Site Under Reconstruction

1980’s

[7] Christopher Walken plays an alien abductee coming to grips with his experience in Communion. Walken’s character goes through denial, then embarrassment, then fear, and finally an odd sort of acceptance over the course of the film. The supernatural elements play out in bizarre, theatrical, but compelling ways — but most of the film centers on Walken’s emotional state and the conflict it causes with …

[6] Stephen King wrote this three-tale horror anthology centered around a cat who wanders in and out of high-stakes situations. In the first, James Woods stars as a man who joins a mysterious program called Quitters Inc that has an excellent reputation for helping people quit smoking. The secret to their success becomes ominously clear when Woods learns each and every one of his infractions …

[7] Director Sidney Lumet (Network, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) brings Ira Levin’s hit play to the big screen, showcasing Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve as warring playwrights who resort to real murder to further their careers. Caine plays the mentor desperate for a comeback after suffering a series of duds. Reeve plays the idolizing student whose written a new play Caine thinks will …

[4] There’s really no way to make a good sequel to Poltergeist and retain any sense of dignity in the doing. But even if you go into Poltergeist II: The Other Side knowing it’s one of the most unnecessary sequels ever made, you’ll probably still find yourself disappointed. The Freeling family (JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Heather O’Rourke, and Oliver Robins) are back, living with …

[3] A young man preys on women along the Virginia coastline, picking them up for rides in his camper only to kidnap, torture, and kill them. When one victim’s estranged boyfriend gives pursuit, things get more complicated for all parties involved. Hitcher in the Dark, shot primarily in broad daylight, is a low-budget, direct-to-video sort of movie directed by Umberto Lenzi (credited as Humphrey Humbert), …

[8] Director Tim Burton (Batman, Ed Wood) followed his debut feature, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, with this stylish fantasy-comedy about a young deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) trying to haunt an annoying new family out of their quaint countryside home. When the new family ends up more amused than alarmed by their ghostly antics, they’re left with no choice but to summon the …

[6] James Wilby and Hugh Grant star as young lovers driven apart by oppressive heteronormativity in pre-World War I England. The two meet in college and cautiously profess their love for one another. But when a fellow gay student is put on trial for immorality and his career promises ruined, Clive (Grant) gets cold feet and decides to live a ‘straight’ lifestyle. The two remain …

[5] Three college boys drive to the big city to hire a stripper for a fraternity party, only to discover the strip club is really just a front for blood-thirsty vampires. Vamp doesn’t stray far from ’80s horror formula, especially in the third act, when it feels obliged to throw the kitchen sink into the fray. Chris Makepeace (My Bodyguard) lacks charisma as the underwritten …

[8] Future Oscar-winner Laura Dern (Marriage Story) gives her first leading performance in this adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” the story of a fifteen-year-old girl who pursues male attention without considering the potential consequences. Dern’s character, Connie, lies to her family about her whereabouts, ditching the mall for the beach, or the movies for a bar across …

[4] A photographer (John Heard) and a soup kitchen owner (Daniel Stern) discover that the city’s homeless population, particularly those who live in the underground tunnels, are disappearing. They can’t get law enforcement to care, however, until a few above-ground citizens are discovered mutilated. A conspiracy involving toxic waste is uncovered and the culprit is revealed: cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers. Or, C.H.U.D.s, for short. C.H.U.D. …

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