Showing posts from January, 2021

"Gretel and Hansel": New Feminist Spin for an Old Tale

The movie Gretel and Hansel , now streaming on Hulu , is a retelling of the Grimm fairy tale with a very modern emphasis on female empowerment. While I found the movie’s pacing a little slow, it did a good job in capturing a fairy tale’s dreamlike and horrific quality. It has all the prerequisites—a dark wood filled with mists and mysterious figures. An evil villain. Innocent protagonists who are plunged into a nightmare through no fault of their own. A lesson to be learned. Photo: In case you don’t already know this, the original fairy tale involved two siblings—Hansel and Gretel—who are lost in the woods. They stumble upon a house made from gingerbread and other goodies and start eating it because they are so hungry. It turns out that a witch lives inside. After capturing the children, she puts Hansel in a cage to fatten him up for eating (yep—the Grimm tales were … grim). She forces Gretel to work for her. The children ultimately escape and the witch gets her comeuppance.

“Lights Out”: Making Hay Out of Fear of the Dark

I just watched “ Lights Out ,” now streaming on Hulu . I’ve watched the 2016 horror movie before, but it still managed to scare me the second time around. There isn’t a lot of depth to the story, and the concept is pretty simple: a family is terrorized by a ghostly shadow entity named Diana who can only appear in the dark. Nonetheless, I found the movie effective, probably because I, like a lot of other people, don’t like the dark. After I saw it, I actually was nervous about turning off the lights to go to bed. What I consider a good horror movie isn’t based only on the number of jump scares, or how often I screamed or covered my eyes. Another factor I take into account is how long the movie lingered in my mind. Photo: Pezibear at Take, for example, “ The Sixth Sense ,” the 1999 movie about the boy who saw dead people. After watching it, I had a hard time going to the kitchen at night to get a snack. I don’t like looking under the bed, even in daylight. The movie proba

“The Guest”: Korean Exorcist Series Has Loads of Thrills and (Blood) Spills

South Korean television producers have created another addictive horror series in “ The Guest ,” now streaming on Netflix . The 16-episode drama has brooding atmosphere, exciting twists and turns, edge-of-the-seat moments, beautiful scenery and relatable, albeit tragic, characters. The show revolves around a demonic spirit known as “the guest” who also goes by the name Park Il-do. Twenty years ago, the demon visits a small seaside village. This results in terrible loss for three children, one of whom comes from a family of shamans and has special psychic abilities. Fast forward to today. The children are all grown up. One is a taxi driver, another is a priest and the third is a cop. The taxi driver, the boy from the shaman family, has made it his life quest to hunt down the demon. The other two are roped in when the demon and its minions possess people and spark off a killing spree. The three must stop the demon before more bodies pile up. Photo: What I particularly like

Netflix’s “Project Power”: the Problem With Superpowers …

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? I ask this after watching Netflix’s “ Project Power ” starring Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The movie was very enjoyable and fast-paced, with gritty elements and sympathetic characters. In short, everything you want in a science fiction movie. The plot centers around pills that can bestow superpowers. The superpowers themselves were a little all over the place. They supposedly were extracted from animal DNA and include such things as invincibility, the ability to heal, or camouflage, or generate heat or cold. You don’t know what you’re going to get, and the effect lasts only for five minutes. Photo: Some of the superpowers come with painful side effects. Even worse, some people can’t take whatever it is and die a gruesome death. But that’s the thing with superpowers, at least in the movies. They always come with a catch. So what sort of superpowers would you want? The ability to fly, time-travel, or move at the