saturday, December 23, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- There's Something in the Barn (2023)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the twenty-third night, I am posting the 2023 holiday horror comedy There's Something in the Barn.

There's Something in the Barn (2023)

A family from California moves to a remote Norwegian village after the father inherits a house and barn from a deceased relative. As the family adjusts to the changes, the young son discovers a barn elf who at first seems friendly, but the family soon learns what happens when you disturb his peace. There's Something in the Barn is a 2023 Norwegian film directed by Magnus Martens and starring Martin Starr. In many ways, this film plays out as a remake of Gremlins, and it is fair to say that while it is not a rip-off of the holiday classic, it certainly follows the blueprint down to special rules and holiday mayhem. In many of the Gremlin knockoffs, what was missing was the controlled manner in which the elves' mischief was carried out, and while this movie is indeed more violent than it appears, the director does make it quite comical. There's Something in the Barn, with a small cast of American and Norwegian actors, to help carry this black comedy and make for a bloody, fun holiday horror movie.  

Friday, December 22, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- The Sacrifice Game (2023)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the twenty-second night, I am posting the 2023 horror movie The Sacrifice Game.

The Sacrifice Game (2023)

Horror movies set in boarding schools often focus on plots involving witchcraft or cult activity hidden in the halls of the old buildings. This is a trope being utilized in movies like Suspiria and The Woods. It is no wonder that Shudder's The Sacrifice Game would follow in their path. Samantha is upset that her stepfather will not pick her up for Christmas break and will have to stay with the outcast student Clara and a teacher over the holiday. While they enjoy a Christmas Eve dinner, they are interrupted by a murderous cult who wishes to involve them in their scheme as both girls fear for their lives during a demonic ritual. The Sacrifice Game is directed by Jenn Wexler, who is best known for her film The Ranger, and is co-written by Ms. Wexler and Sean Redlitz. The small cast features Chloe Levine, Gus Kenworthy, Mena Massoud, Olivia Scott Welch, and newcomers Madison Baines and Georgia Acken. Setting the film in the early 1970s helps to create a feeling of isolation for the cast; the lack of cell phones and the internet makes the situation difficult for the trapped students who must try to seek help when they are being held captive by a dangerous cult. The two young ladies are well cast in roles that would challenge more experienced actors, and their determination helps move the film through its hour and forty-minute runtime. Director Wexler has shown an excellent talent for horror films featuring female leads. Chloe Levine, who appeared in her previous film, The Ranger, has emerged as a promising actress in Ms. Wexler's films, and it was great to see her in this movie. The Sacrifice game is streaming on Shudder and is recommended for horror fans looking for movies involving dangerous cults and isolated wintery settings. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- The Mean One (2022)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the twenty-first night, I am posting the 2022 holiday horror movie The Mean One.

The Mean One (2022)

One of the best Christmas stories is the tale of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and for years, audiences have enjoyed the green villain in books, cartoons, and feature films. Despite being a villain, The Grinch has become a beloved figure for the holidays, but what if he never had the chance to redeem himself? After witnessing her mother being murdered by a mysterious green man in a Santa suit as a child, former Newville resident Cindy has grown up and returns to her hometown to sell her family home with her Christmas-loving father. When she arrives, she finds a town that shuns anything to do with Christmas and hides some dark secrets that Cindy and a newly arrived deputy seek to find out. The Mean One is a 2022 horror black comedy directed by Steven LaMorte, starring Krystle Martin as grownup Cindy and David Howard Thornton as the eponymous villain. At first glance, the film looks like a light-hearted horror comedy. You will be mistaken as The Mean One is quite violent and filled with bloody bodies, primarily dressed in holiday attire. Ms. Martin does a decent job with the script that seems too pun-filled, but the real star is Mr. Thornton as The Mean One, who takes the green villain to new heights using much of the same physical style he employs with Art the Clown. While critics have not treated the film kindly, fans of Art the Clown will appreciate this movie, and it will very well become a cult classic for those who enjoy holiday horror.   

