Archives for posts with tag: horror movies

To think that Ray Liotta gave his life so we could witness “Cocaine Bear” (2023)… well, we’ll always have “Goodfellas.” Apparently, there’s a true story from 1985 about a black bear who ingested part of a cocaine airdrop in the Georgia wilderness. Hijinks ensued. This film takes the duffel bag and runs with it, mixing family comedy, dark comedy and horror in creative but awkward and disgusting ways. Liotta plays a drug kingpin. I don’t know if it was trying to be all things to all audiences, didn’t understand its central theme or the writers were high on coke themselves.

Most horror flicks live in the tight confines of a long night, or 24 hours, or a weekend. There’s significant passage of time in “Gone in the Night” (2022), which is both interesting and annoying. Interesting, because it hints there might be an actual story beyond the gory instant gratification of typical horror. Annoying because we keep jumping between the present and flashbacks, which is cliche camouflage that the actual story sucks. Middle-aged Winona Ryder, confronted with her mousy, mediocre existence and a twisted alternative, must find a solution to the ultimate dilemma. We’re left wondering, and rolling our eyes.

The supernatural is weak mortar to fill cracks in a film’s plot. That being said, everything else about “The Black Phone” (2022) is so stylishly done, I’ll grant some willing suspension of disbelief. This low-ceiling horror film leans into its late 1970s Denver setting, so much so it sometimes seems the set decorator and costumer are bragging. Meanwhile, kids are disappearing. The Grabber gains schoolyard-myth status as the suspect. Our protagonist is in the crosshairs. Earnestly sold clairvoyance and paranormal activity begin to intervene, but young heroes Madeleine McGraw and Mason Thames prevent the story’s potential undoing through heartfelt performances.