California Literary Review

Mystery

Halloween Home Video #9: Howie Askins’ Evidence

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October 26th, 2012

The most glib and reductive way to describe Evidence is as a hybrid of Chronicle, em>Chernobyl Diaries and The Cabin In The Woods. However, an eager minority are bound to consider that a stellar pedigree.

Halloween Home Video #7: Darren Lynn Bousman’s The Barrens

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October 22nd, 2012

Today’s Halloween Home Video – Darren Lynn Bousman’s The Barrens – a contemporary fable casting the ideal family getaway into hell.

Halloween Home Video #2: Pascal Laugier’s The Tall Man

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October 10th, 2012

Halloween Home Video 2012, for your spooky holiday enjoyment! Today’s pick: Pascal Laugier’s moody thriller The Tall Man

Blu-Ray Review: The Cabin In The Woods

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September 19th, 2012

© 2012 Lionsgate This super-secret brainchild of screenwriters Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon came shrouded as carefully as Super 8, surrounded by many a dark rumor but giving maddeningly little away. Goddard and Whedon began laying it out during their time working on Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. Then, in a blaze of energy, […]

True Blood Recap: Season 5 Raises The Stakes

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August 28th, 2012

True Blood has tightened up considerably since the meandering adventures of Season 4, despite the fact that its protagonist is now a background character. Remember how the show used to be about vampires? That is happily the case once more.

Book Review: Broken Harbor by Tana French

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August 15th, 2012

Right out of the gate, French displayed a gift for rich psychological plots, complex characterizations, and evocative prose. With her fourth, Broken Harbor, she continues to mature as a writer and (one hopes) to delight and collect more readers across the English-speaking world.

Trailer Watch: Paranormal Activity 4

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August 1st, 2012

Paranormal Activity, now the reigning monarch of name-brand Halloween flicks (after the merciful retirement of Saw and in Rob Zombie’s ominous absence) is gearing us up for more.

Sherlock Recap: ‘The Reichenbach Fall’

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May 21st, 2012

Now, this is the premise of the episode. What it asks us to accept in order for the story to get going. So it seems unreasonable to carp. But am I the only one who feels that if you can use a mobile phone to break into three of the most secure places in Britain in the first five minutes, then we should probably all pack up and go home?

Blu-Ray/DVD Review: The Wicker Tree

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April 24th, 2012

The rites themselves have changed in practice if not in spirit, and the movie rekindles enough of its ancestor’s spirit that it’s hard to imagine a better result. What more were all the naysayers expecting?

I Say! Hammer Plans A Woman In Black Sequel?

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April 5th, 2012

The Hammer Studio has announced a sequel, but what are we to expect in revisiting the tidily packaged horror of The Woman In Black?

May Day! May Day! It’s Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Tree

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December 14th, 2011

Early press for The Wicker Tree has not been overwhelmingly good, but one might say it has been encouragingly mixed. The original Wicker Man did not become known as “the Citizen Kane of horror films” overnight, or even during the horror boom of the 1970s. It vanished into relative obscurity for some time before its rediscovery, and look at that baby burn now!

The Weekly Listicle: Celebrating Monstrous Matchups

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November 20th, 2011

“Vampires versus werewolves” is only one of the time-tested feuds that film and television have offered for our amusement. This week, Brett Harrison Davinger and I (Dan Fields) take a look at some other monstrous matchups, scary skirmishes, and curious critter clashes.

Television Review: Page Eight on PBS

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November 6th, 2011

British spies these days – the most interesting ones at any rate – are weary, compromised and full of a guilty nostalgia for the quiet savagery of the Cold War. Spy fiction is a way of thinking about British decline, the long loss of faith and loss of face that the last century brought from Suez onwards.

Trailer Watch: Sherlock Holmes 2, The Woman In Black, Chronicle

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October 20th, 2011

This week is rife with compelling but problematic new trailers. Compelling but problematic but informative. Without excessive judgment before the fact, here are a few early impressions.

The Weekly Listicle: Method In Our Movie Madness

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October 7th, 2011

The practice of blessing mass entertainment with the bard’s prose confers a kind of loftiness upon it, or at least that must be the idea. A quick glance indicates that Shakespeare has provided titles for an alarming number of Star Trek episodes, just for starters. This week, lend your ears to Brett Harrison Davinger and me (Dan Fields) as we look at some of our favorite films to borrow a title from the works of Shakespeare.

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