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

24 Days of LosMas-The Slayer (1982)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the twentieth night, I am posting the 1982 supernatural horror movie The Slayer.

The Slayer (1982)

We all dream when we sleep, and sometimes, we have nightmares that terrify us and make us afraid until we wake and see that all is well. In the 1982 supernatural horror movie The Slayer, one woman's dreams are prophetic visions that she fears may come to pass. Two married couples take a trip to a remote island for a much-needed vacation. Yet one of the women has been having terrible dreams, and as storms rage on the island, leaving them stranded and without help, something begins to target them, as seen in her nightmares. The Slayer was directed by JS Cardone and stars Sarah Kendall, Sandy Simpson, and Alan McRae. The Slayer is quite a unique thriller as it involves dreams and the fears of what they bring forth. The cast of unknown actors perform their roles well, especially Ms Kendall, who portrays the troubled artist Kay with bad dreams. The Slayer is not well known among horror fans, yet it was one of many movies targeted by the UK censors who placed it on the video nasty list, banning its distribution in British video stores. The film itself isn't too gory, but there are a few scenes that indeed alarmed the critics but are mild compared to today's much more graphic and violent horror films. While the movie may not be as well known as many other slashers, The Slayer is undoubtedly worth seeking out for its unique supernatural storyline and the great ending.  

Monday, December 18, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Alien Raiders (2008)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the eighteenth night, I am posting the 2008 Sci Fi horror movie Alien Raiders.

Alien Raiders (2008)
In the 1950s, the Red Scare helped to foster a generation of sci-fi thrillers that had the audience questioning who was the villain hiding among us. While most of these films played out on our natural fear of strangers, what made them effective was the threat that might be among us from those we trust. Employees in a small market having to work on Christmas Eve are taken hostage by a group of terrorists who are killing random people in the store. As police try to determine the best way to get the hostages released, the victims begin to wonder what is going on when their captors start talking about an invasion conspiracy. Alien Raiders is a 2008 sci-fi horror movie directed by Ben Rock and starring Carlos Bernard, Mathew St Patrick, & Courtney Ford. Alien Raiders is one of those movies that looks like a cheap b movie, but don't let that fool you, as this is a great sci-fi thriller that pays homage to movies like The Thing From Another World, Invaders From Mars, and John Carpenter's The Thing. The casting of this film benefits significantly, with actors like Mathew St Patrick in the role of a police officer and stepfather to one of the hostages. Jeffrey Licon and Samantha Streets also deliver significant roles as a pair of younger employees who bond as friends in captivity. Alien Raiders certainly was one of the better movies I have found at the dollar store and will be one I look forward to watching again next holiday season.  

Sunday, December 17, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- XXX-Mas (2023)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the seventeenth night, I am posting the 2023 horror comedy XXX-Mas. 

XXX-Mas (2023)

Santa Claus is often portrayed as a jolly good fellow who is happy to hand out treats and spread Christmas Joy. In the 2023 horror indie comedy XXX-Mas, we see a very different kind of Santa who is more naughty than nice. On Christmas Eve, a troupe of adult actors meets up to film the latest porn movie for the eccentric Johnny D. As they are filming, a not-so-Jolly Saint Nick arrives, bringing about a bloody massacre while he is on a cookie and milk daze that has him punishing the whole film team. XXX-Mas is a holiday horror comedy directed by James Dean and written by Dean and Louis Otero. The film's comedic bent is aided by a fun group of actors, including Dolly Leigh, Morrigan Thompson, Jessa Flux, Jonathan May, Lindsay Washburn, and indie horror favorites Drew Marvick and Felissa Rose. With the name XXX-Mas, there has to be a bit of nudity, but there are also plenty of bloody scenes to make for a gory holiday delight. Dolly Leigh excels as the spunky potential Final Girl, but the spotlight belongs to Marvick as the crazed killer Santa and Felissa Rose, who lives up to her Scream Queen reputation. While XXX-Mas may not be a big studio release, it does have a fun cast that includes several actors in another indie horror comedy, Murdercise, that fans of comedy horror will appreciate.  

