Barbarian (2022) – Zach Cregger

Wow. Writer/director Zach Cregger blew me away with this one, completely subverting my expectations while playing with the traditional horror rules in this fantastic thriller of a film. From his framing to camera movement to casting to the way he doles out the story, Cregger plays with an increasingly film-savvy and educated horror audience and…

Lady in White (1988) – Frank LaLoggia

Frank LaLoggia scarred a number of my generation with his film Lady in White, which he wrote and directed. I remember countless friends, and others telling me how much it freaked me out. I had seen it once in the late 80s, just as I was getting into horror movies as a late teenager, and…

1408 (2007) – Mikael Hafstrom

John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson star in this big screen adaptation of the Stephen King short story. Cusack, who has always been a favourite of mine, is Mike Enslin, a writer who cranked out one good (and seemingly forgotten novel) and after a personal tragedy, which had him walking out on his grief-stricken wife…

Heat 2 (2022) – Michael Mann & Meg Gardiner

Iconic Holywood writer/director Michael Mann pairs up with acclaimed novelist Meg Gardiner to revisit and expand on the world of cop Vincent Hanna, thieves Neil McCauley and Chris Shiherlis and the pursuit of their goals before and after the events portrayed in the 1995 film. Coiled like a spring, this crime thriller ratchets up the…

Tiff ’22: The Banshees of Inisherin

A canticle of attrition laced with verses of humour and pathos, The Banshees of Inisherin from writer-director Martin McDonagh is a perfect composition. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson star as Padraic and Colm. They’ve been drinking mates for years until in April of 1923, Colm decides he doesn’t want to be friends with Padraic anymore….

TIFF ’22: Glass Onion – A Knives Out Mystery

Rian Johnson and Daniel Craig return in a second Knives Out film, and Craig, along with everyone else involved in the production seems to be having the time of their life. Craig’s detective, Benoit Blanc, finds himself caught up in a whole new mystery this time around, and while there is a tonal shift from…

TIFF ’22: Empire of Light

Writer/director Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light is a beautiful and emotional achievement, celebrating the beauty of cinema while allowing its star, Olivia Colman to deliver a powerful, layered and nuanced performance as Hillary. She’s a woman of a certain age who suffers from a mental illness, which she has to contend with in her day-to-day…

TIFF ’22: Women Talking

Writer-director Sarh Polley lends her powerful voice to bringing Miriam Toews’ brilliant and acclaimed novel to the screen. What Polley delivers is a stunning, conversation-starting piece that examines patriarchy, power, faith, hope, and dreams for the future. In a remote Mennonite community, a gathering of women takes place to figure out their future. They’ve been…

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) – Mike Flanagan

Mike Flanagan has quickly become one of my favorite writer/directors and I realized that there were still a number of his titles that I hadn’t written about for the blog. So color me happy as I dig into some other examples of his work. Ouija: Origin of Evil is, in fact, a sequel to a…

M*A*S*H (1983) – Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen

On 28 February, 1983, millions of viewers bid goodbye to the 4077th and its residents over the course of two hours. It’s one of those moments burned into my brain, and I remember exactly where I was and how emotionally it affected me. The only other time I was affected in the same way would…