Sundance (2022) review: ‘WATCHER’ is a slow-burn story of gaslighting and daily dread.


Julia joins her husband when he relocates to his family’s native Romania for a new job. Having recently abandoned her acting career, she finds herself frequently alone and unoccupied.

Maika Monroe has solidified herself as a genre darling. If you somehow missed her It Follows or Villains, she’s a captivating performer. In Watcher writer-director, Chloe Okuno introduces us to a young couple’s international move to Bucharest takes a terrifying turn. A string of local murders haunts Julia as she spends her days alone and becomes aware of a neighbor staring at her from his apartment each night. Watcher takes you on a journey of cultural clash, instinct, and terror.

The film echoes the ingrained fear that women endure daily. We constantly live in a heightened state of awareness and anxiety that is exhausting. But it’s not only that aspect; it’s the gaslighting that might be more impactful than anything else and, its ensuing isolation can feel all-consuming. Monroe is in almost every frame. Her mindset will be all too familiar for the female audience. The sense that someone is a bit too close, looking at you a moment too long, and in many cases, we are helpless. What Monroe brings bravery to Julia that allows the viewer to be cautiously optimistic about her safety. Okuno and Zach Ford‘s script gives her a sense of action while maintaining fragility. It’s the moments of courage that we get to root for while simultaneously biting our nails. It’s a beautiful balance. Benjamin Kirk Nielsen‘s cinematography combined with Okuno’s blocking also put the viewer in Julia’s state of peril. Accompanied by a string-heavy score is everything we need it to be. The emotional manipulation in this film is sheer brilliance. While it’s not necessarily a new storyline, it is the bold approach that sets it apart. Watcher will have you maniacally screaming at the screen in terror and frustration. Sundance audiences are in for a ride.

To find out more about the entire Sundance 2022 lineup, click here!

Review: Scary Movies XII’s Opening Night Film ‘VILLAINS’ is terrifyingly good.


Scary Movies XII’s Opening Film


Opening In Theaters Nationwide This Fall

Two hilariously small-time millennial robbers break into the wrong house. Something is clearly amiss when Jules and Mickey are confronted by the owners. In an attempt to do the right thing, they are faced with challenges no one will see coming. Evil comes in many forms.

The film has fantastic framing and awesome camera work. Beautifully sprinkled horror homages keep genre fans in a state of pure delight. This is already a crowd-pleaser less than 15 minutes into its 89 minute run-time. The animation under the final credits is like a drug induced plot recap. I am obsessed. The script is quirky is wonderful. With stylistic elements that reminded me of The People Under The Stairs, it’s a film you’ll have to go back and watch to catch all the little details.
Bill Skarsgård and Maika Monroe are young balls of energy. Both quickly becoming genre icons in their own right, these two make a stunning pair. Their chemistry feels super organic and appropriately playful. By the end you will be genuinely invested in their survival. Homeowners Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Donovan are total creeps. Sedgwick, in particular, will blow you away with a complex performance. They are a perfect foil for Jules and Mickey. It’s scary what we’ll do for love.

You’ll be totally enamored with Villains from start to finish. It’s funny and bizarre as hell. It has a classic feel but somehow completely fresh all at once. From the acting to the cinematography to the smart script, directors Dan Berk & Robert Olsen have a real winner on their hands.

Written & Directed by | Dan Berk & Robert Olsen

Starring | Bill Skarsgård, Maika Monroe, Jeffrey Donovan & Kyra Sedgwick

Co-Produced by | BRON Studios, Star Thrower Entertainment, Creative Wealth Media Finance & The Realm Films

Just in time for Earth Day, a new ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ trailer has arrived!


Fox has released a new trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence and we have it for you below!

We always knew they were coming back. After Independence Day redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

The film stars Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe and Sela Ward and is directed by Roland Emmerich.

Also, to help us all defend our planet, for a limited time, the original Independence Day (1996) movie will be available for only $0.99, with all of Fox’s net proceeds being donated to Earth Day Network! Get your $0.99 download of ID4 here: Fans can also participate in a global #IndependenceDayLive Earth Day Watch Party, starting at 4pm PT by following #IndependenceDayLive and @IndependenceDay.

Michael’s Review: ‘Echoes of War’

Echoes of War Movie Poster (1)Director Kane Senes’ western Echoes of War resurrects some very familiar themes as  we witness the homecoming of a man who has faced the brutalities of war and now finds himself struggling of adjust to life after battle.  James Badge Dale, Ethan Embry and William Forsythe lead the cast in this morally conflicted period piece which yearns to reminds us how wonderful the western genre is, but ultimately finds itself lost on the frontier.