Saturday, December 16, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Holiday Fear (2017)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the sixteenth night, I am posting the 2017 horror short Holiday Fear.

Holiday Fear (2017)

In so many Slashers, we have a final confrontation between the Final Girl and the assailant, but what happens in the next scene after the camera fades to black? In Holiday Fear, we catch the last act of a holiday slasher as a Santa-clad killer lies nearly dead in the snow with the surviving couple trying to decide what to do next. Cheering on her boyfriend, the lady waits patiently as her guy attempts to inflict the final death blow, but it looks like he is not up to the task. Holiday Fear is a 2017 holiday horror comedy written and directed by Nicholas Santos. With its simple outdoor snowy setting, Holiday Fear does not need more time than four minutes to present a dilemma and solution that will make this black comedy a surprise holiday hit with horror comedy fans.

Friday, December 15, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- The Grot in the Grotto (2016)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the fifteenth night, I am posting the 2016 horror short The Grot in the Grotto.

The Grot in the Grotto (2016)

If you ever wondered where they find all those mall and department store Santa’s, the short film The Grot in the Grotto offers up one story. This pseudo documentary shows the process to recruit, train and utilize the least likely candidates to fulfill the job of making kids believe in Santa. While the man interviewed talks about where great opportunity it is the true horror emerges when you witness the steps taken to make the candidates truly authentic. The Grot in the Grotto is a 2016 Christmas themed horror short directed by James William Roberts. While not the first to show a fictionalized account on where Santa’s come from, The Grot in the Grotto comes off as a mashup of A Clockwork Orange and Rare Exorts. While the story comes across like a local news piece the delivery is pure black comedy that will have its viewers wondering if it’s ok to laugh or just cringe in shock. The Grot in the Grotto is part of the Alter series of short horror themed holiday movies and is streaming on Yourtube. 

Thursday, December 14, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Midnight Clear (2017)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the fourteenth night, I am posting the 2017 horror short Midnight Clear.

Midnight Clear (2017)
The holiday season can be pretty stressful for many out there despite the festive decorations and joy-filled songs. In 2017's Midnight Clear, an agitated father forces his wife and children to celebrate Christmas earlier than usual. As the father sternly reminds the wife about tradition, the tears in her eyes and apparent trepidation show that all is not so merry on this silent night. Midnight Clear is a 2017 short movie directed by Joe Russo, who also co-wrote the story with John Jesensky. The convincing look of fear in the eyes of the mother portrayed by Jessica Morris steers the short in a direction that convinces the audience that this story is one of domestic violence. Still, as the movie plays out, the true intention of the story will be to reveal the brilliance of this horror short film. Midnight Clear was released as part of the Alter collection of short holiday horror films.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Other Side of the Box (2018)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the thirteenth night, I am posting the holiday horror short Other Side of the Box.

Other Side of the Box (2018)

Gift-giving is an essential aspect of the holiday season, but what happens when a gift turns out something sinister? On Christmas Eve, a young couple preparing for the holiday receives a surprise visit from an old friend who leaves a gift and instructions he says will explain the purpose of the gift. When opened, the gift turns out to be sinister, and a curse is unleashed on the unsuspecting couple. Other Side of the Box is a horror short directed by Caleb J Phillips, who also co-wrote with Nick Tag. Despite the short runtime, Other Side of the Box tells a terrifying yet simple story. The cast does a great job with the storyline, and the creepy nature of the box and its contents makes for a unique and original holiday horror story.  

24 Days of LosMas- Season's Greetings (2015)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the twelfth night, I am posting the 2015 anthology Season's Greetings.

Season's Greetings (2015)

A low-budget collection of horror tales with a Christmas theme brought to us by the folks who made Don't F*** in the Woods. The first tale involves a mom encountering a dangerous holiday decoration. The second tale features a pair of women looking for action from a group of randos, and the final consists of a couple encountering a demon. With only a forty-minute run time, Season's Greetings is relatively short for an anthology, and the collection is as low of a budget as you can get. The final segment was the strongest of the three stories and would be an excellent setup for a further tale. This collection was followed by a series that provided better stories and a narrator to introduce the stories. 

