Movie of the Week: ‘Audition’

AHFW’s Movie of the Week is “Audition”, director Takashi Miike’s ghoulish modern classic. “Audition” (1999) – The dating world isn’t easy.  Just ask anyone trying meet their soulmate on Match.com.  Hey, it may work out for a few lucky singles, but more often than not, it’s a minefield. Well, back in 1999, dating apps didn’t exist, and Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) – a widower for seven years – cannot seem to meet anyone.  His friend Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura) suggests that he advertise and hold a fake audition for a movie.  Then, he…

Movie of the Week: ‘It Follows’

AHFW’s Movie of the Week is another one of our favorite horror films, David Robert Mitchell’s sensational and scary “It Follows”. “It Follows” (2015) – Writer/director David Robert Mitchell creates a horror film masterpiece with a story of a mysterious being who singularly follows an ordinary student through the Detroit suburbs.  Mitchell’s movie offers an obscure late 70s/early 80s vibe with the period’s cars, clothes, and living room decors while accompanying the landscape with a synthesizer-filled soundtrack and hand-wringing sequences reminiscent of 1978’s “Halloween”.  With its unsettling creepiness and a…

‘Nocturne’ looks great but it’s a little off-key

“Nocturne” – “From their struggles to establish dominance over each other, siblings become tougher and more resilient.” – Adele Faber “Siblings that say they never fight are most definitely hiding something.” – Lemony Snicket Vivian (Madison Iseman) and Juliet (Sydney Sweeney) have played the piano for practically their entire lives.  Writer/director Zu Quirke establishes this absolute fact during the first few minutes of “Nocturne”, as we see the girls striking 88 keys as toddlers through high school in a dreamy montage. Practicing for three hours a day for 15 years…

Movie of the Week: ‘Raw’

It’s October, so it’s Pumpkin Spice Month!  Well, it is, but more importantly, it is the spookiest time of the year.   Since it’s Halloween Month, each AHFW Movie of the Week will be a horror film.  Let’s kick off the fun with an eerie cannibal story set in a Belgian veterinary school…of all places. “Raw” (2016) – Justine’s (Garance Marillier) parents drop her off at veterinary school, and she feels a bit nervous about her new journey.  Her older sister, Alexia (Ella Rumpf), already studies there and should be an…

It’s okay to walk away from ‘You Should Have Left’

“You Should Have Left” – “Violent or upsetting dreams are the mind’s attempt to release the pressures of our daily thoughts and fears.” Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) frequently listens to self-help audiobooks these days.  You see, he has bad dreams, and the latest includes his 6-year-old daughter Ella (Avery Tiiu Essex):  a creepy man, who partially conceals his face with a baseball hat and glasses, attacks Ella in her bedroom.  This horrible visual would undoubtedly send any semi-caring father into a tizzy. Theo, however, is a full-caring father, and outside…

‘The Invisible Man’: Sleeping with the Invisible Enemy

“The Invisible Man” (2020) – “Death’s got an Invisibility Cloak?”  Harry interrupted again.  “So he can sneak up on people,” said Ron.  “Sometimes he gets bored of running at them, flapping his arms and shrieking.” – J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” “In fact, even among women who have experienced violence from a partner, half or more report that the man’s emotional abuse is what is causing them the greatest harm.” – Lundy Bancroft, “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” Ever wish…

‘Ma’: Spencer is a terrific villain, but she’s stuck in a clunky story

“Ma” – “Get home safe.  That’s all I care about.” – Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer) “Don’t make me drink alone.” – Sue Ann Erica (Juliette Lewis) and her high school-aged daughter Maggie (Diana Silvers) drive towards a small-town destination, and a single-stack nuclear power plant looms over the endless acres of leafless, dormant trees.  Little did they know that their lives would soon blow up, after Erica decided to move back to her hometown and into a modest three-bedroom ranch that sits on a dead end street. They should have…

12 days of not-so-Christmassy Christmas movies: ‘Gremlins’

“Gremlins” (1984) – Director Joe Dante has a history in horror with “Piranha” (1978) and “The Howling” (1981) under his belt, so he’s a natural fit for “Gremlins”.    “Gremlins” isn’t a brutal trip into terror, but a PG-excursion into a group of cuddly little teddy bear creatures called mogwais that chirp, squeak and sing a bit too.  What’s not to like?  Everyone should have a mogwai.  Just don’t feed them after midnight, because if so, they will change into impish lizard-like devils that cause lots and lots of trouble.…

At first pass, ‘Suspiria’ is a gorgeous work of art and a confusing mess

“Suspiria” – Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” (1977) is a divisive, arthouse horror film that plays long on style, sound and shimmering imagery of neon pinks and greens, but short of scares.  Inside this Munich dance studio, mysteries rule the nest of long hallways, staircases and dark secrets in hidden rooms.  Not entirely palatable, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience that deserves accolades for its unique presentation. Director Luca Guadagnino (“I Am Love” (2009), “Call Me by Your Name” (2017)) took on the Herculean task of heading a “Suspiria” remake in 2018 and succeeds…

31 Scary Movies: ‘The Eyes of My Mother’

“The Eyes of My Mother” (2016) – “Loneliness can do strange things to the mind.” Mother (Diana Agostini) tells a story about St. Francis to her young daughter, Francisca (Olivia Bond), and closes the tale with the above quote.  Little does the girl realize the supreme accuracy of her mom’s statement.  Not only does “The Eyes of My Mother” prove that loneliness can do strange things to the mind, but it can also drive twisted and depraved ones as well, in the one of the most unforgettable films of 2016. Presented…