Adam Wingard

‘Blair Witch’ Takes a Familiar Trail to a Dead End

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The forest is an elusive environment that can hold hope for one person or isolation for another. You can enter the forest for some Thoreauvian wisdom, but end up being engulfed by its overwhelming monotony. As we revisit the world of “Blair Witch”, we are reminded that the found footage genre has come a long way from its humble origins, but perhaps some footage is better off not “found.”

Superlative ‘The Guest’ Returns a Soldier to Our Times

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The essential killing machine to protect the Homeland hasn’t been invented yet. Or has it? Filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett combine “The Terminator” with a perfect metaphor for perpetual war in a new release, “The Guest.”

Family Reunion Gets Bloody in ‘You’re Next’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “You’re Next” is a brutal, blunt, bloody instrument of a horror film. It works as well as it does because of an engaging performance from a future star at its center and a writer/director team willing to get in, get gory, and get out. I wish the set-up was a bit more engaging and the tone more consistent but there’s a lot to like here, especially for fans of the genre looking for something that doesn’t need a supernatural twist to stay scary.

Horror Anthology ‘The ABCs of Death’ Wastes Clever Concept

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “The ABCs of Death,” now playing On Demand and opening in select theaters, tomorrow, March 8, 2013 features a few notable short films buried in an anthology of disappointing misfires. The idea for this horror feature is super clever, as are the best of the shorts within it, but the bad far outweighs the good.

Horror Anthology ‘V/H/S’ Offers Mixed Bag of Body Parts

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating:3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “V/H/S” is a clever concept for a film executed with decidedly mixed results. There are enough smart ideas and chilling moments to recommend it to fans of any of its multiple genres (horror, found footage, indie film, even mumblecore), but I would never suggest it to a general audience. It is a cult film through and through and it feels like that’s just the way its talented team of creators wants it to be.

Joe Swanberg’s ‘Marriage Material’ Deftly Observes Young Adulthood

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Ever since stumbling upon his 2005 directorial debut, “Kissing on the Mouth,” I’ve been deeply transfixed by the cinema of Chicago filmmaker Joe Swanberg. There’s a startling honesty to his work that is unmatched by many of his peers, as well as a near-obsessive desire to capture the “truth” in his fictional characters. He never shies away from sexual frankness or raw intimacy if they are required to serve the story.

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    CHICAGO – Fact or fiction is a current debate in news programming, especially as people naturally digest “the news” that makes them comfortable. A new five-episode web series created by filmmaker Ashton Swinford, “Miss Information,” is a satire-oriented show that seeks to entertain and educate viewers on the bias, fake news and bot infiltration that litters social media.

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