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"Christmas Eve isn't the only trick this home invasion has up its sleeves."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT MONSTER FEST 2016: Talking about something being fun when it comes to horror movies probably strikes non-fans as bizarre even at first glance, with trying to do so in specific terms raising the ante to alarming, and trying to do so without spoiling the surprises marking the speaker as completely insane. So, pardon me if this review of "Safe Neighborhood" makes me sound nuts, because my feeling conflicted on it being fun or not extends right down to the premise at its very core." (more)
"Well-heated Southern Pulp Gothic."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT MONSTER FEST 2016: The title of "My Father Die" may not be great in terms of English grammar, but in terms of describing the raw rage that drives the characters in this movie, it seems perfectly reasonable: The building blocks of what someone feels without all the formal niceties, ready for action (although I wonder if it’s close to how one might express an idea in American Sign Language). This movie gets overheated at times, but is committed enough to that temperature that it works out pretty well." (more)
"Nearly all great action, no filler."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT MONSTER FEST 2016: Ben Wheatley has accumulated a cult fanbase by making films that strive to cut out the bits that aren’t in some way special, figuring that most people have seen enough movies to fill in the blanks or just go without if it means not seeing one more bloody scene of a local explaining his town’s weird history to the main character just because it’s going to play out later. At times, this gives his movies a thrill of discovery that they might not otherwise have; at its worst, this impulse can make movies like "High-Rise" seem perplexing and full of weirdos doing things at random. In "Free Fire", it makes for a mainstream action movie that just doesn’t mess around, letting a crazy gunfight expand to fill almost the entire running time without making the audience wait around for the good parts." (more)
"Hiring the poor relations is always a problem."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT MONSTER FEST 2016: There’s no universal answer to how much attention should be paid to the living compared to the dead when crafting a ghost story, especially when you consider that a good one will do a great job in misdirecting the audience. "Dearest Sister", for instance, puts the supernatural so near its center that it can easily look more important than it is, drawing conscious attention away from the more conventional material that it metaphorically extends. That’s kind of its job, and it does so successfully enough that it not making a lot of sense as a plot device can be quite forgivable." (more)

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