It appears Halloween is leaking into November, as two horror-related film events supplement our weekly roundup of conventional movie-house releases.
First up, the annual HorrorHound Weekend is back, armed with another collection of curious “celebrities” — everyone from A Clockwork Orange's Malcolm McDowell and The Exorcist's Linda Blair to lesser-known figures like straight-to-video king Julian Sands (of Warlock fame), Bill Moseley (of House of 1,000 Corpses), Danielle Harris (of Rob Zombie's Halloween) and, of all people, Billy Bryant, who was the man inside Ghostbusters' Stay Puft Marshmallow Man costume. Produced by the publishers of locally based HorrorHound magazine, the three-day extravaganza features an array of screenings, panel discussions, parties and even something called the Ghostbusters Museum. (Read Steve Novotni's feature on the event here.)
Then there's the inaugural gathering of less formally organized Cincinnati Psych-OTR-onic Night, which its founders pimp as “Cincinnati's only grindhouse double-feature; playing your favorite B-grade, exploitation, splatter, Z-grade, cult and psychotronic films ranging from the familiar to the obscure.” The evening gets underway with an 8 p.m. screening of Sam Raimi's ultra-low-budget classic, Evil Dead, and closes at 10 p.m with Tourist Trap, another crafty horror flick with a robust cult following. Both screenings are free and take place at the new YES gallery (1417 Main St., Over-the-Rhine). (For more info, read my To Do here.)
While we're on the topic of scary movies, Charles Ferguson's latest damning documentary highlights this week's opening films. (Read my interview with Ferguson here.)
INSIDE JOB — If you only see one movie this year, Charles Ferguson's financial meltdown documentary is the one to see. Matt Damon narrates this essential soup-to-nuts explanation of the Wall Street and government players whose illicit methods brought down the global economy. (Read full review here.) (Opens today at Esquire Theatre.) — Cole Smithey (Rated PG-13.) Grade: A
MORNING GLORY — Morning Glory is a smooth running dramedy, a warm familiar story that audiences will recognize exactly for what it is and appreciate all the same, likely because it isn’t quite so heavy. In a world where all performances are viewed equally, she would be a highly touted possible Best Actress nominee for her effort here, which succeeds minus the blood, sweat and tears we’ve come to expect from Oscar winners. (Read full review here.) (Opened wide Wednesday.) — tt stern-enzi (Rated PG-13.) Grade: B
SKYLINE — Long-time visual-effects specialists turned directors Colin and Greg Strause (Aliens vs Predators: Requiem) present yet another familiar alien invasion that owes huge debts to Independence Day, Signs and, to a lesser extent, the found-footage feel of Cloverfield. But once all these elements get shoved into the juicer, all of the good pulpy elements gets ground out of it, leaving us with a decidedly flavorless strain. (Read full review here.) (Opens wide today.) — tts (Rated PG-13.) Grade: D-
UNSTOPPABLE — Cinematically speaking, director Tony Scott just doesn't know when to shut up. In this fact-based action drama, he's got an inherently propulsive premise to work with. So what do Scott and screenwriter Mark Bomback do with that story? They throw some utterly pointless background domestic drama at our main characters. (Read full review here.) (Opens wide today.) — Scott Renshaw (PG-13.) Grade: C-