The Cutprice Guignol

The Fifth Year: How to Get Away with Meh

Riverdale Recaps: Death Proof

I said last week in my Riverdale review that the show taking on a rape plot was pretty much the best and worst idea that it’s ever had; because a show like Riverdale doesn’t feel like it has the dramatic weight to take on a story with that real-world significance, but at the same time, it’s divorcing from reality allows it to explore a deeply satisfying violent revenge plot that I have to admit is seriously working for me.

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American Horror Story Recaps: Great Again

Look, there’s ambiguity, and then there’s shit just straight-up being a garbage way to end a story. And, once again, American Horror Story has landed firmly in the latter.

I go back and read all my reviews for a season of TV before the finale, just to remind myself of what has gone before, and looking over everything again, I think it’s safe to say that I liked this season more than I didn’t. I would go as far to say that it’s my favourite season since Asylum – I still dig Roanoke but also frequently forget it exists, which seems problematic. And for all that Cult fucked up (sometimes in spectacular ways) over it’s eleven-episode run, it was, by turns, wildly entertaining, brilliantly incisive, and head-scratchingly and compellingly ridiculous. But, you know, AHS can never land an ending, and this year’s stodgy finale is no different.

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Carrie Recaps: Part Eight

We’re back! And I have some recommendations for you, if you’re tuning in for another one of my internationally ignored Carrie recaps: first, Alias Grace, the new Netflix miniseries that was out last week, is one of the most bloody brilliant things I’ve ever seen and looks into the historical treatment of women in a just fascinating and moving fashion, which should be right up your street if you’re looking for something that handles women a little more consistently than this book. In the movie world, Joachim Trier’s new movie Thelma got it’s release this week, and the dreamy, violent, woman-centric coming-of-age story is extremely Carrie-esque but with less references to tits. So now you have your required reading for the week, let’s put on Wig in a Box and get into recap number eight!

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Movie Review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Riverdale Recaps: When a Stranger Calls

Hey, now this is more like it!

After last week’s Veronica-heavy, slightly dismal outing, Riverdale is storming back with a brilliant, spooky, slippery episode that might as well have been made for me. On to the review!

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American Horror Story Recaps: Charles Manson in Charge

We’re rounding the final bend for this season of American Horror Story, and, as ever, things are coming apart. But this season, it feels like they might just be coming together, too. Bear with me: this is going to be a long, odd one.

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Fifty Shades Freed: A Trailer Analysis

So, yeah, I can’t turn down a chance to snark on my literary nemesis, Fifty Shades, and with a new trailer out, I have a prime opportunity. First and foremost, before any of those delightful Fifty Shades fans come down on me for “not focusing on my own work”, here’s where you can buy my romance and erotica. Fair warning, though: most of the women in my work consent to and enjoy the sex they have, which may put off some fans of EL James’ “work”. On with the trailer reaction!

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In Passionate Defense of Geostorm

Here’s an article I wrote on Geostorm and why it’s a better movie than you think!

No But Listen

Alright, now, you know I love ripping the piss out of bad films as much as any reviewer does. A terrible movie is a certain kind of gift: flex your shitting muscles and get ready to crap all over a deserving release, whether it’s Suicide Squad or Nocturnal Animals. I get it. I do.

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Riverdale Recaps: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Sorry we’re a little late this week – I could come up with any number of excuses (not least snugging this little cat’s tiny ears!), but the truth is the episode left me kind of…eh.

I loved last week’s outing both for the sense of gleeful, gothic fun it exuded and the fact that it actually leaned into some of the underexplored corners of Kevin Keller’s…well, you know. And yeah, I suppose, this week took a shot at doing the same, but came off more perfunctory than anything else.

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This sequence was so, so damn well-directed that I couldn’t even hate it for how dumb it was

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American Horror Story Recaps: Drink the Kool-Aid

Look, I want to make it very clear right here and now that I don’t think that depicting historical events should be off the table in fictional movies and TV – hell, I don’t even think they should be stuck with only showing serious events in a po-faced fashion (in fact, I wrote about this very thing with regards to the excellent comedy The Death of Stalin on my newly-launched film site a few days ago). But dammit if American Horror Story has just frequently proved that it can’t treat real-life awfulness with anything close to the baseline of respect it deserves. When I saw that this episode, Drink the Kool-Aid, would be invoking a couple of real-life massacres, I was fucking unconfident, to say the least. I don’t care if Angela Basset is directing: the show just can’t quite get a handle on how to treat tragedy, and so often comes off as lightly camp and disrespectful in the process.

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