Movie Review ~ It Lives Inside

The Facts:

Synopsis: An Indian-American teenager struggling with her cultural identity has a falling out with her former best friend and, in the process, unwittingly releases a demonic entity that grows stronger by feeding on her loneliness.
Stars: Megan Suri, Neeru Bajwa, Mohana Krishnan, Vik Sahay, Gage Marsh, Beatrice Kitsos, Betty Gabriel
Director: Bishal Dutta
Rated: PG-13
Running Length: 99 minutes
TMMM Score: (7/10)
Review: As I sit here a week away from a landmark high school reunion, I was thinking back at how relatively simple we had it when I graduated at the end of last century.  Email was becoming a must-have accessory ( thank you!), Netscape Navigator was the browser of choice, and leaving your AOL-IM on all night just in case someone you’d been crushing on logged in and messaged you wasn’t out of the ordinary.  Now, you couldn’t pay me enough to go back and suffer the high school experience.  There’s too much pressure between home and school responsibilities, not to mention the social hierarchy that must be sidewinded daily.

Plenty of memorable movies have been made about clawing your way toward being an upperclassman, and a fair share of them have been in the horror genre, but what sets the good ones apart (think Carrie) is how they can remain timeless.  Yes, Brian de Palma’s Carrie may have funky fashion, but aside from that, it could take place now.  That feeling of aging well surrounds It Lives Inside by director Bishal Dutta.  While it’s nothing wholly original and isn’t going to wind up sitting on a high shelf next to the true greats, it’s a fiery good time that delivers its promised scares amidst a spooky mood not reliant on traditional tropes. You’ll be able to revisit this one in a decade, and I feel it will hold up remarkably well.

Samidha (Megan Suri, Missing) is a typical teenager who would rather hang out with her friends than lean into her Indian heritage.  While her father is more open to letting his American-born daughter find her path, her concerned mother (an excellent Neeru Bajwa) prefers to keep tradition alive.  When Tamira (Mohana Krishnan), Samidha’s classmate and sole other Indian American student, shows up to school carrying a creepy mason jar that we see her dropping raw meat into, we can understand why Samidha broke ties with her to protect her social reputation.

Yet Tamira needs Samidha’s help because only the former friends can understand how their culture plays a part in the danger Tamira has harnessed in the icky but seemingly innocuous jar she’s protecting.  It’s soon too late as the jar breaks and brings forth an evil force that gains power by targeting the vulnerabilities both teens are trying to hide.  As an ancient entity casts its shadow over Samidha’s family, friends, and a well-meaning teacher (Betty Gabriel, The Purge: Election Year, playing the pseudo-Betty Buckley character from Carrie), she’ll need to rely on the trust, teachings, and protection of the one person she struggles to connect with the most.

Part creature feature and part cult thriller, It Lives Inside often takes the easy path to glory in each subgenre and easily crosses the finish line.  If Dutta’s script (co-written by Ashish Mehta) isn’t the most challenging of material and can feel a tad reductive, it at least puts an Indian American story front and center for a genre that is often homogenous.  And it’s scary too!  Working with a limited budget, Dutta stretches the cash a long way, and the results are solid, though you’ll need to decide for yourself how successful the final act is when the curtain is finally pulled back on the Big Nasty.

Had this not been PG-13 (and I’m not advocating for every horror movie needing to be R and gory), I think It Lives Inside might have had a certain cult appeal, at least on the home video market, where most viewers will likely catch it.  There’s a bit of holding back where violence is concerned, which can be refreshing, but here you wish Dutta had allowed himself (or the producers had allowed him) to go as far out with his ideas as he wanted. 

Movie Review ~ Dumb Money

The Facts:

Synopsis: The ultimate David vs. Goliath tale, based on the insane true story of everyday people who flipped the script on Wall Street and got rich by turning GameStop (yes, the mall videogame store) into the world’s hottest company.
Stars: Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Vincent D’Onofrio, America Ferrera, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley, Seth Rogen
Director: Craig Gillespie
Rated: R
Running Length: 105 minutes
TMMM Score: (5/10)
Review:  Though incredibly topical and current, surprisingly, Dumb Money may be the most unremarkable bauble of digestible studio entertainment I saw recently at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Detailing the GameStop stock craze orchestrated by undervalued investors that shook up an unsuspecting Wall Street, it’s less flashy than similar examinations of financial coups (insert your chosen title here). Still, it lacks emotional tenterhooks to keep you fully engaged. You’ll forget you saw it 60 minutes after it ends.

