Dead By Dawn
A trio of recommended horror films are out there:
RAW: The French cannibalism drama Raw is a very interesting debut feature. It's beautifully shot and scored and has a ton of great moments. That said, I don't think it's as deep as it thinks it is. It has neither the believable sister bond of Ginger Snaps nor the biting social commentary of Teeth. But it's never dull and well-acted and recommended for a cold but interesting coming-of-age horrorfest. I give it a B.
THE DEVIL'S CANDY: Does "The Devil's Candy," finally playing in theaters at midnight, live up to the hype? Pretty close. It's easy to see why reviews have been so positive. It's a supernaturally-tinged heavy metal take on Cape Fear (with a hint of The Shining) and while the story is super simple, the characters, the actors and the direction and cinematography are all great. Genuinely suspenseful and nasty without being mean. I give it a B+.
THE BELKO EXPERIMENT: What's fascinating about "The Belko Experiment" -- which is effectively "The Office" meets "Battle Royale" -- is that it's written by James Gunn, since this movie has the intelligence, but not the humor, of his films like Slither and Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie plays it straight, and opts for believable characters that you want to get to know better. It actually all plays out fairly realistically. The problem is that the film is simply too ambitious for 90 minutes, not giving you time to get to know the characters well enough, nor does it have time to play off the ideas of incorporating office politics into a panic scenario. Still, the film is easy to recommend -- I give it a very solid B, with a terrific cast of character actors. I just wonder if instead of a very good film, it could have been a revolutionary miniseries if it had more room to breathe.