DARKNESS RISING

Poffy The Cucumber

Terrifying Inadequacy. Three 20-somethings explore a decrepit house and die from ghosts. So it’s a happy ending. Because we started rooting for the ghosts about five minutes in. Blond valley girl Madison (Tara Holt), drags her non-actor boyfriend Jake (Bryce Johnson) and bestie Izzy (Katrina Law) to the cranky old house of her youth, which is scheduled for demolition. Madison’s … Read More

US 2019

Poffy The Cucumber

Comes at us with wild rabbit teeth. Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. — Jeremiah 11:11, King James Version A vacationing family find themselves terrorized by another family, whom they discover – is … Read More

THE CONJURING

Poffy The Cucumber

Paradise by the Jump-Scare Light. If this movie didn’t have jump-scares, it wouldn’t have any scares at all. Clichéd Haunted Houses Monthly awarded THE CONJURING its highest honor: “Best Movie With A Middle-American Family Moving Into An Obvious Haunted House Where Murders Were Committed.” The movie was also given a plaque by the Organization For Jump-Scares And Orchestra Stabs, with … Read More

BIRD BOX

Poffy The Cucumber

What You Don’t See… sure can bird you. BIRD BOX is the movie M. Night Shyamalan tried to make with THE HAPPENING. When an unseen entity causes people to kill themselves, a lone woman and two kids brave the rapids to a refugee destination. Blindfolded. The hook in this compelling thriller is so audacious it works: “something” that can’t be … Read More

THE RITUAL 2017

Poffy The Cucumber

Swedish meat and balls. Four British friends on a hiking trip through Sweden encounter an elemental evil that crucifies people and eats their innards. This ain’t your daddy’s Swedish Chef. The hook in THE RITUAL is its crescendo of fear. With a chilling soundtrack that is disturbing all by itself, when added to the morbid events that bedevil the four … Read More

DEMONIC

Poffy The Cucumber

Next Stop: Unoriginality Central. Six Millennial friends try to contact unseen entities supposedly haunting an old house where murders were committed. Where have we heard this before? Oh, everywhere… There are a couple of interesting tidbits thrown into this mix of horror and detective thriller, but for the most part, DEMONIC has a devil of a time coming up with … Read More

MALICIOUS 2018

Poffy The Cucumber

Para-psychosis, para-demons and para-actors. After a miscarriage, a woman and her husband have visions of that dead baby daughter, who appears to them at various ages, with malicious intent. MALICIOUS follows young couple Adam (blank-faced Josh Stewart) and heavily-pregnant Lisa (glorious Bojana Novakovic) as they move into their new home in the country (capacious and multi-storied, with a lack of … Read More

MALEVOLENT 2018

Poffy The Cucumber

The ghosts ain’t the things to be afraid of… MALEVOLENT has one heart-wrenching scene that puts it above most other ghost-hunter thrillers: a young woman who can see ghosts of the dead has just escaped from a torture chamber, where she was locked with her brother. As they escape, they are separated. As she stumbles down the road, away from … Read More

SATANIC

Poffy The Cucumber

Millennial Belial. In this road trip chiller, four annoying Millennials visit satanic sites in LA. They’re so preppie and goth and YOLO that we hope they get killed. And Satan answers our prayers. The premise for SATANIC is not bad: skeptical kids seeking occult excitement because duh find themselves terrorized by unseen forces that drag them one by one into … Read More

THE MONSTER 2016

Poffy The Cucumber

Tropes on a Forest Road. Mother and daughter on road trip. Breakdown on deserted road. Monster attack. That’s about it in THE MONSTER, an average thriller that ambitiously tries to be more than the B-movie it is. Zoe Kazan is a white trash alcoholic single mom, and Ella Ballentine is disenchanted teen daughter Lizzy. As if sensing the minimal substance … Read More

GERALD’S GAME

Poffy The Cucumber

Freedom is just a handcuff away. Vacation. Tote bag. Two pairs of chrome steel handcuffs. Long-married couple Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) and Jessie Burlingame (Carla Gugino) are trying to revive their marriage with a new game. After Jessie is handcuffed to the bedposts, she loses her taste for the game and says No. Uncuff me. Gerald coyly says no. Then he … Read More

IT 2017

Poffy The Cucumber

He pronouned me… The children of a small town are terrorized by a demon, until they realize they can simply beat the shit out of it. Stephen King’s novel It was a television B-movie in 1990, starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown, with a Cagney-gangster voice that is now dated and goofy. This big screen remake puts the IT … Read More

SAW VI

Poffy The Cucumber

Would you like a little Death to go with your Life Insurance? Jigsaw’s back, and this time – he’s killing Health Insurance reps! And I think I speak for everyone when I say, “And?” It’s SAW VI, and vigilante Jigsaw (Tobin Bell, as ominous as ever!) has been terrorizing us for so long now (since 2004’s SAW), it was inevitable … Read More

SAW V

Poffy The Cucumber

Cinco de Pain-o. SAW V opens with its now-characteristic gore-porn, that gives the victim a torturous choice, in this case, be sliced in half by a swinging pendulum, Edgar Allen Poe style, or stop the swing by crushing your hands to dust in vices. The victim opts to mangle his hands, as penance for his past sins – but the … Read More

SAW IV

Poffy The Cucumber

Fourth Time’s the Harm. Jigsaw is dead. Lying naked on an autopsy slab. Skull being sawed open by morticians, brain being pried loose from its succulent base, ribcage spread wide, slippery organs removed (I’d love to know what surgeons think of this authentic-looking scene) – but wait! In his stomach – a micro-cassette tape! Not foreseeing that Radio Shack would … Read More

IT 1990

Poffy The Cucumber

The B-Actors’ Club. Back in 1990, STEPHEN KING’S IT was a reasonably successful and moderately enjoyable TV horror production, using B-Actors and basic practical special effects. After the release of its formidable 2017 remake, the 1990 version looks like a TV production using B-Actors and basic practical special effects. Stephen King’s original novel, It, was one of his many epic … Read More

SPLIT 2017

Poffy The Cucumber

Multiple McAvoy, Numinous Night. Professor X has been hearing those voices in his head again… If you like James McAvoy, then you’ll love SPLIT. It stars James McAvoy. And James McAvoy. And James McAvoy. And James McAvoy. And James McAvoy. And James McAvoy. And James McAvoy. Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan returns to form as master filmmaker with his deviously intriguing … Read More

GET OUT

Poffy The Cucumber

… because a black mind is a terrible thing to waste. You know what they say: You’ll always remember your first time – with a black man. In a startling writer-director debut, Jordan Peele’s arm-gripping thriller GET OUT is a renaissance for the horror genre. But it won’t do shit for race relations. Chris is about to meet his girlfriend … Read More

THE VISIT 2015

Poffy The Cucumber

Don’t Get Old, Get Evil. Two young children visit their grandparents for the first time. And smell death. Uh, wait – that’s pretty normal. Two children visit their grandparents for the first time – and find soiled adult diapers! … Well, uh, still pretty normal. Two children visit their grandparents for the first time. And see vomiting and dementia. Still … Read More

INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3

Poffy The Cucumber

Back to the Further. I saw a man that was choking there, I guess he couldn’t breathe… — Alice Cooper, “The Ballad Of Dwight Fry.” Old lady wanders around in darkness. Gets startled by people trying to kill her. Is this INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3 or a visit to Granny’s? Quinn (Stefanie Scott) is a sweet, smooth teen whose mother has … Read More