Maybe part of my apathy toward Dumb Money is partly self-imposed. I fell prey to festival FOMO and sacrificed a screening of another film to see this, even though I knew it would be released mere days after TIFF ended. I spent much of the movie, which I should say again is resoundingly average, running through “what if” scenarios of better films I could have attended.

Director Craig Gillespie has previously demonstrated talent for taking a story we’re familiar with (I, Tonya) and creating entertainment through its dynamic characters. However, with Dumb Money, Gillespie is hampered by a flat screenplay from Lauren Schuker Blum, Rebecca Angelo, & Ben Mezrich that comes off like a book report of a Wikipedia page and performances that have individual moments of snap but fail to crackle when they mingle. So, while Paul Dano (The Fabelmans) is admirably notable in playing against type as the ringmaster of this circus, I almost wonder if the entire endeavor wouldn’t have worked better as a one-person performance piece.

Not that Gillespie hasn’t packed his film with several A-list talents (and Pete Davidson) to distract from the fact that the story is bereft of anything resembling tension or surprise. Already having a great year after delivering the monologue of all monologues in Barbie, America Ferrera (End of Watch) continues to establish herself as a late-breaking, reliable supporting actress. I’m afraid time is running out for Sebastian Stan (Fresh) to skate by on charmless performances, so it’s good Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) is present to take over the mantle. Even Seth Rogen (Sausage Party) and Nick Offerman (Lucy in the Sky) can’t make a case for themselves, going from the comedic heavies in previous films to the awkward straight men playing the stuffed shirt tycoons ransacked by Dano’s internet mafia. 

Stuck in low gear from the beginning, I’m not sure who the audience for Dumb Money is supposed to be. Anyone with awareness to current events will feel this is a star-filled recreation of what we only recently lived through, and if you haven’t been keeping up, it’s unlikely what transpired will keep your attention in the first place. Be smart; spend your money elsewhere.


I’ve been hibernating a bit (in our record-high MN temperatures) before heading out on my next great movie adventure — traveling north to Canada for the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). With a packed schedule, I figured it would be best to go easy on myself prior to leaving so I wouldn’t get too burned out over the 11-day festival.
Follow along here, on Instagram, Facebook, and (yes, I caved) TikTok for all the Canadian fun. You may even catch me trying some poutine along the way 🙂

Movie Review ~ My Animal

The Facts:

Synopsis: Heather, an outcast teenage goalie, falls for newcomer Jonny, an alluring but tormented figure skater. As their relationship deepens, Heather’s growing desires clash with her darkest secret, forcing her to control the animal within.
Stars: Amandla Stenberg, Bobbi Salvör Menuez, Stephen Mchattie, Heidi Von Palleske, Cory Lipman, Joe Apollonio
Director: Jacqueline Castel
Rated: R
Running Length: 100 minutes
TMMM Score: (6/10)
Review: I do my best not to play favorites in writing these reviews, but any movie that opens with a reference to Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre earns instant mad respect in my notebook. Running from 1982-1987 and comprised of 27 star-filled episodes, these are somewhat forgotten now due to lack of availability on streaming services but fondly remembered by those (like me) who grew up with them. I’m not sure if My Animal’s director, Jacqueline Castel, or writer Jae Matthews chose to reference the Season 3 episode Beauty and the Beast (starring Susan Sarandon and Klaus Kinski). Still, it was an inspired way to introduce this modern story with dark parallels to that bedtime tale.

An ordinary Canadian town is the setting for this high school coming-of-age story that doubles as a moody werewolf horror flick. Teenage Heather (Bobbi Salvör Menuez) works at the local ice rink where her younger twin brothers play hockey. She knows she would make a solid goalie if only the team’s captain would get over his gender bias, but so far, her only time on the ice is running the Zamboni after the players have left. Ignored by her classmates, she also harbors a dark secret that only her family truly understands. Each full moon, she undergoes a painful transformation she can’t control, bringing a hunger and a habit she desperately rejects. 

It’s a curse shared by the men in her family, including her father (Stephen McHattie, Nightmare Alley), but resented by her mother (Heidi Von Palleske, Red), who has been injured too often by her out-of-control loved ones. Into this dangerous mix comes Jonny (Amandla Stenberg, Bodies Bodies Bodies), a new student at Heather’s school who figure skates with her father. When the girls see each other, there is an instant connection, and Heather experiences a feeling, a knowledge she hasn’t known yet. But a relationship with Jonny has consequences for all…and there’s a full moon rising soon.

