California Literary Review

Phobias

Halloween Home Video #1: Joe Dante’s The Hole

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October 8th, 2012

Halloween Home Video (2012 edition) is your guide to the unsung scare flicks, thrill pics, and various fright nasties of this year. Joe Dante’s The Hole is a simple, palatable option for families looking for spooky but safe Halloween fun.

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.

Trailer Watch: Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral

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August 9th, 2012

Cronenberg’s target is the cult of celebrity. As ravenously as we seek to expose and share the intimate lives of the world’s luminaries, is it so far-fetched that we might want to contract their diseases?

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.

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.

True Blood Recap: Season 4 Bites Deep (But Doesn’t Suck)

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September 12th, 2011

For those who have not been scared off by now, I think we could all use a stiff drink before tuning in next summer for Season 5. Which I know I will. Season 4 had a few too many stops, starts, and jerky turns, but True Blood seized its bloodthirsty mojo back at the finish line.

In Case You Missed… Christopher Smith’s Black Death

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June 29th, 2011

Most movies like Black Death exploit the historical context to take shots at organized religion with impunity. A select few try to balance the mistakes of the early church with the importance of faith over dogma – an approach that Season Of The Witch admittedly tried, but got lost too far up its own butt to realize. Black Death tends toward the latter type of story, but pushes its acid satire into fairly new territory.

Insecurity Deposits: Catching Up With Hammer’s The Resident

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May 16th, 2011

The Resident is nicely paced, moodily presented, eerily scored and based upon a very creepy idea. As a rather by-the-book thriller, it satisfies on many levels. If the characters are nothing new, at least the structure has some less familiar kinks. By revealing Max’s true nature early on (to the audience, and not to Juliet), the movie switches abruptly from a creepy mystery to a dread-heavy thriller. Instead of discovering the danger along with Juliet, viewers are given a little head start, so that they are already yelling, “Get out of there!” just as Juliet is starting to feel at home.

The Weekly Listicle: Claustro-MANIA!

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September 16th, 2010

Take some deep breaths, movie fans – we’re going in. This weekend’s new shocker, Devil, appears to feature a bunch of hapless folks trapped in a dark elevator with something quite nasty. Later this season, we will also be getting Buried, concerning a man negotiating for his life while buried in a box underground. Claustrophobia […]

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