Monday, December 11, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Calvaire (2004)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the eleventh night, I am posting the controversial Belgian thriller Calvaire.

Calvaire (2004)

A traveling musician finds himself stranded in a remote region of Belgium when his van has mechanical issues. He is led to a nearby inn where he finds lodging but discovers that his host has other intentions in mind for him. Calvaire is a Belgian horror thriller directed by Fabrice du Welz and starring Laurent Lucas. One of many films released during the New French Extreme movement, Calvaire starts out seemingly benignly, with its protagonist stuck in a rural area and a seemingly friendly host. Yet, in time, he learns that the bizarre inhabitants hide shocking practices. Calvaire shares much in common with the controversial movies The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Straw Dogs, showing that outsiders are rarely welcomed in these closed communities. What we view as civilization is merely a veneer for some genuinely horrifying customs, and maybe we are better off staying home. 

Sunday, December 10, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Bigfoot vs. Krampus (2021)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the tenth night, I am posting the 2021 sci-fi animated film Bigfoot vs Krampus.

Bigfoot vs. Krampus (2021)

It is the future the Allied armies of Mankind, Atlanteans, and robots are preparing for Christmas, but a dark force emerges to wipe out the Allied armies. Human warriors Van Helsing and Princess Kali soon learn of this and struggle to keep the alliance together with the help of Bigfoot as they realize that they are facing Satan himself and Krampus. Bigfoot vs Krampus is a 2021 sci-fi animation film directed by BC Fourteen. Mashing together the heroes and villains of many stories, Bigfoot vs. Krampus is a wild and crazy ride that ignores logic and acts as a vehicle for monster vs monster fights. While the premise and storyline are completely absurd, Bigfoot vs Krampus provides some entertaining characters, including the mysterious Bigfoot and the Christmas villain Krampus in this eponymous sci-fi film.  

Saturday, December 9, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Barricade (2012)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the ninth night, I am posting the 2012 psychological horror movie Barricade.

Barricade (2012)

A widowed father takes his two young kids on a trip to visit his deceased wife’s family cabin for the Christmas holiday. What is expected to be a few days of snow, sledding, and fun turns into a nightmare when they are all trapped in the cabin during a heavy blizzard and he begins to suffer from crippling delusions. Barricade is a 2012 holiday thriller directed by Andrew Currie and starring Eric McCormack, Jody Thompson & Donnelly Rhodes. Isolation and loss are huge themes in this movie with the McCormack portrarying a man struggling with the loss of his wife and having to care for two kids he was distant with prior to her death. The snowy setting and remote location make this film similar to The Lodge but Barricade was released seven years prior. With its small cast the youngest actors playing the two children stand out with such a difficult film subject and wintery condition’s. 

Friday, December 8, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Island Zero (2018)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the eighth night, I am posting the 2018 isolation horror movie Island Zero.

Island Zero (2018)

An isolated fishing community on an island near Maine loses contact with the mainland as the Christmas holiday approaches. Dependent on the mainland for fuel, supplies, and other food items, the locals slowly panic when the ferry does not show up, messages are ignored, and locals who venture out do not return. What they do find out will make them question if the missing members of the community had a better fate than what awaits them. Island Zero is a 2018 eco-horror movie directed by Joss Gerritsen and written by Tess Gerritsen. The film features a cast of actors who are not well known but offer convincing portrayals of the local population, giving the viewer characters you feel sympathy for. Island Zero plays into conspiratorial fears often seen in movies when people are cut off from outside sources and turn to fear and mistrust. As a result, we get a film that seems more realistic and terrifying, given recent incidents involving industrial accidents. While the movie does not focus too much on Christmas, the winter setting adds another level of fear as the population faces starvation and suffering from the elements. 

Thursday, December 7, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Foxwood (2017)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the seventh night, I am posting the 2017 horror short Foxwood.