While My Animal has a strong opening act and admirable performances all around (Menuez, in particular, is fantastic), it starts to lose steam before it reaches its halfway point. A familiarity enters the mix, and we begin to see where Matthews’s script is taking us instead of finding ways that surprise us. The good news is that Castel has an eye for visuals, and combined with a hypnotizing score by Augustus Miller, the overall ambiance created by My Animal is alluring, if unmemorable.

In select Theaters on September 8, 2023
On Digital September 15, 2023

Movie Review ~ We Kill for Love

The Facts:

Synopsis: A documentary that searches for the forgotten world of the direct-to-video erotic thriller, an American film genre that once dominated late-night cable television and the shelves of neighborhood video stores.
Stars: Andrew Stevens, Monique Parent, Amy Lindsay, Linda Ruth Williams, Kira Reed Lorsch, Jim Wynorski, Fred Olen Ray
Director: Anthony Penta
Rated: NR
Running Length: 163 minutes
TMMM Score: (8/10)
Review: I’m a fan of the special features on home video releases, and while a behind-the-scenes featurette is fine and dandy, the making-of documentary gets me the most excited. Even better is when the documentary is retrospective many years after the fact. How a movie came together is fascinating, especially when you see it through the eyes of the filmmakers, stars who have had time to reflect, and fans who have carved out a place in their hearts for it over time. That’s why I love seeing the recent trend of “super-sized” documentaries that chronicle a specific genre. Among others, we’ve already had a massively impressive look at horror films throughout the ‘80s, which reminds me that you need to check out the In Search of Darkness films, I beg you.

Now comes, somewhat surprisingly to me, We Kill for Love, a look into the direct-to-video erotic thriller films that filled out the shelves (usually the top ones) in video stores throughout the 1990s during the true boom of VHS and early DVD market. I didn’t need much convincing to check this one out, but even I was gobsmacked at the 163-minute run time of this one, considering many of the films it covered barely cracked the 90-minute mark. I half expected this to be an excuse to show a lot of T & A in between interviews with starlets from the later less reputable skin flicks, but Andrew Penta’s thoughtfully compiled feature is a clear love letter to the forgotten genre.

Forgetting a silly framing device featuring an Archivist that almost threw off the entire balance of the doc, Penta quickly pivots out of this more cerebral dissection of the genre in favor of on-camera interviews with historians, writers, directors, and actors with insight into the growth of the business. The essential films of the era are discussed, both the Hollywood features (Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, 9 ½ Weeks) and their low-budget counterparts (Night Eyes, Eden, In the Heat of Passion, Red Shoe Diaries) as well as the major players of the time (Zalman King, Andrew Stevens, Fred Olen Ray, Monique Parent). 

Penta rarely delves into the darker side of the era, with AIDS and hard drug use primarily avoided, but then again, the entire point of these films was to sell a fantasy to consumers. Following that logic, keeping things on one level makes sense, especially with an already lengthy run time that may be testing the patience of squirmy viewers. I could have watched another hour of interviews because Penta’s subjects are fascinating, and their stories are rich with insider knowledge.

There will never be another time for the home video market like the one documented in We Kill for Love. As someone who worked in a video store while these movies came out, I can vouch for their incredible popularity among all ages, races, and creeds. Now, with so many options to watch at the touch of a button and products being put out quickly, there is less focus on the type of erotic projects discussed in Penta’s doc. It’s not meant to be kept in amber (it’s too steamy!), but the direct-to-video erotic thriller is captured fondly in this sharp documentary.

Now Available On Demand

Movie Review ~ Founders Day

The Facts:

Synopsis: A murder mystery surfaces in the midst of a heated mayoral election in a quaint New England town.
Stars: Naomi Grace, Olivia Nikkanen, Devin Druid, Emilia McCarthy, Amy Hargreaves, Catherine Curtin, William Russ, Erik Bloomquist, Tyler James White, Adam Weppler, Kate Edmonds, Jayce Bartok
Director: Erik Bloomquist
Rated: R
Running Length: 106 minutes
TMMM Score: (6/10)
Review: Though they’ve been a bit uneven, the greatest gift the reboot of the Scream series has given us is the return of the whodunit slasher film. While they’ve never truly gone away, changing tastes, audience fatigue, and declining budgets have relegated the once thriving guilty pleasure genre to the periphery, with only a choice few breaking through in the past decade. That’s a far cry from the stretch in the early 2000s when you could expect at least one a month in theaters and double that coming direct to video.

