The Haunted Castle (1896)

For all its bats, skeletons, cruxifex, and, well, the titular haunted castle, I think it’d be a mistake to really consider this a horror film. The skeleton appearing out of nowhere might very well be considered a jumpscare, one of the first, but seems much more a work of dazzlement and illusion overall, in keeping…

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

The characters of the STAR WARS sequel trilogy are generally good. Kylo Ren is an interesting turn on the villain role, a fanboy needled by what legacy he wants to live up to. Rey’s set up as a stranded Skywalker-fangirl scavenger also was interesting, as was how THE LAST JEDI jettisoned the idea of her…

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

SOLO doesn’t feel like a mess of a movie, it feels dully competent, which is striking considering basically the entire film was reshot by Ron Howard after Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired for their deviances from the Disney blueprint (improvisiation, shooting scenes from specific chosen angles instead of coverage wide enough to give…