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Showing posts from January, 2019

Alien: Covenant - Necropolis Edition fan-edit (2018)

It's no small secret that I enjoy the Alien franchise. I love the classics, but also enjoy the recent iterations by Scott, of which I've written several pieces, recorded many videos on, and even done a fan-edit of. Yesterday I learned of a black-and-white fan-edit of Alien: Covenant (2017), titled Alien: Covenant - Necropolis Edition(2018). I wish to review it, here.


Disclaimer: Before reading this review, I strongly recommend watching the fan-edit, first.

Before I start, a word on Covenant. I remember the negative criticism itreceived. Critics declared, "It was too quick, too abbreviated, too stupid!" I don't want to pretend Covenant was perfect—it wasn't—but I found many of the complaints to be short-sighted. Alien is a classic, but also the movie from which Covenant stems. Both are Gothic horror. They share similar ideas and follow the same, basic script. Alien, however, lacked a mad scientist. It had the setting without the host.

Prometheus (2012) swapped s…

Mandy (2018): Review

Panos Cosmatos' Mandy (2018) borrows from many films. It opens with a scrolling forest, but the camera soon nods upward, at a colorful planetscape. This reverses the opening shot in Star Wars (1977), when the camera falls from the sky to rest on Tatooine and her moons. Murky and rich, the music sets the tone. It's a tale of good versus evil, of a pastoral scene broken by violence and repaid in kind.


Mandy is a fantasy tale of revenge that forces Cage into a largely mute role. The actor's somewhat constrained delivery assists the narrative versus hijacking it; the story is at once a fairy tale and a Western, with horror themes: an old gunslinger working a menial job must return to a life of violence after his wife is killed. To do so, he must also return to drinking and meeting with old, bellicose friends. His bloody quest is two-fold, the villain tucked away in a tower, guarded by parallel agents who swear fealty to no one and delight in mayhem. They cannot be killed; Cage …

Hereditary (2018): Review

2018 has been a good year for horror—Upgrade, Mandy and Summer of '84 are all excellent films in their own right. So, too, is Ari Aster's Hereditary.

Disclaimer: This review goes into heavy spoilers. I recommend watching the film if you haven't already and then reading my review.



Tolstoy once wrote, "every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Hereditary's cast is one such clan, introduced at a funeral. Ellen, the dear departed, is eulogized by her awkward, terse daughter, Annie Graham. Annie has a daughter, Charlie, and a son, Peter. Annie's husband is the level-headed, inoffensive Steve. Ellen is dead, but not quite gone. We see her in the Graham home, and on the land, itself. She's present in miniatures Annie, a professional artist, fashions: the home, the people inside it from different periods in Annie's life. Some contain Ellen, and hint at past abuse. We learn Ellen doted on Charlie, and bossed Annie around; when Annie thinks she sees E…