112Wade (James Badge Dale) returns home to Texas after the end of the Civil War to his brother in law Seamus’ (Ethan Embry) farm to help mend his family after the passing of his sister. Seamus tends to his farm with his daughter Abigail (Maika Monroe) and his son Samuel (Owen Teague), both of whom idolize Wade and convince the weary farmer to allow their uncle to stay. Wade begins to settle in and Seamus puts him right to work assisting in the daily chores. During a run to check the traps for food, Wade and Samuel come across Dillard McCluskey (Ryan O’Nan), son of Randolph McCluskey (William Forsythe), neighbor to Seamus and cattle owner who has fallen on hard times stealing their catch. Feeling that he must takes it upon himself to put a stop to the McCluskey’s stealing his families food, Wade confronts the elder McCluskey, which sparks a battle between the families. With tensions running high, will anyone be left standing when the dust settles?

213Co-writers John Chriss and Kane Senes have provided a screenplay filled with way too many western cliche’s and not enough original content. Senes, in his feature film directorial debut, has an understanding of how the story should play out, but the sluggish pace of the film causes this film to spiral out of control. The acting in the film is also very hit or miss. James Badge Dale is very one dimensional in his role as the war veteran. The role seemed ripe for some intense scenes but never captured the true nature of a man returning from war. William Forsythe‘s role is also lost in interpretation. Acting as the antagonist in the film, you neither understand, nor do you care, why the events of his past have lead to the man he is now. The relationship between Ethan Embry‘s Seamus and Randolph really needed to be flushed out more in the telling. Maika Monroe, coming off the critically acclaimed film It Follows, is never truly given the opportunity to show off the acting skills in this film as her character plays out most of the film with the same somber delivery.

ct-echoes-of-war-review-20150514 Overall, Echoes of War is a film that struggles to resonate any true enjoyment for its viewers. A story that is not all that bad, but is destined to ride off into the sunset and out of our memories.


2  out of 5

After Credit Scene?



Arc Entertainment Acquires The Western Thriller ‘Echoes of War’

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 11.34.45 pmARC Entertainment has acquired all US rights to the western thriller Echoes of War. Directed by Kane Senes and co-written by Senes himself along with John Chriss, the film stars James Badge Dale  (The Walk, Spectral, 13 Hours), Ethan Embry (Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie,” Cheap Thrills, The Guest), William Forsythe (Boardwalk Empire), Maika Monroe (The Guest, The Bling Ring, Labor Day) and Rhys Wakefield  (The Purge, Nobody Walks). ARC Entertainment will be releasing the film on VOD and in-theaters on May 15, 2015. The deal was announced today by ARC Entertainment’s Head of Acquisitions, Scott Moesta.

 “We are proud to release this powerful film and distribute Echoes of War across all platforms,” said Moesta. “The cast delivers a powerful performance shedding the truths and hardships of war.”

 In post-Civil War Texas, two neighboring families are grieving tragic losses while they struggle to survive in this rural drama. The cattle-ranching McCluskeys have lost both a son and their entire herd to the war. The Rileys, mourning the loss of wife and mother Mary to illness, eke out a living trapping animals and selling their pelts. When Wade Riley (James Badge Dale, The Lone Ranger, Iron Man 3) returns from fighting for the Confederacy, he discovers that Randolph McCluskey (William Forsythe, The Rock, Once Upon a Time in America) and family have been stealing animals from his family’s traps. He decides to take matters into his own hands, sparking yet another tragic and senseless war.

Echoes of War is executive produced by American Film Production’s George Voskericyan and produced by Dave Szamet (Hot Air), Provenance Pictures’ Steven J. Berger (The Pretty One, Spoonful), Kyle Fischer (Hot Air), American Film Production’s J.M.R. Luna (Tell, Helicopter Mom), Country Club’s John Chriss and Kane Senes. The deal was negotiated by ARC Entertainment’s Head of Acquisition, Scott Moesta and Highland Film Group brokered on behalf of the filmmakers. Highland Films served as the international sales agent.

Liz’s Review: ‘IT FOLLOWS’ an unexpected path.

It Follows poster

Most horror films are relatively formulaic. I can appreciate that as a fan, but every once in a blue moon, something truly special comes along. It Follows is the story of 19 year old college girl, Jay. During the early stages of a relationship with a boy named Hugh, Jay is knocked out by chloroform and tied to a chair. He explains that since they have slept together he has passed a curse onto Jay. A thing, a force, an entity, call it what you like, will now follow her wherever she goes. It will take many forms, oftentimes of a loved one, sometimes deceased. Never let it touch you, for if you do, it will kill you. The only way to pass along the curse it to sleep with someone else. Absurd premise, yes. Scary as hell, absolutely. Writer/Director David Robert Mitchell takes us into a world that was created from one of his childhood nightmares. A presence that stalked him slowly and incessantly. We’ve all had these dreams; something or someone following us. The main difference here is we always wake up. Read More →