The Conjuring

So many popular horror movies go the exact same way. Young family, new house, malevolent spirits. The Conjuring (2013) is just one more. The ‘everything is fine now’ scene at the end felt painfully forced. It did have some good scares, but I don’t see any reason to watch it again. Also, the word ‘conjuring’ was never used and nothing was actually conjured. 

On another note, don’t fucking talk during movies. And don’t laugh at inappropriate times. You’re pulling everyone around you out of the story. If you’re going to watch a movie, then watch a movie. If you’re going to talk through a movie, then don’t waste someone’s time.

Spoilers. Look out.

The Dirties (2013) is the only film about a school shooting that I can think of. It’s certainly a sensitive subject which is only another reason we should talk about it. In the film, Matt and Owen make a movie for a school project. In the movie, they play detectives who kill the gang members at their school. For Owen, it’s a way to cope with being bullied. For Matt, it’s not real enough. 

It is implied that the character Matt (not the director Matt) cannot tell the difference between his thoughts and reality. But while Matt cannot differentiate movies and reality, neither can the audience. It’s unclear if the movie we’re watching is the one being made by Matt and Owen or a documentary about them making their movie. Matt Johnson the director plays Matt Johnson the character, which only blurs things more. 

The documentary style of the film makes it even better. As far as I can tell, most of the first half is filmed by a classmate named Jared. But I think most of the second half isn’t being filmed at all. The cameras (and us, the audience) are in Matt’s head because he cannot tell the difference between movies and reality. 

It’s as if his delusion makes us a real audience. And the audience is deluded too when they follow a narrative. Even if they know it’s not ‘real,’ they believe the events on screen are connected in some kind of plot. And that delusion sort of makes Matt real.

You can watch The Dirties on Netflix.


Machete Kills

Wow. I hardly have words for this. Machete Kills (2013) is incredible. By introducing elements of science fiction, Machete Kills is basically a violent addition to the Spy Kids franchise. 

Needs more Gaga.

You can watch Machete Kills on Netflix. 



Robert Rodriguez’s Machete is political and hyperviolent. Danny Trejo is perfect for the role of the mythical hero Machete. He is one of the most badass action heroes.

Watching Pontypool (2008) was an unusual experience for me. The movie is about three staff members for a radio talk show: host, producer, and technician. They live in the small town of Pontypool, Ontario.

In the first act, we get waves of confusion and misinformation. Reports come in from various sources about separate and unusual events. I have difficulty trying to imagine the answers and I’m intrigued. By the second act, we’ve got a virus that spreads in a curious way and some monsters that I found completely terrifying. This is on track to be one of the most effective horror films I’ve ever seen.

Then there’s the third act: a lame ass race for the cure, nonsensical logic, and an unsatisfactory ending. It was seriously disappointing, because the rest of the film was intense.

You can watch Pontypool on Netflix.


Edge of Tomorrow (2014) is a simple concept done well. Major Cage, a glorified PR man for the military, is pushed to the frontline of an alien war. He dies. Then he starts the day over and tries again. With help from Sergeant Vrataski, the war’s badass poster girl. 

The action is awesome and the premise is engaging. The movie is not bogged down with unnecessary character background. And Vrataski and Cage are given the same amount of character development without an overt romance.

I thought Edge of Tomorrow was great. The concept was fresh, the action was exciting, and the story didn’t pretend to be deeper than it was. I also liked the parallels between the film and video games.



Spoilers below.

Extraterrestrials have infected northern Mexico. Monsters (2010) is about a photojournalist and his boss’ daughter trying to escape through the infected zone to the United States. As you may have guessed, the situation is an allegory for the United States’ relations with Mexico.

The film’s extended message is obvious and boring. The characters were flat and the resolution was unsatisfying. Having two characters go on an adventure together and then kiss doesn’t make me believe that they’re in love. 

You can watch Monsters on Netflix. 

How can I help you?

earth begins

man goes to work

to make food

for others to consume

enjoy absorb

and process into waste

man washes dishes

to dirty them all over again

the next day

and sell more food

that will quickly become

literally shit

man goes home

earth ends