Foxwood (2017)

Blind dates are always an awkward experience, especially during the holidays when emotional sentiments compound them. In the 2017 holiday horror short movie Foxwood, a young man meets a woman he has been conversing with, and everything seems to work out as she takes him to her home for what proves to be a night to remember. Little does he realize that he may be getting more than he expected from this holiday hookup. Foxwood is a 2017 holiday horror short directed by Trevor Dillon and Ian Hock. The movie stars Kalen Marie George, Laura Peake, and director Hock as the hapless blind date. With so many horror shorts, it is essential to get to the plot points, and with little time to introduce characters, the challenge comes setting up for a quick and deadly outcome. What helps Foxwood is the excellent chemistry with the couple and the male lead's reaction when the night's events don't turn out how you would expect. To reveal more would spoil the story, and it is best to go in the cold as the conclusion is unexpected and full of twists.   

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- How to Deter a Robber (2020)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the sixth night, I am posting the 2020 holiday home invasion movie How to Deter a Robber 

How to Deter a Robber (2020)

Christmas movies often involve traveling to snowy parts to capture the holiday spirit. Yet one of the real-life perils is the risk of home invasion, and it is this premise behind the 2020 black comedy How to Deter a Robber. Madison (Vanessa Marano) is an 18-year-old young lady hoping to get into a good college. Still, she faces challenges from her critical family and idiot boyfriend, who only seems to cause more problems. While they "urban explore" a neighbor's empty home, they stumble upon a pair of amateur burglars who are raiding the homes in their community and threaten to harm them when they are discovered. How to Deter a Robber is a home invasion-style comedy thriller featuring Ms. Marano, best known for her roles in Gilmore Girls and Saving Zoe. While there aren't too many scares, the film dives into real-life fears involving kidnapping and encountering dangerous criminals. Benjamin Papac offers excellent comic relief and great chemistry as the idiot boyfriend, Jimmy. The movie does display a Home Alone-style premise, with the two attempting to thwart the home invaders, but there are fewer sight gags. Still, the best part is the involvement of the Hodag, a mythical creature popular in the Wisconsin area where the film setting occurs.   

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- It's a Wonderful Knife (2023)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the fifth night, I am posting the 2023 holiday horror slasher It’s a Wonderful Knife.  

It's a Wonderful Knife. (2023)

With so many Christmas-related horror films being produced, it is no wonder that many of them take cues from classic cinema. Thanks to writer Michael Kennedy and director Tyler Macintyre, we have the latest Christmas horror classic, It's a Wonderful Knife. While the people of Angels Falls prepare for the holidays, a series of murders put a shadow on the celebration as a young lady, and her brother are confronted by a masked killer, who they defeat but only after he has killed some of their friends. Feeling the grief of this event as well as other problems, she wishes she had not been born and soon finds herself in a darker version of her hometown with the killer still active and no one she can turn to for help. Ita Wonderful Knife is a 2023 holiday slasher that uses the classic Christmas movie as a template for a great dark comedy featuring horror regular Justin Long and Yellowjackets star Jane Widdop. While Christmas horror movies tend to focus on killer Santas or other characters, this movie takes a darkly humorous take on a winter classic that will entertain and surprise horror fans with its twists and great cast. While some may fault the movie's lack of gore, Its Wonderful Knife should win over holiday horror fans with its witty script and great storyline.

Monday, December 4, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- 12 Slays of Christmas (2022)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the fourth night, I am posting the 2022 holiday horror short 12 Slays of Christmas.

12 Slays of Christmas (2022)

A trio of ladies get lost during a snowstorm and find their way to a house decked out for Christmas dinner by a mysterious host who offers them gifts that may put their lives in peril. 12 Slays of Christmas is a Charles Band film that features snippets of 12 Full Moon movies and their respective villains. Not so much a movie, 12 Slays of Christmas is a fun horror holiday treat for fans of the many films of Full Moon, and with its slick production and fun cast, we get a unique holiday treat from the team behind Puppet Master and Evil Bong.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Christmas Craft Fair Massacre (2022)

will post Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the third night, I am posting the 2022 holiday-themed horror comedy Christmas Craft Fair Massacre.

