Last year I said that The Blair Witch Project is a great film, and I will always stand by that statement. Sure, it unleashed a plague of cheap found footage garbage, but can you really blame the good thing for all the cheap knockoffs that follow? Speaking of cheap knockoffs, this year we're talking about Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, a mistake on just about every level. Sure, that sounds a bit unfair, but how else am I supposed to feel about a movie called "Book of Shadows" that doesn't ever feature--or even reference or mention--a spooky and/or witchy book? So the title is a lie, right out the gate? Fan-fuckin-tastic.
I can understand the logic behind wanting to make a knockoff movie. Something is popular, so some would want to get on the bandwagon before interest dies down. But CORN is just... confusing. Sure, there's the 2020 Children of the Corn prequel/reboot, but apparently only 10 people saw it and I'm not sure if it will ever have a digital release (trust me, I've spent a lot of time looking into it). And as I have said multiple times, Children of the Corn is nobody's favorite horror franchise. But it's okay! Because CORN's plot has absolutely nothing to do with anything resembling the plot of a CotC film! So why is is even called that? Well...
The Lodge was one of the movies that I was super excited to watch and it just... somehow passed me by. No local theaters were showing it back in early 2019 and by the time I got the motivation to travel to see it, it had disappeared from all theaters. So this one has been on my to-watch list for a while, and I figured a month dedicated to horror movies would be the perfect time! Which makes it such a shame that I really didn't like it.
My very own Shark Week continues! Sure, it's a month after the actual Shark Week, but the best laid plans of sharks and men, or something like that. I'm burning through the "Shark Bait: 6 Killer Shark Films" DVD collection and we're at the sixth film: Zombie Shark. Sorry, I mean Shark Island, even though everything on the DVD says that this movie should be called Zombie Shark. I guess they decided to go with the less provocative title since there's actually more than one undead shark in this film, but whatever.
Previously, I watched Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, a made-for-TV Star Wars spin off for kids that was... fine. It was fine. I've definitely seen worse kids movies and worse Star Wars films. But then there's its sequel, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. While the first film is a story of togetherness--children teaming up with teddy bears to save their parents--the second film is darker, but also no longer fine. Kinda bad, in fact.
Some days the best laid plans fall through, and for that I'm glad we have short films. I'm not saying that every time I review a film under an hour long it's because I'm scrambling at the last minute to find something to post the next day... but I'm also not not saying that will be the case. Anyway, I at least took the time to look up some horror short films, and Zygote came highly recommended. Was it worth 22 minutes of my time? Absolutely!
It wasn't my intention to avoid the main Star Wars movies; it's just that covering all nine is an event all to itself. And then the question becomes in what order do I watch them? Chronologically (1-9)? By release (4-6, 1-3, 7-9)? Flashback mode (4&5, 1-3, 6-9)? And what about Rogue One and Solo? But that's a problem for future Chwineka, and fuck that guy. Today we're talking about Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, a made-for-TV kids film featuring everyone's favorite Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi characters, the ewoks. What, you didn't love the ewoks? Well too bad.
Okay, so I didn't actually reread The Fear Street Saga as I suggested I might while talking about Fear Street: 1994, the first in this trilogy of horror. I'm going to try again this weekend, but I make no promises. It's not like it really matters anyway, since these films are more inspired by the Fear Street series, as evidenced by Sarah Fier being a central character in the films who isn't in the books. With that out of the way, I do have something positive to report: my expectations for Fear Street: 1978 were pretty low, and this movie sailed over them! It's not perfect, but it's better than most Friday the 13th films, so it gets thumbs up from me. Prepare for full spoilers this time, cause I want to talk about that ending twist.
Happy Pride Month, everybody! June will be dedicated to movies with overly queer content or were made by queer creators (a distinction that will come up later). I'm going to start this all off by doing something different: I enjoyed What Keeps You Alive. It has moments where the story has problems if you think about the implications too hard, but it's a tense thriller that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. That being said, the trailer revealed way too much--they always do--and while not spoiling everything, I'm going to talk a lot about the story in this post. So if you want to see a thriller about a woman discovering what secrets her wife has been keeping from her, go check it out on Netflix. And with that out of the way, let's dive in!
I think this is the first anthology I've reviewed on the blog? The only other time I've used that tag was with The Star Wars Holiday Special, and that was mostly a "for lack of a better word" situation. The Field Guide to Evil is a horror anthology that focuses on multicultural folklore, broadening our horizons by showcasing creatures and demons from around the world. But unfortunately for this film, not every story is told as well as the others. There were some shorts I loved, and others that just left me feeling meh.