A movie like Founders Day would likely have been a title that dropped into your mom-and-pop video shop with little fanfare but quickly became a hot commodity. When I worked at a video store, under-the-radar fun like this developed good word of mouth, often turning into a one-copy option we couldn’t keep on the shelf. While it won’t win any awards for pace, performance, or polish, there’s always something interesting around the corner in Founders Day.

It’s getting to the end of a contentious mayoral election in the sleepy town of Fairwood, and both candidates are neck and neck in the polls. On one side, current Mayor Blair Gladwell (Amy Hargreaves) is focused on winning at all costs while preparing for the annual Founders Day festivities. Conversely, challenger Harold Faulkner (Jayce Bartok) intends to present the picture-perfect family, even though his home life is anything but. When Faulkner’s daughter (Olivia Nikkanen) becomes the first victim of an efficient masked killer, everyone becomes a suspect as each murder uncovers new secrets in the once idyllic town. 

Written by brothers Erik (who also directs and has a small role as Gladwell’s aide) and Carson Bloomquist, it’s clear the siblings spent a lot of time growing up in the horror aisle of their video store. No trope is left un-trooped, and no cliché is left unclinched. It is almost a miracle how it manages to steer clear of being a spoof or overly self-aware. Yet, it takes itself seriously (maybe too seriously), making it consistently enjoyable if a bit labored in its execution. It’s hard to predict who will make it to the end credits and even more challenging to decide on exactly who might be behind it all – just when you’ve selected your suspect, they are brutally offed.

The film could lose about 15 minutes (along with several characters and their murders) and remain a fresh addition to the horror genre…but that’s just me wanting my slasher cake and eating it, too. There’s an enormous cast to contend with, so there is naturally some major slicing and dicing to be done, this gives us an opportunity to see some good character actors like Catherine Curtin (Werewolves Within), William Russ, and Devin Druid (The Pale Door) run for their lives. I can’t forget Naomi Grace, who makes for a dependable lead. Even as it begins to strain at the bonds of its runtime, the brothers Bloomquist have delivered a slasher throwback with Founders Day that will keep you guessing. 

Founders Day had its world premiere at Popcorn Frights Film Festival on August 18 and its international premiere at FrightFest on August 28. Look for its wide release soon!

Movie Review ~ The Dive


The Facts:

Synopsis: A deep-sea dive at one of the world’s most remote spots becomes a fight for survival for sisters Drew and May when a landslide sends rocks tumbling into the sea, trapping May in the depths. As their oxygen runs low, Drew must make life-and-death decisions with no outside help in sight…
Stars: Louisa Krause, Sophie Lowe
Director: Maximilian Erlenwein
Rated: NR
Running Length: 91 minutes
TMMM Score: (5.5/10)
Review: A year ago, Lionsgate scored a low-boil hit with Fall, which found two unlucky female friends with a love of heights stranded on top of an abandoned radio tower. Battling brutal weather conditions and other frightening natural elements, not to mention the rusty dilapidated structure breaking apart beneath them, it was a high-wire thriller that played well with convention and sold a few tickets in its limited theatrical release.

Now we have Lionsgate taking The Dive, a remake of the 2020 Swedish thriller Breaking Surface, and you can see how the studio is trying to find similar success with a set formula, but this time with less buoyant results. While Fall found believable ways to stretch out its conceit, The Dive strains to get there. It rarely descended far enough with simple tension to eventually graduate into complete, breathless suspense. What begins as an exciting premise for survival quickly runs out of air long before our lead characters search for their source of oxygen.

It’s a tradition for sisters Drew (Sophie Low, Above Suspicion) and May (Louisa Krause, Young Adult) to take a yearly deep-sea dive together in an exotic locale. Though they may live in separate parts of the world and lead different lives, it’s an unspoken agreement that this is an event neither will miss. Though clearly harboring issues from growing up with a father tough on them both, the sister’s bond is evident, with May emerging early as the more dominant of the two. Of course, this means that when a rockslide interrupts their voyage underwater and traps one of the sisters, guess which one has to step, er, swim up to the plate, and take charge?

