Out of the gate, I’d like to say that I like The Christmas Chronicles, not because it did anything in particular to advance one of my favorite causes, the life of St. Nicholas, but because it is a fun movie to watch with older kids (7+). Older kids due to some sad themes, like the death of a parent and single motherhood (soft spots for me), that must be discussed. Plus, watching fantastical Santa movies, if you’re a family that does such a thing, require alignment with the true St. Nick that many parents feel ill-equipped for. The fun of the movie comes from theRead More →

The state of much horror today is marked by the control of producers over the vision of the artist. This is true in “The Nun”, the fourth title in The Conjuring series, though it doesn’t destroy the entertainment value of the film. I can forgive them; major horror in general is taking one of two directions–either it’s an arthouse snooze-fest, or a jump-scare romper. Arthouse scores well with mainstream critics and indie film circuits, while the rompers score much lower (generally). “The Nun” is a total romper, packing in jump-scares as densely as possible. Not to say that they are all effective or necessary, butRead More →

Justin P. Lange’s recent film The Dark commands over 90 percent on the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, which for most genres is quite the impressive feat, but I’ve found to be less indicative of anything remotely good with two genres: horror and comedy. In the realm of these opposites-attract fraternal twins, audiences are much more divided. I’d wager it’s because what makes us laugh and what makes us scream are hard to pin down, and therefore difficult to pull off. Getting a large percentage of a given population to agree, then, is near triumphant. Thus, I tend to prefer horror or comedy at aRead More →