‘The Lighthouse’ is a mesmerizing visual feast…and a rudderless waste of time

“The Lighthouse” – Robert Eggers’ follow-up to his eerie, creepy horror film “The Witch” (2015) (4/4 stars) is an equally eerie, creepy drama about two weathered men watching over a lonely lighthouse. There’s little doubt that this visual feast sets a disturbing tone, as “The Lighthouse” has an Ingmar Bergman-“Hour of the Wolf”-thing working greatly in its favor.  Filmed entirely in black and white and almost exclusively with a 1:1 aspect ratio (or very close to it), Eggers delivers a horrible sense of doom on a teeny, tiny island near…

31 Scary Movies: ‘Rosemary’s Baby’

“Rosemary’s Baby” (1968) – When a movie begins and ends with a soft lullaby, and the film’s title features the word, baby, one might guess “Rosemary’s Baby” is a warm family film about a young couple’s journey into parenthood. Rosemary (Mia Farrow) is a gentle, soft-spoken 20-something from Omaha – and living in New York City with her husband Guy (John Cassavetes) – but director Roman Polanski’s horror masterpiece is anything but a light-hearted affair. This brooding and twisted mystery burns slowly while carefully peeling away the facade along the way.  Curiously,…

‘Annihilation’ horrifically demolishes old boundaries

“Annihilation” – Nobody. Nobody comes back. Nobody comes back after entering The Shimmer. Actually one person does come back, and now, Lena (Natalie Portman), a doctor – who also spent seven years in the United States Army – feels compelled to enter it.  In doing so, she takes movie audiences on a sometimes beautiful, but mostly a deeply unsettling, nightmarish journey in writer/director Alex Garland’s (“Ex Machina” (2014)) visionary science fiction stunner. The Shimmer is a bizarre phenomenon, a growing permeable force field, created by a meteor that landed near an…

‘The Blackcoat’s Daughter’ will form a kinship with horror fans

“The Blackcoat’s Daughter” – “Creepy is better than just plain scary, because you can’t look away from creepy.  You want to know the truth.” – Ransom Riggs First-time director Oz Perkins made a confusing film. He made a sinister, spooky, atmospheric, and confusing film. Throughout much of its 1-hour 33-minute runtime, Perkins barely explains why events are set in motion and deliberately leaves the audience stranded at the mercy of the narrative.  Perkins simply walks away, while we scramble to discern which room in Hades he just placed us.  Truth…