Had The Dive been filmed as a tight, taut, 45-minute race to the finish push to save May, it could have been a corker of a nail-biter. Instead, it’s 90 minutes long and reaches the first of its many climaxes around the fifty-minute mark, with director Maximilian Erlenwein’s adaptation of the original script forcing Drew out of the water numerous times. This could have been a cost-saving measure to avoid filming underwater, but it robs the movie of sustained pressure, and we leave poor May stranded on the ocean floor too often.

Eventually, the action picks up for a finale that fails to muster many surprises…at least not the same level of unconventional diversions that helped Fall set itself apart from other drama in real-life survival tales. Had The Dive stayed in the water longer and worried less about being on dry land, Lionsgate could have proven they had an intriguing genre to exploit.

Now Available On Demand

Movie Review ~ Bad Things

The Facts:

Synopsis: A group of friends go to a hotel for a weekend getaway and soon discover that women do bad things here
Stars: Gayle Rankin, Hari Nef, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Rad Pereira, Molly Ringwald
Director: Stewart Thorndike
Rated: NR
Running Length: 87 minutes
TMMM Score: (4/10)
Review: I’ll start reviewing the new horror film Bad Things by doing a visual exercise. Imagine that you are dressed in your finest clothes to go out to eat. You are picked up in a fancy car and dropped off at a restaurant serving the cuisine you crave. The setting is exquisite as you get to your table; every detail has been considered, and the chair the maître d’ has pulled out for you is plush and luxurious. As the waiter emerges from the kitchen with a covered serving platter, gleaming from polish, your mouth starts to water at the food you are so hungry to eat. The plate is set down in front of you, and the cover is removed to reveal your dish: a plain hamburger on a soggy bun. Sure, you are hungry, dressed up, out to eat, and have made a night of it, so you’ll eat the hamburger…but it’s not what you wanted.

That’s exactly how I felt while watching writer/director Stewart Thorndike’s Bad Things, which has the ingredients to create a humdinger of a scare but isn’t assembled in a way that audiences will want to devour. Each chef (director) can create their dish, but if no one comes to eat…you can’t stay open. 

Ok…enough with the food talk. Let’s get down to it. Bad Things is not a great movie, but it has intriguing elements that kept me involved until the (very) bitter end. The good things are star Gayle Rankin (The Greatest Showman) as Ruthie, who has inherited a closed hotel she’s visiting for the weekend with her partner Cal (Hari Nef, Barbie) and their friends Fran (Annabelle Dexter-Jones) and Maddie (Rad Pereira). Ruthie’s past fling with Fran has Cal’s trust issues on high alert, but they are reassured by Ruthie’s plans to re-open the hotel she grew up in as a child.

Of course, there’s history to this hotel, and over the weekend, the friends will be haunted by not just ghosts from the past but by their behavior. Is the hotel making them act out of sorts, or is the isolation freeing them to try out their worst instincts? These interesting questions should have yielded 87 minutes of creepy twists. However, Thorndike’s strange dialogue and diversions, not to mention some broadly unwieldy performances, keep Bad Things from growing beyond good ideas.

If I can say anything to get you to keep watching this and not give up (it’s far too easy to do this nowadays), stay for Molly Ringwald’s (Jem and the Holograms) slick third-act cameo. Sharing the screen with Rankin, it’s the kind of crackling scene Thorndike needed more of in Bad Things. Despite a few creepy moments, the Ringwald sequence is the one truly good thing in the picture.

Now Available On Shudder and AMC+

Movie Review ~ Dark Windows

The Facts:

Synopsis: A group of teenagers take a trip to an isolated summerhouse in the countryside. What starts as a peaceful getaway turns into a horrific nightmare when a masked man begins to terrorize them in the most gruesome ways.
Stars: Anna Bullard, Annie Hamilton, Rory Alexander, Jóel Sæmundsson, Morten Holst
Director: Alex Herron
Rated: NR
Running Length: 80 minutes
TMMM Score: (6.5/10)
Review:  I tend to have a strong aversion to screenplays that double back on themselves, so generally, movies that start at the end raise an alert for me. Inevitably, what we’re shown at the start is a red herring to what occurs when we return to the action an hour or so later. I’ve never understood the purpose of this awkward framing device, primarily because it’s been used so often, and you wonder if the filmmakers think audiences aren’t aware a bait-and-switch is about to happen.

