Review: Little Monsters Is a Big Bully of a Movie

In a 2009 episode of the comedy series Flight of the Conchords, New Zealand ambassador to the US Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby) encounters representatives from the Australian consolate. The Aussies immediately begin ribbing Murray in an aggressive manner, but whenever Murray takes offense, they flash a self-satisfied smile and insist that they’re only joking. “We’re…

Booksmart Breathes Warmth and Life into a Tired Genre

Awkward white people strutting to a hip hop song is not funny. It’s a lazy joke, worn thin by ad execs and youth group leaders across the country. And it’s a joke that Booksmart goes to again and again. In fact, a lot of Booksmart has already been done to death, from its plot structure…

The Hole in the Ground Mines Rich Horror Terrain

Although they don’t get as much attention as tales about zombies or ghosts, body snatcher stories are among the most powerful in horror fiction. And a lot of their strength comes from the way body snatcher stories draw from other genres: the emotional terror of zombies (“That monster looks like someone I know!”), the epistemological…

Aquaman is Out of Its Depth

“This is gonna be fun!” So declares Arthur Curry, the titular Aquaman played by Jason Momoa, at the end of his movie, after (spoilers? I guess?) he defeats the bad guys, saves the world, and gets the girl. The phrase is a good thesis statement for Aquaman, a movie that wants desperately to be a…