CHICAGO – What if all the evil on the internet manifested itself into a supernatural being with the power to kill a la Candyman? Such is the relatively clever premise of “Smiley,” opening in limited release this week. It’s a modest, low-budget horror movie with some effective ideas and an engaging lead performance but it clutters itself down with too much dialogue about its title character and the very concept of evil being potentially brought to physical life. Every time that it feels like “Smiley” could become something interesting, it falls back into clichés. It’s a film about the next generation of horror villains that owes too much to the older ones.
CHICAGO – I’m a political junkie who naturally loves to follow the world of journalism as well and so I was psyched about the premiere of USA’s mini-series, “Political Animals,” a star-studded affair about how a powerful Washington family deals with a headstrong reporter and the secrets they still hope to keep.
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0
CHICAGO – The world of horror movie distribution is seriously messed up. Millions are allowed to flock to junk like “Saw V,” “The Eye,” and “The Unborn” as they play on thousands of screens, but a lot of the best genre movies for 2008, which was actually a very good year for horror, were barely released. Believe it or not, “The Midnight Meat Train” was one of the best.