“I reeeeeally want you to review UNDER THE SKIN for HOUR OF THE WOLF,” Jim Freund said to me a couple of weeks ago. That was good, because I reeeeeeally wanted to review UNDER THE SKIN, but constraints — both on time and finances — meant that I needed a good reason to get to it. Since we were committed to reviewing CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER — an okay film, but not really more than that — on the CINEFANTASTIQUE SPOTLIGHT the week UNDER THE SKIN was debuting, Jim’s advocacy was just the motivation I required.
So let it be noted, in case you had any doubt, that this confirms Jim Freund’s status as a fighter on the side of the angels. I’ve had a cautious relationship with UNDER THE SKIN director Jonathan Glazer — I felt SEXY BEAST was good but overrated, and BIRTH was… odd — but there’s no such caution here. In telling the tale of an alien predator who takes the form of Scarlett Johansson and stalks the highways of Scotland, Glazer seems to have found the perfect stage for his restrained approach to storytelling. After having to sit through the dreary slog that was OCULUS, seeing something this daring, this entrancing, was just what I needed to restore my own, personal “Sense of Wonder.” Click on the player to hear my review.
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This week, the Dossier Fantastique Podcast is overflowing with data on recent horror, fantasy, and science fiction films. Steve Biodrowski reviews recent threatrical releases RIO 2 (a computer-animated 3D comedy from the makers of ICE AGE) and JINN (a new fantasy-horror film in limited release). In a new segment titled “What You Should Be Watching,” Lawrence French explains why you should check out ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE and avoid UNDER THE SKIN. Dan Persons explains the cult pleasures, such as they are, of Troma’s direct-to-video release RETURN TO NUKE ‘EM HIGH VOLUME 1. And Steve Biodrowski wraps up with a review of LIZZIE BORDEN TOOK AN AX, starring Christina Ricci, the Lifetime telefilm based on the real-life horror story, which is now available on DVD. Plus, the usual look at what’s new on home video.
Dossier Fantastique is overflowing with data this week, offering capsule reviews of new horror, fantasy, and science fiction films in theatres and on home video:
Lawrence French enlightens us to the joys of Jim Jarmusch’s indie vampire flick ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, with Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, which will hit theatres this Friday after a year on the festival circuit.
Steve Biodrowski endures the “wonders” of the over-rated UNDER THE SKIN, starring Scarlett Johansson, which opened on Friday, April 4.
Dan Persons recounts the direct-to-video virtues of OUTPOST: RISE OF THE SPETSNAZ (a.k.a. OUTPOST 3: RISE OF THE SPETSNAZ), which hit store shelves a few weeks ago.
Also reviewed: AFFLICTED and ALIEN ADBUCTION, two films that made their theatrical debut on Friday while simultaneously becoming available via Video on Demand services, such as Amazon.com. And you get the usual run-down of what’s opening on home video on Tuesday, April 8.