Christmas Craft Fair Massacre (2022)

Concerned citizens team up to challenge a demonic cult that threatens to kidnap locals from a craft fair and mall for their own Satanic Nativity. A truly low-budget affair, Christmas Craft Fair Massacre features a cast of amateur actors and a villain decked out like a Wish version of Michael Myers. Most of the film involves people talking to one another, with a few kill scenes using very cheap-looking Halloween Spirit Store props. The best part of the movie involved a ghostly apparition scene that would have worked if they had focused on that instead of the silly satanic cult. There's little to recommend here, save for the creative movie title and a wicked cool poster.  

Saturday, December 2, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Dead by Christmas (2018)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the second night, I am posting the 2018 slasher Dead by Christmas.

Dead by Christmas (2018)

A group of former orphans are invited to a holiday gathering hosted by the nun who raised them in a Louisiana church orphanage. While they mourn the passing of one of their family, they all find themselves targeted by a mysterious and deadly person dressed in the Santa Claus costume that was worn by the deceased abusive priest who also raised them. Dead by Christmas is a 2018 holiday horror movie directed by Armand Petri and starring Holly Boney, Dawn Streeck, and McKenna Buck. Set and filmed in Louisiana, Dead by Christmas is a low-budget holiday horror film that clocks in under an hour and has little time to flesh out the characters despite some flashbacks about their abuses. There are some notable kills, but this is another film that throws in holiday lights and a killer Santa to make this otherwise forgettable film into a holiday horror movie. If you want a better Killer Santa, seek Christmas Evil, & Silent Night, Deadly Night instead.

Friday, December 1, 2023

24 Days of LosMas- Cold Wind Blowing (2022)

will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the first night, I am posting the 2022 creature feature Cold Wind Blowing.

Cold Wind Blowing (2022)

A peaceful holiday trip to a remote mountain cabin turns deadly as a group of young friends are trapped with no way to reach for help when a deadly supernatural creature interferes with their Christmas vacation. Their friendships are soon tested as the creature stalks them one at a time, exploiting their fears and trust among them. Cold Wind Blowing is a 2022 isolation horror film directed by Dionne Copland and features a cast of little-known actors. While the isolated setting and Wendigo-like creature seem like a great mix for this movie, it suffers from little to no tension leading up to the first kill. It takes nearly an hour for events to unfold, and there is little character development save for the brother and sister. Indie director Larry Fessenden provides the voice of the radio DJ and would have been a better choice than newcomer director Dionne Copland, who has won acclaim for her short films but seems lost in this mess. 

Monday, November 20, 2023

Thanksgiving (2023)


Thanksgiving (2007)

One of the best parts of the 2007 Grindhouse double feature was the fake movie previews that introduced fans of the movie to Machete, Hobo With a Shotgun, and a turkey day slasher titled Thanksgiving. While these previews were not meant to showcase genuine films, they have all been produced and have become cult classics in their own right. Thanksgiving is a movie that slasher fans have waited 15 years to see, and thanks to Eli Roth, we finally see this film. In the small town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, a tragic event during a Black Friday sale has cast a dark shadow on the community and the victim's families. A business owner decides to hold the annual parade and store sale to help move on, but a number of the townfolk turn up dead at the hands of a mysterious figure dressed as a Pilgrim nicknamed The Carver. While the Grindhouse preview showed a bloody spectacle, this film is a black comedy, following the successful formula of the recent Scream movies. The cast includes Patrick Dempsey, newcomer Nell Verlaque, and Karen Cliche, as well as minor roles for Gina Gershon and Lynne Griffin. Thanksgiving does not reinvent the wheel or change the field; it follows a style many other 80s slashers used successfully. Still, thanks to Eli Roth's direction, we have a fun holiday horror movie that finally adds another great film to the Grindhouse collection and introduces The Carver as a promising new slasher for this generation.