English-language Norwegian horror thriller Dark Windows begins at (or very near) the end when a survivor of a night’s worth of terror has been cornered and is seemingly ready to meet their maker. A quick jump takes us several days earlier to find Tilly (Anna Bullard) struggling to enter the wake of Ali, a friend recently killed in a car accident. Tilly, Monica (Annie Hamilton, Marriage Story), and Peter (Rory Alexander) were in the car, but all three made it out with barely a scrape. Feeling the pressure of a town’s worth of stares and questions about why they survived, and their friend didn’t, the three escape to Monica’s remote weekend home for a few days to relax and take stock of what’s next.

What’s next is being stalked by a killer intent on making them pay for their survival by ensuring they don’t see the light of day. Gradually, secrets from the night of Ali’s death are revealed, leading audiences to believe that maybe the killer knows what they did that summer night and is taking bloody steps in avenging a loved one…or is someone closer to them trying to eliminate loose ends?   

Director Alex Herron maintains a good air of suspense throughout, and despite some third act swerves into true brutality, the viscera found in Dark Windows is relatively tame. That leaves room for tension to rule above gore and fleshed-out performances (solid across the board) to emerge. It’s a fairly standard story, as written by Ulvrik Kraft, but getting it on its feet and handing it to the filmmaker and actors puts it in the “worth a peek” category.

Now Available On Demand

Movie Review ~ King On Screen

The Facts:

Synopsis: In 1976, Brian de Palma directed Carrie, the first novel by Stephen King. Since then, more than 50 directors have adapted the master of horror’s books in more than 80 films and series, making him the most adapted author alive. What’s so fascinating about him that filmmakers cannot stop adapting his works?
Stars: Frank Darabont, Mick Garris, Mike Flanagan, Tom Holland, Vincenzo Natali, Greg Nicotero, Mark L. Lester
Director: Daphné Baiwir
Rated: NR
Running Length: 105 minutes
TMMM Score: (6/10)
Review: Though the first movie adapted from a novel by Stephen King came out four years before I was born, I was thankfully alive, awake, and alert for the heyday of the author’s books being turned into movies and television series. One of the most recognized names in literature and film, King has been scaring the pants off consumers for over five decades and is still going strong. His reach and influence in pop culture are well known. While his repertoire has been touched on as part of documentaries covering the overall horror genre or specific films, there hasn’t been a significant examination that gathers all of his movies into one ghoulish delight.

Enter Belgian documentarist Daphné Baiwir, who has taken on this task and delivered King on Screen, a solid, if unspectacular, look into the various projects that have sprung from King’s novels back to the original Carrie from 1976. Through interviews with several dozen filmmakers (all male) that have been behind the camera, viewers are taken through an abbreviated timeline that leans heavily on the expected titles (Christine, Misery, IT, The Shining), barely mentions some (Firestarter, Needful Things, Salem’s Lot, Silver Bullet) and skips over others (The Lawnmower Man, Graveyard Shift, Apt Pupil, Dreamcatcher) altogether.

There’s no doubt that the content of King’s works could have filled two or three documentaries, and maybe this would have been an ideal project for a multi-episode arc on a streaming service instead, where time is of little issue. I mean, if you are going to cover King, cover King. Leaving out movies, even the lesser known/regarded ones, puts them in some naughty corner that can make fans of those entries feel somewhat alienated. Of course, we all love Stand by Me, Pet Sematary, and Dolores Claiborne, but do we have to leave out discussions of The Tommyknockers and The Langoliers as a trade-off? 

If Baiwir loses some points for content by the end of King on Screen, she’d already earned a hefty bonus off the bat with a positively delightful opening that is filled with so many King Easter Eggs that you’ll want to have your remote handy to pause/rewind to catch them all. Casting herself as a traveler bringing back a unique antique to a recognizable shop in a familiar (to King readers) town…scour every detail you see for callbacks to previous movies/books and pay attention to each of the townspeople you run into. They’re all linked to the King universe somehow. It’s an ingenious way to get the ball rolling, and while it has absolutely nothing to do with the interviews, playing more like a short fan-made King tribute, it’s a lot of fun.

Any King fan worth their salt will want to check out King on Screen. However, if you’re like me, who appreciates King’s full oeuvre, even the deep cuts, you’ll likely miss the titles that aren’t mentioned. Even so, hearing the various directors discuss their influences and how other filmmakers (some interviewed here) informed their approach to making a King adaptation is insightful. None of it is likely to be new information, but it makes for an easy watch that knows its target audience well.

In Theaters on August 11th
and available
On Demand and Blu-Ray on September 8th.